This must be the first discussion I start since I became a member here quite some time ago - had some trouble finding that "Add" button lol.
So this is my recent experience with a fitness "guru". I really needed to get this off my chest, I've been having trouble sleeping because of this. Advice highly welcome.
Out of respect to him (yes I still respect him) I won't say who he is.
I found out about this guy some time ago (maybe about 2 years) while looking for the best fitness program I could find. His program made a lot of sense and I really liked it. Besides, the guy's in AMAZING shape, and I've never seen anyone do the things he does. I've seen videos of him doing 500 hindu pushups and hindu squats non-stop, 30 pull-ups without breaking a sweat (of which he says he does up to 8 sets in a day), and over 20 consecutive superman pushups without a break in between repetitions. Needles to say, I was looking up to this guy for inspiration regarding fitness/training, as he does all that without using weights.
So just like I use these forums for inspiration and support regarding diet, I decided to join his forum for support regarding training. This was around October last year. Just a few days in, there's a discussion going touching on nutrition, and I jump in and say that you can't be protein deficient on a calorie sufficient diet. At that point, to the best of my understanding, such a statement was true. I'm still inclined to think it is, but of course I don't know and I may be wrong. I've heard several people in the lfrv movement say this, plus Doug Graham makes a very compelling case for it, especially in his book on Nutrition and Athletic Performance.
I thought the fitness "guru" guy could agree with me. He seemed open minded and a nice guy, after all he does say you can do well on a vegan diet and that one of his friends eats just fruits, veggies and nuts. Boy I was wrong. I was immediately, permanently banned from the forums by him personally, he erased my message and posted one of his own saying that he wouldn't allow a know-it-all with a bad attitude to post in his forums who has no idea what he's talking about and who has no connection with common sense or reality (that's just the summary).
I was quite shocked and was quite affected by his strong reaction, but I still thought, he seems generally to be an understanding, compassionate guy (and he does claim to be a true Christian, speaks of helping others etc.). So I wrote an e-mail to him personally explaining my situation and apologizing.
It was a deeply felt apology letter in case I had offended anyone in the forums for my statement. I told him I was deeply sorry and wouldn't make statements as such again the future. I also told him that if my statement wasn't true, then I'd been lead to believe wrongly - and was clear that I'm just a guy looking for the best information out there on nutrition, not trying to "know-it-all". I explained to him my situation shortly, that I've been suffering from panic attacks and agoraphobia for many years, due to which I haven't worked or studied in a very long time, I'm very out of shape and I was looking up to him and the forums for support and inspiration to help me out of my situation. I begged him to give me another chance, and with that I closed very politely.
I never got an answer. A few days after, thinking maybe my e-mail address had been blocked due to my banning, I e-mailed him again from another e-mail address. This one I know he received, I even received a "confirmation of reception" e-mail. He never replied to this either, however a few days after that he put a post in his forums trashing people who think such or such way of training is good. He called them lazy idiots who've left their brains at the door. And then, he said these brainless idiots would probably agree with that "other guy about calories being the same regardless of source" (clearly misquoting me and insulting me in the process).
I was pretty shocked and it left a scar. Imagine, for a parallel, if you looked up to someone like Graham for inspiration about your diet, you really valued what they say and they treated you like that.
I know I shouldn't care, especially when he's turned out to be so harsh. But I am a sensitive person (maybe it's because I'm a Pisces ;)), and I can tell you that after spending several years home bound with lots of anxiety and depression, people get to me more easily than they could in the past. I felt like I was lying down on the ground putting my hand up for help and he just walked by, spit on my face and kicked me flat on the dirt before moving on while singing his high songs of good Christianity and so forth.
I was still checking his forums once in a while, and just recently I read three posts that caught my attention. In one he says he never bans anyone permanently unless they've been very disrespectful to him, his family or friends etc. I started thinking, did I do that? Then there was another post somewhere talking about people repenting and being given second chances. Then another about a man who was going through some hard times and called him on the phone and was amazed at what a good person he is and how he cares, how "real" he is. So, I decided to send him another e-mail, this time shorter but still highly respectful and polite, saying how I'd learn from my mistakes and I asked him for a second chance. This was recently, just a few weeks ago.
Again, he never replied. But this time he made a post a couple of weeks later on his forum about "the person who keeps e-mailing me asking to come back to these forums". He said how sad this person was and hinted that he (meaning me) needs psychiatric help. It was a lot longer and harsher than that. Now, in this post there were a few allegations that, if he really was talking about me, would be very far from the truth, but I'm thinking he made his judgment of me on day 1 and has been building upon that in his head since. Sadly. Someone (I think one of the moderators) then replied to him agreeing how sad it is that "people like this seem to have an obsession with our forums".
I am quite puzzle, like they're saying I'm worth less than worms in the mud (with all due respect to the worms, they are living beings after all). On the one hand this guy seems to be nice and helping others, yet he seems to have taken personally on publicly hurting me. I feel I have been disrespected, insulted and humiliated by him, when I never did anything but respect and treat him very politely. Like I said, I can't help it, in the fragile state I'm in and having so little in my life to look forward to, need all the help and support that I can get, and any harsh words or attitude go a long way in.
I have tried to put it aside but I used to value so much his opinion that I feel like dirt, worthless, and I'm incapable of putting this aside. It keeps me awake at night in pain. I keep thinking, this guy isn't worth it, he's not the nice person he portrays himself to be, move on... it isn't working. What's wrong with me?
Tips on how to deal with this are very much appreciated :)
Love to all,
I'm sorry, I feel THAT is a summary. If I took anything out, I feel the story wouldn't be complete.
lol. not to be rude, but just read it, man. or don't reply!
Thank you Dustin :)
I keep telling myself that, not working yet. If I could just find someone else to inspire me and guide me in my amazing strength fitness goals, free of weights/machines :)
no i think he needed to write all this to get his point across.. don't be lazy Jacob!
does this 'fitness guru' happen to promote any products?
because by the sounds of it.. he ain't a nice guy and maybe he's not interested in helping ppl but potentially exploiting them.
don't worry about what he says man, u've obviously hit a nerve. Maybe he doesnt want ppl to think they get enough protein from fruit n veg, coz he's affiliated with some whey protein supplement or something?
just an idea.
Would help if you told us who it was ;)
I actually thought about that! He does sell products, but not protein. He claims to be a naturopath too, so I guess you need to be careful with the nutrition topic around him...
I keep thinking he' could be in it for the profit, but other people's experiences and his own writings make me think he genuinely wants to help people, which make his attacks personal. Would be a lot easier to move on if they weren't.
Not ready to share who it is yet, not only out of respect, but out of fear of him finding out my post (how sad is that?) :)
This is very shocking and puzzling indeed! First thing that came to mind, is this guy making lots of money from his "ideas" or any material thing, such as supplements? Perhaps he is afraid that if he shows understanding toward this seemingly radical point of view that he will lose lots of clients, and that people will leave his forum, etc.
There are lots of extremely fit people out there who are also compassionate, kind, open to new ideas, and will not disrespect you as he has done.
I know it's easier said than done, but just forget about this guy. Stop emailing him, and stop trying to understand why he has done this to you. Some people are just very confused...
I'm really sorry someone did that; I know from meeting you in person that you are extremely kind and gentle and I can't imagine why anyone would show such aggression!
Feel better !!!
(and enjoy the "warm" weather here :))
Thank you Jenni, that's very sweet of you!
I will definitely not e-mail him again (and I just e-mailed him "twice" in several months).
I know, the weather's quite crazy. I wish it was sunny too :)