Joyce Meyer says “Where the mind goes, the body follows” and this is so true. If you want to lose weight, you have to first believe you CAN lose weight. If you want to be a professional athlete, you have to become one in your head first. If you don’t believe you can do what you want to do, it will never happen.
Muhammad Ali said, ”I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” What he is saying is he was told himself he was the greatest even BEFORE he felt great, BEFORE he was great, BEFORE he succeeded. I think we can all learn something from that statement. We have to tell ourselves who we want to be and what we want to become. Sadly, we normally do exactly the opposite. We constantly tell ourself that we are a failure. We say things like, “I’ll never be able to do XYZ”. Guess what? Your body listens to what you tell it and if you keep telling yourself that, you will never be able to do XYZ.
Ask yourself today. What are you telling yourself? Are you talking about being successful, strong, honorable, good, kind, loving, loyal, patient, forgiving, determined, steadfast – or are you constantly reminding yourself of your failures, shortcomings and inability to change? Choose your words carefully.
Food For Thought
I found this super interesting today and wanted to share this with you. Whether you are a Christian or not, I think you will find this text super interesting. ”Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a NEW person by changing the way you THINK. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” Romans 12:2.
I find it super interesting that this scripture didn’t say you need to renew your heart or change the way you feel, but it said transformation begins with a renewing of your mind and changing the way you think. If we want to think correctly, we need to read scripture and understand how God thinks. Then, and only then, can we begin to be transformed and know God’s will for our lives, and act in a way that is pleasing to Him – and this most definitely overflows into our work, our fitness, our marriage, our relationships.
How often do we make decisions based on how we feel. We don’t “feel” like working out. We don’t “feel” strong enough to lift that. We don’t “feel” like loving that person. We don’t “feel” like we can do this or that. Obviously God wants our heart to change, but scripture points to the real heart of our problems and failures – and it all starts in our mind.
I encourage you today to set your mind on what is good and positive, and practice pushing out negative self-defeating thoughts.
Think of the truth behind this statement, “scar tissue is stronger”. Our body is so smart. Our body does develop calluses just anywhere, it builds tough skin where we need it most. We have calluses on our feet and our toes to protect our skin from tearing or blistering, so we can go the distance. A guitarist has calluses on their finger tips, making it possible to play songs for hours and hours. I have calluses on the palms of my hands from lifting weights, which allows me to lift heavier and work harder without hands giving out before my muscles do.
Basically, calluses are nothing more than scar tissue on top of the skin. Anywhere the skin has been invaded or broken, new scar tissue is laid down to mend that area and make it stronger for the next attack. As you hit the gym and work hard to eat healthy every day, it will be the difficult days that make you stronger – not the easy ones. No matter what challenge you face, whether in the gym or in your personal life, celebrate it – and realize it’s an opportunity to strengthen your body, mind in spirit.
Here is some motivation for the person who is close to giving up! For that person who has doubt – whether they doubt themselves, doubt the system, doubt their trainer, doubt their capability to change, doubt their loved ones or doubt their faith. Let Perseverance FINISH it’s work in YOU.
It’s perseverance that develops you, grows you, matures you, and you can’t have perseverance if you give up.
Perseverance: noun \ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s\ Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.
Perseverance is not enduring something for nothing. It’s maintaining a continued effort for a prize. The prize may be tangible, the prize maybe self growth, the prize may be relief, the prize may be weight loss, the prize may be bigger stronger faith, but there WILL be a prize. Because of this, you can “consider all trials as joy because you KNOW that the testing of your faith produces perseverance ” (James 1:2-3). Perseverance produces changes you cannot experience any other way.
What perseverance IS (Synonyms):
- Keep on
- Carry on
- Keep trying
- Stick with it
What perseverance IS NOT (Antonyms)
- Give up
Are You a Survivalist or Warrior?
I believe there are different levels of perseverance. There is the kind where you just go into survival mode, and let life happen around you. You do the same things you did to get you to where you are, but you aren’t changing, you aren’t moving. And then there is the kind of perseverance where you are not just surviving, and avoiding the bombs going off around you, but you are at WAR – being proactive to fight the enemy and come out a winner. You are doing all you can do to do the right thing. You aren’t doing the bear minimum. You aren’t just trying to get by one more day. You are a fighter. You are trying to conquer ‘this’ – not just SURVIVE the battle, but WIN.
I challenge you to look deeply at why you are where you are. Whether your weight isn’t budging, or you are dealing with life issues, you may have more trials (and have to persevere longer than necessary) if you are just living in survival mode instead of warrior mode.
I once heard a story about a man who decided to ride out a storm. “A man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The man replies, ” No, I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”
Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in God and He will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.” With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God.
He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”
My pastor told this story years ago, when I was a teenager, and it has stuck with me. Although this story is a joke pastors may tell to wake up the congregation, it has many valuable applications. For me, it reminds me that opportunities are out there if I just pay closer attention. This man could easily have appeared to have more faith than anyone, but he displayed no wisdom or obedience. This is why people with the best intensions struggle because their intensions never turn into actions. It also reminds me that my idea of an answer, or miracle, can often make me blind to the actual answers God provides. It reminds me that most of us have help all around us – but we have to receive it, apply it and cultivate it. Whether it’s allowing yourself to receive love, guidance, support or knowledge, I believe our biggest flaw is waiting on help to look like what we think it should look like.
I can give someone guidance, and if it’s not what they want to hear, they’ll walk away empty handed – not because I didn’t give them something, but because I didn’t give them what they wanted.
Like J.G. Holland says in this quote, God may give us what we need, but He rarely plops it in our lap. It is probably within reach, even if it’s a stretch, but we have to decide to make an effort ourself if we truly want to continue to grow, mature, improve and learn – and stop wasting time waiting on a better time, a better situation or a better answer.
Beware of putting God, friends, family, goals, hopes and dreams in a box. Because oftentimes your narrow-minded vision of how you define them could keep you from seeing truth. I can’t tell you how often someone comes to me saying “help”, when I literally put everything I know out here online for anyone to use free of charge. Help is there. I can give someone guidance, and if it’s not what they wanted to hear, they will walk away empty handed – not because I didn’t give them something, but I didn’t give them what they wanted. So they will follow someone else’s blog, or join someone else’s gym, seeking the answers that better fit within what they are willing to receive.
What do you have in a box? What are you being blind to? Are you blind to a truth, or knowledge? Are you blind to someone’s love? Are you blind to the right process to get healthy because it doesn’t look like what you imagined? Are you waiting for God’s hand to reach down and pick you up out of today’s circumstance, or are you willing to climb down off your perch, climb in the boat and get to paddling?
Would you run a little faster if someone was timing you? Would you lift one more rep if people were circled around you cheering you on? Would you make the same choices if your trainer went home with you and watched you prepare a meal, or sat next to you on the couch while you snacked?
What about how you live? Would you tell a certain joke if your pastor was in the room. Would you complain about your job if your boss was listening? Would you take Jesus to all the movies you’ve seen?
I believe, if you answered these questions honestly, you would probably act a bit differently if you ate, trained and lived like everyone important was watching.
YOU are important – and YOU are watching. You know everything you are doing, and what you could be doing better or different. So why cheat yourself? Even if your trainer doesn’t see you eat ice cream at night, you will wake up with the guilt – whether they find out or not. You will judge yourself. No one else has to live with the decisions you make in secret.
Don’t get me wrong. I make plenty of bad decisions in private – and public too, for that matter. I’m no angel. I’m the queen of opening my mouth when I should have kept it shut. As much as I want to do the right thing and be good, my nasty flesh comes out and I spew out ugliness, laziness and selfishness in a hurry. While I’m just as wrong as the next person, I believe we should always remember to TRY to strive for improvement – in public AND in private.
What you do in private eventually comes out for all to see. If you cuss at home, you are sure to cuss eventually in front of someone. If you eat poorly when no one is watching, it will show up on your body. If you are a disgruntled employee, it WILL show in your attitude or work performance (and your boss will know – believe me, I know! ha!). If you want to change the way people see you, and you also want to see yourself differently too – start changing the way you act, and think, when you are alone.
You have to live with you for the rest of your life, so work to become a person you can forgive, be proud of, and be happy to live with. No matter how hard you try, you WILL fail. Just try to fail less often.
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” ― John Wooden.
Make a decision today to eat, train and live like everyone is watching.
One of the most deceiving things going on in the gyms today is belief that people can work off what they eat and drink. People show up day after day, working very hard in public to show the world they can be a champion in the gym. However, it’s what they do in private that is losing their fight with fat.
Muhammad Ali recognized the importance of what you do “far from witnesses”, and realized he could never win the fight in the ring if he didn’t win the fight with himself first. He had to fight laziness and mediocrity. He had to fight fear and doubt. He had to convince himself that he could be the champion he desired.
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”Muhammad Ali
In order to be the future champ, he had to be the champ in his workouts before he even faced his opponent. He had to go a few more reps and a few more steps past what his body wanted. He had to care for his body, which probably meant anything from a painful ice bath to getting the rest his body needed even when we didn’t want to take it.
He also recognized that it wasn’t always the big things in life that could bring a man down, it often was the small things that could trip a man up. The same goes with fitness. Your success can easily be tripped up by a few extra calories. The difference between getting thinner and seeing abs is the difference between stopping when you feel better, and continuing on past better to be your best. It is rarely the one hour workout (a mountain) that brings someone to quit, it’s the daily struggle to maintain a healthy diet, to keep showing up to the gym even when the results seem SO slow, that wears a person down.
“My only fault is that I don’t realize how great I really am.” Muhammad Ali
This quote may seem pompous, but it is a very true statement for most people. Most of our boot campers, and most of our members, do not realize how truly great they are. They often don’t believe in themselves as much as we believe in them. How can we believe in them? Because we have seen people JUST like them, who have the same set of excuses, fears, struggles and weaknesses, succeed. Once you realize how great you really are, you can do anything.
What I ask you today is this: Are you winning your fight far from witnesses, behind the lines, in your kitchen, in the gym and out there on the road? Or is you best effort what you want people see in the gym?
We’ve all heard the saying “no pain, no gain”, but what is pain really – and do you really have to experience pain to get the gain?
Personally, I think pain depends on the person. When Steve was trainer ABC’s weight loss reality show, Fat March, some of the contestants thought they were having heart attacks when their heart rate increased. They had never experienced cardio before and it was painful to them. Many of them had lived their lives as comfortable as they could – to the point of putting a refrigerator in their bedroom so they didn’t have to walk all the way to the kitchen for a coke. However, if you’ve ever done an intense workout, you know what it feels like to tax your body. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Is it bad for you? No. Does it feel good? Not to me! Does it feel good afterwards? Absolutely!
When this mantra was posted on Detour Bar’s facebook page, someone wrote: “if you’re working out to the point where it’s either painful or you experience post-workout exhaustion… well, you’re doing it wrong and you’re not eating right… this isn’t motivational, it’s just plain dumb.”
The Pain that Drives You
First, let’s talk about emotional pain. Pain isn’t always a muscle burning, heart pounding, or a joint aching. Sometimes pain is the feeling you have when you struggle to fit in your plane seat. It can be the painful realization you are no longer fitting in your clothes. It could be the bad report you get from your doctor, as he tells you your unhealthy lifestyle is going to kill you if you don’t do something about it. Pain can be the looks people give you, or the rejection you have received. Pain could be the shortness of breath you get from just going up one flight of stairs. Pain can be loneliness, depression, heaviness or despair that is driving you to get healthy.
Just getting to the gym can be a pain, the painstaking effort it takes to just get to the gym – to pack your gym bag after a really long day and keep showing up, even though you are too tired, too stressed or too busy. It could be the embarrassment and wake-up call you get when you are the last to finish a workout, and you realize just how out of shape you are. It could be the flighting moment of doubt or defeat in yourself – when you realize “this” is not going be easy, BUT you know if you stick with it, it will be worth it. All of these definitions of pain can drive you, if you choose. Or you can latch on to them, and let them define you.
Now, let’s talk about physical pain. Does it take literal pain to get ahead? The answer is: that depends how you define pain. My workouts are painful – not the bad kind of pain, but the good kind of pain. Some people may disagree. Some people may do the exact same workout and enjoy the muscle burn. To me, I’d define that as pain. My workouts can be unCOMFORTable, but that’s because I’m pushing my body. I have spurts of breathing so hard, it’s uncomfortable. Sometimes my muscles are burning so much, they feel like they are going to burst into flames. Even my runs can be a bit painful, especially if I run after leg day. Do my workouts hurt? Yes. Are they hurting my body? No. BUT, if I worked in my comfort zone (always trying to stay comfortable), I would never get stronger, never get faster, never get better.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
Even if the workout is easy and relatively comfortable during the workout, sometimes you experience pain after the workout. Sore muscles, fatigue, or normal wear and tear on a 42 year old body can be uncomfortable too. Sure, I could quit and say this is for the birds, but am I really going to let a little bit of discomfort stop me? Nope! Why? Because I focus on the reward more than the work. And you know what? The more I train, the more the definition of pain changes.
Now, pain is the feeling I get when I overeat or neglect my body. Living unhealthy would be very painful to me. If I didn’t workout. I would just trade good pain for bad pains. Instead of sore muscles, I’d have sore joints and ailments due to weak and tight muscles. I’d have painful feelings, insecurities and stress due to letting my body go.
As we age, everyone will experience pain at one point or other. You decide what kind of pain you want to experience – destructive pain, or constructive pain. You can let past painful moments drive you to improve. You can let the pain you may experience during a challenging workout remind you that you are changing.
Whatever your definition of “pain” is, let it drive you, not beat you.
I wanted to share one of my quotes online the other day, so I just googled the one I needed so I could just grab it offline. I googled “I will beat her” and I was not prepared for what I saw. I saw a whole bunch of other women’s pictures with my words,
I Will Beat Her
I will train harder.
I will eat cleaner.
I know her weaknesses.
I know her strengths.
I’ve lost to her before, but not this time.
She is going down.
I have the advantage
because I know her well.
She is the old ME!
At first, I was a little annoyed by the people that didn’t give me credit, and then (after I put my pride aside and got off my “I work hard on my quotes” pity party), I realized the impact these words were making on these women.
Sure, I spend a lot of time trying to come up with motivational posts, but they are meaningless if no one is inspired or motivated by them. These women did exactly what I wanted them to do. They related, they connected with the message, and they realized that they too can “beat her”.
How often do we focus on what everyone else needs to do, instead of what we can just do better? How often do we compare ourselves to someone else when, if we were to compete with the old version of ourselves, we would have kicked that old person’s butt. We DO have the advantage. We DO know ourselves better than anybody else.
We know if keeping ice cream in the refrigerator will trip us up or not. We know if we go home between work and the gym, that we’ll be tempted to skip our workout. We know how and where we failed before, and we know what it takes for us to succeed. We know ourselves so well, there really is no excuse for us to fail. We have the knowledge we need to defeat our old self, and it’s up for us to apply that knowledge, to continue improving, getting stronger, learning from our failures and winning our own battles.
I was inspired by these people who applied these words to their own lives. I was encouraged by their drive to become the winner they know they are – and I hope you will also realize you too can “beat her”. She is You Too.
PS: I want to thank all the people that shared this quote (and others), as well as the people who may have redone the quote with their photo, but credited me. I really do appreciate it and hope it encourages more and more people. <3
Feel free to share any of my quote, use my photos, and put your blog or name on my images too (as long as you keep name/blog info on there as well.
So many people convince themselves it’s too late to fix their body. They see is a broken down body that doesn’t run like it used to, and fear they are too tired and out of shape to fix it. That is such a lie. It’s never too late. If you are still breathing, there’s still time to improve the life you have before you.
Like author, Barbara Johnson, said “You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again”. Boy is that true! Fitness literally winds you back up. It reenergizes you and strengthens you so you run stronger and better. Just like a clock, your ticker (your heart) will even beat better, and be more reliable.
We may not be able to erase all life’s wrinkles without medical treatments to look younger, but we can wind our body back up with fitness to make us FEEL younger.
Whether you are 40 or 80, you can be a better 40 or 80 year old. You can wind yourself back up again!
8 Inspirational People
If you are already thinking about all the reasons this doesn’t apply to you, think again. Look at these amazing people who prove weight, age, injury and disease doesn’t have to stop you from being your absolute best.
This is Mary Ann and I, after doing a CrossFit WOD together at CrossFit One, at Reebok headquarters. She was relatively new to CrossFit, and admitted she was intimidated at first. If she can do it, anyone can!
One of our very own BCx Boot Campers, Suzy Murphy, got fit later in life. Some people may be convinced a program, like boot camp, would be too intense, but she didn’t let her age, doubts or fears stand in her way of success. This is definitely one picture that proves you can roll back the time – she looks SO much younger and healthier!
My own dad (Tom Talley) proves fitness not only can wind you back up, but it can pump you up too! Look at those GUNS! Dad got in the best shape of his life, even after rotator cuff surgery and a long battle with back pain, in his late fifties.
Dr. Josefina Monasterio
One of our clients, Josefina Monasterio, started body building when she was nearly 60. She continues to compete and train, even after major hip surgery.
Gail Griesemer, born with Spina Bifida isn’t letting anything keep her down. She trains regular in our gym (Max Fitness Club) with her trainer, Jack Harris and takes yoga twice a week.
Not every “come-back” is about aging. Sometimes turning back the clock is about recovering from injury, like Jared Dillon, who was told he may never walk again after a serious accident. Fitness didn’t just change his life, it saved it.
Ragen Chastain may not be thin, but she doesn’t let her body fat stop her from dancing and doing what she loves. While others may turn in the sweaty towel, Ragen doesn’t let her body get in the way of what she’s loves to do and who she wants to be.
Of course, the earlier you start, the better. 84 year old, Bette Calman, has taught yoga for 50 years. While many people might be tempted to hang up their hat, she refuses to give up – and still teaches yoga to this day.
Who is YOUR inspiration?
Do you know someone who turned their life around despite their age or circumstance?
I think we’d be in a much better place if we didn’t focus on where we were but, instead, focused on where were are going. We tend to obsess over what we are NOT, and forget who we ARE, and who we are BECOMING.
I’m not a fast runner, but I run. I am not super strong, but I lift. I am getting faster, and I am getting stronger. Unfortunately, most of us are very impatient. We want to get the the “finish lines” of life in one big step, but that is unrealistic. We rarely get anywhere in life in one step. Everything great takes time. But, what separates the success stories from the failures is not really how strong or fast someone is, but whether they persevere.
Although I am not suggesting you become complacent and not care about your overall performance, what I am suggesting is that you don’t focus so much on your performance that you forget your accomplishments. Each run you complete, each day you show up to the gym, every calorie you count, and every ounce you lose is an accomplishment.
Whatever you are working toward, You Can Finish This!
Think of where you were once, at your worst. Now think of where you are now. Lastly, think about where you are headed if you continue to press on toward your goals. THAT’s who you are – who you are, is who you are becoming.
Your Finish Line
Here are 4 steps to reaching your finish line.
1. Choose Your Race: Someone who has never run before rarely signs up for a marathon. Most people don’t just “show up” without a little planning. With fitness, “choosing your race” means choosing your goal. This can also mean choosing a gym, a class, a diet or trainer. Before you even take your first step, you have to make some important choices first.
2. Map Your Route: Before a runner starts, they have to know where to go – and so do you. Make sure you know the route to your finish line very well so you can stay on course. Choose some friends to “run with”. Having a workout partner, trainer or a group of people at work working on the same goals can help you from straying or losing focus.
3. Check Points: Create a few small goals and a few moderate goals to help encourage you, as well as make sure you stay on track. Check points can be small weight loss goals, performance based goals, or health improvements like improved resting heart rate or cholesterol levels.
4. Finish Line: Make sure you have main goal, or set of goals, and post them where you can see them every day. Can you imagine running a race with no visible finish line? Make sure your “black and white checkered flag” can be easily seen every moment along your journey. Out of site, means out of mind.