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Fat-Bottomed Girls

If I see one more fat-assed female wagging her goodies all over social media and claiming to be a “fit chick”, I swear I will scream. It’s one thing to have a sumptuous, full set of glutes which either Mother Nature was kind enough to dole out or which a consistent glute training routine created. It’s another thing entirely to have a wide, chunky, FAT derriere and pretend that such a poor display of physical fitness can pass off as an awe-inspiring example of hard work and dedication.

Basically, fat-bottomed girls are a dime a dozen these days. I say this boldly because I have seen far too many Instagram accounts which feature women who are amply endowed in the posterior, yet not through hard work and determination, and who think that there is some value in collecting followers simply on the basis of their smutty, slutty images. As was suggested in the Queen song “Fat Bottomed Girls” from 1978, girls who would ordinarily fail to catch the eye of a man who wanted a quality mate would do in a pinch when it came to casual sex. The song celebrates groupies who would never have a chance at being around musical superstars unless they agreed to engage in sexual activities for a night or two.

We now live in an age in which a woman like Kim Kardashian (yes, I am picking on her) is able to attain CELEBRITY STATUS on the basis of questionable criteria:

1. She has a huge derriere, and it isn’t shapely. Well, I guess chunky is a shape.
2. She has a certain amount of sex appeal and isn’t shy about disrobing.
3. She’s rolling in money so she can essentially buy her way to the top.

This begs the question, what is her talent? I challenge EVERY female who possesses surplus adipose tissue in her nether regions and who has a massive social media following simply on the basis of that part of her anatomy to tell me what talent she could possibly have. Because even if she DID have a hidden talent, no male follower on Instagram gives a rat’s ass whether she was a gifted violinist at one point or that she almost completed a masters program in criminal justice.

Just keeping it real.

I’d Rather Have Genuine Followers…

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It is astounding to me how many people will try to cheat the social media system in place these days by buying followers. A few of my friends have jumped on the follower-purchasing bandwagon, and though I understand to some extent why such a practice is appealing to them, I honestly believe it is cheating. I have seen Instagram profiles grow literally overnight (examples are: from 12k followers to 26k, or from 2,700 to 88k), and the number of likes on images grow (more examples: from 45 to 1,200, from 300 to 8,000). Sorry, but I call bullshit on every single individual whose profile has a sudden surge without any valid reason for it. It’s all so obvious!

Furthermore, followers who are purchased are typically not interested in what a person has to sell, and are only interested in a follow-for-follow, like-for-like benefit. For those of you who are guilty of purchasing followers, I will be blunt and tell you that your group of fair-weather followers is as ephemeral as the Sahara wind. So if you insist on building a phony world for yourself, by all means, have fun with that. But you will lose genuine followers in a heartbeat. I just won’t play into that game of illusion.

Nice Comments Versus Inappropriate Comments

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One day last week, as I was walking from my car to the office, I passed by two construction workers who were standing on the sidewalk. As I walked by them, one of the workers remarked, “I hope I don’t sound inappropriate, but you walking by us just made my day.” I turned back, smiled and said thank you, to which he tipped his construction hat and smiled. I then resumed my walk to the office. That was it. No horrid cat calls, no wolf whistles, simply a nice compliment without any creepy vibes.

My general experience is that men who take the time to share comments with me out in public tend to be the nicest and most respectful men. They just deliver a compliment, without going into an awkward space by either trying to ask me out, or by making inappropriate comments or sounds. They seem to understand that while women enjoy being complimented, they do NOT like being objectified or hit on.

At the other extreme are guys who use social media platforms to display their tackiest and most disrespectful behavior. I can’t even count how many ridiculous direct messages I have received through Facebook and Instagram over the years, but there have been a lot, and the accounts have all been blocked. Sometimes it starts out with a nice comment, like “you are so beautiful”, but then morphs into “hey baby u so sexxxi I wanna f*** u”, quickly earning that individual a BLOCK. What I’d like to know is how many women are out there who actually respond in a positive fashion to this kind of talk? Are there women out there who are insecure enough to encourage this type of exchange?

Seriously, guys, if you find a woman beautiful or hot, and you don’t know her, please don’t be gross. We ladies truly don’t like it. All you are doing is giving your gender a bad rap. If you can’t keep it clean, then you should keep your words to yourself.

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.

Use Social Media To Blow Up Your Brand

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Those of you in the world of fitness and bodybuilding who have aspirations of becoming the next big fitness sensation have chosen an amazing industry, but it is saturated and the competition is fierce. These days, the most successful fitness people have built social media followings which help to get them on the map and generate interest in what they have to offer. The individuals who really stand out are the ones who know their target audience’s interests and needs, and accommodate them by posting relevant material which continues to lure their followers back to their profiles.

It doesn’t really matter how buff, attractive, or photogenic you are if you don’t have an understanding of how to appeal to your audience. It is no surprise that the pool of beautiful, fit people who are scrambling for stardom is considerably large, which makes it vital for fitness people to establish something unique and marketable if they want to rise to the top of the heap. This is where branding comes in. What IS your brand? What is your message? Do you know your target audience?

You can look at trends from social media to see who is following you and target the largest group. Then you need to determine what it is about you that grabs that target audience, whether it is your age, your gender, a specific training style, a distinctive look, a great product, etc. Once you have done that, you can use hashtags on social media to describe your unique qualities and to spark the interest of your target audience. If you have a certain key phrase you use all the time, USE IT! It is astonishing how effective using a key phrase can be in promoting your personality.

There are so many social media platforms now (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) that you have countless opportunities to build your fan base and also build your brand. Be sure to also tag your friends and industry people who are in your corner and believe in what you have to offer. There’s nothing like having a cheering section of friends who can help spread the word and grow your social media tree.

Make sure you have a website which is updated regularly, and direct your followers to that website whenever possible. Though having a slick website is a nice bonus, it is more important to have SOMETHING for followers to go to, even if it is a free site like Wix or WordPress. Many people will just shy away from fitness personalities who do not have a site established. There are several website template sites which are decent and which provide all the basics you need. Once you have established your brand, you can always upgrade to a more complex or detailed site.

On another note, I am always surprised by how many people want to establish a foothold in the fitness industry, but do not have business cards. I cannot tell you how unprofessional you look when you are trying to network, only to tell interested parties that you do not have a business card to hand to them. Business cards are pretty inexpensive these days, and in some cases free (Vistaprint.com is one site which offers free cards), so GET ON IT!

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.