Category Archives: Encouragement
Don’t Throw It All Away
I have met so many people, on the successful end of their fitness journey, who once had a story of failure. Time after time, I’ve heard stories of how people didn’t stick to a diet, how fitness didn’t work for them, how they wasted a gym membership, quit a program, lost weight only to gain it right back, gave up, quit or failed. And then, they made that decision to give it another try – and they succeeded!
My mom tried every diet in the book over a 30 year span, resulting in one failure after another. Today, she stands tall and proud, 100lbs lighter – and has KEPT it off for several years. BUT, what if she never kept trying? What if she decided she was doomed for failure? Do you think she, or any of the people around her who knew she had a history of being on a life-long diet, believed THIS would be IT? I don’t even know if she believed she could do it when she started, but she started anyway.
Ready for Success
What makes someone succeed THIS time? As much as I’d love to believe it’s our awesome training, our BCx Boot Camp or our gym, they cannot be successful until YOU are ready to be successful.
One, I think you have to let go completely of all your selfish desires. You have to decide that the heavy you, and how you were used to living, is dead and gone – and a new improved you requires drastic change. After you let go of what you think your body wants (food, laziness, not to “miss out” on “living”, etc), then you can focus on what you really want – and what that requires. Once you get your head in the game, you have to commit to it. You have decide you are not stopping no matter how rough it is, how slow it is, and how frustrated you get. Sometimes, you have to purposefully be reminded of where that old destructive path led you.
Strip Away the Old You
I believe you have to get SO sick of the old you, that you realize there is no other choice. Something’s gotta change – and the only thing that YOU can change, is YOU. You realize all your old ways brought you to this ugly place. You recognize the destruction. You acknowledged the unhappiness it has caused. Once those things are very real to you, then you embrace change. You welcome the stripping of flesh, lies and comforts. Once covered with excuses, now you are “naked” and exposed for who you really are and what you have really been allowing in your life that needs to go. You confess (admit) that maybe you have been doing things wrong and that it’s nobody else’s fault. Then, and only then, can you start working on you. You will welcome the clothing of everything healthy. You will be excited about your “2nd, 3rd, or 99th chance” to change – and once you put those healthy things into your life, you realize how good it feels do treat your body right and to do what is right. Then, when you start getting results (which you will) you will never want to go back.
Once you have gone through the mental preparation that success requires, you are ready to show up. You will still have doubt. You will still have temptations. You will wonder what is on the other side, and wonder if this time will be different. You will likely fight the old you every day in some way. BUT, if you keep showing up, you WILL win.
As I reflect on my 19th Wedding Anniversary, I think of all the days we didn’t know what was next. We didn’t know if “this time” it would be better. We didn’t know if we could succeed. BUT we decided to keep showing up. We’ll never forget a scene in a TV show where the main character asked his boss, who was celebrating his anniversary, what the secret to his marriage was and he said “I just keep showing up”. This is not just the case in marriage, but it is the case in fitness – and many other areas of our lives. It became our motto.
There will be many days we don’t want to go to the gym. There will be numerous days we don’t want to do the same job, be married to the same man, or even live the same life. We all have days we don’t want to “show up”, BUT you also never know if the next time you show up, it will be the beginning of success.
Like a dieter who failed 100 times, or the gym member that quit too many times to count, the NEXT time may be the BEST time – and you will NEVER know, if you don’t show up.
Thank you Steve for continuing to show up, even when you didn’t feel like it. Thank you for teaching me to never give up – on us, on fitness and on life. Happy Anniversary!
When you think of starting a diet or workout routine, you should not just think about starting the WORK. You should think about starting the RESULTS.
You immediately start benefiting from fitness as soon as you begin. You don’t have to wait until you’ve reached your goal weight to “cash in”. You will begin to feel more energized, better, healthier, stronger, leaner, more confident, and proud – just after a few days of consistent healthy living. Unfortunately, in our little pea-brains, all we can see is the work. And, that work is SO big to us, it temporarily overshadows the even GREATER rewards waiting for us on the other side.
The next time you even think about putting off a diet or workout, remember: You are not just putting off the work – you are putting off the results. Don’t you want to start enjoying results today?
Sundays are the days I really reflect on my prior week – what i did, what I didn’t do, what I want to do better, what I have to change. I think about the things that need to be removed, and the things that need to be added. This requires me to strip away the flesh (the skin, muscle, clothing, make-up & appearance) and think about what is underneath it all. Then I ask myself, “what needs work?” Of course, my answer is a loooong list, but I know the things I need to tackle first – I think we all do.
However, if we don’t stop to purposefully analyze our life and give ourself a little spiritual “check up”, it is so easy to let the days slip by, the problems build up and our soul deteriorate. Just in the same way our muscles deteriorate when neglected – so does our relationship with God when we neglect Him.
The question for me today was “Are you where God wants you to be?”
Am I doing what God called me to do?
Am I being obedient – in the big and the small things?
Am I ignoring Him?
Do I even know what I am supposed to be doing?
Am I giving Him enough time in my week to even let me know?
These are all things I am reflecting on today, and just wanted to share my thoughts with you. While we are on a quest for physical fitness, we should want to improve all areas of our lives – not just our body. I don’t know about you, but I have a LOT of work to do! :)
Have a great and reflective Sunday!
Since many of our BCx workouts are timed workouts, with short bursts of intense exercise, one thing I say often is “You can do anything for 60 seconds”. That is because, when I was in boot camp, those were the words I held on to. I knew, no matter how bad it hurt, how winded I was, or how weak I felt, I could do anything for 60 seconds.
Of course, when THAT 60 seconds was done, I had to do another 60 seconds of something just as brutal – but at least it was something different. And, I knew, once again, I could endure THAT for 60 seconds too.
1 Out of 24
The pain is evidence of change. If we can look past the immediate discomfort and focus on the other 23 hours of freedom, where we get to bask in the results of our hard work, we can clearly see that the small amount of time in the gym is a small sacrifice for what we get out of it.
Honestly, 1 hour, out of the 24 hours God gave us, is not that much to ask. AND it’s not work without pay. It’s work with BIG pay. THAT’S the reality.
“But It’s Hard”
BUT (Yes, here’s the “but”), we often get too wrapped up in the immediate pain and fatigue. We feel sorry for ourselves, we think about how rough we have it – how hard workouts are, how hard it is to lose weight, how sore we are, how fat we feel, how hard we work, how tired we are, how many responsibilities we have, how everyone else seems to have it easier, and we think of just about everything else besides this one fact: As much as this sucks, quitting sucks more.
The repercussions of quitting hurts. You know that commercial that says “depression hurts“, well so does fat. Fat hurts. Being unhealthy hurts. Feeling weak hurts. Injury due to weak and tight muscles hurts. Aging and muscle deterioration hurts. Losing confidence hurts. Losing mobility hurts. Losing independence due to health hurts. Feeling like a failure because you truly failed and gave up hurts. All the repercussions to quitting on yourself, and your health, hurts way more than the worst workout you have ever had.
Next time you feel like giving up. Whether you are just tired of trying to lose weight and you can’t seem to get it right, or you want to quit your workout program because it’s too hard, NEVER forget that QUITTING will hurt you even more.
How much time and money have you wasted on trying the newest gadget, supplement, pill, bar, shake and diet that didn’t deliver or last anyway? We’ve all done it. We try the easiest way first. Then, when that doesn’t work, we try the next easy thing. But, after you’ve tried 10-20 short cuts, you finally resort to fitness. Yes, you finally try eat right and exercise. After you finally get results, you realize you could have saved a lot of time and money if you just lost the weight the right way the first time around.
So, essentially, exercise and diet IS the short cut. It’s the best way to get results fast – and to maintain those results. Sure, it’s not the easiest way, but not all short cuts are easy – but they can still be fast.
My mom tried everything in the book. She tried diet pills, diet programs, diet support groups, acupuncture – you name it, she tried it. She even tried to Jazzercise off the weight. Finally, in her fifties, she finally decided it was time to LEARN the right way to eat and exercise. She realized she had relied on gimmicks and rules for weight loss, not knowledge. It took some time and energy to learn everything she needed to do, but it worked.
She finally learned to eat smart, and not diet. She learned how to exercise right, and manage her weight by understanding the checks and balances of her body. She lost 100lbs. At 60 she finally got the results she’s always wanted.
Don’t be tempted to put fitness off as a last resort. It should be the first thing you try, not the last.
Here is my mom in 2003, before she tackled her weight, and now (with my dad) at the gym. So proud of both my parents. My dad put on 25lbs of muscle over the last 10 years, and they workout and run together on a regular basis. They may have waited until their late 50s to get fit, but they have successfully reinvented themselves and are living the fit life in their 60s! They prove it’s never too late to do it right! Love you guys!!!!!!
“If you really care, act like it”
If you want to be a runner, act like it. If you want to lose weight, act like it. That really is all that is required to become what you want to become. Being the person you want to be requires acting like the person you want to become. And even if you don’t look like that person YET, you will – as long as you keep acting like it.
You Got This
Someone recently asked me how to become a runner. My answer was “start running”. Of course I don’t expect them to run 3 miles straight, but they have to TRY. A new runner runs as long as their body is physically capable. Then they will have to walk and catch their breath. Then they’ll go right back to running as long as they can until they have to walk again. Basically, they are interval training – rotating high-intensity running with low-intensity walking. The more they do it, the less they’ll walk and the more they’ll run. Before they know it, they are running non-stop.
When did they become a runner? In my eyes, they became a runner the minute they started trying. A runner practices running. It doesn’t matter how good they are at it. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow they are. A runner is someone who dedicates time to run. That’s it.
The same goes with a weight-lifter or a fitness enthusiast. There is no minimum requirement of how much you have to lift or how often you have to go to the gym. You are more fit the moment you begin to make fitness a part of your life. To me, fitness is a verb, not a noun. It’s a work in progress. It doesn’t matter how much body fat you have right now, it doesn’t matter how much muscle you have. It doesn’t matter how weak or out of shape you feel. What matters is you act like what you want to become. You keep showing up. You keep running, lifting weights, doing yoga, training, practicing, becoming…
If you act fit, you will BE fit. Plain and simple. Starting acting like who you want to be today. Be proud of who you are NOW – because you know who you are becoming!
Do you remember the show, “Let’s Make a Deal“? This was the game show where a contestant is given a prize, like a TV, and then has the option to trade that prize for another prize. The catch? The other prizes are a mystery. It could be bigger and better, or could be a total disappointment. Since the pressure can be too difficult to handle, some contestants choose to keep what they have.
I think this is how we treat our life many times. We choose our current situation, no matter how bad it is, because we hate the unknown even more.
The unknown is scary and being out of control is no fun, but those two things go hand in hand with change. Change requires letting go and taking a leap of faith. Unfortunately, no matter how uncomfortable you may be right this minute, no matter how fat you feel, how tight your pants are, how bad your last doctor’s visit was, or how unhealthy and out of shape you feel, you STILL may not be ready for change.
Who’s In Control?
Ironically, people will choose to stay in their current yucky condition over getting healthy simply because they don’t like being out of control. Sadly, the person who thinks they are in control (and thinks they can eat whatever they want and do what they want) is the most out of control person of all. They have no control of their body compared to the someone who puts restrictions on what they eat and do. The person who has the most control is the person practicing self-control.
You see, you have 2 choices. You can control your body, or you can let your body control you. We are in a constant battle with our flesh. Our body will always want to be lazy and eat for pleasure. But, our mind knows better. We have goals in life. We know we can’t allow our body to do whatever it wants without experiencing repercussions. The problem is, the satisfaction of the temporary pleasure may currently outweigh the repercussions – until the repercussions get so uncomfortable you can’t take it anymore.
“You will be ready for change when you get to the point when your consequences of your actions outlast the pleasure of them.”
Like many repercussions of poor decisions, they build slowly. People don’t get obese overnight. A marriage rarely goes from happy to miserable in one day. Bad situations normally come from many bad decisions. In addition to bad decisions, bad situations become even more difficult because many people often ignore them. As if it’s not bad enough to make poor decisions, now you pretend your bad situation doesn’t exist.
Of course you WANT it to be better, but when you aren’t doing anything to help your situation, you are basically just HOPING it gets better on it’s own. Listen, whether you are struggling in your marriage, struggling with your weight or in your workplace, it will not get better on its own. Change requires work, even if all you can work on is you. Whatever your circumstance is, if it is not ideal, you need to be diligent and relentless to create enough change to make it better.
It’s time to surrender the “uncomfortable known” for the unknown and trade being IN control for being OUT of control – because often times the unknown will be much more comfortable than the known, and you will find there is much more freedom when you are willing to give up control and let go. Today’s the day to take a leap of faith.
Interestingly enough, fitness is not unknown. While many of your experiences along the way to getting fit may be unknown to you, your destination (being healthy) is very known. It’s a sure thing. Unlike “Let’s Make a Deal”, you know what you’ll get if you choose the healthy path. Yes, you will have to give up something, just like the contestants on the show, but does what you currently hold really outweigh the prize of health and having a fit body?
It’s time to “Make a Deal”. It’s time to trade your old ways and old body for a new and improved you – the best known prize of all.
Today’s blog was inspired by “Devotionary, a Devotion with Meaning” by Pastor Bob Coy
Why do you train? Sometimes that is a question we have to not only ask ourselves when we start a workout program, but we have to ask ourselves that over and over again on our journey. Why? Because we get off track. We often start with a clear and specific goal in mind. It’s normally very simple. We want to be better. We want to be a better version of our old self.
Then, as we pursue that goal, we tend to get off track. We begin to compare ourselves to others. We can easily begin to see what we are not, instead of what we’ve become. Sometimes this can make us push harder. For many, it can do the opposite. We can become discouraged or overwhelmed. Sometimes we can become obsessed.
I encourage you to step back. Look at why you started this. Look at how far you’ve come. Look at the big picture. You are not a better woman, mom, worker, friend, spouse or neighbor if you hold a trophy. No trophy, prize or title makes you better. Being better than someone else doesn’t make you better. Being better than the old you makes you better. That’s what makes you a success. Your greatest accomplishment is beating your own records and accomplishing new goals. THAT makes you a winner.
There is no greater reward than a healthier you. There is nothing better than feeling stronger than you did a few weeks ago, leaner than you’ve been in a long time, healthier than you ever thought possible.
YOU are your reward.
YOU are your prize.
You know how much I value fitness, and how much I believe we should take care of our body and work to be the very best we can be. That will never change. However, how silly would it be to work so hard to be fit for this world and neglect our soul?
As a fitness professional and a Christian, I cannot help but think of the people who I have helped get in the shape of their life, but missed the opportunity to help them get in shape for eternity. I believe in heaven. If you don’t, I will hopefully continue to help you on your journey to be the most physically fit you can be. However, I will personally still strive to work on both my body and my spirit because I don’t want to just work to better myself for earth, but I want to be ready for heaven – and I know God doesn’t look at my body, He looks at my heart.
Today is a special day. It’s Easter. For me, that has nothing to do with bunnies and everything to do with heaven. God sent his son to die on a cross for me – and for you. He did that because He knew we could never be truly fit for heaven. We needed a Savior, and all we have to do is believe (if only being physically fit were that easy!) I do believe. I believe that with all my heart and today I celebrate. I celebrate a God who loves me despite all my stupid ways. A God who loves me like a father loves his daughter – unconditionally.
If you are spending a lot of time on sculpting your physique and improving your health, that says a lot. It means you care about your future. It is SO easy to focus on what we see in the mirror and forget what lies underneath our skin. I struggle with this daily. It’s not like i look in the mirror and go “Oh my gosh! I’ve GOT to get rid of that envy and pride”. No, I see body fat and physical flaws – but I have more work to do beyond what I see in the mirror.
This Easter, I challenge you to think about eternity and your spiritual fitness. We will never be perfect, but we can always be better.