Category Archives: Healthy Priorites

4 Dangers of Lazy Living?

LazinessWant to lose weight? Are you the kind of person who would just do better if someone else would cook for you, or at least just tell you what to eat? You aren’t alone. It’s called being lazy – and we ALL have a lazy bone that wishes dieting could be easier. Are we really going to let laziness rule our life? Seriously? We KNOW the reward is great, so why would we let a few food prep and calorie-logging steps get in our way?

We are lazy creatures. We want to be spoon fed. We don’t even want to read information now – we want to hear it or watch it on TV, because reading would take too much effort. We prefer to be forced to do the right thing because making the decision to do the right thing on our own would also be too much work. Even people at church want to be given a really good word from the pulpit to last them all week because they are too lazy to open the Bible and actually get a word from God themselves. Here are 4 ways laziness gets us in trouble.

Knowledge quote1. We do not apply what we learn. We constantly seek more information, when we aren’t even applying what we have already heard. James 1:22 says “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Of course it’s talking about the word, being the Bible. However, I believe we can learn from this and apply it to many areas of our life. How often are we searching for new recipes, new workouts and new fitness toys when we already know what to eat, know what to do and have enough fitness tools to do it? Normally, the difference between someone who is getting results and someone who isn’t is the person getting results is actually applying what they have have already learned. While the person who isn’t getting results is only applying SOME of what they’ve learned, and still in search of an easier route or a shortcut.

big-boned-exercise-cartoon2. We have selective hearing. When we choose to have selective hearing, and only apply what we like while ignoring the stuff we don’t like, we are deceiving ourselves. We live life pretending we are doing everything right, because we are doing some stuff right. This is a VERY bad habit. Why? First, you begin to believe the lie that you are doing “everything” you can. That’s not true. You are doing everything you WANT to do, but not everything you SHOULD do. Second, as we decide to pick and choose what we want to apply, we become more susceptible to false teaching and gimmicks. This applies both to our fitness and diet, as well as our spiritual journey. You don’t get to pick and choose truth. Truth is truth and if you ignore the truth long enough, you will begin to fall for any lie. You must apply all the principles to get the results you want – not just some of them. However, many people find themselves working hard in the gym (because they don’t mind that part), yet ignoring calories (because that is too much work) – and they wonder why they can’t lose the weight. If you want to succeed, you have to decide to apply EVERYTHING you learn, not just some of it.

Diet Cartoon3. You never really learn what is necessary to make fitness a lasting lifestyle. If you take short cuts, you are missing out on gaining more knowledge. Eating Lean Cuisines instead of learning out to prepare and weigh food, and count calories keeps you in bondage to boxed foods. As soon as you are left to cook or eat out, you will be lost. There is a certain amount of “homework” required to the fitness lifestyle. You must make the extra effort to measure food, weigh it, research foods, count calories, look up healthy recipes, study workouts, learn proper form, research supplements and study nutrition if you really want to KNOW how to live healthy. Sadly, people don’t want to know anything. They want to get healthy with limited knowledge. This is why people say “just tell me what to do” or “tell me what to eat”. Just telling someone what to do or eat sets them up for long-term failure. The best way to make fitness a lifestyle is to invest time in gaining the knowledge you need to KNOW how to live healthy (not pretend to live healthy). Think about how much time you waste surfing facebook or watching TV, where you gain NO knowledge. Don’t you think you are worth the investment?

too busy to exercise4. You make life harder than it has to be. ironically, we waste more and energy time trying shortcuts than if we did everything the right (and often longer) way. Proverbs 12:24 says “The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.” I think this passage is interesting because what it tells me is lazy people will be FORCED to work even harder. It’s funny how easy life is when we suck it up and just do what we are supposed to do. It’s when we try to avoid work, we often have to work much harder. I’ve personally experienced this time after time – especially with home improvement projects. I can’t count the number of times I had to either completely do something over again because I was trying to cut corners.

You can do MOREWhat this scripture also tells me is that I will be more in control if I am diligent. How many of us want to be in control of our lives? Of course our life really is in God’s hands, but there are many things we can control – and exercise and diet falls in that category. Do you really want to be FORCED to labor – possibly doing what you don’t even want to do? Or do you want to take control and choose what you are willing to do? Unfortunately, many people wait until it’s too late and the doctor tells them they need to make changes or they are going to die. You can decide now, or someone will decide for you later. Either way, we really can’t avoid work. It’s a part of life – so you might as well take control now.

Have you been guilty of trying short cuts, waiting on an easier way or only applying some of what you have learned? Save a lot of time and energy, and each your goal faster, by doing fitness the right way – applying what you have learned, and continuing to learn something new every day! You will be SO glad you did!! Your only regret will be that you wish you did it sooner!!

Motivational Quote:

You can do more

Are You Lying to Yourself?

call it what it isHave you ever been afraid to verbalize something in fear it would make it more real? I believe we have a way of candy-coating the truths in our lives by not calling things what they are.

Recently I was listening to a message about Joseph, the coat of many colors guy who was sold to slavery and raised up to leadership. He was a loyal worker, and had great favor where ever he went. It also said he was EXTREMELY handsome. As a result, his boss’s wife tried to seduce him. His response was “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God“. This may not seem like a big statement here, but how many times do we respond to doing something wrong with calling it what it really is?

Joseph not only saw it wasn’t right, but he saw just how seriously wrong it was – not just that it wasn’t right to do to his boss, but he saw how it wasn’t right to do to God. Talk about taking things up a notch!

What if we were to be more truthful with our struggles, thoughts and actions? What if we started being more honest with ourself and with others? I believe in my heart, we let things (problems) linger in our life because we never really truly address them in truth.

There needs to be a time when we all look in the mirror and we face the things we try to run from. Here are a few examples:

I can’t lose weight.
Am I really doing everything I can do?

I probably should cut back the wine.
Am I an alcoholic?

I need more time and money.
Am I using my time and money wisely?

I don’t want to join a gym.
Am I letting my pride get in the way of my health?

I just really like her/him a lot.
I am married and I am fighting an attraction which is wrong and will never be right.

I eat really healthy.
Could I still be eating too much?

I love food.
Am I letting food control me?

You fill in the blanks…..
We all have our issues and our demons we must face. For Joseph, it was a constant pursuing of his boss’s wife – even when he was doing all the right things. BUT, he never gave into temptation because he never stopped seeing it for what it was.

I challenge you today to face your struggles head on, write them down, talk about them with someone you love and trust. You can never win a battle you never admit you are having. :)

It’s Not a Diet, It’s Self-Control

I'm not dietingPeople do NOT like the word diet. It’s like a bad 4-letter word that’s offensive in all countries. Everyone has a different definition of diet. I admit I use the word all the time, but I never think of it as a bad thing. To me, diet means results. It means healthy food, smart food. It means perfect portions, not overeating, not eating junk. It means practicing self-control and it means feeling great.

When did practicing self-control become so scary and bad? God ENCOURAGES us to practice self-control. There are countless scriptures on the importance of controlling our body, cravings and desires.

As you know, I like chips and salsa. I can’t eat it every day (but I WANT TO), but I do eat it. What if you let your kid eat whatever they wanted to eat every day? That’s a scary thought right? Well, it’s not too much worse than a grown adult eating whatever they want to eat every day. It might “look” healthier than PopTarts and Happy Meals, but it’s not much different when it comes to self-control.

Stop looking at dieting (or practicing self-control) as a horrible thing. Instead, look at it as empowering! Every time you resist your favorite cheat food, you are reminding yourself you are strong, you are one step closer to your goal, you are in control, you are not letting food rule your life, you are bettering yourself, you are doing the right and healthy thing. Every time you are eating healthy, you’re fueling your body with the foods it needs to help you reach your goals. Be proud, be excited!

Self-control requires sacrifice. Sacrifice requires being uncomfortable at first, but pleasure follows. Lack of self-control is the other way around. Pleasure first followed by discomfort that typically way outlasts the pleasure. Dieting (eating right, practicing self-control, managing calories) is investing in your future – and it’s SO worth it!!

Download the LoseIt app today and start taking control of your eating – and your body!

Fat & Frustrated: The Secret to Finding Peace

walking the fenceWhen I was in high school, my homeroom teacher came up to me and said “you’re walking the fence Bonnie.” I knew exactly what he meant and I’ll never forget it (or him, Coach Youngblood). While he was talking about how I acted at school verses how I acted at church, I believe this same condition (walking the fence) happens to all of us in many different areas of our life – including fitness. People have so much unnecessary stress in their life because they “walk the fence” with their diet, with exercise, with relationships, with finances and absolutely with their spiritual life. This “condition”, I’ll call it, causes so much discontentment, frustration, restlessness, resentment, anger, bitterness, conviction and conflict. Why? Because you want peace, but your body and mind are in conflict. You know what you WANT, but you aren’t doing what you NEED to do to get it. You are “walking the fence”.

Conflicted

diet good vs evilFor example, you want to get fit, but you aren’t fully committed to the diet. In this case, every time you eat poorly, every time you weigh yourself, or every time you don’t like the way you look in clothes, you are filled with regret, guilt, conviction, stress and disappointment. In addition, every time you are with your fit little friend, you are uncomfortable. A matter of fact, you are actually downright grouchy and feel even worse because she’s a constant reminder of what you should be doing. As a result, you may even avoid your fit friends or avoid the gym. Listen, there is more to life than how we fit in our jeans. I admit, I like myself better at a certain weight, but what I like more is the peace I have with myself when I am taking care of my body and living right (or at least trying!!). I refuse to live a life buried in guilt and discouragement from letting my life get out of control. While I sure do enjoy feeling thinner and fitter, I also enjoy the peace of knowing I am doing what is healthy and good.

Restless?

Maybe your issue isn’t with food or fitness. Maybe it’s with relationships or with God. No matter what you are wrestling with, if you are filled with conviction, anger, frustration and restlessness, it’s often because you keep doing what you WANT to do and resisting what you SHOULD do. Once you want peace more than whatever you are currently craving, change will happen and peace will come. Joyce Meyer said peace finally came in her home when she wanted peace more than she wanted to be right. How often do we trade peace for something temporary? hanging from the fenceThere is simply NO PEACE when you are on the fence. You can’t “rest” on the fence. On the fence, there is indecisiveness, conviction, conflict and restlessness. Peace requires commitment – the commitment to do what you need to do, not just what you want to do. It’s the decision to get off the fence and get on the RIGHT side of life. Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it! Psalm 34:14 I LOVE this scripture!! If you crave peace, don’t wait for it to come to YOU, chase after it, seek it, pursue it, do everything you need to get it – and depart from the things that are getting in the way of peace. What are you not willing to “depart” from? Are you trading peace for food? Are you trading peace for what makes you feel good in the moment? You know which side of the fence you should be on so what are you waiting for? Seriously, what is more valuable than peace?

Weight Loss is Like Marriage – It’s Hard Work, but It’s Worth It!

Steve & Bonnie PfiesterWhen you go into a marriage, you each come with a lot of baggage – baggage you might not even know you had. At first, you are so in love you don’t notice the weight you each carry right away. Over time, the burden of carrying the extra junk begins to show – and new junk gets piled on too! In many ways, marriage is like weight loss. It requires a permanent commitment to succeed, and it takes a lot of work, discipline, balance, self-control and constant effort if you want to maintain it.

Today we celebrate 20 years of marriage! This above photo was of Steve and I at a company beach party in the early part of our marriage (in the 90’s – that explains the high waisted swim suit I had on! OMG!). The party was put on by Steve’s favorite boss of all-time, Tom Kane of the Center for Orthopedic Sports & Physical Therapy in Tallahassee, FL. We thought we were so fit. haha!  Boy did we have a lot to learn!

steve and bonnie pfiesterSure, we worked out. We even did occasional cardio! lol However, we were merely in the honeymoon stage of both our marriage – and our fitness. The newness was fun and exciting. We were beginning to do a lot right, but we were still doing a LOT wrong.

Over the years, we not only learned that marriage was going to be harder than we thought, and so was staying fit and healthy! It’s taken years to learn how to eat healthier and work out better (more effectively and more efficiently). We’ve learned how to maintain a healthier weight by managing calories and practicing self-discipline. Instead of yo-yoing up and down, binging (cheating) and then crash dieting, now we eat pretty healthy all the time with small cheats here and there – which is a healthier and happier way to live. We rely less on exercise to erase our food “sins” and more on self-control and keeping our diet and lifestyle in balance so we don’t have to spend 2 hours a day in the gym.

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterI encourage you to always work to improve. Alway seek knowledge. Always work at it! And always remember you are learning every single day – even in your failures. And, most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP. All the hard work, all the failures, all the mistakes, all the struggles are WORTH IT as LONG AS YOU stick to the commitment you first made. If you quit, all the work was for nothing.

I’m so thankful Steve and I have stuck it out, even when the hard work didn’t seem to work right away (like doing a new fitness program…and you wonder when it will EVER pay off!). Sound familiar? I am telling you! There were days we both were nearly convinced we couldn’t succeed no matter how hard we tried. Now we laugh at that thought! And the same goes for you – in whatever you are striving for. Don’t give up when things are tough…chances are, victory is JUST around the corner!!!

Keep your eye on the prize! Don’t look back and keep pressing on. The reward is greater than you could EVER imagine!!!! Whether it’s weight loss or your marriage. The reward is worth the work!

<3 Love you Stephen James Pfiester!!!

Motivation Monday: Try Something GREAT

“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

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!

 

Life’s Too Short to Not Live Healthy

mac cliftonI’m back from my uncle’s funeral in Virginia. I’ve been mostly silent this past week while away with family. Life is too short!! Sadly, we often put work, life, social obligations, community and just plain busy silliness in front of the most important things in life – like family, our own health and precious friends.

Listening to all the stories about my uncle’s generosity, and of how he gave of himself, his money, his resources and his time really inspired me to be more giving and try to make the most out of this life of mine. It inspired me to want to live a life worth remembering – a life that makes a difference even more than ever. It also reminded me how healthy it is to take time off, even when we think we can’t afford it or feel guilty for doing it. God blesses our sacrifices and wants us to build quality relationships. He wants us to take care of our body, and our loved ones.

Oftentimes people leave this world too early because of their unhealthy choices earlier in life. While uncle Mac was a great steward over his money, he wasn’t as good at taking care of his health when he was younger. Even though he quit smoking, his tobacco abuse early on ultimately took his life – and we weren’t done with him yet!! My uncle had bi-pass surgery years ago, surely due to the tremendous amount of stress he endured while he built his businesses. It was only recently (just weeks ago) we discovered he had lung cancer, and just a few days later he was gone. I was just celebrating his birthday, and now we are mourning his life. 

We never know how much time left we have, but one thing we can do is make better decisions today – healthier decisions today. I urge you not to wait until your later years to lose weight, get healthy, mend relationships, spend more time with family or live a life more pleasing to the Lord. Tomorrow isn’t promised, and even if you have many more tomorrows, what you do today greatly impacts how healthy and happy your tomorrow is.

What are areas in your life that need improvement or prioritizing?

Here are a few things I feel I need work on.

  1. Live less selfishly, being more eager to give my time, money and resources.
  2. Quit putting work before God, spouse and family. 
  3. Invest in family and quality friends.
  4. Do more kind acts for loved ones – from writing letters, sending pictures, to cooking and serving them in any capacity I can.
  5. Take care of my body so I can be healthy enough, for long enough, to take care of others.
  6. Rest more. I’m no good tired. I can’t bless anyone if I’m constantly exhausted. 
  7. Live like I’m dying – because I am, eventually. This means I decide to spend my time, conversation and effort on things that are important and lasting. 
  8. Constantly strive to maintain balance. In this hectic world, it is easy to get out of balance. Maintaining balance takes a constant effort.
  9. Learn to say no. I don’t need to please everyone. I need to please God, my spouse, my family and then my friends (in that order). BUT 9 times out of 10, if I strive to please the Lord, I’ll be pleasing to so many more people just by default. And for the ones I can’t please, I wouldn’t be able to please both them and the Lord anyway. :)
  10. Simplify. I will find more time if I can simplify my life and not try to squeeze in every bit of entertainment, material item or extra work in every second. We have so much added stress that’s unnecessary and not worth the extra stress. By letting go, and doing less, we can do more of what matters. 

What Mask Are You Wearing?

halloween maskSince 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.

Success Is Rarely Convenient

what is rightHow 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.

The Musical Moon 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

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