30 Days of Motivation: Finish What You Started

COMMITMENTQuote of the Day: Commitment is finishing what you started even when you don’t feel like doing it anymore.”

Scripture of the Day: “Now finish what you began, so that your eagerness to do so may be matched by your eagerness to complete it.” 2 Corinthians 8:11

When we start something new, a diet, a workout, a way of life, a new relationship, etc. – they all have an excitement about them when you first start. The problem is that exciting newness will fade.

How necessary is a commitment on your first day of marriage, or first week, first month, first year? But how much more necessary is that commitment in year 5, 10, 15 and 20?

We wouldn’t need to make a commitment if it were easy. We make commitments because we know they will be hard. We know we will lose the excitement and motivation that got us started. That’s why we make a commitment to our spouse. We make that commitment to give them security that we will stay even when we don’t feel like it. That is the same type of commitment required for fitness – and that commitment should give us the security that we will get the results if we stick with it. We don’t have to feel like working out or feel like eating clean to get results. As long as we stay committed you will finish what you started.

30 Days of Motivation: Taste This!

better than chocolateQuote of the Day: If you think Chocolate tastes good, wait until you taste success!

Scripture of the Day: “Taste and see that the LORD is good” Psalms 34:8

Someone recently was telling Steve how “lucky” he was for having such amazing dedication and self discipline, as if he had extra self-control super powers and dieting was easier for him than others. I have to laugh at this, knowing just how much he struggles with his diet. Why do people think it’s easier for the “fit people” to avoid sweets or not overeat? Then I realized, maybe it is a little easier for those who have already tasted success, because they realize success tastes better than the food they may have to give up.They know without a shadow of a doubt that it is all worth it.

It is hard to give up something for nothing, or for something they’ve never experienced before. It’s hard to invest in something when you have not yet enjoyed the even greater return. However, when you know how it feels to be fit, trim, feel good, feel more comfortable in your skin, feel stronger, feel healthier, etc., maybe it is a tad easier to stick with your diet. Then, trading regular coke for diet coke, or pizza for grilled chicken, seems easy.

I believe that is why scripture says “taste and see” (Psalms 34:8). God knows if we will just give Him a try, and taste His goodness, nothing will compare to it. I believe the same is true for fitness and taking care of our bodies. We are so fooled into thinking that certain foods, or living a certain lifestyle, is worth the extra pounds. However, if you’d just “taste and see”, I believe you’d realize nothing compares to living in a healthy body. Suddenly, sluggishness, heaviness, tight pants, high blood pressure, insecurities that follow weight gain, and all the repercussions of a lack of self-control make that lifestyle no longer worth it. But first, you must “taste and see” so you can make that comparison for yourself – because until you experience it yourself, you cannot fully understand and comprehend the reward.

Stick to your goals this year, long enough to truly taste and see how it feels to reach your goal – and I mean your dreamy goal, not your first goal. No! I’m talking about pressing on past what is good to what is great! Don’t stop short of your very best. THEN, you can say you’ve tasted success – and THEN, you’ll know just how good it really is and maybe then passing up the sweets or sticking to your plan will also be a little easier for you too!

A NOTE FOR DIETERS: Don’t get me wrong! Being fit doesn’t mean you never have chocolate again. However, when you are in the dieting phase and trying to lose weight, it may mean you are giving up some things (or not eating as much as you’d like of those things). The diet phase is more strict, but maintenance phase is much easier, and will allow room for occasional treats and freedom. The key is balance and accountability. Once a treat becomes a habit, the weight will creep right back on. Stick to your plan. I do promise it will be worth it. No one feels a set of tight tone abs and thinks “boy I wish I had eaten more pizza”. :) 

30 Days of Motivation: Make Yourself Proud

do todayQuote of the Day: “Do today what will make you proud tomorrow.”

Scripture of the Day: God says, “I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live”. Deuteronomy 30:19

We don’t think of it this way, but the choices we make today determine our chances of blessings and curses we get later on. God gave us the choice. We can invest in life, or we can invest in death. The choice is ours.

Sure, bad things happen to good people, and vice versa, but we can expect a better healthier future if we make better healthier choices now. In the same way, we can expect a life of sickness, ailments, troubles if we invest in a lazier unhealthy lifestyle.

I see so many sick people who are suffering now simply because of how they treated (or neglected) their body years ago. I’m sure they didn’t think about how their choices would result in back pain, diabetes, obesity, etc. You can learn from those people. Don’t make that same mistake.

This year, decide to make better choices now – as an investment in a life you will be satisfied with (and PROUD OF) later.

 

30 Days of Motivation: What Are You Really Giving Up

what are you giving upQuote of the Day: “Don’t worry about what you are giving up now. Worry about what you risk giving up if you quit pressing on.”

Scripture of the Day: “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”  Philippians 3:14

When we start a diet, the first thing we think about is everything we are going to have to give up to reach our goal. We think about the food we won’t be able to eat, the parties we won’t want to go to (because we don’t want to be tempted) or the time we are going to have to invest in working out. What if we could change our whole way of thinking so this isn’t the first thought?

What if we changed our mindset and we were more concerned about what we are giving up if we eat the junkfood, skip our workout or don’t stick with our program. I mean, what is more valuable? The taste of our favorite cheat meal for 30 minutes or feeling comfortable and proud of our body for 24 hours a day?

This year, let’s focus on the prize more than the cost – because, honestly, the cost is so little compared to what we have to gain!!

 

30 Days of Motivation: It’s Time to Get Back Up

get upQuote of the Day: “There is no question we will fall. The question is how we will get up.”

Scripture of the Day: Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” John 5:8

We All Fall Down

We’ve all done it. We skip a workout. We get out of a routine. We get lazy. We get on a pity party. We cheat on our diet – or completely go off of it all together! We stuff ourselves so full that we walk away from the table completely disgusted with ourselves, only to do it again a few hours or days later.

Are we mentally retarded? Nope! We are human. We like food and we hate discipline. But sooner or later, there comes the time to say goodbye to poor eating and to start fresh and erase your “sins”.

Are You Going to Just Sit There?

Ironically, we can go weeks, and even months, spending more time regretting the damage than we do on repairing it. Quit beating yourself up. You did it. It’s over. That’s so 3 seconds ago! It’s time to move on!

Jesus told that man to “get up”. Another words, quit laying there complaining and hoping someone will help you. Jesus also said “take up your bed” which, I believe, meant “clean up your mess, it’s time to move on”. Lastly Jesus says “walk”. At that time, the man was still paralyzed. I think the message here is there is work required. We have to make an effort if we want to be “healed”, and we have to have faith.

If you want something, you have to at least try to do it. If we want to get in shape, we can’t wait for someone, some pill or some magical motivational feeling to make us fit. No, we have to get up an “walk”. We have to have faith that if we make the first step, it will be worth it – that your work will pay off. You will never know what you can do, if you never even try.

standGet on Solid Ground

Quit fretting about how fat you feel. Quit rehashing your mistakes. Instead, focus on your plan and focus on “cleaning up your mess”. We all trip up. The actual fall (or the embarrassment of falling) and the getting up part is the hardest part. Once you get up, standing is easy – as long as you are on solid ground. Get your footing and plant yourself in a healthy environment.

Quitting regretting and start living!

Exercise of the Day: Turkish Get Up

Try this Turkish Get Up Workout on LiveExercise

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Turkish Get Up Workout

Turkish Get Up Triplet

Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand and do the following exercises on 1 Arm Only
10 Turkish Get Ups
10 Snatches
10 1-Arm Thruster (Squat & Press)
(Repeat on the other Arm)
REPEAT 3 TIMES

Pinterest Image:

Turkish Get Ups

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30 Days of Motivation: The Power of Hope

Lift Run EatQuote of the Day: “I lift to be stronger. I run to be leaner. I eat to be healthier. It’s not a matter of IF, but only a matter of WHEN.”

Scripture of the Day: Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout. Psalms 27:14

Today’s motivational blog is is Part 2 of yesterday’s Motivational Post: “How to Find Strength“. Today we are going to talk about the importance of hope.

 Hope –  /hōp/  – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
Hope’s Super Powers
CNN did a story on hope, saying: The positive physiological effects of hope are well-documented, most eloquently in Jerome Groopman’s “The Anatomy of Hope,” where he writes: “Researchers are learning that a change in mind-set has the power to alter neurochemistry.

“Belief and expectation — the key elements of hope — can block pain by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine. In some cases, hope can also have important effects on fundamental physiological processes like respiration, circulation and motor function.

We underestimate the power of hope. If today’s scripture seem familiar, it should. It is the same scripture I used yesterday. Yesterday we just looked at the first half of the version. It may look different today, but only because the above verse is the Amplified version. You see, the English language doesn’t do the original text justice. For instance, scripture may use the word “love”, but the original text would have a word that better explained the exact type of love. I love pizza, but I love Steve a lot more. Those two meanings of love are very different and the original language would actually have a different word for each of those meanings. But, all we get in English is “love”. The Amplified Bible uses more English words to explain the original text better. It will never different than the original, it will just be a little more descriptive. With that said, let’s look at the text again and see all the goody in each word.

Wait in Expectation

We are to wait in anticipation of success – or in one word, “hope”. The Amplified version says “Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout (strong, firm, determined) and enduring.” Yes, wait for and hope for and expect success with a mindset to endure, to be ready for anything, and to already have in your mind you will continue pressing on no matter what.

Endurance and perseverance requires hope. Without hope we have nothing – we have no drive, no purpose. In fitness, our hope is in results. Our hope is in the knowledge that weight loss and fitness is just science and it WILL pay off as long as you are doing everything right and you don’t give up. It’s that hope in the facts (the truth) that helps you stay strong, that helps you stand firm and endure.

My question for you right now is this. Do you have hope? Or, do you have doubts what you are doing will pay off? If you have doubt, then you either are doing something wrong and you know it, or you are not really giving it your all. You should have confidence in your program, your diet, your trainer and/or your plan.

 

 

16-Minute Shoulder Workout

shouldersIf you need a quick workout, but you want to make sure it’s effective, do a tababa workout. Tabata is a type of training created by Dr. Izumi Tabata, that is a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This particular interval workout uses a 2 to 1 ration of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds (or sets). (Gymboss makes a great interval timer) The results of his research found these short, intense workouts provided improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning. This really works well with functional exercises like push ups, pull ups, etc, but it also works well with traditional muscle building/sculpting exercises too.

Yesterday I was in time crunch so I incorporated tabata training for shoulder day so I could squeeze in my workout. To really develop nice rounded shoulders, you want to be sure to hit all three heads of the shoulders (deltoids) – anterior (front) deltoids, medial deltoids and posterior (or rear) deltoids (see diagram).

The whole workout took less than 20 minutes – 16 minutes of actual work, with 1 minute of rest between each tabata workout. Here are the 4 tabata workouts I did. And YES, my shoulders are already sore!! ouch!

 

#1 Tabata Shoulder Press Couplet

Directions: 20 Seconds on, 10 Seconds off, for 8 rounds, alternating push press with alternating shoulder press (ladder style, which means your arms move simultaneously – one arm goes up while the other goes down). This means you will do 4 sets of each exercise in this circuit. Take 60 seconds rest before the next exercise.

shoulder press shoulder press

#2 Tabata Shoulder Couplet

Directions: 20 Seconds on, 10 Seconds off, for 8 rounds, alternating upright row with alternating front raise. Again, your arms will be moving simultaneously, one moving up while the other arm is moving down (one arm is never in the rest position). Take 60 seconds rest before the next exercise.

upright row front raise

#3 Tabata Lateral Raises

Directions: 20 Seconds on, 10 Seconds off, for 8 rounds of lateral raises. I used a yellow Bodylastics band, but you can do this with light dumbbells as well. Keep arms straight, thumbs down and pinkies up to completely shut down your biceps from helping. Take 60 seconds rest before the next exercise.

lateral raise

#4 Tabata Rear Delt

Directions: 20 Seconds on, 10 Seconds off, for 8 rounds of rear delt (rear shoulder) raise with dumbbells. Keep arms out straight, and parallel with your shoulders to avoid letting your back, traps and rhomboids from helping. If the weight is too heavy, you will notice your arms will want to bend, and your hands will want to come back like chicken wings.

rear delt

 

Pinterest Graphic:

tabata shoulder workout

 

 

30 Days of Motivation: How to Find Your Strength

StrengthQuote of the Day: Strength is not FEELING strong, it’s STAYING the course when you feel weak.

Scripture of the Day: Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalms 27:14

Today’s quote and scripture is too rich to only discuss today. There is so much more to this than what we see or think about at first glance, so today we are just going to focus on the first part of this verse “wait” and “be strong”.

1. Wait

Waiting is something most of us are not very good at. We live in a fast-food, instant gratification world. We want to buy something and get it in our hands instantly. Whether it’s food or a service, we do not want to wait.

However, with fitness (like many other things in life), waiting is a very necessary part of the process – and it’s required for success. Of course the scripture is talking about waiting on God, whether it’s His direction or His answered prayer, being a good “waiter” takes practice. And, it’s not just about waiting, but what we are doing and how we act while we wait.

2. Continue

We are to wait, however, waiting doesn’t mean sitting on your tail and doing nothing. We must work while we wait. This means waiting requires endurance – even when we feel too tired or weak to continue. This is when we put our patience to the real test. This is also when we really find out had bad we really want something. Our faith is tested, our drive is challenged and the depth of our desire is exposed. This is when we really find out what we are made of.

3. Be Strong

The next part of that verse is almost funny. It first says to wait, then it says to be strong. When people are waiting on things to get better, for weight to fall off, to improve your running pace, to get a revelation from God or for answered prayer, the last thing we feel is strong. We normally feel worn down, tired and ready for a break. We are tempted to get on a pity party.

Ironically, iIt’s during the waiting we get stronger. Strength really isn’t being strong or feeling strong, but we are strengthened when we continue to stay the course even on our weakest day. The only way you can do this is to keep your eye on the goal, the prize, the reason you are doing this, the reason you started.

Decide today to stay strong even when you feel weak.

30 Days of Motivation: Succeed on Purpose

productivityQuote of the Day: “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” Paul J. Meyer

Scripture of the Day:Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability…” Ecclesiastes 9:10

How do we lose our way? It’s not that we forget THE way, or that we get lost. Most of us just end up lost because we slowly go off course, little by little by little. Like a tourist in an unfamiliar town, as long as we stay by the main roads, we normally are safe. But, it’s easy to get distracted or lost if you aren’t careful – and most of us aren’t as careful as we should be because we don’t really grasp just how easy it is to get off course.

You’ve heard people say “just go with the flow”, but going with the flow of life is what gets people in trouble. We have to fix our eyes on our goal and do everything we can to go against the flow of life that normally knocks us off our feet. This is more than setting goals, you have to SET goals and RESET your life daily – and even hourly. Since life constantly pulls us off course, sticking to the right path requires CONSTANT readjustments and planned purpose-filled steps.

Exercise with Purpose. Diet with Purpose. Live with Purpose.

purposeIt’s not like we don’t know we’re gaining weight, getting more in debt, not going to church as much, or getting further from a goal – but we act surprised because we don’t realize just how far off track we are until it’s too late. Sadly, it’s only until it’s painfully obvious, as we are facing the repercussions (which normally means we are completely miserable), that we decide to get finally back on track.

How can we avoid this? We need to recognize the signs and to be quicker to make the necessary adjustments to get back on track. It’s not only about getting back on course this year, but this time it’s imperative we purposefully STAY on course, and stick with the right people who will help us stay on track. And, when we fall (which we will at times, so be prepared for it!) we commit to keep getting back up.

You CAN reach your goals this year. You WILL be tempted to fail. BUT, you CAN be prepared to succeed by being one step ahead of each temptation, each slip and each obstacle.

Homework:

  1. Recognize the signs before they pull you off track. What are things that have pulled you off course before?
  2. Decide NOW, before you get off track, how you plan to adjust, to get BACK on track when you stray.
  3. What guidelines can you set to keep you tethered in? Do you have friends that can help you stick with your program? Should you weigh in weekly to hold yourself accountable? What about hiring a trainer until you get enough results to keep you motivated?
  4. What are you purposely doing different this year, this month, this week and today?

90 Calorie Brussel Sprout Chowder

chowder2 weeks ago I played around with some ingredients and a surprisingly delicious soup (Steve calls it chowder). We both were shocked how much we liked it. The flavor is sweet, creamy, rich and scrumptious! So, Steve asked me to make it again and, this time, I measured it all out so I could share it with you. NOTE: You don’t really have to like brussel sprouts to love this soup. It really is that good!

Ingredients:
5 1/2 cups Brussel Sprouts (fresh whole bag)
2 cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
2-3 cups water (depending on desired thickness)
1 cup white sweet frozen corn
2 cups chopped/shredded cooked chicken
2 tablespoons garlic
2 tablespoons Better Than Bullion chicken base
1 tablespoon Stevia

Salt to taste

Chop brussel sprouts in halves and quarters. Put the brussel sprouts and water in a pot to boil and soften. Take 2 cups of the cooked sprouts out from the pot and put it in a blender with almond milk, chicken base and garlic. Blend until smooth and thick. Add mixture to the soup and add the rest of the ingredients. You can vary the water/milk mixture to make it thicker or soupier. Simmer for an hour or so for full flavor.

Nutrients
92 calories – 1 cup
11g carbs, 10g protein, 1.4g fat

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