Category Archives: Healthy Priorites
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.
How often do we let what’s convenient rob us of our progress? Wether it’s making that uncomfortable phone call to mend a relationship, return the grocery cart to where it belongs, go to church even though you can watch it online, eat out less so you can afford the gym membership you want , or eat healthy even though it takes more time and energy to prepare. Doing what’s right requires sacrifice.
However, we often do what’s convenient, not what’s right. Convenience is the thief that robs us of experiencing a much richer life. We make many poor decisions based on convenience, often letting our life lead us instead of us leading our life.
I think back to meeting Steve. There was absolutely nothing convenient about our date life. If I wanted to see him, I’d often have to stop by his job at “The Moon” (a night club in Tallahassee) just so I could look at him from a distance while he was keeping the peace as a bouncer. (This is a photo of us on Halloween night, about a month after we met. Steve, in his bright yellow MOON shirt, and me looking ridiculous in a French Maid costume. So original – NOT!. haha)
If Steve wanted to see me, he had to fit it in around his 3 jobs, school, workouts, and studying. As a bouncer, he would get off at 2 or 3 in the morning 3-4 days a week. Every saturday night, he’d drive clear across town to my parents house to sleep on the floor in their band room just so he could wake up and go to the early church service with me the next morning before going to his next job.
If I wanted more time with him, I’d ride with him on the way to work just for 20 extra minutes with him a day. I would also meet him at the gym just so we could workout at the same time because, even though we didn’t workout together, it was worth it to me to coordinate our workouts just for the chance to see his face, say a few words and get a quick kiss.
The bottom line is when we REALLY want something, we don’t care if it’s convenient or not. Convenience has no power over us. When we are focused, determined, driven…we are never too lazy, too tired, too poor, too busy.
If you have made some recent decisions (big or small) based on what was convenient, maybe you don’t want whatever you think you wanted as badly as you thought. OR, you need to decide now that you are no longer going to let “the thief” rob you any longer.
Of course, I realize there is some practicality behind doing what is convenient, but if convenience is leading your life – that probably means YOU are not.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin”. James 4:17
Many people live their life hoping things will change. They hope they will eventually lose weight, have more time, get a better job, pay off their bills, find the love of their life, improve a relationship, get their life right…and the list goes on. They want change, the welcome change, and then they wait on change – but change doesn’t come.
Change doesn’t happen on its own. It’s funny, because I believe most of us know this, yet we still do nothing, while waiting on things to change. Change is a result of many small changes. If you want to get fit, your body can’t change unless you change your actions. One French novelist said,
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy (sadness); for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.“ Anatole France
These are SUCH wise words. In order for one life to live, the old life must die. We can’t live double lives. We can’t get a new result living the same we always have. Some of our old habits, our old thoughts, our old beliefs and old ways must die. HOWEVER, don’t you know that the small things in us that must die, the things we must give up, are minuscule compared to the reward? We often focus on what has to die and forget about what will come alive in us if we follow through.
“do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:14
It’s so easy to focus on what our flesh (our body) wants more than what our body needs. Joyce Meyer once said “if you want something in you to die, you just need to quit feeding it”. We make things so difficult at times, but the truth is, change is that simple. We must die to one life before we can live another. And, if we want something to become alive and strong in our life, we need to start feeding it.
If you are ready to make some changes, or even if you just want to take things to the next level. Follow the next 3 steps to a new you.
MIND: The Warm Up
Before you can exercise change, you have to get your mind warmed up. You mentally have to prepare for change. Answer these 5 questions to begin making changes.
- How do you want to change? Make a list of all the changes you would like to make in your life.
- What areas of your life are you “feeding” that are hurting your quality of life and getting in the way of those changes? (i.e.: An unhealthy relationship with food, alcohol, surfing the web, addiction, laziness, selfishness, complacency, money, things, desires, partying (social needs/fulfillment, body obsession, scale obsession, excuses…)
- Make a list of all the steps it will take to create change. What do you need to stop feeding? What actions will you need to take to change directions? What is your first step? Second? Third?
- Make a list of all the rewards that will follow change. List how you will feel, act, and look – and how those changes will affect your life, job, personality, relationships, etc.
- Now, compare the list of rewards to the list of the things you need to give up (or minimize) in your life. If you hesitate for even a second, realize what is standing in the way. Are you really going to let XYZ get in the way of your happiness?
BODY: The Workout
Follow through with your “workout”. If you answered the above questions, you know what you need to do. There maybe a phone call you need to make, an appointment you need to schedule, food you need to throw away, alcohol you need to pour down the drain, a gym you need to join, a class need to try, a support group you need to attend, rules you need to apply around the house, people who need to know your struggle, accountability you need to have….Action is required. Don’t wait until tomorrow to start working through these steps today.
TIP: If there is something that keeps popping up in your mind, an area that you are unsure is wrong, and you wonder if it has a grip on you, it probably does. Listen to your convictions and fix this area of your life. We all have something we think of when we soul search, but we don’t always act on our thoughts. Today needs to be different. Changes needs to happen and it starts with changing the way you listen to yourself.
SOUL: Today’s Scripture
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39
God knew that we would struggle with our own flesh. Scripture talks about dying to self all the time because He knows how much it wants to rule over us. Whether it’s lust for food, lust for money, lust for sex or lust for success – our body lusts for many things – and we must not let it rule our lives. Any of those things are not bad in themselves, it’s when they have power over our life, and rule our life, that it is unhealthy. When we finally deny our flesh as the “king” of our life, we will discover real freedom – real life, a healthy life, a fruitful life, a joyous life, an every lasting life.
#1 INSANITY - The first big mistake is doing what Albert Einstein defines as insanity – Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As ridiculous as this may seem, people do it all the time. They workout for YEARS with absolutely no change. I understand this problem because many people simply don’t know what to do different – but the next mistake…oh my!
#2 STUPIDITY - (Please forgive me using the word “stupid” but I’m not pointing the finger – I’ve done it too). The second biggest mistake is (to me) the dumbest one of all. It’s when you get an amazing result with one formula – and then you try a new formula expecting the same result. This person KNOWS how to get success – but they keep searching for an easier way. Or, they keep trying to find someone who will tell them what they want to hear, ultimately wasting precious time they could be just doing what they know already works.
We are going to dig DEEP into this one because this one is the most unnecessary mistake of all.
Wash, Rinse & Repeat
People often say ”I was in the best shape of my life when I __________”. They tell me they used to compete, they used to play sports, they used to do boot camp or they used to run… What I want to know is this: If you were in the best shape of your life when you “use to _________”, why aren’t you doing it now?
I often see this after boot camp. We get someone in the best shape of their life in our BCx Boot Camp program, and then they quit or start something new. I understand change is good, HOWEVER, if it’s not KEEPING you in the that state of being “the best shape of my life” maybe you need to rethink your fitness plan.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It?
Quit trying to fix something that wasn’t broken to begin with. You did something that worked, now do it again.
Sadly, people want to try to do as little as possible in hopes of getting the same result as doing as much as they have in the past. We do the same with eating. We see how much crap we can eat and get away with without gaining weight – and we normally fail.
You get OUT what you put IN. You can’t expect to gain muscle running. You can’t expect to burn serious calories lifting weights. You can’t expect amazing conditioning when you never tax your heart and lunges. And you can’t expect to easily pass up a donut if your workout was easy, because we all know the harder we work, the more protective over our calories we become.
Programs, like Boot Camps and sports conditioning (like CrossFit), combine different exercise methods to work strength, stamina and cardio all in one workout – as well as we make it tough enough that you think twice about blowing your hard work on crappy food choices. It’s all in the design of our programming – and the same goes with having a personal trainer, training for a show or doing other intense style training programs.
I’m not saying our BCx Boot Camp program is the only program to deliver results. (Here’s a sample of what someone can do in 6 weeks of Boot Camp.) What I’m saying is, unless you continue that same intensity of training with the same type of dieting that once delivered you amazing results, you can’t try something totally different, or cut back, and expect the same result.
It doesn’t mean you have to workout 6 days a week and beat your body up the way you might have to lose weight and get in shape, but once you hit maintenance, you shouldn’t just quit – and unfortunately, that’s exactly what people do. They join a gym and do a program for 4-6 weeks and then you never see them again.
You should be in “get fit mode” or “stay fit mode” – never just “off”.
If you have been missing the fitter version of you, I encourage you to think back to what you were doing when you felt your best – and just simply repeat it. There’s no need to try something new. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Don’t have access to a program like BCx? Get the same workbook our Boot Campers follow online, and follow our killer 4-week online training program. For those of you who aren’t local, or haven’t done our BCx Boot Camp programs online yet, here’s video footage of our program here in Vero Beach, Florida.
Learn more about BCx at www.DoBCx.com
NEW! >>> Join LiveExercise.com and workout with Steve and I on X Fit – powered by BCx!
The problem with relaxing or cheating is it can suck the life right out of you. Poor food can make you feel bad, and laziness can make you even lazier. So, your innocent cheat day could turn into a cheat week, cheat month and cheat year if you don’t break the cycle fast.
If you want to enjoy a healthy balance of splurging, or relaxing, a little here and there, you have to have a bounce-back plan. You have to set some ground rules to help get you right back into your routine, as well as help erase any added calories.
5 Tips to Breaking the Cheating Cycle
1. Have limitations. Whether you limit your cheat meals, your calories, the number of cheat days you will allow yourself or days you will allow yourself to take off from the gym, you MUST have set limits. Having no limits can set you up for big-time failure.
2. Plan your bounce-back day. Draw a line in the sand that defines the END of your “fitness or diet vacation”.
3. Get rid of temptations. Don’t expect to do great on your diet if you still have beer and pizza in the refrigerator. This means you need to be careful when you originally purchase any foods off your diet (so you don’t buy too much), as well as you need to get rid of it all by the time you plan to go back to clean eating and healthy living.
4. Have a attack plan in place. Know what you plan to do when you get back to work. Pick out a new workout program, set diet goals, map out your eating schedule – fail to plan, plan to fail!
5. Set short-term goals. Whether you set a goal to do a set amount of workouts, or limit your calories, or you just want to lose the 5lbs you gained over your “fitness vacation” – having a clear goal will help you stay focused.
If you spent your holidays eating and relaxing, be prepared to put up a fight – because your body may not be as ready to workout as you want it to be. So, if yesterday was a BUST, make your workout and diet today a MUST – no matter how you feel!
It’s not about falling down, you just have to make sure you don’t STAY down.
Oops you did it again. We all do it again – and again, and again. What do we keep doing? We keep messing up! We all do! We eat right, workout and do all the right things…for a period. Then, BAM! We goof. We fall off the wagon, get sidetracked, get busy, get tired, get frustrated, get lazy.
Joyce Meyer reminded me last week “it’s never too late to begin again”, and boy is she right. It’s better to keep starting over and keep trying over and over, even if you keep failing over and over. Why? Because one of these days you will learn and you’ll start getting it right.
Some begin every January 1st. Some people begin again every Monday. No matter how many beginnings you have, beginning is the start of something fresh and new, no matter how many times you begin. You never really fail as long as you never give up. One of those beginnings WILL be the winning start.
I’ve seen it too many times. People try and try again to lose weight and get fit – and THIS time they succeed.
No matter how much you fell off the wagon this weekend, decide to begin again today!
Train to Compete
Everyone knows someone who is training, or has trained, for something – whether it’s a 5K, half marathon, tri, bikini competition, bodybuilding show, crossfit games, power lifting meet or tournament – competing gives you purpose to train like you’ve never trained before.
I believe people who run marathons or do bodybuilding shows are often misunderstood. Some people may think they are just super competitive. Others may just think they are super vain. Ironically, most people who compete are just super normal. They are lazy, they struggle with their training and diet UNLESS they have something to train for. Often times, they HAVE to compete so they HAVE to train.
Another words, most people who compete don’t compete to win, they compete to train like a winner. It’s not about taking home a trophy or having the fastest time in their age group. Winning is showing up and doing their best. They compete because it pushes them further than they’d push themselves on their own. Setting a date to run a marathon without completely dying, or get in a teeny-weeny bikini in front of hundreds of people without shaming themselves motivates them to keep showing up – whether they feel like it or not. It’s added accountability.
Compete to Train
We just had a team of 11 compete this weekend in the Treasure Coast Classic bodybuilding, figure, physique and bikini show. Not one of our competitors competed because they think they will go pro or be the next Ronnie Coleman or Monica Brandt. They all competed to see how hard they could push their bodies, to give them a reason to train hard, and a reason to stick with it. They competed to force themselves out of their comfort zone and train and diet like they’ve never trained and dieted before.
You see, some people think that competitors are the most motivated people in the industry. I’d have to disagree. Sure, while there are people like Steve who are insanely motivated and disciplined (when they are actually training and dieting for a show). However, they are often times the people who lack the most discipline when they aren’t in training.
Competing keeps you in check. It holds up the STOP sign when you really want to go back for seconds …and thirds. It pushes you to go to the gym, when you really just want to skip. It keeps you sticking with your program beyond when you typically would quit or slack. It gives you purpose.
All competitors are not alike. Of course there are people who just love to train, but most people do it because they need to accountability and support. Some LOVE the stage, and some train to place first – but, for most, they love the results.
Compete for Results
Karrie is a great example of someone who chose to compete to take her training up a notch. She had already lost a good bit of weight, but she was ready to train harder, diet harder and get even better results. Competing was exactly what she needed to blow her goals out of the water. So proud of you Karrie!!
Here is a group pic of our competitors, which competed in various divisions and were all ages – from their twenties to their sixties. Click Here to learn more about Team Max.
The only way to get our muscles to grow is to USE them. It requires effort. If we want to gain muscle mass it requires us lifting HEAVIER things, working HARDER than we currently are. Over time, the things that once seemed impossible & challenging are much easier.
The same goes with our faith. Whether it’s faith in people or faith in God, faith is like a muscle. It only grows if we use it. Once we use it, test it, challenge it and grow it, daily struggles, questions, stress, doubt, all the heavy weights in our life, feel light because of our ever-growing stronger faith.
Today I write on faith, because faith is an important part of our spiritual health. Before you tune me out, continue to read and take what you want from this. Even if you apply it in everyday life with your loved ones. I think there is a message here for anyone – whether you believe in God or not.
Think about it, how healthy can we be if we are fit on the outside, but broken down, insecure and weak on the inside. Even people who don’t believe in God, have a deep desire to have faith in something or someone. They may put their faith in money, a job, a diploma, a spouse, a friend, science, teachers, bosses, politicians or their own physical abilities or taent, but humans are born to want to have faith in something.
Think of it this way. How often have we said “once I just graduate, or when we can get everything paid off, everything will be much better” That’s faith, faith those things will improve your life. So much so, you will continue to go to school even if it kills you, and you will try to paid down those bills even when you are dying to spend more money. You also have faith your car will stop when you apply the breaks. You trust your debit card will work when you swipe it through the card reader. Why do you have faith in such things? Because you practice it, you’ve tested it over and over again. So, you practice faith already, but it’s time for you to pick up the Big Boy faith weights.
The same way a client thinks “there is NO WAY I can lift that” and then they lift it anyway, if we want our faith to get stronger, we have to start trusting God with bigger things. We need to constantly challenge our faith muscles like we do our skeletal muscles. Why does it matter? Many studies have proven people who have faith are healthier. Part of that is a no-brainer. I mean, people who are trying to improve their spiritual life are less likely to destroy their body with drugs or stupidity. They are (should be) more obedient citizens and they are more disciplined. I also believe a lot of the added health benefits is from having more faith.
More faith means less stress. For instance, have you ever had a boyfriend you couldn’t trust? How unhealthy was that relationship for you? I bet you were more stressed, insecure, tired, full of constant doubt, skeptical, thinking the worst all the time, and maybe even downright depressed. However, take the same you in a different relationship where you trust your boyfriend. You feel loved, confident and stress-free….you are relaxed, healthy, rested and at peace.
What is Faith?
Faith is not a religion. Faith is an action based on what you believe. Faith is defined as “confidence or trust in a person or thing. Complete trust.”
We have faith in the people who we get to know and love – and that know and love us back. We don’t put much faith in strangers, so how can anyone expect to trust God if He is a stranger to them. A simple fix is to spend more time getting to know our God, and give him the opportunity to prove He is trustworthy – which is proven over time. (God says “…test me in this, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malacai 3:10)
As a man in love desires to prove his love to his bride, God desires to show how much he loves us and He can’t do that if we don’t give him a chance and trust Him or get to know him. Once He has won our heart, we will trust Him more – and the more we trust Him (and build those faith muscles), the more our faith will continue to grow stronger.
Doubt, the Faith Killer
Believe me, we all have our moments of doubt. I know I do, and we do the same things with our loved ones too. We can easily let a window of doubt slip into our thoughts where we wonder if they are trustworthy, or we wonder if they will let us down. That’s normal because we are human. Yet, the only way to truly find out is to continue to trust them and get to know them better.
Unfortunately, this is where we go wrong with God. As soon as we have doubts, we quit. We not only quit trusting Him, but we quit the whole relationship. Can you imagine how crappy our marriages and friendships were if we quit every time we had a doubt or fear? Well, we’d have no friends or marriage for one, but life would also be very lonely and hopeless.
I challenge you to start training your faith muscles. If you lack faith or don’t believe in God, maybe it’s because God is a stranger. No one can expect you to trust and believe in the unknown. Take time to get to know Him and trust him more – and watch your faith muscles begin to bulge! You will not only benefit spiritually, but your body will thank you too!
Today Joyce Meyer talked about when she first started working out with what she called little “dog-bone” 3lb weights, and how heavy they felt (this is a pic from her video of her making fun of herself struggling). Yet, now, she lifts 20-25lbs dumbbells (GO JOYCE!) and laughs at how hard those lighter weights once were.
As our faith grows, things in life that were once difficult to have faith through are like those dog-bone weights. You will be able to carry heavy loads in life with ease and enjoy the victory of experiencing strength in the Lord. CLICK HERE to watch her awesome teaching on faith.
“I can do all things in Christ who STRENGTHENS me.” Philippians 4:13
Don’t you want to be STRONGER – inside AND out? I know I do!
Today’s matching motivational image:
While I am a fitness professional with 20+ years experience in the industry, I still struggle like everyone else. I get lazy. I get tired. I get frustrated. I get fat. However, recently, I’ve realized I just need to focus on staying committed. That’s why my mantra has been “Just keep Showing Up”.
My goal, as I age, is to maintain a healthy balance in my life – keep a workout schedule I can stick with, and to maintain a healthy weight I can live with. I just need to maintain what I started, and maintain what I’ve achieved.
Maintaining doesn’t mean I am not striving for improvement, it means I am maintaining my drive, my ambition, daily habits and my journey to my goals. It means I maintain a healthy fit lifestyle, and not yo-yo in and out of it. It means I am maintaining a continual level of effort and accountability. It means I keep showing up and giving it my best – and on the days I can’t give my best, I keep showing up anyway because I’m maintaining my commitment.
Showing up is the key. If I can get my running shoes on the sidewalk, I’m golden. It’s not like I will walk back inside the house. If I can just get to the gym to workout, I’ll have a great workout. It’s the showing up part that people have the most problems with.
No amazing strength, speed, power, low body fat, trophies, etc. for a moment are more important than being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the long haul. Fitness has it’s peaks and valleys, and you have to learn to move forward through them both. Believe me, I love to be FIRST. I love to lift HEAVY, I love to run FAST and I like TROPHIES like anyone else – but, I can’t be any of that if I don’t show up and journey through the valleys. How do you maintain? You Keep Showing Up.
Are you committed to keep showing up?
Many of you have contacted me asking me if you can buy my motivational quotes as a poster or shirt. Well, I’m happy to say, I am currently working on recreating all my mantras for print. If you have one in particular you like, let me know below and I’ll put it at the top of the list.
I am not super strong. I don’t have crazy endurance. I don’t compete. I don’t train 7 days a week, and I don’t want to. I don’t really “love” working out (until it’s done). I am not super fond of that feeling when my lungs feel like they are going to explode, and I hate it when my muscles are on fire and feel like they are about to give out any second. I do, however, believe in fitness and love the results, so I just try to focus on that. (key word: TRY)
Keeping the right (healthy) focus is a common struggle for people striving to reach a goal. If I can focus on my own progress, results and potential, I am fine. BUT, as soon as I look at how someone else is doing, looking, performing – it’s all down hill from there for me, and I can get very discouraged quick.
Steve is so right when he says “keep your eyes on your own paper”. It’s not about being the best – it’s about you being YOUR best.