In case you did not know the running of Sleekgeek is pretty much me at this point but over the last Winter Warrior Challenge Eric, who is currently a student in the tech space has been helping me with web and admin stuff and most importantly as a sounding board for my crazy ideas.
I can be quite an impulsive decision maker and Eric has been there as a voice of reason. For such a young man I have been deeply impressed by his thought processes and levels of social media understanding. He is an asset to Sleekgeek.
He is a true Sleekgeek having made a massive transformation in his life over the past 2 years.
I also love the fact that we have different styles. I live a paleo lifestyle and enjoy Crossfit. Eric loves going to gym and eating a more balanced plate approach to nutrition because there are many roads to Rome.
So I am giving Eric the floor to talk about how he gets the most out of Sleekgeek. ……
Change People’s Perception of You.
One of the first things I realized when I embarked on my improved health and fitness journey was that I needed to change people’s perception of me. Since Sleekgeek started on Facebook, I decided to look at who all was on my friends list.
I realized that most of these people still saw me as that geeky kid from school who would rather take the break-time detention for “forgetting” his P.E. clothes at home than run around getting all hot and sweaty at school. I’m a quiet guy who prefers a braai at home with friends or a good book to hanging out in crowds and going clubbing.
I couldn’t feel confident posting something like “Just had an awesome gym workout”, or “any suggestions for a healthy breakfast” on my Facebook profile. According to other people “that just wasn’t me”, they probably wouldn’t care or just think it’s just a short-term “fad” and that I wouldn’t continue through. I’m self-conscious like that and even if they weren’t really thinking that – in my mind they were. I decided to change that.
I removed anyone I was friends with on Facebook if I thought they would be unsupportive. I thought to myself, if I was to make an update about health or fitness, who would I feel self-conscious or embarrassed towards? Did I really care what they thought? Did I really care at all about who they were or what they were doing? Were they people that I really wanted to re-connect with?
If I answered no to any of those, I removed them both from Facebook and my real-life socialisations. Ok, I kept one or two of the really good looking ones though, you know… for strictly motivational purposes or something. This was all about creating the ideal environment that I could log-on to and feel good about myself and the choices I’m making.
I knew that the people in Sleekgeek were all EXACTLY the kind of people I actually wanted on my friends list. When I made a good connection with someone in the group, I made an effort to build a good relationship with them and send them a friend request. Most of the time they in fact were the ones sending me the requests.
Change Your Relevance.
Facebook makes an effort to show things on your Timeline that are relevant to you. Every like, comment, share or post you make increase that topic’s relevance to you. If you want a supportive environment, you need to create it. I liked the pages of some of my top fitness idols, I commented on every friend’s fitness or health related status update even if it was just a “good job, keep it up!”.
Over time my Facebook feed became full of things I actually wanted to see. I would log on and see inspirational quotes and wonderfully positive status updates. There were encouraging comments everywhere I looked. If you want to be a healthy person, you need to have a healthy environment and a healthy way of thinking.
Another thing happened, people’s perception of me changed. I actually had people who I could interact with relating to my new lifestyle choice. If I made a status update about gym, then I actually had friends who would comment and support me about it. They would say “well-done” or “you are making awesome progress mate”.
I was no longer feeling self-conscious and all my other “normal” friends that I kept around started to see me in a new light. I’m NO LONGER that guy who is about to fail once again on a crash-diet. NOW I’m that guy who is doing really damn well and is inspiring others to change their lives too. That feeling can only be described as awesome!
When I first found Sleekgeek, they had just finished their very first challenge with some awesome results. The next challenge was about to start but I wasn’t quite sure if I really wanted to enter just yet. I didn’t enter, but I hung around. I pretended I was in the challenge and pushed myself to progress as hard as I’ve ever pushed myself before. That got me hooked on Sleekgeek and I knew there was no going back to the lifestyle I had previously.
Since then I’ve made an effort to go to as many as possible of the Lion’s Head hikes or any get-together that Sleekgeek or someone within the community has hosted here in Cape Town. I’ve made some awesome friends and built life-long connections with some of the most positive and successful people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
The next challenge came around and I didn’t hesitate at all to sign-up. Meeting everyone involved, feeling like I belonged somewhere and competing for an end prize that was not only money but also a great body – was a truly awesome experience. These challenges and meetups are addictive. You will see a reoccurring trend where many of us have signed up for challenge after challenge after challenge, even if we know we won’t win, we know the value that they provide us in return.
So What Do I Recommend You Do?
- Remove people from both your real life and “Facebook life” who aren’t supportive. If they don’t ever have anything positive to say to you or aren’t ever supportive in your new lifestyle choice. Take them out of the equation. If you don’t want to hurt their feelings, just hide their posts on Facebook and contact them less in person.
- Visit the Sleekgeek Discussion Group daily. When I log onto Facebook, I no longer read what’s on my main feed. I go straight to the group and spend probably 90% of my online time there. The people in there are awesome, inspirational and incredibly supportive. If you aren’t feeling motivated, say so and they will find a way to cheer you up. If you are feeling incredibly motivated, say so and you will cheer someone else up.
- Build relationships with those in Sleekgeek. We are real people, we get-together on a weekly basis whether it’s CPT, JHB or KZN, make yourself heard that you want to do something and people will join you.
- Add them as friends on Facebook and hang out with them in real life. They will change the way you see yourself and the way other see you to a more positive manner.
- Make yourself accountable. Post about your goals and dreams, tell all your friends and family about what you are doing, encourage your current friends to join Sleekgeek, encourage the current Sleekgeek members to become your friends. Remember, YOU create your own positive environment.
- Signup for the Sleekgeek challenges. You can’t buy happiness, but this meager R500 entry fee gives you access to some of the best motivation you will ever find.
THE BEST WAY TO PREDICT YOUR OWN FUTURE IS TO CREATE IT.