FAT to FIT Help Center

TashaFollow Tasha’s success!

Steve was tasked to put his own training methods to the test on National Television. He accepted the challenge, and after gaining as much weight as he could, together they lost over 120lbs using the our diet and exercise program we offer at our gym, Max Fitness Club. Tasha’s program included educational tools, meal plan, workout regimen and weekly weigh ins.

Pfat To Pfit Book CoverPFAT TO PFIT PROGRAM

After being flooded with questions, we decided to share our program with people outside our gym. We created a similar workout to give you the same results whether you belong to a gym or not, called Pfat To Pfit (the “P” in Pfat To Pfit is a play on our last name, “Pfiester” in case you wondered! The “P” is silent). It includes the following.

1. Get Pfit Handbook: addressing diet, exercise and the mental battle of weight loss
2.  2 Workout Routines: 1 for the gym and 1 for home, including links to how-to videos for each exercise
3. Meal Plan: 7-day meal plan with recipes & shopping list
4. Bonus Material: Q&A with Steve, Steve’s Weight Training Routine and Workout Worksheet

80% of your success depends on this education. It’s a small investment for a BIG reward!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Pfat To Pfit Program and get started!

CLICK HERE for more video footage of Tasha & Steve.
CLICK HERE to follow all content on Fit To Fat To Fit at PFITblog.
CLICK HERE to watch the full episode on A&E.com.

Dr Stopper Workout ProgramNEW!!

Not ready for to take the plunge into following Tasha’s program? We have a brand new introductory program that starts with only 15 minutes of exercise a day and builds each week – perfect for someone who needs to take things slow, safe and easy.

CLICK HERE for the DOCTOR STOPPER Beginner Basic Training Program

AmLactin Product Review: Healthy Feet, Healthy Skin

The blog is sponsored by AmLactin Skin Care. All opinions expressed are my own.

After my last competition, my competition tan stuck to all my dry spots, which really exposed all my dry damaged skin. I guess I knew I already had these dry spots on my skin, but I didn’t realize just how many I had until the competition tan grabbed on to them and pointed them all out to me very clearly (which was SUPER embarrassing! I looked like a leper!)

Since I had a job for a piece of ab equipment coming up, I had to get this fixed fast so I went to my dermatologist for help. My dermatologist recommended I start using AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care, an over the counter lotion. I went straight to the drug store and picked some up.

Honestly, within just a few days I immediately saw and felt an improvement in my skin’s texture. (I’ll tell you more in this blog!) Well, low and behold, I hadn’t been using it for long when I got an invitation to do a product review on one of the AmLactin products! Lucky Me!! YAY! AND, lucky YOU! I will be giving YOU a chance to try it FREE TOO!! (Give-a-way below!)

Here is what I have learned and my personal experience trying these products out myself.

The Solution To Dry Skin

amlactin skin careWhen I was in aesthetician school, I quickly learned the solution to dry skin was more than just what you put IN it. The real solution was what needed to come OFF – and what needed to go IN. Oftentimes people are wasting fantastic products on skin that isn’t actually absorbing the moisture it needs. Instead, it’s being sopped up by skin that has already died.

Imagine if you put a piece of tissue over your skin. Now picture applying lotion on top of that tissue and imagine how much moisture would actually penetrate the tissue enough to also penetrate the skin. That is essentially what is happening when we apply lotion to dry damaged skin.

You can uncover smooth, radiant skin with AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care. Its unique exfoliating and hydrating alpha-hydroxy therapy gently removes dead skin cells to reveal soft, hydrated skin. It’s the difference between skin care and skin therapy – and it works!

How Does It Work?

Alpha-hydroxy acid (typically derived from different foods like apples, grapes and milk) works as a chemical exfoliant, dissolving “glue” like lipids that hold our dead skins together and keeps them from falling off. Once the glue is dissolved, these dead skin cells let go and expose our fresh vibrant skin that was once hidden underneath. When this skin is visible, it gives our skin a nice healthy glow. Where the old dry skin gives a dull rough appearance, fresh smooth skin cells reflect light – making our skin appear to have a “glow” to it.

epidermis

Not only does this expose prettier skin, as you decrease the buildup of dead skin cells, you also decrease the appearance of cracks and crevices simply because you are essentially decreasing the depth of each line or crack as you whisk away the thick upper layer of dead cells.

Dissolving that “glue” also helps release dead skin that can clog pores or make your skin appear splotchy. Since damaged skin is often darker in pigment, your overall skin tone will be more even. All in all, there are just too many benefits to using a chemical exfoliant like AmLactin.

Softer Smoother Feet

feet on coffee tableSince I live in tennis shoes, I often unintentionally neglect my feet’s health. It is not uncommon for me to throw lotion on my legs before I go out the door, while my feet remain hidden in my tennis shoes.

Now that AmLactin has a foot cream to help you take better care of your feet too, I put it by my bed and have been applying it every night before I go to bed. With its rich, creamy texture, clinical-strength AmLactin Foot Cream is the ultimate recovery for my rough, callused feet. By applying this nightly, I can get hours of therapy under the covers while I sleep!

mother daughterUtilizing their patented ULTRAPLEX® formula, this healing foot therapy gently exfoliates AND intensely hydrates to heal, repair, and soften. It helps prevent splits and cracks while smoothing calluses. It won’t take long before you notice a major difference in your skin’s texture and appearance. You may even notice you can go even longer between manis and pedis!

Trust me! I told my mom about AmLactin just a few weeks ago and she is already on her second bottle because she loved it so much! She said she can’t believe how much smoother her skin is.

bikini competitor AmLactin For Bikini Prep

Soft feet and smooth skin is super important to me right now because in seven days I’ll be walking across the stage in clear high heels – exposing my footsies (as well as my entire body) so I want my skin to look the best it can. For this reason, AmLactin has really become a big part of my bikini competition prep. Bikini competitors are actually judged on skin tone so it’s super important we prep my skin before the show – and exfoliating is a huge part of competition prep before we get our competition tan.

Since the competition tan sticks to dry skin, the softer and smoother your skin is, the smoother my tan will look. The same is true even if you go to a tanning salon to get a professional spray tan or even use self-tanners at home. Your tan will always look best (and last longer) if you apply it to exfoliated skin.

amlactin seal dr recommended

Doctor Recommended

If you don’t believe me, believe my doctor!! Not only did my own dermatologist recommend AmLactin to me, the American Podiatric Medical Association gave AmLactin Foot Cream its seal of approval too. That’s why AmLactin is the #1 moisturizer brand recommended by podiatrists for rough, dry skin. This product is no joke. It really does work and you really will be amazed with the results. It’s truly somewhat of a miracle product.

SOFT FEET GIVE-A-WAY!

Would you like to try AmLactin Skin Care for FREE? Enter my Soft Feet Giveaway! In the comments section below, tell me your foot care secrets by November 10th to enter. On November 11th, I will randomly pick 1 commenter to receive $100 worth of AmLactin products! WOOT!

amlactin

*Giveaway is open to United States residents only. Product and shipping provided by AmLactin Skin Care. Remember, although AmLactin Skin Care sponsored this post, all opinions and text are my own.

Uncover smooth, radiant skin with AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care. Its unique exfoliating and hydrating alpha-hydroxy therapy gently removes dead skin cells to reveal soft, hydrated skin. It’s the difference between skin care and skin therapy. 

AmLactin moisturizers are available on Amazon.com and at your local Target, CVS, Walgreens, Costco, Walmart and Rite Aid.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AmLactin Skin Care. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Up & Running, Lifting & Motivating!

IT’S ALIVE!!!

If you have tried to go to my site only to find it was down, you weren’t the only one!! I couldn’t even get into my site! ha! But it’s up and running again and we got it all worked out! We are BACK in ACTION!!

steve and bonnie pfiesterWhat’s up with the Pfiesters?

I’ll tell you what’s up! We are 10 days away from the Daytona Beach Classic! Steve and I will return to Daytona to compete again together. As much as I struggled through this competition season, I am SO glad I did it! Why? Here’s why…

The first time I competed, THAT was my goal – just to get on stage and face my fears. The only specific goal I really had was to get as lean as possible. I reached and surpassed that goal but it was a pretty generic goal.

Getting to the Point

Over the last couple of competitions, I’ve been feeling like I need more specific goals. I can’t just skate by with more cardio and less food and expect to look my best. This time I really took a long honest look at myself and decided it was time to work on my weak areas; not just a little more, but a LOT more – and I’m not just talking about my body, I’m talking about my attitude, bad habits, discipline, etc.

We tend to avoid the areas we are weak in or don’t see results in. When it comes to my body, that’s my legs and butt. I admit, I do the bare minimum. I have trained them once a week and thought doing kickboxing twice a week and boot camp once a week was enough to take care of them. But, the truth is, I hate doing legs and I really don’t give them the effort they need. In fact, it’s more than just hating legs, I hate waiting. I need more patience and more discipline. My weakness goes even deeper. I don’t like to fail. I don’t like to be bad at something. So, I often avoid it.

Live ExerciseButt Wait!

Ironically, the same way we hate what we are weak in, we will never become strong in those areas if we allow them to remain weak. Over the last couple of months I have pounded my legs and butt. I have practiced more discipline and time-management. I am trying very hard to work in my weak areas so they get stronger.

Now I work legs 2-3 times a week. AND, (I can’t even believe I’m saying this) I’m actually enjoying training legs. WHAT?! You heard right! I actually have had fun training them.

Why am I enjoying training legs? Because they are getting stronger. Because I’m seeing progress. No one likes working without getting paid and that’s kind of what I was doing before. I was working, but not hard enough for it to really pay off. That also makes me appreciate the discipline I’m putting in. Discipline is not just painful, but it is rewarding – if you STAY disciplined and patient.

Most-Hated List

The reason I share this with you is because everyone tends to do more stuff they love to do and avoid stuff they need to do (most of us have our own Most-Hated list). Many bodybuilders avoid cardio because they are bad at it. Then you have the runners that avoid doing weights because they feel they are bad at that. The list of scenarios goes on.

Trust me, I had a LONG Most-Hated list. It takes everything out of me to run in this heat and I don’t really like going to the gym much more! LOL But it’s what I need! Darn it!

If you are avoiding something, chances are, it’s exactly what you need more of. And, if you start investing in that area, you WILL start getting rewarded and, you may end up actually enjoying it!

Training more purposefully, with more detailed goals has actually made it easier to show up to the gym. I’m no longer just going through the motions and punching the workout clock. I’m going there to work toward a specific goal each time I walk through the door so I leave feeling more productive and victorious.

Big PIcture

got balance?Pastor Rick Warren was talking about the importance of exercise. Then he talked about bodybuilders who sculpt muscle just to sculpt muscle. He said they don’t seem to have an answer to  the”why?”. Why do they do it? To see more ripples and bumps? Is that all? Lord knows if that’s the only reason to workout, we are doomed!

While it’s GREAT to have goals, it can’t become our main focus in life. It can’t be all we think about and strive for. It’s just one small part of our life. I have goals to give me the motivation and drive I need to keep showing up – because, without it, I honestly probably wouldn’t even train. I need a reward. I need to get paid for my work. I must have a goal.

After that, I have to be very aware of how much time I spend working on, or even thinking about, those goals. They can’t take the high place in my life. They can’t come before God, my spouse, my kids (if I had any – wait, I have to dogs. Does that count? YES! I’ll answer myself! LOL), etc. You get my drift.

Bonnie PfiesterWe are to take care of our body. We can’t be all that God desires us to be without being healthy enough, or be around long enough, to do them. Our health is super important. Having a six-pack? Not so much! Sure, it’s great if I can be lean and healthy, but our body shape really doesn’t matter as much as our energy levels, health and freedom we get from being healthy enough to move, do, work and play.

So, I end with this: Do you have goals? How specific are they? Or are they just “I want to lose weight?” type goals. Today, I encourage you to set a clear goal and a date you want to reach that goal and see if it doesn’t help give you more direction and motivation. Then, I want you to think of all the things that are important in your life and decide how they are all ranked. Don’t justify putting family in front of your fitness just to get out of working out. You will be a much better mom or dad if you are a fit mom or dad, but DO be very aware of your priorities so that they don’t get out of order in the process. :) Lastly, list all the distractions that seem to get in the way of your success.

Happy goal setting! I hope it gives you that little boost you needed!

goals-are-dreams-with-deadlines-20130331461Goal Ideas:

Body measurements (with exact ares you want to lose it)
Body weight
Body fat percentage
Muscle gain (pounds or measurements)
Run time
Sign up for a race
Register to compete
Join a gym
Do a fitness challenge or contest
Health goals (blood pressure, resting heart rate, etc)
Get off or reduce medicines (my dad just got off all his meds because of fitness!)
Hang up your skinny jeans and don’t quit until you get in them
Do a detox (like sugar, caffeine, alcohol or something you feel you need out of your life)

These are just a few ideas! Have fun with it. And, once you set a goal, share it with a friend to hold you accountable. Measure or test weekly to make sure you are making progress.

The Truth About “High Protein” Foods

Question: “What foods besides eggs, peanut butter, chicken, lima beans are high in protein?” 

Answer: There’s a difference between foods that have protein IN it and foods that are considered HIGH protein. This is my own personal rule; unless it has at least a third of the calories coming from protein, I don’t consider it ‘high-protein’ .

Protein, Fats, Carbs

protein foodsIt’s hard to determine what’s high in protein without looking at all the substrates. There are approximately 4 calories in one gram of protein, 4 calories in one gram of a carbohydrate, 7 calories in a gram of alcohol and 9 calories in a gram of fat. Below are graphs of the foods mentioned so you can visually see the breakdown of each food. Now, let’s see how some of the foods you mentioned weigh in using the Lose It! app’s pie graphs.

EGGS
First on your list were eggs. Two boiled eggs are 154 calories with 10.6gms of fat, 1.1gms of carbs and 12.5gms of protein. At first glance, it appears eggs have more protein than fat – but look a little closer.  If fat has 9 calories per gram and protein has only 4 calories per gram, this means 95.4 calories come from fat and only 50 calories come from protein. Although eggs are 62% fat, they squeak by with 35% of the calories coming from protein.

Take out the yolk and it’s a totally different ball game, changing the profile to 92% of thecalories coming from protein and 3% of the calories from fat. If you throw out one yolk, you can reduce fat calories and still get the yolk’s nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.

PEANUT BUTTER
The next food mentioned was peanut butter. Although peanut butter does have protein in it, you’ll want to go light on this condiment after seeing how it breaks down. 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter has 188 calories, A WHOPPING 16.1gms of fat, only 8gms of protein and 6.3gms of carbs. This means 72% of the calories come from FAT and only 15% of the calories from protein, with the remaining 14% from carbs. As you can see, this is one fatty, high calorie food you’ll want to use sparingly.

CHICKEN
Next up is chicken. 4 ounces of boneless skinless chicken breast is the winner on your list with 183 calories, 34.5gms of protein, 4gms of fat, and 0gms of carbs. Now this is a protein source – with a whopping 80% of the calories coming from protein.

LIMA BEANS
Lastly, let’s look at lima beans. Half a cup of cooked limas has 110 calories, 17.4gms of carbs & only 5.7gms of protein. With 65% of the calories coming from carbohydrates, and only 18% from protein, I would consider this a carbohydrate more than a protein. (and I LOVE me some lima beans!)

While there are plenty of foods with protein in them, meat proves to be the best choice. Other great sources include seafood, cottage cheese, edamame (soybeans), yogurt, tofu and fat free milk. Look at the graphs below to see how your favorite food adds up. Once you review the foods, don’t forget to subscribe to get the rest of this series “Eating for success“.

TILAPIA

COTTAGE CHEESE

EDAMAME

LOW FAT YOGURT

TOFU

MILK

SUPPLEMENTS

Since I’m not a big meat eater, so I have to supplement to get the protein my body needs. I recently discovered this protein from our local supplement shop here in Vero Beach (Super Set Nutrition) and LOOOOVE IT!!  YUM!!!

Iso Optima Protein

“I Will Beat Her” Fitness Apparel & More

If you like fitness motivation or you are looking for a unique gift, here are some of my fitness apparel and accessories I offer now, as well as a sneak peak of what’s coming soon!!

COMING SOON!!I Will Beat Her” Motivational Clothing Line!

“I WILL BEAT HER. I will train harder. I will eat cleaner. I know her weaknesses. I know her strengths. I’ve lost to her before, but not this time. She is going down. I have the advantage because I know her well. SHE is the OLD me.” - Bonnie Pfiester

I will beat her tankI will beat her leggings

NOW AVAILABLE!  New Motivational Watches – CLICK HERE to Shop!

collection-bonnie-pfiester-lifestyle-1

Now Available: Clothing, Jewelry, Water Bottles, Bags & Gifts!

More Motivational Gear & Accessories – SHOP NOW

I Will Beat Her Store

Fit is Beautiful Motivational Gear - SHOP NOW

Fitness Motivation Gear

Credits:

Quotes & Motivation by Bonnie Pfiester
I Will Beat Her Tank Design by KD Designs.

Browse ALL Motivational Quotes and let me know which quotes YOU would enjoy seeing in one of my stores! Just comment your favorite quote below!

Bikini Competitor Butt and Leg Workout

SquatsOne of the first things to lose shape when you are over 40 is your backside. With that said, I’ve been working very hard to improve the shape and skin-tone (less dimples, sagging, etc) in my glute and thigh area. This means I’ve been doing a LOT of squats, lunges, deadlifts and glute-specific exercises.

I’ve also changed up my weight routine for the week. I now hit legs twice a week. The first workout of the week, I really focus on quads and glutes, with a little hamstrings. On the second leg workout of the week, I focus on hamstrings and glutes with a little quads.

As a result, I have seen amazing changes. I’m stronger than ever, I’m less sore (believe it or not!) and I’m feeling great! My back is stronger, I have less low-back issues AND my hamstrings and low back are more flexible since I’m stretching and strengthening them more often.

I’m super stoked about the progress and wanted to share one of my workouts with you! Here is a quad/glute focus workout, with a touch of hamstrings. Enjoy!

Bar Squats

25 45lb Bar
20 45lb Bar + 2 10lb plates  (65lbs)
20 45lb Bar + 2 25lb plates (95lbs)
18 45lb Bar + 2 35lb plates (115lbs)
15 45lb Bar + 2 45lb plates (135lbs)

NOTE: Squat DEEP. Legs hip-width apart. Abs engaged. Core Tight. 

Static Lunges

static lunge25 45lb Bar – Left Leg Back
25 45lb Bar – Right Leg Back

20 45lb Bar + 2 10lb plates – Left Leg Back
20 45lb Bar + 2 10lb plates – Right Leg Back

18 45lb Bar + 4 10lb plates – Left Leg Back
18 45lb Bar + 4 10lb plates – Right Leg Back

15 45lb Bar + 2 25lb plates – Left Leg Back
15 45lb Bar + 2 25lb plates – Right Leg Back

NOTE: Feet stay put, with weight bearing leg in front (working the front leg’s glute). In other words, you are not stepping back or stepping forward with each rep. The feet remain in a split stance and static lunge for all reps before switching legs so there is NO REST for that working leg. 

leg extensionsLeg Extensions

20 Leg Extensions 50lbs
18 Leg Extensions 60lbs
18 Leg Extensions 70lbs
15 Leg Extensions 80lbs
12 Leg Extensions 90lbs
100lbs (as many as I can)

Butt-Burner Super Set

20 Weighted Curtsy Left Leg Weighted
20 Weighted Repeater Knee Left Leg Weighted
20 Weighted Curtsy Right Leg Weighted
20 Weighted Repeater Knee Right Leg Weighted
X 4 (No rest between exercises. Only rest between sets.)

NOTE: Curtsy - Hold 25lb plate, dumbell or kettlebell in opposite hand of weight bearing leg. KEEP BACK FLAT and LEG STRAIGHT. Knee Repeater - Hold weight in front of you while in lunged position (stay low to the ground – 80% weight on front foot). KEEP BACK FLAT.

Straight Leg Deadlift

straight leg deadlift20 Straight Leg Deadlift with 45lb Bar
18 Straight Leg Deadlift with 45lb Bar + 2 10lb plates (65lbs)
18 Straight Leg Deadlift with 45lb Bar + 4 20lb plates (85lbs)
15 Straight Leg Deadlift with 45lb Bar + 2 25lb plates (95lbs)

NOTE: Back flat, legs straight (but not locked), feet together hip-width part.

 

Weighted Glute Bridge

20 Weighted Bridge
15 Right Leg Bridge
15 Left Leg Bridge
Rest X 4

NOTE: You can use a kettlebell, barbell, dumbbell or plate weight. Keep the weight as close to your hips as possible and push weight with your heels to work the glutes. 

 

What Is Your Diet Trying To Tell You?

 

Your diet may be trying to tell you something much bigger and much more meaningful than your daily calorie count. Your diet may be trying to uncover something you’ve hidden for a long time. Are you ready to uncover the secret and learn something new about yourself? Brace yourself. It could be a doozie.

Push The Reset Button

As some of you know, I just competed this weekend. Competing requires a lot of training, dieting and discipline. It can consume your life if you let it, and you can be a winner on the outside but a complete failure on the inside if you aren’t careful. That is why every time I compete, I like to immediately reflect on what I’ve learned and how I can improve – starting on the inside.

I like to get alone with God, re-examine myself, look inside (after spending WAY to much time looking on the outside) and kinda push the “reset” button. I do this with my Bible and an open heart, expecting God to speak to me – and He always does.

Today, I’m going to talk about dieting from a whole new angle. If you think the “diet” is a bad 4-letter word, this is for you. If you struggle with your diet, this is for you. If you hate rules, this is for you. Whether you eat healthy or unhealthy, this is for you. This is a totally different look at dieting and I hope it enlightens you, encourages you and motivates you.

Prepare To Fight

fight myselfBefore I begin, I need to convince you that your body is no friend. Your body is your own worst enemy.

Galatians 5 talks about works of the flesh (our body). What is a work of the flesh? In simple terms, it’s basically anything that your body wants this isn’t good for you. The author, Paul, lists off a bunch of examples you’d expect like adultery and murder (which most of us can blow off as no big deal because it’s not an issue for us), but he also includes some things we all struggle with. For example, outbursts of wrath (Hello! Can anyone relate?), selfish ambition (but no one else is looking out for me), jealousy (she doesn’t deserve it and I do), hatred (but they hurt me) and contentions (ugh). And, he ends it with “and the like”. This means that the list is basically endless.

Cravings

cravingsWhile there are so many things our flesh craves that can ultimately harm us, I believe one of the best tangible examples is our craving for food. We know it can cause us harm if we eat too much or eat the wrong things, but we do it anyway. It’s so powerful and so destructive.

There is no other time that I’m more aware of my flesh’s power than when I’m dieting. When I’m dieting, peanut butter is suddenly as addictive as a drug. Like crack cocaine, it sucks me in and I’d practically do anything for it. My body knows when I’m low on calories and so it craves high-calorie, high-fat foods to replace the calories I’ve been working so hard to erase. It is the perfect example of my body going against me and opposing my plan.

In reality, our flesh is not for us. It’s against us. Our flesh doesn’t care if we are married, if we have goals or if what it wants will harm us in the long run. It just wants what it want. However, we do not have to be enslaved to it. A matter of fact, we can use it to learn, grow and improve.

As we look at dieting in a new light, I want to address the hidden powerful benefits of being on a diet, outside of nutrition or weight loss.

Dieting: Why All The Rules?

It doesn’t take long to realize we need rules in life. Rules were created to keep people safe. They aren’t invented to be mean or to keep us from having fun. They are for our own good.

I remember absolutely dying laughing when Steve posted this video about the “NO DIVING” warning that came with the kiddie pool we bought for the dogs. It was ridiculous to think of diving into 10 inches of water. But, since it had a warning sticker, this meant somebody probably attempted to do it. Someone needs that warning.

The Big Reveal

The truth is, they don’t have issues with the diet, they have issues the diet exposes. 

speed limit Dieting is simply eating with rules. You are just given guidelines to eat by that will keep you safe and healthy. Sadly, many people hate the rules. Therefore, they hate the diet and eventually reject the plan. The truth is, they don’t have issues with the diet, they have issues the diet exposes.We all do. Diets reveal our problems.

For example, my father-in-law has no issues with speeding so he doesn’t mind speed limits. However, speed limits were made for people like me. If the speed limit is 70, I want to go 80. The speed limit exposes my heavy foot and impatience. I want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible so I’m the first person to complain about slow speed limits. The law isn’t the problem. My impatience and the fact I run late all the time is the problem. That is why I am always speeding. I’m always running late. That’s the real issue, not the speed limit. It’s me.

If there was no speed limit, who knows how fast I’d go. So this law is not just protecting me, it is there to protect the people I could hurt while I’m rushing to work at 100 miles an hour all because I’m running late.

The Real Purpose

10 commandmentsLet’s go back to the very beginning and look at why rules were made in the first place.  I’m talking the 10 commandments, which was the first set of “rules” created to live by. The law was written to reveal our sin. God didn’t carve them in stone, expecting us to obey every single one. There is no way humanly possible to obey them all. We fail on every level – from not obeying our parents and not loving one another to not coveting the new iPhone 7 that I heard is coming out this fall. LOL.

God gave us the law, to reveal our issues. He wanted to show us HIS ideal, so we could see where we fall short and know what we need to work on. It is a tool for us to use to see ourselves as He sees us, so we recognize our weaknesses and need for God and His grace. Without rules, we would not realize what we need to work on. In many ways, the same goes with diet rules.

Uncovering The Truth

urlLike the law, we can’t look at our diet and lie about obeying it. Rules are black and white. There is no grey. We answer it with a “yes” or “no” only. This exposes our weaknesses more clearly. As we log our food, it reveals patterns. It reveals the foods we aren’t willing to give up. It can reveal laziness or a rebellious nature (not wanting to be told what to do). Whatever the case, we can either accept what it reveals and realize those are areas we need to work on, or reject the rules altogether.

Without the rules, we can hide our dietary “sins”, keeping the truth under cover. No rules means no failures (we think). Our mindset can become warped, thinking “if we don’t set standards or guidelines to follow, we cannot fail.” When, not trying at all is the worst kind of failure.

I see similar struggles with new Christians. As they begin to look at their life through God’s eyes for the first time, they realize just how much they need to improve. Many people will even quit and give up because the fight seems too hard. The problem is, they are focusing on the rules, not the reason for the rules. They are focusing on perfection not progress. However, if they learn to appreciate the rules and what it reveals, they can experience freedom in their progress no matter how slow it is.

The same goes with food. Instead of hating our diet, we can be thankful for the rules as it exposes our weak areas. We can embrace each new revelation as an opportunity to improve. We can focus on progress, not perfection.

The Struggle is Real

You are not alone. Check this out. This was the Apostle Paul’s insight on the law, and his own fight he had with his flesh. While his problem might not have been with food, his fight will sound very familiar.

14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:14-16

peanut butter addictCan you relate? I know I can! When I’m standing in front of the pantry with a jar of peanut butter in one hand and a rice crisp in the other, I am thinking “I shouldn’t be eating this” and yet I open my mouth and insert another peanut butter dipped chip.

The problem isn’t the law. My diet isn’t what is wrong. I am what is wrong. My flesh wants what it wants – even if it completely goes against what I know is best. It’s just evidence of our flesh.

Instead of getting mad about being on a diet, we should get mad at our flesh and refuse to let it rule us.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c]you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18

Conflicted For A Cause

conflictWhat do you do when you hate conflict? You often settle, and give in to the other person, or you give up and run away. I believe we do that with our diet. After our issues are revealed we are more aware of the conflict going on inside us. We don’t like what we see. Our flesh fights against us so it is easier to just give up or give in than to keep fighting. However, God teaches us here in Galatians that this conflict is purposed so we don’t do whatever we want.

We shouldn’t feel in bondage to the rules, but we should let the rules help us make better decisions. We will fail. That’s inevitable, but we can improve IF we realize the rules are for our own good.

I hate feeling like a failed after going overboard on snacks at night, but that’s only because I decided to live by dietary rules. It’s because I’m trying to live with higher standards. I would be SO much WORSE if I didn’t live by any rules at all. The conflict I find myself in as I face the pantry is a healthy one. It’s the natural battle between my flesh and spirit, right and wrong, healthy and unhealthy.

Later in Galatians, after Paul talks about the works of the flesh, he talks about the fruit (evidence) of the spirit

 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience, endurance, self-restraint, fortitude), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

What does dieting require more than anything? Self control and patience. We will know when we are not letting our flesh rule us when our life exhibits more of these traits. We may not think that practicing self-control with food as a Godly characteristic, but it is. We must exercise these traits in all areas of life. We can’t have selective self-control or selective patience. It must overflow in all areas of our life.

In the same way, we can’t we can’t allow the flesh to grow strong in one area and expect it to not grow strong in other areas. Anytime we feed our flesh, it grows stronger. Starve the flesh and it will die. The more we practice discipline and self-control in our diet, the easier it is to practice it in other areas as well. This is why we should not give up and give in.God expects us to be willing to fight the flesh in every single way until the day we die. The day we have no conflict, is the day we are no longer fighting.

Embracing the Rules

no more rulesI believe the biggest reason people lose weight and then gain it again is they get tired of living by the rules. Who doesn’t?! After tracking food and being on a diet, they can’t wait to free from all the rules. I admit, it’s exhausting at times. When I’m in extreme diet mode, I’m weighing and measuring everything. I’m packing my food, avoiding going out to eat and practicing a lot of self-control. (Note: I said practicing. That means exactly what it says. I haven’t mastered it. I’m practicing it.)

Can you imagine if we just decided we have had it with obeying the law? If we decided we were tired of trying to go the speed limit and stopping at every single red light. We’d create a lot of problems, and likely die. The same goes with dieting. We’d create a mess for ourselves. There WILL be repercussions.

We don’t get the luxury of “taking off” with the law, in our marriage, in our diet or in our walk with the Lord. It doesn’t mean we can’t have a piece of pie or play hooky from church without serious repercussions, but it does mean we still must practice a certain level of self-control. We have one piece of pie, not 3. We can loosen the reigns, but we are still accountable.

What I am saying is there is no “off”. There should always be a set of guidelines to live by. Maybe they don’t have to be as strict as they were when you first started your weight loss journey, but you will still need some guidelines – or you’ll be back to where you started when you had no guidelines at all.

Dieting To Improve

“Dieting is more than a list of dos and don’ts. It is a tool to uncover our weaknesses so we can work on them.”

I can changeWhether you are on a diet that counts calories or watches carbs. Whether you are just trying to eat less or avoid eating out, dieting can be very good for us if we realize it is more than a list of dos and don’ts. It is a tool to uncover our weaknesses so we can work on them – and the only way we can fail is to give up.

I pray as you read this that you get encouraged and look at dieting in a whole new way. Just remember, it’s a tool to make you better. It’s not the enemy. Our own flesh is.

As you attempt to follow the rules, focus on progress, not perfection. You can fail your way to success as long as you keep learning rom your mistakes.

Start your diet today with a fresh new mindset, an open heart and a willing attitude.

Wearable Caffeine Has Zero Side Effects

Clean Energy PatchEnergy products are all the rage. It seems every supplement and beverage brand on the market has an energy drink, drink mix or pill. However, these energy products are not for everyone.

I’ve tried a lot of different energy products over the years and have experienced all kinds of adverse reactions – including a racing heart, extreme jitters, anxiety, nausea and even panic. For this reason, I typically don’t do energy products.

While I’m a BIG coffee drinker, I don’t enjoy coffee in the afternoon – especially, on a hot summer day. Sipping a hot cup of Joe is the LAST thing I want to do when I’m fighting this South Florida heat and humidity. So, if I needed a caffeine boost, the only other real option is drinking an energy drink but I hate the taste of all of them. Then I was introduced to Clean Energy Patch.

This is a great solution for someone who wants the energy of caffeine without all the other stuff. You don’t have to mix a drink, gulp a nasty-tasting beverage or pop a pill. You just simply slap on the patch and forget about it.

Goodbye Yawning

Clean Energy PatchA good example of this is when I was on the set for an infomercial with Steve. After lunch, I found myself walking around like a total zombie. And I’m not talking about the energetic hungry zombies chasing people. I’m talking about the slow walkers, moving about aimlessly.

When this normally happens, I typically grab a cup of coffee but there was no more coffee in crafty. (Insert eye-bulging emoji here.) What’s a girl to do?

I was yawning every two minutes. Seriously! I was embarrassed about how much I was yawning. It was ridiculous. I was so short on sleep and it had caught up to me. I was crashing more and more every second.

It was so bad, I found myself looking around for a place to lay down and squeeze in a quick nap. I’m not a napper, so just thinking about a nap was completely out of character for me. Then it hit me! I had a Clean Energy Patch in my bag.

Clean Energy PatchI grabbed the patch and slapped that bad boy on and went back to work. I hadn’t used Clean Energy Patch before so I didn’t know really what to expect. I guess I expected the jolt of energy that some energy drinks give you but I discovered that Clean Energy Patch was more about a constant gentle flow of energy than a sudden jolt.

To be honest, I forgot I had it on. However, as time passed, I noticed I was no longer trying to find a cozy place to sleep. After several hours, I realized I had successfully completed a very long day without any more yawning. I was alert, focused and clear. And, since I forgot I had it on, I obviously wasn’t struggling with any jitters or side effects. It was a success.

Not only did I have good energy, I had no crash. After a very long day on location, Steve and I went back to the hotel, changed clothes and went out to dinner with Steve’s co-host, Kristie. After dinner, I still had enough energy to play online, check emails and stay up until nearly eleven o’clock.

IMG_7524Since Clean Energy Patch is more of a subtle long-lasting steady source of energy, I also had a friend, Dr. Matthew Schiermyer, try it to so I could get another person’s feedback. As a Chiropractor who also competes in bodybuilding, he’s always trying new supplements and is very in tune with his body.

Matt wore it all day at work and said the thing he noticed most is he didn’t have his normal afternoon crash. He said he typically gets tired in the afternoon, but Clean Energy Patch gave him a steady stream of energy that kept him going all day.

Most of all, he said he was very focused and clear – which says a lot since he’s on a low-calorie diet right now as he is preparing to compete this weekend.

Clean Energy PatchI also had Steve put it to the test on one of his longest days at work. He’s up at 4:00am and doesn’t get off work until 7:00pm. He put the patch on after lunch to help him get through the rest of the day of personal training and classes.

Normally Steve has a hard time making it through his 5:30pm high-energy kickboxing class on these long days, but he was able to keep his energy up throughout the entire class. Not only that, he went BACK to the gym at 9:00pm to do second cardio!

If you have been feeling foggy or felt like you just need a boost, maybe you should give Clean Energy Patch a try!

Steve shares his thoughts…

GET YOUR DISCOUNT CODE!

If you make a purchase on their site between now and December 31, 2016, make sure to use my code BP2016 for 20% OFF your order!

Perks of the Patch

  • Completely natural
  • Up to 8 hours of energy
  • Zero side effects (no jitters or anxiety)
  • No crash
  • Calorie-free
  • Bloat-free (nothing goes in your belly!)
  • Portable and convenient (great for travel)
  • There are no mystery ingredients
  • Contains 35mg of caffeine per patch

Note: If you wear it a few days in a row, you may want to change the location of the patch 

Clean Energy Patch 

This is a sponsored blog written by me on behalf of Clean Energy Patch. All opinions and text are mine.

You Can Suck – and Still Succeed

I apologize in advance for using such an informal edgy title, but “stink” didn’t cut it – and it didn’t rhyme with success. LOL

louis-armstrongAs I was searching for synonyms for “suck”, I discovered where the word came from. Jazz musicians would compliment a horn player by saying “wow, he can really blow!” Since I play trumpet, I can totally relate. It takes a lot of power and control to move air through the horn to reach those high notes. However, if they were really bad, they’d say they were “sucking” on the horn (opposite blowing).

Of course my blog is not about music, it’s about fitness and the reason I chose this title is because I believe there are way too many people who feel like a failure when it comes to fitness, so they quit – or worse, they don’t even try.

I am here to tell you that you do NOT have to be a rockstar in the gym. You do not even have to be in perfect health. I have seen many people struggle through every single workout, put in half the effort as their workout partners, work with physical limitations, have horrible form and even do the bare minimum asked of them – and I’ve seen them still succeed and reach their goals despite their poor performance.

fitness failureI believe people have a tendency to put too much pressure on themselves to perform well. They compare themselves to other people around them and they let their pride get in the way of their potential.

I’m here to tell you that you have to throw this thinking out the window. Even if you are the weakest person in the gym, even if you are the heaviest person in class, even if you don’t really know what you are doing, you are moving and can be improving!

You don’t have to kill yourself in the gym. Many people are putting themselves through horrendous workouts only because they have a horrendous diet. You don’t need to beat yourself up like that.

My runs are slow as Moses sometimes. On some days, I swear there are some people who could walk faster than I run. There are also plenty of times I want to just leave in the middle of kickboxing class because I feel like I’m dying and failing every single jab, cross, kick and jump. But I leave proud because I didn’t quit no matter how ugly it was.

What matters is that we decide to move and you keep moving. It’s all about consistency and just doing OUR best. As we keep moving, we keep improving.

Don’t let the perfection in you get in the way of your potential. Just focus on progress – one step at a time. :)

move and improve

Sweeten Things Up: 3 Low-Cal Salad Recipes

Some Like It Sweet

summer saldWhen we are crunched for calories, it forces us to get more creative with our cooking. Since we love salads, some of the first things that have to go are craisins, raisins, fruit and candied nuts. But we miss the sweetness these foods added to our salads. So, with a little creativity, we came up with a tasty solution. Marinated cucumbers!!

Have you ever had those yummy marinated sweet cucumbers and carrots at asian restaurants? I’m sure they are soaked in sugar – and calories. Well, I decided to make my own.

I diced up the cucumbers in nice small little wedges and soaked them in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, splenda (or stevia, etc), ginger, salt and a dash of pepper. I add this to my salads to give them that sweetness I miss when I’m cutting calories. Here is an example of a few salads I made.

diced cucumbersAsian Salad

1 Bag Shredded Cabbage or Slaw Mix
1 Large Marinated Cucumbers
3 Chopped Scallions
1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds
Cilantro (I did 1 T of fresh prepared cilantro)
Top with Chopped Grilled Chicken

Vinegar Mix: 1 Cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon splenda, ginger, salt and pepper.

After you soak the vinegar in the vinegar mix, remove the cucumbers and set the vinegar mix to the side. Add the cucumbers and all the other salad ingredients together in a big bowl. Take the vinegar mix and add a touch of olive oil with a dollop of low-fat mayo to thicken and blend for a yummy low-cal sweet dressing. Make more of the vinegar base if you feel the salad need more dressing. Mix the dressing and salad together and serve. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Broccoli & Kale Salad

6 Cups Finally Chopped of Broccoli
6 Cups Kale
1/4 Cup Bacon Bits
1/4 Cup Raisins
2 Large Marinated & Diced Cucumbers

Vinegar Mix: 1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tablespoon splenda and a dash of salt.

Just like the Asian mix, you will soak the cucumbers and then separate the cucumbers from the vinegar dressing. Mix all the salad ingredients together. Then mix the remaining vinegar (add more apple cidar and splenda if needed) with 3 tablespoons Panera Low Calorie Poppyseed dressing (only 25 calories per serving), 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of low fat mayo. Blend the dressing and mix in to the salad until everything is well coated.

ahi tuna saladAhi Tuna Salad

3 Cups Mixed Greens Mix
1 Marinated Cucumbers
Sesame Seeds (just to sprinkle on top)
Chopped Onion
Seared Ahi Tuna

This wasn’t a chopped salad like the above salads. I just piled the ingredients and topped with a little mixture I threw together. I had a low-cal asian dressing that I mixed with the apple cider vinegar mix, which fit perfectly with the tuna. It was YUM YUM YUM! I also had a dollop of wasabi sauce I added on the side for dipping.

Fitness Motivation: You CAN Finish What You Started

Moving Ahead Is A Choice

mizuno I was listening to Rick Warren’s teaching today called “The Growth Choice“. As I listened to it, I couldn’t help think about how true that title is in every area of our lives. Growth is a choice. We can choose to grow in head knowledge, we can choose to grow in our marriage, we can choose to grow our waistline, we can choose to grow our muscles, etc. What grows in our life is what we choose to spend time feeding and nurturing.

Of course, he was talking about our spiritual and personal growth, but as he spoke on the choice to grow he brought out a really great point using the analogy of a marathon.

Running the Race

RunnerRick Warren compared being in the ministry to being in a marathon, and much of life is like a marathon.

There is a huge amount of excitement before everyone steps across the start line. People have been talking about this day for a long time. They’ve been training, planning and even eating for this day. There is a lot of thought that goes into this – from the people who are putting the race on to the people who are running in it.

The day of the race, there is normally a huge crowd cheering everyone on. The air is full of excitement, energy, positivity, music and support all around. The runner is fresh, well-rested, clean, pumped and ready. The first few steps will be full of life, energy and great expectations.

However, the finish line looks a lot different. The people are tired of waiting. The crowd has diminished. People are often hungry, tired, impatient, emotionally drained, bored and ready to leave.

The runner is even worse. The runner is sweaty, stinky, exhausted, hurting, hungry, drained, dehydrated and maybe even scraped up from a fall. It takes everything out of them to drag their butt across that finish line. Their body is heavy and numb with fatigue. What isn’t numb is filled with pain. Burning, throbbing legs and dizziness can leave them longing just to hit the nearest grassy patch as soon as they cross the line and rest. They are often looking around for someone they know to meet them at the end. However, for many, they cross the finish line alone.

In between the start and the finish line, is a loooooooooooooooong hard lonely road. The runner is being passed by more athletic experienced runners. They have many miles to wonder what in the world they are doing, to doubt their ability, and to think of stopping – or at least slowing down.

Unlike the start of the race, it is quiet. The only cheers they may here now may be from a handful of volunteers manning the occasional water station. But, even their cheers are weak and not as heartfelt as they started. All in all, it’s a much different scene.

The sound of their feet pounding the pavement reminds them of how slow they are going and how many more steps it will take to finish what they started.

There is no one around them to encourage them. There is no song in the world that will make their feet feel lighter or their heart pound less. It’s during this long lonely part of the run that the only thing the runner can do is just focus on finishing.

The Long Road

always and foreverIsn’t that how life is? Isn’t that how marriage is? There is so much support at the beginning. For marriage, there is the exciting wedding day with all the people around you showing their support. Then the couple faces hardships and the pool of people dwindles like the crowd at the marathon. If they stick it out, they will be like this older couple in this picture I snuck on one of my runs – hand in hand. Crossing the finish line together. They get the gold medal.

How about dieting? Sure, everyone is so supportive when you start out. The spouse is helping you food prep or being respectful about eating sweets around you. Co-workers act proud of you – until they want someone to go to lunch with and realize your healthy eating is getting in the way of their fun.

Sure, everyone was supportive when it was fresh and new, but now that you hit the long hard road, like the marathon, people are tired, bored, less patient and tired of waiting for your results as much as you are. By the time you reach the weight loss finish line, there are few people there to celebrate your success.

As I reflect on this analogy, it brings me to this. Everyone will succeed if you just simply finish what you started. You can’t rely on the cheering crowd, your trainer, your friend’s support or motivation. You must expect the road to be long hard and lonely. But, you just have to focus on the finish line – because IF you do, you WILL cross it.

Once you look back, you will realize the once seemingly long road, was much shorter as you look back. 8 months of dieting is a blink of an eye compared to a lifetime of being overweight and unhealthy.

If you are on that long lonely part of your run in life, keep trucking. Because, you are headed in the right direction!

you will succeed

You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? Galatians 5:7

Oftentimes scripture uses the analogy of running a race to compare our walk with the Lord. Many times the person who hinders you from finishing what you started is your own self. And, sadly, we often quit or slow down when we were really running well.

Let’s not let that be us. Let’s not let others, circumstances, doubts, fatigue, excuses or anything hinder us. Let’s finish what we started.

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