I have a friend. Part of me hopes he never reads this post because he’ll know it’s about him. Part of me hopes he’ll get the message.
My friend is one of those self-proclaimed diet experts. He reads the books, gives advice on social media forums, and even posts some of his own progress from time to time where everybody can see it. I’m told that he has actually inspired other people to adopt a similar diet and exercise program to change their own lives. He’s very knowledgeable. I won’t deny that.
But here’s the problem.
I’ve known my friend for over three years now and he doesn’t really make any progress. I know this because I see him on a regular basis. He posts about healthy living and likes the memes out there and shares them on Facebook, but he doesn’t follow his own advice. Every time I see him, it’s his cheat meal or his cheat weekend. He does good for 30-60 day spurts of time (and everybody on Facebook knows it). But sooner or later, he slips back into his old habits.
I can’t blame my friend. I’m the same way much of the time.
So here’s the question: Is it a good idea to post things on social media channels that don’t represent your true lifestyle?
I think it’s good to post about people or ideas that you admire.
It’s good to shoot for something. To put yourself out there. To take risks. To make yourself publicly accountable. You might just grow into the person you are projecting yourself to be.
On the other hand, I think it can be bad to lie.
On the internet we can pretend to be almost anyone. Nobody will know our true results unless they know us personally. Worst of all, posting progress and getting social validation for said progress when we aren’t really progressing is a sin of the worst kind: we begin to lie to ourselves.
Here’s a question (though far beyond the scope of this discussion): If you have ever lied to yourself about one thing, what else have you or do you lie to yourself about?
Have you ever wondered why it feels like you’ve been working so hard and nothing is changing? If so, this might be you.
Ever heard or been one of these?
“Why are there no jobs out there? I keep looking and nobody is hiring. Hey, I got an idea. You and me should __________.” …and then not following through.
“Why can’t I catch a break? All the people I date out there have so many issues!” …after going on two to three dates every week for over a year.
“I eat right and work out all the time, but I never lose weight like all those lucky people who never lift a finger!” …after.. well, you did read the post, didn’t you?
Deep down you know the truth.