Category Archives: Encouragement
You know the saying “that was a shot in the arm”? We use that saying when talking about needing boost, or an injection of encouragement. Well, how about a shot in the leg? That works too! How do we know? Because Steve was accidentally shot 2 weeks ago (through both thighs) and, just like a shot in the arm kills a virus, that 40 caliber hollow point bullet was exactly what the Good Doctor ordered. It was what Steve needed to close out 2013, and that chapter in his life, and get ready to write a new chapter.
Ready, Aim, FIRE!
On December 13th, I had just arrived at the Melbourne hospital to visit my Uncle Mac, when I got the call. It was Steve, and he said “Hi baby. Umm, I got shot”. The fact that he is talking to me is a good thing right? I asked him to repeat himself just in case I misunderstood, but he confirmed what I heard was correct. I was an hour away and was about to take the longest road trip home ever.
Now, you could look at this accident as really bad luck, or you can look at this from God’s view and try to figure out what in the world God is trying to teach you. We choose view #2, and boy did God have a lot to show us both.
Like my grandmother always said, “It’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s how you respond to what happens to you that matters most”. Sadly, there are people who get shot every day, but they are too busy trying to figure out who to sue when they could be focusing on what they are supposed to learn from the experience – which could be far more valuable than any settlement they could get.
How’s a gunshot for a little motivation?
Of course getting shot is not something that happens to people every day, but there are many other more common things that can happen to you that can really change your life if you LET it. Your “bullet” could be a heart attack, a breakup, a layoff, or a health issue. The key to success following something like that is looking inward. If you have a heart attack, what do you need to change to strengthen your heart? If it’s a breakup, what can you improve on to be a better mate? If it’s being laid off or a health issue, do you need to be a harder worker or be a better steward of the body God gave you? Even if whatever you are experiencing has NOTHING to do with you and is totally unfair, you can still choose to figure out what you can learn from the experience. That’s what Steve and I did, and what could have turned out to be one of the worst Christmas’ ever turned out to be one of the most special of all.
Here’s Steve’s story, complete with photos and what happened that day…
To everyone who is ready for a new year and a new life. Happy New Year everyone!! 2014 can be your year to change too!
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.
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
When I think of what fitness is and how someone gets fit and stays fit, it’s painfully obvious it has little to do with how athletic they are. Fitness has little to do with abilities, coordination, strength or stamina BUT it has EVERYTHING to do with the BRAIN. Success begins in the noggin.
You don’t have to be Einstein to get results (thank the LORD, because I’d be DOOMED!), but you do need to get your brain fit before you can get your body fit. The problem is, people are working on getting their body healthy but their mind is still sick.
Sure, you have to burn calories and you have to do work to get results, but many people let their mind sabotage their body – when they have very capable bodies to get the results they want. I have witnessed people doing “less work” than another person, or lifting less weight than another, and getting amazing results. Why? It’s not because their body is in better shape (often times they are more out of shape) – it’s because they aren’t letting their mind get in the way of their body’s success. They keep showing up and giving THEIR 100% – no matter what that is. Read the rest of this entry
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.
Since it’s Halloween, I’ve been reflecting on masks. Although I don’t really celebrate Halloween and rarely dress up, I’ve had various occasions where I had to wear a costume. Steve and I have dressed up as Jethro and Ellie May, Barbie and Ken, Robin Hood and Maid Marian, and one year I went with a group of girls as Charlie’s Angels (Yes, I played Farrah! complete with HUGE fly backs and a plastic gun! lol).
I never played a real action hero though. I have to admit, I’d like to be Wonder Woman in real life. Then I got to thinking how many people put on their super hero mask every day. I think we all do it to some degree. But, if everyone really knew what everyone looked like without their mask, they’d be encouraged and discover we are all human.
Sadly, people often don’t expose their flaws in fear of people tearing them down even more. Although I do share some of my own personal struggles and my distaste for exercise sometimes, I still have plenty of junk still underneath my own “mask”. We all do. I just want to encourage you today to know that everyone around you, everyone you think has their crap together, still has issues. And if they don’t have them now, they’ve had them before. You aren’t alone.
You may feel you are the only one struggling with whatever you are struggling with. It could be weight loss, sugar addiction, alcoholism, abuse, family matters, friendship issues, illness, financial problems, marital strife, business stress, depression or loneliness. Don’t think for a minute you are alone. Don’t think for a moment that the person working out next to you SO wants to quit just like you do – they just have a better disguise.
A lot of people hide their unhealthy life with a healthy looking physique.
In the fitness business, I believe a lot of people hide their unhealthy life with a healthy looking physique. They can’t control their feelings, or their circumstance, so they work hard to at least control their body. I don’t even really think this is necessarily wrong, I think it’s normal to some degree. We find peace in knowing we can control some parts of our life. But, honestly, much of life is out of our hands. We can get let go, left, hurt, let down, cussed out, rejected, lied to and hated on – and never even really deserve it. My warning is, don’t HIDE in the gym and HIDE behind fitness. It’s great to workout and be healthy, but not to the point where you are neglecting your mental health or family’s health. It might make you feel better temporarily, but like a mask, it’s not real and it’s not permanent.
Don’t run from life’s problems. They will always find you no matter where you go. You are only human, and having problems is expected. Making mistakes is part of life. Forgive yourself and forgive others, and then begin to strip away the mask you made to hide your junk. I bet you will be amazed to find your life not only encourages others, but you find more people out there just like you or have been where you are. :)
Besides! There’s no reason to wear a mask, we all have a little super hero inside us somewhere.
When I saw Helena’s Quote, I was like “YES!”. That is SO true! Anyone can be beautiful, it just takes work. STOP!!! Before I go a word further, let me reassure you, I am not talking about make-up. I am not talking about how much money you spend on your hair, having a perfect body or about having good genes. The beauty I am talking about goes deeper than the skin.
First, let’s talk about emotional beauty. When you think of someone beautiful, you think of someone standing tall and confident. You probably don’t picture someone hunched over and insecure. So, first, beauty starts within. Of course, not everyone has a rosy life. Some people are still attending the school of hard knocks – BUT you don’t have to let those moments define you. You LEARN from the school of hard knocks, you don’t grab a dorm and move in permanently.
If you are struggling emotionally, seek help to rebuild your spirit and to heal so you your light can shine again.
Second, let’s talk about your effort to take care of yourself. Don’t get me wrong, if your husband loves you best with no makeup, go for it! But, that doesn’t mean go ditch the hairspray and toothbrush too! There is a certain level of love we should have for ourselves that we should maintain. Not a vain selfish love, but a caring love for the body God gave us. Not only that, we should think about the effort we put in our appearance to GET our sweetheart, and continue to put in that much effort to keep him or her.
If you are neglecting your health, your body, your well-being, you are not being your best. Not only that, it’s hard to work on our emotional health while neglecting our body. When we start to work on our best and make improvements, confidence follows. This helps us work on the first topic of standing proud and tall. Then we actually feel physically better. THEN we look better because we feel better. THEN we look forward to presenting ourselves as our very best because we know we are valuable and special.
Lastly, let’s talk about the physical appearance. Once you are feeling better, inside and out, we shouldn’t neglect our appearance. I don’t mean you need to get plastic surgery if you hate your nose. I mean powder that nose and make the best with what you have. 90% of beauty is not the make-up you put on, or the muscles you sculpt, it’s the way you present yourself to the mirror and to the world. Beauty is a reflection of your heart, and the effort you put into making the most of the life God gave you. The make-up, hair and dress is just the ribbon on top of the present (and you ARE a valuable prize!).
If you wash you car, clean your house, polish your furniture and mow your yard, then why would you neglect your body? Maybe you have put everyone else first. Maybe you have struggled with being too vain (believe me, I’ve struggled with that one too!). Maybe you feel like there’s no hope for you. Maybe you’ve gained too much weight, are too old or have too many problems. Let me tell you right now, some of the most beautiful people I know are not the most perfect people I know. Of matter of fact, some of the ugliest people I know, are the most physically attractive. You can only be as beautiful on the outside as you are in the inside.
No fat, no zits, no wrinkles, no scars, no flaws can cover up real beauty. If you focus on sprucing up the inside, the outside will begin to sparkle too!
YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.
Don’t believe me? Ask God. He made you and he don’t make no junk!
French author, Jules Renard, nailed this quote – and while I’m sure he wasn’t talking about working out here, laziness is a plague that truly causes death if it isn’t attended too. It can kill a career, a marriage, your health, and your dreams.
While most people would argue they are tired, even if they don’t do hard labor, often times they are only too tired to start working out because they are not healthy. Fitness revs the metabolism and GIVES us energy – it doesn’t take it away. Fitness makes us stronger, healthier, fitter. It helps us sleep better so we are able to get the rest we need to handle life’s stresses. It helps us relieve pinned up stress, frustration and anger in a productive healthy way. Fitness may be work, but it’s rewarding work.
If you are too tired to workout, you are avoiding the very thing you need most. Don’t rest before you are truly tired. And if you already workout regularly, be careful not to rest DURING your workouts before you actually REALLY need it.
Push your body, and watch it change, improve and be the body you need to make it through this life STRONG, CONFIDENT, ENERGIZED, RESILIENT AND UNSTOPPABLE! Because laziness won’t get you any of those things!
10 Famous Quotes About Laziness
- I’d be more frightened by not using whatever abilities I’d been given. I’d be more frightened by procrastination and laziness. Denzel Washington
- We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas A. Edison
- Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction. Anne Frank
- Folks who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do.” Elbert Hubbard
- Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Lord Chesterfield
- The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. King Solomon, (Proverbs 13:4)
- People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them. Tony Robbins
- The slacker does not plow during planting season; at harvest time he looks, and there is nothing. King Solomon, (Proverbs 20:4)
- Fanatic is often the name given to people of action by people who are lazy. Bryant H. McGill
- 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. Paul, (Hebrews 12:11)
I wanted to share one of my quotes online the other day, so I just googled the one I needed so I could just grab it offline. I googled “I will beat her” and I was not prepared for what I saw. I saw a whole bunch of other women’s pictures with my words,
I Will Beat Her
I will train harder.
I will eat cleaner.
I know her weaknesses.
I know her strengths.
I’ve lost to her before, but not this time.
She is going down.
I have the advantage
because I know her well.
She is the old ME!
At first, I was a little annoyed by the people that didn’t give me credit, and then (after I put my pride aside and got off my “I work hard on my quotes” pity party), I realized the impact these words were making on these women.
Sure, I spend a lot of time trying to come up with motivational posts, but they are meaningless if no one is inspired or motivated by them. These women did exactly what I wanted them to do. They related, they connected with the message, and they realized that they too can “beat her”.
How often do we focus on what everyone else needs to do, instead of what we can just do better? How often do we compare ourselves to someone else when, if we were to compete with the old version of ourselves, we would have kicked that old person’s butt. We DO have the advantage. We DO know ourselves better than anybody else.
We know if keeping ice cream in the refrigerator will trip us up or not. We know if we go home between work and the gym, that we’ll be tempted to skip our workout. We know how and where we failed before, and we know what it takes for us to succeed. We know ourselves so well, there really is no excuse for us to fail. We have the knowledge we need to defeat our old self, and it’s up for us to apply that knowledge, to continue improving, getting stronger, learning from our failures and winning our own battles.
I was inspired by these people who applied these words to their own lives. I was encouraged by their drive to become the winner they know they are – and I hope you will also realize you too can “beat her”. She is You Too.
PS: I want to thank all the people that shared this quote (and others), as well as the people who may have redone the quote with their photo, but credited me. I really do appreciate it and hope it encourages more and more people. <3
Feel free to share any of my quote, use my photos, and put your blog or name on my images too (as long as you keep name/blog info on there as well.