While you may read this title and clearly realize this is not how the world normally works, many people often live life by doing as little as they can get away with – and there is no better example than with fitness.
People typically decide to start with the bare minimum. They may start exercising 2 days a week, to see if they can get results on a minimal investment. Of course, two days a week is enough to improve physical health, but it normally isn’t enough to see major results. Most people want twice the results with half the effort. Then they are let down and they realize they are missing something.
After they realize the bare bones minimum doesn’t work, they may up going to 3 days a week. Then, when that doesn’t work, they add more cardio more workouts.
When someone is working out as much as they can, they finally may get to the point they realize they may need to change how they are spending the rest of their time out of the gym. This is when they may decide to add protein shakes or supplements. They may even be ready to give up some of their bad eating habits.
I’m not suggesting fitness is no fun, and that you are to be miserable or starving to get big results – but, what I am suggesting is not trying to see how much you you can get away with. Instead, see how much you can do right. Sadly, we have the tendency to have the same mentality with our marriages, friendships and jobs too.
Let’s decide to see how much we can do RIGHT this year, instead of how much we can still do wrong and get away with it. Because, I tell you the truth, we rarely will be able to get away with much without consequences anyway. So, instead of adding guilt and shame to your pile of mess ups, just minimize your mess ups from the get go! You are worth the effort, worth the investment, worth the results!
Does someone become an olympic athlete by practicing the most difficult trick? No. A gymnist will start with a forward roll on the ground before they advance to cartwheels, round-offs and flips. They have to do what they CAN do first. Then they advance, onc small challenge at a time.
This is how our workouts are. If someone can’t do a military push up, they start on their knees. They may not even complete the movement in full range, but they do what they can, going deeper and deeper (with better and better form) each time they “practice it”.
If I had a dime for every boot camper, or member, who said they never DREAMED they’d be doing what they are doing now – I’d be filthy stinkin’ RICH! Sadly, many people don’t even begin to try because they don’t see what’s possible. All they see is the impossible.
Be encouraged! Don’t think about all the things you CAN do, just do what you can – and eventually, over time, you will be doing things you never thought possible!!
Happy 2014 everyone!! I hope you enjoyed my 31 Days of Motivation. More motivation to come!
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge
TD Jakes once said (in a church service) “there is probably more talent in this audience than is on this stage, but they lack commitment”. I think of all the people I know who could have been pro athletes or music super stars, but are secret hidden talents because they lacked commitment and persistence.
Some of the best champions are not THE best, they are just the ones that refuse to give up – and the same goes with fitness. There are people who are in the gym DAILY and trying to watch what they eat DAILY – and even though they fail, their determination not quit brings them to success eventually. Better yet, they can be MORE successful than the toughest chick in the gym, or the most disciplined competitor, IF they are more consistent and committed.
BE ENCOURAGED!! Persistence trumps one day of strength. Never give up.
I’m overwhelmed by the people who could ever judge anyone at a gym. That’s like judging a sinner at church. Just because someone joins a gym (or attends church for that matter), doesn’t mean they know everything there is to know to make the changes they need to make. That’s why they are there (duh!).
People are on a journey. Joining a gym is the first step, not the last step. THEN the journey begins. While I’ve personally never heard anyone make fun of someone who was overweight in a gym, I know it has happened somewhere, and it is a very real fear. Ironically, I probably see more people judging the fit people, like the power lifters, bodybuilders, NPC female athletes, yogis and CrossFitters for their extreme practices – but either way, there is no place for any of it in ANY gym.
If we compare the gym with the church, I think we all may be able to see things a bit differently. No matter where someone is in life, most people go to church because they know they need help. They know they need to make some changes, and showing up to church once a week is a start. Just because they go, doesn’t mean they change overnight. Even people who go to church still have junk to workout at home. It’s not like everyone who starts going to church immediately stops smoking, cussing, being selfish and making poor choices. No, making those types of improvements takes time. Over time, the people around them should start seeing their efforts to improve, and poor decisions should start shrinking like a dieter’s waistline.
The same goes for the gym. People can join a gym and learn a few tips here and there, but it takes time to accept it and apply it. I’ve had members who have been with me for YEARS who have been fed good advice for a long time, but weren’t willing to accept and apply it for a while. Does this make them a hypocrite, since they go to the gym but aren’t living healthy at home? No. It makes them a learner. Some learn the hard way, some learn the easy way – both are learning.
Sadly, people often go to the other extreme, making fun of the people who have applied all the principles and are completely “religious” about their fitness. They too can be an easy target of scrutiny. It’s the Super Member (like the Super Christian) that can be intimidating to be around, or be a turn off, because of their seemingly extreme ways.
Today, I’d like you to make a pact with yourself to try to put all judgement aside. We don’t know what people are going through personally. We don’t know people’s issues, or reasons for dieting, working out, or competing in fitness events. Sculpting their body may be the ONLY thing in their life they have control of – which may be their only sanity. There are also many reasons someone works out besides their looks. Some people do 2 hours of cardio a day because they have a tremendous amount of stress at home and they need to healthy social escape. The list goes on.
There are others who you may view as people who are “pretending” to do everything right but they haven’t lost a pound. Someone who has been a member of a gym for years and hasn’t dropped a pound is no different than someone who has attended church for years and still continues to sin. We should CELEBRATE they are still coming!! While we may not understand someone’s gym (or church) rituals or quirks, as long as they keep going, they have a chance to be impacted by the people around them. Some people are impacted easily, while others are stubborn and take time. Either way, we have to learn to love them where they are, just as I hope you love me where I am.
Let’s work together to build each other up no matter where we are on our fitness journey. Remember, EVERYONE started as a newbie – everyone! If you are further on your fitness journey, then encourage people around you, teaching them what you have learned – and never, ever, EVER give up on anyone, especially your self!
Making NO Decision is Still Making A Decision
I think many of us are not making bad decisions as much as we are making NO decisions. If we stop to think about what we are doing, we typically know the right thing to do. However, most of the time, we rush into things or live on the fly, without stopping to ask ourself if we are making the best decision. Every time I ask myself “could I, would I, should I?”, I make MUCH better decisions – purposeful decisions, instead of impulse decisions.
Even the smallest decisions are decisions we can regret. From whether we should run or not (Spoiler Alert: The answer is almost always yes) or we should eat “this or that”, sometimes we just need to stop and really think about what we are doing. If we are honest with ourselves. We’ll make more decisions we can be proud of – and less decisions we regret.
When you are working toward a goal, like losing weight and getting fit, there will be many days you will be tempted to quit – even if it is just for the day, or just for that week. There are many times where your mind will convince you that you deserve a break, next week will be better, it’s too late, it’s too hard, your diet is too strict, your schedule is too busy, your body is too tired, and you are just being too vain. All these things are lies. Sadly, we listen to those lies and will quit – even if it’s just going off the diet for a cheat meal or not finishing up the week’s workouts. We quit, and we enjoy it …for a time.
There is a temporary peace in not trying, quitting, running away and giving up. But that’s just because you aren’t fighting anymore. Fighting for what we want is work, giving up is easy. If we quit, we beat ourselves up. Either way, we are going to endure some punches. We can either fight for what we want and deal with the battle scars along the way, or we can quit and plan on self-inflicted pain.
Someone once told me that when someone leaves their spouse, there is a temporary peace (or relief) because they are away from what they perceive to be the problem. But what they don’t realize is they can’t run from themselves, and 9 times out of 10, that person is part of that problem. So they have 2 choices: they can tackle the problem right then with the spouse, or put it off for a while and end up having to face the same problem with the next person. Either way, it’s going to raise it’s ugly head and they are going to have to face the problem again – unless, of course, they just want to go through marriages like they go through underwear to constantly avoid every fixing anything.
The same goes with our fight with fat. We can either tackle it now, or we can tackle it later. The great thing is, if you can fix it now you can live free, proud and happier than a person who is running from the problem. You surely don’t want to regret waisting years running.
Don’t let the false sense of peace trick you into thinking where you are is not that bad, it’s out of your control, or you just need to give up because it’s just too hard or not worth it. Continue to fight if you know in your heart you are not where you should be. Fight with wild abandon for the life you want. Literally FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE! No one else will.
When you set out to reach a goal, you must be prepared for battle. You are your own worst enemy. Your flesh will want to be lazy. It will want to eat what it wants and do what it feels like doing. You need to be prepared to fight for what you want If you want to succeed. That means you need to have a pretty persuasive argument with your fat, lazy, hungry, self.
That’s why I create fitness quotes. I know how I fight my own lazy self. I know what I have to tell myself to get to the gym. I know what gets under my own skin, what psyches me out and what pumps me up. When something clicks with me, whether it’s my thoughts, quotes, lesson learned, fitness fact or a famous motivational quote, I share it in hopes it helps you too.
What is YOUR favorite mantra or quote?
What is the opposite of being proud of accomplishment? It’s embarrassment, shame, guilt and frustration from not accomplishing anything. When we aren’t working out and eating right, but know we need to, we not only look awful we feel awful. We are discouraged, full of despair and sometimes we are so overwhelmed by our failure, we can’t even muster the first step in the right direction.
Do you need motivation? Do you need strength? Power ? Encouragement? Hope? Then I challenge you to quit thinking about what is behind us – and even quit focusing on how hard it is today. Instead, think on what lies ahead.
Sure, you may have a long road to go, but the destination is going to be SO worth it. This is what keeps the Pfiesters going. It’s knowing, once you reach your goal, you will not only feel amazing and look better – but you’ll have no more guilt and shame from not doing what you know you need to do. You will be PROUD!
If you are like me, it’s SUPER easy to get down on yourself. You see someone else that is stronger, fitter, smarter, quicker, better, more talented, more successful, more loving, more giving, more selfless, a better cook, a better wife, a better person…the list goes on. It’s funny how most of the time, we aren’t even comparing apples to apples. In healthy doses, comparing yourself with others may motivate you to push a little harder and work to be better, but if you let your thoughts go wild you can spiral out of control quick.
Speaking of spiral. Yesterday, Steve and I were on I-95 heading to West Palm Beach. It had been crappy weather all day long so we weren’t really going very fast and were tense with all the bad rain – when we HIT water and started hydroplaning out of control. We swerved left, we swerved right, then back left and then back right, where we finally went into a full 360 and ended rear end in the median (pictured left). Thank the Lord we didn’t go across the median into oncoming traffic. Our guardian angels were hard at work protecting Team Pfiester – but who’s out there protecting you from letting your thoughts spiral out of control?
There is no one to stop your thoughts and direct them back to a safe place. This takes practice. I have to admit, if Steve was more practiced on the whole hydroplaning bit, we might not have ever gone completely out of control, but he had never hit water going 70 miles an hour like that. Plus, I have to say, we weren’t the only ones in the ditch. (This was a pic of us immediately after we spun out – right after we prayed, thanking God for our safety!) After we soared off the road, others followed and all of them collided with something and wrecked.
My point is this, when your thoughts go off track, you need to be prepared to pull them back on track. As soon as you start to compare yourself with someone else, or get on a pity party of how rough your life is because losing weight seems so much harder for you, or working out is more challenging with your busy schedule, you need to take the wheel of your mind and redirect it where you want to go. Otherwise, your mind will lead you so off your desired route you will end up stuck in some ditch wondering how in the world you got there.
Today, I want you to THINK about what you are going to THINK about.
- I don’t have to compete with anyone but myself.
- I know my opponent (me) well, so there is NO reason I can’t beat her (him).
- I can feel strong, no matter how weak I am if I’m stronger than I once was.
- I can feel thinner even if I’m 1 pound lighter than I was last week.
- I can be proud if I’m getting better, whether I’ve “arrived” or not.
- I will not allow my thoughts to roam loose. I will have control over my mind.
- I will never be ashamed or embarrassed of where I am, instead, I’ll be proud of where I’m headed.
- I will not speak negative thoughts – no ifs, no doubts, no excuses.
- I will purposefully only speak of my goals, dreams, hopes and victories.
- I will be OK with just doing my best, no matter what that looks like.
- I will look for victories instead of shortcomings.
- I will not become complacent. I will not let my stomach control me or stand in the way of my goals.
- When I feel someone is competing with me, I’ll consider it a compliment that I’m competition worthy.
- No one can get me upset unless I let them. Let being the key word.
- I will celebrate every single itty-bitty victory on my journey.
- I will recognize that success may be closer than I think.
- I will focus on my goals, and put them in plain site every day.
- I will keep showing up even if I don’t want to, or don’t see results (yet).
- I will treat failures as lessons and victories as motivation.
- I will never give up, no matter how big of a failure I feel like I am.
Isn’t it funny how opinionated people are about body weight. “she’s too skinny”, “she’s too fat”, “she’s too muscley”, “she’s too lean”, “she looks like a man”, “she doesn’t even look like she lifts weights”.
I could be having a totally fat day (or month! lol) and people will feel the need to remind me that my fat day would be their skinny day. Does that make me feel thinner? No. Do I instantly feel dynamite, fit and happy? Not a chance. Do I still feel fat and crappy? Yep. Are my jeans still too tight? Yep.
Too fat, too thin, too confused
I remember one time, a couple of years ago, a company wanted to hire me to be a fitness model for a celebrity workout series, and another company wanted to hire me for a infomercial. In the same period of time, one told me I was too lean and muscular, and the other one said I needed to lose 15lbs. I had to laugh. I admit, at first I didn’t laugh at all. I was totally frustrated. I found myself dieting one minute, and trying to add some mass the next. I was on a fitness rollercoaster ride and how I felt about my weight was determined by what others thought. Then I realized I just needed to be me. I needed to be at the weight I feel most comfortable, and not worry what others thought.
The issue of judging and stereotyping body types applies to everyone in some way or other – and it will likely happen to you too. As you diet and strive to reach your goals, it is not uncommon for people to tell you you’re getting too skinny, or to remind you how happy they’d be if they were at your weight. Another issue is people may judge you for caring about your body and health – maybe they think you are being selfish. They may judge you for the time you spend in the gym or how often you run. Some people perceive a healthy person to be vain or conceited. At the same time, fitness fanatics can come across equally judgmental. As Johnny Depp playing Donnie Brasco said, “forgetaboutit”. What matters most is how YOU feel.
Don’t let people define fitness for you. You are the only one who knows what you have to do to feel your best and to do what you need to be healthy and happy. So set your goals based on that – not one anyone else is doing or thinking. Not what you think the scale should say or a magazine may tell you. Define your own fitness this year.