Posts tagged fitness mantra
Scripture of the Day: “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” Proverbs 14:16
Wouldn’t it be nice if every food item came with a label on it? If only we knew how many calories were each home-cooked meal, baked good and menu item, many of us would make much better decisions.
The hardest part about dieting is trying to guess how many calories are in these types of foods. We tend to underestimate calories when we leave it up to our own guesswork. We want to believe certain foods are OK to eat. Then after we talk our self in to believing we’ve made the right choice we expect to lose weight as if our guesses are always accurate.
I made a major mistake one time that enlightened me on this very subject. I picked up a low-calorie snack on a road trip. I noticed the snack was a little over 200 calories. I wasn’t too thrilled about this since I try to keep my snacks to 150 calories or less but I thought I should bring it in case I got hungry. I found myself picking up the snack while I was driving along, re-reading the package over and over – contemplating whether it was worth it or not. I ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it and would prefer to eat something better later.
Later, I decided to stop at Starbucks to stretch my legs and refuel my body with a fat-free sugar-free latte. I found myself staring at the pastry case looking for anything that could be the least bit healthy. The store had only one “healthy” item – ‘no sugar added’ banana nut bread (AKA: Cake). I thought that would be an OK choice. Besides, it had real bananas and whole nuts in it which sure beat my processed 200 calorie snack. The bread was larger than my wimpy snack so, even if it had a few more calories, I thought it would be worth it. (I love how I try to talk myself into feeling good about my decision, but this was my thought process.)
After I ate the snack I began to feel a little guilty, second guessing my choice so I looked up the calories for that banana nut bread and found that my little ‘no sugar added treat’ had over 475 calories and 30 grams of FAT!! Ughhhhh! That’s more calories than an entire lean cuisine meal. I couldn’t believe it! I knew it was probably a little higher than my 200 calorie snack, but I had no idea it was going to be more than twice the calories. In addition I had my fat-free sugar-free latte which was 180 calories so in one quick trip to the coffee shop I had over 655 FREAKIN’ CALORIES! This little boo-boo would probably take me about 6 miles to erase! Ugh!
I am sure I’m not alone here. I hear stories like this all the time in the gym, but mistakes like this can be EASILY prevented. It’s simple: If you are dieting and you don’t know how many calories are in a particular food – DON’T EAT IT. It’s not worth throwing away your hard work in the gym and all your other sacrifices you make to control your caloric intake.
Dieters eating food without knowing how many calories is in it is like shoppers shopping for items that have no prices on them. How in the world are you supposed to know if you can “afford” something or not? How in the WORLD are you supposed to make an intelligent decision if you have no knowledge to base your decision on? You can’t! Like Proverbs says “”One who is wise is cautious” but a “fool is reckless and careless.” I could have looked that up BEFORE I ordered it. I could have been more cautious. Sadly, most people live life with no concern for calories at all.
Like me, you can fool yourself into thinking something is okay for you – but just because you don’t know how many calories is in something doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And, like our poor spending habits reflect on our bank statement – your poor choices will eventually reflect on the scale.
The moral of this story: Know what you are eating, or don’t eat what you don’t know – because what you don’t know can hurt you!
Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get more diet & fitness tips! Also, be sure to connect with me on facebook & twitter for fun fit tweets!
Scripture of the Day: “Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up?” Proverbs 6:6-9
I have to admit, despite what you may think, I really struggle with laziness. My first reaction is always to take the easy route. I’m very apt to want to stay at home, to stay as comfortable as possible and to avoid exerting energy. I’d rather eat less than workout more. Steve, on the other hand, doesn’t mind working out twice a day so he can eat a few more calories.
Sadly, in today’s society, everything evolves around convenience and comfort. If you are honest (and you are like me), it pains you to discover the remote on the opposite side of the couch, when just a few years ago we had to get up and change the channel on the TV. Before that, we had to drive somewhere to see a play or watch a show. Before that, we walked, road our bike or jumped on a horse to get to the closest amphitheater to be entertained.
The same goes with telephones. Cell phones allow us to answer the phone exactly where we are. We don’t have to get up and walk to the kitchen (where the only phone in the house use to be) to answer the phone. We don’t have to stand for 20 minutes while talking on the phone because the chord could only reach so far. No, we can answer it exactly where we sit, remain seated without burning an extra calorie doing so. Before telephones, if you wanted to talk with a friend, you went to their house. You walked to your neighbors homes – and in very old times, you may travel hours to deliver a message in person.
We can drive through and get a full-course meal without barely any effort. We have people that mow our lawn, grow our food and machines that wash dishes and clothes. We have it easy! And if we aren’t purposefully incorporating exercise in our day, we will be in big trouble.
The problem is, we like being comfortable too much. We work our brains so much at work, we feel exhausted at the end of the day, even if we haven’t done any hard labor. While our mind may say we are tired, our body needs exercise. It’s time to discover your beast mode.
Learn from the Ants
What can we learn from this verse about ants?
1.) They don’t have a boss, they don’t have someone telling them what to do.”Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work“.They labor hard on their own will. They aren’t doing all the hard work for someone else, they are doing it for themselves. We too should want to work hard because it is beneficial to us and to everyone around us.
2.) They plan ahead. “they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter”. While there are instant benefits to working out, what we do today is an investment for our future. We labor now for a reward later. If you want to feel good in your bikini in the spring, you labor over the winter. If you want to be healthy enough to play with your grandchildren and go on vacations in your 80s, then you labor hard now in your 40s. We must plan for the future and be willing to work now for a healthier life later.
3. They live with purpose. One website explained that all ants work with purpose, “If it is raining outside, the nurses will dash around carrying their charges lower and lower where the rain might not penetrate. Worker ants concentrate on enlarging the nest, digging new chambers underground, making repairs where needed. They also keep the colony clean, removing dirt and debris and the dead. Soldiers are equipped with larger heads, a hard armor-like covering and larger and stronger jaws. They will attack insects, both for protection and for food. gatherers get the food. They can carry up to 50 times their weight. Or they may go as far as away as 600 feet and return with a single seed to store deep in the nest for the future- similar to a man walking 6 miles to the store and back for a loaf of bread.”
It is so easy to fall in the trap of laziness. Commit to being active, to fight laziness, to not give into napping when it isn’t necessary, to go to the gym after work even though you just want to hit the couch and relax.
Live like an Ant
- Protect your environment, creating boundaries in your life to keep you safe and healthy
- Work on constantly improving (like the ants are constantly enlarging their nest, we should not become complacent and always strive for better and bigger things)
- Clean the house regularly. One sign of laziness, and even depression, is letting the house go. The more disciplined you are at home, the more disciplined you will be at work and in your extra time.
- Make repairs when things break. Don’t put off tasks.
- Remove stuff in your life that is bad or dead. When there is something (or someone) in your life that is not good for you, it needs to be removed. What dirt and debris needs to go in your life?
- Work (prepare and cook) for your food. Limit how often you go out to eat. Eating out is a form of laziness – even some of the busiest people with the same amount of kids and responsibilities can find time to cook.
- Work together (don’t wait on others to do stuff for you). Have your family work as a team, each using their talents and skills to help one another.
- Don’t do life alone. There are no stories of ants being a lone, gathering their own food, fighting off enemies and cleaning and repairing nest. We need people – especially in fitness. We need a support network to help us stay on course and reach our goals.
- Carry heavy weight regularly. I love this one! An ant carries things 50 times their weight. While I’m not implying you should deadlift 7,500lbs (which is what you’d have to deadlift if you weighed 150lbs), but I am saying, don’t be afraid to lift heavy stuff. Haven’t you ever watched an ants pick something up? It, oftentimes, takes several attempts. You can see them trying to tackle it from different angels. You might even see them drop it along the way. Be like the ant, and look at the impossible with a desire to attempt it – and you’ll get stronger and stronger with each attempt!
- Walk 12,000 steps a day (that is equivalent to the average distance an ant travels, which is 6 miles). Ironically, most experts suggest to walk 10,000 steps a day for good health. Unfortunately, sedentary people may only walk 1,000-3,000 steps a day. No wonder we are an obese nation!
People love motivational images of people lifting heavy weight and looking all hot and ripped, but maybe we should share pics of ants because they sure prove to be pretty great role models!
Scripture of the Day: “Have you found honey? eat only as much as is sufficient for you, lest you be filled with it, and vomit it.” Proverbs 25:16
What is Proverbs saying? It’s saying, only eat what you need – no more. Of course we know eating too much can do more than make you vomit. It can cause weight gain and a host of health issues. If overeating (or eating more than you can afford to eat) becomes a habit, you will slowly start gaining weight – and have all the problems that go with it.
Working Off the Debt
Maybe you think you can work it off. Something people do not realize how much harder this is to do than it sounds. We always say “You can’t compete with what you eat“, and it is so true. While this may not seem very encouraging, the truth can be very helpful.
How hard is is to burn 1,000 calories? HARD! That might take a 10 mile jog or 2-3 hours of aerobics classes to burn off, yet you can eat 1,000 calories in less than 20 minutes at your favorite restaurant – and that’s before dessert! How easy is it to put something on a credit card? BAM! You can spend $500 in 5 seconds flat, but it might have taken someone 20 hours at $25/hour salary to MAKE $500! The same goes with food and exercise.
Eating calories without tracking them is like shopping without looking at price tags. You can either afford something or not, but not looking at the price tag (or food label) doesn’t mean you should buy it and just give the sales clerk your credit card – however, that’s exactly what we are doing when we eat food we can’t afford.
We are putting calories on credit, stored as fat. Fat is simply calories we ate that we couldn’t afford to eat at the time. It’s just sitting there (on your thighs, tummy, butt and love handles), waiting to be paid off. If you want to ever pay it off (like a credit card) you have to quit eating on credit. It’s time to pay it off – and in this case, this means exercise and diet.
Stop overspending! It’s time start paying off your fat debt!!
Scripture of the Day:”What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23
You don’t have to be completely convinced you can do the impossible, but you do need to believe anything’s possible – but only if you try. The impossible doesn’t just happen on it’s own, without faith and at least an attempt to try.
Does someone become an olympic athlete by practicing the most difficult task? No. A gymnast will start with a forward roll on the ground before they advance to cartwheels, round-offs and back flips. They have to do what they CAN do first. Then they advance, one small challenge at a time.
This is how our workouts are. If someone can’t do a regular 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 can’t fathom what is possible. All they see is the impossible.
Be encouraged! Don’t think about all the things you CAN’T do, just do what you can – and eventually, over time, you will be doing things you never thought possible!!
Scripture of the Day: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14
What this verse is saying is “Don’t do what everyone else does.” Everyone else does whatever they want on the weekend. Everyone else feels like the deserve the break. “We work hard during the week, let’s live it up on the weekend” some say – but how dumb is that?
Whether we are talking about how we eat, how we spend money or how we act, we should be protective over what we have worked hard on all week long – whether we worked hard to make money, for a good reputation, for spiritual growth, or to make progress toward our weight loss goals. Does it mean you completely live one day like none of that matters? Do we have an “OFF” day, as if no rules apply and the calories, actions, money or whatever don’t count? NO! What happens on the weekends doesn’t stay on the weekends! We carry that junk with us into the new week. Of course we can have small treats and fun, but we should be so dedicated to our goals, and to our standards, that we don’t go so overboard we erase 6 days of hard work on one day.
Sadly, this happens to so many people who in pursuit of a new weight or fitter body. Most people fail, not because they aren’t working hard enough in the gym, but because they aren’t working hard enough in the kitchen (especially on the weekends). They blow 5-6 days of sweat and tears on snacks and cheat meals. Even people who are eating healthy, still can eat too much.
Start becoming protective over your hard work in the gym. It comes with a cost – they are called calories. We burn them in the gym, and we need to protect that investment and prevent replacing them with irresponsible eating.
If you are trying to lose weight, commit to counting every single calorie you eat this weekend, even if you’ve never counted calories before. Before it goes in your mouth, look it up and add it up. Once you know the real cost of food, you will begin to budget your eating better and see the results you want! Have a great weekend everyone! More motivation tomorrow!!
Quote of the day: “That amazing feeling you get when you finish your workout despite how hard it was, how tired you were, how weak you felt or how much you wanted to quit… Yeah, that feeling keeps me coming back for more.”
Scripture of the Day: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
It is easy to let your mind think of all the excuses to not show up, all the reasons to quit too soon or all the reasons you are justified to not even try. However, we are to think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. We are not to focus on all the negative stuff that clouds are vision and keeps us from the things that are most important and most beneficial.
Remember constantly how good it feels to finish your workout, to do what is right, to have your priorities in order and to live a disciplined life. Success requires it – and God commands it too.
Scripture of the Day: “Therefore I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men.” Acts 24:16
I love what Horace said, “Rule your mind or it will rule you“. Our mind is our own worst enemy. When I think of my mind, I feel like I have an enemy at camp – a part of me that is not on my side. My mind seems to go against everything I know is good for me. It convinces me that I’m too weak, I’m too stupid and a multitude of other negative thoughts. I fail in my mind way before I ever fail in real life. HOWEVER, that only happens IF I let my mind run loose.
Self control in your eating, your training, your language, and your actions all starts with self control in your thoughts. The evidence of a controlled mind is you kill the thought as soon as it appears and you act on them less and less. But this takes practice (exercise). Sadly, most of us are tempted to camp there in that thought, feed it and let it grow. Whether it’s food, problems, anger, doubt or negativity, we have a choice as SOON as that thought comes up to either feed it or kill it.
There are SO many scriptures about controlling your mind, as God knows how powerful our mind really is. In Acts, Paul is quoted saying he has to “exercise and discipline” his mind. Another version says Paul strived to have a “conscience without offense”. If you know Paul, these words have a LOT more punch than they first appear. Paul (before he met Jesus) was a murderer. He did a lot of bad things. So you can only imagine what thoughts came to his mind after he realized his wrongs and decided to dedicate his life to the ministry. Guilt, doubt, frustration and regret are likely thoughts that wanted to rule his mind. I know they would if I were in his shoes. Of course this is my own speculation, but anyone who has messed up really bad in the past probably has these thoughts that want to creep back up and sabotage progress.
If I were him, I’d think I was the LAST person to be effective for the church. If he lived in our day, we’d call him a terrorist, yet he was called to minister to the very same people who he once murdered and hated. I also imagine he thought he wasn’t capable or worthy. He probably had to battle thoughts of the past daily, and all the regret that came with it. He said “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (Phil 3:13) The key point here is we can learn a lot from him, because if anyone had to battle his mind, it was Paul – and we are no different really.
We’ve all messed up. We can beat ourselves up for the things we’ve done, or we can kill those thoughts and feed thoughts of truth and hope. Whether we have thoughts and memories of poor choices, past failures or weight gain, we must learn to rule them or they will rule us. Even if it’s thoughts of regret for what we did yesterday (cheating on a diet, skipping a workout, etc) or if it’s thoughts of past failure from years of neglect or abuse, we must do what Paul did – forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.
Today, commit to exercising your mind as much as you exercise your body.
Scripture of the Day: “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:13-15
If we know we won’t regret sticking to our diet, then why do we cheat? How do we fall into temptation?
1.) She was CLOSE to the one thing she was supposed to avoid. Why was she even hanging out around the tree that she was forbidden to eat from? Stupid right? Yet, we hang out with friends who are a horrible influence on us, and visit restaurants we have no business being around while dieting too.
2.) She was TALKING ABOUT the forbidden fruit. How ridiculous is that?! If we have issues with sweets, let’s say, should we go down the cookie and candy aisle? Should we really put our brain, and taste buds, through the torture of talking about it? The same way Eve should not have allowed herself to have a long conversation with Satan about whether she should eat the forbidden fruit or not, we too should avoid tempting conversation (EVEN WITH OURSELF) about things that are off limits. Trust me, just like Eve did, you can easily begin to doubt your beliefs, justify your actions, and before you know it, you have messed up.
Anything that is standing in the way of you being your best, and becoming the person God called you to be, has no place in your life – not now, maybe not ever.
Here are 4 Tips to Protecting Yourself From Your Greatest Temptations:
1. Know your weakness. Charles Stanley said, “One of the important things about temptation is, if I’m going to deal with it I’m going to have to recognize, this is an area of weakness in my life. I have been tempted here before and before and before.” You can’t possibly protect yourself from something you think is not an issue for you. Ironically, one of the hardest steps for addicts is to admit they are powerless over their addiction. They think they are making the choice, or there is a reason they do it. It’s not until they completely surrender and admit they are powerLESS, that they can become powerFUL!
2. Be willing to let go (for good). Some people can eat pizza occasionally and keep their weight off. Others can’t. If you are truly obsessed with food, you may need to treat it as a true addiction. Your whole thought process may not just need to change for a period (like while you are dieting), but forever. There are plenty of people who do cocaine and never get addicted. In the same way, you must know what you can and cannot handle. If you have dieted before, but gained the weight back, it’s likely that you simply set aside your addiction for later, instead of laying it down for good.
Be willing to let go of the things that are ruining you – not just for a period, but be WILLING to let go of them for life (if that’s what it takes). Anything that is standing in the way of you being your best, and becoming the person God called you to be, has no place in your life – not now, maybe not ever. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can never have it again, but letting go completely (and being OK if you never have it again , knowing you are trading it for SO MUCH MORE) is the first step toward a permanent change. Letting it go doesn’t just set it free, it sets YOU free.
3. Focus on what you are gaining, not what you are losing. So many people are SO busy focusing on what they are giving up, that they never truly realize what they are trading it in for. Is the freedom to order whatever you want at your favorite restaurant REALLY that much more important than losing weight, being fit and healthy, and feeling good about yourself? Your issue may not be the food itself, but giving up the “right” or “freedom” of doing what you want. Either way, the reality is most people are miserable when they are overweight and out of shape. They are insecure, depressed, restricted, physically uncomfortable, unattractive feeling, weak, out of shape, sick and tired. That is what poor decisions cost us. Personally, I can’t even think about what I want, or what I’m giving up. I just have to focus on what I’m GETTING – and it trumps my favorite treat any day.
4. Run from temptation. Not only should we not be around it, we have to physically and mentally work on getting the obsession of food out of our mind. I believe a lot of us struggle with things more than we should because we LET ourself fixate on it. We think about it, dream about it, talk about it and make future plans with it. When we diet, we even SEARCH for ways to still get it. Whether we look for the newest latest low-fat, gluten-free, paleo version of it, or whatever, we are still allowing our obsession to live with us.
Let’s think of it this way. Pretend it’s something that is SERIOUSLY WAY off limits – like another man or woman, an illegal drug, or breaking the law. We know to run from those things. We know not to focus on them. We know to push those thoughts out of our head as soon as they pop up. However, food can be just as dangerous if we LET those thoughts stay and take residence in our mind. They set up camp, they bring all their friends and, before you know it, they are ruling your body. If you want to really cut ties with your “drug of choice”, then you need to go to extreme measures to sever ties completely. With a drug addict, that means changing phones, blocking calls, deleting phone numbers, joining a support group, arranging people to hold you accountable daily, ending unhealthy friendships, changing your circle of friends, avoiding certain places, etc. AND, even if you do most of those things, if you don’t do it all you are still leaving an opening for failure. Are you running from temptation, only to leave a forwarding address so it can find you later?
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.
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”.