Posts tagged Goals

30 Days of Motivation: Strength Starts In Your Mind

strength starts in the mindQuote of the Day: “Strength starts in the mind. Rule your mind or it will rule you.”

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.

no negative thoughtsSelf 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.

forget the pastIf 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.

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

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

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

We All Fall Down

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

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

Are You Going to Just Sit There?

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

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

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

standGet on Solid Ground

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

Quitting regretting and start living!

Exercise of the Day: Turkish Get Up

Try this Turkish Get Up Workout on LiveExercise

Try our BCx Boot Camp workouts on LiveExercise Free! It’s only $7.99/month for 2,000+ workouts!

Turkish Get Up Workout

Turkish Get Up Triplet

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

Pinterest Image:

Turkish Get Ups

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The Secret to a Strong Finish

Day 4 of 30 Days of Motivation: The Beginning, The Foundation.

Quote of the Day: “Start Strong, End Stronger”
Scripture of the Day: “other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Mark 4:8

start strongSo far this new year, my topics have all centered around the beginning – examining yourself, setting goals, getting your head right and making a plan. There is no finish without a beginning. While that may seem obvious to most of us, I believe we forget just how important the beginning of success really is.

Our impatience gets us in trouble. Let me give you an example. If an impatient farmer doesn’t do what is necessary to prepare the field, it really doesn’t matter how hard he works on planting the seed, watering the seed and taking care of the crop, he’s not going to have a good harvest.

In many ways, we do the same thing when we attack our New Year’s goals. We skip all the important preparation that helps us get the best result possible. We skip necessary steps like basic diet education or doing our homework on gyms, workouts, etc. We start our workout program unprepared, with the wrong shoes and with no tools. We may give our workouts 100% but we haven’t even gone to the grocery store or started our foot preparation.

While the preparatory phase is not an exciting phase, it’s a necessary phase to getting fit. You MUST invest in learning how to get the results you need. If you are relying on short cuts, gimmicks, quick fix fads, diet pills, etc to get you results, like a crop that springs up fast but dies because it has shallow roots, your fitness will soon die out too.

Commit to spending time on preparing for success and you will have a much greater chance of success.

CLICK HERE to visit my Get Pfit page, for preparing your foundation to fitness.

Digging Deeper

4 Types of Soils: “A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Mark 4:3-8

4 soils

What It Means

In this verse Jesus is talking about different hearts, and it applies to so many areas of our life. I broke down the 4 different soils to help you understand just how important our foundation truly is.

1. The footpath: You hear the truth, but others trample you with “their way”.
2. Rocky Soil: You start excited, but the depth of your knowledge is shallow, and you burn out fast.
3. Thorny Soil: You are in an environment where you are easily distracted, allowing other people and philosophies to choke you the life and excitement out of you.
4. Fertile Soil: You are prepared for growth. You have a soft and open heart, ready to hear, learn and grow.

Have you done what you need to do to prepare your “soil”? In order to really be ready for change, you have to be easy to penetrate – meaning, you need to be ready to hear the truth and apply it. Ready to dig deep and dig out any rocks, protect yourself from any “vultures” and take the time to prepare your heart and life for change. A hard stubborn person doesn’t want to admit they need change. They don’t want to accept the truth and what needs to change. They aren’t willing to accept wrongs and they want to convince you of everything right they are doing. This is a recipe for disaster. Take the time now to prepare for a bountiful harvest! Start strong, end stronger!!!

30 Days of Motivation: Be a Success Today

I am strong, focused & determined 201530 Days of Motivation: You ARE…

Quote of the Day: I AM STRONG because I haven’t given up. I AM FOCUSED because I can still see my goal. I AM DISCIPLINED because that is what success requires. I AM DETERMINED because that is what I require. I AM MOTIVATED because I believe in the process. I AM A SUCCESS because every day, I am a little better than the last.

Scripture of the Day: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Learning to think in the present

Why can I say all of these things even if I am just starting fresh this new year? Here’s why you can claim all these things starting today!

I am STRONG: If you are tackling New Year’s Resolutions and continuing to try to improve your health, weight and fitness, that means you are strong because you keep trying and haven’t given up.

I am FOCUSED: If you have set goals, you can stay focused. Focus requires a target. As soon as you set your target up, you are ready to get focused and stay focused!

I am DISCIPLINED: You don’t have to feel like working out or dieting to be disciplined. Discipline is practiced. As long as you are willing to practice discipline, that means you are pretty darn disciplined, because most people don’t even attempt to be disciplined in their fitness at all.

I am DETERMINED: Determination is required for success. You can’t attempt to change your life without the determination to keep showing up and trying. How determined are you to lose weight or get in the shape you desire? That determination will determine just how far you will go. However, if you are reading this, that is already a good indication you are determined because you are making additional investments required for success.

I am MOTIVATED: While I may not FEEL motivated, you are probably plenty motivated to get in the best shape possible. Whether it’s feeling fat, a yucky self-esteem, a competition to lean out for, a race to prepare for, kids to be healthy for or poor health to improve, we all have plenty of things that should motivate us. What is motivating you? All it takes is one thing to keep you motivated.

I am a SUCCESS: Why can I say this even if you haven’t reached your goals? Because you are here today, because you are showing up today, because you are investing in success today – so YES, you are a success today!

Up Close & Personal

Here are my personal goals from last year.

Goals1. Be More Brave: My goal was to step out of my comfort zone and do things I’ve avoided or been scared of for years. So I finally committed to training for a competition. I did it, I reached and surpassed all my goals. Don’t get me wrong, I did it kicking and screaming. There was no part of me that wanted to compete, but I did it and I actually had an extremely good experience and it pushed me outside my box and helped me reach a whole new level of conditioning. As I look back, I realize I need to repeat this goal and continue to get out of my box more and more.

2. Be Better: I also wanted to be a better wife, a better friend, a better family member. I set goals to be more giving with my time, to be more purposeful about spending more time with special people. Am I great at this yet? No! But I’m way better! Again, this will be on this year’s hit list too. We can all continue to improve. I think the most dangerous thing is to become complacent and lazy – in our marriage, in our workouts, in our friendships, etc.

3. Get to Know God Better: Last year I committed to spending more time in the Word and praying more. I wanted to read through the Bible, but I didn’t reach that goal. Am I going to beat myself up? No! This is the perfect example of aiming high and even though I didn’t hit my target, I got closer than I ever would if I didn’t aim high at all. I read more than I ever have read before, and I completed 2 semesters of Discipleship training, which required a ton of bible study and as well as an 8-week in-depth couple’s bible study. The more I get to know Him, the more I trust Him and understand Him. Are God and I BFFs yet? haha! Nah, but boy are we much closer!

Of course these are just 3 goals I had last year, but I wanted to share them because in all reality, this year’s goals are a repeat of last year – and we all should have the same goals each year. Even though we may add to it each year, or tweak it. We should always attempt to maintain what we have improved on, and continue to strive to improve so we don’t get too comfortable and slip back into old habits.

Start 2015 Right: 5 Steps to a Better You

30 Days of Motivation

to Day 1 of my annual 30 Days of Motivation! (Subscribe right now!) Most of my posts will likely be pretty short – just a motivational image to ponder, brief comments on that quote and a matching scripture to reflect on. Today is longer because I believe today’s topic is the foundation of lasting true change. Today we are talking about self-examination and goal setting. Sound boring? Well, it’s not a fun topic really, but it’s one hurdle we have to get over on the way to the finish line. Ready? Set? Go! Here are 5 Steps to a Better You in 2015!!

Day 1: Be Your best

aim highQuote of the Day: “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time,” Zig Ziglar

Scripture of the Day: I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14

There are 2 big mistakes people make often. They don’t aim for anything particular or they let past failures keep them from aiming higeher. Scripture is clear to forget the past and look ahead, to press on (keep trying), despite past failure. Sadly, I believe it’s past failure that keeps people from even attempting to make New Year’s Resolutions or setting new goals. 2015 is a year to make a change.

 

Step 1: What Are You Aiming For?

Life, like sports, should have a goal. Otherwise, how do you know what direction to go or how to get ahead?

goalsWhile some people may be letting past failures keep them from setting new goals, some people’s problem may be that they treat New Year’s Resolutions more like making a birthday wish. They say what they want to themselves, blow out the “candle” and wait for something to magically happen all year. Others may just not have a good grasp on how to set goals period.

If you want change in 2015, I suggest you set goals. Just like Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” While I don’t think you should wait until the New Year to set goals, I do think this is one of the best times of year to reflect on everything you did right – as well as everything you did wrong. Self-examination is not only necessary for improvement but it’s healthy. Without goals and self-examination, we become complacent. Why do you think we have exams in school? Because teachers want to make sure you are progressing, and find out where you still need work.

2. Exam Time!

Examination -iɡˌzaməˈnāSH(ə)n/
: a detailed inspection or investigation.
: a close and careful study of someone or something to find signs of illness or injury
: a test to show a person’s progress, knowledge, or ability

examThe same way we would be required to take an exam at the end of the school year to test our progress, we should set time aside to exam ourself during different seasons of our own life. Life is a school and our body, in many ways, is a science project. The same way we would examine a science project that didn’t go right, we should look at last year and see what we could add or take away from the equation that could help bring a better outcome.

Even if last year was amazing, we should reflect on what made it amazing and how we can either maintain that or make it even better. The fact is, we ALL have stuff to work on. Whether it’s our health, weight, financial security, spiritual growth or what type of husband, wife, mother, brother, sister, or friend we are – the first step is self-examination. It’s so important, the Bible mentions is many times.

  • “But a man must examine himself” 1 Corinthians 11:27-31
  • Examine yourselves…Test yourselves” 2 Corinthians 13:5
  • “But each one must examine his own work” Galatians 6:4
  • Let us examine and probe our ways.” Lamentations 3:40 
  • “Consider your ways!” Haggai 1:5-7

(read more about what scripture has to say about self-examination)

3. Pull Out the Mirror

reflectionSelf-examination requires honestly. There is nothing that is more honest to me than the mirror. I can convince myself I feel like I’m 20 years old. I can still picture myself in my twenties. I can even prove to you I’m stronger and fitter than I was when I was 20. However, if I hang out with teenagers, while I still may fool myself into thinking I’m still young, they remind me I’m not as young as I feel. But one thing I can’t argue at all is what the mirror says. When I pull out the mirror, the rude awakening of facing my image in the glass reflection, the wrinkles and grey hairs, are brutally honest – tellinh me I’m no where near 20 anymore.

Unfortunately, many people do not look at their life honestly. They look at their life more relatively. For instance, they may feel pretty fit compared to their out of shape family. Or someone may feel like they eat really healthy compared to all their pizza-loving, beer-drinking friends. True self-examination requires open eyes and a clear view of one’s real self, compared to the healthiest, happiest, best version of your own self – not compared to someone else’s hot mess.

“I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think (rate yourself) with sober judgment” Romans 12:3

true reflectionAnother words, don’t fool yourself. Rate yourself with a clear head and clear judgement. Ironically, even if we know we have stuff to work on, it’s easy to think more highly of ourself than we should. No one likes to feel like a failure, but this isn’t about feeling like a failure, this is about simply improving. But, many times, in order to feel better about ourself, we are too busy pointing out everyone’s mess to recognize our own areas of weakness. It’s the proverbial plank-eye scripture.

“First take the log (plank) out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5

The best way to look at yourself is to look at you now compared to the younger you, the best you, the you God desires you to be. If it was just you and God alone, what are the areas you think He’d want you to work on? Would he wish you’d take better care of your body? Maybe He’d like you to spend more time with Him or be a better spouse. Whatever it is, you must remember you are your only competition.

4. Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper

i will beat her quoteIf God had the chance to sit me down, I doubt very seriously He’d do some name dropping. He’s not going to say, “Bonnie, you are doing OK, but have you seen Kristie lately? That’s who you need to be more like”. No way! It would just be about me and Him – so keep your eyes on your own paper during your self-examination time. Remember my quote saying “I will beat her” (pictured right). This year, in 2015, I want to beat the old 2014 me. That’s the only person I want to beat.

Now, if you are ready to begin this journey to a new you, then here are the steps to making 2015 your very best yet!

5. Set Goals

1. Examine yourself – both good and bad. Make a list of your weak areas that need strengthening and make a list of your strengths too.

2. Set annual goals – both broad and specific.

3. Set monthly goals – set a goal just for January and focus on that goal the most.

4. Set weekly goals – set the goals needed each week to help you meet your monthly goal. This can be a set number of days you want to workout a week or how many pounds a week you want to lose. Weekly goals should be easily maintainable and help you stay on track.

5. Set daily goals – Daily goals may be centered on a new daily habit, like going to be early, or sticking to a specific daily caloric budget. Daily goals are necessary in reaching your weekly goal.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you want daily New Year Motivation this month!

 

Is Your Head Ready for Weight Loss Success?

Fit brainEven though weight loss is primarily a result of reducing calories and increasing activity, there is one part of your body you must get in shape first before you even begin your weight loss journey.

Your mental health affects everything you do, including tackling fitness goals. If you think about it, success always starts in your brain. You have the power to talk yourself into going for a run, as well as talk yourself out of it. The way you think determines the direction you are headed, however, many people neglect to properly prepare their brain before they make New Year’s Resolutions.

In my recent article for Answers.com, I discuss five ways to get your brain fit for success this year. Before you set goals, before you lift your first weight, before you step on a scale, get your brain in shape first – because it’s impossible to be truly healthy with an unhealthy mindset. READ MORE

5 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain Rebound

Few people can stay competition lean (or should). A little extra weight is healthy - but parameters must be set to avoid rebound.

Few people can stay competition lean (or should). A little extra weight is healthy – but parameters must be set to avoid rebound.

One of the things I hear a lot after someone has lost a lot of weight is that someone gained all their weight back. It’s a big fear for most people. They join a boot camp or do a competition and they reach all their goals, and a few months later they are right back to where they started – or worse.

While, in our gym, there are more people that keep it off than people who gain it back, it happens – and I sure didn’t want that to happen to me after my competition so I sat down with Steve and we made very specific rules. Here are the parameters I plan to put in my life to help me maintain my weight during our “off season”.

Whether you are in between trainers, boot camps or competitions, you can apply these same rules to your own life to make fitness a lifestyle instead of a phase, and make your new goal weight your new normal weight.

5 Tips to Maintaining Your Weight

scale1. Decide on your new ideal weight. If you haven’t reached your goal yet, your ideal weight will be a lower weight. If you have reached your goal, your ideal maintenance weight should be your new weight (unless you’ve just competed and dehydrated – then your weight should probably be 5-7lbs heavier than your stage weight). This weight is what determines whether you should be dieting (eating fewer calories than you are burning) or maintaining (eating the same amount of calories than your burning).

At 5’9″, my ideal weight used to be 144 for me. If I started rising above 144 (my NO! STOP weight was 148), I would diet back down and get my weight back into control. Now, my new normal weight is 136. After the show I stayed in the high 130s and hit 140 and I immediately jumped right back on my diet until it went back down. Today, I weighed 135 today. I will continue to weigh in to keep me accountable.

goals2. Set a new goal. Whether this is a race, a bikini or bodybuilding competition, a weight loss contest, a cruise or a photo shoot, you must put some kind of goal into place. Goals give your training purpose, and make it easier to say no to high-calorie foods and the temptation to skip a workout. My goal is to come into January at a specific body fat percentage, muscle weight and fat weight. I want to know I am starting my diet ahead of where I started it last time. I also want my skin to stay tight and continue tightening up. I can’t do that if my weight fluctuates too much, so my goal is to avoid weight gain so I can improve my skin texture. Plus, I just feel a million times better in all my clothes!

running3. Make a recovery plan. What do you do if you bounce a check or max out a credit card? Do you keep spending what you can’t afford? No. You start making a plan to pay it off and get back in the black. The same goes for dieting. As soon as you go over budget, you have to start paying it off because you can’t afford to eat that much anymore. This is when you step up your cardio (work off your past debt) and reduce your caloric budget (learn to be more frugal with your calories). This is just checks and balances – but you have to make a plan ahead of time. As soon as you get back to your ideal weight, you can afford to have a cheat meal, you can afford to skip a workout. But, until then, you have to stay disciplined and get your body back in control.

chocolate syrup4. Cheats are treats. What I mean is, cheat meals should be a treat, not a habit. There are certain things Steve and I decided we would not buy and bring into our home. This forces us to go out and get it if we want it (which requires more planning and reduces the chance of impulse eating). For instance, we will not buy ice cream. If we want ice cream, we’ll make a date out of it – but I’m not going to have something that available to me. Same goes with chips and other high-calorie snack foods. As soon as I bring them into the house, they can work their way into our daily lives. Then it becomes a unhealthy eating habit. We will continue to have limits on how much we eat out and how much we “treat” ourself. And, we will continue to cook healthy, low-calorie meals and have low-calorie snacks at home.

Maintenance 5. You’re never “off”. One of the biggest mistakes people make is doing a boot camp or competition and then taking “off”. They work hard for 3 month and then they stop completely. You should never be “off” – you are either in weight loss mode or maintenance mode. While a competitor can gain a little weight in off season while they try to build muscle, the more fat they gain, the harder they have to work to get it off when they are in season. Why not try to keep your fat under control so you start your season ahead of where you started it last time.

Stop right now and make a plan of how you plan to control your weight over the holidays so you don’t start 2015 behind where you are right now. If you fail to plan, then plan to fail. Planning is key to success!

Fitness Motivation: The Secret to a Total Transformation

fit girl“Why her? Why does she look so good? Why does it seem so easy for her? We do the same workout and she drops fat like it’s nothing. I workout harder. I’m stronger. I’m faster. I’m better. Maybe it’s her genetics. Maybe she has a faster metabolism. Maybe it’s her supplements. Do you think she is doing steroids? Do you think she has “help”? Maybe the doctor is giving her something to help her get faster results. Maybe I need to see my doctor. Maybe my body just doesn’t work like hers. Maybe it’s my thyroid. Maybe I’ll never be able to look like that.”

This is one downward spiral fueled by an unrealistic negative mindset that is focused on blaming on ANYone else but yourself. We can’t judge a person by what they do in the gym. It’s an hour a day. Have you ever thought that it could be what she is doing the other 23 hours a day that’s getting her the results you want?

I see this in boot camp all the time. People do the same exact workout. They get the same information, yet one person loses 30lbs and gets shredded while their BFF leaves the same weight as they started. Did the BFF lose fat and gain muscle? Probably. But did they radically change like their friend? No. Why? It wasn’t what they did in the gym. It was what they weren’t doing when they left.

change your lifeThink of it this way. We all know going to church won’t get you to heaven. There have been plenty of criminals who have gone to church. They might have even served as a deacon. They could have had the best intentions. They might have gone down to the front, or raised their hand, to say they wanted to change. They might have cried buckets of tears in complete misery with how they were living life, begging God to help them to change. They could have attended every service, gone to every Bible Study, and did everything other church members did, but their life would NEVER change if they didn’t change the way they lived OUTSIDE the church. That would require surrender. It requires discipline. It requires perseverance. It requires a lifestyle change.

Just do itTransformation requires DOING not just HEARING. We teach our fitness competitors the SAME stuff we teach our boot campers and clients. Some reach their fullest potential and some never even scratch the surface. Why? Like with church, the “message” is the same. My pastor is giving the same message to 4 different services, and hundreds of people. Each time his words penetrate our hearts and we take it home and practice it (practice also means we try and fail, and we keep trying anyway).

Our life is not the same as it was the first time we showed up. Our lives are being transformed – and we are not alone. I’ve seen radical life changes – HUGE transformations. So why isn’t EVERYONE that goes to our church having these same awesome experiences as we are? Because the keep going right back to the same way they are living, without applying what they are hearing. They expect to magically be transformed by the one-hour spiritual workout a week – and they fail.

feed on the word of godI’ve gone to church all my life. I failed in life when I quit applying what I’ve learned at HOME. It’s not what I do at church or the gym that transforms my life. My workouts are almost the exact same now as they were when I was 20lbs heavier. What changed is what I was putting in to my body on a daily basis. It’s the consistency of eating clean and denying the flesh what it craves (chips and salsa, cookies, overeating, snacking, etc). If I eat junk, I’ll look like junk. If I eat too much, I’m going to weigh too much. If I eat clean, I will look lean. If I eat healthy, I will feel healthy. What I put in my body (and soul) absolutely has a radical affect on my life.

fitness motivationIf you want to transform your life – whether physically or spiritually, you have to quit feeding your flesh (quit literally feeding your body the things it wants opposed to the things it needs – both physically and spiritually). You need to do more than rely on a Sunday message or a motivational mantra. It takes more than “good works” or a good workout. It takes a life change – 24 hours a day. Will you fail? Heck yeah – and you will STILL be SO much better off trying.

No more complacency.
No more pointing the finger.
No more excuses. 

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Eat Clean

 

Weakness is a Choice

weakness is a choiceWhere we are now is normally a result of our own actions and our own choices. Sure, there are some things that we can’t control – yet we still can control our reaction to even those things. 

We all have the same amount of time in the day. We may fill it up with work, facebook, kids, pets, church, TV, sleep, eating, etc…but we ultimately get to decide how we spend a lot of our time even if some of our time is not negotiable.

We ALL are busy. We all are pulled in a million different directions. One thing I’ve learned is I can ALLOW people, work, money, bills, stress, etc to pull me off track from what is important to me or I can stick to my guns and determine my own steps. 

When I say I did NOT want to run the morning I tweeted this quote out online Saturday, I meant it! I had precious family coming into town and knew I would be pressing it to run, shower, clean or do whatever needed to be done in time for their arrival. Plus, I was plain tired. I had already done 8 cardios so far that week and could have EASILY justified skipping a day. BUT (Biiiiiiiiiigggggg BUT) if I skipped it, it would have really been out of pure laziness and lame excuses. 

Running with your dogI didn’t have a ton of time, but I had enough time. I might have been tired, but I had the energy. My joints felt good, my body was feeling good. The whether was nice and Marley LOVES running with me so I can kill 2 birds with one stone – we both get exercise.

Steve got up and was doing his cardio. I honestly had no really good excuse NOT to – AND I knew good and well I’d feel horrible if I didn’t. Even though it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, it’s important to do the things that make you feel good and proud.

When it boils down to it, I had the choice. Run now, be proud later. Run now, be strong later, Run now, be thinner later, Run now, be guilt-free later. Run now, be a little closer to your goal later. Run now and live out the rest of the day in control, on track, focused, healthy and happy.

Next time you are tempted to be weak, remember you have the choice to be STRONG!!

Desperately Seeking Success: How to Find What You Are Looking For

When someone is desperate, how hard to they seek to get help? If someone is in pain, how quick to they seek comfort? When someone needs guidance, how much effort do they invest in finding it? If someone loses a job, how hard are they searching for a new one?

Diet helpOver my years in the fitness industry, I’ve marveled at how many people who desperately need help are not desperately seeking it. I think of the story about a crippled man in the Bible who lay by, what was believed to be, a healing pool for YEARS. He literally lay there waiting for someone to pick him up and take him to the pool to get healed. I think many people (including me at times) are like that guy, waiting on someone or something else to do all the heavy lifting. Sometimes it’s because we are overwhelmed by the task that could be required of us to take action. Many times it is just pure ignorance – we have no idea what to do. Sadly, most of the time, it is just pure laziness. We’d rather hope for a miracle, than exert ourselves in fear doing a lot of work for no reward.

Listen, people who work get the reward. People just have unrealistic expectations, and they have a warped definition of the word “work”. They do a little work, and expect a big reward. They work for a short time, and expect the payoff to keep coming even if they quit.

Seek and You Will Find

It is rare that I see someone really seeking to lose weight who doesn’t lose it. People will often say “I tried, I really tried”, but if you were to reach deeeeep within their soul and could get the truth out of them, the real answer is “I tried a little”, “I tried once”, “I thought I tried”.

piano lessonsIf you try to play the piano for the first time, you don’t expect to play Beethoven within a few “tries”. No, you don’t even learn a song at first. You start by learning the basics (#boring #uneventful #nofun). You have to learn the fundamentals before you can even read music or learn a song. With practice, you finally get to learn a song. You celebrate when you can finally play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with one hand. Then, you celebrate again when you learn to add your left hand. Then, after practicing, practicing and practicing, you begin to play the same song a little better, a little easier. Then you are ready for the next song – and it will be just as elementary as the first.

I can remember piano lessons, and I admit I was SO impatient. I would get so frustrated. I wanted to immediately jump in and play a more difficult “cool” song effortlessly without much practice. As a result, I’d take shortcuts. I’d play by ear, instead of reading music. I’d make up things that sounded good just so I could keep appearing to move forward. The problem was, I wasn’t moving forward. I was exactly where I left off. I might have “sounded” better, but I had not improved.

How often do we act like this in life? We do what we want to do to make us appear more successful (with our job, with our weight loss, with relationships, with God), yet many times we are exactly where we left off – exactly in the same place we were when we stopped actually WORKING.

I want to challenge you today to SEEK HARDER. Seek the things you desire to improve in your life with all your might. Seek answers to your weight loss plateau, seek help in your marriage, seek God in your life – and seek until you find.

man-looking-inside-fridge-artGod doesn’t ever ask us to do work for no reward. A matter of fact, He constantly talks about what we “get” when we seek Him. The key is understanding the word seek. I think we think of the word “seek” more like Steve seeks something in the fridge. He opens the door, looks at the contents and closes the door saying “Bonnie, where’s the BBQ sauce?” I’ll reply with “it should be in the door”. He’ll tell me he looked there. I will go on to list a few other places it could be and he’ll tell me he looked there too. The fact is, he didn’t really SEEK, he looked. Of course, I’ll go right to the refrigerator, open the door, move a few items out of the way and find it within 30 seconds. Why? I wasn’t looking, I was seeking.

Vines Dictionary’s definition of ‘Seek': 
Strive for
Desire
Endeavor
To “seek” to ascertain a meaning (meaning, seek until you understand)

SearchingAre you seeking things like that? Are you seeking God like that? Are you seeking answers to your marriage issues or weight issues like that? Striving for, seeking until you fully understand, seeking until you find what you are looking for?

I had to laugh when Joyce Meyer was talking about how people act like they don’t understand what “seeking God” means. She then listed off a few examples of how we seek out stuff in life, like the woman seeking a 75% OFF sale or the guy in the deer stand seeking the deer in the freezing cold.

Don’t you think your life is worth the effort to REALLY seek the things that really matter? Your physical health, your spiritual health – happiness, joy, peace and well-being?

Today, make a commitment to stop looking and start SEEKING.

Today’s Spiritual Workout:

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8:17

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! 1 Chronicles 16:11

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalms 34:10

 

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