Goals

10 Tips to Kick the Never-Ending Diet

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“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.” Dolly Parton

When I think of Dolly’s quote I think of how my mother also tried every diet in the book before she finally lost her weight. I know she must have felt like she spent her entire life dieting. The truth is she just made a few common mistakes that just continued to prolong her results – and it happens to so many people. That’s why so many American live their all their life dieting.

10 Tips to Break the ‘Never-ending Diet’ Cycle:

  1. Avoid diet hopping. Some people never stick to a diet long enough to get results before they hop on the next diet that comes their way.  If you chose a diet plan, stick to it.
  2. Never attempt an unrealistic diet. I can’t help but think of the Cabbage Soup Diet, which I was on for all of four very long days. A successful diet is one you can stick with for the long haul.
  3. Don’t rely on the quick fix. We all know better, but our patience often gets the best of us. Don’t give in to weight loss gimmicks. A quick fix is just a temporary fix and only postpones the inevitable.
  4. Be realistic. If you are on a mild diet and exercise plan, expect mild results. The more intense the program, the faster the results. Be realistic when setting and working toward your goal.
  5. Be honest with yourself. People seem quick to recall all the healthy low-calorie foods they eat but get amnesia when it comes to unhealthy choices. The scale will tell on you so, in all actuality, you aren’t fooling anyone but your self.
  6. What you don’t know can hurt you. I find most people who have failed on their diet have been guessing their way through it all. Other people just don’t want to know the truth. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has taken a bite of something and as soon as I begin to read off the calories he plugs his ears saying “lalalalalalalala, I don’t want to know, lalalalalala”!  The fact is the calories are there whether we know it or not.
  7. If you aren’t dieting, you should be maintaining. Even if you lose the weight, you still have to be accountable for what you eat in order to maintain your new size. Many people who hit their goal end up right back where they started because they went back to eating poorly.
  8. The “Weekday Diet” doesn’t always work. Many people diet all week, only to erase their hard work each weekend with poor food choices. Although this may work while in maintenance, this diet faux pas is what makes people feel like they are dieting all the time and never reaping the reward.
  9. Never underestimate the power of the calorie. Weight loss boils down to one thing – calories in vs. calories out. You can’t expect results if you are not sure how many calories you are eating.
  10. Commit to dieting the right way. A lack of commitment just prolongs the amount of time it will take to get results. You can live on a yo-yo diet for the rest of your life and get mediocre results, or you can commit to working hard for a while and live the rest of your life enjoying your results.

5 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain Rebound

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Few people can stay competition lean (or should). A little extra weight is healthy - but parameters must be set to avoid rebound.

Few people can stay competition lean (or should). A little extra weight is healthy – but parameters must be set to avoid rebound.

One of the things I hear a lot after someone has lost a lot of weight is that someone gained all their weight back. It’s a big fear for most people. They join a boot camp or do a competition and they reach all their goals, and a few months later they are right back to where they started – or worse.

While, in our gym, there are more people that keep it off than people who gain it back, it happens – and I sure didn’t want that to happen to me after my competition so I sat down with Steve and we made very specific rules. Here are the parameters I plan to put in my life to help me maintain my weight during our “off season”.

Whether you are in between trainers, boot camps or competitions, you can apply these same rules to your own life to make fitness a lifestyle instead of a phase, and make your new goal weight your new normal weight.

5 Tips to Maintaining Your Weight

scale1. Decide on your new ideal weight. If you haven’t reached your goal yet, your ideal weight will be a lower weight. If you have reached your goal, your ideal maintenance weight should be your new weight (unless you’ve just competed and dehydrated – then your weight should probably be 5-7lbs heavier than your stage weight). This weight is what determines whether you should be dieting (eating fewer calories than you are burning) or maintaining (eating the same amount of calories than your burning).

At 5’9″, my ideal weight used to be 144 for me. If I started rising above 144 (my NO! STOP weight was 148), I would diet back down and get my weight back into control. Now, my new normal weight is 136. After the show I stayed in the high 130s and hit 140 and I immediately jumped right back on my diet until it went back down. Today, I weighed 135 today. I will continue to weigh in to keep me accountable.

goals2. Set a new goal. Whether this is a race, a bikini or bodybuilding competition, a weight loss contest, a cruise or a photo shoot, you must put some kind of goal into place. Goals give your training purpose, and make it easier to say no to high-calorie foods and the temptation to skip a workout. My goal is to come into January at a specific body fat percentage, muscle weight and fat weight. I want to know I am starting my diet ahead of where I started it last time. I also want my skin to stay tight and continue tightening up. I can’t do that if my weight fluctuates too much, so my goal is to avoid weight gain so I can improve my skin texture. Plus, I just feel a million times better in all my clothes!

running3. Make a recovery plan. What do you do if you bounce a check or max out a credit card? Do you keep spending what you can’t afford? No. You start making a plan to pay it off and get back in the black. The same goes for dieting. As soon as you go over budget, you have to start paying it off because you can’t afford to eat that much anymore. This is when you step up your cardio (work off your past debt) and reduce your caloric budget (learn to be more frugal with your calories). This is just checks and balances – but you have to make a plan ahead of time. As soon as you get back to your ideal weight, you can afford to have a cheat meal, you can afford to skip a workout. But, until then, you have to stay disciplined and get your body back in control.

chocolate syrup4. Cheats are treats. What I mean is, cheat meals should be a treat, not a habit. There are certain things Steve and I decided we would not buy and bring into our home. This forces us to go out and get it if we want it (which requires more planning and reduces the chance of impulse eating). For instance, we will not buy ice cream. If we want ice cream, we’ll make a date out of it – but I’m not going to have something that available to me. Same goes with chips and other high-calorie snack foods. As soon as I bring them into the house, they can work their way into our daily lives. Then it becomes a unhealthy eating habit. We will continue to have limits on how much we eat out and how much we “treat” ourself. And, we will continue to cook healthy, low-calorie meals and have low-calorie snacks at home.

Maintenance 5. You’re never “off”. One of the biggest mistakes people make is doing a boot camp or competition and then taking “off”. They work hard for 3 month and then they stop completely. You should never be “off” – you are either in weight loss mode or maintenance mode. While a competitor can gain a little weight in off season while they try to build muscle, the more fat they gain, the harder they have to work to get it off when they are in season. Why not try to keep your fat under control so you start your season ahead of where you started it last time.

Stop right now and make a plan of how you plan to control your weight over the holidays so you don’t start 2015 behind where you are right now. If you fail to plan, then plan to fail. Planning is key to success!

Desperately Seeking Success: How to Find What You Are Looking For

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When someone is desperate, how hard to they seek to get help? If someone is in pain, how quick to they seek comfort? When someone needs guidance, how much effort do they invest in finding it? If someone loses a job, how hard are they searching for a new one?

Diet helpOver my years in the fitness industry, I’ve marveled at how many people who desperately need help are not desperately seeking it. I think of the story about a crippled man in the Bible who lay by, what was believed to be, a healing pool for YEARS. He literally lay there waiting for someone to pick him up and take him to the pool to get healed. I think many people (including me at times) are like that guy, waiting on someone or something else to do all the heavy lifting. Sometimes it’s because we are overwhelmed by the task that could be required of us to take action. Many times it is just pure ignorance – we have no idea what to do. Sadly, most of the time, it is just pure laziness. We’d rather hope for a miracle, than exert ourselves in fear doing a lot of work for no reward.

Listen, people who work get the reward. People just have unrealistic expectations, and they have a warped definition of the word “work”. They do a little work, and expect a big reward. They work for a short time, and expect the payoff to keep coming even if they quit.

Seek and You Will Find

It is rare that I see someone really seeking to lose weight who doesn’t lose it. People will often say “I tried, I really tried”, but if you were to reach deeeeep within their soul and could get the truth out of them, the real answer is “I tried a little”, “I tried once”, “I thought I tried”.

piano lessonsIf you try to play the piano for the first time, you don’t expect to play Beethoven within a few “tries”. No, you don’t even learn a song at first. You start by learning the basics (#boring #uneventful #nofun). You have to learn the fundamentals before you can even read music or learn a song. With practice, you finally get to learn a song. You celebrate when you can finally play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with one hand. Then, you celebrate again when you learn to add your left hand. Then, after practicing, practicing and practicing, you begin to play the same song a little better, a little easier. Then you are ready for the next song – and it will be just as elementary as the first.

I can remember piano lessons, and I admit I was SO impatient. I would get so frustrated. I wanted to immediately jump in and play a more difficult “cool” song effortlessly without much practice. As a result, I’d take shortcuts. I’d play by ear, instead of reading music. I’d make up things that sounded good just so I could keep appearing to move forward. The problem was, I wasn’t moving forward. I was exactly where I left off. I might have “sounded” better, but I had not improved.

How often do we act like this in life? We do what we want to do to make us appear more successful (with our job, with our weight loss, with relationships, with God), yet many times we are exactly where we left off – exactly in the same place we were when we stopped actually WORKING.

I want to challenge you today to SEEK HARDER. Seek the things you desire to improve in your life with all your might. Seek answers to your weight loss plateau, seek help in your marriage, seek God in your life – and seek until you find.

man-looking-inside-fridge-artGod doesn’t ever ask us to do work for no reward. A matter of fact, He constantly talks about what we “get” when we seek Him. The key is understanding the word seek. I think we think of the word “seek” more like Steve seeks something in the fridge. He opens the door, looks at the contents and closes the door saying “Bonnie, where’s the BBQ sauce?” I’ll reply with “it should be in the door”. He’ll tell me he looked there. I will go on to list a few other places it could be and he’ll tell me he looked there too. The fact is, he didn’t really SEEK, he looked. Of course, I’ll go right to the refrigerator, open the door, move a few items out of the way and find it within 30 seconds. Why? I wasn’t looking, I was seeking.

Vines Dictionary’s definition of ‘Seek': 
Strive for
Desire
Endeavor
To “seek” to ascertain a meaning (meaning, seek until you understand)

SearchingAre you seeking things like that? Are you seeking God like that? Are you seeking answers to your marriage issues or weight issues like that? Striving for, seeking until you fully understand, seeking until you find what you are looking for?

I had to laugh when Joyce Meyer was talking about how people act like they don’t understand what “seeking God” means. She then listed off a few examples of how we seek out stuff in life, like the woman seeking a 75% OFF sale or the guy in the deer stand seeking the deer in the freezing cold.

Don’t you think your life is worth the effort to REALLY seek the things that really matter? Your physical health, your spiritual health – happiness, joy, peace and well-being?

Today, make a commitment to stop looking and start SEEKING.

Today’s Spiritual Workout:

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8:17

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! 1 Chronicles 16:11

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalms 34:10

 

Fitness Motivation: Fear to Greatness

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People aren’t just born awesome, they decide to TRY to be awesome – and with practice, they become more awesome every day. Fear is the #1 roadblock to greatness. They don’t let fear stop them from dreaming, trying or quitting. They recognize there is a risk on the quest for greatness. Your “greatness” maybe being a great mom, the healthiest you, a successful career person, a person who dedicates their life to making a difference. I’m not talking about money or power, I’m talking about being the best you can be. The healthiest you, the strongest you, the best you.

Conquering Fear

Sure you may fail. You may feel embarrassed. You may not get the results you want fast enough. You may not be the greatest on the planet, but I guarantee you, if you TRY you will be better than you ever could be without trying. What you should really fear is never trying to find out what you could do and who you could be if you don’t let fear get in the way.

Stretch Yourself

Is what you are doing right now stretching you? Are you a little uncomfortable? Are you are little scared? Are you pushing your body. Are you challenging yourself with good habits and discipline? Are you depriving yourself of the temporary to be better longterm? If you aren’t doing these things, you will never see your very best. You will never become the best you possible.

Get ready to be motivated and be ready to take your life to the next level – more commitment, more confidence, more determination, more dedication, more perseverance. You. Can. Do. This!

PRIDE: Fear of Failure or Fuel for Success?

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“When you want to give up, just think of the people who want to see you fail. Don’t give them that pleasure.”

WANT TO SEE ME FAIL?This was a quote I posted on instagram yesterday, along with this text as I was thinking out loud: “Sometimes you don’t care about failing as long as you can fail privately. But when you realize there are people out there who would actually enjoy watching you fail, laugh at you behind your back and rejoice in your defeat, it’s sometimes just what you need to make you mad enough, hurt deep enough and become determined enough to do whatever it takes to not give them that pleasure! So instead. While it really doesn’t matter what they think, you can use the very thing they mean for harm to fuel you to succeed. So go ahead and hate on me and wish me harm or failure, because it’s exactly what I need to go one more rep, one more step, one more try.”

Later last night, Steve and I had a long chat about this. First, we both agree that you should lose weight, be healthy or try to reach your goals for YOURSELF. Not to prove a point, not to do it for your spouse or not to do it because someone is making you. No. The first reason we work on our fitness is for our OWN good. Agreed?

Fear of Failure or Fuel for Success?

So, the next question was “if you shouldn’t care about what people think, is it wrong to use what they think to fuel you to succeed?” Personally, I don’t think so – as long as you can use it (within reason) for a positive, healthy result.

hatersI know good and well I should care less what people think. We all have haters. No matter how nice you are or how “good” you are, people will dislike you, wish you failure and be happy if you don’t succeed. Why? It stems from jealousy. If you succeed, it is just a reminder of what they could do or have if they tried as hard as you did. When people feel bad about themselves, they don’t want to be around people who actually are happy, healthy or successful. OR, if it’s a rival, sometimes it’s simply because they want all the attention and want to stay on top. Either way, since you will always have these people in your life, you can decide now what type of response you will have. You can A: ignore them (not a bad idea), B: resent them or C: benefit from them. I choose either A or C (depending on the person or situation).

PrideMost of the time I use it to fuel me, to hold me accountable, and to stretch me to do more than I am willing to do. I am extremely lazy by nature. I was born with one extra big lazy bone. While some areas are easy for me to succeed, other areas (like discipline and physical labor) are challenging. So, I have to figure out ways to push myself, to motivate myself and to keep myself pressing forward to my goal. How do I do that? I use one of my character flaws to actually bring about good in my life.

Say hello to pride.

Pride: Good or Bad

Webster defines it as: “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” There you have it. Pride. Yuck!

Pride is typically referred to as a very negative characteristic, and it’s something I am not proud of at all (no pun intended lol). I can’t particularly say I get deep satisfaction from my own achievements, however I can admit I get deep dissatisfaction with failure. I HATE to fail – so much so, I won’t even try something new if there is a risk of bombing at it. This is something I discovered recently and am working to improve. I am not perfect so I don’t know why I have such high expectations of myself, but I do. Always have.

“It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” Proverbs 25:27

humilityI believe it is healthy and normal to have a certain amount of pride and have those proud moments. I can be proud of an accomplishment or take pride in my work. However, if I am full of pride and haughtiness, I think that’s totally wrong. (When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2). Webster choose these synonyms for prideful: disdainful, haughty, lofty, lordly, superior. And the main antonym for prideful is humble. Another words, you can’t be prideful and humble at the same time, so it’s something you really have to keep in check.

Run-to-winJust like it’s wrong to eat too much “honey” (AKA: food), you can have too much pride. If I’m careful to manage my pride and not focus on the selfish victorious feeling (that deep satisfaction Webster talks about), I can use the very thing that is meant for bad to bring about good in my life. The same way it is not good to care what people think, we shouldn’t not care at all – to the point we lose our drive to be the best we can be. “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” 1 Corinthians 9:24. The last thing God wants us to do is become complacent, and I think many people say “I don’t care what they think” as a way to stay complacent. Sure, don’t measure your self-worth based on what others think, but why not use their opinions to encourage self-examination and drive to become better?

Some people use competitions to drive them, some use weight loss contests to push them or they even reward themselves with money or shopping. I really don’t have a need to succeed big, I just don’t want to fail big. I love striving for goals, but they are regular normal goals – nothing insane, nothing flashy, just me trying to be the best me.

Accountability

I don't try, I doOne of the things that drives me is knowing people are counting on me to lead by practicing what I preach. I also know there are people are counting on me to fail. Even Joyce Meyer uses Satan’s desire to ruin her day or damage her ministry to fuel her to do what’s right in good. She calls it giving Satan a ultimate black eye. I love it! Whatever you choose to use to drive you, we could all use a little more accountability.

What drives you? What gets under your skin? What pushes YOU to succeed? Do you train for a race? Do you work towards hitting the stage? Do you exercise to improve skill and compete in physical competitions like CrossFit games or mud runs? Or do you let those nasty mean coworkers of yours fuel you to keep showing up even though they’ve already made fun of your dieting, already reminded you of how many times you failed, told you of all their friends who have “tried that” and it didn’t work, and taunt you with chocolate and fast food? There’s no wrong answer here. You just have to figure out what you need to use to push you to improve and not give up. :)

But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also2 Corinthians 8:7

Fitness Motivation: Are You Pitiful or Powerful?

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pitiful or powerfulHave you been doing a lot of complaining lately? Have you been griping about how fat you feel or how much you hate “dieting”? Have you been reciting how you’ve been wronged or how tough things have been lately? Then prepare for big changes!! Your circumstance may not be your problem, you may just need a little attitude adjustment so you can get your power back!

Brace yourself! This one might just hit you between the eyes, but if you can take the punches, you’ll finish a champ! ;)

We all go through things in life that cause us to want to go on a “pity party”. We’ve all been wronged, we all experience tough times, we fail, and we get beat down at times. It’s not how many times we fail, or bad we are beat down, that matters most. It’s how long we decide to STAY DOWN that really has the most affect on our life.

Success requires taking control – taking the power back! This also means taking responsibility for your own actions, no matter what happened in the past or why things are hard for you now.

Sadly, we often enjoy swimming in the pity-party pool for a while. Sometimes we waller around in our sorrows for weeks, sometimes for years. I am not sure why we do this to ourselves, but we ALL are tempted to do it. Unfortunately, in the fitness world, you can’t become very successful if you remain in self-pity and point the finger at everyone (and everything) else. Like Joyce Meyer says, “You can by pitiful or you can be powerful, but you can’t be both”.

Success requires taking control – taking the power back! This also means taking responsibility for your own actions, no matter what happened in the past or why things are hard for you now.

Pitiful People Point to Problems, Not Solutions

blamegameFor instance, you can easily blame your parents for feeding you unhealthy food and not teaching you how to eat healthy. You can blame your body for breaking down and getting old. You can blame your old boss for firing you and causing you to go into depression, which might have started your weight gain. You can blame your husband for eating whatever he wants without gaining a pound, and keeping junk food in the house. You can blame your finances for not being able to afford healthy food. You can choose to use any of these excuses and take the PITIFUL route, OR you can choose to be POWERFUL instead.

Pitiful vs Powerful

Check out Webster’s synonyms and antonyms for of PITIFUL. 

weak vs strengthSynonyms: contemptible, despicable, miserable, pathetic, pitiable, sad, sorry, wretched
Antonyms: decent, presentable, respectable

Now look at how Webster’s defines POWERFUL.

Synonyms: heavy-duty, influential, mighty, potent, important, puissant, significant, strong
Antonyms: helpless, impotent, insignificant, little, powerless, unimportant, weak

Why in the WORLD would we ever be OK with being in a pitiful (miserable, pathetic, sad, sorry) state and not do everything we CAN to be “influential, might, important, significant and strong”? Every minute you are choosing NOT to be powerful, you are choosing to stay pitiful. It’s a choice, it’s not a result of something. We either are remaining or changing.

Powerful People Plan and Prepare to Change

powerfulPower requires ACTION. Powerful people take control. They strategically plan to change their circumstances if they can. They don’t blame others, they take responsibility for what they CAN do. They FIGHT for what they want. They CHASE their dreams.

Decide TODAY to stop being pitiful. STOP feeling sorry for yourself. STOP feeling like it’s unfair that weight loss is hard. STOP focusing on the unhealthy foods you will have to eat less of. STOP being jealous of your skinny friends who don’t appear to work as hard as you. STOP making excuses. …and START taking control. START acting powerful. START doing what you can to make a life-long change. START becoming a new you today!

If you want to BE powerful, you need to start acting like it!

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Motivation Monday: Try Something GREAT

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“When Is the Last Time You Attempted Something Great?” 

attempt something greatThis is a very powerful question. I believe many of us avoid attempting great tasks to avoid experiencing great failure. There comes a time you have to ask yourself, “What is worse? Attempting something great and possibly failiing, or not attempting anything great at all and succeeding?”

I’ve recently been asked to do some pretty scary things – scary to me at least. My first instinct was to say “no”. Then I had to ask myself why I was saying no. Was it because it would hurt me? No. Was it because it would hurt anyone else? No. Was it because I was afraid to fail. The answer was yes – but that should NEVER stop me from trying something. When it boiled down to it, I had no other choice but to decide to do it because I really had no good reason not to at least try.

Sadly, many people never really ever try to do something great simply because they don’t want to fail. I believe we are looking at success all wrong. Success is not reaching your goal without opposition, struggle, failures or setbacks. Success is reaching your goal, or getting closer to your goal, despite all of that. Success is also not just doing what you are good at. You can be successful in just trying. You can be more successful attempting success, even if you fall short of your goal. Your goal may be in trying alone. Let me explain…

The Success In Trying

Julianne Talley Ms Senior FloridaSomeone recently suggested my mom be in the Ms. Senior Pageant. She thought long and hard on it and decided it was time she step outside her box and do it. Her goal was not to win. Her goal was to get out of her comfort zone and to experience personal growth, as well as encourage the other ladies there. Her goal was to show up.

Her dress didn’t come in time but she didn’t stress (I admit I would have freaked!). She could have easily used that as an excuse to back out. She could have taken that as an omen, “well it’s just not mean to be”, but she didn’t. She pressed on. She was scheduled to be out of town for work a lot, and she could have used that as an excuse for poor timing, but she found a way to fit it all in. She had never done a pageant before and struggled with the perception of being in a “beauty pageant” but she focused on what good could come out of instead. She had plenty of really good excuses but decided to not use one of them.

Just showing up for her was a big win. We were all so proud because we knew she was way out of her box. She was proud of herself. She said she would sit there at practice thinking “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” As I watched her on stage, I marveled at her bravery, knowing it wasn’t easy for her. I gleamed with pride and reflected on my own need to step outside my comfort zone. She not only did it – to her surprise, she won.

Ms. Senior Florida 2014

What If You Fail?

What if she failed? What if she didn’t even get to be a runner up? Would she really have failed? Absolutely not. She met some amazing ladies and she could celebrate the victory of stepping out of her box. The moment she said “Yes, I’ll do it” she succeeded. The moment she stepped on stage, she was a winner because she attempted something great. She practiced and performed her song. She memorized her philosophy. She learned how to walk, dance and prepare for such an event. She walked away with more experience, more confidence and more ways to encourage people. Whether she walked away with a crown on her head and a sash across her chest or not, she would have left a better person, a more fully developed person with one more great experience under her belt. Victory was inevitable. 

a-cannot-fail-textI want to challenge you today to try something great. Don’t just attempt to lose 20lbs, attempt to lose the full 50 you need to lose. Ladie,s don’t try to just get any man, aim to find the BEST and GREATEST man for you. Don’t settle for a job you are miserable, keep applying for the job you’ve always wanted. Don’t settle for an average marriage, work hard to develop a phenomenal marriage. In every single attempt, you will likely see much improvement whether you reach your desired goal or not.

Remember…

“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” (Les Brown)

7 Ways to Redefine Yourself

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it's not your past that defines youI 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

Let Go of the Past1. 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.)

Train Your Brain5. 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.

fitness science7. 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!

 

MOTIVATION FOR WOMEN: Strong Women Lift (each other up)

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strong women lift

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!

The Secret Between Lean & Ripped

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don't miss the victory

Someone recently asked me how to get ripped. I said, “It depends on where you stop”. Here’s what I mean.

The woman who asked that question was already losing weight and leaning out. Whether she gets thin or gets super fit looking just depends on where she decides to stop. She can continue to lose fat as long as she continues her program. While your desired destination can be different than someone else’s, the process is basically the same. The same fit road has many stops along the way. You can stop at 10lbs lost, 20lbs lost or go until you reach super cut and fit.

The problem is, many people quit when they get comfortable. They think, “wow! I really like 20lbs lost. This is a fun place, I’ll stay here for a while and play”. While they are there, they start allowing for more calories – hence, breaking the weight loss cycle.

Another problem is people fall into a false sense of security. They get thin and begin to feel like they “deserve” the extra calories because they are now so fit and active. Because they aren’t as strict during this phase, they quickly lose a grip on how many calories they are really taking in – and before you know it, they’ve plateaued or even gained some calories back. The knee-jerk reaction is to rely on exercise to erase the extra calories, but they will quickly discover it is much easier to eat 1,000 than it is to burn 1,000 calories. Sadly, many people learn the hard way – after they gain some (or all) of their weight back.

Avoid making these mistakes. Avoid missing out on your biggest victory. Next time you feel like stopping, or settling for the results you’ve gotten so far, ask yourself this question: “What if I keep going?” Amazing things happen! “Better” happens! Even if you are doing great now, you can even do better if you keep pressing on. You can continue to improve. You can continue to get fitter, stronger, leaner, healthier. You can be victorious.

Don’t stop short of your greatest victory. Small victories are awesome, but you have even bigger victories awaiting you if you can just keep pressing on!

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