Are You a Debbie Downer Dieter? 6 Tips to Happy Health

debbiedownerWhat do you call people who always talk about everything going wrong in their life? Do you have someone at work who can’t wait to tell you the bad news? Some people just love bringing up the worse case scenario. They’re the first one to tell you how your idea will fail. They are the devil’s advocate – and they love to burst your positive bubble.

We call these people negative or pessimistic. We make fun names for them like “Debbie Downer” and “Negative Nancy” but, sadly, we all know probably more than one of these people. But, what’s worse than a Debbie Downer? A Debbie Downer on a Diet!!

Unfortunately, I think most dieters take the Debbie Downer approach to dieting. When they start their diet, their first response isn’t thinking about how great they are going to feel or look, their first thought is “I can’t have (fill in blank here)”.

For Better or For Worse

woman-scale-ball-chain-700If we went through our entire life this way, we would never get married, never accept a job and never really have any friends. When we commit to one thing, it almost always requires some type of sacrifice.

When Steve asked me to marry him, my first thought wasn’t “OMG! I will never be able to kiss another boy!” However, kissing other boys is something that has to go when you commit to one man. Instead, you think about all the good stuff. The wedding, your future together, the hopes of a family, adventure and happiness. It’s a very good tradeoff, and small sacrifice.

But, isn’t this how most people look at dieting? Their first thought isn’t “OMG, I’m going to look and feel so good!” Their first thought is “OMG, there goes all the fun stuff”  The ‘ole “Ball and Chain” mindset.

unhappy dieterMost dieters are so fixated on all the foods they CAN’T have, that they make the whole experience completely miserable. The entire day is focused on restrictions and lack of freedom – and they are going to tell everyone they know how miserable they are and how hard their diet is.

Is going on a diet really much different than marriage, a mortgage, a job or having kids? No! They all come with restrictions and a lack of “freedom”, to some level, as we know it. BUT, each one of those things has major perks and is worth the small sacrifice – and the same goes with diet!! There is a KILLER reward that goes with it!!

Food vs Fuel

broken-down-carDieting (eating clean or whatever you want to call it) is a commitment you make with your body. Eating healthy is something you MUST chose if you want to live well and be your best. Choose poor fuel, and choose poor performance (life, energy, power, movement, health). At some point, you will pay for your poor choices.

Food is fuel, not just something to entertain your taste buds. Run a car on bad fuel and watch what happens..Ignore it and never take it to the shop, and it WILL eventually breakdown on you. The same applies to our body – but, ironically, people act surprised when our body fails us after years of neglect or refusal to change their unhealthy lifestyle.

diet rewardYou will be ready to fully commit to your body when you realize “dieting” is worth the sacrifice. And, you will be successful when you focus on all the GREAT STUFF instead of focus on all the negative stuff.

The great part is, unlike marriage, you don’t have to give up certain foods forever. You’ll be able to bring them back into your life as you get closer to your goal. I doubt Steve would appreciate me bringing back some old boyfriends, but this is totally healthy when you get to your maintenance diet. You aren’t divorcing certain foods forever, it’s more like a little good healthy separation.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Future

Ditch the Negative Nancy and Debbie Downer! It’s time to find your inner Positive Patricia and Happy Heather!

  1. Decide today to quit dating your diet, but commit to it fully. Tell junk food to pack their bags and get out, drag all of it to the curb and tell it not to come back.
  2. No more negative thoughts! Focus on all the stuff you GET (good stuff coming, bad stuff going) instead of the stuff you have to GIVE UP! Get your head in the game. Bad food is like a bad ex-lover. They lure you in with sweet words only to leave you full of regret and shame. You are better than that. There is SO much to gain from this. Focus on THAT!
  3. Don’t fixate on your cheat meal and don’t fantasize about foods you can’t have. If it’s not healthy for a married woman to fantasize about other men, why would it be healthy for a dieter to fantasize about other foods they shouldn’t have.
  4. Make a list of all the the things you love about dieting. Top on your list will likely be the way you look or feel. At one point in our marriage, we lost our focus and we had to make a list of all the things we loved about each other to help remind us why we got married to begin with. It was a great way to help us shift our focus OFF the bad and ON to the good.
  5. Extend yourself some grace. A healthy marriage requires a LOT of grace. We are human and we WILL mess up. The quicker you are to forgive yourself, the better. It’s not like you just wake up the day after the wedding acting 100% married. We still are selfish, we still want our way and we forget our actions affect our spouse. When you commit to a diet, it’s not like you are going to wake up the next day acting like an experienced fitness expert. No, you will make mistakes, you will still want things you can’t have, and still forget about the repercussions. Fitness isn’t based on feelings, it’s based on decisions – and sometimes, you’ll make bad ones. Forgive yourself and move on.
  6. Never Neverrr EVERRRR EVERRRRR give up! A good marriage isn’t a perfect one (I’m a good example of that!!) – and a fitness success story isn’t a perfect one. It’s full of failures, lessons learned, corrections made and a lot of determination. Quitting (like Divorce) should be a word you never allow to come out of your mouth.

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” Philippians 4:8.

diet focus

PRODUCT REVIEW: Syn Matrix, Low-Cal Post Workout

steve pfiesterProduct Review: Champion Nutrition Syn Matrix
By: Steve Pfiester,
avid fitness enthusiast, trainer, expert.

I get to try a LOT of products. Companies ship us more stuff than we can even attempt to try. I was actually looking for a new post workout supplement, so this was one of those products I was super excited to try. Here’s the post workout 25-calorie “scoop”! 

My background is probably more clinical than most, and sometimes this allows me to have a different perspective on fitness and nutrition than others. My fitness journey began in high school as a wrestler with a lot to prove. I began researching strength and conditioning, and reading articles on nutrition. With a better understanding of exercise science, I quickly began to improve in many aspects of the sport, but moreover I became very fit when compared to my classmates.

Realizing education proved to be powerful when applied to training, I continued being a sponge for knowledge in the area of fitness and nutrition. After 5 years of an undergrad in exercise/nutrition at FSU, I continued on to finish a degree in physical therapy at FAMU. I believe that my education coupled with 30 years of experience in strength and conditioning training allows me to at least speak my mind on various aspects regarding fitness.

The Power of Rest & Recovery

sleepingOne of the most powerful and overlooked disciplines in strength training is mere rest. Rest and recovery are pivotal when it comes to performance, or aesthetic changes on our bodies. What finally manifests itself on the field, in the gym or in the mirror, actually starts out on a cellular level.

I believe anyone who trains understands the concept of “over reaching” or “overtraining” in order to fatigue a muscle cause adaptation. Overwhelming a muscle group is only the beginning and probably the most rudimentary piece of this puzzle. Breaking the muscle down is almost the fun part.

What do we do to make sure our ruthless training wasn’t on vein? Plant a seed in some dry infertile ground and see what happens. Nothing happens. Now plant a seed in fertile moist ground, and continue to water that seed and nurture it with the right nutrients, add a little sunlight and watch it grow. Our skeletal muscle can be much the same. We can train till the cows come home, but if we don’t rest and nurture our investment, It will not grow.

The Test

I couldn’t have been introduced to Syn Matrix at a better time. I am currently involved in a documentary that exposes the challenges of trying to get fit from the vantage point of an obese and sedentary individual. To put myself in the literal skin of an out-of-shape person, I quit all physical activity and training for over four months. As I return back to fit, I’m realizing the peril and struggle of trying to train and eat right. This journey is taking a physical and mental toll on me as I struggle to become active again. The hardest challenge is the immense cardio and training on so few calories. I can feel my body struggling to keep up.

Syn MatrixI have been taking Syn Matrix for over 3 weeks now and I feel it is making a BIG difference. Dieting and training at the same time can retard strength gains and I know this low calorie supplement allows me to maximize nutrients I need for recovery without extra calories of foods that may not hurt me, but may not be beneficial either. Beyond optimizing muscle repair, Syn Matrix utilizes amino acids that specifically maximize our metabolism to burn more fat, and may help as an antioxidant helping to fight free radicals in our body.

If you are looking to maximize your recovery and harness all the “goody” out of your training regimen without putting all the calories back in your belly you just killed yourself to purge, then I think Syn Matrix is the shizzle. I know I have felt and seen the benefits of faster recovery, less soreness, and increase in energy and metabolism. Great timing @TeamChampion. That’s how I #SaveMyCalories.

Product Review Summary:

Champion Syn Matrix 1. This is absolutely THE BEST tasting supplement I’ve ever tasted – pre or post workout PERIOD!

2. I love that it’s only 25 calories per serving!

3. I feel I’m getting as much nutrition in 25 calories of Syn Matrix as I got in my old 250-calorie shake.

4. I’m experiencing faster recovery since taking Syn Matrix.

5. It’s helping me gain muscle while losing loads of fat!

Champion, Syn Matrix Post workout

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Champion Nutrition.

Good Choice, Bad Choice, It’s Your Choice

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterWhen Steve text me yesterday “About to do cardio unless you want to run some sprints at home”. My first thought was “I need to run”, but my body said “I don’t want to run. It’s late. It’s going to be hot. It’s going to suck”. BUT, I typed “I’ll run with you!” before I could let my emotions change my mind. And, even after writing it I was thinking “OMG I don’t want to do this”.

As a fitness professional, I know people just think we LOVE to exercise. They think we were born with more motivation or energetic genes. The is not the case at ALL, at least for me. While some people truly do like to exercise (I do like it once I’m there – and almost done with my workout), however, it is almost ALWAYS difficult to start. It’s just a decision I made and continue to make. I decide to be healthy and make healthy choices, even when every other part of me so “Nooooo! I want to stay on the couch and eat chips and salsa!”

The Secret to Discipline

its_your_decisionThis brings me to the point of today’s blog. Success isn’t based on being more motivated than someone else. It isn’t based on genetics or even circumstances. There are plenty of incredibly talented people out there that blow all their potential because they just make poor decisions.

One of Steve’s friends recently asked Steve to pray for him – to pray that he’d have more discipline. Steve said “discipline isn’t something you pray for. It’s a choice.” You choose to be disciplined.

If you are praying God give you more discipline, you are basically just asking for God to do all the work. God isn’t going to show up to your house and take you to the gym. That’s on you. He may give you people in your life to encourage you, to help you and to support your efforts, but if you want things to change, you have to start making better decisions.

Let’s look at what being disciplined really means.

Definition of Discipline
• activity,
exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.
• obeying the rules
• controlled, restrained or managed or kept within certain bounds
• trained, shaped or conditioned or disciplined by training
• trained mentally or physically by instruction or exercise

To refuse to be disciplined is to refuse change. There is a purpose. In each of the definitions, you see there is a benefit to being disciplined – “to improve skill, obey rules (the opposite of that is being rebellious), keep within certain bounds (which protects you from harm), to be shaped, trained and conditioned, to improve mentally and physically”.Who wouldn’t want all those things? YET, we often focus on the work, not the reward, so much we avoid the work altogether.

woman lifting weights“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

Why is that girl you see at the gym more disciplined than others? Because she is more focused on the reward, rather than the current moment. She knows it will be worth it. Does she likely have bad days, hungry days, lazy days, frustrating days? Sure she does – but she keeps showing up anyway and making good decisions.

Think with Your Brain, Not Your Feelings

i don't wannaWhere did your bad decisions lead you? How far did they get you? Did they get you the 30lbs you are wearing? Are they responsible for your lack of confidence or fatigue? You can’t just expect to continue to make poor decisions and things start changing for you.

You can’t wait to FEEL more disciplined. You can’t wait to WANT to be more disciplined. You can’t rely on someone else to MAKE you more disciplined. You may say “Well, you are more disciplined than me”, but what you are really saying is “You make better choices than me”. But, that can change. You can start making great choices today.- whether you “wanna” or not.

Literally, NOTHING has to change for you EXCEPT your decision making. Even if you want pizza, you can choose to have grilled chicken. Even if you want to sleep in, you can choose to wake up. You have to divorce your flesh and stop consulting your feelings. It doesn’t matter how you feel or what you want now, how do you want to feel LATER? What do you want LATER? THAT’s what makes your decisions for you.

Before you have a chance to say “No”, you simply say “YES! Yes, I would love to run with you”. “YES, I WILL go to the gym even though I don’t feel like it”. “YES! I will eat better no matter what party I go to or what food is in front of me”.

If you decide now to make better decisions, eventually you will start experiencing the reward and that will help give you the motivation you need to continue your good decision making.

DISCIPLINE

 

Stomach Vacuum What?

stomach-vacuumI was recently asked to do a Fit or Flop articl on Stomach Vacuuming for HealthyWay (a new site by Answers.com). I was like, “Stomach Vacuum What?”. Seriously?

I’d never heard of any stomach vacuum. Of course I took the bait and said “SURE! I’ll do an article on it!” – mostly because I just wanted to figure out what the heck it was.

Here was my assignement:

1. Learn about Stomach Vacuuming and explain how it works.
2. Determine if this is a fad or actually something that works and is here to stay.

I dove in, did my research, laughed a little along the way and have my final answer. CLICK HERE to read the article on this mysterious fad trending right now.

Ab Exercises

If you actually know what stomach vacuuming is and you’d like to add more ab exercises to your routine, then be sure to visit the article to see my list of top ab exercises, complete with links to video description.

Iron Sharpens Iron, In and Out of the Gym

Fitness has really changed over the years. It is no longer a one, or two, person thing. Going to the gym used to be a solo sport (like bodybuilding). It used to mean going to the gym alone, getting on a treadmill alone and hitting the weights alone – or if you are lucky, you’d meet a friend or trainer. But no one worked out in groups of 10 and 20 unless they were taking Jazzercise.

Group workouts have always been around, but it used to be a thing for the girls. And, going to the gym for men, oftentimes meant lifting a few weights and sitting with a few guys in the sauna.

jazzercise

Now, with the help of weight loss reality TV, people realize just how much we are capable of. People are more willing to work harder in the gym – and now they don’t have to do it alone. Going to the gym today means joining a workout community. It means meeting a group of people to sweat it out together, cheer each other on and to push each other to be their best.

Boot camps, group workouts (like CrossFit) and conditioning gyms train in groups too. Personal trainers are now group trainers. This group style of training has added a lot of accountability, which helps drive people to perform better, stick with the program and develop lasting relationships. It’s a totally different experience – and it’s working better than any solo workout program ever did.

While there is still a need for one-on-one training and there are still people who like to put their headphones on and just get in their little world, there is good news for all the people out there who need more support, more motivation and more of a push to do their best once they show up (which, honestly, is 90% of us!).

Power in Numbers

iron sharpens ironAt my gym, this community feel is cultivated through our BCx Boot Camp programs. Unlike aerobics classes or other group classes where people come and go as they please, when you join our boot camp program, you are committing to spending the next 6-8 weeks with a set group of people – sweating, straining, pushing, dieting, running, lifting and learning.

You go through it together as a tight-knit family, so you immediately have 20 friends who understand what you are going through and striving for. When you don’t show up, you are missed, so there is more accountability than any “drop-in” class. And, you are only having to commit to this stricter regimen for a brief season, so it makes it feel more doable. Like I always say, “you can do anything for 8 weeks”.

women flexingThis is why many gyms are going to more group training like this. There is power in numbers – and you are never doing a workout with out a trainer right there with you pushing you, directing you and encouraging you.

You are actually getting more quality training for less than personal training. While it may be more expensive than a regular gym membership, more people are getting better results so it’s money well spent. While other people are throwing away a monthly membership not getting anywhere, you are more likely to make the most of your investment.

To Be Alone or Not To Be Alone

I believe there is a little bit of danger that goes with working out alone. There is no one to hold you accountable. There is no one to say “one more rep” or “don’t stop”. There is no one challenging you to try something new or to set higher goals. There is no one who is let down when you decide to skip the gym. Before you know it, you can look back and realize you are in the exact same place you were several years ago because you were just going through the “gym motions”.

2 Is Better Than 1

two-is-better-than-oneCan I encourage you, IRON SHARPEN IRON – in and out of the gym! The Bible constantly encourages us to not go through this life alone. It’s not that you have to go to church to grow spiritually, and you don’t have to go to a gym to improve your body physically. HOWEVER, is it easier? Is it better? Is it safer? Could it help you more? Absolutely. Iron sharpens iron.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

If you are in a place of complacency, maybe it’s time to make some changes. Whether it’s your fitness, your spiritual walk, your work or your family life, surround yourself with others that will help you grow and develop into the man or woman you desire to be – inside and out! Join a fitness program for 4-8 weeks. Plus in a group, like a bible study. Don’t try to go through this challenging life alone.

FIT SNACKS: Say Yes to Jerky

The Fit Fix For Your Snack Attack

Why are all the great tasting snacks ALL carbs and NO protein? Chips, crackers, cookies, candy and even fruit – are nothing but carbs. However, there is one snack that people forget about which is totally PACKED with protein, and low in fat, calories and carbs. It’s Jerky!

One of the first questions people ask when I mention eating jerky is “but doesn’t that have a lot of sodium in it?” Well, maybe this will surprise you, but Jerky doesn’t have any more sodium than flavored popcorn or other popular chips like Bar-B-Q corn chips, cheddar and sour cream flavored potato chips and even many crackers. It even has 100mgs less sodium than most of the highest quality lunch cut meats.

If it helps put things into perspective, a 1/2 cup of condensed chicken noodle soup as about 890mg of sodium and a single 1/4 pound cheeseburger has approximately 1200mg. Jack Links Chicken Jerky, however, has only 280mgs of sodium in comparison. Even a single serving of your favorite light salad dressing can be close to that.

So now that the sodium topic has been addressed, let’s talk about all the awesomeness that goes with eating Jerky! First, you’ve probably heard of Turkey Jerky. Now there is Chicken Jerky, which is leaner and super tasty – and happens to also have about half the sodium as traditional beef jerky.

Our Wild Side:

We live a wild life constantly on the go Go GO! That is why jerky always makes it on our travel snack list. I love to take our Jerky to the beach, on road trips and on all our outdoor adventures. While protein shakes and bars are also a good way to get extra protein in, I get tired of all the sweets. I want my salt fix and I NEED my protein fix too – and with jerky, I get the best of both worlds!

8 Great Reasons to Say Yes to Jerky

 

1. It’s high in protein. (11gms of protein!)
2. It’s easy to get. You don’t have to special order the stuff! You can get it anywhere – including convenience stores.
3. It’s convenient. It’s the only way to eat meat on the go without having to lug around a big lunky cooler or insulated lunch bag.
4. It’s low in carbs(6g), fat (1g) & calories (80!)
5. It takes time to eat. Chewing on jerky takes time, making for a longer snacking experience.
6. It comes in a resealable pouch so you can nibble on it throughout the day.
7. It has a long shelf life (over a year!)
8. It’s perfect for outdoor adventures because it doesn’t spoil.

What’s In My Beach Bag

jack links water bottleLiving in a beach town, I visit the beach often. It’s one of my favorite outdoor activities. I love to enjoy the sea breeze, warm sun and searching for sea glass! If you were to ever bump into me at the beach, here is what is in my bag 99% of the time.

  • LOTS of Water
  • Jack Links Turkey or Chicken Jerky
  • Almonds or String Cheese
  • A green apple or a plum
  • Baseball hat (to protect my face!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Gloss & Powder (just in case!)
  • iPhone (of course!)

My Favorite Jack Link’s Flavors

  • Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky: Lean white meat chicken breast seasoned and marinated with cracked black pepper along with sweet and savory spices.
  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky: Solid strips of lean, white meat turkey breast seasoned and smoked over mesquite. This little beauty is 98% fat free. A perfect little something different.
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky: Soy, ginger, a little onion and a whole lot of perfectly smoked turkey. The very best of East meets West.

Follow Jack Links & Share Your Wild Side!

Jack Links Website:

http://www.jacklinks.com/

Chicken website:
www.jacklinks.com/say-yes

Twitter: @JackLinks
https://twitter.com/jacklinks

Facebook: Jack Link’s Beef Jerky https://www.facebook.com/jacklinksbeefjerky

Instagram: @JackLinksJerky https://instagram.com/jacklinksjerky/

 Giveaway

jack links jerky gift boxCOMMENT below and tell me why you #SayYestoJerky for a chance to win a Jack Link’s gift pack that contains:

  • Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky
  • Water bottle
  • Headband
  • Sweat towel
  • EOS lip balm

Contest ends August 15th!

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Jack Link’s.

Upper Body Workout

Shoulder raiseIf you are looking for a killer upper workout you can do with very little tools – this workout is for you! You can do this entire workout with a yellow and green Boydlastics band (for women & a green and red band for men) – or 2 sets of light to moderate dumbbells. You could even do this workout with 2 big water bottles or 2 big cans of soup! Give it a whirl.

Think Fast!! The key to this workout is constant movement with very little rest. (No rest DURING sets 1-3. Only rest after the completion of all 3 rounds in each super set (or circuit). You only rest for the allotted 10 seconds during sets 4-6, and after the completion of each super set (circuit) of all 3 rounds. This is a fast paced, circuit style workout. Sweat – and tone!

Tip: Increase your intensity by doing each super set (circuits 1-3) for time – or race a partner through it (without compromising form). Use the GymBoss to manage your 20 seconds & 10 second intervals during sets 4-6. Remember, you are trying to get as many reps as you can in 20 seconds. Have Fun!!

Upper Body Workout

 

To clarify the workout, this is how the routine would go. Click on each exercise to watch video instruction. The whole workout should take you 50 minutes to an hour.

Target Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Chest, Arms, Abs & Core,

Set #1 
10 Shoulder Press
10 Push Ups
10 Mountain Climbers
X 3

ABS CIRCUIT:
10 Crunches
10 Bicycle Crunches

Set #2 
10 Lateral Raises
10 Shoulder Taps
10 Burpees (with the jump!)
X 3

ABS CIRCUIT:
10 Crunches
10 Bicycle Crunches

Set #3
10 Rear Delt Raise
10 Plank Up, Up, Down, Down (elbow to hand plank)
10 Alternating T-Plank
X 3

ABS CIRCUIT:
10 Crunches
10 Bicycle Crunches

Set #4
20 seconds of each with 10 seconds rest
Shoulder Press
Lateral Raises
Rear Delt Raise
X 3

ABS CIRCUIT:
30 Crunches
30 Bicycle Crunches

Set #5
20 seconds of each with 10 seconds rest
Push Ups
Shoulder Taps
Plank Up, Up, Down, Down
X 3

ABS CIRCUIT:
30 Crunches
30 Bicycle Crunches

Set #5
20 seconds of each with 10 seconds rest
Mountain Climbers
Burpees
Alternating T-Plank
X 3

ABS CIRCUIT:
30 Crunches
30 Bicycle Crunches

Get Your Weight Loss Breakthrough: 7 Ways to Speed Results

woman_scale_happyAre you waiting on a weight loss breakthrough? Are you constantly in search for the newest training method, latest supplement, best trainer or fitness trend? Are you looking for an easier way to lose weight and get fit? Do you see other people who seem to get results and constantly wonder what they are doing, and want to try their way too?

Let me save you loads of trouble. Not to say you shouldn’t explore other training methods and learn more about nutrition – you SHOULD! However, you need to be careful about trying to search for an answer you have already received, search for truth you’ve already heard, and search for the best advice that you’ve already been told.

I’d like to take you on a journey back in time in order to make my point because I feel this same type of story happens in fitness all the time. People are searching for an answer, not liking the answer they get, and they keep searching – only to delay results because they are delaying in their obedience.

I’m talking about Moses and Pharaoh and the plagues (click here to read the whole story). It’s a perfect example of rebellion – and I think we often become rebellious in our fitness journey too. We rebel against the diet, rebel against the workouts, we rebel against our trainer …and when it’s all said and done, we blame everyone else but our own rebellious self when we are plagued with guilt, poor health and unfavorable results. Isn’t it time you end the vicious cycle?

7 Ways to Speed Up Fitness Results:

!. Don’t Wait to Learn the Hard Way

learn the hard wayWith Moses, his message to Pharaoh was “let the people free”. With each plague that followed when Pharaoh didn’t obey, Moses returned with the same message “let the people free’. JIm Gallagher, our pastor, reminded us this week that after God has already told you something, He’s not going to keep speaking to you if you keep ignoring him. He’s not going to give you a different message. He’s not going to change His mind. He’s not going to go against His word. So, we need to quit looking for ways around things. We need to quit looking for compromises.

Sadly, this is often the case with our own clients occasionally. Granted, I’m way less patient than God, eventually there comes a point when I have to quit investing in people who won’t listen. Unfortunately, people will often keep asking me the same questions (just worded differently), but my answer is always the same. And, eventually, I quit talking altogether. Unfortunately, it often takes a person several failures after attempting trying it their way, or any other way, before they listen. And some will never ever even attempt to do it right at all.

Do you find yourself asking everyone their opinion about fitness? Do you find yourself hearing the same thing over and over? Maybe someone’s trying to tell you something.

2. Accept the Truth

Girl_Not_ListeningSo many people struggle with what they think is a “lack of direction”, but it is oftentimes more about the struggle they have with responding appropriately to the direction they’ve received.

How often do we refuse to accept the truth? Fitness is based on truths, not opinions. We can have opinions about fitness all day long, but in the end, results are based on proven scientific truths. You can keep asking for information, but it’s likely you’ve already heard the right information but just didn’t want to accept it, or haven’t been willing to apply it.

In the story of Moses and Pharaoh, Pharaoh got direction but simply didn’t want to follow it. As a result, he went through a LOT of trials trying to do things his way.

3. Avoid Selective Hearing

selective hearingSome of us have selective hearing. We hear what we want to hear and mysteriously miss the rest. The same way we sure hear all the promises (like when a trainer promises you “can get stronger” or when scripture says, “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me”, we also ignore all the specific correction or guidelines that lead up to that reward (like “eat less” or “deny your flesh”). Oh no! THAT, we don’t hear.

Even Pharaoh got to a place where he was willing to compromise (which is basically picking and choosing what he was willing, and not willing to hear and do. But, he wanted the same results. Are you doing everything you know you should be doing, or only the stuff you are willing to do (and pretending to not hear the other stuff?

Definition of Compromise: Accept standards that are lower than is desirable.

What are you holding on to that’s causing you to possibly compromise? If you compromise (lowering your standards of) your actions, you are compromising (lowering your standards of) your results.

4. Quit Procrastinating

funny frog faceThe funniest thing ever (to me) is that after the plague of frogs came and Pharaoh actually entertained obeying God, but he said “tomorrow”. Really? He wanted one more day of sleeping with, eating with, and stepping on frogs? This makes me wonder what is in my life that I’m saying “tomorrow” about.

What is in our pantry that we are refusing to let go? What belief system are we refusing to change? What habit or part of our lifestyle are we holding on to? What does God keep telling us over and over that we may not be doing or that we may need to start doing? Do we really want to sleep with the frogs one more night?

5. Be Honest with Yourself

One of the issues with a lack of obedience or “following a plan” is not being honest with yourself. I love how Pharaoh said (after, mind you, he’s experienced the SEVENTH plague because of his disobedience), “I have sinned this time.” (Exodus 9:27) This statement cracks me up! But, we hear this all the time in the gym.

A client will say “I totally messed up this week” – when the reality is, they’ve been messing up like crazy, but they won’t either be honest with themselves or they aren’t willing to be honest with us. Some people actually may not really know just how bad they are messing up because they aren’t even willing to accept it MAY be their fault.

The truth really will set you free. If you aren’t getting the results you want, are you willing to accept maybe it’s something you are missing, or doing wrong? What are you hiding from others, and maybe even yourself?

6. Stop pointing the finger

blame your trainerI have to laugh at how Pharaoh’s people saw Moses as the issue, not himself, saying ““How long shall this man be a snare to us?” (Exodus 10:7). How funny is this?! Moses wasn’t the problem. He was just the messenger. The problem lay within the people who were ignoring the messenger.

Are you ignoring the messenger? Are you hearing what your trainer is saying? If you aren’t getting results, it’s not their fault. The are just a messenger. You are responsible with how you respond.

If you are still plagued with weight issues, don’t look for the message to change, look at what YOU can change.

7. Back to plan A

plan aMany people are searching for a Plan B – a different route to the same destination because they refuse to take the Plan A route (even if Plan A will take you there faster). They are looking for a prettier route, a more fun route, an easier route – but Plan B is deceiving. That route has too many distractions, it will only delay your arrival.

For Pharaoh, he wanted a Plan B. He wanted to figure out a way to please God and himself. Ironically, doing it Pharaoh’s way was clearly not working. It was time to submit to God’s plan, but he wasn’t having it.

When it comes to fitness, Plan A is the scientific right way based on basic truths. Eat less, do more. Eat clean, avoid junk. Work hard, but don’t rely on hard work to erase your mistakes in the kitchen. Make correct and healthy decisions 7 days a week, not 4, 5 or 6. Make a lasting change, which requires a lasting change. This is a lifestyle, not a season. It take discipline, it takes work, it take perseverance, it takes determination, it takes surrender. And, it will all be worth it.

The sooner you submit and take the right path, the sooner you will reach your destination. The sooner you will live without the plague of unhealthiness in your life, the plague of sickness, the plague of weakness, the plague of no energy, the plague of discouragement. You will finally be set free. But in order to be set free, you have to, like Pharaoh, be willing to set your pride aside, put your rights aside, soften your heart and mind, and submit.

Low-Cal Burrito Bowl

Mexi-Mango Chicken BowlIf you get a burrito at your favorite restaurant (like Chipotle), you are blowing a whopping 300 CALORIES just on the tasteless 13″ flour tortilla alone! Ironically, if you trade white rice for brown rice, your calories go up even more because the brown rice is actually higher in calories than the white rice. Then, if you decide to get some good healthy fats, watch out – because their guacamole will pile on 230 more calories. Even if you skip the rice, and attempt to make it “healthy”, it’s likely your creation will still stack up to be over 800 calories. So much for good intentions!

The best way to really stick to your diet is to duplicate some of your favorite restaurant meals at home. You can get all the flavor of your favorite burrito without the calories, and without the unwanted fat, in your own kitchen. Here are a couple of ideas – one meal idea for lunch and another similar meal (with a few tweaks) for dinner.

TIP: Make your meal extra special by picking up some key ingredients from the pros. Most restaurants sell their salsa or hot sauces so you can add restaurant flavor without the extra restaurant calories.

These 2 meals have helped us get our mexican fix in while dieting.


burrito bowlAfternoon Bowl – 362 Calories
(22.3p, 43.4c, 12.1f)
Layer ingredients in a bowl in the following order:

1/2 cup Jasmine Rice
2 T Black Beans
1 T Sour Cream
3oz Pulled Chicken
1/2 cup shredded Lettuce
1/4 Sliced Avocado
1/8 cup Finely Diced Onion
1/4 cup Finely Diced Mango or Pineapple
4 T Fresh Salsa
2 T Jalapeños

burrito bowlLow-Carb Dinner Bowl – 275 (20.7p, 24gc, 12g)

Layer ingredients in a bowl in the following order:
TRADE 1/4 cup cooked jasmine rice for a bed of Shredded Lettuce
SKIP the Black Beans
3 oz Pulled Chicken
1/4 Sliced Avocado
1/8 cup Finely Diced Onion
1/4 cup Finely Diced Mango or Pineapple
4 T Fresh Salsa
2 T Jalapeños
1 T Light Sour Cream

Make it even leaner by cutting more carbs (ditch the fruit) and add another ounce of protein!

Now Is The Time to Fight Aging

take all supplements Steve and I have always been into health and fitness since we first got married. However, Steve has always been more apt to take vitamins than I have been. Why? I honestly think it’s because of his 6 years of education, which was mostly in exercise and nutrition.

Steve has always understood the power of taking vitamins and minerals. While I’d be quick to take protein or something that delivered fast noticeable results, I was slower to take stuff that didn’t give me instant results. But, when I recently started studying a vitamin and supplement course to be a Certified Supplement Nutritionist, I learned a lot about the power of vitamins and minerals – especial antioxidants. As a result, it made me want to take EVERYTHING! Today, I’m way more apt to invest in more of the “behind the scenes products” and invest in my health.

Now, in my mid-forties, my goal is to be better about taking vitamins and doing more to fight the affects of aging – from working on my skin, to working on my body (and not just my appearance, but my overall health). One of the things I am going to be trying is MitoQ, which is a brand new antioxidant.

MitoQOver the next 8 weeks, Steve and I will both be putting the MitoQ skin serum and capsules to the test. As I have researched MitoQ, I have become super impressed with what I have found. While, like most medicines (for example, Viagra), it wasn’t originally created for it’s anti-aging properties. However, with over 30 million dollars in research, they discovered it had a significant impact on optimal cellular function, which provided the energy a cell needs to repair itself.

The MitoQ serum will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, scars, brown spots and skin discoloration, as well as reduce the thinning of the skin that occurs with aging. The MitoQ capsules support optimal cell function and heart, liver and brain health. MitoQ also boosts energy, and reduces the cellular free radical damage that, over time, causes us to age and can manifest as disease.

I’m super stoked to try MitoQ and to start fighting my fight against aging. I’m determined to look and feel my best no matter what my age is!

What Are Antioxidants?

free-radical-neutralizedAntioxidants are a substance that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, which many experts believe to play a roll in the development of blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis), cancer, and other conditions.

We are exposed to free radicals through pollutants, through by-products of normal processes that take place in your body (like burning sugars for energy and releasing digestive enzymes to digest food), and when the body breaks down some medicines. Antioxidants are believed to help manage or prevent of some medical conditions, such as some cancers, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, and some arthritis-related conditions. MitoQ‘s secret agent is it’s powerful antioxidant delivery system – to help get the antioxidants get into the cells.

Anti-Aging Tips

Ernestine ShepherdWe often say things like “50 is the new 40″, and when I look at Ernestine Shepherd (left), it makes me feel more like 70 is the new 40! Honestly, look at her! She doesn’t look like a grandmother, she looks so youthful in so many ways – and she doesn’t have to be the only one feeling fit and healthy over 50!

When I was researching anti-aging techniques for this blog, I looked to the medical field for solid advice – and they all recommended diet and exercise above ALL other methods. While there are tons of anti-aging products that are awesome, these top 5 tips trumped any medical procedure or Hollywood fad.

1. Exercise. When I say exercise, I don’t mean you have to look like a physique competitor. I mean you need to take the time to purposefully exercise your heart and lungs, and challenge your body’s muscles. Cardiovascular exercise is essential for good heart health. Strength resistance is excellent for increasing bone density, as well as it helps protect you from injury. If you want to stay looking and feeling as young as possible, exercise must be a priority for you. It truly is the fountain of youth.

2. Eat healthy, and I’m not just talking about avoiding fast food. I mean avoid as many chemicals as you can and eat as much whole food as you can. Choose healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, fish oil, nuts and seed oils, etc) over unhealthy saturated fats. Choose fruits and vegetables over breads and processed filler foods. Eat healthy lean meats instead of fatty meats. I mean eating for fuel, and not just for taste alone. Sure, food can taste great, but we really “are what we eat”, so we need to eat healthy if we want to be healthy!

3. Control your weight. Excess weight is hard on the body – even if it’s excess muscle. It is important to get rid of any excess stress on the joints and to reduce fat around the organs so they can work properly. Practicing portion control is a big part of controlling your weight. If you can lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, you will notice a more youthful appearance to your skin – and, if you exercise, your body will look much more tone. Even if you never get a face lift, you can do a body lift in the gym!

4. Supplement what you are missing. Supplements are not intended to replace whole food. They are made to help give you what you are missing. That’s why they call them “supplements”. You are supposed to supplement your diet with them. Many antioxidants are in in fruits, but not everyone eats the amount they need – and, if you are dieting, we tend to not get every nutrient we need since we are restricting calories. So, it’s super important not to just take sports supplements to enhance performance, but to take health supplements to support your overall health. One of the things you will notice over the years is supplements will just keep getting better. Invest the extra money to get quality supplements that your body will absorb and that actually work.

Put up your best fight

 

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

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