Posts tagged new year tips
Scripture of the Day: “Do your best (TRY) to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Today I talk about the easiest part of success – and it’s a lot easier than you think.
Getting stronger, faster, thinner, healthier and better may sound like a lot of work, but it’s almost inevitable if you just keep trying. Have you seen that saying people share on facebook that says, “no matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch“? Well let’s take that a step further and make it a little more personal, “No matter how slow I go, I am still lapping THE OLD ME that used to sit on the couch.” My point is, whatever you ARE doing is better than when you did nothing.
So, let’s put things into perspective here. If you are one of those people that try really hard for 6 weeks and then drop off the face of the earth, you can easily do better this year. Anything you do that is more than what you have been doing is better.
If you are the type of person who trains hard to make up for not dieting hard enough, anything you do to improve your eating will be an improvement. My point is, you don’t have to train like a professional athlete to be stronger or faster. You don’t have to starve yourself to be thinner. You don’t have to be perfect to be better – you just have try. The more improvements you make, the greater your results will be. Isn’t that good news?
Trying is of the most powerful things you can ever do. If you don’t try, you will never have the chance to succeed. Trying is the key to all victory. If you want to guarantee failure, quit trying. That is the only way you truly can fail.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Michael Jordan
Scripture of the Day: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Yesterday, in “Fat Will Surrender“, I talked about why we struggle with weight loss at the beginning of a fitness program. We talked about fat vs muscle, and I explain how there’s a lot going on inside the body that the scale will not report initially.
Today, I will talk more about muscle. I’ll talk about what the mysterious muscle weight gain is all about, and give you some red flags to look for as well. Hopefully, by the time you are done reading, you are fired back up to hit it even harder in the gym, and tackle the rest of this month with the same fever as you started. Now, let’s get to it!
Muscle Gain vs. Bulking Up
The balancing act I talked about yesterday, between fat and muscle, typically only happens in the beginning of a program. Another words, you won’t continue to keep gaining 4lbs of muscle every few weeks. It is not that easy to gain actual muscle (without the help of serious supplements – and drugs). Also, don’t think of this weight gain as truly muscle – like a bodybuilder tries to “bulk up”. This weight gain is from loose, flat, out-of-shape muscle (picture a deflated balloon) filling back up and coming back to life (picture a fully-inflated balloon).
You see, the increased muscle weight comes from storing more glycogen and water in the muscle cells from the increased activity. It’s basically an initial gain of increased water weight – but the good kind. We want our muscles full because that’s what makes our muscles firm and shapely. That weight will level out and, then eventually as you lose weight, you should start to see your weight drop on the scale as your fat loss outweighs your muscle gain. If you don’t (red flag), then somethings wrong.
You Have to Consider, You Might Be Wrong
People LOVE to find a reason for why they are where they are. They want solution without making changes or working any harder. As a result, many people that read this will hear what they want to hear, and all they hear is “muscle weighs more than fat“. They lock onto that truth, and use it every time the scale doesn’t budge. Before you know it, they’ve used “i’m probably just gaining muscle and losing fat” as their ongoing excuse all year long – but this isn’t an ongoing process. Yes, it happens, but it won’t continue to happen all year long, so don’t use that as an excuse to convince yourself you are doing good, when you know good and well you need to crack down a little more. If your scale has been stuck for over 30 days, you are likely doing something wrong.
Unfortunately, people also LOVE to use that phrase to encourage people when the scale doesn’t move. Many times they are just wishing the person would shut up and quit their complaining, but telling someone what they want to hear isn’t helpful. That only enables them to continue doing what they are doing, and feel better about it. If you truly want them to quit complaining, tell them to do whatever it takes to figure out what they can improve on. While this weight plateau can definitely happen during a course of the first 3-4 weeks of a program – if the scale is sticking after that, it’s time to do some major troubleshooting. They may not want to accept they are doing something wrong, especially when they are doing so much right, but they will thank you later.
What to Expect
To give you an idea of what to expect, for an average person taking one of our 6-week boot camp programs, we often have people gain 4-6lbs of muscle and lose anywhere from 6-15lbs of fat (depending on how much they have to lose). Since we do a midterm analysis, we can see the majority of the muscle gain is already happened in the first half of boot camp. So, by the midterm weigh-in, they normally have lost 5-6lbs of fat and gained 3-6lbs of muscle – but the scale might only show a small drop in weight – or none at all. However, after they see what’s REALLY going on inside, they get encouraged to push through to the end for the next step, which, normally, is primarily all fat loss. If they continue through boot camp at the same rate, they might end boot camp with another 3-6lbs of fat lost, but their muscle weight will be the same – resulting in 10-12lbs of fat lost overall.
What You Need to Know
1.) If you have ALREADY been training hard, you may not experience this muscle increase because your muscles are already full and tone. So, you should experience fat loss (and weight loss) pretty soon in the program compared to someone who might just be starting out.
2.) If you have a LOT to lose, you should experience fat loss pretty quickly in the program. If you aren’t, then you are likely replacing the calories burned with eating more. Since exercise does boost your metabolism, it’s easy to also boost eating without even realizing it. That’s why I preach counting calories. The fact of the matter is, if you have a lot to lose, you will lose a lot more than someone who has a little to lose – so expect bigger numbers.
3.) If you are NOT consistent with your exercise, your muscle weight can go up and down as you muscles fill back up when you exercise, and then “deflate” when you aren’t working out. If you want consistent results, you need to stay consistent in your routine, or the scale will be all over the place and drive you crazy!
The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn through out the day and the more energetic you’ll feel to go out there and burn even more calories. So, embrace that muscle – and know it will only help you to seriously kick fat’s butt!
Scripture of the Day: “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” John 17:4
Do you have a finisher’s heart?
I was listening to Joyce Meyer while I was on cardio and she said some super powerful stuff that went perfectly with the New Year theme this month. She asked “Do you have a finisher’s heart?“. Anyone can start, but not everyone has the heart to finish. They dream, but they don’t work. Then, she followed up with a killer analogy, comparing child birth to birthing something new in your life.
You can’t give birth without labor – unless you want to be cut on, and that’s no fun either. The bottom line is there is a cost. There will be some work required. You can dream of having kids, you can even conceive (start), but if you don’t endure the 9 months of carrying that baby and go through labor (good choice of words!), you aren’t going to experience holding that beautiful new life in your hands.
Labor is required. It’s not a choice. You can’t dream of being fit and thin without being willing to sacrifice for however many weeks or months it requires to experience a new life. Are you willing to carry that dream full term? Are you willing to have some occasional growing pains? Are you willing to practice patience until your dream is fully developed? Are you willing to give up certain things along the way, making sacrifices for something new and great?
Decide now to be a finisher (John 17:4). Decide now to carry this thing out full-term. Don’t abort your plans in the middle of your journey. Go the distance. It will be so worth it.
Dream, Work and Succeed.
I recently heard 7 powerful words that I will never forget: “Nothing you’ve been through will be wasted“. These encouraging words mean even more as we approach the new year. Pastor TD Jakes totally turned the tables for me. No failure, no mistake, no loss, no pain, no hardship or no experience (no matter how bad it was) has to be wasted – and instead, it can actually be USED for good.
Yes, you heard right. Any mistake you made or any failure you experienced (EVEN if it was your own fault) can be used for your benefit, for others’ benefit, and even for God’s benefit. How? Here are 3 ways the failures of 2013 can be a success in 2014.
#1 The Lesson
First, we can LEARN from our mistakes. If you tried 10 ways to diet in 2013 and failed, you’ve successfully know 10 diets that are not for you. You probably also learned a few things along the way. You might have learned how many calories are in your favorite cheat meal – or you discovered a low-calorie snack you actually love. You may have discovered a workout you love, but now realize you can’t compete with what you eat – and now you know you need to try the same workout with new eating habits. Either way, you still have learned something.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas A. Edison
#2 The Testimony
Second, we have a more powerful testimony when we DO succeed. It may seem like some people succeed with ease (and they may). However, when someone succeeds in an area of their life that was truly challenging, THAT person can make even more of an impact on others than someone who easily reaches their goals. Whether your struggle is with your weight, or something else, when you finally do succeed, just think of the encouragement your story will give others who are dealing with the same stuff you have conquered. Your testimony can help someone have the courage not to give up.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
#3 The Understanding
Lastly, our experiences allow us to see life differently, in order to relate to others. If I never struggled with my own weight, or struggled with laziness, weakness, injury or failures, you may not even listen to me right now. You may be under the impression that I couldn’t possibly understand what you may be going through. You may even believe it’s just easier for me than it is for you. You might even be tempted to think that what works for me cannot work for you too.
That is why I try to make it very clear in my blogs and posts that I am one of the laziest people I know – so you realize if I can do it, anyone can. Do I look lazy? Maybe not, but do I have to fight my lazy lame flesh every single day, and drag my sorry butt to the gym? Almost every single time! Hopefully, that encourages you! Hopefully, you will see that fitness isn’t a feeling or the result of insane motivation, but that it’s a decision. It’s a commitment, like a job, – and it pays off BIG TIME!
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” Booker T. Washington
Sure, you can waste your experiences by not learning from them, by not sharing them, and by not helping others who are going through the same thing you have gone through. OR, you can realize your experiences can make you stronger, wiser and better – and they make you a more effective leader to impact others in a way unimaginable.
1.) Make a list of your 2013 failures, struggles and mistakes.
2.) Write your response on what you should have done differently.
3.) Make notes of how you can use those experiences to help you reach your goals in 2014. Focusing on USING your experiences (instead of WASTING them) may be the only thing that motivates you to not fail – and that may be exactly what you need to succeed!
4.) Journal your feelings, failures, victories and progress daily. Pretend you are going to write a story of your success. Even if you never write a book for millions to read, your story can help you stay on track, never forget what you learned and help you share your story with others in a special way.
Need motivation to help you reach your goals this year? Then follow me!
This year, I am committing to give you 30 days of motivation to help start 2013 off right!
Motivation comes in different shapes and sizes, so every day I will post a motivational photo, mantra, tip, challenge or quote to help you stay on track. And, don’t you dare just keep the motivation to yourself. If you like a post, share it with friends and help your friends reach their goals too! You never know, one of them may turn around and motivate you right back!
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