Posts tagged new year's resolutions
Scripture of the Day: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Most people, at some point and time, get motivated by something or someone to get in shape. Sometimes it’s a pair of tight pants that motivate you. For some, it may be a bad trip to the doctor. In other cases, it’s a really fit friend that makes you think “I want that body!”
Either way, I don’t know a lot of people who don’t want to be fit and healthy. They are plenty motivated to workout and shape up. They want it. They may even cry and tell you how miserable they are. They are so motivated they join a gym at the New Year, buy new tennis shoes, get all the fitness gadgets they need to succeed, make all kinds of promises, but over time something happens – or maybe I should say NOTHING happens.
What Happened to My Motivation?
Motivation MUST be followed by discipline. People can’t lean on motivation alone. Why? Because motivation is just a feeling that comes and goes – PLUS, you have a lot of other motivations in life that interfere with the one motivation to get fit.
For instance, we are motivated by taste to eat poorly. We are motivated by our emotions to give ourselves pity parties and poor a glass of wine after a tough day. We are motivated by our body to sleep in. We are motivated by our family to skip the gym and come home for dinner. We are motivated by our friends to go with them to a party. We are motivated by greed not to spend money on fitness. We are motivated by our love for our spouse to cook what they want and not what you need. We are motivated by commercials to try the next fancy burger at your favorite restaurant. We are motivated by our brain to give up because all this work may not even be worth it any way.
Ironically, we are not lacking motivation. We are just motivated by conflicting parties – we are motivated by our mind and what we know is right, which is constantly fighting what our body (flesh) wants.
Bottom line is being motivated to workout is only one of many motivations – and it’s up to US to prioritize and decide how we are going to handle any other motivation that may get in the way of our goals. This takes discipline. It takes perseverance and consistency. Before long, you’ll form a habit, and what required strict discipline before becomes almost effortless ritual later.
Motivated To Remain Disciplined
When you set out to reach a goal, you must be prepared for battle. You are your own worst enemy. Your flesh will want to be lazy. It will want to eat what it wants and do what it feels like doing. You need to be prepared to fight for what you want If you want to succeed. That means you need to have a pretty persuasive argument with your fat, lazy, hungry, self.
That’s why I create fitness quotes. I know how I fight my own lazy self. I know what I have to tell myself to get to the gym and stay disciplined. I know what gets under my own skin, what psyches me out and what pumps me up. When something clicks with me, whether it’s my thoughts, quotes, lesson learned, fitness fact or a famous motivational quote, I share it in hopes it helps you too.
Motivation isn’t just what gets us going, we need to constantly remember what is motivating us to do what is right, STAY going, be disciplined, build this new or stronger habit and reach your goals.
START Motivated, STAY Motivated, STAY Disciplined, START Seeing the Reward!
What is YOUR favorite mantra or quote?
Scripture of the Day: “…I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
One of the problems with eating and dieting is that there are no set rules that apply to everyone. There is somewhat a grey area when it comes to eating. Eating is not wrong, it’s not a sin and it’s not against the law, but it can be deadly, it can destroy self-confidence, it can make you miserable, it can make you feel bad and it clearly can be very harmful to you when abused.
Bottom line, for something that isn’t necessarily bad, it can definitely be a huge problem to some people. As a result, you get a lot of opinions from people that can cloud your own beliefs and understanding. You may even fall into peer pressure as some people snub their nose at others who eat fast food or might enjoy an ice cream sundae. Some health fanatic may even take it up a notch and preach to everyone everywhere they go about avoiding sugar, gluten, dairy, sweeteners or whatever other thing they personally are convicted to avoid.
Who’s the Boss?
I’m here to help you differentiate between what is OK and not OK for YOU. You need to know without a shadow of a doubt whether sweets, snacks, meat, carbs, alcohol or whatever is right for you so you. You need know without a shadow of a doubt what is OK for your eating plan and what is not. You should know where the boundaries need to be set – and I believe this blog will help you make the right choices.
Question #1: Does it have any power over you?
Paul says in 1 Corinthians “…I will not be brought under the power of any.” Other translations of verse 12 say it like this:
I will not be mastered by anything.
I must not become a slave to anything.
I will not be dominated by anything.
I will not do them if I think it would be hard for me to stop when I know I should.
Bonnie’s translation is “it won’t boss me”. How many of us let food boss us around? It’s ridiculous!! For some people, sweets are their boss. For others, carbs are their boss. It may not even be one food, but more of a lifestyle – like wining and dining with friends habitually, snacking every night, or drinking every day. Ask yourself: Who’s the boss? Is it me, or is it XYZ (fill in the blank)?
Harmful vs Helpful
Question #2: Is it beneficial?
The first part of 1 Corinthians 6:12 says “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful.” Other translations say “beneficial” or “good for me”. Sadly, we often try to determine whether something is OK or not based on whether or not it is harmful – but what about if it’s not harmful, but it’s also not helpful.
Now combine those two questions. Is it helpful and could it have power over you? If so, then there need to be some serious boundaries on whatever it is you are trying to determine is right for you or not. It may mean you can never have that thing in your life because of it’s control over you (whether it’s sugar, alcohol or maybe something that would put your life at risk). On the other hand, it may simply mean you need to put strict regulations on that item in your life (like you will not ever bring sweets home, but it’s OK to have a treat once a week out of the house, to avoid temptation of making it a habit again). These are just some ideas. It’s important you be honest with yourself and decide what is best for you.
Lastly, is it helpful for others? I know, I just said this is supposed to be all about you, but if you desire to walk in wisdom and not just make good decisions, but make excellent ones, you need to think about how your actions affect you – as well as others. So, let’s say you aren’t addicted to cookies, but your spouse is overweight and struggles with a sweet tooth. Let’s take that up a notch. Let’s say you love red wine, but your spouse is a recovering alcoholic. Would you bring alcohol home knowing your spouse struggles with alcoholism? I doubt it! So why are we so selfish to bring ice cream home when our spouse struggles with managing their weight? That’s a good example of “things that make you go hmmmm”! While it may be “lawful” for you, it may not be OK for you if it’s not helpful to you and others around you.
Interestingly enough, the next verse talks about this very thing: “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall” 1 Corinthians 8:13. Honestly, you can’t get a clearer answer than this. Paul is saying, even though I don’t have a problem eating meat, I won’t do it if someone else does because that wouldn’t be helpful – and even worse, it could cause them to stumble. BUT, to do this, it requires selfless living.
It may be easy to say “that’s not fair”, but if you live selfishly (to please yourself without regard of others), then I believe you are in full-on sin. Believe me, I understand. I could have a big thing of peanuts in the pantry that would last me months, but I can’t have them because Steve pours them in his mouth like a glass of water. There are some things I can’t have in this house because I know they are a weakness for him. However, I love him more than I love peanuts, so it’s a small sacrifice to help him with his diet and health. I sure as heck won’t put peanuts, ice cream or whatever else before my husband and I should also not let anything other than God have its grip on me. Believe me, I have my own issues, and I too am learning how to set boundaries – and the first step is asking these 2 questions.
Right Living, Digging Deeper
Hopefully, I’ve gotten your brain juices going and you would like to think about how this could apply to your entire life – and not just eating. Whether it’s how you eat, speak or act, Chuck Smith asks these questions that I feel should be on the refrigerator door and on the bathroom mirror in every house. It’s so awesome! (I’m literally cutting and pasting from his sermon notes he entitles “Limits to Liberty“)
A. Does it impede my being like Jesus. Would I be apt to find Jesus participating with me?
B. Could I be brought under it’s power. Could it get such a hold on me that I cannot control myself? Could it enslave me?
C. Does it build me up in Jesus? Does it make me more like Him? Does it build up others?
Ice cream is not bad, but it is bad if it enslaves you.
Bodybuilding is not wrong, but it is if it dominates you.
Working isn’t bad, but it is if you can’t put it down.
Spending money is fine, but not if you can’t stop when you know you should – and the list goes on…
Life is full of questions, but finding the answer to is so much easier with the help of 1 Corinthians 6.
Quote of the Day: “failure is not always about what you are doing, but more about what you are not doing.”
Scripture of the Day:”Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” James 1:22
I wish I could record people’s conversations with me so you could get a real grasp on this concept. I have SO many people that list all the things they are doing right – but they are not getting results. The listen to what I’m saying, but they pick and choose what they want to apply. Then they just tell me the good stuff, and they withhold the stuff they aren’t willing to surrender yet.
Don’t let your good intensions cloud reality. If you aren’t getting results, it doesn’t matter how clean you eat, how much you lift and how often you run. If you aren’t losing the weight, or getting the results you want, you are clearly DOING plenty right – but you are doing something wrong.
Oftentimes it means you are eating too big of portions, too many calories, or getting the wrong substrates (fat, protein, carbs). My goal for you today is to encourage you to look at the balance between what you are doing – and what you are still not doing. Whether you are still drinking and still having your glass of wine at night, or still having your daily dose of chocolate. OR, maybe it’s your weekly cheat meal or date night that is sabotaging your progress. Whatever it is, please do not full yourself into thinking you can do enough right to erase your wrongs.
You can’t compete with what you eat – and getting results doesn’t just require hard work in the gym, but it requires a certain level of sacrifice in the kitchen and in your daily lifestyle.
What is the first thing that comes to mind right now that you haven’t surrendered. That is probably the one thing standing in your way of success.
Scripture of the Day: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14
What this verse is saying is “Don’t do what everyone else does.” Everyone else does whatever they want on the weekend. Everyone else feels like the deserve the break. “We work hard during the week, let’s live it up on the weekend” some say – but how dumb is that?
Whether we are talking about how we eat, how we spend money or how we act, we should be protective over what we have worked hard on all week long – whether we worked hard to make money, for a good reputation, for spiritual growth, or to make progress toward our weight loss goals. Does it mean you completely live one day like none of that matters? Do we have an “OFF” day, as if no rules apply and the calories, actions, money or whatever don’t count? NO! What happens on the weekends doesn’t stay on the weekends! We carry that junk with us into the new week. Of course we can have small treats and fun, but we should be so dedicated to our goals, and to our standards, that we don’t go so overboard we erase 6 days of hard work on one day.
Sadly, this happens to so many people who in pursuit of a new weight or fitter body. Most people fail, not because they aren’t working hard enough in the gym, but because they aren’t working hard enough in the kitchen (especially on the weekends). They blow 5-6 days of sweat and tears on snacks and cheat meals. Even people who are eating healthy, still can eat too much.
Start becoming protective over your hard work in the gym. It comes with a cost – they are called calories. We burn them in the gym, and we need to protect that investment and prevent replacing them with irresponsible eating.
If you are trying to lose weight, commit to counting every single calorie you eat this weekend, even if you’ve never counted calories before. Before it goes in your mouth, look it up and add it up. Once you know the real cost of food, you will begin to budget your eating better and see the results you want! Have a great weekend everyone! More motivation tomorrow!!
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.
Self 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.
If 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.
Scripture of the Day: “Now finish what you began, so that your eagerness to do so may be matched by your eagerness to complete it.” 2 Corinthians 8:11
When we start something new, a diet, a workout, a way of life, a new relationship, etc. – they all have an excitement about them when you first start. The problem is that exciting newness will fade.
How necessary is a commitment on your first day of marriage, or first week, first month, first year? But how much more necessary is that commitment in year 5, 10, 15 and 20?
We wouldn’t need to make a commitment if it were easy. We make commitments because we know they will be hard. We know we will lose the excitement and motivation that got us started. That’s why we make a commitment to our spouse. We make that commitment to give them security that we will stay even when we don’t feel like it. That is the same type of commitment required for fitness – and that commitment should give us the security that we will get the results if we stick with it. We don’t have to feel like working out or feel like eating clean to get results. As long as we stay committed you will finish what you started.
Scripture of the Day: “Taste and see that the LORD is good” Psalms 34:8
Someone recently was telling Steve how “lucky” he was for having such amazing dedication and self discipline, as if he had extra self-control super powers and dieting was easier for him than others. I have to laugh at this, knowing just how much he struggles with his diet. Why do people think it’s easier for the “fit people” to avoid sweets or not overeat? Then I realized, maybe it is a little easier for those who have already tasted success, because they realize success tastes better than the food they may have to give up.They know without a shadow of a doubt that it is all worth it.
It is hard to give up something for nothing, or for something they’ve never experienced before. It’s hard to invest in something when you have not yet enjoyed the even greater return. However, when you know how it feels to be fit, trim, feel good, feel more comfortable in your skin, feel stronger, feel healthier, etc., maybe it is a tad easier to stick with your diet. Then, trading regular coke for diet coke, or pizza for grilled chicken, seems easy.
I believe that is why scripture says “taste and see” (Psalms 34:8). God knows if we will just give Him a try, and taste His goodness, nothing will compare to it. I believe the same is true for fitness and taking care of our bodies. We are so fooled into thinking that certain foods, or living a certain lifestyle, is worth the extra pounds. However, if you’d just “taste and see”, I believe you’d realize nothing compares to living in a healthy body. Suddenly, sluggishness, heaviness, tight pants, high blood pressure, insecurities that follow weight gain, and all the repercussions of a lack of self-control make that lifestyle no longer worth it. But first, you must “taste and see” so you can make that comparison for yourself – because until you experience it yourself, you cannot fully understand and comprehend the reward.
Stick to your goals this year, long enough to truly taste and see how it feels to reach your goal – and I mean your dreamy goal, not your first goal. No! I’m talking about pressing on past what is good to what is great! Don’t stop short of your very best. THEN, you can say you’ve tasted success – and THEN, you’ll know just how good it really is and maybe then passing up the sweets or sticking to your plan will also be a little easier for you too!
A NOTE FOR DIETERS: Don’t get me wrong! Being fit doesn’t mean you never have chocolate again. However, when you are in the dieting phase and trying to lose weight, it may mean you are giving up some things (or not eating as much as you’d like of those things). The diet phase is more strict, but maintenance phase is much easier, and will allow room for occasional treats and freedom. The key is balance and accountability. Once a treat becomes a habit, the weight will creep right back on. Stick to your plan. I do promise it will be worth it. No one feels a set of tight tone abs and thinks “boy I wish I had eaten more pizza”.
Scripture of the Day: God says, “I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live”. Deuteronomy 30:19
We don’t think of it this way, but the choices we make today determine our chances of blessings and curses we get later on. God gave us the choice. We can invest in life, or we can invest in death. The choice is ours.
Sure, bad things happen to good people, and vice versa, but we can expect a better healthier future if we make better healthier choices now. In the same way, we can expect a life of sickness, ailments, troubles if we invest in a lazier unhealthy lifestyle.
I see so many sick people who are suffering now simply because of how they treated (or neglected) their body years ago. I’m sure they didn’t think about how their choices would result in back pain, diabetes, obesity, etc. You can learn from those people. Don’t make that same mistake.
This year, decide to make better choices now – as an investment in a life you will be satisfied with (and PROUD OF) later.
Quote of the Day: “Don’t worry about what you are giving up now. Worry about what you risk giving up if you quit pressing on.”
Scripture of the Day: “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 3:14
When we start a diet, the first thing we think about is everything we are going to have to give up to reach our goal. We think about the food we won’t be able to eat, the parties we won’t want to go to (because we don’t want to be tempted) or the time we are going to have to invest in working out. What if we could change our whole way of thinking so this isn’t the first thought?
What if we changed our mindset and we were more concerned about what we are giving up if we eat the junkfood, skip our workout or don’t stick with our program. I mean, what is more valuable? The taste of our favorite cheat meal for 30 minutes or feeling comfortable and proud of our body for 24 hours a day?
This year, let’s focus on the prize more than the cost – because, honestly, the cost is so little compared to what we have to gain!!
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.
Get 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
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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 1-Arm Thruster (Squat & Press)
(Repeat on the other Arm)
REPEAT 3 TIMES