Posts tagged fitness motivation

Do You Use Exercise for Damage Control?

damage controlThink how much further you’d be if you didn’t eat something you shouldn’t eat, with the mindset of either “I worked hard today in the gym” or “I’ll just do an extra cardio tomorrow”. Sadly, if you workout at all, you’ve done this before – we ALL do!

Think about what we are really doing. We are taking one step forward in the gym, then taking one step (and often 2 steps) back with our lack of discipline in eating – and then we take one step forward again to get back to where we started to begin with. We are basically getting nowhere, or we are letting our diet slow us down to a snail’s pace.

What if EVERYTHING we did in the gym was a NEW step forward? Where would you be now if you didn’t rely on exercise as simply damage control?

Refuse To Be Discouraged

don't be discouragedWhether we are talking about our body, our career, our Christian walk, our marriage or any other “project” or goal we are working to improve or excel in. Anyone who wants to really improve will come to the realization they still have so much room for improvement – and that can easily get you discouraged if you let yourself dwell on how far you have to go. Instead, realize how much further you are already, just because you are actively working to improve.

The truth is, we should be more worried about being complacent, content or satisfied with where we are. The moment I think I’m “OK” or I’ve “arrived”, is the moment I need a real wake-up call. Complacency is a dangerous place to be. While you can be happy where you are, we should always be striving to be better.

So if you have been down on yourself lately, realize you are on the right path! Be proud of yourself. Enjoy the journey! Celebrate every little success or improvement. Be excited about your future!

30 Days of Motivation: What is REALLY Motivating You

motivationQuote of the Day:Motivation may get you started but it takes discipline to keep you going.

Scripture of the Day: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

Most people, at some point and time, get motivated by something or someone to get in shape. Sometimes it’s a pair of tight pants that motivate you. For some, it may be a bad trip to the doctor. In other cases, it’s a really fit friend that makes you think “I want that body!”

Either way, I don’t know a lot of people who don’t want to be fit and healthy. They are plenty motivated to workout and shape up. They want it. They may even cry and tell you how miserable they are. They are so motivated they join a gym at the New Year, buy new tennis shoes, get all the fitness gadgets they need to succeed, make all kinds of promises, but over time something happens – or maybe I should say NOTHING happens.

What Happened to My Motivation?

Motivation MUST be followed by discipline. People can’t lean on motivation alone. Why? Because motivation is just a feeling that comes and goes – PLUS, you have a lot of other motivations in life that interfere with the one motivation to get fit.

For instance, we are motivated by taste to eat poorly. We are motivated by our emotions to give ourselves pity parties and poor a glass of wine after a tough day. We are motivated by our body to sleep in. We are motivated by our family to skip the gym and come home for dinner. We are motivated by our friends to go with them to a party. We are motivated by greed not to spend money on fitness. We are motivated by our love for our spouse to cook what they want and not what you need. We are motivated by commercials to try the next fancy burger at your favorite restaurant. We are motivated by our brain to give up because all this work may not even be worth it any way.

Ironically, we are not lacking motivation. We are just motivated by conflicting parties – we are motivated by our mind and what we know is right, which is constantly fighting what our body (flesh) wants.

Bottom line is being motivated to workout is only one of many motivations – and it’s up to US to prioritize and decide how we are going to handle any other motivation that may get in the way of our goals. This takes discipline. It takes perseverance and consistency. Before long, you’ll form a habit, and what required strict discipline before becomes almost effortless ritual later.

Motivated To Remain Disciplined

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 and stay disciplined. 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.

Motivation isn’t just what gets us going, we need to constantly remember what is motivating us to do what is right, STAY going, be disciplined, build this new or stronger habit and reach your goals.

START Motivated, STAY Motivated, STAY Disciplined, START Seeing the Reward!

Here are my Top 20 Motivational Quotes for Answers.com

What is YOUR favorite mantra or quote?

30 Days of Motivation: Beware of the Unknown

just becauseQuote of the Day: Just because you don’t read food labels, it doesn’t mean the calories aren’t there. If you don’t see the calories on the label, you may see them later on your hips.”

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!

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30 Days of Motivation: Good Food vs Evil Food

FOOD IS NOT BOSSQuote of the Day: “Food is not the boss of me” 

Scripture of the Day: “…I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12

One of the problems with eating and dieting is that there are no set rules that apply to everyone. There is somewhat a grey area when it comes to eating. Eating is not wrong, it’s not a sin and it’s not against the law, but it can be deadly, it can destroy self-confidence, it can make you miserable, it can make you feel bad and it clearly can be very harmful to you when abused.

Bottom line, for something that isn’t necessarily bad, it can definitely be a huge problem to some people. As a result, you get a lot of opinions from people that can cloud your own beliefs and understanding. You may even fall into peer pressure as some people snub their nose at others who eat fast food or might enjoy an ice cream sundae. Some health fanatic may even take it up a notch and preach to everyone everywhere they go about avoiding sugar, gluten, dairy, sweeteners or whatever other thing they personally are convicted to avoid.

Who’s the Boss?

sweetsI’m here to help you differentiate between what is OK and not OK for YOU. You need to know without a shadow of a doubt whether sweets, snacks, meat, carbs, alcohol or whatever is right for you so you. You need know without a shadow of a doubt what is OK for your eating plan and what is not. You should know where the boundaries need to be set – and I believe this blog will help you make the right choices.

Question #1: Does it have any power over you?

Paul says in 1 Corinthians “…I will not be brought under the power of any.” Other translations of verse 12 say it like this:

I will not be mastered by anything.
I must not become a slave to anything.
I will not be dominated by anything.
I will not do them if I think it would be hard for me to stop when I know I should.

Bonnie’s translation is “it won’t boss me”. How many of us let food boss us around? It’s ridiculous!! For some people, sweets are their boss. For others, carbs are their boss. It may not even be one food, but more of a lifestyle – like wining and dining with friends habitually, snacking every night, or drinking every day. Ask yourself: Who’s the boss? Is it me, or is it XYZ (fill in the blank)?

Harmful vs Helpful

evil foodThe next thing we need to look at is not just whether or not it has control over me, now we need to ask this next question.

Question #2: Is it beneficial?

The first part of 1 Corinthians 6:12 says “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful.” Other translations say “beneficial” or “good for me”. Sadly, we often try to determine whether something is OK or not based on whether or not it is harmful – but what about if it’s not harmful, but it’s also not helpful.

Now combine those two questions. Is it helpful and could it have power over you? If so, then there need to be some serious boundaries on whatever it is you are trying to determine is right for you or not. It may mean you can never have that thing in your life because of it’s control over you (whether it’s sugar, alcohol or maybe something that would put your life at risk). On the other hand, it may simply mean you need to put strict regulations on that item in your life (like you will not ever bring sweets home, but it’s OK to have a treat once a week out of the house, to avoid temptation of making it a habit again). These are just some ideas. It’s important you be honest with yourself and decide what is best for you.

food temptationsLastly, is it helpful for others? I know, I just said this is supposed to be all about you, but if you desire to walk in wisdom and not just make good decisions, but make excellent ones, you need to think about how your actions affect you – as well as others. So, let’s say you aren’t addicted to cookies, but your spouse is overweight and struggles with a sweet tooth. Let’s take that up a notch. Let’s say you love red wine, but your spouse is a recovering alcoholic. Would you bring alcohol home knowing your spouse struggles with alcoholism? I doubt it! So why are we so selfish to bring ice cream home when our spouse struggles with managing their weight? That’s a good example of “things that make you go hmmmm”! While it may be “lawful” for you, it may not be OK for you if it’s not helpful to you and others around you.

Interestingly enough, the next verse talks about this very thing: “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall” 1 Corinthians 8:13. Honestly, you can’t get a clearer answer than this. Paul is saying, even though I don’t have a problem eating meat, I won’t do it if someone else does because that wouldn’t be helpful – and even worse, it could cause them to stumble. BUT, to do this, it requires selfless living.

It may be easy to say “that’s not fair”, but if you live selfishly (to please yourself without regard of others), then I believe you are in full-on sin. Believe me, I understand. I could have a big thing of peanuts in the pantry that would last me months, but I can’t have them because Steve pours them in his mouth like a glass of water. There are some things I can’t have in this house because I know they are a weakness for him. However, I love him more than I love peanuts, so it’s a small sacrifice to help him with his diet and health. I sure as heck won’t put peanuts, ice cream or whatever else before my husband and I should also not let anything other than God have its grip on me. Believe me, I have my own issues, and I too am learning how to set boundaries – and the first step is asking these 2 questions.

Right Living, Digging Deeper

jesus facepalmHopefully, I’ve gotten your brain juices going and you would like to think about how this could apply to your entire life – and not just eating. Whether it’s how you eat, speak or act, Chuck Smith asks these questions that I feel should be on the refrigerator door and on the bathroom mirror in every house. It’s so awesome! (I’m literally cutting and pasting from his sermon notes he entitles “Limits to Liberty“)

A. Does it impede my being like Jesus. Would I be apt to find Jesus participating with me?
B. Could I be brought under it’s power. Could it get such a hold on me that I cannot control myself? Could it enslave me?
C. Does it build me up in Jesus? Does it make me more like Him? Does it build up others?

Ice cream is not bad, but it is bad if it enslaves you.
Bodybuilding is not wrong, but it is if it dominates you.
Working isn’t bad, but it is if you can’t put it down.
Spending money is fine, but not if you can’t stop when you know you should – and the list goes on…

Life is full of questions, but finding the answer to is so much easier with the help of 1 Corinthians 6. :)

30 Days of Motivation: Are You Eating on Credit?

fat is like debtQuote of the Day: “Fat is like debt Stored fat is all the extra food your body couldn’t afford to eat. It’s all the extra food you ate on “credit”, and now it’s just waiting to be paid off.

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.

overspendingEating 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!!

 

30 Days of Motivation: Don’t Fool Yourself

FAILURE is notQuote of the Day: “failure is not always about what you are doing, but more about what you are not doing.”

Scripture of the Day:”Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” James 1:22

I wish I could record people’s conversations with me so you could get a real grasp on this concept. I have SO many people that list all the things they are doing right – but they are not getting results. The listen to what I’m saying, but they pick and choose what they want to apply. Then they just tell me the good stuff, and they withhold the stuff they aren’t willing to surrender yet.

Don’t let your good intensions cloud reality. If you aren’t getting results, it doesn’t matter how clean you eat, how much you lift and how often you run. If you aren’t losing the weight, or getting the results you want, you are clearly DOING plenty right – but you are doing something wrong.

Oftentimes it means you are eating too big of portions, too many calories, or getting the wrong substrates (fat, protein, carbs). My goal for you today is to encourage you to look at the balance between what you are doing – and what you are still not doing. Whether you are still drinking and still having your glass of wine at night, or still having your daily dose of chocolate. OR, maybe it’s your weekly cheat meal or date night that is sabotaging your progress. Whatever it is, please do not full yourself into thinking you can do enough right to erase your wrongs.

You can’t compete with what you eat – and getting results doesn’t just require hard work in the gym, but it requires a certain level of sacrifice in the kitchen and in your daily lifestyle. :)

What is the first thing that comes to mind right now that you haven’t surrendered. That is probably the one thing standing in your way of success.

30 Days of Motivation: Impossible Starts with the Possible

do the impossibleQuote of the Day: “Do the impossible by starting with the possible.”

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!!

30 Days of Motivation: Don’t Erase Your Hard Work

i will not eraseQuote of the Day: I will not erase all the hard work I did in the gym this week with what I eat in the kitchen this weekend.

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!!

30 Days of Motivation: Adjust Your Focus

that feelingQuote 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.

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