I try to keep up with my fitness…as best as I can, anyway. My boss is pretty lenient when it comes to lunch breaks so most of the time I squeeze in a gym hour while I run my afternoon work errands. It’s a pretty good system.
I also like to get advice, and help, and tips, and workouts, and ideas from fellow gym-goers and so I follow some (super funny) fitness people on IG. I took it one step further recently, though, and I joined some Facebook groups devoted to fitness.
Then I left the groups.
I’ll admit I’m not the biggest people person in the world, but I really started to get physically angry reading some posts in these groups. For some of y’all these groups might be great, and that’s wonderful for you. Really. Seriously. But let me prepare you for what you’re in for before you join them.
Here are the types of people who led me to click the unfollow / leave group button.
1. The “What’s your favorite….?” People
When I first joined these groups, I saw a lot of posts asking people what their favorite workout things are, and I thought that was great! It’s better to research before buying something, and a lot of times fitness related items are expensive.
I commented, at first, and a lot, because others have guided me on my fitness journey (I’m looking at you, Abby & Kayce), and so I wanted to help.
I probably commented 17 times that Cellucor makes the best protein powder before I realized that these people don’t actually scroll through the group and read past posts. The same questions kept coming up over and over and over… and most of them started with “what’s your favorite…”.
If you join one of these groups, do try and scroll first and see what other people have said. You don’t have to go 3 years deep into a group’s history, but chances are your question has been answered.
2. The “Here’s a picture of me, clearly 20 pounds later, with the title: I’m Not Seeing Any Progress!” Person
I LOVE seeing the progress picture posts. Go you! Go everyone! It’s hard to stay on track and get fit. But there are always those people who put up a recent picture of themselves beside the before picture and there’s obvious weight loss / definition / progress. And it’s captioned: My diet / gym routine / whatever I’m doing isn’t working!
This really irritates me because I just want people to be honest. Put the picture up and say: Look at me! I’m killing it! But all those posts you put up of you looking fabulous and saying you look awful might discourage someone who has a lot more work to do.
I understand that everyone needs a thumbs-up sometimes, especially if you’re feeling frustrated, and especially with weight loss. But everyone knows you look better — and so do you. Don’t diminish your progress by fishing for compliments in the wrong way.
3. The Know-it-All
Under each comment, thread, post, or picture you will encounter the Know-it-All who most likely doesn’t have any sort of degree or certification but will quickly and harshly explain how you’re an idiot and they know everything.
In one of the groups I was in, someone commented asking about the importance of cardio in their daily routine. The Know-it-All immediately responded by letting that person know that they don’t need to do cardio, like ever, to lose weight and that science backs up this opinion.
Welp, I don’t have any certifications or degrees but I will say that as far as I know a caloric deficit = bye bye pounds. I lost over 40 pounds by running on my sister’s treadmill at her house because I couldn’t afford a gym membership. I ate less and burned calories. With cardio.
I’m not trying to start an argument about the best way to lose weight, because I personally feel like everyone is different and what works for me might not work for you. People also have different goals. But I do feel like bossing people around and telling them 100% they should not do cardio is not productive and makes people feel discouraged… and I see this happen a lot with a lot of different topics.
That’s my two cents, anyway. Who am I kidding… we’re on a restrictive budget. That’s my 1 cent.
4. The Person that Doesn’t Know How to Google
How much is an elliptical machine? How do I order protein? What’s planking? What’s my target heart rate? How do I spiralize zucchini? How many calories are in a blueberry?
Guys, I know it’s great to get support and answers from fellow fitness folk, and I realize that Google is not the end-all for all your questions.
People should utilize that crazy search engine before asking super basic questions and before asking the same questions over and over. Google exists for a reason.
I feel like posts asking a group for advice about your personal situation, or posting an accurate selfie to brag on yourself, or admitting you accidentally ate a whole cake yesterday make for better discussion in a group.
Asking how much protein is in a FiberOne Bar is not a great discussion post. It’s on the box. It’s also on Google.
5. The Read My Blog! Person
I’m all for self-promotion. If you’re friends with me or follow me on Facebook (MaryKatherine) then you know I post all my articles immediately. Self-promotion really doesn’t bother me and neither do great blogs and great writers and great advice.
What does bother me is when people respond with every question or post with a link to their blog. I feel like there’s a happy medium. If someone asks what stretch to do if they’ve hurt their hamstring and you wrote a blog post entitled “What Stretch to do When You’ve Hurt Your Hamstring” then, by all means, link that! But don’t respond with, “Hey! Check out my blog, I think it could help!”
I’m really not a Negative Nancy. I do like having the feeling of a large amount of support and positivity from groups, and weight loss and fitness and health are definitely subjects that require a lot of support and positivity.
I think groups can be super beneficial when it comes to losing weight, so don’t take this the wrong way. I just want everyone to be prepared for what to expect when they join a large group. I literally read a post on one of my fitness groups asking for advice on what mascara to wear to the gym. Just don’t be that person, or any of the aforementioned people, and I think you’ll be fine.