Category Archives: Encouragement
When I think of what fitness is and how someone gets fit and stays fit, it’s painfully obvious it has little to do with how athletic they are. Fitness has little to do with abilities, coordination, strength or stamina BUT it has EVERYTHING to do with the BRAIN. Success begins in the noggin.
You don’t have to be Einstein to get results (thank the LORD, because I’d be DOOMED!), but you do need to get your brain fit before you can get your body fit. The problem is, people are working on getting their body healthy but their mind is still sick.
Sure, you have to burn calories and you have to do work to get results, but many people let their mind sabotage their body – when they have very capable bodies to get the results they want. I have witnessed people doing “less work” than another person, or lifting less weight than another, and getting amazing results. Why? It’s not because their body is in better shape (often times they are more out of shape) – it’s because they aren’t letting their mind get in the way of their body’s success. They keep showing up and giving THEIR 100% – no matter what that is. Read the rest of this entry
How do you keep your eyes on the prize when it seems SOOO far out of reach? How do you keep showing up to the gym, day after day, when it seems improvement is so slow? How in the world do you keep depriving yourself of chocolate, or overindulgence, when the scale seems to barely budging every week? I will tell you. It’s less about the path, and more about the destination.
There is no way to really have peace during trials if you aren’t sure of where you are headed. There is no way you can motivate yourself without a reward. This could be in reference to a battle with your weight or just ‘yucky life’ stuff. Either way, you MUST know, without a shadow of a doubt where you are headed, and that you are on the right path. If not, you will live in despair, with hopelessness, guilt, shame and/or disappointment because you are not where you know you should be.
I can’t take A1A to California. It’s impossible. A1A runs north and south, not east and west. So, if I want to get to California from Vero Beach, Florida, I have to map it and follow the right paths given to me. Can I go off course? Sure, I can make some pitstops. I can veer off the route to explore on the way there – BUT how often I get off course, how often I stop and hang out, and how often I get lost will only prolong my arrival to my final destination.
So, what am I trying to say here? We need to learn to celebrate life on the way to where we are headed. We need to learn to be patient. If you don’t know for sure if you are on the right path, then you need to stop in your tracks and think about where you want to end up. Once you decide where you want to be, you can begin to map out the course. However, if you are choosing the course (and not the destination), you better look to see where that course is taking you – because, chances are, it’s not where you want to end up.
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”
I believe many people choose the course that looks the the best, without any thought of where it leads. Thomas Merton said it best when he said, “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” This is the epitome of what I’m trying to say here. If we want a specific result, we need to look at the desired result and work backwards. We choose the wall, before we start climbing the ladder.
If you know in your heart you are doing the right thing, you are on the right path (no matter how difficult), it’s a lot easier to have patience with the process, and enjoy the journey. If you know in your heart you aren’t on the right path, it’s not too late to turn it around and reroute your life so you are back on track.
“For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many…but the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
I believe that the biggest rewards have the narrowest, toughest path – but they are also the straightest path (getting you to your destination the fastest AS LONG AS YOU STAY ON COURSE).
Just the fact that the narrow path is normally difficult is why it’s not a path well traveled. People avoid it. Christians talk about the narrow path to heaven, but it applies to many areas of our life. Even if you don’t really want to hear biblical principles for spiritual reasons, you can still learn a LOT from scripture – and I PROMISE it will give you excellent direction for your life. For instance, there is a narrow path to a good lasting marriage. There is a narrow path to taking care of your body and staying healthy. There is a narrow path to a successful career. There is no easy wide well-traveled paths to greatness. The path exists, but it rarely takes you any where good. Like the verse says, if “the gate is wide, the way is easy and it leads to destruction”. Scripture warns us ahead of time of the warning signs, “BEWARE of the easy road”. Instead, many of us still try that path anyway. Like we don’t believe God – but you know what they say “if it’s too easy to be true, it normally is”.
However, people still tend to take every other path first before they finally decide to give it a go. The take diet pills, they try to work off the body fat with exercise to avoid discipline in the kitchen. They try everything, and normally try the “narrow path” only when they’ve exhausted every other route that leads to a dead end. In fitness, the right path is hard work and self-discipline. You can’t do what you want, and eat what you want, and get to where you want to go in the time you want.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, or enjoy the journey but, like TD Jakes said “Greatness costs what it costs“. You decide what’s more important. Do you care more about enjoying the path, or enjoying the destination? If your destination is great, then it costs what it costs and you will gladly pay the price because you know it will be worth it.
Celebrate your trials. Celebrate your progress, no matter how slow or difficult, not because of where you ARE – but because of where you’re GOING.
Since it’s Halloween, I’ve been reflecting on masks. Although I don’t really celebrate Halloween and rarely dress up, I’ve had various occasions where I had to wear a costume. Steve and I have dressed up as Jethro and Ellie May, Barbie and Ken, Robin Hood and Maid Marian, and one year I went with a group of girls as Charlie’s Angels (Yes, I played Farrah! complete with HUGE fly backs and a plastic gun! lol).
I never played a real action hero though. I have to admit, I’d like to be Wonder Woman in real life. Then I got to thinking how many people put on their super hero mask every day. I think we all do it to some degree. But, if everyone really knew what everyone looked like without their mask, they’d be encouraged and discover we are all human.
Sadly, people often don’t expose their flaws in fear of people tearing them down even more. Although I do share some of my own personal struggles and my distaste for exercise sometimes, I still have plenty of junk still underneath my own “mask”. We all do. I just want to encourage you today to know that everyone around you, everyone you think has their crap together, still has issues. And if they don’t have them now, they’ve had them before. You aren’t alone.
You may feel you are the only one struggling with whatever you are struggling with. It could be weight loss, sugar addiction, alcoholism, abuse, family matters, friendship issues, illness, financial problems, marital strife, business stress, depression or loneliness. Don’t think for a minute you are alone. Don’t think for a moment that the person working out next to you SO wants to quit just like you do – they just have a better disguise.
A lot of people hide their unhealthy life with a healthy looking physique.
In the fitness business, I believe a lot of people hide their unhealthy life with a healthy looking physique. They can’t control their feelings, or their circumstance, so they work hard to at least control their body. I don’t even really think this is necessarily wrong, I think it’s normal to some degree. We find peace in knowing we can control some parts of our life. But, honestly, much of life is out of our hands. We can get let go, left, hurt, let down, cussed out, rejected, lied to and hated on – and never even really deserve it. My warning is, don’t HIDE in the gym and HIDE behind fitness. It’s great to workout and be healthy, but not to the point where you are neglecting your mental health or family’s health. It might make you feel better temporarily, but like a mask, it’s not real and it’s not permanent.
Don’t run from life’s problems. They will always find you no matter where you go. You are only human, and having problems is expected. Making mistakes is part of life. Forgive yourself and forgive others, and then begin to strip away the mask you made to hide your junk. I bet you will be amazed to find your life not only encourages others, but you find more people out there just like you or have been where you are. 🙂
Besides! There’s no reason to wear a mask, we all have a little super hero inside us somewhere.
When I saw Helena’s Quote, I was like “YES!”. That is SO true! Anyone can be beautiful, it just takes work. STOP!!! Before I go a word further, let me reassure you, I am not talking about make-up. I am not talking about how much money you spend on your hair, having a perfect body or about having good genes. The beauty I am talking about goes deeper than the skin.
First, let’s talk about emotional beauty. When you think of someone beautiful, you think of someone standing tall and confident. You probably don’t picture someone hunched over and insecure. So, first, beauty starts within. Of course, not everyone has a rosy life. Some people are still attending the school of hard knocks – BUT you don’t have to let those moments define you. You LEARN from the school of hard knocks, you don’t grab a dorm and move in permanently.
If you are struggling emotionally, seek help to rebuild your spirit and to heal so you your light can shine again.
Second, let’s talk about your effort to take care of yourself. Don’t get me wrong, if your husband loves you best with no makeup, go for it! But, that doesn’t mean go ditch the hairspray and toothbrush too! There is a certain level of love we should have for ourselves that we should maintain. Not a vain selfish love, but a caring love for the body God gave us. Not only that, we should think about the effort we put in our appearance to GET our sweetheart, and continue to put in that much effort to keep him or her.
If you are neglecting your health, your body, your well-being, you are not being your best. Not only that, it’s hard to work on our emotional health while neglecting our body. When we start to work on our best and make improvements, confidence follows. This helps us work on the first topic of standing proud and tall. Then we actually feel physically better. THEN we look better because we feel better. THEN we look forward to presenting ourselves as our very best because we know we are valuable and special.
Lastly, let’s talk about the physical appearance. Once you are feeling better, inside and out, we shouldn’t neglect our appearance. I don’t mean you need to get plastic surgery if you hate your nose. I mean powder that nose and make the best with what you have. 90% of beauty is not the make-up you put on, or the muscles you sculpt, it’s the way you present yourself to the mirror and to the world. Beauty is a reflection of your heart, and the effort you put into making the most of the life God gave you. The make-up, hair and dress is just the ribbon on top of the present (and you ARE a valuable prize!).
If you wash you car, clean your house, polish your furniture and mow your yard, then why would you neglect your body? Maybe you have put everyone else first. Maybe you have struggled with being too vain (believe me, I’ve struggled with that one too!). Maybe you feel like there’s no hope for you. Maybe you’ve gained too much weight, are too old or have too many problems. Let me tell you right now, some of the most beautiful people I know are not the most perfect people I know. Of matter of fact, some of the ugliest people I know, are the most physically attractive. You can only be as beautiful on the outside as you are in the inside.
No fat, no zits, no wrinkles, no scars, no flaws can cover up real beauty. If you focus on sprucing up the inside, the outside will begin to sparkle too! 🙂
YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.
Don’t believe me? Ask God. He made you and he don’t make no junk! 😉
French author, Jules Renard, nailed this quote – and while I’m sure he wasn’t talking about working out here, laziness is a plague that truly causes death if it isn’t attended too. It can kill a career, a marriage, your health, and your dreams.
While most people would argue they are tired, even if they don’t do hard labor, often times they are only too tired to start working out because they are not healthy. Fitness revs the metabolism and GIVES us energy – it doesn’t take it away. Fitness makes us stronger, healthier, fitter. It helps us sleep better so we are able to get the rest we need to handle life’s stresses. It helps us relieve pinned up stress, frustration and anger in a productive healthy way. Fitness may be work, but it’s rewarding work.
If you are too tired to workout, you are avoiding the very thing you need most. Don’t rest before you are truly tired. And if you already workout regularly, be careful not to rest DURING your workouts before you actually REALLY need it.
Push your body, and watch it change, improve and be the body you need to make it through this life STRONG, CONFIDENT, ENERGIZED, RESILIENT AND UNSTOPPABLE! Because laziness won’t get you any of those things!
10 Famous Quotes About Laziness
- I’d be more frightened by not using whatever abilities I’d been given. I’d be more frightened by procrastination and laziness. Denzel Washington
- We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas A. Edison
- Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction. Anne Frank
- Folks who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do.” Elbert Hubbard
- Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Lord Chesterfield
- The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. King Solomon, (Proverbs 13:4)
- People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them. Tony Robbins
- The slacker does not plow during planting season; at harvest time he looks, and there is nothing. King Solomon, (Proverbs 20:4)
- Fanatic is often the name given to people of action by people who are lazy. Bryant H. McGill
- 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. Paul, (Hebrews 12:11)
I wanted to share one of my quotes online the other day, so I just googled the one I needed so I could just grab it offline. I googled “I will beat her” and I was not prepared for what I saw. I saw a whole bunch of other women’s pictures with my words,
I Will Beat Her
I will train harder.
I will eat cleaner.
I know her weaknesses.
I know her strengths.
I’ve lost to her before, but not this time.
She is going down.
I have the advantage
because I know her well.
She is the old ME!
At first, I was a little annoyed by the people that didn’t give me credit, and then (after I put my pride aside and got off my “I work hard on my quotes” pity party), I realized the impact these words were making on these women.
Sure, I spend a lot of time trying to come up with motivational posts, but they are meaningless if no one is inspired or motivated by them. These women did exactly what I wanted them to do. They related, they connected with the message, and they realized that they too can “beat her”.
How often do we focus on what everyone else needs to do, instead of what we can just do better? How often do we compare ourselves to someone else when, if we were to compete with the old version of ourselves, we would have kicked that old person’s butt. We DO have the advantage. We DO know ourselves better than anybody else.
We know if keeping ice cream in the refrigerator will trip us up or not. We know if we go home between work and the gym, that we’ll be tempted to skip our workout. We know how and where we failed before, and we know what it takes for us to succeed. We know ourselves so well, there really is no excuse for us to fail. We have the knowledge we need to defeat our old self, and it’s up for us to apply that knowledge, to continue improving, getting stronger, learning from our failures and winning our own battles.
I was inspired by these people who applied these words to their own lives. I was encouraged by their drive to become the winner they know they are – and I hope you will also realize you too can “beat her”. She is You Too. 🙂
PS: I want to thank all the people that shared this quote (and others), as well as the people who may have redone the quote with their photo, but credited me. I really do appreciate it and hope it encourages more and more people. ❤
Feel free to share any of my quote, use my photos, and put your blog or name on my images too (as long as you keep name/blog info on there as well. 🙂
So many people convince themselves it’s too late to fix their body. They see is a broken down body that doesn’t run like it used to, and fear they are too tired and out of shape to fix it. That is such a lie. It’s never too late. If you are still breathing, there’s still time to improve the life you have before you.
Like author, Barbara Johnson, said “You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again”. Boy is that true! Fitness literally winds you back up. It reenergizes you and strengthens you so you run stronger and better. Just like a clock, your ticker (your heart) will even beat better, and be more reliable.
We may not be able to erase all life’s wrinkles without medical treatments to look younger, but we can wind our body back up with fitness to make us FEEL younger.
Whether you are 40 or 80, you can be a better 40 or 80 year old. You can wind yourself back up again!
8 Inspirational People
If you are already thinking about all the reasons this doesn’t apply to you, think again. Look at these amazing people who prove weight, age, injury and disease doesn’t have to stop you from being your absolute best.
This is Mary Ann and I, after doing a CrossFit WOD together at CrossFit One, at Reebok headquarters. She was relatively new to CrossFit, and admitted she was intimidated at first. If she can do it, anyone can!
One of our very own BCx Boot Campers, Suzy Murphy, got fit later in life. Some people may be convinced a program, like boot camp, would be too intense, but she didn’t let her age, doubts or fears stand in her way of success. This is definitely one picture that proves you can roll back the time – she looks SO much younger and healthier!
My own dad (Tom Talley) proves fitness not only can wind you back up, but it can pump you up too! Look at those GUNS! Dad got in the best shape of his life, even after rotator cuff surgery and a long battle with back pain, in his late fifties.
Dr. Josefina Monasterio
One of our clients, Josefina Monasterio, started body building when she was nearly 60. She continues to compete and train, even after major hip surgery.
Gail Griesemer, born with Spina Bifida isn’t letting anything keep her down. She trains regular in our gym (Max Fitness Club) with her trainer, Jack Harris and takes yoga twice a week.
Not every “come-back” is about aging. Sometimes turning back the clock is about recovering from injury, like Jared Dillon, who was told he may never walk again after a serious accident. Fitness didn’t just change his life, it saved it.
Ragen Chastain may not be thin, but she doesn’t let her body fat stop her from dancing and doing what she loves. While others may turn in the sweaty towel, Ragen doesn’t let her body get in the way of what she’s loves to do and who she wants to be.
Of course, the earlier you start, the better. 84 year old, Bette Calman, has taught yoga for 50 years. While many people might be tempted to hang up their hat, she refuses to give up – and still teaches yoga to this day.
Who is YOUR inspiration?
Do you know someone who turned their life around despite their age or circumstance?
I 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.
Although 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.
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.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw Pamela Anderson without makeup. I thought “wow, there’s hope for me!” I would have never recognized her if I saw her walking by. Don’t get me wrong, I look pretty crappy without makeup too. So, I think it’s time we get down and dirty. It’s time to get real.
First, it would only be fair if I put a makeup-free photo of myself up too – complete with smudged leftover mascara, glasses and slept on hair. I found this in my iPhoto. I’m pretty sure it was a selfie I took of myself to text Steve “good morning”. Truth is, I know I have take a lot scarier pictures, but after looking and looking, I realized I probably deleted them as soon as I took it and saw the scariness. 🙂
Before I show you the celebrities, I thought I’d suck it up and use myself as a demonstration first. My goal is not to poke fun of celebrities who appear fit in photos, but appear a little more plump in real life pics captured by the paparazzi. My goal is to remind people that what we see in photos can be deceiving – starting with me. Ok, here goes nothing! ha!
Before & After: The Real Me
Here is an example of a picture of me on the beach (bottom left) shortly before a photo shoot (bottom right). The one on the left is me with a full belly, obviously holding water (probably that wonderful time of month), relaxed and normal. The one on the right is me after losing a few more pounds with nothing in my stomach (or bowels for that matter!), dehydrated, prepped and ready for an awesome photographer with great lighting (thank you Justin Price). BIG difference. Same me, different looks – one is me normal and one is me at my best.
Here’s another example of some before and afters. This picture (left) is a pic I snapped on my iphone of my abs to text Steve the day before my photo shoot with Misty Lundeen. The photo below (bottom left) was one of the shots (finished touched up photos) from the photos she took. Then, there is a photo just a few weeks later (bottom right) of me at the beach with my cousin, personal trainer and bikini competitor Emily Smith Bare. There sure is a big difference between flexing muscles and posing for a camera (much less all the prep that goes into getting ready to look your best like cutting water, carb depleting, carb loading, taking natural diuretics and doing extra cardio to shed excess body fat).
Then there’s photo shop. Here is a picture of me with a pooch, and without a pooch. An easy fix in photo shop. When I saw this, I was amazed. I had nothing in me to pooch I thought. I felt super skinny, yet BAM, there was the pooch! So, if I still am not happy with the way I look on a good day, you can imagine how I feel on a bad day.
Silly, I know, but this is the kind of craziness we put our mind through. We torture ourselves with unrealistic expectations. We set our standards to what we see on TV or in ads, instead of what is healthy and maintainable.
Learning (trying) to Be OK with Me
I’ve been in the fitness industry since I was 18. I’m not super fit. I don’t have a ton of raging muscles bulging out and I am not all that lean. I’m healthy though – and, finally, at 42, I’m learning to be happy with me – even when I’m not my best.
Mind, Body & Weight
Fitness is not just about looks. That’s the icing on the healthy cake. Fitness is about being healthy, balanced, injury free, energized and feeling alive. It’s about feeling good in clothes, not necessarily feeling perfect naked. I can look BETTER than I would if I didn’t workout and eat right, even if I don’t always look my BEST.
I think it’s important for people to see normal, not abnormal. My best photos are not my normal. At 5’9″, I typically weigh 142-146 (18-19% body fat) when I’m relaxed on my diet. I weigh 135-138 (13%-15% bf) for shoots and I’ve been maintaining 138-142 (16-18%bf ) over the last few months as I try to maintain a lower, but healthy, weight. I’ve been up to 155lbs (20+%bf), which doesn’t seem that much more than my normal, but it’s 20lbs heavier than my leanest weight. I’m already pretty miserable at 148-150, so you can imagine what 155 feels like to me. We all have that weight where we feel our best – and mine is 140-144. That is a weight I feel good at, and feel like I can maintain without being miserable.
I eat about 1500-1800 calories a day, with an occasional cheat meal, in maintenance and 1200 strictly healthy calories a day when dieting. I do eat fries occasionally, but not when I’m dieting. I am not hardcore, unless I’m trying to shed fat. I use exercise and diet to keep my weight where I feel comfortable. My jeans will tell me if I’ve had too many chips and salsa, and I’ll know it’s time to tighten the reins.
I just stopped typing and weighed myself, and after breakfast, a protein shake and too many cups of coffee to admit, I weigh 146.4lbs. I know that is a healthy weight, and I’m working on trying to be OK with that, but I admit it’s hard. When I compare myself to my own pictures, it can be depressing if I let it. Sadly, many of us fitness fanatics compare our physiques to the people we see in Oxygen Magazine, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Shape, Fitness, Competitions or CrossFit games, which is ridiculous! I’m surprised more of us aren’t in serious counseling for what that does to our brain.
Perfectly Photographed vs Perfectly Normal
I found some recent photos of celebrities caught at the beach by the paparazzi, and compared them to the photos we see in the media. Be encouraged people! They are normal too!
Hayden Panettiere (from Nashville)
Sports Illustrated Kate Upton
If you watch a MMA fighter in the cage, it can get pretty ugly quick. It doesn’t take that long to figure out they really need to be able to take some punches. They have to learn to get out of bad situations, and they have to have a lot of stamina to endure some of those strong holds – and fight through the pain.
It’s really not much different than life, as well as our fitness journey. To the outside world, they may see us getting beat up day after day – constantly dieting, constantly working out. They may see us get knocked down, and they may even see us get knocked out – BUT, that doesn’t mean we are failing.
How many fighters get pummeled the entire fight, only to win? How many guys have you seen get knocked out, only to turn around and reclaim their title.
What can appear as struggle, really can be a sign of someone not willing to give up. Because, if you aren’t struggling at all, you aren’t trying hard enough.
Hang in there, keep fighting, be ready to take some punches and be ready to throw some punches too…because you can be a winner!