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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

 

Fitness Motivation: Fear to Greatness

People aren’t just born awesome, they decide to TRY to be awesome – and with practice, they become more awesome every day. Fear is the #1 roadblock to greatness. They don’t let fear stop them from dreaming, trying or quitting. They recognize there is a risk on the quest for greatness. Your “greatness” maybe being a great mom, the healthiest you, a successful career person, a person who dedicates their life to making a difference. I’m not talking about money or power, I’m talking about being the best you can be. The healthiest you, the strongest you, the best you.

Conquering Fear

Sure you may fail. You may feel embarrassed. You may not get the results you want fast enough. You may not be the greatest on the planet, but I guarantee you, if you TRY you will be better than you ever could be without trying. What you should really fear is never trying to find out what you could do and who you could be if you don’t let fear get in the way.

Stretch Yourself

Is what you are doing right now stretching you? Are you a little uncomfortable? Are you are little scared? Are you pushing your body. Are you challenging yourself with good habits and discipline? Are you depriving yourself of the temporary to be better longterm? If you aren’t doing these things, you will never see your very best. You will never become the best you possible.

Get ready to be motivated and be ready to take your life to the next level – more commitment, more confidence, more determination, more dedication, more perseverance. You. Can. Do. This!

PRIDE: Fear of Failure or Fuel for Success?

“When you want to give up, just think of the people who want to see you fail. Don’t give them that pleasure.”

WANT TO SEE ME FAIL?This was a quote I posted on instagram yesterday, along with this text as I was thinking out loud: “Sometimes you don’t care about failing as long as you can fail privately. But when you realize there are people out there who would actually enjoy watching you fail, laugh at you behind your back and rejoice in your defeat, it’s sometimes just what you need to make you mad enough, hurt deep enough and become determined enough to do whatever it takes to not give them that pleasure! So instead. While it really doesn’t matter what they think, you can use the very thing they mean for harm to fuel you to succeed. So go ahead and hate on me and wish me harm or failure, because it’s exactly what I need to go one more rep, one more step, one more try.”

Later last night, Steve and I had a long chat about this. First, we both agree that you should lose weight, be healthy or try to reach your goals for YOURSELF. Not to prove a point, not to do it for your spouse or not to do it because someone is making you. No. The first reason we work on our fitness is for our OWN good. Agreed?

Fear of Failure or Fuel for Success?

So, the next question was “if you shouldn’t care about what people think, is it wrong to use what they think to fuel you to succeed?” Personally, I don’t think so – as long as you can use it (within reason) for a positive, healthy result.

hatersI know good and well I should care less what people think. We all have haters. No matter how nice you are or how “good” you are, people will dislike you, wish you failure and be happy if you don’t succeed. Why? It stems from jealousy. If you succeed, it is just a reminder of what they could do or have if they tried as hard as you did. When people feel bad about themselves, they don’t want to be around people who actually are happy, healthy or successful. OR, if it’s a rival, sometimes it’s simply because they want all the attention and want to stay on top. Either way, since you will always have these people in your life, you can decide now what type of response you will have. You can A: ignore them (not a bad idea), B: resent them or C: benefit from them. I choose either A or C (depending on the person or situation).

PrideMost of the time I use it to fuel me, to hold me accountable, and to stretch me to do more than I am willing to do. I am extremely lazy by nature. I was born with one extra big lazy bone. While some areas are easy for me to succeed, other areas (like discipline and physical labor) are challenging. So, I have to figure out ways to push myself, to motivate myself and to keep myself pressing forward to my goal. How do I do that? I use one of my character flaws to actually bring about good in my life.

Say hello to pride.

Pride: Good or Bad

Webster defines it as: “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” There you have it. Pride. Yuck!

Pride is typically referred to as a very negative characteristic, and it’s something I am not proud of at all (no pun intended lol). I can’t particularly say I get deep satisfaction from my own achievements, however I can admit I get deep dissatisfaction with failure. I HATE to fail – so much so, I won’t even try something new if there is a risk of bombing at it. This is something I discovered recently and am working to improve. I am not perfect so I don’t know why I have such high expectations of myself, but I do. Always have.

“It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” Proverbs 25:27

humilityI believe it is healthy and normal to have a certain amount of pride and have those proud moments. I can be proud of an accomplishment or take pride in my work. However, if I am full of pride and haughtiness, I think that’s totally wrong. (When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2). Webster choose these synonyms for prideful: disdainful, haughty, lofty, lordly, superior. And the main antonym for prideful is humble. Another words, you can’t be prideful and humble at the same time, so it’s something you really have to keep in check.

Run-to-winJust like it’s wrong to eat too much “honey” (AKA: food), you can have too much pride. If I’m careful to manage my pride and not focus on the selfish victorious feeling (that deep satisfaction Webster talks about), I can use the very thing that is meant for bad to bring about good in my life. The same way it is not good to care what people think, we shouldn’t not care at all – to the point we lose our drive to be the best we can be. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24. The last thing God wants us to do is become complacent, and I think many people say “I don’t care what they think” as a way to stay complacent. Sure, don’t measure your self-worth based on what others think, but why not use their opinions to encourage self-examination and drive to become better?

Some people use competitions to drive them, some use weight loss contests to push them or they even reward themselves with money or shopping. I really don’t have a need to succeed big, I just don’t want to fail big. I love striving for goals, but they are regular normal goals – nothing insane, nothing flashy, just me trying to be the best me.

Accountability

I don't try, I doOne of the things that drives me is knowing people are counting on me to lead by practicing what I preach. I also know there are people are counting on me to fail. Even Joyce Meyer uses Satan’s desire to ruin her day or damage her ministry to fuel her to do what’s right in good. She calls it giving Satan a ultimate black eye. I love it! Whatever you choose to use to drive you, we could all use a little more accountability.

What drives you? What gets under your skin? What pushes YOU to succeed? Do you train for a race? Do you work towards hitting the stage? Do you exercise to improve skill and compete in physical competitions like CrossFit games or mud runs? Or do you let those nasty mean coworkers of yours fuel you to keep showing up even though they’ve already made fun of your dieting, already reminded you of how many times you failed, told you of all their friends who have “tried that” and it didn’t work, and taunt you with chocolate and fast food? There’s no wrong answer here. You just have to figure out what you need to use to push you to improve and not give up. :)

But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also2 Corinthians 8:7

Motivation Monday: Try Something GREAT

“When Is the Last Time You Attempted Something Great?” 

attempt something greatThis is a very powerful question. I believe many of us avoid attempting great tasks to avoid experiencing great failure. There comes a time you have to ask yourself, “What is worse? Attempting something great and possibly failiing, or not attempting anything great at all and succeeding?”

I’ve recently been asked to do some pretty scary things – scary to me at least. My first instinct was to say “no”. Then I had to ask myself why I was saying no. Was it because it would hurt me? No. Was it because it would hurt anyone else? No. Was it because I was afraid to fail. The answer was yes – but that should NEVER stop me from trying something. When it boiled down to it, I had no other choice but to decide to do it because I really had no good reason not to at least try.

Sadly, many people never really ever try to do something great simply because they don’t want to fail. I believe we are looking at success all wrong. Success is not reaching your goal without opposition, struggle, failures or setbacks. Success is reaching your goal, or getting closer to your goal, despite all of that. Success is also not just doing what you are good at. You can be successful in just trying. You can be more successful attempting success, even if you fall short of your goal. Your goal may be in trying alone. Let me explain…

The Success In Trying

Julianne Talley Ms Senior FloridaSomeone recently suggested my mom be in the Ms. Senior Pageant. She thought long and hard on it and decided it was time she step outside her box and do it. Her goal was not to win. Her goal was to get out of her comfort zone and to experience personal growth, as well as encourage the other ladies there. Her goal was to show up.

Her dress didn’t come in time but she didn’t stress (I admit I would have freaked!). She could have easily used that as an excuse to back out. She could have taken that as an omen, “well it’s just not mean to be”, but she didn’t. She pressed on. She was scheduled to be out of town for work a lot, and she could have used that as an excuse for poor timing, but she found a way to fit it all in. She had never done a pageant before and struggled with the perception of being in a “beauty pageant” but she focused on what good could come out of instead. She had plenty of really good excuses but decided to not use one of them.

Just showing up for her was a big win. We were all so proud because we knew she was way out of her box. She was proud of herself. She said she would sit there at practice thinking “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” As I watched her on stage, I marveled at her bravery, knowing it wasn’t easy for her. I gleamed with pride and reflected on my own need to step outside my comfort zone. She not only did it – to her surprise, she won.

Ms. Senior Florida 2014

What If You Fail?

What if she failed? What if she didn’t even get to be a runner up? Would she really have failed? Absolutely not. She met some amazing ladies and she could celebrate the victory of stepping out of her box. The moment she said “Yes, I’ll do it” she succeeded. The moment she stepped on stage, she was a winner because she attempted something great. She practiced and performed her song. She memorized her philosophy. She learned how to walk, dance and prepare for such an event. She walked away with more experience, more confidence and more ways to encourage people. Whether she walked away with a crown on her head and a sash across her chest or not, she would have left a better person, a more fully developed person with one more great experience under her belt. Victory was inevitable. 

a-cannot-fail-textI want to challenge you today to try something great. Don’t just attempt to lose 20lbs, attempt to lose the full 50 you need to lose. Ladie,s don’t try to just get any man, aim to find the BEST and GREATEST man for you. Don’t settle for a job you are miserable, keep applying for the job you’ve always wanted. Don’t settle for an average marriage, work hard to develop a phenomenal marriage. In every single attempt, you will likely see much improvement whether you reach your desired goal or not.

Remember…

“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” (Les Brown)

31 DAYS OF MOTIVATION: 4 Tips to Beat Temptation

Yesterday I talked about living with purpose – and the importance in making sure each step, each bite and each decision leads you to where you want to go. Taking the RIGHT steps also means avoiding the WRONG ones.

eveMy pastor just was talking about Eve being tempted in the garden. As many times as I have read that and heard that story, I never realized 2 very powerful life-changing points. One, she was CLOSE to the one thing she was supposed to avoid. Why was she even hanging out around the tree that she was forbidden to eat from? Stupid right? Yet, we hang out with friends who are a horrible influence on us, and visit restaurants we have no business being around while dieting too.

Two, she was TALKING ABOUT the forbidden fruit. How ridiculous is that?! If we have issues with sweets, let’s say, should we go down the cookie and candy aisle? Should we really put our brain, and taste buds, through the torture of talking about it? The same way Eve should not have allowed herself to have a long conversation with Satan about whether she should eat the forbidden fruit or not, we too should avoid tempting conversation (EVEN WITH OURSELF) about things that are off limits. Trust me, just like Eve did, you can easily begin to doubt your beliefs, justify your actions, and before you know it, you have messed up.

Anything that is standing in the way of you being your best, and becoming the person God called you to be, has no place in your life – not now, maybe not ever.

Here are 4 Tips to Protecting Yourself From Your Greatest Temptations:

1. Know your weakness. Charles Stanley said, “One of the important things about temptation is, if I’m going to deal with it I’m going to have to recognize, this is an area of weakness in my life. I have been tempted here before and before and before.” You can’t possibly protect yourself from something you think is not an issue for you. Ironically, one of the hardest steps for addicts is to admit they are powerless over their addiction. They think they are making the choice, or there is a reason they do it. It’s not until they completely surrender and admit they are powerLESS, that they can become powerFUL!

let-go2. Be willing to let go (for good). Some people can eat pizza occasionally and keep their weight off. Others can’t. If you are truly obsessed with food, you may need to treat it as a true addiction. Your whole thought process may not just need to change for a period (like while you are dieting), but forever. There are plenty of people who do cocaine and never get addicted. In the same way, you must know what you can and cannot handle. If you have dieted before, but gained the weight back, it’s likely that you simply set aside your addiction for later, instead of laying it down for good.

Be willing to let go of the things that are ruining you – not just for a period, but be WILLING to let go of them for life (if that’s what it takes). Anything that is standing in the way of you being your best, and becoming the person God called you to be, has no place in your life – not now, maybe not ever. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can never have it again, but letting go completely (and being OK if you never have it again , knowing you are trading it for SO MUCH MORE) is the first step toward a permanent change. Letting it go doesn’t just set it free, it sets YOU free.

pros-cons3. Focus on what you are gaining, not what you are losing. So many people are SO busy focusing on what they are giving up, that they never truly realize what they are trading it in for. Is the freedom to order whatever you want at your favorite restaurant REALLY that much more important than losing weight, being fit and healthy, and feeling good about yourself? Your issue may not be the food itself, but giving up the “right” or “freedom” of doing what you want. Either way, the reality is most people are miserable when they are overweight and out of shape. They are insecure, depressed, restricted, physically uncomfortable, unattractive feeling, weak, out of shape, sick and tired. That is what poor decisions cost us. Personally, I can’t even think about what I want, or what I’m giving up. I just have to focus on what I’m GETTING – and it trumps my favorite treat any day.

2014 TEMPTATION4. Run from temptation. Not only should we not be around it, we have to physically and mentally work on getting the obsession of food out of our mind. I believe a lot of us struggle with things more than we should because we LET ourself fixate on it. We think about it, dream about it, talk about it and make future plans with it. When we diet, we even SEARCH for ways to still get it. Whether we look for the newest latest low-fat, gluten-free, paleo version of it, or whatever, we are still allowing our obsession to live with us.

Let’s think of it this way. Pretend it’s something that is SERIOUSLY WAY off limits – like another man or woman, an illegal drug, or breaking the law. We know to run from those things. We know not to focus on them. We know to push those thoughts out of our head as soon as they pop up. However, food can be just as dangerous if we LET those thoughts stay and take residence in our mind. They set up camp, they bring all their friends and, before you know it, they are ruling your body. If you want to really cut ties with your “drug of choice”, then you need to go to extreme measures to sever ties completely. With a drug addict, that means changing phones, blocking calls, deleting phone numbers, joining a support group, arranging people to hold you accountable daily, ending unhealthy friendships, changing your circle of friends, avoiding certain places, etc. AND, even if you do most of those things, if you don’t do it all you are still leaving an opening for failure. Are you running from temptation, only to leave a forwarding address so it can find you later?

Homework:

  1. What is your weakness? Let’s get specific today. What is the one thing (or things) you could not imagine giving up forever?
  2. Would you be willing to live without ______________ for the rest of your life if you knew in your heart you could reach your goals and succeed? You must be happy and whole with just you and God alone. If you panic at the thought of never having _____________ again, then you have an obsession. Surrender that obsession and realize how important it is to not rely on certain things to make you happy. Truthfully, it’s often those very things that are destroying us.
  3. Make a list of the things that are most important to you (that you are gaining) by pursuing your fitness journey. Compare those benefits to the item(s) you listed in question #1.
  4. Look for the cracks in your plan. Have you closed every door, or are you leaving a door cracked somewhere? Commit today to close all doors and FULLY 100% commit to changing your life forever.

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Eat, Train, Live Like Everyone’s Watching

Eat, Train & Live

Would you run a little faster if someone was timing you? Would you lift one more rep if people were circled around you cheering you on? Would you make the same choices if your trainer went home with you and watched you prepare a meal, or sat next to you on the couch while you snacked?

What about how you live? Would you tell a certain joke if your pastor was in the room. Would you complain about your job if your boss was listening? Would you take Jesus to all the movies you’ve seen?

I believe, if you answered these questions honestly, you would probably act a bit differently if you ate, trained and lived like everyone important was watching.

you-is-kindYOU are important – and YOU are watching. You know everything you are doing, and what you could be doing better or different. So why cheat yourself? Even if your trainer doesn’t see you eat ice cream at night, you will wake up with the guilt – whether they find out or not. You will judge yourself. No one else has to live with the decisions you make in secret.

Don’t get me wrong. I make plenty of bad decisions in private – and public too, for that matter. I’m no angel. I’m the queen of opening my mouth when I should have kept it shut. As much as I want to do the right thing and be good, my nasty flesh comes out and I spew out ugliness, laziness and selfishness in a hurry. While I’m just as wrong as the next person, I believe we should always remember to TRY to strive for improvement – in public AND in private.

Good CharacterWhat you do in private eventually comes out for all to see. If you cuss at home, you are sure to cuss eventually in front of someone. If you eat poorly when no one is watching, it will show up on your body. If you are a disgruntled employee, it WILL show in your attitude or work performance (and your boss will know – believe me, I know! ha!). If you want to change the way people see you, and you also want to see yourself differently too – start changing the way you act, and think, when you are alone.

You have to live with you for the rest of your life, so work to become a person you can forgive, be proud of, and be happy to live with. No matter how hard you try, you WILL fail.  Just try to fail less often.

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”John Wooden.

Make a decision today to eat, train and live like everyone is watching.

Even the Slowest & Weakest Can Still Finish: 4 Steps to Success

slow, small, weak still finishI think we’d be in a much better place if we didn’t focus on where we were but, instead, focused on where were are going. We tend to obsess over what we are NOT, and forget who we ARE, and who we are BECOMING.

I’m not a fast runner, but I run. I am not super strong, but I lift. I am getting faster, and I am getting stronger. Unfortunately, most of us are very impatient. We want to get the the “finish lines” of life in one big step, but that is unrealistic. We rarely get anywhere in life in one step. Everything great takes time. But, what separates the success stories from the failures is not really how strong or fast someone is, but whether they persevere.

runningAlthough I am not suggesting you become complacent and not care about your overall performance, what I am suggesting is that you don’t focus so much on your performance that you forget your accomplishments. Each run you complete, each day you show up to the gym, every calorie you count, and every ounce you lose is an accomplishment.

Whatever you are working toward, You Can Finish This!

Think of where you were once, at your worst. Now think of where you are now. Lastly, think about where you are headed if you continue to press on toward your goals. THAT’s who you are – who you are, is who you are becoming.

finish

Your Finish Line

Here are 4 steps to reaching your finish line.

1. Choose Your Race: Someone who has never run before rarely signs up for a marathon. Most people don’t just “show up” without a little planning. With fitness, “choosing your race” means choosing your goal. This can also mean choosing a gym, a class, a diet or trainer. Before you even take your first step, you have to make some important choices first.

2. Map Your Route: Before a runner starts, they have to know where to go – and so do you. Make sure you know the route to your finish line very well so you can stay on course. Choose some friends to “run with”. Having a workout partner, trainer or a group of people at work working on the same goals can help you from straying or losing focus.

3. Check Points: Create a few small goals and a few moderate goals to help encourage you, as well as make sure you stay on track.  Check points can be small weight loss goals, performance based goals, or health improvements like improved resting heart rate or cholesterol levels.

4. Finish Line: Make sure you have main goal, or set of goals, and post them where you can see them every day. Can you imagine running a race with no visible finish line? Make sure your “black and white checkered flag” can be easily seen every moment along your journey. Out of site, means out of mind.

 

Keep Showing Up: Because NEXT Time You Might Just Succeed

Don’t Throw It All Away

Don't throw it awayI have met so many people, on the successful end of their fitness journey, who once had a story of failure. Time after time, I’ve heard stories of how people didn’t stick to a diet, how fitness didn’t work for them, how they wasted a gym membership, quit a program, lost weight only to gain it right back, gave up, quit or failed. And then, they made that decision to give it another try – and they succeeded!

My mom tried every diet in the book over a 30 year span, resulting in one failure after another. Today, she stands tall and proud, 100lbs lighter – and has KEPT it off for several years. BUT, what if she never kept trying? What if she decided she was doomed for failure? Do you think she, or any of the people around her who knew she had a history of being on a life-long diet, believed THIS would be IT? I don’t even know if she believed she could do it when she started, but she started anyway.

Ready for Success

What makes someone succeed THIS time? As much as I’d love to believe it’s our awesome training, our BCx Boot Camp or our gym, they cannot be successful until YOU are ready to be successful.

ready for changeOne, I think you have to let go completely of all your selfish desires. You have to decide that the heavy you, and how you were used to living, is dead and gone – and a new improved you requires drastic change. After you let go of what you think your body wants (food, laziness, not to “miss out” on “living”, etc), then you can focus on what you really want – and what that requires. Once you get your head in the game, you have to commit to it. You have decide you are not stopping no matter how rough it is, how slow it is, and how frustrated you get. Sometimes, you have to purposefully be reminded of where that old destructive path led you.

Strip Away the Old You

Naked and healthyI believe you have to get SO sick of the old you, that you realize there is no other choice. Something’s gotta change – and the only thing that YOU can change, is YOU. You realize all your old ways brought you to this ugly place. You recognize the destruction. You acknowledged the unhappiness it has caused. Once those things are very real to you, then you embrace change. You welcome the stripping of flesh, lies and comforts. Once covered with excuses, now you are “naked” and exposed for who you really are and what you have really been allowing in your life that needs to go. You confess (admit) that maybe you have been doing things wrong and that it’s nobody else’s fault. Then, and only then, can you start working on you. You will welcome the clothing of everything healthy. You will be excited about your “2nd, 3rd, or 99th chance” to change – and once you put those healthy things into your life, you realize how good it feels do treat your body right and to do what is right. Then, when you start getting results (which you will) you will never want to go back.

Once you have gone through the mental preparation that success requires, you are ready to show up. You will still have doubt. You will still have temptations. You will wonder what is on the other side, and wonder if this time will be different. You will likely fight the old you every day in some way. BUT, if you keep showing up, you WILL win.

wedding pictureAs I reflect on my 19th Wedding Anniversary, I think of all the days we didn’t know what was next. We didn’t know if “this time” it would be better. We didn’t know if we could succeed. BUT we decided to keep showing up. We’ll never forget a scene in a TV show where the main character asked his boss, who was celebrating his anniversary, what the secret to his marriage was and he said “I just keep showing up”. This is not just the case in marriage, but it is the case in fitness – and many other areas of our lives. It became our motto.

There will be many days we don’t want to go to the gym. There will be numerous days we don’t want to do the same job, be married to the same man, or even live the same life. We all have days we don’t want to “show up”, BUT you also never know if the next time you show up, it will be the beginning of success.

Like a dieter who failed 100 times, or the gym member that quit too many times to count, the NEXT time may be the BEST time – and you will NEVER know, if you don’t show up.

Thank you Steve for continuing to show up, even when you didn’t feel like it. Thank you for teaching me to never give up – on us, on fitness and on life. Happy Anniversary!

Just keep Showing Up

Let’s Make a Deal: Trade Fat for Fit

let's make a dealDo you remember the show, “Let’s Make a Deal“? This was the game show where a contestant is given a prize, like a TV, and then has the option to trade that prize for another prize. The catch? The other prizes are a mystery. It could be bigger and better, or could be a total disappointment. Since the pressure can be too difficult to handle, some contestants choose to keep what they have.

I think this is how we treat our life many times. We choose our current situation, no matter how bad it is, because we hate the unknown even more.

the unknownThe unknown is scary and being out of control is no fun, but those two things go hand in hand with change. Change requires letting go and taking a leap of faith. Unfortunately, no matter how uncomfortable you may be right this minute, no matter how fat you feel, how tight your pants are, how bad your last doctor’s visit was, or how unhealthy and out of shape you feel, you STILL may not be ready for change.

Who’s In Control?

out of controlIronically, people will choose to stay in their current yucky condition over getting healthy simply because they don’t like being out of control. Sadly, the person who thinks they are in control (and thinks they can eat whatever they want and do what they want) is the most out of control person of all. They  have no control of their body compared to the someone who puts restrictions on what they eat and do. The person who has the most control is the person practicing self-control.

You see, you have 2 choices. You can control your body, or you can let your body control you. We are in a constant battle with our flesh. Our body will always want to be lazy and eat for pleasure. But, our mind knows better. We have goals in life. We know we can’t allow our body to do whatever it wants without experiencing repercussions. The problem is, the satisfaction of the temporary pleasure may currently outweigh the repercussions – until the repercussions get so uncomfortable you can’t take it anymore.

“You will be ready for change when you get to the point when your consequences of your actions outlast the pleasure of them.”

weight-gainLike many repercussions of poor decisions, they build slowly. People don’t get obese overnight. A marriage rarely goes from happy to miserable in one day. Bad situations normally come from many bad decisions. In addition to bad decisions, bad situations become even more difficult because many people often ignore them. As if it’s not bad enough to make poor decisions, now you pretend your bad situation doesn’t exist.

Of course you WANT it to be better, but when you aren’t doing anything to help your situation, you are basically just HOPING it gets better on it’s own. Listen, whether you are struggling in your marriage, struggling with your weight or in your workplace, it will not get better on its own. Change requires work, even if all you can work on is you. Whatever your circumstance is, if it is not ideal, you need to be diligent and relentless to create enough change to make it better.

Surrender

SurrenderIt’s time to surrender the “uncomfortable known” for the unknown and trade being IN control for being OUT of control – because often times the unknown will be much more comfortable than the known, and you will find there is much more freedom when you are willing to give up control and let go. Today’s the day to take a leap of faith.

Interestingly enough, fitness is not unknown. While many of your experiences along the way to getting fit may be unknown to you, your destination (being healthy) is very known. It’s a sure thing. Unlike “Let’s Make a Deal”, you know what you’ll get if you choose the healthy path. Yes, you will have to give up something, just like the contestants on the show, but does what you currently hold really outweigh the prize of health and having a fit body?

It’s time to “Make a Deal”. It’s time to trade your old ways and old body for a new and improved you – the best known prize of all.

Today’s blog was inspired by “Devotionary, a Devotion with Meaning” by Pastor Bob Coy

Are you ready for change?

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