When People Are Full Of Hate

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One of the hazards of posting on social media is that you run the risk of catching the attention of complete sociopaths who seem to have nothing better to do than to spread hate by posting negative comments on other people’s posts. I was utterly shocked to see a very negative comment added onto a Tweet I posted just now. It was ugly and mean-spirited, and it definitely hurt me to my core. The gist of the comment was that I was a dime a dozen, and will never win anything (hmmm, good to know). This was posted by a guy who had the look of a sociopath in his soulless eyes. I briefly scanned his profile before blocking him, and noticed that EVERY single Tweet he had (I scanned about ten posts down) was hateful and negative.

It truly blows my mind that a jerk like the guy I had to block would exert such an effort to spread negative energy. I have no desire to fend off creeps like this, so I block them immediately. They are loose cannons who look for victims to cyberbully, and there is no way to predict how far they will take their hatred. I will not tolerate such energy and always automatically block them, and if they are especially nasty or threatening, I will file an official report of abuse. I realize that I am more susceptible to such contentious people because I have built a name for myself and I put myself out there constantly, but it is not fair to blast me when my posts are primarily meant to inspire my fans and followers and entertain friends. The fact that some people go out of their way to be mean and to spread hate is mind-boggling to me. I begin to wonder what kind of karmic load they are carrying to spread so much negativity.

What is the best way to defuse hostility? It is always best to refrain from reacting to it. Physically walking away, ignoring hateful statements, employing the blocking feature on social media sites, email, and cell phones, smiling at the person who is being difficult can all work in neutralizing the bad energy.

Ignore The Haters!

Originally published on RxGirl on Wednesday, 18 September 2013

http://www.rxmuscle.com/rx-girl-articles/9306-ignore-the-haters.html
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Many of you ladies are well acquainted with the rigors of contest prep and understand the level of intensity and commitment required. Some of you are fortunate enough to have a great support network in which partners, family, coworkers and friends are in your cheering section and encourage all of your efforts. Unfortunately, however, some competitors may have to deal with people who discourage them or in some fashion try to interfere with their prep. I have heard husbands complain that their wives spend too much time in the gym or cannot eat restaurant meals with them. A few of my clients have lamented that family members or friends actually got angry with them for training so hard or for being so driven. The less the hater knows about the world of bodybuilding, the harsher the criticism becomes, usually as a result of ignorance and the perpetuation of erroneous stereotypes about bodybuilding.
I once had a client who almost talked herself out of competing as a reaction to her ultra-conservative mother’s opinion of bodybuilding contests. Her mother was horrified by the idea that women actually got onstage in bikinis and was deeply resistant to the idea of her daughter doing such a thing. It did not matter that her daughter was in her 30’s with children of her own. What was so sad was that everyone else in my client’s life was supportive and encouraging. For once this woman was paying attention to herself instead of doling out her energy to her spouse, children and parents, and it met with resistance.

Another frequent complaint, and one which I have heard personally, is one in which the loved one bitches about how stupid it seems to chase after a national qualification, IFBB Pro Card or Olympia qualification. Those who do not compete cannot fully appreciate the reasons competitors have to reach for that carrot. The drive is deep and in most cases incredibly personal. There is no question that competing can be extremely expensive, and it can be very frustrating to deal with less than stellar placings which push us to do more contests in order to reach our goals. It is also true that the allure of a Pro Card can fool some competitors into thinking that attaining Pro status will deliver much more than acceptance into the prestigious IFBB ranks (such as supplement company contracts, magazine covers, etc.). However, if you are realistic and are pursuing the next level of achievement for your own personal reasons, then declare that when someone tries to criticize you. My advice is to dig your heels in and fight for your right to do something that is inspiring and empowering.
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You may have people in your life who believe that you are getting too ripped and muscular. Invariably the people who make such remarks are not weightlifters, so they do not understand the mentality of those who lift and thus are not comfortable with the idea of building and sculpting muscle. If you are in a bulking phase, your appearance can be especially jarring for those who do not appreciate muscle, and the negative comments are likely to increase in frequency. It’s no surprise that those of us who compete tend to hang out with other lifters in an effort to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who can relate to what we go through and who won’t fling negative comments about our muscularity or vascularity our way.

Perhaps you only deal with minimal criticism but still have trouble processing it. I know that the majority of you who compete have been in situations where family, friends or coworkers have tried to convince you to abandon your strict meal plan, telling you that “just this once” won’t hurt you. They may even resort to accusing you of being a stick in the mud for not caving into peer pressure. It is at times like these that you need to remind yourself of your goals and that adherence to your meal plan is an insurance plan to being on point when contest day arrives. You know that every time you fall off the wagon, so to speak, you jeopardize everything you have spent the past few weeks or months to build. Why do yourself such a disservice only to appease others? Do not bother yourself with what they think, because it is not worth it.
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Consider the reasons why you compete and what kind of satisfaction you get from competing. Are you really going to let the people in your life drag you down and criticize you for doing something that you enjoy? Remember that your journey is not only about physical transformation, it is also spiritual. You are all grown women with minds of your own, so STAND YOUR GROUND!

Social Media: A Double-Edged Sword

Originally published on mensphysique.com on Monday, 02 December 2013

http://www.rxmuscle.com/blogs/the-business-fitness-modeling-and-showbiz/9773-social-media-a-double-edged-sword.html
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If you are serious about competing and want to build a career in the fitness industry then you have probably been exploring the various social media platforms and trying to build your name and brand. Of course, you want to push for the most followers you can get, as well as build a fan base which boosts your credibility in the eyes of supplement companies. As your numbers grow, your name will become more well-known and you can claim – without bluffing – that you have inspired thousands of people.

However, with more followers come more problems, most commonly the jerks and the haters. I heard an interesting comment from one of my friends today, which was: “The more successful you are, the more haters you have.” I have to admit that whenever I have to deal with a hater, I am rattled by such energy and will never understand how people can go out of their way to spread negativity. I guess you can’t please everyone, and of course there are going to be those who are jealous of your physique and your success. This is when the blocking feature on numerous social platforms can and should be employed. Don’t bother trying to appease such spiritual leeches. They are not worth the trouble.

Some fans and followers (thank goodness, it is the exception and not the rule) develop a distorted perspective in which they believe that they are connected or bonded to the fitness personalities they are interested in. This quickly turns into an obsession, with the fan holding onto a sense of entitlement which can be dangerous. If such a fan feels disregarded, a cascade of psychotic behavior can ensue.

Another dangerous and disturbing situation found in social media circles is the impostor syndrome. There are individuals out there who may claim to be you, and will use your likeness, your name and your titles to build fake profiles. I am sure you have worked your ass off to get to where you are now, so it is time to do due diligence and make sure that no one is taking your good name and wearing it. The small bit of flattery which may be at play is completely eclipsed by the creepiness and the invasion of pretending to be someone else.

Thankfully, the vast majority of people are level-headed and rational. However, as your numbers grow, you must be aware of the issues which may arise and take measures to protect your name and reputation in the industry.

Lighten Up Already!

I am astonished by the proportion of people on social media who take issue with innocuous posts. It’s almost as if people are losing their sense of humor and assuming the worst about others. I am tired of bullies verbally attacking me via private message on Facebook, telling me they were offended by a post I shared. Case in point: I recently shared a post which used the analogy of a Ferrari to describe a person’s body, and a bumper sticker as a reference to a tattoo. It was written in first person with no attacks against people who had tattoos. Approximately 8 hours after I had shared the post, a man (and I use that term loosely in light of how hostile he was) private messaged me, telling me how offended he was by my post and that he had lost considerable respect for me. He took personal issue where none existed, and on top of that, he attacked Ferrari owners. I attempted to calm him down by stating that there was no offense meant, and that there was nothing negative directed against people who had tattoos. Instead of calming him down, I apparently raised his ire because I had shared a screenshot of this particularly annoying message stream so that people could see how much I get bullied by people who have no business starting an argument. He blasted me again, stating that I posted derogatory remarks and that what I did was “typically American”.

Here are the message streams:

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I have come to the realization that bullies like this are full of self-loathing, so much so that they feel compelled to lash out at others and perpetuate hostility instead of seeing the levity in a social media post. I have seen posts which have poked fun at bodybuilders, doctors, people over 40, and models, and as long as the posts are funny and aren’t overly derogatory and are playful, I can see the amusement and laugh at myself. I certainly wouldn’t want to twist the meaning around, take issue, and private message someone. That is what haters do. I lack the time, the anger, or the general energy to verbally attack someone who has posted something on a social media platform. If I see something offensive, I merely MOVE ON without getting a bee in my bonnet and attacking the person who posted the item. The only exception would be if someone specifically mentions me and directly attacks me in a hostile way. Life is too short to start arguments and fret over minor things, especially when they are meant to be amusing.