What Is Your Diet Trying To Tell You?


Your diet may be trying to tell you something much bigger and much more meaningful than your daily calorie count. Your diet may be trying to uncover something you’ve hidden for a long time. Are you ready to uncover the secret and learn something new about yourself? Brace yourself. It could be a doozie.

Push The Reset Button

As some of you know, I just competed this weekend. Competing requires a lot of training, dieting and discipline. It can consume your life if you let it, and you can be a winner on the outside but a complete failure on the inside if you aren’t careful. That is why every time I compete, I like to immediately reflect on what I’ve learned and how I can improve – starting on the inside.

I like to get alone with God, re-examine myself, look inside (after spending WAY to much time looking on the outside) and kinda push the “reset” button. I do this with my Bible and an open heart, expecting God to speak to me – and He always does.

Today, I’m going to talk about dieting from a whole new angle. If you think the “diet” is a bad 4-letter word, this is for you. If you struggle with your diet, this is for you. If you hate rules, this is for you. Whether you eat healthy or unhealthy, this is for you. This is a totally different look at dieting and I hope it enlightens you, encourages you and motivates you.

Prepare To Fight

fight myselfBefore I begin, I need to convince you that your body is no friend. Your body is your own worst enemy.

Galatians 5 talks about works of the flesh (our body). What is a work of the flesh? In simple terms, it’s basically anything that your body wants this isn’t good for you. The author, Paul, lists off a bunch of examples you’d expect like adultery and murder (which most of us can blow off as no big deal because it’s not an issue for us), but he also includes some things we all struggle with. For example, outbursts of wrath (Hello! Can anyone relate?), selfish ambition (but no one else is looking out for me), jealousy (she doesn’t deserve it and I do), hatred (but they hurt me) and contentions (ugh). And, he ends it with “and the like”. This means that the list is basically endless.


cravingsWhile there are so many things our flesh craves that can ultimately harm us, I believe one of the best tangible examples is our craving for food. We know it can cause us harm if we eat too much or eat the wrong things, but we do it anyway. It’s so powerful and so destructive.

There is no other time that I’m more aware of my flesh’s power than when I’m dieting. When I’m dieting, peanut butter is suddenly as addictive as a drug. Like crack cocaine, it sucks me in and I’d practically do anything for it. My body knows when I’m low on calories and so it craves high-calorie, high-fat foods to replace the calories I’ve been working so hard to erase. It is the perfect example of my body going against me and opposing my plan.

In reality, our flesh is not for us. It’s against us. Our flesh doesn’t care if we are married, if we have goals or if what it wants will harm us in the long run. It just wants what it want. However, we do not have to be enslaved to it. A matter of fact, we can use it to learn, grow and improve.

As we look at dieting in a new light, I want to address the hidden powerful benefits of being on a diet, outside of nutrition or weight loss.

Dieting: Why All The Rules?

It doesn’t take long to realize we need rules in life. Rules were created to keep people safe. They aren’t invented to be mean or to keep us from having fun. They are for our own good.

I remember absolutely dying laughing when Steve posted this video about the “NO DIVING” warning that came with the kiddie pool we bought for the dogs. It was ridiculous to think of diving into 10 inches of water. But, since it had a warning sticker, this meant somebody probably attempted to do it. Someone needs that warning.

The Big Reveal

The truth is, they don’t have issues with the diet, they have issues the diet exposes. 

speed limit Dieting is simply eating with rules. You are just given guidelines to eat by that will keep you safe and healthy. Sadly, many people hate the rules. Therefore, they hate the diet and eventually reject the plan. The truth is, they don’t have issues with the diet, they have issues the diet exposes.We all do. Diets reveal our problems.

For example, my father-in-law has no issues with speeding so he doesn’t mind speed limits. However, speed limits were made for people like me. If the speed limit is 70, I want to go 80. The speed limit exposes my heavy foot and impatience. I want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible so I’m the first person to complain about slow speed limits. The law isn’t the problem. My impatience and the fact I run late all the time is the problem. That is why I am always speeding. I’m always running late. That’s the real issue, not the speed limit. It’s me.

If there was no speed limit, who knows how fast I’d go. So this law is not just protecting me, it is there to protect the people I could hurt while I’m rushing to work at 100 miles an hour all because I’m running late.

The Real Purpose

10 commandmentsLet’s go back to the very beginning and look at why rules were made in the first place.  I’m talking the 10 commandments, which was the first set of “rules” created to live by. The law was written to reveal our sin. God didn’t carve them in stone, expecting us to obey every single one. There is no way humanly possible to obey them all. We fail on every level – from not obeying our parents and not loving one another to not coveting the new iPhone 7 that I heard is coming out this fall. LOL.

God gave us the law, to reveal our issues. He wanted to show us HIS ideal, so we could see where we fall short and know what we need to work on. It is a tool for us to use to see ourselves as He sees us, so we recognize our weaknesses and need for God and His grace. Without rules, we would not realize what we need to work on. In many ways, the same goes with diet rules.

Uncovering The Truth

urlLike the law, we can’t look at our diet and lie about obeying it. Rules are black and white. There is no grey. We answer it with a “yes” or “no” only. This exposes our weaknesses more clearly. As we log our food, it reveals patterns. It reveals the foods we aren’t willing to give up. It can reveal laziness or a rebellious nature (not wanting to be told what to do). Whatever the case, we can either accept what it reveals and realize those are areas we need to work on, or reject the rules altogether.

Without the rules, we can hide our dietary “sins”, keeping the truth under cover. No rules means no failures (we think). Our mindset can become warped, thinking “if we don’t set standards or guidelines to follow, we cannot fail.” When, not trying at all is the worst kind of failure.

I see similar struggles with new Christians. As they begin to look at their life through God’s eyes for the first time, they realize just how much they need to improve. Many people will even quit and give up because the fight seems too hard. The problem is, they are focusing on the rules, not the reason for the rules. They are focusing on perfection not progress. However, if they learn to appreciate the rules and what it reveals, they can experience freedom in their progress no matter how slow it is.

The same goes with food. Instead of hating our diet, we can be thankful for the rules as it exposes our weak areas. We can embrace each new revelation as an opportunity to improve. We can focus on progress, not perfection.

The Struggle is Real

You are not alone. Check this out. This was the Apostle Paul’s insight on the law, and his own fight he had with his flesh. While his problem might not have been with food, his fight will sound very familiar.

14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:14-16

peanut butter addictCan you relate? I know I can! When I’m standing in front of the pantry with a jar of peanut butter in one hand and a rice crisp in the other, I am thinking “I shouldn’t be eating this” and yet I open my mouth and insert another peanut butter dipped chip.

The problem isn’t the law. My diet isn’t what is wrong. I am what is wrong. My flesh wants what it wants – even if it completely goes against what I know is best. It’s just evidence of our flesh.

Instead of getting mad about being on a diet, we should get mad at our flesh and refuse to let it rule us.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c]you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18

Conflicted For A Cause

conflictWhat do you do when you hate conflict? You often settle, and give in to the other person, or you give up and run away. I believe we do that with our diet. After our issues are revealed we are more aware of the conflict going on inside us. We don’t like what we see. Our flesh fights against us so it is easier to just give up or give in than to keep fighting. However, God teaches us here in Galatians that this conflict is purposed so we don’t do whatever we want.

We shouldn’t feel in bondage to the rules, but we should let the rules help us make better decisions. We will fail. That’s inevitable, but we can improve IF we realize the rules are for our own good.

I hate feeling like a failed after going overboard on snacks at night, but that’s only because I decided to live by dietary rules. It’s because I’m trying to live with higher standards. I would be SO much WORSE if I didn’t live by any rules at all. The conflict I find myself in as I face the pantry is a healthy one. It’s the natural battle between my flesh and spirit, right and wrong, healthy and unhealthy.

Later in Galatians, after Paul talks about the works of the flesh, he talks about the fruit (evidence) of the spirit

 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience, endurance, self-restraint, fortitude), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

What does dieting require more than anything? Self control and patience. We will know when we are not letting our flesh rule us when our life exhibits more of these traits. We may not think that practicing self-control with food as a Godly characteristic, but it is. We must exercise these traits in all areas of life. We can’t have selective self-control or selective patience. It must overflow in all areas of our life.

In the same way, we can’t we can’t allow the flesh to grow strong in one area and expect it to not grow strong in other areas. Anytime we feed our flesh, it grows stronger. Starve the flesh and it will die. The more we practice discipline and self-control in our diet, the easier it is to practice it in other areas as well. This is why we should not give up and give in.God expects us to be willing to fight the flesh in every single way until the day we die. The day we have no conflict, is the day we are no longer fighting.

Embracing the Rules

no more rulesI believe the biggest reason people lose weight and then gain it again is they get tired of living by the rules. Who doesn’t?! After tracking food and being on a diet, they can’t wait to free from all the rules. I admit, it’s exhausting at times. When I’m in extreme diet mode, I’m weighing and measuring everything. I’m packing my food, avoiding going out to eat and practicing a lot of self-control. (Note: I said practicing. That means exactly what it says. I haven’t mastered it. I’m practicing it.)

Can you imagine if we just decided we have had it with obeying the law? If we decided we were tired of trying to go the speed limit and stopping at every single red light. We’d create a lot of problems, and likely die. The same goes with dieting. We’d create a mess for ourselves. There WILL be repercussions.

We don’t get the luxury of “taking off” with the law, in our marriage, in our diet or in our walk with the Lord. It doesn’t mean we can’t have a piece of pie or play hooky from church without serious repercussions, but it does mean we still must practice a certain level of self-control. We have one piece of pie, not 3. We can loosen the reigns, but we are still accountable.

What I am saying is there is no “off”. There should always be a set of guidelines to live by. Maybe they don’t have to be as strict as they were when you first started your weight loss journey, but you will still need some guidelines – or you’ll be back to where you started when you had no guidelines at all.

Dieting To Improve

“Dieting is more than a list of dos and don’ts. It is a tool to uncover our weaknesses so we can work on them.”

I can changeWhether you are on a diet that counts calories or watches carbs. Whether you are just trying to eat less or avoid eating out, dieting can be very good for us if we realize it is more than a list of dos and don’ts. It is a tool to uncover our weaknesses so we can work on them – and the only way we can fail is to give up.

I pray as you read this that you get encouraged and look at dieting in a whole new way. Just remember, it’s a tool to make you better. It’s not the enemy. Our own flesh is.

As you attempt to follow the rules, focus on progress, not perfection. You can fail your way to success as long as you keep learning rom your mistakes.

Start your diet today with a fresh new mindset, an open heart and a willing attitude.

Wearable Caffeine Has Zero Side Effects

Clean Energy PatchEnergy products are all the rage. It seems every supplement and beverage brand on the market has an energy drink, drink mix or pill. However, these energy products are not for everyone.

I’ve tried a lot of different energy products over the years and have experienced all kinds of adverse reactions – including a racing heart, extreme jitters, anxiety, nausea and even panic. For this reason, I typically don’t do energy products.

While I’m a BIG coffee drinker, I don’t enjoy coffee in the afternoon – especially, on a hot summer day. Sipping a hot cup of Joe is the LAST thing I want to do when I’m fighting this South Florida heat and humidity. So, if I needed a caffeine boost, the only other real option is drinking an energy drink but I hate the taste of all of them. Then I was introduced to Clean Energy Patch.

This is a great solution for someone who wants the energy of caffeine without all the other stuff. You don’t have to mix a drink, gulp a nasty-tasting beverage or pop a pill. You just simply slap on the patch and forget about it.

Goodbye Yawning

Clean Energy PatchA good example of this is when I was on the set for an infomercial with Steve. After lunch, I found myself walking around like a total zombie. And I’m not talking about the energetic hungry zombies chasing people. I’m talking about the slow walkers, moving about aimlessly.

When this normally happens, I typically grab a cup of coffee but there was no more coffee in crafty. (Insert eye-bulging emoji here.) What’s a girl to do?

I was yawning every two minutes. Seriously! I was embarrassed about how much I was yawning. It was ridiculous. I was so short on sleep and it had caught up to me. I was crashing more and more every second.

It was so bad, I found myself looking around for a place to lay down and squeeze in a quick nap. I’m not a napper, so just thinking about a nap was completely out of character for me. Then it hit me! I had a Clean Energy Patch in my bag.

Clean Energy PatchI grabbed the patch and slapped that bad boy on and went back to work. I hadn’t used Clean Energy Patch before so I didn’t know really what to expect. I guess I expected the jolt of energy that some energy drinks give you but I discovered that Clean Energy Patch was more about a constant gentle flow of energy than a sudden jolt.

To be honest, I forgot I had it on. However, as time passed, I noticed I was no longer trying to find a cozy place to sleep. After several hours, I realized I had successfully completed a very long day without any more yawning. I was alert, focused and clear. And, since I forgot I had it on, I obviously wasn’t struggling with any jitters or side effects. It was a success.

Not only did I have good energy, I had no crash. After a very long day on location, Steve and I went back to the hotel, changed clothes and went out to dinner with Steve’s co-host, Kristie. After dinner, I still had enough energy to play online, check emails and stay up until nearly eleven o’clock.

IMG_7524Since Clean Energy Patch is more of a subtle long-lasting steady source of energy, I also had a friend, Dr. Matthew Schiermyer, try it to so I could get another person’s feedback. As a Chiropractor who also competes in bodybuilding, he’s always trying new supplements and is very in tune with his body.

Matt wore it all day at work and said the thing he noticed most is he didn’t have his normal afternoon crash. He said he typically gets tired in the afternoon, but Clean Energy Patch gave him a steady stream of energy that kept him going all day.

Most of all, he said he was very focused and clear – which says a lot since he’s on a low-calorie diet right now as he is preparing to compete this weekend.

Clean Energy PatchI also had Steve put it to the test on one of his longest days at work. He’s up at 4:00am and doesn’t get off work until 7:00pm. He put the patch on after lunch to help him get through the rest of the day of personal training and classes.

Normally Steve has a hard time making it through his 5:30pm high-energy kickboxing class on these long days, but he was able to keep his energy up throughout the entire class. Not only that, he went BACK to the gym at 9:00pm to do second cardio!

If you have been feeling foggy or felt like you just need a boost, maybe you should give Clean Energy Patch a try!

Steve shares his thoughts…


If you make a purchase on their site between now and December 31, 2016, make sure to use my code BP2016 for 20% OFF your order!

Perks of the Patch

  • Completely natural
  • Up to 8 hours of energy
  • Zero side effects (no jitters or anxiety)
  • No crash
  • Calorie-free
  • Bloat-free (nothing goes in your belly!)
  • Portable and convenient (great for travel)
  • There are no mystery ingredients
  • Contains 35mg of caffeine per patch

Note: If you wear it a few days in a row, you may want to change the location of the patch 

Clean Energy Patch 

This is a sponsored blog written by me on behalf of Clean Energy Patch. All opinions and text are mine.

You Can Suck – and Still Succeed

I apologize in advance for using such an informal edgy title, but “stink” didn’t cut it – and it didn’t rhyme with success. LOL

louis-armstrongAs I was searching for synonyms for “suck”, I discovered where the word came from. Jazz musicians would compliment a horn player by saying “wow, he can really blow!” Since I play trumpet, I can totally relate. It takes a lot of power and control to move air through the horn to reach those high notes. However, if they were really bad, they’d say they were “sucking” on the horn (opposite blowing).

Of course my blog is not about music, it’s about fitness and the reason I chose this title is because I believe there are way too many people who feel like a failure when it comes to fitness, so they quit – or worse, they don’t even try.

I am here to tell you that you do NOT have to be a rockstar in the gym. You do not even have to be in perfect health. I have seen many people struggle through every single workout, put in half the effort as their workout partners, work with physical limitations, have horrible form and even do the bare minimum asked of them – and I’ve seen them still succeed and reach their goals despite their poor performance.

fitness failureI believe people have a tendency to put too much pressure on themselves to perform well. They compare themselves to other people around them and they let their pride get in the way of their potential.

I’m here to tell you that you have to throw this thinking out the window. Even if you are the weakest person in the gym, even if you are the heaviest person in class, even if you don’t really know what you are doing, you are moving and can be improving!

You don’t have to kill yourself in the gym. Many people are putting themselves through horrendous workouts only because they have a horrendous diet. You don’t need to beat yourself up like that.

My runs are slow as Moses sometimes. On some days, I swear there are some people who could walk faster than I run. There are also plenty of times I want to just leave in the middle of kickboxing class because I feel like I’m dying and failing every single jab, cross, kick and jump. But I leave proud because I didn’t quit no matter how ugly it was.

What matters is that we decide to move and you keep moving. It’s all about consistency and just doing OUR best. As we keep moving, we keep improving.

Don’t let the perfection in you get in the way of your potential. Just focus on progress – one step at a time. :)

move and improve

Sweeten Things Up: 3 Low-Cal Salad Recipes

Some Like It Sweet

summer saldWhen we are crunched for calories, it forces us to get more creative with our cooking. Since we love salads, some of the first things that have to go are craisins, raisins, fruit and candied nuts. But we miss the sweetness these foods added to our salads. So, with a little creativity, we came up with a tasty solution. Marinated cucumbers!!

Have you ever had those yummy marinated sweet cucumbers and carrots at asian restaurants? I’m sure they are soaked in sugar – and calories. Well, I decided to make my own.

I diced up the cucumbers in nice small little wedges and soaked them in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, splenda (or stevia, etc), ginger, salt and a dash of pepper. I add this to my salads to give them that sweetness I miss when I’m cutting calories. Here is an example of a few salads I made.

diced cucumbersAsian Salad

1 Bag Shredded Cabbage or Slaw Mix
1 Large Marinated Cucumbers
3 Chopped Scallions
1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds
Cilantro (I did 1 T of fresh prepared cilantro)
Top with Chopped Grilled Chicken

Vinegar Mix: 1 Cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon splenda, ginger, salt and pepper.

After you soak the vinegar in the vinegar mix, remove the cucumbers and set the vinegar mix to the side. Add the cucumbers and all the other salad ingredients together in a big bowl. Take the vinegar mix and add a touch of olive oil with a dollop of low-fat mayo to thicken and blend for a yummy low-cal sweet dressing. Make more of the vinegar base if you feel the salad need more dressing. Mix the dressing and salad together and serve. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Broccoli & Kale Salad

6 Cups Finally Chopped of Broccoli
6 Cups Kale
1/4 Cup Bacon Bits
1/4 Cup Raisins
2 Large Marinated & Diced Cucumbers

Vinegar Mix: 1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tablespoon splenda and a dash of salt.

Just like the Asian mix, you will soak the cucumbers and then separate the cucumbers from the vinegar dressing. Mix all the salad ingredients together. Then mix the remaining vinegar (add more apple cidar and splenda if needed) with 3 tablespoons Panera Low Calorie Poppyseed dressing (only 25 calories per serving), 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of low fat mayo. Blend the dressing and mix in to the salad until everything is well coated.

ahi tuna saladAhi Tuna Salad

3 Cups Mixed Greens Mix
1 Marinated Cucumbers
Sesame Seeds (just to sprinkle on top)
Chopped Onion
Seared Ahi Tuna

This wasn’t a chopped salad like the above salads. I just piled the ingredients and topped with a little mixture I threw together. I had a low-cal asian dressing that I mixed with the apple cider vinegar mix, which fit perfectly with the tuna. It was YUM YUM YUM! I also had a dollop of wasabi sauce I added on the side for dipping.

Fitness Motivation: You CAN Finish What You Started

Moving Ahead Is A Choice

mizuno I was listening to Rick Warren’s teaching today called “The Growth Choice“. As I listened to it, I couldn’t help think about how true that title is in every area of our lives. Growth is a choice. We can choose to grow in head knowledge, we can choose to grow in our marriage, we can choose to grow our waistline, we can choose to grow our muscles, etc. What grows in our life is what we choose to spend time feeding and nurturing.

Of course, he was talking about our spiritual and personal growth, but as he spoke on the choice to grow he brought out a really great point using the analogy of a marathon.

Running the Race

RunnerRick Warren compared being in the ministry to being in a marathon, and much of life is like a marathon.

There is a huge amount of excitement before everyone steps across the start line. People have been talking about this day for a long time. They’ve been training, planning and even eating for this day. There is a lot of thought that goes into this – from the people who are putting the race on to the people who are running in it.

The day of the race, there is normally a huge crowd cheering everyone on. The air is full of excitement, energy, positivity, music and support all around. The runner is fresh, well-rested, clean, pumped and ready. The first few steps will be full of life, energy and great expectations.

However, the finish line looks a lot different. The people are tired of waiting. The crowd has diminished. People are often hungry, tired, impatient, emotionally drained, bored and ready to leave.

The runner is even worse. The runner is sweaty, stinky, exhausted, hurting, hungry, drained, dehydrated and maybe even scraped up from a fall. It takes everything out of them to drag their butt across that finish line. Their body is heavy and numb with fatigue. What isn’t numb is filled with pain. Burning, throbbing legs and dizziness can leave them longing just to hit the nearest grassy patch as soon as they cross the line and rest. They are often looking around for someone they know to meet them at the end. However, for many, they cross the finish line alone.

In between the start and the finish line, is a loooooooooooooooong hard lonely road. The runner is being passed by more athletic experienced runners. They have many miles to wonder what in the world they are doing, to doubt their ability, and to think of stopping – or at least slowing down.

Unlike the start of the race, it is quiet. The only cheers they may here now may be from a handful of volunteers manning the occasional water station. But, even their cheers are weak and not as heartfelt as they started. All in all, it’s a much different scene.

The sound of their feet pounding the pavement reminds them of how slow they are going and how many more steps it will take to finish what they started.

There is no one around them to encourage them. There is no song in the world that will make their feet feel lighter or their heart pound less. It’s during this long lonely part of the run that the only thing the runner can do is just focus on finishing.

The Long Road

always and foreverIsn’t that how life is? Isn’t that how marriage is? There is so much support at the beginning. For marriage, there is the exciting wedding day with all the people around you showing their support. Then the couple faces hardships and the pool of people dwindles like the crowd at the marathon. If they stick it out, they will be like this older couple in this picture I snuck on one of my runs – hand in hand. Crossing the finish line together. They get the gold medal.

How about dieting? Sure, everyone is so supportive when you start out. The spouse is helping you food prep or being respectful about eating sweets around you. Co-workers act proud of you – until they want someone to go to lunch with and realize your healthy eating is getting in the way of their fun.

Sure, everyone was supportive when it was fresh and new, but now that you hit the long hard road, like the marathon, people are tired, bored, less patient and tired of waiting for your results as much as you are. By the time you reach the weight loss finish line, there are few people there to celebrate your success.

As I reflect on this analogy, it brings me to this. Everyone will succeed if you just simply finish what you started. You can’t rely on the cheering crowd, your trainer, your friend’s support or motivation. You must expect the road to be long hard and lonely. But, you just have to focus on the finish line – because IF you do, you WILL cross it.

Once you look back, you will realize the once seemingly long road, was much shorter as you look back. 8 months of dieting is a blink of an eye compared to a lifetime of being overweight and unhealthy.

If you are on that long lonely part of your run in life, keep trucking. Because, you are headed in the right direction!

you will succeed

You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? Galatians 5:7

Oftentimes scripture uses the analogy of running a race to compare our walk with the Lord. Many times the person who hinders you from finishing what you started is your own self. And, sadly, we often quit or slow down when we were really running well.

Let’s not let that be us. Let’s not let others, circumstances, doubts, fatigue, excuses or anything hinder us. Let’s finish what we started.

Less Fitness Blogs, More Fit Fun Videos

steve Fat MarchThe last few years have been a whirlwind. I would have never thought I’d be “modeling”, on TV and doing this kind of stuff at my age. I think back and all the people who were a big part of this crazy ride!

I guess it started with ABC and Ricochet Productions choosing Steve as the trainer for their summer weight loss reality show, back in 2007, called Fat March. We got to meet some lasting friends on that show and those friends would end up being so supportive and awesome to us, referring us more work and helping keep us staying busy.

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterI’m also so very thankful to Kelly Olexa, who referred us to Sears, where we launched BCx Boot Camp program globally for the first time, and did hundreds of instructional videos for their home gym department. We later became FitFluential Ambassadors, which gave us so many incredible opportunities to try new products, do product reviews, travel, blog and so much fit fun stuff with awesome brands like Reebok, GNC, Cliff Bars, Polar, Saucony, Mizuno, Vitamin Shoppe, Everlast, Silk, Daisy, HHGregg, National Car Rental, Burts Bees, Gorilla Glass, Samsung, Blackberry and so many more!

Then came Bridal Boot Camp on VH1 and Fit To Fat To Fit on A&E. Meanwhile, we were continuing to get our practice in front of the camera shooting live workout shows down south in Boca Raton at LiveExercise.com. Over time, we got even more opportunities to do more on camera work as infomercial hosts for production companies like Loudmouth TV and Tara Productions.

It’s been a fun wild ride and this year has been the busiest yet. Because of the extra work, I’ve have had less time to write articles and blog. So if you have wondered why I’ve slowed down just a little here, this is why! I still try to write weekly, and I will keep putting out product reviews, written workouts, diet tips, recipes and more! But, make sure you subscribe to our youtube for more workout, instructional, diet tip and Pfit Pfun videos coming your way!

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/pfittv

Here is what we’ve been up to lately!

More to Come!

We now have our own studio to shoot more workout content, so you’ll be seeing more and more videos! Let us know what you are looking for! I’d love to know your needs so we can put out content you will enjoy and benefit from. Are you a beginner or advanced? Are you wanting body weight exercises or more stuff with fitness tools. The Pfiesters want to know! :) Comment below with your wish list!

5 Surprising Benefits of Fitness Fads and Gimmicks

Shake WeightI’m the first to admit, how hard it is to keep a straight face when you are watching the shake weight informercial. The million dollar question is, “Can a fitness gimmick like the shake weight actually help someone?” Before talk shop about products, let’s talk about the “someone”.

As a personal trainer who’s been in the industry for over 20 years, I’ve seen it all. I’ve met people from all walks of life, every shape and every fitness level. I’ve met so many different people at the beginning of their fitness journey and I think what most fitness enthusiasts forget forget there are SO many levels of “beginners” out there. You may feel like a beginner, but you already walk 2-3 times a week. However, that may be very advanced to someone else.


As a I do more work for fitness products and informercials (like you see in the Chair Gym infomercial below), I get exposed to all kinds of fitness products. What I have realized more than ever is I’m the minority. There are so many people who have never worked out a day in their life or have never stepped foot into a gym. Sadly, that is the majority.

While I may never personally use some of these products on a regular basis, (mostly because I own a gym and do everything there), I have had the opportunity to see how they actually can help people. This came as a bit of a surprise to me honestly.

Chair GymMy point is, there is something for everyone and “starting” looks very different for different people. For example, when my mom first set out to lose weight, her first step was not into a gym or even down a specific grocery aisle in search for healthier foods. Her first step to a healthier life included a pen and notebook. Before she went on her first walk, she picked up her first fitness tools; a journal and my Get Pfit Workbook. She journaled and studied for 3 months.

You see, before you start actually getting fit and healthy, you have to WANT to get fit and healthy – but that takes hope. Something or someone has to give you hope. For my mom, knowledge gave her that hope. As she studies and did some soul searching along the way, she began to muster up enough energy to start her fitness and weight loss journey.

The next step included getting a rickety home gym treadmill. This was her first fitness purchase. Many people tease about their treadmill collected dust or being a clothes hanger, but it worked for my mom. While it was it wasn’t the best quality unit on the market, she used it. It was her beginning.

Rosalie BradfordLet’s look at another example. Did you ever hear of the story of the lady, Rosalie Bradford, who once held the Guinness World Record as the world’s heaviest woman? Her beginning exercise was clapping to a Richards Simmons VHS tape while she was in bed. Richard Simmons actually visited her and gave her the hope she needed to believe she could make a difference even if she couldn’t actually do his workout videos. So, instead, she would just clap to the beat while watching Simmons workout. Low and behold, that was her start to a complete transformation, losing 769 pounds.

So, while you may laugh at the sequined trainer dancing to the oldies, but it wasn’t a joke to her. It changed her life.

There are so many products out there. Many of them are actually great and many of them are less than stellar, but there’s more to an effective workout tool than the actual tool itself. These 5 benefits of fitness fads and gimmicks may surprise you.

5 Surprising Benefits of Fitness Fads and Gimmicks

richard-simmons1. It can give hope.

Just like how Richard Simmons encouraging Rosalie to clap her hands gave her much-needed hope, fitness products can do the same. For instance, even if a product only focuses on one body part (like the abs or just the thighs), it may give them the hope they need to get started on a total body fitness journey. And, even if it doesn’t scratch the surface of what they should be doing, it can be the beginning of a new healthier lifestyle. Some people just need to know they can do something, and that something doesn’t have the be the perfect thing, but just some thing. 

For more advanced fitness enthusiasts, some people enjoy collecting “toys”. You never know what new product, supplement or DVD can help you break your plateau or take you to the next level. As we plateau we can lose hope so even the smallest little gadget can be beneficial.

fun fitness2. It can be a motivational tool.

I recently tested a new ab product (which hasn’t come out yet) and I can honestly say I was skeptical at first. Most fitness professionals would definitely label this product as a fitness gimmick. However, I found when I used it, it motivated me to do even more work on my abs. Although I know the product alone won’t give me a 6-pack, it made me more aware of my core and my posture. It not only motivated me to maintain better poster and work harder on my core, it motivated me to take my diet up a notch too so I could uncover my hard work. While I know good and well this product is the solution to everyone’s bulging belly, I have to say proved to be beneficial for me.

Fitness_Chronicles_8_Mistakes_Beginners_Make_09.30.133. It can encourage you to seek more knowledge.

If you get a new fitness apparatus, it will likely require a bit of education and instruction so you know how to use it properly. Oftentimes this instruction overlaps to other new information and equipment. For instance, you may have never done one bicep curl before, but may you find yourself holding the shake weight and doing bicep curls for the first time just because you decided to give the vibrating dumbbell a try.

When I get a new fitness tool, I’m so much more apt to do more research online to learn more ways to use that tool. As I explore exercises, I often find more workouts and fitness equipment to try. Since knowledge truly is power, the more knowledgeable I become, the more motivated I am to apply the knowledge.

boring exercise4. It can prevent boredom.

There are so many fads and gimmicks that come and go, but they can entertain you for the time they are here. That is why it’s important for gyms to try new workout classes (like we recently started the new rocker workout called POUND at our gym). Anything you do or use for any length of time can get old over time so buying a new fad fitness tool for your home gym can help spice up an old boring workout.

5. We learn from our failures.

smiling yogiEven if a fitness gimmick doesn’t give you the results you want, you can learn from your mistakes. You will learn what you like and what you don’t like. You will learn more about fitness, as well as learn more ways to workout. I always encourage everyone to try every class and piece of equipment at the gym, and I think the same applies for home fitness.

NOTE: You can try a TON of different workout videos at LiveExercise.com. From yoga to kettlebell workouts – they have something for everyone. A subscription site like LiveExercise is a great way to get a ton of content for very little investment.

Remember, as long as you keep trying products and exercises, you are not giving up – and that is the only way you really can fail.


BUTT Wait ,Theres More! 40 Exercises for the Backside

little girl on beachWe are all born with the most amazing perky little compact bubble butts. I’m always baffled by how cute and bubbley little girl’s little tushes are. (And I secretly envy them.)

Once upon a time, I too had that cutie patootie. But, over time, that little perfect perky bottom went through a lot of changes over the years. It went through its fair share of ups and downs (literally!).

Without exercise and a healthy diet, our cute little rear can easily get bigger, flatter, wider and saggier if we don’t work on it.

If you are not pleased with your backside, then it’s time to get to work! But, before you do, here are 5 things you need to know before you do your first squat.

Before You Begin…

Bubble Butt1. Decrease Calories. As we age, we lose muscle and we gain fat. If you want to shape up, reduce your calories to reduce excess body fat. This will dramatically change the shape of your derriere.

2. Increase Protein. The bottom’s shape is not just dependent on losing body fat, but also gaining muscle mass. Strength training is what develops fit looking muscles and creates that bubble butt shape. This is where protein comes in. As we break down the muscle in the gym, protein is an essential part of rest, recovery and repair.  By boosting protein in your diet, you’ll boost your caboose.

3. Run Less. Running is always the go-to exericse for fat loss, but it also can make a flat butt even flatter. Since running doesn’t require a lot of muscle strength, you can actually lose precious muscle when you really want to lose body fat.  (Read my blog “Runner’s Beware: 4 Things You Need to Know“).

Instead of slow long runs, do more interval training. For instance, do a shorter walk/job cardio workout instead of a slow and steady run. Interval training burns more calories and more fat, while toning muscle.

4. Lift Like a Boy. Many girls avoid lifting heavy in fear of “bulking up”. However, most women don’t have the testerone needed for that kind of bulking. And, if you are the kind of woman who bulks up easily, think of it this way. If you have soccer legs to begin with, you’ll just have much fitter, more tone soccer legs after training. It’s your call. Do you want fat or PFAT?! :)

So, are you ready to start working that butt off? Here are my top 40 bootilicious exercises to add to your fitness library. Click on the exercise to view video demonstration.

40 Bubble Butt Exercises

  1. Bodyweight Bridgesbarbell-glute-bridge
  2. Single Leg Glute Bridge
  3. Weighted Glute Bridge on Floor 
  4. Weighted Glute Bridge on Bench
  5. Deadlifts
  6. Weighted Step Back Lunge (one leg at a time)
  7. SIde Lungelunge
  8. Lunge Kick
  9. Lunge Pass Throughs
  10. Plyo Lunge Jump 
  11. Walking Lunges
  12. Bulgarian Split Squat
  13. Curtsy
  14. Stomps
  15. Knee Repeater
  16. Donkey Kicks
  17. Step Ups (one leg at a time)
  18. Cook Hip LiftDeep Squat
  19. Straight Leg Deadlift
  20. Romanian Straight Leg Deadlift
  21. 1-Leg Straight Leg Deadlift with Dumbbells
  22. Straight Leg Cable (or resistance Band) Kickback
  23. Reistance Bank Kickback
  24. Barbell Squats
  25. 1-Leg Sit to Stand 
  26. Pistol Squats
  27. Plie Squat
  28. In and Out Squats
  29. Jump Squats
  30. Side Lying Leg Lifts (3-positions)
  31. Sumo SquatSquat
  32. Air Squats
  33. Lateral Band Walk
  34. Single Leg Press
  35. Bench Flutter Kicks
  36. Skater
  37. Mary Catherines
  38. Ball LCurl
  39. Clam
  40. Reistance Bank Kickback

Try This!

Steve demonstrates how to do his 3-position leg lifts for some gluteal bliss.

What is YOUR favorite glute exercise?

Fitness Motivation: Ordinary People Do the Extraordinary

Andreia_BrazierWhen we see photos of fitness competitors and professional athletes, it can be very motivating for some people – but very discouraging for others. It’s easy to set ourselves apart from the professionals, or from people we think we can’t relate to, and think to ourselves “I could never do that”.  But, when I see someone with my own struggles, it gives me hope and I am instantly encouraged.

The fact of the matter is, we can’t judge a book by its cover. Just because someone has succeeded doesn’t mean they didn’t have their own obstacles to overcome. They may have also at one point and time doubted their own potential. The only difference is they didn’t let it keep them from trying to be their very best.

That is why it is SO important to share their stories with you. And, if you have found fitness success, that is why it is SO important to document your journey and share YOUR story with others. You may be the next success story someone needs to hear.

That is why I put this video together of some of our competitors. Our competitors come in all shapes and sizes, different ages and backgrounds. And, after you watch this video, you’ll see they all learned something – not just about fitness, but about themselves. You’ll understand why a bunch of people took the plunge to face their fears and do something so crazy, so scary, so bold, so intense and so out there.

Get ready to be inspired, encouraged and motivated. Because, they are proof that ordinary people can do very extraordinary things.

Follow more max members and join the conversation with #mymaxlife


Heidi & Mike  Jenn Maryann Dennis 2Kimmy mattleigh  Mike D

See more transformations and meet more of our competitors at www.maxfitnessclub.com.

NPC Bikini Competition: 10 Reasons To Compete

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterIf you told me 3 years ago that I’d compete and actually like it, I wouldn’t have believed you. I loathed the thought of competing. I didn’t just others for doing it, I just had no desire to do it myself.

Steve always told me I should do it, but I honestly didn’t think I could take being judged and putting myself out there like that. The thought of standing on stage half naked was the last thing I ever wanted to do. However, Steve finally talked me into doing it with him – not for the trophy, not for the walk on stage, but for the experience.

If you have ever thought about competing or going through the training, here are my top 10 reasons why I compete.

Why compete?

running couple1. More Purpose

You should never compete to win a trophy, in my opinion. I compete simply to have something to train for. Competing gives me more purpose in both my dieting and training. When you have a reason to train, your diet and entire workouts change, You quit working what you want to train, and you start working what you need to train.

2. Clear Goals

Competing helps me set goals. As I track my body fat and muscle weight, I’m able to set clear goals to reach by the time I hit the stage. Setting goals motivates me to improve and to avoid complacency.

set-personal-deadlines3. Set Deadline

Anyone can set goals, but competitions force you to reach your goal by a specific deadline. This helps prevent procrastination and staying in that continual vicious cycle of starting your diet over every week and not getting anywhere. Once you register for a show, you are committed and have a set date to reach that goal. No more procrastinating.

4. Experience

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterEach time you compete you learn something new. This is particularly valuable for people in the industry, whether you work at a gym behind the front desk or you are a personal trainer. You learn something new about dieting, about training, about posing, about others and about yourself. This experience makes you better and helps you help others get better.

 5. The Ultimate Test

Competing gives me a chance to see what I’m made of. Before my first show, I had never gotten below 14% body fat. I remember wondering if my 45 year old skin in my stomach could ever tighten up. I had no idea what my potential was. Could I stick to my diet? Could I lose the fat? Would my skin tighten up? These were all unknowns before competing. I learned my body was capable of much much more than I ever imagined. I got down to 10% body fat and my stomach lost that “old lady” skin. I didn’t expect to place much less win. I took the test, and I passed.

6. Personal Growth

family fitnessYou may think competing is a prideful sport. I guess it can be to some people, but for me it’s a very humbling experience. It’s very embarrassing to be on stage like that. Every flaw shows. You can’t hide a poor diet. You can’t hide your imperfections. Even when you are incredibly lean, you can still look fat on stage. You just have to do your best and that must be OK with that.

On top of it, posing practices remind you of how much work you still need to do. Everyone feels awkward when posing, especially me. There is no room for egos. You quickly realize you are all in this together. No one is better than the other, we are just all different.

As you watch others train, you realize everyone is working just as hard – and maybe even harder than you. Then add a freaky Oompa Lumpa tan and walk around with a gallon of water and you realize how ridiculous you really look to others. LOL It’s not a sport for everyone – and the more you do it, the more you realize people think you are kind of weird.

Every time I compete or prepare for a big shoot, I learn something new about myself. With hunger and fatigue comes a quick temper and grouchiness I typically can hide. The good, the bad and the ugly come out and I quickly realize just how much more work I need to do – both inside and out!

mad scientist7. Science Project

The thing I love most about competing is your body turns into one big science project. You learn how foods affect your body, your performance and your mood. You get more in tune with your body than ever before. With each show, you can try something new. It’s all trial and error. Sometimes you get it wrong, sometimes you get it right.

8. Self-Denial

One of the things I love (and hate) the most is putting myself in a position where I have to learn to say NO to what my body wants, and say YES to what my body needs. Denying your flesh is one of the best practices you can do for your health. We shouldn’t give our body everything it wants to eat or do. That is unhealthy. Competing has exposed areas of weakness, taught me more discipline and helped me take control of food instead of letting it control me.

Bonnie9. Reel It Back In

Everyone does competitions for different reasons, but I think one of the best things about competing is it can be used to reel things back if you’ve gotten too slack in the office season. I think many people believe that competing is for the fit and disciplined. To me, it’s the opposite. I’m not disciplined and I don’t have that great of a body. I do it because I lack discipline and I desire to improve my physique and health. I’m lazy and I like food. Without competing or doing something to break my big vicious lazy cycles, I would probably stay about 10-15lbs heavier all year around. That’s not horrible, but I am not happy at that weight. Competing reminds me of how good it feels to be leaner because we quickly forget and it’s very easy to get complacent and comfortable.

Team Max10. Accountability

The biggest benefit to competing is the accountability. Whether it’s the weekly weigh-ins, the posing practices, team meetings or just being seen in the gym when everyone knows you are training for a show, the added accountability takes everything up 10 notches. I think everyone performs better when you make your goals public – and it doesn’t get more public than stepping on stage in a a 2-piece bikini.

I’m not suggesting competing is for everyone, but I am saying there are a ton of benefits from competing. Only you can decide if it’s beneficial for you – but you can’t decide without trying it just once.


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