Category Archives: Self-Help

10 Tips to Kick the Never-Ending Diet

“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.” Dolly Parton

When I think of Dolly’s quote I think of how my mother also tried every diet in the book before she finally lost her weight. I know she must have felt like she spent her entire life dieting. The truth is she just made a few common mistakes that just continued to prolong her results – and it happens to so many people. That’s why so many American live their all their life dieting.

10 Tips to Break the ‘Never-ending Diet’ Cycle:

  1. Avoid diet hopping. Some people never stick to a diet long enough to get results before they hop on the next diet that comes their way.  If you chose a diet plan, stick to it.
  2. Never attempt an unrealistic diet. I can’t help but think of the Cabbage Soup Diet, which I was on for all of four very long days. A successful diet is one you can stick with for the long haul.
  3. Don’t rely on the quick fix. We all know better, but our patience often gets the best of us. Don’t give in to weight loss gimmicks. A quick fix is just a temporary fix and only postpones the inevitable.
  4. Be realistic. If you are on a mild diet and exercise plan, expect mild results. The more intense the program, the faster the results. Be realistic when setting and working toward your goal.
  5. Be honest with yourself. People seem quick to recall all the healthy low-calorie foods they eat but get amnesia when it comes to unhealthy choices. The scale will tell on you so, in all actuality, you aren’t fooling anyone but your self.
  6. What you don’t know can hurt you. I find most people who have failed on their diet have been guessing their way through it all. Other people just don’t want to know the truth. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has taken a bite of something and as soon as I begin to read off the calories he plugs his ears saying “lalalalalalalala, I don’t want to know, lalalalalala”!  The fact is the calories are there whether we know it or not.
  7. If you aren’t dieting, you should be maintaining. Even if you lose the weight, you still have to be accountable for what you eat in order to maintain your new size. Many people who hit their goal end up right back where they started because they went back to eating poorly.
  8. The “Weekday Diet” doesn’t always work. Many people diet all week, only to erase their hard work each weekend with poor food choices. Although this may work while in maintenance, this diet faux pas is what makes people feel like they are dieting all the time and never reaping the reward.
  9. Never underestimate the power of the calorie. Weight loss boils down to one thing – calories in vs. calories out. You can’t expect results if you are not sure how many calories you are eating.
  10. Commit to dieting the right way. A lack of commitment just prolongs the amount of time it will take to get results. You can live on a yo-yo diet for the rest of your life and get mediocre results, or you can commit to working hard for a while and live the rest of your life enjoying your results.

2013 Ends with a BANG (literally!)

boy-getting-shotYou know the saying “that was a shot in the arm”? We use that saying when talking about needing boost, or an injection of encouragement. Well, how about a shot in the leg? That works too! How do we know? Because Steve was accidentally shot 2 weeks ago (through both thighs) and, just like a shot in the arm kills a virus, that 40 caliber hollow point bullet was exactly what the Good Doctor ordered. It was what Steve needed to close out 2013, and that chapter in his life, and get ready to write a new chapter.

Ready, Aim, FIRE! 

On December 13th, I had just arrived at the Melbourne hospital to visit my Uncle Mac, when I got the call. It was Steve, and he said “Hi baby. Umm, I got shot”. The fact that he is talking to me is a good thing right? I asked him to repeat himself just in case I misunderstood, but he confirmed what I heard was correct. I was an hour away and was about to take the longest road trip home ever.

steve and bonnie

Now, you could look at this accident as really bad luck, or you can look at this from God’s view and try to figure out what in the world God is trying to teach you. We choose view #2, and boy did God have a lot to show us both.

Like my grandmother always said, “It’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s how you respond to what happens to you that matters most”. Sadly, there are people who get shot every day, but they are too busy trying to figure out who to sue when they could be focusing on what they are supposed to learn from the experience – which could be far more valuable than any settlement they could get.

How’s a gunshot for a little motivation?

bulle Of course getting shot is not something that happens to people every day, but there are many other more common things that can happen to you that can really change your life if you LET it. Your “bullet” could be a heart attack, a breakup, a layoff, or a health issue. The key to success following something like that is looking inward. If you have a heart attack, what do you need to change to strengthen your heart? If it’s a breakup, what can you improve on to be a better mate? If it’s being laid off or a health issue, do you need to be a harder worker or be a better steward of the body God gave you? Even if whatever you are experiencing has NOTHING to do with you and is totally unfair, you can still choose to figure out what you can learn from the experience. That’s what Steve and I did, and what could have turned out to be one of the worst Christmas’ ever turned out to be one of the most special of all.

Here’s Steve’s story, complete with photos and what happened that day…

steve and bonnie pfiester

To everyone who is ready for a new year and a new life. Happy New Year everyone!! 2014 can be your year to change too!

15 Ways Fido Keeps You Fit

Marley Mantel Great DaneSome of you may have noticed I have a new addition to the family. (I almost feel sorry for my Facebook and Instagram friends who have to endure the million pics I’ve been posting! Sorry guys!) However, if you were one of the lucky ones who’s newsfeed hasn’t been filled up with all my pictures, and you are in the dark, I am now the proud mother to a 10 month old baby boy.

He’s just a baby, but he is already about 30″ tall and weighs 130lbs. He may not be human, but he thinks he is. My big new baby is a Great Dane Puppy, named Marley Beaux (Bo). (We are experimenting with names…he came to us as Marley, but we kinda think he looks like a “Bo”. Anyway, I’m completely in love!

Steve Pfiester & TankLast fall I lost my Great Dane, Tank, after 12 fantastic years. Although I’ve had dogs all my life, I took Tank’s death harder than I ever could have imagined. He was my best bud when Steve was away doing both reality TV shows, which was 3 months at a time. We had a special bond. I’m not sure if it’s the breed or what, but we were much more closely connected than any other dog I’ve had. Steve and I were both devastated. Our house was eerily quiet.

Well, we finally decided it was time to get another dog – and there was no question it would be another Dane. The short story is we ended up adopting Marley from a loving family (with 2 toddlers and 2 other Danes) who felt Marley needed more attention and love (which we were HAPPY to give!). It was love at first lick!

Pet Perks

Honestly, I forgot just how great being a pet owner is. I also never dreamed I could love another dog like I did Tank. I also started to notice he added a new healthy component to my life. Over the last 2 weeks, I noticed I made more time to just enjoy life. As a workaholic, I have a hard time stepping away from work, but Marley forces me to take more breaks, get outside, relax and even play more. I’ve even noticed that my activity on my Jawbone UP band (activity tracker) had even increased.

Great Dane

Bonnie Pfiester

This past Saturday I took him to dog training at Pawprints, where Marley went through what I call Doggie Boot Camp – complete with obstacle course, running, swimming (pictured left with my sister’s dog & Marley) and all kinds of cool stuff. At the end of the day, I looked at my activity on my Jawbone UP and I had walked 13,153 steps which is roughly 6.5 miles (compared to a normal pre-pet Saturday day of leisure taking only 6,000-7,000 steps). Then I got to thinking, Marley is so GOOD for me!

So, I did some research to learn more about all the health benefits of owning a dog. Study after study has consistently proven that pet owners are healthier than the average person. Take a look!

15 Health Benefits for Pet Owners

  1. Great Dane MantelThey increase activity. One study showed that people who have pets were 54% more likely to get the recommended amount of daily activity than a non-pet owner. Their desire to walk and play reminds us to get out and get moving too – and I’d have to agree!
  2. They help ease people out of isolation. Dogs are great conversation pieces and make people feel more comfortable facing the world “alone” – because, while they are not with another person, they have a loving companion.
  3. They help people handle stress better. One study showed people with a high-stress job and high blood pressure who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did people without pets.
  4. They help children’s development. Studies showed children who suffered from wither severe ADHD or Autism showed lengthened attention spans. Pets also teach children responsibility and how to communicate with others better.
  5. They help boost children’s immune systems. WebMD says “If a dog lived in the home, infants were less likely to show evidence of pet allergies— 19% vs. 33%. They also were less likely to have eczema, a common allergy skin condition that causes red patches and itching. In addition, they had higher levels of some immune system chemicals — a sign of stronger immune system activation.
  6. Great DaneThey are match-makers. Approaching another person out of the blue can be nerve-racking, but approaching someone with a dog is easy and almost always welcomed. The dog gives people something to talk about that is natural and comfortable, making the initial conversation much easier. Whether you are looking for a date or enjoy meeting people, pets make it easier to make more friends.
  7. They are calming. In a world full of hustle and bustle, people are in great need of “calming down”. Pets help us slow down, stop and smell the roses – or in this case, pet the dog. Playing with a dog actually elevates levels of serotonin and dopamine, nerve transmitters that are known to have pleasurable and calming properties.
  8. They are good for your heart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have both conducted heart-related studies on people who have pets, which showed owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  9. great daneThey speed recovery. When someone is stuck in bed recovering from surgery, or who has limited mobility, a pet can lift their spirits and boost recovery time. One study showed when a dog was part of the medical team, the patients’ anxiety scores dropped by 24 percent. When a human volunteer visited the patient, it just dropped 10 percent. Without visits, the patients’ conditions didn’t change, he says. (read more about therapy dogs)
  10. They give us a sense of empowerment. Once you have trained a pet to obey your command, it is very satisfying for a pet owner to have a certain level of control, even when life can be completely out of control around you. This sense of empowerment can boost confidence and encourage people to take better care of themselves.
  11. great dane in tubThey make you laugh. Laughing is so good for you, but many of us don’t do it nearly enough. Laughing relaxes your muscles, releases endorphins, boosts your immune system and relieves stress. The more you laugh, the better – and pets tend to do some pretty funny stuff (like getting into the bathtub for no reason and making adorable faces like this, pictured right).
  12. They fight depression. Pets provide companionship, unconditional love and make people feel important and loved. They keep people in a healthy routine, and help keep them active and social. One doctor said he personally witnessed people eliminate antidepressants by the simple act of obtaining a dog.
  13. They can detect cancer. Next time your dog sniffs you out, you may want to pay closer attention. There have been multiple reports of dogs sniffing out cancer. One woman reported her dog keep sniffing at a mole and even tried to bite it off. The mole ended up being a malignant melanoma. Another dog correctly detected cancer in 33 out of 37 samples of people’s breath and stool that scientists had collected.
  14. They help prevent diabetic crashes and seizures. Many untrained dogs have shown behavioral changes when their owner’s blood sugar crashes or is about to have to have a seizure. Therapy dogs are trained to detect a drop in blood sugar or oncoming seizure before the owner begins to feel the symptoms, warning their owners in time to prevent an attack. (learn more about Diabetes Alert Dogs and Seizure Alert Dogs)
  15. They have healing powers for the elderly. Pets help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and physical activity in elderly people who often live alone. They also reduce depression and loneliness, associated with aging or illness, as well as take their mind of physical problems, loss and aging. Even Alzheimer’s patients benefited, with fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a dog, or you’ve been trying to convince a loved one you need a pooch, now you have 15 really good reasons to back you up! 🙂

Funny Video: Who Got in the Trash?

Awesome video: And God Made a Dog

Don’t Worry, Be Healthy: Why Worrying is Bad For Your Health

Don't worry, be HealthyIf you are a worry wart, you may be doing more damage than you think. Worrying not only puts a damper on your day, it is down right bad for you. Here are 17 reasons why you shouldn’t worry.

Worrying Can Cause:

  1. Lack of sleep or insomnia
  2. Depression
  3. Anxiety
  4. Stress
  5. Panic attacks
  6. Headaches
  7. Fast heart rate
  8. Irritability
  9. Inability to concentrate
  10. Muscle tension and muscle aches
  11. Nausea
  12. Sweating

worryWeb MD explains that when you worry for a long time, you have excessive fuel in the blood that isn’t used properly (like pinned up energy to use for exercise or activity), which can cause a host of other major problems like:

13. Suppression of the immune system
14. Digestive disorders
15. Short-term memory loss
16. Premature coronary artery disease
17. Heart attack

Stress is not what causes health problems. It’s how you handle stress in your life. If you don’t handle it well (or at all), and you just worry about it – eventually it WILL come out and attack your body. You cannot pin all that anxiety up without exploding eventually.

6 Ways to Handle Stress Better

If you catch yourself worrying, here are a few things you can do to control it so it doesn’t affect your health:

  1. running Exercise – People who worry, tend to be very frustrated because they can’t do anything about their current problem. Exercise, hands down, is the best way to relieve stress and get out your frustrations. It also will help you fall a sleep better so you don’t stay up thinking about your problems.
  2. Eat healthy – You need to fuel your body with good food if you want to feel good. Unfortunately, people who deal with a lot of stress tend to eat poorly, and eat more – as if to get some type of temporary satisfaction when they are so unsatisfied with other areas of their life. Poor choices may help you feel better for a moment, but they will leave you lacking the energy you need to handle the rest of the day – and the weight you gain will leave you even more discouraged.
  3. yoga meditationSlow down – many people who are stressed out, try to keep busy to keep their mind off things. They tend to work longer hours, stay entertained, avoid quiet and self-medicate themselves with alcohol or drugs. What they need most is what they avoid most – silence. This is where yoga is very good. You get to stretch tense muscles, control your breathing, meditate and even pray. Remember, you can’t go 100 miles an hour without eventually crashing. You need to purposely slow your body down to prevent wrecking your health.
  4. Rest – This is something that often times will not come naturally. You will have to FORCE your body to rest. Even if that means taking a mild sleep aid (like Tylonel PM), it is imperative you get the rest you need to stay both physically and mentally healthy. If you miss rest, you are setting yourself up for a ton of other problems – and you’ll have even more to worry about, with no energy to do anything about it.
  5. caffeine stimulantsLimit or avoid stimulates – If you are a big coffee drinker or smoker, you are probably making things worse. You need relaxation, not stimulation. If you don’t plan to give it up, then you need to give your body a way to blow off steam. Take a walk or jog, workout, play a game of tennis, go to the batting cages or driving range, or take some boxing lessons. If you are going to stimulate your body, let your body use that stimulation to be active.
  6. Get help – If you feel you can’t do any of these things on your own, or you have tried them and you are still dealing with excessive stress and anxiety, see a doctor.  Seek professional counsel and talk with a friend. It is super important that you have people who care about you monitoring you, supporting you, and helping you through this difficult time. Whatever you do, don’t go it alone.

Are you a chronic worrier? Read 9 Steps to End Chronic Worrying

Worry

Read Joyce Meyer’s Devotion on Worry:

6 Excuse Busters

#1 Excuse: I don’t have enough time.
Excuse BUSTER: Everyone can MAKE time. We make time for things we enjoy. How much time are you on the computer? How much do you watch TV? Could you wake up one hour earlier? For everyone that thinks they are busy, I have someone I can point to that is even busier and they fit it in. Bottom line is you can make time, you just choose not to.

#2 ExcuseI don’t know what to do.
Excuse BUSTER: You don’t need to know what to do. There are people (like me) that are happy to point you in the right direction. Instead of pulling bits and pieces from fitness magazines, join in a structured program that will help you each step of the way. Whether it’s a local fitness program or our online BCx Boot Camp program – help is out there, you just have to SEEK it if you want to FIND results. We always link our exercises to video demonstrations or we do videos of our workouts ourself so you can learn!

#3 ExcuseI’m too out of shape to do “that”.
Excuse BUSTER: I hear this a lot. I hear things like “I’m too fat”, “I have bad knees”, “I’m too old”, and the list of excuses goes on. Bull Honky!! You tell me how much you weigh and I’ll tell you someone who did our boot camp who weighed more. You tell me how old and broken down you are and I’ll tell you about our 74 year old boot camper or our member who had a double hip replacement and still rocked our program. We often limit ourselves mentally when our body is still up for the challenge. Sure you may have to modify, but the fact is you can do SOMETHING but trying NOTHING ain’t gonna cut it! Just do it – and do what you can. As long as you are giving YOUR 100%, that’s all that matters. (Danielle, left, lost 65lbs in Boot Camp and now is an avid athlete)

#4 Excuse: I have no money
Excuse BUSTER: You DO NOT need money to get fit. You can get access to awesome advice and killer workouts online for FREE at sites like DesignerWhey.com & on the GNC blog. Need support? Follow people like myself on their facebook & twitter pages – and interact with as many likeminded people as possible. This gives you the edge you need that Personal Training does. Everyone needs accountability and you don’t necessarily have to pay for it.

#5 Excuse: I travel a lot.
Excuse BUSTER: Look at Kelly Olexa. She travels a TON and has collected a variety of workouts she could do in her hotel room including P90x, BCx Boot Camp, online workouts and various DVDs. Here is a pic of Christopher and Dawn Borders doing High Knees in our online BCx program while vacation in Maui. They prove fitness travels well!

#6 Excuse: I’ve tried everything and nothing works. Trust me – I’ve tried it all.
Excuse BUSTER: I love this one. I hear this excuse too often. I even had a member who took our Boot Camp to PROVE even if she did everything we said she wouldn’t be able to lose weight. Well guess what – she lost weight and kept it off! If this is your line of thinking, then consider you may not have done everything “right”. You may have done a lot of right things, but you obviously missed something. They key to success is not giving up. Don’t judge your “next” diet or program based on your last failed one. That’ like judging your next boyfriend based on the last loser you dated! Start fresh! – Fresh mindset, fresh focus, fresh trust and fresh goals.

I could write for days on this topic, but that’s it for now. NO MORE EXCUSES!!

What is YOUR excuse or what is an excuse you hear often so I can bust it too! 🙂

Fitness Motivation: No Excuses

Fat & Trapped? Maybe YOU Are Holding the Key.

As we approach the New Year, it’s not only important to look at what you WANT, but it’s crucial you look at what you DON’T want. Maybe failure is not about what you are doing, but what you are not doing.

Moving on, in many ways, means saying goodbye. The problem is, goodbyes are often hard, even when the place we are headed may be a good place to be. I don’t know why it is so hard to let go of the past, but it is. We prefer the known over the unknown I guess. Ironically, we often prefer the known even if the known is in prisoning us.

It may sound crazy, but I believe many of us don’t get to experience a lot of great things in life because we have such a strong grip on the past. This issue can also affect us when attempting to make New Year’s resolutions – especially when it comes to weight loss. Read the rest of this entry

Do the Holidays have your Body in Reverse, Park or Drive?

So, you’re already thinking about what you are going to do in 2012 to get fit. You may have even asked for a new fitness toy for Christmas to help you reach your New Year goals – but what are you doing now?

Many people are gobbling up more Christmas treats than turkey and trading workouts for shopping this time of year, sabotaging your New Year’s goals already. If you treat your goal as a destination, you’ll realize how this makes no sense.  Read the rest of this entry

7 Ways to Plan NOW for a Fit New Year

OK, so you’ve been thinking about the New Year already. You’ve been dreaming of how THIS is going to be YOUR YEAR and how you will FINALLY commit to losing weight and getting fit ONCE AND FOR ALL. You are so convinced and focused, you even put your “Face in the Hole” in your favorite FaceInHole.com scenario to give you extra motivation. Maybe that was just me. Ha!

Problem is, it’s easy to get so bogged down in Christmas activities that we find the New Year suddenly smacking us in the face – and we’re NOT ready for it. If we aren’t prepared, we’ll be one of those people finally starting their New Year’s Resolutions in February. Don’t believe me? Trust me, I’ve signed up a LOT of gym members in my time and I can’t tell you how many people finally come in WEEKS after they had hoped – even despite their good intentions.  Read the rest of this entry

Shut Your Trap: Words can sabotage success

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.

We’ve all heard this saying, but maybe the person you are not being nice to is yourself. One of the most profound things I’ve heard recently was a statement from Joyce Meyer, “Some of you are depressing yourself with your own conversation. You don’t need any help from the devil. You don’t need anyone to discourage you. You are an expert at depressing yourself.” 

I think this is even worse in today’s full of economic hardships and stress. Not only do we talk negatively about our circumstances but we often talk negatively about ourselves. Read the rest of this entry

Fat & Unhappy. Are You Running from the Inevitable?

Most people have heard the story about Jonah and the whale. If you haven’t, I’ll sum it up for you really quick (and hang in there with me, because this story has some SERIOUS punch when it comes to weight loss and making healthy changes).

Jonah’s story on disobedience:
In the story, God tells Jonah to go to a place called Nineveh and preach but Jonah didn’t want to go so he disobeyed and headed to Tarshish in attempt to hide (as if! Ha!). While on a ship to Tarshish, the Lord sent a mighty storm that was so bad everyone on board was afraid for their lives. Jonah knew the storm was due to his lack of obedience so he had them throw him overboard in order to save everyone’s lives. God calmed the sea and prepared a great fish (whale) to swallow Jonah. He was in his belly for 3 days and 3 nights before he finally prayed. After he prayed, God had the fish spit him out on to dry land and God told him, again, to go to Nineveh – this time Jonah obeyed. (Jonah 1-2)

The Lesson 
When our pastor, Jim Gallagher asked his teenage son, Nate Gallagher if he’d consider teaching for him while he was out of town, I’m sure his first thought would have been to run to Tarshish too! However, he knew in his heart what he had to do – no matter how terrifying it was going to be. As he shared this story at Calvary Chapel Vero Beach, it sparked so many thoughts for me.

How long are you willing to run?
When I thought of Jonah being in the whale for 3 days before he prayed for help, I couldn’t help but think about how long we allow ourselves to stay miserable to avoid the inevitable. Whether it’s our weight, our career or our mental or physical health – you can start doing what is right now OR you can put it off and stay miserable just a little longer. The decision is yours.

Jonah was on the run – and he was basically uncomfortable the entire time. Starting with stormy seas and ending with seaweed wrapped around his head while he sat in fish guts. I imagine being in the belly of a fish would not be fun. The SMELLS alone would kill me! It wouldn’t take me 30 seconds to pray and agree to do whatever God had asked me to do. Yet, Jonah, in a picture of complete rebellion, sticks it out for 3 whole days.

How often do we rebel against what we know we must do? How often do we just have the attitude “you can’t make me” or “that’s not fair” – especially when it comes to food. We pout, we rebel, we disobey, we eat things we know we shouldn’t, and we try to “hide” from everyone and everything that reminds us of what we are supposed to be doing.

How long are you willing to let your choices affect the ones you love?
Another thing this story teaches us is Jonah’s actions affected others – almost getting everyone on that ship killed. Our disobedience and rebellion often affects the people who surround us whether we mean to or not. Sometimes it affects our health, which interferes with our roll as a mom, dad, spouse, worker or friend. It can affect our attitude, making it miserable to be around us because we are so miserable ourself. Sometimes our disobedience, especially when it comes to eating, affects what others do too. You know what they say “misery loves company” – and before you know it you are eating ice cream with a friend that has no business eating ice cream either.

How long will it take for you to JUST DO IT ? 
The best part of the story to me is in chapter 2 verse 1 where God comes to Jonah for the second time and says “Arise and go to Nineveh“. A part of me wonders if Jonah thought maybe God would change his mind or maybe he’d give him another option, but no – the message did not change and my message won’t change for fitness either. You can hide, run away, stay miserable and make everyone else miserable around you while waiting on another message, but the message isn’t changing. If you want to look and feel healthy, it requires obedience and work. Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh anymore than many of you want to go to the gym. But he obeyed, and it paid off – and I promise all your hard work in the gym will pay off too.

Like Jonah, you know what to do.
The question is “are you gong to keep running?”

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