I just realized that as of last weekend, I have eight weeks to prepare for my provincial figure competition. It’s been a year since I won my first local show – that means ten months of bench pressing and eating cookies - but now I’m back into it, and I have lots to say about lessons learned and my expectations for this next adventure; but to start off, I want to chat about a few things that are annoying the living s#*t out of me. Nothing better than airing your grievances, right?
Here is a list of some of the annoying things about bodybuilding:
- People assuming you have an eating disorder because you eat differently than they do
- People “warning” you that what you’re doing is unhealthy when they have no idea what you actually do on a daily basis
- Waking up early to work out
- Going three months without eating a donut
- People who are buffer and happier than you, posting pictures on Instagram about how much buffer and happier they are than you
But for some perspective, here is a short list of non-bodybuilding-related, mostly social media stuff that is also annoying:
- Hourly updates of a baby’s poop schedule
- PDA pictures of people who believe that love didn’t exist before them, and Romeo and Juliet were just passionless assholes
- Aggressive, hate-filled posts disguised as political opinion or “free speech”
- Weirdos who constantly post about their love for peanut butter
- Those damn CrossFitters
- Gluten-free cultists
My point is, we’re all pretty annoying on social media (and in life). We all have different interests, beliefs and opinions, so naturally we’re going to clash with others in a world where we, frankly, share too much of our lives with too many people. It’s just the social environment we’re in— but the good news is, we’re adults now, and we have the freedom to decide whether or not to be annoyed or insulted. It’s extremely liberating to realize that no one else has the power to make you upset or irritated, if you don’t let them. It’s no one else’s job to keep you happy and unoffended; it’s your job to control your surroundings, and when you can’t do that, control your reaction to them. When you get irritated about a friend’s post, or someone else’s opinion of you, what is that doing? It’s making you feel like junk, and that’s it. It’s not changing your friend’s opinion or behaviour, it’s just making you miserable. But you have the power to not let yourself be miserable, and that’s awesome.
There are a lot of ways you can be less annoyed by other people and their annoying personalities: you can unfollow them or ignore them; you can learn more about their interests in an attempt to understand and encourage them; or you can just realize that their stuff doesn’t effect you, so why waste your time being irritated? I’ve been working on this, and when I’m successful, let me tell you – it feels very good. I, for example, am toying with the idea of avoiding Instagram for the last stage of my bodybuilding prep, so I don’t feel compelled to compare myself to others or worry about what others are doing (although I will miss looking at pictures of pancakes covered in peanut butter cups). Arnold didn’t worry that his competitors were better than him; he focused on himself, and that plan seemed to work out very well for him. I think if we all just focused a bit more on our annoying selves than all those other annoying people in the world, we’d be better off.