Wouldn’t it be nice if every food item came with a label on it? If only we knew how many calories were each home-cooked meal, baked good and menu item, many of us would make much better decisions. The hardest part about dieting is trying to guess how many calories are in these types of foods. We tend to underestimate calories when we leave it up to our own guess work. We want to believe certain foods are OK to eat. Then after we talk our self in to believing we’ve made the right choice we expect to lose weight as if our guess was always accurate.
I made a major mistake one time that enlightened me on this very subject. I picked up a low-calorie snack on a recent road trip. I noticed the snack was a little over 200 calories. I wasn’t too thrilled about this since I try to keep my snacks to 150 calories or less but I thought I should bring it in case I got hungry. I found myself picking up the snack while I was driving along, re-reading the package over and over – contemplating whether it was worth it or not. I ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it and would prefer to eat something better later.
I decided to stop at Starbucks to stretch my legs and refuel my body with a fat-free sugar-free latte. I found myself staring at the pastry case looking for anything that could be the least bit healthy. The store had only one “healthy” item – ‘no sugar added’ banana nut bread (AKA: Cake). I thought that would be an OK choice. Besides, it had real bananas and whole nuts in it which sure beat my processed 200 calorie snack. The bread was larger than my wimpy snack so, even if it had a few more calories, I thought it would be worth it. I love how I try to talk myself into feeling good about my decision, but this was my thought process.
After I ate the snack I began to feel a little guilty, second guessing my choice so I looked up the calories for that banana nut bread and found that my little ‘no sugar added treat’ had over 475 calories and 30 grams of fat!! That’s more calories than an entire lean cuisine meal. I couldn’t believe it! I knew it was probably a little higher than my 200 calorie snack, but I had no idea it was going to be more than twice the calories. In addition I had my fat-free sugar-free latte which was 180 calories so in one quick trip to the coffee shop I had over 655 FREAKIN’ CALORIES! This little boo-boo would probably take me about 6 miles to erase! Ugh!
I am sure I’m not alone here. I hear stories like this all the time in the gym, but mistakes like this can be EASILY prevented. It’s simple: If you are dieting and you don’t know how many calories are in a particular food – DON’T EAT IT. It’s not worth throwing away your hard work in the gym and all your other sacrifices you make to control your caloric intake.
Dieters eating food without knowing how many calories is in it is like shoppers shopping for items that have no prices on them. How in the world are you supposed to know if you can “afford” something or not? How in the WORLD are you supposed to make an intelligent decision if you have no knowledge to base your decision on? You can’t! Like me, you can fool yourself into thinking something is okay for you – but just because you don’t know how many calories is in something doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And, like our poor spending habits reflect on our bank statement – your poor choices will eventually reflect on the scale.
The moral of this story: Know what you are eating or don’t eat what you don’t know – because what you don’t know can hurt you!
Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get more diet & fitness tips! Also, be sure to connect with me on facebook & twitter for fun fit tweets!
If you have an goal, there is one thing you MUST have to reach that goal. You have to have the will to win. You don’t need to play sports to be a winner or a loser. You don’t need a goal line to cross, a hoop to make or a time to beat. You have your own set of goals – and the mistake we make is forgetting these goals are very real. Winning and losing is very real to everyone.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, beat your time, complete a marathon, OR your goal is to pay off debt, rekindle a relationship or work on your spiritual life, if you don’t meet these goals there are consequences. Like in sports, you will not go to the next round. You won’t make it to the championships. You won’t be on the front of a cereal box. Why? Because these added perks are reserved for winners.
Non-athletes have perks too. The perk to weight loss is feeling healthy and more attractive. It’s having fewer health issues. It may be getting more attention. It can be enjoying the simply things in life, like playing with your grandchildren, when you once didn’t have the energy to keep up with them. There are perks with reaching other goals as well. But you can’t “expect the perks with out the works” as Joyce Meyer says.
While I can MAKE my boot campers workout, I can’t make them diet. I can’t make them WANT to be a winner. That is something THEY have to decide. But believe me, once that decision is made, once they reeeeeally decide they WANT to be a winner, they will do everything in their power to BE a winner.
You Against You
Your own worst enemy is yourself. The fear of defeat, the fear of unrewarded work. Laziness, selfishness, self-pity, frustration, fatigue and stress can beat you up. Listen, WANTING to be a winner doesn’t mean you won’t get tackled. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever get hurt, struggle, or experience defeat. But without the WANT to win, winning is more like hitting the lottery – it’s next to impossible. And, not only that, the easy route that leads to loss comes with a whole new set of problems and struggles. There will likely still be the same amount of challenges that come with striving to be your best, but many of them will be rooted from not trying. The burden of guilt, shame and failure from not trying will be heavy. So, you decide if you want to take the challenges that come with wanting to be a winner, or except the challenges of allowing yourself to lose hope.
People aren’t BORN great, they are MADE great – with practice, dedication, drive and desire.
People aren’t born great, they are MADE great – with practice, dedication, drive and desire. No one can MAKE you great. They can HELP, but they can’t make you WANT to be great, make you WANT to be better. That, my friend, is only something YOU can do.
So, do you WANT to be a WINNER, or not?
In fitness, you don’t just want to stay on track, you want to keep moving ahead! Sadly, there are a lot of people that get on track, make a little progress, and then just stop, for no apparent reason, before they ever reach their goal.
That’s like showing up for a race, running half of it and then just sitting down on the side of the road. Who does that? Well, pretty much everyone at some point in time on their fitness journey. No one in their right mind would do that in a marathon, unless they were injured. But, when it comes to working out, dieting, etc., people do it all the time.
The difference in those last 10-20lbs of fat is just where the person stops on the course. Many times a person thinks “I did great, I lost XWZ pounds and I feel so much better” and they basically go sit down at the 20 mile mark. BUT, if they just kept on going, and wasn’t just satisfied was feeling “better”, they could do amazing and become their BEST. Better is always good, but why stop short from experiencing your best?
Have you become comfortable where you are right now with your routine, weight or diet? Or are you ready to see this thing all the way through and finish this things like a champ?! The same work that you did to get where you are now will keep working to get you where you want to be – as long as you don’t slow down or quit. So, get back on track and get back to moving forward! #livewithfire
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Why are we so quick to forget how bad food makes us feel? We are so quick to remember how great it tastes for a short moment, and forget how yucky we feel for such a long time afterwards. We are fooling ourselves if we think for a minute that there are not repercussions to our poor choices – AND we need to be equally reminded of the positive rewards that follow our healthy choices.
Eating healthy and living healthy lasts longer than your best cheat meal. While you don’t have to give up cake, or never eat a potato chip again, we all need to keep a realistic perspective on our eating and how it affects us long term. We should treat a cheat meal like we treat any other splurge in our life. We enjoy the moment, but we don’t get lost in it. Eventually, we come back to a healthy reality that is balanced in moderation, self-control and discipline.
The same way we come back from a vacation, maybe it’s time to come back from your eating vacation – and get back to investing in a healthier future.
Let’s commit to no longer allow our tongue to rule us and guide our future. Let’s make each word, each bite, each move we make count – doing what is right, healthy and good. And, if we mess up, let’s commit to making corrections. We can do this!
“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly…”Philippians 3:19
My grandmother told me “never fear in darkness what God has told you in the light”. This statement is a powerful principle to live by no matter how you apply it. Of course my grandmother was speaking of our spiritual life – for all those times we know, we know, we KNOW God has a plan and is in control, yet all it takes is one complication, one pitfall, and we begin to doubt, get afraid, and get discouraged.
In the fitness world, you may have been told all that you can accomplish, and the facts you need to reach those goals. In “the light” (on your good days) your scale may tell you you are losing weight. Your trainer may say you are getting stronger. Your clothes say you are losing inches – yet one day, in the darkness, you can believe all the lies you hear in your head – all the doubts you have swirling around. Will you ever reach your goal? Can you ever change? Are you doomed for failure? Are you an exception to the fitness rule?
Everyone has these thoughts at times, but the people who fail make decisions based on them. People often make the worst decisions in the darkest times. If you think about light and darkness, we use light to guide us – not darkness. Have you ever walked in the pitch dark? Do you run or try to hit an obstacle course? No, you slow down, move cautiously, and try to remember what you saw in the light. And, sometimes, when we can’t figure out where we are, where to go or make out what we are seeing, we may stop and just stay still – because your eyes can trick you in the dark and make you think you see things that aren’t there.
I encourage you, if you are in a dark place right now, whether spiritually, physically or mentally, slow down or just stay still. Don’t make drastic decisions and try to navigate your life when you can’t see clearly. Wait until the light comes again to help you make your next move – because it will.
We all go through dark times. We all have our fair share of doubts and fears, but remember what you were told in the light. Remember where you were headed when you were in the light and, until the light guides you into a different direction, keep moving in the direction you started in – and never let the dark times change your mind, change your plans, or lead you off track.
You would think needing to lose 150lbs would give you 150 good reasons to be extremely motivated, but it’s not that easy. There’s a lot more to it than just the extra baggage you carry – you can also carry a lot of baggage mentally. The good news is, success is possible and motivation is there even when you feel completely hopeless. If you look around, you can find the motivation you need. Just ask Wendy Speigner.
An ordinary girl, with an extraordinary story
Today’s blog is not for the “arrived” person who has already reached their goal. This inspirational message is for all of you out there who are on a weight loss journey to transform your life – or to hold on to the success you’ve had so far and keep pressing on until you reach your goal. What I love about this story is it is somewhat ordinary. What do I mean? I mean, it probably will relate to half the people in America. It’s a real woman dealing with real weight issues. She isn’t on a weight loss reality show. She isn’t doing some insane workout or subscribed to trendy diet plan. She hasn’t lost 100lbs (YET). She is still on the beginning of her journey, doing fitness the good old-fashioned, slow and steady – and I simply LOVE her story.
Searching for Hope
It’s one thing to look at the scale and see you are a few pounds overweight, but how does someone get motivated when they are nearly 400lbs? Where did they find hope? Where do they start? How can they keep showing up when their body says “NO!”. Is it too late or can they be the nest success story? Well, I think Wendy Speigner has a great story of determination, motivation, hope and success. Please take the time to read her story and to share it with others. Although she is no where near her goal weight YET, she has taken the very first (and very important) first step: She made the decision to change her life and is committed to (as I always say) “Keep showing up” no matter what. No more quitting. No More Excuses. And You Can Too!
Who is Wendy?
“Once upon a time there lived a fat little girl…who eventually dieted her way up to 385 lbs! …Oh wait, that’s ME! I was a fat baby, and have been varying degrees of “fat”, “fluffy”, “chunky”, “chubby”, “heavy” or “obese” ever since! I’ve been on a diet of some kind since I was a chubby little kid!
I remember as a kid, my Grandmother (bless her heart) putting me on a new diet every summer when she came up from Florida. Loved my Grandma, the summer diet boot-camps, not so much. I was probably one of the few kids who couldn’t WAIT for summer to be over and school to start again! But then of course the school drama of a fat girl would start… name calling, weighing-in in gym, always picked last for kickball, not popular, blah blah blah. Fat kid to fat teen to fat adult. Other than my weight, I felt I had a wonderful childhood – surrounded by loving parents and friends throughout the years.
”I’d be lying if I said I gave it 110% on every diet or weight loss plan I’ve tried.”
My weight has roller-coastered up and down through the 200′s in my 20′s and up into the 300′s in my 30′s and high 300’s in my early 40′s. It’s been 14+ years since I’ve seen the 200′s. I’d be lying if I said I gave it 110% on every diet or weight loss plan I’ve tried. But as an adult I’ve lost on many diets, gained on many more. Things would usually go good in the beginning, and then I’d eventually get off-track and regain the weight, usually plus more weight. I’d exercise here and there, but honestly, nothing consistent because I’d never stick with it long enough to see any results throughout the years.
Diets Failed. Exercise Failed. Surgery Failed.
In 2000, I even had the first Adjustable Gastric Band weight-loss surgery in FL. I was officially 350 lbs. at time of surgery, and was so excited to have the surgery. It felt like the “Hope” fairy had dumped an entire truckload of hope on my doorstep! I lost 36 lbs. the first month. Wooohoooo! Then I lost an additional 12 lbs. over the next 11 months. (yes, 12 pounds…the size of a very small butterball turkey) <sigh>
Even with all the support and resources there were at the time, all I can say is there was something that still just wasn’t clicking in my brain. How can I really eat 1/2 the food I used to eat this first year and NOT lose weight!?? As time went on, my stomach expanded back to normal and I’d lose some, and then gain more again until I ended up at my highest weight EVER of 385 lbs. in 2009.”
What got you started (doing things right this time)?
Every day it took an unbelievable amount of energy and effort JUST to get up off the couch, to simply tie my shoes, or walk through the parking lot at the store. And the years of emotional pain was even greater. Everything was just so hard. I had started to feel the impact my weight had on my knees and feet and as my daughter finished high school started to realize how much of my family’s life I had sat on the sidelines for. I was emotionally and physically drained, felt like a complete failure, and doomed to continue to gain weight, and that this was all there was left to my life.
Beliefs are simply thoughts you keep thinking…And mine weren’t very good for a long time. I wish I had started decades ago, but didn’t. I became an avid student in positive thinking and Law of Attraction in 2009, so started taking some of those principles I saw working in other areas of my life and decided to start applying them to my weight loss journey as well.
Who or what inspired or motivated you to make a change?
My biggest supporter and cheerleader is my husband, Michael. He’s been on every turn of this crazy roller-coaster ride with me for 23 years, and he’s always been my lighthouse when lose my way and he knows what to say to help get me back on track if needed.
My biggest inspirations are those friends near and far who have done this or are on their own journey. I’ve met such amazing friends on their own journeys on Facebook, Youtube and through other social media. If I need some encouragement it seems I find just the tip, trick, advice, or motivation that I needed to hear to help me get refocused.
Where are you on your fitness journey and how much so you have to lose?
It is definitely a journey, but little by little I can feel a momentum that has slowed from a lot of negative thoughts/beliefs about losing weight to being replaced with beliefs and thoughts that better serve me. I’m down to 330 lbs. currently. I’ve been eating much healthier in 2013 and working out with a personal trainer for 6 months. The difference in energy, strength and especially physical endurance is simply night and day to when I started. I still have about 150 lbs. or so I want to lose, but trying to remain general in that I want to be healthy, and feel once I get that through my brain, I think the weight loss will go much faster.
I’ve just got to get out of my own way sometimes and not get so wrapped up in the details and scale numbers. But I know I’ll eventually get there. It feels my journey is starting to become less of a fight day by day as I continue to make small changes. I still have a long way to go, but have no doubt I’m on the right path with Eating Healthy, Moving my Body and Adjusting my Thoughts.
Motivation: Seek and You Will Find
”I’ve sat on the sidelines so much, and feel I’ve wasted so many opportunities over the years.”
What Motivates You?
What Motivates me?? …. All of the above! LOL Plus being healthy and actually getting to start living my life. I’ve put so many things on hold over the years because of my size. Yes, absolutely some of it I could have done, but didn’t worrying what others thought, other stuff, I was/am physically too large. I’ve sat on the sidelines so much, and feel I’ve wasted so many opportunities over the years. I want to be this confident, happy healthy person who isn’t afraid to live or take chances. It’s not about vanity for me…its about my life first.
After seeing your motivational videos, it’s clear photos and quotes motivate you. Why?
A picture is worth a 1000 words, so why not focus on what I want my body and life to look like? I can just look at a picture of someone with a healthy strong body and my brain gets it. Quotes are just that perfect thing you need to hear and that seem to find me when I need them the most! I know it’s the Universe’s way of telling me to “keep going”. (watch this video Wendy made)
“I believe focusing not on how far I’ve got to go, but on what my body/life will feel and look like at my ideal weight is so important….and fun!”
What made you make this motivational video.
I’ve always been a very visual and creative person. I actually started creating the videos for ME, to songs I enjoyed for other areas of my life I wanted to focus on. I decided to share them on Youtube. I had such amazing feedback. It really wasn’t for anyone else, but so awesome that others were benefiting from the videos as well. Several people asked me to create a video for them with their goals, favorite quotes, motivations, etc. I believe focusing not on how far I’ve got to go, but on what my body/life will feel and look like at my ideal weight is so important….and fun! I love the upbeat music and I just get drawn into them every time I watch. They’re a big part of my daily meditation/visualization and only take about 3 minutes and I feel so good afterwards.
What’s your favorite quote or mantra?
• Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see. It’s just a tiny spark that whispers “You got this.”
• Why NOT me? Why NOT now?
I created this motivational photo for you Wendy! Thanks for sharing your story! I KNOW that it will be exactly what someone needs to hear. Together we can make a difference!
If you have a lot to lose, and you live in the Vero Beach area, my husband and I are leading a boot camp specifically for you. It’s called the Dr. Stopper weight loss camp at Max Fitness, and it starts June 10th. Call 772-778-6800 or visit us online at http://www.maxfitnessclub.com to begin your journey to a better healthier you!
I’ve never heard anyone say “I feel so fat, if only I could be stronger in the gym”. No, that never happens. What they say is, “I’m so fat, I just wish I could be stronger around food”. The fact is, what we do in the gym is the easy part. It’s what we do in the kitchen that is tough.
We need food. It’s fuel for our body – BUT we have to learn to control food like we learn to control a weight. Think about this: When people first lift free weights, their weights are all over the place. Every movement feels a little unnatural. Newbies are shaky, wobbly and unbalanced. Lifting weights takes a certain amount of practice, which require repetition. Then, once we are able to control the weight, we work to improve, increasing the weight, and improving our skill.
We could use some of those same principles in the kitchen. We must first do what comes unnatural for us. For example, you may need to force yourself to eat 5-6 times a day at first. Like trying a new exercise, we have to try new things with our diet, like counting calories or making protein shakes. Then, you have to practice those things over and over – yes, you heard right. We have to practice eating healthy. You will practice new recipes and try new snacks – and just like when we practice anything else, we will not always get it right. So we keep working on it.
Look at the definition of what practice:
Practice: repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency. “Practice makes perfect.”
Don’t you think we could all use more practice when it comes to eating right? This means we have to REPEATEDLY keep trying to improve our eating habits, even when we fail, until we are proficient in healthy eating. Like anything else, it will take work. We can’t rely on shortcuts or happenstance. But, just like the work we put in the gym, the work we put in the kitchen comes with a great reward! You will get stronger.
We all have our share of struggles. From struggling with our weight, our workouts, our marriage, our carriers, our family, our finances….we all experience tough times. But there is a great reward for toughing it out and not giving up.
My grandfather, who was a Geologist, once explained to me that Diamonds weren’t always beautiful. They were formed from ugly rock buried deep beneath the earth, under great amounts of pressure and extreme temperatures over long periods of time. I’ll never forget him explaining that to me – and I think about it all the time.
Some of the greatest accomplishments require us to withstand extreme pressure and uncomfortable situations, deep beneath the earth (unnoticed and unappreciated) for long periods of time – and it’s not until we are finished enduring what it takes to be molded and transformed into what God has intended for us, that we can ever quit. If we truly want to be transformed, we can’t avoid it.
If you try to avoid it, and quit too soon, you will remain the “ugly rock” – unfinished. If you stick it out, you can be totally transformed, sculpted into something beautiful, inside and out. I’m not just talking about outer beauty and sculpted muscle. I’m talking about a total transformation process – transforming your mind, your spirit, your body and your life.
There is a reason God allows us to struggle at times. It is required for transformation. There is a reason we aren’t “lifted up” out of the shadows and dirt – sometimes we are just not ready to shine …yet. There is a reason we get humbled. Many times, our ugly pride needs to be crushed.There are reasons we experience sloooooooow success, it grows patience and forces us to rely on God more than ourselves.
There are reasons fitness takes work, it teaches us discipline and self-control. It teaches us about calories, about our body and bout what we are capable of. It shows us our potential. It challenges us, it humbles us, it drives us, it exposes our weaknesses and shows us our strengths.
I encourage you today, no matter what you are going through in life, or in your fitness journey, remember to continue to endure and not give up so you can be radically transformed. You are a diamond in the making. Stick it out.
Have you ever heard the saying “keeping up with the Joneses”? Whether we mean to compete or not, we all have something inside us that wants to be better. Although I don’t believe we should focus our energy on being better than others, I do think it’s healthy to work on always beating one person – yourself.
We are our fiercest competitor. Why? Because the “old me’ is constantly wanting to beat the “new me”. My old lazy ways will always be fighting to reign. My past failures will always taunt me, and try to talk me out of my future success. The old me comes with baggage. The old me is strong – but the new me can be stronger.
Why? Because no one knows the old me like I do. I have the ultimate advantage. I know what I’ve done wrong, and done right. I can learn from my past. I can win.
If you run races or train in a setting where you track your performance, you’ve probably worked to improve your “PR” (personal record). That is one of the best things you can do, because it’s not about being better than others – it’s about being a better you.
As you focus on your weight loss goals, your career goals, your marriage, your spiritual life, your purpose in life – the only person you need to beat is yourself. Will you let the old you win – or do you plan to kick the old you’s butt!?