Ever since I started working out, I’ve had to deal with backhanded compliments, negative comments, people warning me about the “dangers” of just about anything, and out of shape “health experts”. What you want to do is take these people and use them as fuel. If you don’t use this approach and you’re a sensitive kind of person, these people will absolutely crush you. You can’t let this happen. You have to recognize these people for who they are and push past it.
I’m going to start by using my buddy Mike DeNicola as an example. Mike came to me weighing a tad bit north of 230 and wanted to get down to under 200 pounds. I gave him the same type of suggestions I offered in this post. Mike almost immediately started losing weight. He was excited (rightfully so) and took to Facebook. He told the world of his goal, , which was to be under 200 by November, and current progress. In the back of my mind I thought to myself “here we go” and almost as if on cue, it began.
Mike got tons of comments, some encouraging and some like, “Hey man just to let you know that’s water you lost” (said by maybe three different people); “Oh man those are lofty goals, I don’t want you to be upset when you don’t reach it”; and (my personal favorite)”I tried to lose that kind of weight before and I failed”. No mention whatsoever of what that persons diet was compared to Mike’s, which by the way was ON POINT, but he made sure to let him know he may, and probably would, fail. By the way, that was a couple months ago and Mike is currently under 200. He’s currently being told he’s going to wither away to nothing–also incorrect, but I suppose people need SOMETHING to pick on…
The next group of people you’re likely to encounter are the “Oh my God, you know you CAN workout without posting about it on Facebook!” people. You know, the Facebook Gestapo? These people usually hate anything that people enjoy and rarely will “like” their own friends accomplishments. They are typically the type that call out family matters in a status or put other people’s business in a public forum. They are often either severely out of shape or the only barbell they’ve seen was some weird dive bar. You know these “friends”. After you post what you did in the gym or some goal that you’ve accomplished, they’ll post vague statuses somewhere–calling you out without actually using your name.
After the doubting and the hating, it’s now time for all of the “expert” diets tips (sometimes they are actually sound) that often contradict each other.
“Stay away from fruit, bro, it’s got sugar.”
“Go vegetarian, man, it’s really good for you.”
“You need to try this fat burner.”
“You need to stop eating eggs and start drinking Shakeology.”
“Carb cycling is the only way to go. I knew a guy that did it once!”
“A gallon of water a day? That sounds like a lot, just drink when you’re thirsty. You’re going to put on water weight!”
After the diet tips, there are almost always workout tips and those are either entirely wrong or formulated from closed-minded people who’ve never tried another form of fitness.
“Don’t lift weights I heard people get hurt all the time.”
“If you keep lifting weights you won’t be able to get pregnant!”
“If you want to lose fat, just run five miles a day. Stop with the weights. All they do is make you bulky, eww!”
Here is the deal, if you smoke cigarettes, don’t lift, don’t eat healthy at least 50% of the time, and drink ten cups of coffee loaded with cream and sugar, you’re not allowed to warn me or anyone I train on the dangers of anything, EVER.
In Mike’s case he had people doubting him and although they did so with “the very best intentions” they still doubted him. Why? Because he had a legit goal and it was hard. All of your goals should be hard. If you’re hitting the bulls-eye on every goal you set, you’re standing too close to the target.
If nobody is out there trying to make sure you don’t achieve your goal, maybe your goals aren’t lofty enough.Change that. You’ll know a good goal when you have the doubters coming at you. Remember, their doubt is your fuel.
If you’ve decided enough was enough and now you’re getting into shape, let the world know! This is good for two reasons: (1) It keeps you accountable. Your friends and haters will know if you’ve given up or soldiered on. (2) You never know who you may inspire. It could be some lurker on your friends list you forgot about or a close friend that needed a little extra push. In any case, you still have that chance, to change someone’s life for the better.
I have had people that I forgot I was even friends with on Facebook message me to tell them that I’ve inspired. No feeling on Earth can compare to how hearing something like that makes me feel knowing that I inspired someone after posting a picture of me holding a medal or a Tough Mudder head band. This doesn’t only happen to me as a trainer. I know several people who have achieved fitness goals that have had a domino effect on their friends – in a good way. Again, if people come after you, the angrier or more annoyed people get, the better you are doing for yourself and others.
On Supplementation and Nutrition
The supplement people or what I like to refer to as “drug dealers” will come out. “Try this pill. Try that pill. It works!” So does eating right! Don’t fall into this trap. Supplements are what they are. They supplement what you’re missing from your diet. Example: You hate fish? Take fish oil. Otherwise, just eat fish.
I’ll be honest, I personally take pre-workout, not because it works. I don’t get super human powers or extra ripped. I just enjoy the mental edge it gives me sometimes, but I truthfully wouldn’t be any different without it.
Basic nutrition is simple. You don’t have to do weird diets. Eat lean meat, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables. See? Basic. Water: sedentary men and women should drink 3.0 liters and 2.2 liters respectively. That’s for people who do nothing. If you’re exercising, add at least .5 to that. If on a fat loss program, drink an additional eight ounces of water for every 25 pounds you are overweight. This is NOT an opinion, this is science.
Here’s my view on workouts: Long distance running will sap fat, but will also sap muscle as well. So, for reasons of fat loss only I’m against this. Now that that is out of the way… Do what you enjoy doing because that is the program you are likely to stick with. If you want to run marathons, do it! If you want to be a power lifter or someone that does CrossFit, do that. Do what you enjoy and be wary of opinions from people tearing down a form of fitness they’ve never done or know nothing about, but think they know everything of. Try everything or just stick to what you love, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re moving!
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