Category Archives: Mantras
Going to the gym doesn’t make you fit. Even doing an occasional intense workout doesn’t necessarily get you fit either. Your body needs a lot more than just regular gym attendance – it needs a healthy lifestyle. Being fit requires eating for fuel, giving your body the nutrients it needs to grow and repair. It requires discipline. You may need to say “No’ next time you are asked to go out when you know your body desperately needs rest. Your body needs ample fluids for healthy hydration and to help flush toxins. Your body needs good posture to relieve joints and to prevent injury. Sadly, there are a lot of people working hard in the gym to get fit, who are destroying their bodies as soon as they walk out the door.
Whether it’s eating junk food, smoking, drinking, not getting rest, allowing too much stress in your life or being in an unhealthy relationship, unhealthy choices can trump any good workout if you are not careful.
Sure, you might get stronger if you lift weights regularly, but you could still die of lung cancer if you smoke. You could still be at risk of diabetes and obesity related illness even if you do regular cardio, if you continue to eat healthy. Even if you workout, you can still be at risk for injury due to poor posture or tight muscles.
The bottom line is you can’t expect to pick and choose what you are willing to do to be fit and healthy. Being fit is something you work toward all day long. Decide to strive for the full package – healthy inside and out. Look healthy because you ARE healthy!
- Be STRONG: Lift weights regularly
- Be FIT: Challenge your cardiovascular system with regular cardio
- Be HEALTHY: Eat healthy food – you really are what you eat!
- Be FLEXIBLE: Remember to stretch tight muscles to prevent poor posture and injury.
- Be CALM: Meditate, pray and rest. Your body and mind needs quiet time too.
I’m going to tell you something that could save you hours in the gym and weeks of wasted work for little to no results? Ready? OK, here it goes: you can’t exercise the weight off. (allowing a pause here for every woman to shriek in pure horror and disappointment)
Don’t get me wrong. There are SOME people who start exercising and lose weight, but normally they are also trying to eat better too. OR, maybe they were extremely overweight and sedentary so their new active lifestyle was a very drastic change for them. Whatever the case, it’s rare and exercise can only get you so far when it comes to weight loss. Weight loss requires cutting back on the calories taken in, unless you want to run 5-10 miles a day to get in the 500-1000 calorie deficit that is required for weight loss.
Unfortunately, many people join a gym and hire a trainer in hopes of losing weight and rely on those 3 workouts a week to do all the work. I only WISH this worked! Being a trainer would be awesome, everyone would get results and the world would be a happy fit and trim place. But it just doesn’t work like that.
Think about it. Do you really expect a one hour workout to erase all the poor choices you make for the rest of the 23 hours in your day? Does that even make sense? However, many people are doing just that. They expect their 3-5 hours in the gym each week to erase all the extra calories they eat over the 168 hours a week. Do the math! 5 hours vs 168 hours. If we were gambling, I’m pretty sure we’d all bet on the 168 hours winning the fight.
“You can’t compete with what you eat”
Think of it this way. If 30 minutes on the treadmill only burns 300 calories, but you can eat a 300-calorie pastry in 5 minutes, can you see how that math will never work? (PS: 1 blueberry scone at Starbucks is 460 CALORIES!!) So for every 5 minutes of pastry-eating, you’d need to work 30 minutes on the treadmill? Yeah, that ain’t happening.
It doesn’t have to be poor choices either. Most people just eat too much. They may eat healthy, but they eat a LOT of healthy food. And, the more they workout, the more they mentally think they can afford to eat.
Of course I’m just using these examples to help you grasp the whole exercise vs diet concept, do don’t get freaked out. This is also written for people who need to lose weight. Maintenance mode is totally different. When you are maintenance mode you aren’t trying to be in a caloric deficit so you can eat more. I can order fries if I want to and I probably won’t gain weight because I’m in maintenance. Now, if I did it every day, that’s another thing! However, I keep my calories low throughout the day so I CAN cheat here and there and not gain weight. I may also do an extra cardio here or there to make up for any extra calories, but I never can be completely irresponsible for several days straight or I will blow up quick. ;)
Sadly, most people don’t want to give up their simple little pleasures – even for a much BIGGER and GREATER reward, like a fit and trim body. They feel like they “must have chocolate” or “can’t give up wine”. Maybe their goal is too far away that they don’t truly realize what that glass of wine or nightly ice cream is costing them. They don’t realize how fast they’d reach their goal if they just stuck to both diet and exercise.
So, to make themselves feel better they decide to exercise. Working out is awesome and you can absolutely get in better shape. You can have a firmer body, stronger muscles, better stamina and more energy BUT you may not lose one pound if you are burning as many calories as you are eating. Diet is required for weight loss.
The same way you can’t eat a bunch of protein and magically grow muscle, you have to make sure you are doing what is required to reach your goal. If you want to lose body fat and lose weight, you have to diet. If you want to get fit, you have to exercise. If you want a better health report, you probably need to do both. If you want to look fit, you need to do both.
Most people act as if they are in maintenance mode – exercising and eating whatever they want. However, most people need to be in weight loss mode, which is dieting and exercising. The sooner you do it right, the sooner you can be in maintenance mode – but just a thinner fitter you in maintenance mode!
TIP: The longer you put off dieting, the longer you put off results. Go ahead and start today! You can lose 8-12lbs in one month with a great low-cal diet and exercise program. Do the math! How much do you need to lose? Isn’t it worth a few weeks of discipline!? I think it is!! You’ll be SO glad you did! Otherwise, 5 years may fly by and you are still the same weight because you weren’t willing to work as hard in the kitchen as you were in the gym.
I can’t tell you how often I hear people make decisions based on past experience. “Last time I tried that, I got hurt”, “I joined a gym once and I never used it”, “I’ve always been overweight and I always will”, “I’ve never been able to do that”, “I’ve never been able to control myself”.
These are all past-tense statements that are currently affecting the present. So what if you’ve never been able to control yourself. So what if you’ve failed 100 times? It doesn’t mean you will fail this time.
Take all your past experiences and learn what you can from them and then start NEW. Make NEW decisions, not based on who you’ve BEEN but who you desire to BECOME.
Weak people get strong. Out of shape people get fit. People fall, and they learn to get back up and secure their footing. I’ve known SO many people who have joined every gym in town and finally started to learn how to use the gym and become a success. I’ve know people overweight alllll their life (fully convinced they just inherited fatness) get fit – and even get shredded with physiques that belong in fitness magazines!
For every person out there who has a darn good excuse why they are depressed, overweight, unhealthy, tired or has failed, there is a person in the same exact situation with the same exact past who is succeeding.
You can be whoever you want to be despite who you’ve been. Redefine yourself. Start today.
Here are 7 Tips to Redefining Yourself
1. Learn to Move Ahead: Decide to accept responsibility for where you are if it’s your fault, and decide to forgive someone else for what you’ve been through if it’s someone else’s fault (poor childhood, abuse, etc). You can’t move forward if you are still holding on to the past.
2. Look for Lessons: What have you learned from your mistakes? Is it possible you didn’t follow the last diet like you were supposed to? What did you do wrong last time you tried to reach a goal? Was the goal too high, or did you just not give it 100% effort? Be honest, search hard, reach deep, find answers.
3. Promise to Improve: Write the list of mistakes you need to avoid and promise to improve. Promise yourself you will not repeat the past. When you want to repeat a mistake, claim the new you saying “that was the OLD me!”, reminding yourself of who you are NOW and who you are BECOMING!
4. Try New Things: Many people don’t experience the fullness of life because they are afraid to try something new. They cling to what they know, even if what they know isn’t good for them. Step out of your comfort zone and decide to try things that you know will grow you, strengthen you and improve you. (This is something I struggle with. I am working on stepping out of my comfortable safe box. It’s scary, but I know it will be rewarding.)
5. Train Your Brain: As Joyce Meyer says “where your mind goes, your body follows“. As SOOOON as you think a negative thought, you have to stop that thought and replace it with a positive one (or at least replace it with a truth you can hold on to). You have control of your thoughts – and if you don’t, they will control you. How we think is practiced, so we must practice right thinking. Take charge of your thought life and you will take control of your life. As soon as your mind says “I’m too tired to workout”, remind yourself “I always feel better after a workout”. If you think “I feel so weak”, remind yourself “but I am doing everything I can to get stronger”. Tell yourself “that was the OLD me, the new ME doesn’t think like that anymore”.
If you focus on your goals, you lose sight of your limitations. If you focus on your limitations, you lose sight of your goals.
6. Take Your Mind Off Yourself: The more we think about our own issues, flaws, shortcomings, problems, limitations, etc., the bigger obstacles they seem. There is a reason we say “focus on your goals” and “keep focused”, because we (trainers) know that when you focus on something, everything else gets out of focus, they grow dim, they blur out. If you focus on your goals, you lose sight of your limitations. If you focus on your limitations, you lose sight of your goals. However, when you look at your goal, and look at other people reaching their goals, you realize how little excuse you have. When I see one of our members rolling her wheelchair through the gym, or a overweight member hitting the elliptical for 45 minutes, all my lame excuses to skip cardio pale in comparison.
7. Rely on Science, not Hopes: Fitness isn’t like the lottery, where you play in hopes of winning. No, fitness is science. It works – period. Science doesn’t just work for one person and not another. If you aren’t getting results, there’s a reason. You have part of the equation off. Don’t keep doing the same thing hoping to get a better result. Find people who are getting results and do exactly what they are doing. I don’t know how often someone asks me what I do to stay fit and as soon as I talk about diet, they tune me out. They were hoping I told them about a new exercise or a magical piece of equipment. However, if they wanted to eat what I eat and do what I’m doing, they’d get the same exact results. It’s just science. Celebrate it! Learn more about it. You are your own science project – keep experimenting until you get the result you want!
Bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter what road you have traveled, what matters is what road you are on now. Get on the path to success!
Yesterday I saw a post from one of our struggling future first-time competitors in our private Bikini Boot Camp group on facebook. She has been totally rocking, her body is leaning out, she looks amazing, but since life happens (and all the junk that comes with it), she got a wave of doubt and began to lose motivation. So she reached out to the rest of the girls for encouragement.
It just so happened I already had created this quote for today’s blog, so I shared it with her (and the rest of the girls) along with this note. After I posted it, I decided I’d share some of it with you in hopes of giving you some encouragement too.
“This goes out to all the girls out there struggling, feeling weak, unmotivated, tired, sore, hungry, grumpy, teary-eyed, frustrated, full of doubt…
You can do this! This isn’t just about getting a hot body. It’s about being YOUR best! It’s about being healthy, taking care of the body God gave you. We all have “weak” friends, family members and people who NEED us to be STRONG for THEM! This isn’t just about you, it’s about who you can be for everyone you love and everyone who loves you. The happier you are, the better mom, wife, friend, co-worker, neighbor you are. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else – because you can’t give something away that you don’t have to begin with.
“the hour you spend in the gym, makes you a better you the other 23 hours a day”
At first glance, you may feel your time in the gym is selfish – that it’s selfish to work so hard on “you”. But, TRUST ME. The hour you spend in the gym, makes you a better you the other 23 hours a day. You need this. Your kids need it. They need a strong mommy! Your husband needs a confident woman who feels as sexy as your husband sees you. Your friends need it. People are more likable when they feel good about themselves.
Strength goes beyond the gym – WAY beyond the gym. What you do in the gym creates an outward reflection of the discipline you are learning to apply in your life, to control your flesh and not let the world beat you up so you can be the best you you can be. Showing others you don’t have to give in to the Biggie Size temptations of this Biggie Size world. You CAN’T give up! People depend on you. It’s not just about your success, your success has the potential to impact every single one of your friends who are watching you and thinking “if she can do it, maybe I can too”.
YOU are a walking testimony for everything you believe in. It can be a good testimony or a bad one – that’s up to you.
Personally, I want to be a positive reflection of everything I believe in. I don’t want to teach my friends to give up on fitness, marriage, family, goals, career, God or anything else I truly believe in. There are people who depend on my success to motivate them to just even try. I want to encourage people to keep trying and to never give up – and that starts with ME not giving up. Who you can impact starts with YOU never giving up.
The hard work in the gym and kitchen is nothing compared to the victory you will have KNOWING you GAVE IT YOUR ALL, and that your all impacted people around you to give THEIR all. No one will EVER be able to take that away from you.
Now, let’s take things up a notch and act like the STRONG WOMEN I know each of you are! Let’s DO THIS! Can I hear an AMEN!?!?!?! <3
Let’s commit to lifting each other up, helping people stay encouraged and pressing on toward their goal! Lift Someone Up Today! Share this post if your friends need encouragement on their fitness journey! :)
MORE STRENGTH & ENCOURAGEMENT COMING TOMORROW!
It’s easy to think that freedom makes us happy. We think if we can eat whatever we want, when we want it, that it will satisfy something in us. It will be “fun”. But, the consequences outweigh the pleasure. So then you have to ask yourself “is it really worth having “fun” for 30 minutes, tasting whatever it is that temporarily satisfies a craving, if you are miserable the rest of the day?” I think not.
We would all be much better off if we really looked at what makes us truly happy. Maybe we need to even redefine “fun”. I don’t know about you, but I’m happiest when I am doing the right thing, when I’m practicing self-control and when I’m living a life that makes me proud. I have “fun” when I feel good about myself, when I feel good in my clothes, when I’m confident, when I’m strong, when I feel healthy, when I am comfortable in my own skin. When I feel good, I don’t need food to have fun, life is just more fun.
On the contrary, when I let my eating go out of control, I am grumpy. Nothing is fun. I feel bad about myself, I don’t fit in clothes, I don’t want to go shopping, I don’t want to dress up, I avoid cameras, I don’t want to go to the beach and be seen in a bikini. I hide. I retreat. I pout. I feel sorry for myself. And, I eat. Because that is what I do. Feed my lazy fat sorrows. Then I get fat enough (yes, I can fluctuate 10-15lbs if I let myself) to get mad enough to get back on the wagon and take back control. Then I start having a more lasting fun, a more steady happiness – from just plain out being healthier and more disciplined.
So, while I may not be able to say all my workouts are all that “fun”, and I may miss regular doses of my favorite foods, feeling healthy and getting results makes me MUCH happier than any meal could make me feel for a moment. (Note: I said regular doses of my favorite foods. This means I can still treat myself occasionally but I’m not eating whatever I want all the time.)
It is truly ridiculous that we would let the taste of food or a “fun” food-filled experience ruin the taste of success and becoming our very best. No one thing should have that much power over anyone.
Will I have an occasional taco or pizza! YES, will I let food control me? NO! Food is not the boss of me. I will NOT let it get in the way of my health and my success! Will you?
I’ve spoken to so many people who apologize for being weak. They say stuff like “I knew I was weak, but I didn’t realize just how out of shape I really was” or “I’m so sorry I am unable to keep up“. Or they say stuff like “I can’t” because they believe they are not supposed to experience such weakness. The truth is “THEY CAN”, but it’s going to be hard. Unfortunately, people often walk away with their head hanging, discouraged at their bodies difficulty to perform the way they had hoped – feeling like a failure, instead of realizing their need for weakness.
PICK YOUR CHIN UP! If you are doing what you are supposed to, you should feel weakness. You HAVE to feel weakness in order to get stronger.
If I bang out 12 overhead presses with ease, I am not getting stronger. I am only demonstrating my EXISTING strength. That’s when I know I need to add weight. When I do 12 reps, but the last 4-5 are really challenging to finish (and maybe the last 1 or 2 seem nearly impossible), THAT’s when I’m changing my body.
This principle applies in many ways. For example, you don’t become a better musician by continuing to play music you have already mastered. You get better by trying more difficult pieces. If you can finish the piece without a mistake, you are not challenging yourself enough. If you are not challenging yourself, you are not improving. You are simply performing. You MUST fail before you succeed. Sadly, no one likes to fail. So, as a result, many people avoid failure (or experiencing any kind of weakness) at all cost – and only do what they are currently good at and currently strong enough to handle.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan
I don’t like extreme cardio. I do Kickboxing and LiveXFit because I know I need it. Feel free to take a class with me, or follow me online at LiveExercise to see for yourself – I can GUARANTEE you will see me reach failure (and it ain’t pretty!). However, I do it because I know it will make me stronger, better and healthier. I’d prefer to run, but I can already run. I’d prefer to rest more between exercises, but that won’t improve my cardio and conditioning. So I huff and puff my way through each workout, just hoping I can make it through.
Do I enjoy failing? Do I enjoy feeling weak? NO! I hate it, BUT I realize it’s a requirement for getting stronger. If I want to get stronger, I have to experience those weak moments.
So, celebrate your weakness. Celebrate reaching failure as long as you don’t give up! It’s in that weakness you are made stronger. :)
While you may read this title and clearly realize this is not how the world normally works, many people often live life by doing as little as they can get away with – and there is no better example than with fitness.
People typically decide to start with the bare minimum. They may start exercising 2 days a week, to see if they can get results on a minimal investment. Of course, two days a week is enough to improve physical health, but it normally isn’t enough to see major results. Most people want twice the results with half the effort. Then they are let down and they realize they are missing something.
After they realize the bare bones minimum doesn’t work, they may up going to 3 days a week. Then, when that doesn’t work, they add more cardio more workouts.
When someone is working out as much as they can, they finally may get to the point they realize they may need to change how they are spending the rest of their time out of the gym. This is when they may decide to add protein shakes or supplements. They may even be ready to give up some of their bad eating habits.
I’m not suggesting fitness is no fun, and that you are to be miserable or starving to get big results – but, what I am suggesting is not trying to see how much you you can get away with. Instead, see how much you can do right. Sadly, we have the tendency to have the same mentality with our marriages, friendships and jobs too.
Let’s decide to see how much we can do RIGHT this year, instead of how much we can still do wrong and get away with it. Because, I tell you the truth, we rarely will be able to get away with much without consequences anyway. So, instead of adding guilt and shame to your pile of mess ups, just minimize your mess ups from the get go! :) You are worth the effort, worth the investment, worth the results!
Does someone become an olympic athlete by practicing the most difficult trick? No. A gymnist will start with a forward roll on the ground before they advance to cartwheels, round-offs and flips. They have to do what they CAN do first. Then they advance, onc small challenge at a time.
This is how our workouts are. If someone can’t do a military push up, they start on their knees. They may not even complete the movement in full range, but they do what they can, going deeper and deeper (with better and better form) each time they “practice it”.
If I had a dime for every boot camper, or member, who said they never DREAMED they’d be doing what they are doing now – I’d be filthy stinkin’ RICH! Sadly, many people don’t even begin to try because they don’t see what’s possible. All they see is the impossible.
Be encouraged! Don’t think about all the things you CAN do, just do what you can – and eventually, over time, you will be doing things you never thought possible!!
Happy 2014 everyone!! I hope you enjoyed my 31 Days of Motivation. More motivation to come!
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge
TD Jakes once said (in a church service) “there is probably more talent in this audience than is on this stage, but they lack commitment”. I think of all the people I know who could have been pro athletes or music super stars, but are secret hidden talents because they lacked commitment and persistence.
Some of the best champions are not THE best, they are just the ones that refuse to give up – and the same goes with fitness. There are people who are in the gym DAILY and trying to watch what they eat DAILY – and even though they fail, their determination not quit brings them to success eventually. Better yet, they can be MORE successful than the toughest chick in the gym, or the most disciplined competitor, IF they are more consistent and committed.
BE ENCOURAGED!! Persistence trumps one day of strength. Never give up.
Bring Your Gym Bag, Your Muscles AND Your Brain
When I show someone an exercise, I believe it’s important to tell that person what we are working, why that exercise is working that muscle group, and how they can make the most of that particular exercise to get the results they want. Not only will they understand the importance of that exercise, and know how to do it correctly, they will be more motivated to do it when they understand what it will do for them.
Sure, I could easily just point to a machine and have them go through the motions. Shoot, if I did that, they’d HAVE to keep coming back to me for help. Maybe other people consider that good job security. Some trainers have the mentality of, “don’t teach them anything, or they might go off and do it themselves”. But, if I just told people what to do, although it may change their body, it won’t change their mind.
Here’s my philosophy. People need a mind make-over. People need more than guidance, they need education. They need to make better decisions when no one is around to tell them what to do. The more a trainer empowers people with knowledge, the more lives they can change. The more success stories, the better their reputation will be – that THEY were the one that helped so many people reach their goals.
Sadly, some people just don’t want to learn. Often times people resort to short cuts or programs that tell you what to do because they don’t want to think for themselves. While joining a program that directs you is a good thing, beware of spending hours being told what to do without learning anything. Don’t be afraid to think, to try to understand, to invest time and energy in learning.
We are supposed to LEARN from our hard work. Dedication and discipline is supposed to challenge us, grow us and teach us how to persevere and overcome obstacles. Don’t look for short cuts, look for the right path – no matter how long or hard it looks. The right path is where you will learn the most, and you’ll learn how to stay on track once you get there!
Don’t look for shortcuts, sometimes the hardest routes teach us the most!
14 Quotes to Motivate You to Work Hard in ’14!
- The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work. Thomas A. Edison
- Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Peter Drucker
- Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich
- Enjoy your sweat because hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but without it you don’t have a chance. Alex Rodriguez
- Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. Sam Ewing
- Talent in cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Stephen King
- Young people are threatened… by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire. Pope John Paul II
- For every two minutes of glamour, there are eight hours of hard work. Jessica Savitch
- All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. Thomas J. Watson
- You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. Alan Alda
- Temporary success can be achieved in spite of lack of other fundamental qualities, but no advancements can be maintained without hard work. William Feather
- No great achiever – even those who made it seem easy – ever succeeded without hard work. Jonathan Sacks
- Opportunity looks a lot like hard work. Ashton Kutcher
- A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell