Cleaner Diet, Cleaner House

I am amazed how my diet and fitness routine affects every aspect of my life. As some of you know, we are working on a top secret TV project (the kind where we could tell ya, but we’d have to kill ya lol …or, more like, pay the network a million dollars). Well, part of that journey was purposefully eating like most Americans – and BOY did our life suffer!!

We physically felt awful, we got lazy, we found it hard to keep up with chores and we just weren’t as disciplined in other areas as we normally are. No wonder people who eat like that are too tired for the gym – we were too! But, almost immediately after returning to our normal healthy lifestyle, we suddenly had more energy, less aches and pains, and found more discipline to do things we had put off for weeks.

Less Time, More Productive

productivityIt’s ironic that now that we have to do meal prep, log food, workout more, etc., that we find more energy to clean the house, cook more, have more time to study our Bible and do tasks that have been on the hit list for a while. We cleaned out our pantry and our 2 refrigerators. I cleaned my closet and i completely gutted my office shelves and organized tons of paperwork for work. Steve tackled things he’s talked about doing for months, and we both are so much happier! It just made me realize how much we need structure.

We all love our freedom, but in many ways, it puts us in more bondage than the strictest diet ever could. Temporary freedom leads to more of a lasting bondage. A bondage of feeling bad, being lazy, lacking drive, being a slave to our body and even depression and despair. However, when we are in a good solid fitness and diet routine, we feed our body the proper fuel it needs to perform better. Instead of driving a big fat Cadillac that only can make it 12 miles, we turn into a Prius that can take us clear into another state! Plus, when we get back on a regular schedule, it’s like we are following road maps instead of wandering around aimlessly.

Freedom in Structure

structureI think about kids and school. Summer break is awesome and seems like it should be fun (FREEEEDOM!!!!), but the whole family, normally, is more than ready for everyone to get back to a routine, structure, regular bedtime hours, eating patterns and a normal schedule. What seemed like work and stress when school was in session now seems like freedom and fun.

Fall clothes shopping, seeing school friends again, kids aren’t asking friends to sleep over every night, parents finally get a break and welcome the good ole excuse “no honey, not on a school night”. lol  Isn’t it the same with our health?

I’m amazed of how much I welcomed eating well again. I had so much fun cleaning out the fridge and getting new groceries. I was like a school girl getting ready for the first day of school. I was excited and ready! Like facing a new school year, I was ready for a fresh new start!

I was also amazed by how amazing clean food tasted – better than the best cheat meal I had the entire time we were “off”. It was like my body craved real nourishment, and it paid off. I’m no longer sluggish. I’ve already lost 4 pounds and I feel like I can conquer the world. Freedom in being “Off my diet”. Pfffft!! No way!

Why?

lazinessWhy does this happen? Why does our diet and fitness impact our work life, home life, etc.? I believe that any time you practice discipline with your food and diet, you are refusing to serve your flesh, making it is easier to practice discipline in all areas of your life. And the same goes for the opposite.

When you allow yourself to not practice self-control, you lose control in other areas too. You get lazy in every area and it’s amazing how your life can really fall apart quickly, all because you allowed yourself too much freedom.

Part of our fall is simply from poor food choices that make it difficult to perform well. The other part is just giving your flesh and inch, and it wanting to take a mile – it got its pizza, but now it wants a nap, it wants comfort, it doesn’t want to do the dishes and it definitely doesn’t want to wake up early to run.

Clean It Up 

If you have lost focus, if you feel like you have lost drive and aren’t being as productive as you should be, start with clean eating and getting in a regular fitness routine. As you begin to practice self-discipline there, make a list of other areas you need to make a priority and start making it happen. The healthier you get, the easier it will be. And remember, if you don’t want to be a slave to food or laziness (your flesh), the best way to kill something is to starve it. Don’t give your flesh even an inch. I promise, it will always want a mile!

 

“…he must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. Titus 1:7-8

Lose 10lbs in 10 Seconds: 4 Ways to Appear Thinner Fast

My blog title may seem a little too good to be true at first glance, but keep reading, because what you are about to read can literally change your appearance in a matter of seconds. Yes, you won’t actually LOSE 10lbs, but with these tips, you’ll look like you did!

When it comes to belly bulge, the first thing that comes to mind is FAT, but that isn’ always the only problem – and sometimes it’s not the problem at all. I’m talking about the dreaded pooch. Belly fat and a pooch can be two totally different things. It’s one thing to have fat, but you can have a pooch and not even be overweight. Or, you can look even heavier than you are simply because you have both belly fat AND a pooch.

If you feel like you have Poochitis, then this blog is for you!

Here are 4 simple tips to get thin fast!

1.  Suck In – Often times people don’t have as much belly fat as they appear, they just don’t hold their stomach tight. Even worse, it seems “letting it all hang out” is almost a trend, especially with teens. Kids paint on their skinny jeans that happen to stop right below their belly – and they just let their stomach poke right out and do whatever it wants. With hip-hugging pants and low-rise bathing suits, their pooch us more exposed than ever. If they simply would tighten their abs and suck in, they’d easily appear to drop 5-10lbs in an instant.

Tummy Tip: Maintaining a tight belly doesn’t happen overnight, it takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it is. Post notes around the house, and even in the car, to remind you to suck in. Eventually, your tighter tummy will be your new resting posture.

2. Eat Small Meals –  It’s hard to suck your tummy in if you eat too big of portions and walk around stuffed all the time. If you want to maintain a flatter stomach, limit the size of your meals and snacks so your stomach isn’t loaded up with digesting food. It’s not just the last meal you ate either. You have food in your stomach and intestines from several snacks and meals that push out on your abdominal wall. If you want to suck in with ease, don’t fight a stuffed gut.

Tummy Tip: This graphic, from The National Post, is supposed to show us just how big Starbucks’ new Trenta cup size is, but I think it reminds us how easy it is to fill up our stomach. If our stomach’s average capacity is 900 ml, then no wonder we feel fat after having a small sandwich and a Big Gulp. Our stomach is completely overstretched, making it close to impossible to hold our stomach in.

3. Tone Up – If you want to maintain tighter abs, you’ll need to work your abdominal muscles. Doing ab exercises tightens and strengthens the muscles needed to hold your stomach in. The more you do them, the easier it is to hold your stomach tight. My favorite tummy tighteners are Plank exercises. Try our “Plank & Simple” at FitStudio for a killer core workout that will help you tone and tighten your midsection.

4. Improve Posture – Look at how poor posture automatically makes someone appear to have a belly. Picture standing up straight as if you are taking the slack out of your stomach. When you are hunched over, your folds of skin and fat accordion together. Yet, when you stand up tall, you lengthen you body and tighten the slack in your skin, giving you a much thinner appearance. Plank exercises also help improve posture, strengthening and elongating the core.

Tummy Tip: Have a friend take a photo of you standing normal. Then have them take a picture of you standing with really bad posture, as well as really good posture. Compare the 3 photos to see the difference good posture will make in your appearance.

Get More Belly Busting Tips in 60 Seconds at FitStudio

NEWBIES BEWARE: Don’t Get the Fit Head

There is a normal process of events and attitudes people experience when they start living right and making positive changes. And it can get worse and worse the longer you do it if you aren’t careful.

What do I mean? Well, in both cases, your attitude can draw people in (to what you are doing), or push people away. Basically, you are a witness. You may be a good witness or a bad witness.

Proud vs Pride

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 29:23

be proudThe first thing that happens when you start a new workout is that you gain a natural sense of pride. You are proud of yourself – and you should be! However, being proud of yourself can quickly turn into pride, and pride can destroy you and everyone around you.

I am the first to admit I am a lot quicker to do a Facebook post about something I’m doing right, than something I am doing wrong. Every once and a while, I’ll “check in” Calvary Chapel Vero Beach on Facebook and my flesh will rise up with pride as if I’m saying “look at me. I’m a good girl. See me spending time at church?”

Although the reason I post those things is not to show off how great I am, but how great God is, because I want others to see what He’s doing in our life, I still have to check myself. And, we need to check ourself in the same way with how we act along our fitness journey. Are we simply proud of ourself and trying to encourage others that “if we can do it, you can too”? Or, are we allowing a more unhealthy, ugly pride to grow within us?

Right vs Self-Righteous

closed mindsFor if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galations 6:3

If you allow your pride to get out of control, you can easily become very self-righteous – and that, my friend, is a very dangerous place to be.

DEFINITION: Self-RighteousHaving or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior.

I think everyone knows exercise is beneficial. It’s the “right” thing to do, but doing right and being self-righteous are two different things.

When a person starts working out, they begin to learn a lot. The more things they learn that are right and good, the more they realize what is wrong and unhealthy.  Sadly, many people will begin to look down on anyone around them who is not doing what they are doing – when, ironically, it probably wasn’t too long ago they were doing the same thing.

If I were to be completely honest, it’s difficult not to judge an obese person eating a 4 scoop banana split loaded with chocolate syrup and not think “what are you doing?!” We want everyone to discover what we’ve discovered. We want them to feel good as we feel. We want them to experience weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, but we are never going to affect people positively with negative actions and reactions.

Most of us, at some point in our life, were just as blind to healthy living as they were. We may not have gained 100lbs but we have all abused our body before to some degree. We must always extend grace. We can’t compare ourselves to others and continue to lift ourself up above others because we think our “sin” is not as bad as another person’s “sin”. We can’t judge them and look down on them for not knowing what you now know.

As you continue to learn how to eat and workout, I warn you to guard yourself against becoming judgmental to others who haven’t jumped on the fitness train yet. You can’t beat everyone over the head with a dumbbell and food scale every day and expect them to respond positively. You have to quietly lead by example and be patient, waiting for others to be ready for change.

“People will be ready for change when the consequences outlast the pleasure.”

Good Example vs Bad Example

GOOD EXAMPLEAs you continue on your quest for a healthy fit life, you must realize you are a fitness witness whether you like it or not. The same way my life is an example of what a Christian looks like (whether I like it or not, and whether it’s a good one or not), you too are faced with the same fate. You are an example. Are you a turn ON or turn OFF?

Are your social media posts inspiring or annoying? Are you sharing your fitness journey or bragging about it? Are you making a positive impact or a negative one? I think the best way to make sure you are on the right path is to look at your “recruits”.

How many people have you “converted”? How many people were once unbelievers and now a huge believer in fitness? The best way to see if you are doing the right thing is to look for, what a Christian calls, fruit. An apple tree is of no real value unless it grows apples. A fitness witness is of little value unless it grows more fitness.

Who have you helped today? Or are you just helping yourself?
Are you so focused on your own workout you aren’t willing to help someone else?
Are you willing to completely skip your workout altogether to help a total stranger in the gym?
Are you willing to make a healthy meal and share a recipe with a coworker who needs guidance?
Just how much are you willing to sacrifice to help others?

Never forget why you started, and that you too were once as lost as they are. Extend grace, love and support. Decide today to be a good example and not get the big fit head. :)

(How To) RUN and Not Be Weary

I Will Wait

Doesn’t everyone want to run and not be weary, walk and not faint? Doesn’t everyone desire to be strong? What does strength require? It requires trust.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

woman on scaleMany versions of this scripture interchange trust with wait, however, I think many people don’t really know what it means to “wait’. But trust requires waiting, and it’s in the waiting that we get strengthened.

Waiting doesn’t mean do nothing. Waiting means to continue running, enduring, pressing on, WHILE waiting for the next step – the harvest, the payoff, the answer, the confirmation, the reward.

Let’s look at this scripture first in context of trusting God. You can’t trust God and not wait on Him to answer your prayer. You can’t fully trust God and doubt His ways, or the path you are on, no matter how uncomfortable.You can’t truly trust Him and directly disobey Him either. Trust requires complete surrender, it requires patience and it requires obedience.  You either trust He’s got this, or you don’t. There is no middle ground.

Trust & Obey

doubt killsWhile a trainer is no God, a good trainer should lead you in the right direction. If you truly trust your trainer, you will continue to follow their direction and stick to their program. You won’t do just some of the things they tell you, you will do them all. You won’t argue, you won’t try to hold on to your old ways that got you in bad shape to begin with.

Proof of trust is completely letting go. You can’t possibly trust your trainer (and in the science of fitness) and continue exploring other solutions or do your own thing. You can’t trust the process and try to skip steps or look for shortcuts. You can’t truly trust the process and quit. You can’t trust and rebel.

If you don’t trust, you will grow weary. Your doubt will make you faint. You can’t possibly run this race with 100% effort if you don’t believe you are running in the right direction.

You can’t possibly run this race with 100% effort if you don’t believe you are running in the right direction.

Whether you are struggling with weight loss or a personal difficulty, you can be impatient, and try your own way, OR you can trust and wait – and BE STRENGTHENED IN THE PROCESS!

How Do You Keep the Faith? How Are You Strengthened?

Track Record This is easy! When I find myself doubting, I just look at the facts. This is when I get strengthened. With God, I look at His track record. Every single time I’m obedient and faithful, He has provided and answered prayer. Every time I’ve been in a hot mess, I can see where I was out of line. I’ve proven, over and over, that I cannot be trusted and He’s proven over and over that He can.

With fitness, every single time I have been obedient and faithful, I got the result I wanted. When I didn’t get results, it was because I wasn’t sticking with the plan, I wasn’t giving it my all, I wasn’t willing to completely “obey”. I was cheating, I wasn’t being disciplined or I wasn’t being patient enough, and I quit too soon.

I may not ENJOY the process, but I love the reward. The right way isn’t always the easy way. Oftentimes it is even harder at times. However, I know I can’t get the reward without going through the process and I can be strong knowing I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing.

I look back at the times I have been the happiest and strongest. In my case, it’s when I’ve been right with God and right with my health and fitness. If I’m not where I want to be, I go back to when I felt my best, when I had the most peace, and I repeat everything it took to get there in order to get it back again. I don’t try something new, I don’t’ try an easier way to get it back, I do what is proven, tried and true.

Run with Confidence

If you REALLY trust, you will happily wait, and won’t even think of abandoning your plan. You can boldly say “I wait confidently with great expectation”. This confidence will give you the ability to RUN and not be weary, WALK and not faint. You can give your 100% because you know you are running in the right direction.

Run and not be weary

Working the Heart vs. Working Off Fat

#TBT – Throwback Thursday

OLD TREADMILLThe US Air Force conducted one of the first studies on cardio vascular (or aerobic) exercise. It took another 20 years after that before most people would actually step on a treadmill for some “cardio” in a gym.

Back in the 80s, no one even knew what the word “cardio” was. People ran, people did aerobics and people road bikes, but no one did “cardio”. Treadmills weren’t even being introduced to gyms until the mid 80s – and it took another few years for people to actually start using them.

Over time, gyms gained a few more pieces of cardio equipment (like bikes, treadmills and steppers), but it probably only made up for 20% of the equipment in an average health club.

Ironically, people are rarely talking about exercising the heart and lungs when they say they are going to do cardio. They are normally referring to burning fat. What they really mean is “I’m going to burn off the pizza I ate last night” or “I’m going to make room for ice cream”.

When people finally started to understand the whole “calories in vs calories out” concept, exercise took a drastic turn toward more heart-pounding workouts – but not for the heart-pounding part. They wanted to burn calories – and most of all, FAT!

Don’t Take My _________ Away!

Andreas Cahling Nowadays, cardio, aerobics and conditioning programs make up more than half the market. Boot Camps, aerobics classes, CrossFit, cardio machines, spinning classes, Zumba, circuit training and even a lot of one-on-one workouts all have a cardio component in them because it’s no longer enough to just strength train. People want to burn as many calories as they possibly can in as little time as they can.

When the NPC Central District Chairman, Pete Fancher, spoke to our competition team at our gym recently, he talked about his early days competing. He explained to the group that no one did “cardio”. They didn’t even HAVE cardio at his gym – and they laughed at him when he bought the first bike, calling him wimpy names. When they had to lean out for a competition, they mainly relied mainly on diet to shed the fat.

run-for-beer_thumb3We live in a ‘gimme” world that hates giving up ANYTHING – even if it’s to get something great, like an amazingly fit and trim body. Most clients are not too happy when their trainer recommends cutting back calories. They panic. “Don’t take my wine away, or my chocolate, or my nightly snacks or my beer. Don’t cut my portions, don’t give me a list of foods I should avoid.” Oh no! That would be cruel and unusual punishment. Instead, they want to know what they can do MORE OF in order to keep the current lifestyle.

People will do two and three workouts a day so they can eat whatever they want when they are not at the gym. Yet, if they would just practice a little more self-control, they wouldn’t have to turn into a overly obsessed gym rat who’s facebook has more gym checkins and fitness chatter than family photos – AND they’d probably get a LOT faster (and better) results.

I Do Cardio For (Fill In The Blank)

If this is you, or you are in maintenance mode and just want to avoid weight gain, then you may want to read my newest article “WILL RUN FOR BEER: TOP 10 CALORIE SCORCHING EXERCISES” on “HealthyWay.com“, powered by Answers. At least you’ll know which exercises will help you burn off your favorite food fix. :)

Fail Yesterday, Succeed Today

failure is historyToo many people let their past failures define them. They dieted before and failed, so they believe they are doomed to never lose weight. They joined a gym before and quit going, so they fear they’ll just waste their money again the next time. They have a tendency to be lazy, selfish, and lack self control, so they fear they will always be lazy, selfish and lack self control. This type of thinking uses past failures to sabotage tomorrow’s successes.

My grandmother once quoted Barbara Johnson, an encouraging author known for helping women have hope and joy in discouraging times, saying, “Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.” Focusing on past failures causes us to worry about continuing to be a failure, and Barbara reminds us worrying wastes time and interferes with tomorrow’s opportunities.

Free From Failure

failure or successWhat we think about is a choice. We have the choice to think about all the mistakes we’ve made, and what mistakes we could make in the future OR we can think about changing our actions, breaking the cycle, becoming the person we want to be, learning from our mistakes and succeeding. Sure, it’s easy to look at the facts. Believe me, I know about failure. I remember paying for a gym membership for 2 years and never going. Did that stop me from joining a gym again? No. The next time I went a little more than the first. I continued to join gyms until I found the one that kept me going, and I learned to make working out a part of my life, and not an option.

Of course, this is just one type of failure. There are much worse failures than just wasting a gym membership or quitting a diet. However, the application applies to all failures. Just the same way you can list off all the good reasons you’re sure you could fail again (where statistics could help prove your point), I can shoot off some statistics of my own that prove you could succeed.

Aim for Success

never-give-upI have countless encounters with people who have never had weight loss success who joined our gym, or did a boot camp, and got the results they wanted after many failed attempts. I could remind you of all the failed relationships who decided to never give up and who made it – stronger and better than they ever hoped. We can look at all the countless men and women in history that led lives of failure, but are remembered for their great successes because they didn’t let their failures define them or stop them from continuing to try to become a success.

No matter what your struggle is today, decide now to accept your failures as HISTORY. You can be a failure yesterday and be a success today. Be a success for several days in a row, and before you know it you ARE a success.

No matter how bad you were on Thanksgiving, no matter how much you’ve let your workouts slip, no matter how many poor mistakes you’ve made with your finances or relationships, decide to stop making the mistakes that haunt you, decide to think about the possibilities if you succeed, and and decide to make this week a successful week!

What if he quit trying?

mystery man“This was a man who failed in business at the age of 21; was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in  business at age 24; overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26; had a  nervous breakdown at age 27; lost a congressional race at age 34; lost a  senatorial race at age 45; failed in an effort to become vice-president  at age 47; lost a senatorial race at age 49; and was elected president  of the United States at age 52.”

This man was Abraham Lincoln.

I have failed over and over, and that is why I succeed” Abraham Lincoln.

Read More Amazing Failure-to-Success Stories

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What If You Set a Ridiculously High Goal?

Ridiculous goalsWhat is a ridiculous goal? Is it competing? Is it doing a marathon? Maybe it’s just doing a 5K or losing the baby weight. A ridiculous goal is a goal that you know will take a lot of work and dedication, but the result will take you much further than you may actually may believe is possible.

I personally never thought I’d compete. While I understood why people did it, and supported them, I was terrified of the thought of standing on stage for judges to critique my body. Lord knows I knew all my flaws already. I didn’t need anyone to point them out. However, I also finally admitted I’d never diet or train as hard as I would for a competition – not for a job, not for a shoot, not for a cruise or a reunion …not for nuthin’!

So, I set some ridiculously high goals – and if you have ever competed (or plan to), you too have set some ridiculously high goals. And, you know what? Even if you fail, you will likely fail way above any other goal.

Don’t get me wrong. Your goal may be a lifting goal (to lift a certain weight), or to have a better PR. If you are a CrossFitter, it might be to RX your first workout or to compete in the Games. If you are a runner or walker, you may set a performance goal of pace or entering a race. Your goal may be a weight goal, and dress size or doing an exercise you’ve never been able to do. I happened to set an aesthetic-based goal.

As a trainer, I wanted to experience this level of dieting, and train for a clear specific goal. I wanted to experience new cravings, feelings, struggles and emotions – both highs and lows. I wanted to learn what it felt like to be tired, scared (as I tried on a posing suit that looked 5 sizes too big). I needed to experience the craziness so I could better understand what our clients and competitors go through.

Even though I did well competing with others, the best job I did was beating myself. I blew the best older version of me out of the water. This year’s Bonnie beat last year’s model. It was a high goal. It was a ridiculously high goal, and I’d never would have come close if I didn’t go for it.

high goalsWe will never know our potential unless we try and put our body to the test. I didn’t come in perfect. I still had flaws and things I wish I had done better. My posing could have been so much better, but I did well – and the thing that kept me going during the process was knowing that even if I failed, I’d be the best I’d ever had been before. Then how could I even fail?

Being better is not failure. Reaching a higher goal (even if it’s not THE goal) is not failure. It’s ALL progress. Competing (no matter what sport it is) isn’t for everyone, I admit. Personally, I enjoyed the challenge, the self-denial and the journey. I pretty much fought ever second of the commitment process (I was SO scared to commit to it in fear of failing) but I ending up loving ever minute of it.

I loved being a science project. I loved surprising myself. I loved testing my own training and knowledge on myself. I finished proud, better, more educated, more experienced, more humbled and more convinced anyone can do it if I can. Why not set a high goal? As long as your goal is achievable (other people who have the same obstacles as you are doing it), as long as it will not hurt relationships and as long as it’s realistic, you can do it. If someone else did it, so can you!

You never hit high if you aim low.

Do you have a goal you have been contemplating? Have you been doubting yourself? Have you been afraid you may set yourself up for failure? Do you know other people that are similar to you who have done it? Then, if they could do it, don’t you know YOU can?! Maybe it’s time to see what you got! I bet you will surprise yourself. I know I did!

 

Alcohol Consumption: Harmful or Helpful?

 

ACE Fitness did a recent infographic on 6 Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health. I expected all the info to be bad, but some of it surprised me. Alcohol seemed to improve your health in some ways, but hurt it in others. However, a word they kept using over and over was “moderate” consumption – which led me to the question “What is moderate consumption?”

In bodybuilding, competitors drink a few ounces of red wine before they hit the stage to help them dry out more and improve vascularity. One thing I learned though is many people’s glass of wine turned into a Big Gulp sized cup of wine. So, since not everyone’s definition of a few ounces of wine is the same, I thought it would be good to do some digging to get some solid definitions and guidelines

Alcohol Consumption Defined

We’ve all heard that wine is good for the heart. But many people use this as their ticket to drink – and even abuse alcohol. How do you know if you are within the healthy limits? The Center for Disease Control has a nice FAQ sheet about alcohol. This is how they define moderate drinking, heavy drinking and a standard drink serving size. Here are a few key things I found online.

Moderate Drinking
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,1 moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days.

Heavy Drinking
For men, heavy drinking is defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week (that’s basically anything OVER the 2 drinks a day moderate level). For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 8 drinks or more per week (which is basically anything over the moderate level of 1 drink a day).

Standard drink in the US
A standard drink is equal to 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol. Generally, this is equal to:

  • 12-ounces of beer (5% alcohol content).
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content).
  • 5-ounces of wine (12% alcohol content).
  • 1.5-ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor

alcohol-content-wine-beer-liquor

drinking beerBeer or Wine VS. Liquor
One 12-ounce beer has about the same amount of alcohol as one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. It is the amount of alcohol consumed that affects a person most, not the type of alcoholic drink.

What is Alcohol Abuse?
CLICK HERE to learn signs of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. You may be surprised what you learn! Ever wondered if you or someone you love is an alcoholic? TAKE THIS TEST

Alcohol: To Drink or Not to Drink
CLICK HERE to visit ACE fitness and learn how alcohol affects your health – both good and bad.

God Warns Us About Alcohol Abuse

Do not get drunk with wine. That leads to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Proverbs 20:1

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lionlooking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things. Proverbs 23:31-33

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 6:19

6 Steps to a Fit Marriage

Does Your Marriage Need a Workout?

We are all tempted to get lazy, but laziness doesn’t stop with housework or your body. We can be lazy in our marriage too. Laziness is Satan’s sneaky weapon to destroy a marriage without you even knowing it is happening. Laziness seems harmless since it can often be justified, but laziness is incredibly dangerous.

“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” Proverbs 13:4

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterMost of us crave a good marriage. We want romance, happiness, friendship and love. We desire to get a long and desire to improve – but having a desire alone does nothing without work. This applies with fitness too. Most of us desire to be fit and thin, but a desire doesn’t make us fit and thin. Only hard work will give us what we desire.

We are all tempted with laziness because we are exhausted from working and just living life. We are so easily distracted by our phones, work, chores, bills, computers, TV, media – and the list goes on. Most of us have good intentions, but time goes by too fast. Before you know it, you never worked on your marriage and you are sitting at a table across from each other talking about divorce. If you want a richly supplied marriage, you must stay diligent. Does your marriage lack diligence?

dil·i·gence

  1. careful and persistent work or effort.
    synonyms: conscientiousness, assiduousness, assiduity, hard work, application,concentration, effort, care, industriousness, rigor, meticulousness,thoroughness;

    perseverance, persistence, tenacity, dedication,commitment, tirelessness, indefatigability, doggedness
    “they set about their tasks with diligence”

Just Do It

Most of us know what to do, but knowing what to do and not doing it is not just neglect, it’s actual sin.

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4 :17

boxing coupleI am the FIRST to admit that laziness nearly ruined our marriage. Our marriage was pretty good enough without much effort. I thought “good” was enough. Well it wasn’t. What I thought was OK, was seriously wrong. We let work and life take first place, and we neglected to put in the hard work necessary to strengthen our marriage and get it in the best shape possible.

Over the last year and a half, our marriage has been better than ever, but it’s taken a lot of honest conversation, Bible study to learn how God desires our marriage to work, purposeful quality time together, more intimacy, less selfishness and a heightened awareness of any red flags that may pop up along the way that may attack our marriage. Two of which is busyness and laziness.

Over the last few months, we have been much more busy than normal. Busyness leads to laziness. We get so worn out working on everything but our marriage, we have no energy left for our marriage. There are warning signs to a marriage that is getting out of shape just like there are with your weight. When you begin to see the warning signs, you have 2 choices. Ignore it (and it WILL get worse) or work on it.

6 Steps to a Fit Marriage

There are 6 things that GREATLY improved our marriage. Don’t get me wrong, we do not have a perfect marriage, but it is SO much more healthy than it used to be – and there are steps we took to get our marriage in better shape (and we need to continue taking those steps to STAY in shape).

praying together1. Pray together. There is nothing more intimate than praying together. It’s impossible to be a jerk when you are praying. God softens your heart and puts life into perspective. You can’t fool God, He knows it all, so praying forces you to be honest and helps you look at yourself, and each other, in God’s eyes. If you have never prayed out loud together, I challenge you to do that today. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

Speak to God your Father as a real father. A father with a ton of love and resources.  “God (Dad), thank you so much for giving me _______, Help us…Teach us…Speak to us..Forgive us….Strengthen us…Give us people in our life who can minister to us…Help me be more __________. Help me learn to show my love to _________ the way he needs to be shown. Help me learn to forgive. Help me see my spouse the way you see him…”

Believe me, as you pray, you will begin to blurt out all kinds of stuff from the depths of your heart – and as you begin praying for strength and asking God to help you in areas, your spouse will see your true desire to be the spouse they need. You both will melt in love for each other as you see each other’s cry to be a better spouse and to better in general. You’ll be amazed what happens when you begin praying for each other.

couple-reading-bible2. Read scripture together. I remember the time when Steve said “What good is that going to do? How is that going to fix our problems?” Ironically, the one thing he refused to do for so long is the one thing that fixed everything. Reading scripture didn’t fix our problems, it fixed our heart. We got our eyes off of ourself, and on the Lord. Selfishness is the number 1 reason marriages fail and the Bible’s number 1 goal is to help us die to self and live for Him. When we are right with God, we quickly become right with each other. It is more valuable than counseling and it’s much cheaper!!

couple devotional3. Do a marriage devotional together (We are reading Two Part Harmony right now). Marriage devotionals help create conversation, remind us of things we take for granted, keeps our focus on God’s design for marriage and brings us together as a couple. It also is one of the few times we put our phones down and have productive conversation just about us – not work, not family, not friends, but us as a couple.

4. Schedule quality time. If you are waiting on time to just magically appear, it will never happen. You have to schedule it. It may seem like it loses it’s magic, but whether you are planning alone time to talk, kiss or date, quality time for a marriage is just as important as scheduling your workout or doctor’s appointment for your body. It’s healthy and it’s important.

couple fighting5. Refuse to be defensive. I am the most defensive person I know. When Steve says something like “I need XYZ or I feel XYZ”, my immediate response is to defend myself. Why? Because I love him and I want to convince him that my actions are not a reflection of my love. I’ve just been busy and want to explain myself. OR, I want to fire back with all the things he’s doing or not doing so he sees he’s failing too. ha! It’s ridiculous.

The fact is, I have a man who is saying “Hey, I love you and I want more of you.” Even if it comes across as a complaint or is spoken in frustration, the root of the issue is love and the need to reconnect. We often get mad when a spouse complains, but what is the root of the complaint? What is it the spouse is asking for? More time, more intimacy, more affection, more support? All of those things are a demonstration of love.

What they are really saying is “I love you and want to feel your love more”. How horrible is that? Not horrible at all. I am thankful Steve desires my love. So, I’m working on being less defensive and more excited about giving him what he needs to feel the love I have in my heart so we stay connected.

Man-praying6. Pray for each other. We pray for our friends, we pray for help in life – bills, health, stress, trials, etc. But, many of us are not committed to praying for our spouses. Steve and I decided we need all the prayer we can get, so we are committed to praying for each other. Pray yourself to sleep for your spouse. Pray for them on the way to work in the car. AND, let them know you are praying for them and even what you pray for. This not only unlocks God’s power in each of your life, it says “I love you”.  …and there is nothing hotter to me than knowing my man is on his knees in prayer. ❤️

Stay Committed to Your Workout AND Spouse

QALO RINGSI used to really get my feelings hurt when Steve would take his wedding ring off when he lifted. In an attempt to find a band that would be more comfortable, I started buying him all kinds of rings. I bought him thick ones, thin ones, rounded ones, squared off ones. I bought decorative ones to wear outside the gym, and more simple comfortable ones to wear in the gym. None of them worked and half of them are missing from him taking them off and misplacing them anyway. I later realized I had been buying him rings that were nearly a whole size too big. No wonder all of them were uncomfortable when he was lifting weights.

Needless to say, I’ve discovered he’s not the only one who has this problem. Recently, one of our members came up to me and started to get emotional. She said she felt like people noticed that she took her wedding ring off when she trained with her trainer, and she didn’t want anyone to think poorly of her. She has real arthritic hands and her knuckles swell really bad when she trains. She was scared people were judging her, as if she was trying to act single in the gym.

QALO RINGSome people’s rings are too soft and bend out of shape when they lift. Some people’s rings hurt them. Other people just don’t want to scratch their rings up. Some people’s wedding rings get caught up in their workout gloves and are uncomfortable. No matter what the issue is, now they all have a solution thanks to QALO.

QALO designed silicone rings to swap with your wedding ring so you can still show your commitment to your spouse while staying committed to your workout.

QALO rings come in a pouch that can clip to your gym bag so you can make the swap and keep your wedding ring in a safe place. No more lost rings!

We just got their newest collection (comes out June 2015)!

QALO’S New Athletics Collection

QALO RINGSThis new collection came out just in time for our 21st wedding anniversary! Now we can wear matching rings, which came in navy, black, white and red – each with a kettlebell embossed on the ring. This is SUCH a great anniversary gift!! It is also a great gift idea for father’s day since there are so many husbands who can’t wear a traditional wedding ring to the gym or to work.

It’s also great to take on vacation or while doing activities where you may risk losing or damaging your ring like swimming, diving or playing sports.

They now have 5 collections: The Thin Line collection (for firemen and policemen), Outdoors collection, Love collection, Quality collections and now the Athletics collection!  In our QALO gift package, we eat got 4 rings, 2 pouches, some QUALO gear. AND a VISA gift card to go toward a date night. THANK YOU QALO!!

Happy 21st Anniversary to Us!

Steve & Bonnie Pfiester

QALO is pronounced KAY-LO and here is what it stands for Quality, Athletics, Love & Outdoors.

CLICK HERE  to start shopping!! Or STALK THEM online at @QALOring

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