I’ve been off my “diet” (AKA: Eating clean) for a month or so now. We’ve been staying pretty strict over the last year and wanted to take a break, and just have a little fun. (That even just sounds dumb already! Like we can’t have fun without a burger and ice cream?) Anyway, our plan was to start dieting again after July 4th. Monday, July 7th was the day to kick it back into high gear – but seriously, I just couldn’t wait. I couldn’t stand how I felt one more second!
I was so sick of feeling crappy, flabby and lazy. I had it up to my eyeballs in high-calorie food. 80% of the food I ordered I didn’t even really like that much. It was like I was on the search for something to satisfy my tastebuds in some special way. I almost boycotted salads because I can have those every day when I’m eating clean. I tried to squeeze in every food item I normally limit – and what a let down! Then, I thought “I really like the way eating clean tastes and makes me feel. So WHY OH WHY do I want to eat garbage?”
Don’t get me wrong, an occasional burger is no biggie, but hot wings one day, pizza the next, and ice cream too – that’s just dumb. Crappy food makes me feel crappy. It has no real fuel and nutrients to energize me so I am also more tired and less likely to workout. It’s double dumb! Yet, when I eat clean most of the time and have a small treat, it’s awesome. It’s not enough to make me feel bad and it’s just enough to satisfy a craving. That’s smart. So, why can’t I always be smart? I think it’s because we feel like we are missing something. How stupid is THAT!
When we are dieting, we aren’t missing anything worth missing. It’s when we are eating poorly, we are really missing out. We are missing out on feeling awesome in our clothes, as well as feeling energized to really LIVE and have fun. Our confidence is better, we are stronger, we are happier, we are more apt to do stuff we wouldn’t do when we feel fat and ugly (like go to the beach or wear a fitted dress). We don’t mind being in pictures, we are more positive to be around and aren’t as depressed. That’s not worth missing. Eating pizza and feeling like a big greasy slob afterwards? That’s worth missing!
So, the next time you feel like you are missing something when you are dieting, remember no chocolate in the world is worth what you’d be missing if you weren’t dieting & exercising! Making poor choices is trading the positive effects of healthy living for a temporary pleasure. It’s ain’t worth it – and it’s just plain dumb!
Let’s eat smarter!!
I just received a facebook message question about their “target heart rate”. I believe this is one of the most deceiving fitness principles so I’m going to attempt to explain exactly what the “target heart rate” is and the truth (more like a lie) behind the “fat burning zone”.
Learning Your Maximum Heart Rate
You may have heard the term, Maximum Heart Rate, but most people have no clue what that is. We see stickers on treadmills saying “65% of your maximum heat rate”, but that’s basically a foreign language to most people. Here’s the answer: your maximum heart rate is always 220 minus your age.
Your Maximum Heart Rate is:
220 – my age (_____) = ___________
My maximum heart rate is 178
The Fat-Burning Zone
The so-called magical “Fat Burning Zone” is 65-75% of your maximum heart rate. This is the zone where your body burns a higher percentage of calories from fat. This is where I start getting mad and here’s why. Stay with me. We need to work through this math so you can follow me here. Trust me – it will be worth it! Read the rest of this entry
#1 INSANITY - The first big mistake is doing what Albert Einstein defines as insanity – Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As ridiculous as this may seem, people do it all the time. They workout for YEARS with absolutely no change. I understand this problem because many people simply don’t know what to do different – but the next mistake…oh my!
#2 STUPIDITY – (Please forgive me using the word “stupid” but I’m not pointing the finger – I’ve done it too). The second biggest mistake is (to me) the dumbest one of all. It’s when you get an amazing result with one formula – and then you try a new formula expecting the same result. This person KNOWS how to get success – but they keep searching for an easier way. Or, they keep trying to find someone who will tell them what they want to hear, ultimately wasting precious time they could be just doing what they know already works.
We are going to dig DEEP into this one because this one is the most unnecessary mistake of all.
Wash, Rinse & Repeat
People often say “I was in the best shape of my life when I __________”. They tell me they used to compete, they used to play sports, they used to do boot camp or they used to run… What I want to know is this: If you were in the best shape of your life when you “use to _________”, why aren’t you doing it now?
I often see this after boot camp. We get someone in the best shape of their life in our BCx Boot Camp program, and then they quit or start something new. I understand change is good, HOWEVER, if it’s not KEEPING you in the that state of being “the best shape of my life” maybe you need to rethink your fitness plan.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It?
Quit trying to fix something that wasn’t broken to begin with. You did something that worked, now do it again.
Sadly, people want to try to do as little as possible in hopes of getting the same result as doing as much as they have in the past. We do the same with eating. We see how much crap we can eat and get away with without gaining weight – and we normally fail.
You get OUT what you put IN. You can’t expect to gain muscle running. You can’t expect to burn serious calories lifting weights. You can’t expect amazing conditioning when you never tax your heart and lunges. And you can’t expect to easily pass up a donut if your workout was easy, because we all know the harder we work, the more protective over our calories we become.
Programs, like Boot Camps and sports conditioning (like CrossFit), combine different exercise methods to work strength, stamina and cardio all in one workout – as well as we make it tough enough that you think twice about blowing your hard work on crappy food choices. It’s all in the design of our programming – and the same goes with having a personal trainer, training for a show or doing other intense style training programs.
I’m not saying our BCx Boot Camp program is the only program to deliver results. (Here’s a sample of what someone can do in 6 weeks of Boot Camp.) What I’m saying is, unless you continue that same intensity of training with the same type of dieting that once delivered you amazing results, you can’t try something totally different, or cut back, and expect the same result.
It doesn’t mean you have to workout 6 days a week and beat your body up the way you might have to lose weight and get in shape, but once you hit maintenance, you shouldn’t just quit – and unfortunately, that’s exactly what people do. They join a gym and do a program for 4-6 weeks and then you never see them again.
You should be in “get fit mode” or “stay fit mode” – never just “off”.
If you have been missing the fitter version of you, I encourage you to think back to what you were doing when you felt your best – and just simply repeat it. There’s no need to try something new. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Don’t have access to a program like BCx? Get the same workbook our Boot Campers follow online, and follow our killer 4-week online training program. For those of you who aren’t local, or haven’t done our BCx Boot Camp programs online yet, here’s video footage of our program here in Vero Beach, Florida.
Learn more about BCx at www.DoBCx.com
NEW! >>> Join LiveExercise.com and workout with Steve and I on X Fit – powered by BCx!
“I have a MAJOR issue with sugar from cookies, cakes, frosting etc. It is more of a psychological thing for me, because I used these kinds of food to comfort myself as a kid. The connection here is food is the only thing that loves me, so when things go bad and I need to feel loved I pig out on these types of food. Can you please give me ideas on how to STOP eating sugar?“
“Food is like an ex-lover that is just no good for me. Not just any ex, but a really sexy ex. When I think about him (food) all I remember are the good times. I forget how much pain and guilt he would cause. And after an incredible night together full of passion, he just leaves you crying on the living room floor in the fetal position full of guilt. And yet, late at night… I still want him so, so bad”.
Could this not be any better of a description of some people’s relationship with food? Loralie nailed it! You don’t have to necessarily be in an abusive relationship to get this. Any relationship that is not good for you is a great example of a bad relationship with food.
No More Compromises
I have to admit I have been pretty lucky over the years. The guys I dated were all pretty great guys, but even good guys can be BAD for you if they aren’t RIGHT for you. For instance, I dated one guy that was really an amazing guy before I met Steve. He was talented, smart, handsome, had a great family who embraced me, and was perfect – for someone, just not me.
I found myself compromising my values and settling for just a little less. Since he really was a super sweet guy, it was easy to think of all the good stuff, and easy to forget the bad. Then, one day, I realized we were both wasting precious time focusing on what was right, but ignoring what was wrong. We could either address the bad stuff right then, or we could deal with it later. Either way we were going to have to deal with it.
Good Doesn’t Mean Right
For me, it meant coming to grips with the simple fact that we were both good, but not good for each other. We were not in a healthy relationship. He was going to make a great husband – to someone else, but not me. And, I realized someone would love me exactly the way I needed to be loved, but he wasn’t going to be that guy.
I broke up with him that day, but it wasn’t easy. I cried and cried and cried – for days and weeks! BUT, I knew it was the right thing to do. It didn’t mean I wasn’t going to miss him and it didn’t mean that I would stop thinking about him. And, knowing I did the right thing was going to make it any easier. Even though I had a tremendous peace about my decision, it still hurt just the same.
I Don’t Need You Anymore
Food that isn’t good for you, in many ways, is just like a boyfriend that isn’t good for you. No matter how wonderful it makes you feel at times, it will ALWAYS let you down. Unfortunately though, we make compromises even though we don’t like the way it makes us feel.
Maybe it’s time you treat food like a bad ex. Remember, as much as you may love it, it will never love you back. Not only does it not love you, it will hurt you – leaving you feeling a little worse day by day. The only answer is to say goodbye. The longer you stay away, the stronger you will become. As you lose weight, as you get healthier, you will discover a new confidence – and you will love the new you more than you ever loved food.
It’s Time to Move On – and Move UP!
Shortly after breaking up with that guy, I met Steve. He was everything I ever dreamed of. He was romantic, loving, sensitive, funny, passionate, smart, handsome, and loved me completely. I could have NEVER imagined how good it would feel to be loved this way – and I would have never discovered his love if I didn’t first turn away from what I thought I loved at that time.
If you hold on to what just feels good right now, you may never discover just how great things could be. Healthy food loves you back. Fitness loves you back. Unhealthy food will always leave you unhealthy, and in a pit of regret and shame. Don’t let the initial taste of something sweet fool you, and lead you to a bitter end. Maybe today is your day to end your love relationship with food.
How many times have you heard someone say, “well, she doesn’t have kids”, “I’d look like that too if I didn’t have to work”, “he’s just genetically gifted”, or “if I could afford a trainer, I could lose weight too”?
It’s so easy to think that people who reach their goals don’t have struggles, just because they may not be experiencing the SAME struggles as you may be facing. Believe me, losing weight, eating healthy and exercising IS a struggle at times. Some may even say it’s a CONSTANT struggle. However, those struggles don’t dictate whether you fail or not. It’s how you deal with those struggles that will determine if you succeed.
Do you let your struggles, or your goals, define you?
You WILL have struggles, but you don’t have to focus on them. You don’t have to give in and you don’t have to let them win. Instead, keep your eye fixed on the prize!! Seek, conquer, destroy!
7 Ways to Conquer Struggle
In many ways, you are in a battle – a battle with yourself, your weaknesses, your life and anything else that might get in the way of your goal. You face an “enemy” every day, so every day you should be prepared for battle. Here are 7 ways you can defeat struggle..
1. Acknowledge It. You can’t conquer something you don’t even acknowledge. Be honest with yourself. Make a list of your struggles and share them with people who support and love you.
2. Build You Army. Once you have a known enemy, you gather your troops – so why not do the same with fitness? Once you pick a few strong fitness soldiers, read them in and make an attack plan.
3. Hide Your Weakness. An army doesn’t want it’s enemy to discover their weaknesses so they are very careful who they share certain information with. So, if you have weaknesses, besides sharing them with your own secure group, don’t talk about it, post about it, complain about it or even whisper about it.
4. Strengthen Your Weaknesses. Your weaknesses will remain weak unless you purposefully work on them. Everyone loves to work on their strengths because it leaves them feeling strong and victorious. However, it’s often times that one weak spot that can bring even the strongest man to his knees.
5. Protect Your Investment. Armies build barricades and walls to protect their investment, so why don’t you build barriers to protect YOUR investment. If you work hard in the gym, then work even harder to make sure nothing destroys what you are working hard to create. Don’t let people, and stuff, in your life that could destroy you or set you back.
6. Navigate Around It. If your struggle is something you can avoid (like a restaurant or type of food) do all you can to keep it away from you. It’s up to you to come up with the safest path of attack.
7. Fight Back. If you are attacked, you fight back. If your enemy calls you weak, you show them you are strong. So, if you feel weak, lift something heavy. If you feel like a failure, then be sure to succeed. Basically, whatever your struggle is, prove it wrong. Once you have conquered it once, you will know you can conquer it again. Each time you do it, you will get stronger and stronger – and be unstoppable!
*This image of Pauline Nordin (pictured above) appeared on the cover of the March 19 issue of Marine Corps Times.
We all do it. We blow our diet over the weekend. We not only eat poorly, but we just eat too much. By the time Monday comes around, we feel fat and miserable – and we feel like we are 10lbs heavier than we really are. Well, don’t fret! You can get back on track fast and get your skinny back on!
The truth is, although the weekend is over and your mistakes are behind you, they aren’t really behind you YET. You bring those mistakes with you because you still carry all that food in your gut. The Mayo Clinic explains that the average transit time, from the time you eat the food to elimination, is 40 hours – 33 hours for men and up to 47 hours for women. While you wait to get rid of you poor choices, here are a 5 things you can do to help you feel thinner again!
5 Ways to Feel Thin Fast!
1. Drink a TON of water. Dining out (because restaurants can use a lot more sodium than we are used to) and eating dry snacks (like chips, nuts, etc) can cause you to hold more water. Water retention can account for up to 5lbs of additional weight from eating foods high in sodium. Flush your body by increasing your water intake – every day, all week long.
2. Go for a run. Get your sweat on and burn some calories! Not only does running help you sweat out the toxins built up from your poor choices over the weekend, but it tightens the core and will help burn off those extra calories and “erase those sins”.
3. Eat tiny portions. Work on shrinking your stomach by limiting portion sizes. It will take a few days for your copious amount of weekend food to get out of your system, but you can feel thinner quicker if you immediately go back to small portions. The less you have in your belly, the smaller your belly will look and feel. If you struggle to limit portions on your own, then eat Lean Cuisines and pre-packaged foods to help control portion size. This frozen entree (pictured left) is the correct portion for a dieter. As you can see, is much smaller than a dinner plate. Visit www.elegantportions.com to shop their unique glassware designed to help you track portions.
4. Go mushy. When I totally blow it, I like to stick to mushy foods for a few days. Like a healthier version of a fast, mushy foods (like protein shakes, oatmeal, greek yogurt, grits and soups) help me to feel full without adding a lot of solid volume to my gut. I only do this for 3 days and I feel a million times better by the end of the week!
5. Plank it out. If you are like me, you’re probably tired of trying to hold your stomach in all weekend. Why? Because it’s hard to suck your tummy in when it is completely stuffed all weekend. Plus, if you didn’t workout over the weekend, your stomach muscles have probably gotten relaxed and stretched out. However, if you tighten up your core with some exercises, those muscles will tighten right back up – and it will be a lot easier to keep your stomach flat.
Tighten Your Tummy: Four Your Core Workout
If you can’t shop right, you can’t eat right. Dieting and eating clean (low-fat, high protein, whole foods) starts at the grocery store.
Below is a shopping list categorized by what you can eat, and how much you can eat. You see, not all high-calorie foods are bad. High calorie foods are necessary, but you just have to limit them.
For instance, nuts are very healthy, but the calories add up fast so they are in the “Use Sparingly” column. However, you can eat a TON of fish and asparagus so they’re in the “Enjoy Plenty” column.
How do you want to spend your 211 calories?
4oz tilapia AND 11 spears of asparagus AND 1 cup of cauliflower
OR 1/4 cup (which is only 1 1/4 ounce) of almonds
Both of the above options are 211 calories, but with one option you can eat a LOT and the other option you only can eat a LITTLE. When you choose correctly, this is what I call eating smart – and the smarter you eat, the happier you will be, the healthier you will feel, and the faster you will reach your goal!
Dieter’s Shopping List
Click on the list below to open in a new window and enlarge or print. :)
NOTE: This doesn’t cover all the foods we eat, but these are just some of the most common foods on our own shopping list to give you some ideas. This list is mainly a list of whole foods and doesn’t include items like milk, vinegar, creamer, etc.
What are some items that are always on YOUR grocery list?
So you set out on a path to get healthy, lose weight and get fit – but how committed are you really? Do you have a back-up plan or an escape route already in place? Maybe you have a few pit stops you’d like to take along the way to make your journey a little more fun. By the end of this blog, you will be able to determine if you have prepared yourself for success, or set yourself up for failure.
People do not like commitment. Ironically, pretty much anything that’s amazing requires it. Marriage, work, family, finances, where you live – you can’t be successful in any of these things unless you fully commit. But commitment is not just about what you hold on to, it’s about what you have to let go of.
When someone gets married, they say “I do” at the alter. They list all the things they promise to do, but they don’t list what they promise to NOT do. Of course, that does without saying but, with fitness, I think we need more closure. We need to remember it’s more than just what we plan to do – but what we plan to stop doing.
Can You Let Go?
When we set out to get fit and eat healthy, I believe one of our biggest problems is that we refuse to let go of certain things. There are still foods we want to eat, things we want to do (or not do), and a certain lifestyle we want to lead. Even if we plan to get rid of stuff for a while, we still have plans to go back to them, or at least make it an option. The evidence of this may be in your pantry, or it maybe in the big clothes you still keep in your house (just in case). Holding on to some of these things might be holding you back from faster progress.
When you hold on to these things, it’s like you have a back-up plan – a Plan B (or what I’d call a Plan F, for Failure). If you truly want to turn your life around, there should be no option to “going back”. You need to completely let go of the things that created the old unhealthy you, and grab hold tightly of the new you and new healthy lifestyle.
Breaking Your Food Addiction
I’m going to give you 2 examples to help you think a little deeper on this. First, let’s use a recovering drug addict as an example. Even if the addict gets rid of all the drugs in the house, how successful do you think he will be if he keeps all the paraphernalia and friends that enabled that lifestyle? There must be a complete disconnect with that world in order for most addicts to kick it for good. In many ways, living healthy can require some of the same steps – and overeating can be a very real addiction.
Ending Your Love Affair
Second, let’s look at marriage again. What if you still kept a relationship with your last boyfriend or girlfriend? What if you were faithful for a few months, but allowed yourself to kiss someone every once and a while? Do you really think that marriage would work? I don’t think so. Marriage is a total lifestyle change. There are things you simply cannot do if you plan to stay married – and there are things you simply cannot do if you plan to stay healthy, fit and trim. However, many people treat fitness like a temporary fix – not a completely new lifestyle. Of matter of fact, many people actuallly plan to return their old ways. They count on it – like a “prize” for their efforts.
Can you imagine saying “honey, I’ve been so good for so long, so I was thinking I really deserve a treat”? (and they weren’t talking about having an ice cream sundae!) Of course no man in his right mind would say that, but they may change their behavior. They might not be quite as careful maybe as they used to be. Like in marriage, what can start as just having a little fun (a “treat), and having an innocent relationship, can turn into a full-fledge affair. I believe the way we treat our relationship with food has many similarities. We put our guard down, we “play” a little, and we ultimately fail.
No Going Back – The Ultimate Example
If you want the perfect example to follow, I’ll give you a great story to think about. It’s the story of Elijah and Elisha (thank you Jim for touching on this yesterday!). Elijah was a regarded prophet by all faiths who did many great works. When it was time for him to “pass the baton”, he found Elisha plowing the fields. When he shared his plan to pass his ministry down to him, check out Elisha’s response. Not only did he say “yes” (that he’d leave his life there and follow Elijah), but it’s what he did next was simply the most perfect example of being sold out and whole-heartedly committed.
He went back to his family to say goodbye and threw a party – but it’s what he served at the party that made the biggest statement. He grilled Oxen. Not just any ordinary oxen – he actually used the oxen he used to plow his field – and grilled it over a fire that was fueled by the tools of his trade. This was his way of saying “I’m not coming back“. Even if he was tempted to, it wouldn’t even be an option. (1 Kings 19:19-21)
THIS is how we should be when we decide to turn our life around – whether we are talking about getting spiritually healthy or physically healthy. We need to fully commit, become sold out and be able to say goodbye to the things of the past.
Are You Ready to Say Goodbye?
Are you so sold out to change your life, to get rid of your weight once and for all, that you are ready to say goodbye to your old ways? Or are you going to keep your “oxen” just in case you fail? I challenge you to search your heart deeply and ask God to reveal to you the things that you are holding on to that could be holding you back. A new life awaits for you – but only if you can say goodbye to your old one.
Today’s Motivational Mantra:
People say “don’t do it for anyone else, do it for yourself” but, with weight loss, sometimes that just isn’t enough. It’s unfortunate, but getting our own body fit isn’t always enough motivation to stick with it. Sometimes, there has to be more driving us. It might be an end-goal, like a race, a competition, a vacation, pictures, a job, a date, a reunion, a check up or a number on a scale, or it may be the mere pressure of everyone watching us.
We’ve all been there. We’ve either attempted a diet and failed, or we have set out for a goal that we never reached. If you are a yo-yo dieter that has battled with your weight all your life, one of the first things you think of is what others will think, or what people will say. Will they roll their eyes at your 135,827th attempt to lose weight or will they support you? Will they take you seriously this time? Will they believe in you? Or, are they actually hoping you will fail, so they can say “I told you so” or so things can go back to “normal”.
These are all very real feelings that go through people’s minds, and it can sabotage someone’s success before they even start – OR it can drive them to be a success.
Sometimes our fear of failure is what drives us to success. While I don’t believe we should always worry about what people think all the time, I do believe a healthy dose of care can give us the push we need to succeed.
No one likes being a failure. We all want to be successful, respected, valued and admired – and we can ALL be that person if we want to. We can be the example. We can show everyone in our shoes that they can succeed too. We can prove our enemies wrong and show them we DO have what it takes. We won’t need to talk about working out and dieting, or convince anyone of how bad we want to succeed. Our actions will be the proof of our desire. And the results will speak for themselves – and every day we are tempted to skip, slip, quit, cry, complain, we will remember those who are watching us and we will not give them the pleasure of seeing us fail.
Matching iPhone Lock Screen
Get a constant reminder that your actions always speak louder.
How bad do you want it? Then prove it each and every day!
Here is a simple concept: “Nothing changes if nothing changes”. WOW! What a revelation! I’m sure you already knew that, but I bet you haven’t always practiced what you’ve known. We complain about so many things in our life, yet many of us do nothing to make them better. Our job frustrates us, but we don’t work to improve it or find another job. Our marriage can be a mess, but we are too busy to get the help we need to fix it. Or, our weight is out of control, and we just keep doing what we always do, hoping someday it will change. How retarded is that?
I believe many of us get caught in this vicious cycle because we let our life direct us, instead of us directing our life. We live in survival mode, paycheck to paycheck, day to day, always thinking “if I can just get through this, I will..”. I’ve got news for you. You will never “get through this”. Sure, you might get through this particular trial, this season, this certain difficulty or this day, but as soon as you get through “this”, there will always be another “this” waiting for you.
What are you waiting for?
You have a decision to make. You can keep waiting for a better time to work on the things you know you need to be working on, and live in denial, waiting for life to be easier and your schedule to open up so you can make your dreams come true. OR, you can accept the fact that there is no good time to get healthy, get your life right, fix a relationship or get a better job. Honestly, NOW is the ONLY time that is right.
Believe me, I know. I have put off friendships, vacations, family, marriage, kids and many other opportunities for YEARS, under the assumption that there would be a “better time”. Now, I am 41 years old and I realize that time will NEVER come.
Procrastination: The thief of dreams
• If I want more time with the ones I love,
I can’t wait for time to open up, I have to open my time up.
• If I want to lose weight and get in better shape,
I can’t wait for the right time to work on it, I have to work on making the right time to do it.
• If I want to make more money or get a better job,
I can’t hope someone notices & values me, I have to work hard to be noticed & valued.
• If I want a better marriage,
I can’t wait for a magical moment, I have to create magical moments.
• If I want to get my life on the right track,
I can’t wait for my life to straighten out before I start working on it, I have to work on it (while it’s completely a mess) to begin straightening it out.
Our life will NEVER change unless we change it. What are some of the things you want to change? Are you doing what you need to do to make those changes? If not, you are wasting precious time. You don’t have to wait for change – make it.