Episode 136: Is That Really You? - How To Stay True To Yourself | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Episode 136: Is That Really You? - How To Stay True To Yourself".
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I'm Ryan Nidell, host of 15 Minutes to Freedom, your daily action guide to getting shit done. If you find value in the content that I share, do me a favor and give me a five-star review wherever you're consuming this content. The more reviews I get, the more people that can listen to the message, the higher my ranking becomes. Today's episode is, is that really you? So today's episode is, is that really you? So in today's episode, what I'm going to share with you and cover with you is the highlight reel that we put on social media is limiting our growth as a society. So for those of you that don't know, March is one of my favorite months.
Discussion On Arnold, March, And Supplement Festivals
Birthday, March (01:03)
Now, it's really twofold as to why it's one of my favorite months. Maybe it's not so favorite anymore, but I was born in March, so of course. It's a monumental month for me. March 14th is my birthday, and it feels great to have that be acknowledged. I, for the majority of my life, would have said to you that I didn't care about my birthday. It wasn't important, I didn't want to celebrate it, but that was a story that I had told myself for years because I had somewhere internalized the fact that I wasn't important. That I didn't actually provide value to the world. So why would I want to celebrate the day of my birth when there were a lot of times in my life where I wasn't even really proud to be alive? Just call it what it is. The other side of things that makes me love March is the first weekend in March every year for the past 20 plus years here in Columbus is the Arnold Classic.
Now for those of you that may not know what the Arnold Classic is, Arnold Schwarzenegger puts on a sports festival here in Columbus and has for the past 20 plus years. He did that because back in the 70s, I believe, there was a Mr. Universe or Mr. World competition. It happened to be held here in Columbus. He won the competition. He loved the city of Columbus and he partnered up with a gentleman named Jim Lormer to host what would become the Arnold Classic here. The entire deal that they have is literally based off of a handshake. To the best of my knowledge, they still don't have a contractual agreement between the two of them, and this is now a multinational company. The Arnold Sports Festival happens here as well as, I think, three or four other countries across the globe. It could even be more. I share this with you because here in Columbus, for that first weekend in March, the whole city becomes engulfed in this fitness lifestyle. Not only, of course, the bodybuilders that I used to care about, but you also have gymnastics and fencing and strongmen. And there's more competitors here during that week and weekend than compete in total during the Summer Olympics. Like, let that sink in for a second. The Summer Olympics, they go on once every four years. Obviously, every country gets invited, give or take. There are more competitors that come to Columbus in different genres of different sports than the entire Summer Olympics together. So it's this really cool thing. I remember coming when I was at Miami of Ohio, my sophomore year of college. I remember the first time I made it to the Arnold, drove up from Oxford, Ohio. It's in March. It's cold. It's always snowy. Even if the weather's peaked and it's starting to come out of that cold, dreary, miserable season in central Ohio, it just so happens that every Arnold Classic weekend, you are destined to get some snow. It doesn't matter. You have all these competitors from all these warm areas of the world that all fly in that really mock us as a city because it's cold and miserable in Columbus that weekend. That's all they ever see. So I remember driving with my friends up to the Arnold Classic. And I was, of course, the meathead at that time that had just figured out what anabolic steroids were, was picking up fitness magazines. And I'm like dragging my friends up to the Arnold Classic. And I was, of course, the meathead at that time that had just figured out what anabolic steroids were, was picking up fitness magazines. And I'm like dragging my friends to make this hour and a half, hour and 45 minute drive to Columbus to go to the Arnold Classic. I remember walking in the first time and just being in awe. Number one, of the sheer magnitude of people. Like I had no idea it was that large, not only competitor scale, but also on the spectator scale.
Australian Arnold (04:23)
You know, if you show up on a Saturday, you're really elbow to elbow, shoulder to shoulder, you know, chest to back across this entire humongous expo center. You really can't move. So it's not enjoyable, but it's part of the experience.
Supplement sampling (04:41)
That's part of the experience. I remember walking around and picking up endless supplements. That was back in the day in the supplement world where supplement manufacturers thought that by giving you a sample, it would increase their sales. We would come up or we came up and we had two giant bags, almost the size of 50-gallon trash bags it felt like, that were just full of every protein, amino acid, pre-workout.
March as food fest (04:56)
If you could name something back then, we got a free sample of it. I'm sharing this with you because every year since then, I have come back to the Arnold. I'm 34 now. That would have been when I was 19, so I'm okay at math. That's about 15, maybe 16 years of consistent touching base with the Arnold Classic the first weekend in March. I've been incredibly fortunate over that time to become friends with some of the bodybuilders and to establish a different role and responsibility where for a while I helped out behind the scenes with trophy presentation and actually had the Audemars Piguet watches that were handed out to the victors, I was responsible for transporting those from point A to point B. I have pictures with them, all this crazy stuff. At that point, a woman that was working out in the same group I was working out in was responsible for all of that. Her name was Wendy Fraley. And we became friends enough that she allowed me to participate. So I've had this whole all-encompassing view of the Arnold, from original spectator at 19, just walk around in the crowd, thinking I'm big, you know, walking around with all these people with what I call invisible lat syndrome, where they're spread out, think they're all big and puffy and tough, all the way to behind the scenes where I'm wearing a suit and tie and really responsible for making sure part of the event goes off without a hitch. As life has progressed and I'm into my 34th year on the planet and 16th year inside the Arnold, some of the fanfare has worn off for me.
Chris Little (06:11)
Where I get there first thing on Friday, when it first opens up, when the expo first opens up, and I'm very fortunate to get to see a lot of now old friends. You know, whether it's people that own supplement companies or actual competitors or fitness influencers, they're people now that I've established a stronghold with that I'm on the first name basis with.
The Shreds staff (06:42)
That when we see each other, we shake hands and give each other a hug and we catch up on what's happened in our lives in the past year. Super fortunate for that. It all comes from the ability to really walk up and talk to anybody and be generally curious about what's going on in their life. But in that, I have to take a step back and go a year, maybe two years back from this year.
Returning to Arnold (07:07)
Here I am walking to the Arnold, know some of the pros, know some of the people, and walking around and I'm pretty excited to see some of the fitness athletes. excited to see some of the fitness athletes. I'm still in that point where I think that the more anabolics I take, the more I eat, the more things I do, the better chance I have of becoming a professional bodybuilder. In my mind, that's still a goal that I'm trying to achieve. So the frame that I'm walking into the Arnold with is one of knowledge, trying to obtain knowledge, get some new tips and tricks, find the newest supplement that's going to just catapult me over the edge, the one that nobody knows about, and then also see people that can give me new information. So as I'm walking around the Arnold, there's a gentleman that works for a company back then named Shreds. That's the company's name is Shreds. company back then named Shreds. That's the company's name is Shreds. It's owned by a guy named Arvin. Very nice guy, very intelligent, very articulate, really a world-class individual. Someone that's always been friendly whenever I've seen him. I don't know him personally. We don't have cell phone numbers exchanged, but I've had a series of conversations with him and only have pleasant things to say about him. At that time, Shreds has a plethora of these athletes that have really established a stronghold on social media. They're kind of the ones that catapulted social media as a means to sell products and services. Someone like Paige Hathaway, who is now, in my opinion, still one of the premier fitness athletes in the world. Three, four, five, seven million followers on Instagram. Incredible engagement. Really a phenomenal person. Another individual named Joey Swole, as funny as that is, who has now since started his own sub-brand, but was part of this group where he was one of the influencers. Page and Joey were not necessarily big-time competitors. Again, I know that for the majority of you, this is a very obscure sport. So just run with me on this for a moment. In that same timetable, they had another athlete by the name of Devin. I don't really know how to say Devin's last name. And so I see Joey. Joey looks like Joey. Very muscular, short in stature, looks almost identical to how he does on social media. Friendly, outgoing, gregarious. Really exactly who he presents. I see Paige, who looks, you know, as close to someone on social media could be. You know, obviously, these individuals are getting professional photos taken because they're marketing a brand and a company and they have professional photographers and makeup artists and things around them Because that's their job. So I understand the fact that they're not gonna look a hundred percent identical, but they look super close And there's devon and devon is known for being just ultra shredded all the time like ridiculously shredded like super small waist, no body fat, all these different variables. We see him at the Arnold. It looks like he's a little off. Now, he doesn't have a shirt off, so I don't know for sure, but he's carrying around certainly a different level of body fat than it's presented on social media. a different level of body fat than it's presented on social media. It doesn't really dawn on me what could be going on. I'm just seeing this. Like, all right, here's this guy. You know, he's just having an off day. Again, for someone that's used steroids before, obviously, I realize that depending on the substances you're taking at any given time, you can have more bloat or more cut or more vascularity. Not only that, but once you're at a low enough body fat percentage, it can be simple water imbalances from flying in. You could be carrying more water, had too much or too little sodium the day before. There's a lot of variables that go into really dialing in that perfect physique.
The selection of champions (10:54)
And so I don't consciously think about it. I just, out of the three of them, he doesn't quite look the same. out of the three of them, he doesn't quite look the same. Fast forward through that, you know, two, three, four months later, again, I don't know the exact time. What ends up coming to light on social media is Devin as an individual, the majority of his photos online with the ultra small waist and the ultra, ultra diced physique are completely photoshopped. They're not actually him. Sure, they're him and the fact of it's his face and it's his body, but it's been so hyper-edited in so many different ways that it really factually doesn't look like him any longer. He doesn't have a 26-inch waist. He's got a 29-inch waist, which is still phenomenally small, but it's not that small. He's got a 29-inch waist, which is still phenomenally small, but it's not that small. And so now it's coming to light that there's all these influencers on social media that may be over-Photoshopping their pictures. And so there's a rebellion, like, oh my gosh, how can this be possible, right? Like, here we are as a society, or here I am as a fan of the sport, and it's how deceived am I now? How pissed am I that someone has altered their photos online to look better? It's wrong that they've done this. And so there's this backlash in the sport. Devin gets removed from Shreds, and eventually Paige goes out on her own, and Joey goes out on his own, and Shreds is a different type of company now. Again, I didn't see them at the last Arnold. They could have been there. They could have not been. I don't know. They don't have the stronghold they once had because something as trivial as Photoshopping your images created a backlash in the industry that basically crippled the growth of a company. But here we are in a society where the highlight reel is all the majority of us share on social media. If I were to look at the social circle that Lindsay and I used to keep, you had this group of husbands and wives, these individuals that were truly only ever sharing the absolute best of the best of their life. I'm not judging somebody else because I too used to do that. No one wants to share the photo of you crying when you tell your spouse that you've been cheating on them. That's not a fun thing to post. That's not a good story to tell. How about when your truck is getting repossessed from in front of your place of business, you're probably not snapping that photo and sharing hashtag repo at the bottom of Instagram. No, you're sharing the photo of the new car you buy the next week in cash, you know, trying to put your best foot forward, saying the fact of like humble beginnings start here or whatever inspirational quote. And I get it. Because that was me. But as I look and look at the quality of people we're hanging out with. And look at the individual that we were associating with. All of their imagery was photoshopped at that extreme level. Where the waist were getting smaller. The wrinkles were getting smoothed out. The cellulite was gone, and all these things weren't truthful anymore. Taking the highlight reel that we all share, the pieces of our lives that we feel comfortable sharing with the world, I know I'm the exception. I share everything now. When I factor my own thoughts out of this, understanding that people present their best foot forward, nothing wrong with that. But where it starts to get unique to me is when people are sharing their best foot forward but also faking what they're actually sharing. Again, there's nothing wrong with, in my opinion, with touching up photos. That's part of what we do. Why would we want to show all of our imperfections and flaws? But when you are physically altering the look of your body, and that's what you're sharing as though it's your real life person, there is such an incredible deficiency in what's going on in your mind. Eventually, over a long enough run rate, because I used to do it, you start to believe the fact that you're actually that person. The irony of the situation is one of my friends ended up dating one of this group of people. There's nothing wrong with dating. But as this gentleman and I have become closer and closer, as we've shared more and more, and as he's parted ways with this individual, he has shared with me that he remembers seeing her for the first time in less clothing than was presented upon first going out. Take that for whatever you want it to be. And in seeing that, he's looking at this individual saying, like, what happened versus the stuff I saw on social media?
Age Acceptance (15:47)
Like, where is that girl? Now, of course, my friend is far too kind to ever actually say that out loud. My friend would kill me if I ever said his name or the individual that he was dating at the time. And that's not what this is about. And that's not what this is about. What this is about is the fact of putting your best foot forward or presenting the highlight reel is dumbing down and watering down the fact of you accepting who you really are. And then making the changes to no longer present that person any longer. Again, there's been times in my life where I've got bags under my eyes. Shit, if you watch this on YouTube, I can feel them right now. Like I can feel the puffiness underneath my eyes. There's a hundred percent been times in my life where I take the little blending app, you know, the little photography blending app. If you don't have one, you can get one. It's a free download on the, you know, the iTunes network or whatever you want to call it, the app store. And I'll smooth out the bottom of my eye because I'm insecure. Nobody wants to look like shit. At least I don't want to. But aging and progressing is also a natural part of life. So where do you draw that fine line? It's not really for me to decide. What I have decided is the fact that as I am growing and expanding and my thought processes are bigger than they used to be, that I don't need to really Photoshop bigger arms onto my body. If I take a picture with my shirt off, I don't need to highlight the abs that I might have. You know, there's shadowing just on your normal iPhone. If you click on the edit inside of Instagram, you can shadow some things. And if the light angle's right, I can go from looking mildly in shape to extremely in shape just by playing with the shadows. The answer ultimately becomes why. I'm not making money off my body on social media. Like I'm not making money off my body on social media. No one's paying me to have my shirt off. It's all for social validation. It's all because I feel like the highlight reel that I'm living has to keep up with the highlight reel that everybody else is living. But that's foolish. Like is that highlight reel really serving you? Especially let's say for instance you may be single or you may not be married. You're not sure if the person you're going to be with, you're going to be with forever. So you're putting this best foot forward and you're showing the highlight reel.
Highlight Reel (18:14)
You're showing the fancy cars you're driving around and you're showing the lavish vacations you're taking. You're showing the perfect skin and the great friends you have. What you're not showing is the fact that your business is going bankrupt. That you've been cheating on your girlfriend. That you're lying to everybody around you. So what happens is you've built this framework that never allows you to truly own who you are. And when the walls come crashing down like they eventually will, and people find out that you're not exactly who you say you are, what are you going to do? If you're like me, I had to run and hide. I took time off of social media. I didn't post anything. I tried to post inspirational stuff when I came back on because I thought that was going to fix what was wrong with me instead of just eventually owning the situation. Where that highlight reel that I've discussed, when you break that highlight reel and you start sharing what is actually going on in your life, the people that connect with you, that feel a passion for what you're sharing, they'll be behind you. They'll support you. But the people that were superficially there, that only were hanging out with you to see what crazy thing you'd do next, or what lavish trip you'd take, or how great your body looks, they're going to leave. They're not going to follow you anymore. So this quote-unquote social equity that we're building, the number of likes that we have that we think matters, The number of likes that we have that we think matters. The number of comments that we get that I don't know how I can pay my mortgage with comments or likes or shares. But these things start to diminish based off the fact of the fakeness goes away. And what happens for most of us is it triggers insecurities. Because that's the way we're now judging each other in society. Well, I posted this and I've got 13,000 followers and I've only got 200 likes. So that's, you know, a two less than a 2% engagement. Nobody likes this photo. Maybe I should take it down. What's wrong with it? Did I post it the right way? Is the image the right thing? Maybe I didn't post it the right time. Maybe I can go out like I did. Maybe I can go out and buy some followers or buy some likes. The shit doesn't matter. The highlight reel we're posting doesn't matter. At this point, I've evolved my thought processes so much that I'd encourage you to consider the same opportunity that I'd rather have a thousand followers that all give a shit about what I have to say, that all actually interact with me, they're all actual friends, that all actually will support me in my mission than have hundreds of thousands of people that are fake or don't give a you know what about what I'm doing. So my question ultimately becomes where in your life are you living a highlight reel that's not the authentic version of yourself?
Interview With Chris Scott
Chris Scott (21:00)
life are you living a highlight reel that's not the authentic version of yourself? For me, it started in the business environment where I was living this highlight reel of, oh, I'm a successful entrepreneur. I've got all this money. I've done all these great things. Maybe you're living the same foolish life right now. Maybe you're ashamed to tell people you're struggling and you don't know where the next big home run is going to come from. I encourage you to consider if you stop living that highlight reel and you start getting real with where you're at, the answer will present itself. Because I don't know about you, but I don't know how to solve a problem from the same place I created it. I have to think outside what created the issue that I'm currently dealing with. Maybe it's in a relationship. I've been there too. We're living this ultimate highlight reel of great times with your partner and great successes in your relationship. When it comes right down to it, you're not dating them, you're not fulfilled, you're not happy, and you're not communicating. So the one time you do communicate, you take a picture like you're on some massive expedition that you call a date night and you share it with the world like that's the way you live your life. How fulfilled are you by that? Wouldn't it be easier just to actually date your partner? Or maybe the highlight reel is in the gym. Maybe it's the one time you remember posing without a shirt on. Or you're at the pool if you're a woman and you look great from this certain angle with a certain light from your bikini and you're always trying to replicate that exact photo. Is that highlight reel really making you a better person? Wouldn't it be better to get your diet and fitness in line so you can feel that way about yourself, not for social validation, so you can feel that way about yourself every day, so you can achieve and expand more. So what I found in my life, especially now after this podcast, is the less I live the highlight reel and the more I share what's actually going on with me every day, the more I'm able to get shit done.