Category Archives: Mantras
I agree with George Washington Carver. I do believe people who fail often, have a habit of making excuses often. It’s human nature to want to blame something or someone for our failures. Quitters love the word “if”, saying things like “I could lose weight IF I could afford a trainer” or “I could get in better shape IF I wasn’t so busy.” These excuses simply make people feel better about why they didn’t reach their goal.
The fact of the matter is, there is someone busier with less money getting results. So, as good as those excuses sound, it doesn’t mean that reaching your goal is impossible – it’s just going to be a little more challenging.
Instead, make a habit of determination. Make it a habit to do what you need to do whether you want to do it or not. Make a habit of finding solutions, not problems. Before long, you will be out of the habit of using excuses and in the habit of overcoming them.
If you don’t believe this, or understand it, think about how the opposite applies. It’s very difficult to act like a failure and succeed.
Think about it. Try acting like you aren’t dieting and try to lose weight. Try acting like you are weak and get stronger. Try acting lazy at work and see if you get a promotion. How you act determines how successful you can become.
If you want to get stronger, do things that require strength. If you want to get healthy, act like it. If you want to get a promotion, show your employer you deserve it.
You will never get maximum results doing the bare minimum. If you are taking shortcuts, the only one you are ultimately shorting is yourself.
Too many people let their past failures define them. They dieted before and failed, so they believe they are doomed to never lose weight. They joined a gym before and quit going, so they fear they’ll just waste their money again the next time. They have a tendency to be lazy, selfish, and lack self control, so they fear they will always be lazy, selfish and lack self control. This type of thinking uses past failures to sabotage tomorrow’s successes.
My grandmother once quoted Barbara Johnson, an encouraging author known for helping women have hope and joy in discouraging times, saying, “Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.” Focusing on past failures causes us to worry about continuing to be a failure, and Barbara reminds us worrying wastes time and interferes with tomorrow’s opportunities.
Free From Failure
What we think about is a choice. We have the choice to think about all the mistakes we’ve made, and what mistakes we could make in the future OR we can think about changing our actions, breaking the cycle, becoming the person we want to be, learning from our mistakes and succeeding. Sure, it’s easy to look at the facts. Believe me, I know about failure. I remember paying for a gym membership for 2 years and never going. Did that stop me from joining a gym again? No. The next time I went a little more than the first. I continued to join gyms until I found the one that kept me going, and I learned to make working out a part of my life, and not an option.
Of course, this is just one type of failure. There are much worse failures than just wasting a gym membership or quitting a diet. However, the application applies to all failures. Just the same way you can list off all the good reasons you’re sure you could fail again (where statistics could help prove your point), I can shoot off some statistics of my own that prove you could succeed.
Aim for Success
I have countless encounters with people who have never had weight loss success who joined our gym, or did a boot camp, and got the results they wanted after many failed attempts. I could remind you of all the failed relationships who decided to never give up and who made it – stronger and better than they ever hoped. We can look at all the countless men and women in history that led lives of failure, but are remembered for their great successes because they didn’t let their failures define them or stop them from continuing to try to become a success.
No matter what your struggle is today, decide now to accept your failures as HISTORY. You can be a failure yesterday and be a success today. Be a success for several days in a row, and before you know it you ARE a success.
No matter how bad you were on Thanksgiving, no matter how much you’ve let your workouts slip, no matter how many poor mistakes you’ve made with your finances or relationships, decide to stop making the mistakes that haunt you, decide to think about the possibilities if you succeed, and and decide to make this week a successful week!
What if he quit trying?
“This was a man who failed in business at the age of 21; was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in business at age 24; overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26; had a nervous breakdown at age 27; lost a congressional race at age 34; lost a senatorial race at age 45; failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47; lost a senatorial race at age 49; and was elected president of the United States at age 52.”
This man was Abraham Lincoln.
“I have failed over and over, and that is why I succeed” Abraham Lincoln.
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Joyce Meyer says “Where the mind goes, the body follows” and this is so true. If you want to lose weight, you have to first believe you CAN lose weight. If you want to be a professional athlete, you have to become one in your head first. If you don’t believe you can do what you want to do, it will never happen.
Muhammad Ali said, ”I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” What he is saying is he was told himself he was the greatest even BEFORE he felt great, BEFORE he was great, BEFORE he succeeded. I think we can all learn something from that statement. We have to tell ourselves who we want to be and what we want to become. Sadly, we normally do exactly the opposite. We constantly tell ourself that we are a failure. We say things like, “I’ll never be able to do XYZ”. Guess what? Your body listens to what you tell it and if you keep telling yourself that, you will never be able to do XYZ.
Ask yourself today. What are you telling yourself? Are you talking about being successful, strong, honorable, good, kind, loving, loyal, patient, forgiving, determined, steadfast – or are you constantly reminding yourself of your failures, shortcomings and inability to change? Choose your words carefully.
Food For Thought
I found this super interesting today and wanted to share this with you. Whether you are a Christian or not, I think you will find this text super interesting. ”Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a NEW person by changing the way you THINK. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” Romans 12:2.
I find it super interesting that this scripture didn’t say you need to renew your heart or change the way you feel, but it said transformation begins with a renewing of your mind and changing the way you think. If we want to think correctly, we need to read scripture and understand how God thinks. Then, and only then, can we begin to be transformed and know God’s will for our lives, and act in a way that is pleasing to Him – and this most definitely overflows into our work, our fitness, our marriage, our relationships.
How often do we make decisions based on how we feel. We don’t “feel” like working out. We don’t “feel” strong enough to lift that. We don’t “feel” like loving that person. We don’t “feel” like we can do this or that. Obviously God wants our heart to change, but scripture points to the real heart of our problems and failures – and it all starts in our mind.
I encourage you today to set your mind on what is good and positive, and practice pushing out negative self-defeating thoughts.
Think of the truth behind this statement, “scar tissue is stronger”. Our body is so smart. Our body does develop calluses just anywhere, it builds tough skin where we need it most. We have calluses on our feet and our toes to protect our skin from tearing or blistering, so we can go the distance. A guitarist has calluses on their finger tips, making it possible to play songs for hours and hours. I have calluses on the palms of my hands from lifting weights, which allows me to lift heavier and work harder without hands giving out before my muscles do.
Basically, calluses are nothing more than scar tissue on top of the skin. Anywhere the skin has been invaded or broken, new scar tissue is laid down to mend that area and make it stronger for the next attack. As you hit the gym and work hard to eat healthy every day, it will be the difficult days that make you stronger – not the easy ones. No matter what challenge you face, whether in the gym or in your personal life, celebrate it – and realize it’s an opportunity to strengthen your body, mind in spirit.
Wikipedia explains the Second Wind as “a phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running (as well as other sports), whereby an athlete who is too out of breath and tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion. The feeling may be similar to that of a “runner’s high“, the most obvious difference being that the runner’s high occurs after the race is over. Some scientists believe the second wind to be a result of the body finding the proper balance of oxygen to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Others claim second winds are due to endorphin production, while still others believe it to be purely psychological.”
It really doesn’t matter where our second wind comes from, what matters is knowing it will come. Whether we are talking about fitness or life, sadly, many people never get to experience the second wind because they give up too soon. No one ever said weight loss would be easy. No one says that life is easy, so why are we so surprised when things get tough? If we plan to run a marathon, we know it’s going to be a long grueling haul. Weight loss is a marathon of sorts. So is marriage, our career, raising kids, and maintaining friendships. They all require a certain intense level of commitment – a commitment to the finish.
If you plan to do a race, you plan to finish. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, the goal is to cross the finish line. Sadly, many people give up on their goals, hopes and dreams as soon as things get tough. I want to encourage you today, you WILL get a second wind – but you don’t get a second wind before the pain sets in. You don’t get a second wind before you run out of breath, or before your body shuts down. No! You get a second wind AFTER you begin to feel defeated. AFTER you’ve been on a plateau for too long. AFTER you’ve cried and started to doubt if you could “do this”. AFTER your mind starts turning on you. The second wind DOES come, but it doesn’t come when things are going smooth. It comes right when you need it the most …in the very last possible hour.
Test Yourself. Don’t miss your second wind because you choose not run long enough in your first one. Train hard. The more you reach the point of needing a second wind, the less doubt you will have that the second wind will come because you’ve experienced it before. However, if you quit every time something gets hard, you won’t have the past experiences to encourage you in your next race.
Never Give Up.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Read the quote to the left. One of the reasons we got our inbody body composition machine is for this very reason – people quit when they were SOOOO close to really succeeding. People don’t believe me until they see it in black and white. For instance, in 4 weeks, the inbody would show someone who’s starting a new program can gain 2-4lbs of muscle and lose 4-8lbs of fat. At the end of 4 weeks, someone can feel they worked SOOOOOO hard, only to lose 4lbs – yet they could have lost 8 POUNDS OF FAT, and gained 4 POUNDS OF MUSCLE.
As a result of not seeing the reward they expect, they may give up – because, honestly, is all that dieting and hard work in the gym really worth 4lbs? (I know I’d struggle with that) …BUT (big but), if they continued for another 4 weeks at the same pace, they would lose another 8lbs of fat, totaling 12lbs of fat lost, while keeping the 4lbs of muscle.
I only know this is reality because of our inbody machine, which shows muscles mass, fat mass, water weight and BMR (basal metabolic rate). This is not an ad for the inbody. I’m using this example, and the facts the inbody shows, only to prove my point – which is, you may not be seeing the progress (and how close you are to your goal), but that doesn’t mean it’s not just around the corner.
Where is your primary focus? Is it on how much you hate working out. How much time it takes and how little time you have? Do you focus on how far you have to go? Is your goal so far away that it drags you down? Maybe your focus is on others, and how great everyone else seems to be doing, and how much further ahead they are.
Where your focus is, is what you will see. What you see, is who you’ll be. In this quote Alphonse (1800′s French novelist) shows his focus is not on the thorns, but the roses. Instead of looking at a rose bush as having flaws in the thorns, he sees how awesome it is that a thorny bush could have such beautiful flowers.
We should learn from Alphonse, and realize we have a choice of what we see based on what we focus on. We have a choice to be appreciative of everything that is wonderful, and overlook the thorns in our life. When we look past the thorns, we see less thorns in others too. Our whole view changes.
Try, with all your might, not to think about how hard dieting is, how challenging your workouts are. Try hard not to focus on your own shortcomings and focus on all the good that is blossoming in you. Fitness grows strength, beauty, confidence, health, physical improvements and improved performance – and that’s just the physical. If you focus on your spiritual growth, and all your gifts and talents instead of your limitations, you will realize you are like a beautiful bouquet to your peers – beautiful, with a sweet aroma to anyone who gets close.
Get the Fertilizer Out
In many ways, we are all thorny. We all have our hurts, our struggles, our selfish ways, our prickly personality – but, we all have our own roses too. It just depends on how we care for ourself – and it’s difficult to want to take care of a thorn bush, if that’s all we see. However, if we see ourselves for who we really are (a prize rose bush), you will be more apt to treat it with care. Another words, you must love yourself – and that’s difficult to do if you cannot see the good in you.
We need certain things to really blossom – just like roses. We can’t expect to act beautiful if we deprive ourself of life’s water, food and proper care. If you neglect your mind, body and spirit, like if we neglect caring for a plant, you will be nothing but thorns, with little flowering, and little life, left in you. This will make it even more difficult to love yourself. However, if you take the time to care for your body, you will blossom SO much and you will begin to see your value – and the last thing anyone will ever see are your thorns.
If you look in the mirror (and look inside) and all you see is thorns, here are a few tips on how to care for a dying plant (which totally applies to our life too):
1. Strengthen your roots. If you are dying inside, you may be rooted in the wrong soil and need to be transplanted. Nourishment comes from your roots. Are your roots in unhealthy soil? Are your roots strong, or are they so shallow that you’ll blow over with the first big wind? For me, roots are God first, then family and friends. That is my foundation. Without that, I am weak and cannot weather any storm. “Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.” (Colossians 2:7)
2. Cut away the dead stuff. One way to get stronger roots is to prune the tree. The weaker the roots, the more cutting you have to do. Another reason for cutting away the dying stuff in us is so nourishment is confined to only what is healthy in you. There is no need to nourish the parts of you that are already dying, or unhealthy. In the fitness world, you may need to cut away junk food, unsupportive friends, laziness and doubt. In life it may be friendships, bad habits, things that steal your time, selfishness or an unhealthy lifestyle that need to go if you want to get healthy and really blossom.
3. Live in right environment. Even if you have the right soil, and you get rid of the bad stuff, you will never blossom without the right environment. As you know, certain plants do not do well in direct sunlight. They need a filter. We too need the right environment to grow, and often times need to be filtered from this harsh world. If you are not sure what that looks like, then think of a time in your life that you were the healthiest. If you don’t feel you have every been healthy, look at other people you respect (not the ones who may look successful, but the ones how have peace and joy – because money doesn’t last, but joy can continue with or without money). Then plant yourself near them, or in a similar environment, and get the same nourishment they get.
4. Care for yourself daily. If you take care of your roots, you trim away the yucky stuff and you make sure you are in the right environment, that still isn’t enough to get the results you want. Sadly, many people do this in fitness. They join a gym, cut out all the junk and get in the right circles, but they don’t consistently take care of themselves. They are hit or miss with their workouts, they are hit or miss with their eating, and they are hit or miss with their commitment. The same way a plant needs consistent loving care, YOU need consistent loving care. If you don’t consistently get the nourishment you need, you will first lose your blossoms, then you will go limp and weak. Then you will begin to dry out and shrivel up. However, I think we all know, even if you have little life left in you, it is never too late to revive your life.
We all are born with the same potential. What you do with your life is up to you. You have the power to decide. Will you be a living thriving strong grounded flowering life, or a dying malnourished thorny bush?
How do you keep your eyes on the prize when it seems SOOO far out of reach? How do you keep showing up to the gym, day after day, when it seems improvement is so slow? How in the world do you keep depriving yourself of chocolate, or overindulgence, when the scale seems to barely budging every week? I will tell you. It’s less about the path, and more about the destination.
There is no way to really have peace during trials if you aren’t sure of where you are headed. There is no way you can motivate yourself without a reward. This could be in reference to a battle with your weight or just ‘yucky life’ stuff. Either way, you MUST know, without a shadow of a doubt where you are headed, and that you are on the right path. If not, you will live in despair, with hopelessness, guilt, shame and/or disappointment because you are not where you know you should be.
I can’t take A1A to California. It’s impossible. A1A runs north and south, not east and west. So, if I want to get to California from Vero Beach, Florida, I have to map it and follow the right paths given to me. Can I go off course? Sure, I can make some pitstops. I can veer off the route to explore on the way there – BUT how often I get off course, how often I stop and hang out, and how often I get lost will only prolong my arrival to my final destination.
So, what am I trying to say here? We need to learn to celebrate life on the way to where we are headed. We need to learn to be patient. If you don’t know for sure if you are on the right path, then you need to stop in your tracks and think about where you want to end up. Once you decide where you want to be, you can begin to map out the course. However, if you are choosing the course (and not the destination), you better look to see where that course is taking you – because, chances are, it’s not where you want to end up.
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”
I believe many people choose the course that looks the the best, without any thought of where it leads. Thomas Merton said it best when he said, “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” This is the epitome of what I’m trying to say here. If we want a specific result, we need to look at the desired result and work backwards. We choose the wall, before we start climbing the ladder.
If you know in your heart you are doing the right thing, you are on the right path (no matter how difficult), it’s a lot easier to have patience with the process, and enjoy the journey. If you know in your heart you aren’t on the right path, it’s not too late to turn it around and reroute your life so you are back on track.
“For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many…but the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
I believe that the biggest rewards have the narrowest, toughest path – but they are also the straightest path (getting you to your destination the fastest AS LONG AS YOU STAY ON COURSE).
Just the fact that the narrow path is normally difficult is why it’s not a path well traveled. People avoid it. Christians talk about the narrow path to heaven, but it applies to many areas of our life. Even if you don’t really want to hear biblical principles for spiritual reasons, you can still learn a LOT from scripture – and I PROMISE it will give you excellent direction for your life. For instance, there is a narrow path to a good lasting marriage. There is a narrow path to taking care of your body and staying healthy. There is a narrow path to a successful career. There is no easy wide well-traveled paths to greatness. The path exists, but it rarely takes you any where good. Like the verse says, if “the gate is wide, the way is easy and it leads to destruction”. Scripture warns us ahead of time of the warning signs, “BEWARE of the easy road”. Instead, many of us still try that path anyway. Like we don’t believe God – but you know what they say “if it’s too easy to be true, it normally is”.
However, people still tend to take every other path first before they finally decide to give it a go. The take diet pills, they try to work off the body fat with exercise to avoid discipline in the kitchen. They try everything, and normally try the “narrow path” only when they’ve exhausted every other route that leads to a dead end. In fitness, the right path is hard work and self-discipline. You can’t do what you want, and eat what you want, and get to where you want to go in the time you want.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, or enjoy the journey but, like TD Jakes said “Greatness costs what it costs“. You decide what’s more important. Do you care more about enjoying the path, or enjoying the destination? If your destination is great, then it costs what it costs and you will gladly pay the price because you know it will be worth it.
Celebrate your trials. Celebrate your progress, no matter how slow or difficult, not because of where you ARE – but because of where you’re GOING.
Here is some motivation for the person who is close to giving up! For that person who has doubt – whether they doubt themselves, doubt the system, doubt their trainer, doubt their capability to change, doubt their loved ones or doubt their faith. Let Perseverance FINISH it’s work in YOU.
It’s perseverance that develops you, grows you, matures you, and you can’t have perseverance if you give up.
Perseverance: noun \ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s\ Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.
Perseverance is not enduring something for nothing. It’s maintaining a continued effort for a prize. The prize may be tangible, the prize maybe self growth, the prize may be relief, the prize may be weight loss, the prize may be bigger stronger faith, but there WILL be a prize. Because of this, you can “consider all trials as joy because you KNOW that the testing of your faith produces perseverance ” (James 1:2-3). Perseverance produces changes you cannot experience any other way.
What perseverance IS (Synonyms):
- Keep on
- Carry on
- Keep trying
- Stick with it
What perseverance IS NOT (Antonyms)
- Give up
Are You a Survivalist or Warrior?
I believe there are different levels of perseverance. There is the kind where you just go into survival mode, and let life happen around you. You do the same things you did to get you to where you are, but you aren’t changing, you aren’t moving. And then there is the kind of perseverance where you are not just surviving, and avoiding the bombs going off around you, but you are at WAR – being proactive to fight the enemy and come out a winner. You are doing all you can do to do the right thing. You aren’t doing the bear minimum. You aren’t just trying to get by one more day. You are a fighter. You are trying to conquer ‘this’ – not just SURVIVE the battle, but WIN.
I challenge you to look deeply at why you are where you are. Whether your weight isn’t budging, or you are dealing with life issues, you may have more trials (and have to persevere longer than necessary) if you are just living in survival mode instead of warrior mode.