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Motivation to be MORE than a Competitor

bikini competitorAs I prepare for my first competition, I am learning something new everyday. Cutting calories and denying the flesh is HARD (but it’s worth it). Cutting calories for 3 months in a row, logging every single thing that hits my lips (including my 5 calorie gum!) has been exhausting and challenging (but it’s worth it). Dieting 7 days a week, not 4, not 5, not 6, but 7 days a week, for weeks on end has been brutal (but worth it). Going from 18% body fat to 12% body fat (and still dropping!!!) reminds me it’s not for nothing, I am making progress (so, again, it’s worth it).

A few days ago I realized I needed to take my dieting up another notch to break another plateau. I flinched in anticipation of additional struggles, temptations and possible failures. Then I realized this: For some odd reason, I feel God wanted me to step out of my comfort zone to do this dang competition. I would have GLADLY bowed out if He even gave me one inkling of disapproval or a closed door. Instead, it was the opposite. Doors swung wide open, support came, confirmation begun. I began doing it (whining a little as I went – ok whining a LOT! lol), but I’m determined to be obedient. Yes, God. OK, if you say so.

why?But why in the world does God give a flip about my body fat or me being in a teensy-weensy bikini? Really? As always, His ways are not my ways and I don’t doubt for a second there is a bigger purpose than getting on stage. What am I supposed to learn? How can God use me – backstage, during the training, with our team? These questions are not answered yet, but I have peace I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and waiting for God to fill in the mysterious blanks, even though there is no part of me that wants to be on stage in a bikini in high heels. Talk about awkward!

Maybe it’s for no one but me. For me to learn more about me, and more about relying on him. To learn how to fight the flesh – with both of my tongues; the one that desires food and the one that spews out mean things when I’m grumpy and short-tempered from the training and dieting. Yes, thank you God for pointing out how just out of control my flesh really is. I see I have a lot more work to do. 

Standing hamstring curlNow, going back to cutting calories more: I remembered the scripture “Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people” Colossians 3:23. It was this scripture that reminded me who I’m really doing this for. While Steve is the one who really wanted me to do this with him, it was ultimately up to God – and He said Go. So, in reality, I’m doing it for Him. Really? A fitness competition? Scripture doesn’t say “whatever churchy things you do, work at it wholeheartedely”, It says “whatEVER” you do – all of it, EVERYTHING! Yes, even this competition.

That really took things up a notch for me. Christians aren’t whoosies. He deserves my best. I don’t want to be the lame fat chick up there who obviously let my flesh rule me. What a poor representation of God’s power in my life. I’m not giving my best for a trophy, or to get praise from judges or the crowd, but I’m doing it because (for some ridiculous reason) He has called me to this so I am to give my 100%.

Fitness coupleMaybe I am supposed to understand what hunger is so I can relate better to clients. Maybe it is so I can understand the pressures of being tempted to enjoy the praise of people, and to be reminded the only praise I need is from God. Maybe it’s for a job opportunity. Maybe it’s just to experience this together with my husband, to draw us closer, to work through our “hangry” arguments from our short-tempered disputes from being low on calories – that might expose stuff in us that we need to continue working on. (God knows I sure have had some ugly come out lately, and it’s made me draw nearer to the Lord in the process).

Spritual motivationOne thing I know is God can use all of us in EVERY part of our life. Whether in a competition or in a stock room. Whether surfing or singing. No matter how great you are at something, to keep God first – it says a lot. Anyone can run to God when things are tough, or when their life is a failure – but to succeed, to get praise of men and STILL say “that’s great, but I care about only one thing, that I can get to heaven and God say “well done my good and faithful servant” – now THAT’s what I want. The praise of one. My trophy is in heaven.

If you compete, already decide ahead of time, it doesn’t matter what the judges think. That’s merely men’s opinion. Don’t get me wrong, caring what people think about me and fighting my own vanity is just as much a struggle for me as it is to restrict calories or hold my tongue when hurt. However, it’s not a fight I plan to give up on. It’s a lifetime battle – fighting the flesh in every way. So, just as everything else you do in this life, choose to train and diet as if you are doing it for God Himself. I also remind you, He can see if you are cheating or lying to your trainer about what you eat. #JustSaying 😉

You are more than a competitor. You are more than 4th place. You are even more than 1st place. Do not let the crowd’s reaction define who you are. If you compete, use it to fuel you to reach a goal, but realize life is more than looks, body fat or attention. You will get much better, more honorable attention, by living a pure life, an unselfish life, and a life full of love for others. While fitness can be a very vain community if you let it, keep your eyes on eternity and you won’t get caught up in the body-focused world of fitness, but the health-focused self-improvement world of fitness. Work constantly to improve who you are – inside AND out. Remember, your body will shrivel up and eventually not be very attractive, but your spirit can remain beautiful your whole life if you keep your priorities right! 

fit-for-the-kingRemember what I posted a year ago – “It would be a shame to work so hard to be fit for this world, and be unfit for the king.” 

If you don’t think God has an opinion on fitness and training. Think again! Here’s a great scripture that warns us about bodily training… 

“While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in EVERY WAY, as it holds promise for the PRESENT life and also the life TO COME.” 1 Timothy 4:8

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Underneath the Bikini

BIKINI COMPETITORI don’t look at the body as a sex symbol or in vanity. To me, the body is like a clump of clay that can be sculpted into different shapes by applying science – and, like clay sculpted into a pitcher, our body is better used when it’s in good shape. A potter will cut away the excess, dig out the junk and squeeze the clay until it takes shape. If clay could hurt, it probably wouldn’t like the process very much. It would likely say “OUCH!”

In fitness, calorie management and training are the sculpting hands and much work is required to mold you in the best shape. One of the things I’m enjoying most, is one of the things I hate most – learning to set limits, stick to a plan and remain disciplined when I normally would cave. We live in a society where no one likes restrictions. People eat what they want to eat, buy what they want to buy and do what they want to do. When did restrictions become a bad thing? We need boundaries. We need to practice more self-control. It’s healthy and it makes us strong.

I’m loving living with more limitations, forcing myself to do what I don’t want to do to get to where I want to go. It’s hard work, but it makes me proud. I’m learning to control my flesh and not let it control ME! I’m learning I can do so much more than I thought I was capable of.

bikini competition suitYou may look at my suit and think WOW, that’s beautiful!! A bikini contest must be like a beauty contest, but it really isn’t. It’s more like a science fair. I am nothing more than one big science project.

I’m not competing to win a trophy, because I think I have a good body, or because I want to be on stage. I might not even PLACE! I can’t go on stage hoping to win a $40 trophy, or seeking praise from people. That is not what makes me who I am. A trophy can’t define me. It mustn’t. It’s the training, the self-discipline, the process and what God teaches me along the way that means more to me than a bronze sculpture or a medal. It’s finishing what I started to become the best version of me I can. That’s what will make me a winner, trophy or no trophy. It’s me against me – and I plan to CRUSH the old me!!

The truth is, I really don’t want to compete. I don’t care about the stage (terrified of the stage is a more accurate description lol). I am not comfortable being in a bikini in front of hundreds of people – I don’t even walk to my car from the beach without a cover up on! I dread standing next to a bunch of other girls to be “judged” – don’t we get judged enough every day? Lord knows, I know ALL of my flaws already and could just slip the judges my own list of all my shortcomings and save them time.

Steve and BonnieI’m competing, first, because my husband has been dying for me to do this with him for years – and I admit, dieting and training together has been a lot of fun. Second, I am competing because it’s forcing me to break through plateaus, push my limits, reach my goals, and step out of my comfort zone. It’s an incredible amount of work and a time where God is growing me in ways I never thought possible. The same way your muscles can’t grow unless you put them under pressure, I personally can’t grow if I constantly am avoiding the challenges of being under pressure.

My body is NOTHING – it will fade away like a dying flower. Learning to not be controlled by it is teaching me so much about myself and about how much more we need to let God be in control – not out stomach, not our laziness, not our selfish ambitions. Learning to die to flesh and live in the spirit both require a lot of discipline – and I plan to run this race of life to the best of my ability!

“…I discipline my body and bring it to submission, so when I have preached to others, I myself should not disqualified 1 Corinthians 9:27

The Bikini – Sewn In The Sun 

Sewn in the SunShop for your perfect competition suit, shoes and accessories at www.sewninthesun.com. She also sells amazing custom swimwear and workout gear.Sports Bra

Cara will help you pick out the cut, color and design that will best enhance your physique. She’s AMAZING when it comes to knowing exactly what will look best on you. She’s got mad skills!!

Visit their site, or stop by their store!
763 N Alt A1A Suite D, Jupiter, Florida 33477
Email: SewnInTheSun@aol.com
561-762-6165.

Compete to Train or Train to Compete?

Train to Compete

runningEveryone knows someone who is training, or has trained, for something – whether it’s a 5K, half marathon, tri, bikini competition, bodybuilding show, crossfit games, power lifting meet or tournament – competing gives you purpose to train like you’ve never trained before.

I believe people who run marathons or do bodybuilding shows are often misunderstood. Some people may think they are just super competitive. Others may just think they are super vain. Ironically, most people who compete are just super normal. They are lazy, they struggle with their training and diet UNLESS they have something to train for. Often times, they HAVE to compete so they HAVE to train.

Another words, most people who compete don’t compete to win, they compete to train like a winner. It’s not about taking home a trophy or having the fastest time in their age group. Winning is showing up and doing their best. They compete because it pushes them further than they’d push themselves on their own. Setting a date to run a marathon without completely dying, or get in a teeny-weeny bikini in front of hundreds of people without shaming themselves motivates them to keep showing up – whether they feel like it or not. It’s added accountability.

Compete to Train

monica brandtWe just had a team of 11 compete this weekend in the Treasure Coast Classic bodybuilding, figure, physique and bikini show. Not one of our competitors competed because they think they will go pro or be the next Ronnie Coleman or Monica Brandt. They all competed to see how hard they could push their bodies, to give them a reason to train hard, and a reason to stick with it. They competed to force themselves out of their comfort zone and train and diet like they’ve never trained and dieted before.

You see, some people think that competitors are the most motivated people in the industry. I’d have to disagree. Sure, while there are people like Steve who are insanely motivated and disciplined (when they are actually training and dieting for a show). However, they are often times the people who lack the most discipline when they aren’t in training.

Team MaxCompeting keeps you in check. It holds up the STOP sign when you really want to go back for seconds …and thirds. It pushes you to go to the gym, when you really just want to skip. It keeps you sticking with your program beyond when you typically would quit or slack. It gives you purpose.

All competitors are not alike. Of course there are people who just love to train, but most people do it because they need to accountability and support. Some LOVE the stage, and some train to place first – but, for most, they love the results.

Compete for Results

karrie spooner

Karrie is a great example of someone who chose to compete to take her training up a notch. She had already lost a good bit of weight, but she was ready to train harder, diet harder and get even better results. Competing was exactly what she needed to blow her goals out of the water. So proud of you Karrie!!

Here is a group pic of our competitors, which competed in various divisions and were all ages – from their twenties to their sixties. Click Here to learn more about Team Max.

team max

Today’s mantra:

Train with Purpose

What’s Greater? Your Excuses or Your Dreams?

Excuses FitnessI’m too old
My stomach will never look like that
I bet she never had kids
I don’t have that kind of time
I have a full time job, plus 2 kids to raise
I don’t know what to do.
She was probably always fit
She’s probably a lot younger than me
She just has good genetics
I don’t have the discipline
I wouldn’t know what to eat
My body could never get that lean
I’ve never done anything like that before
I wouldn’t even know where to start…

These are all common excuses and comments I hear when people see a bikini or figure competitor. People almost talk themselves out of even wanting that kind of body – just because they don’t think it’s even achievable for them. However, Ursula Kepferer, knew what she wanted and she made the decision she was GOING to compete, no questions asked. No excuses.

ursula kepferer

Ursula, a 42 year old working mom, came to my husband Steve late last year and told him she wanted to do a competition in the spring. She had never done anything like that before, but she knew she needed to lose weight – and she knew a competition would force her to follow through. 30 pounds heavier than she is today, Ursula did everything Steve asked. Many times I would see her training with Steve in the gym, and I’d see the look on her face that said “I hate him right now”. No matter how tough the workout was, she never stopped and she never gave up. It wasn’t easy, but she always left proud (and little more fit) each day.

“Although most people realize what fitness can do for someone’s physique, I don’t think most people truly realize what training can do for their OWN body.”

Ursula KepfererShe DSC_0113 copyhad a lot of fears and a lot of doubts I’m sure. Could she really do this? Would she be able to lose that much weight in 90 days. What would her skin look like? Could she get lean enough? What was hiding under that fat? Much of it was sort of a mystery.

When someone commits to being on stage in the smallest bikini they’ve ever worn, even thin people get nervous. You notice every little bit of cheese you still have no matter how fit you are getting. And when you are just starting out, you wonder if your butt will ever look OK in that teeny bikini bottom that you have to wear AND turn your back to the judges so they can examine it. THAT’s a frightening thought all by itself.

Although most people realize what fitness can do for someone’s physiques, I don’t think most people truly realize what training can do for their OWN body. I believe many people actually think their body is just built a certain way and they are stuck with it. That is SO untrue. Although you may be prone to easily build muscle or not, have a smaller waist or bigger hips, etc you CAN greatly improve your body no matter how it looks now. Fitness works for everyone.

On April 6th, Ursula found out just what her body was capable of. She hit the stage, admittedly shaken and nervous, but also excited. She did it. She crossed the finish line! All those cardios – were worth it. All the dieting – was worth it. Trusting her coach – was worth it. Following through – was worth it.

Ursula finished 1st in her class. But she says she’s wearing her real trophy, and that is so true. Your best reward is your new and improved body! Congrats Ursula!!

Ursula Kepferer

Ursula Kepferer

Are You Ready to Take It Off?

funny bikini teeIt’s easy to get “fluffy” during the winter. We pile on layers of clothing, hiding extra layers of fat we may gain. Before we know it, spring rolls around and it’s time to pull out the bikinis – and we get our little wake-up call.

Eeeeeek! Suddenly everything is exposed – and the thought of putting your winter body on the beach can be a scary thing. You have 3 choices. One, you can continue to hide and just never even put on a bathing suit. Two, cover up, like this lady, and put someone else’s body on with one of hese hilarious bikini tees. Or, three, you can lose the fat – and the clothes, and feel good in your bikini this year!

It’s time to take it OFF!

Hot-Muscle-Shirt-Guy1-187x300Diet. You’ll never see abs (unless you buy them on a shirt) if you don’t diet. The only way you can lose weight is reduce your caloric intake. You can do that by guessing, and trying to just eat better, or you can do it by really budgeting your calories. Of course I suggest the latter because it’s guaranteed success.

Cardio. The next thing on your list to tackle is cardio – and lots of it. You need to burn off that stored fat from the winter. So, go for a jog or hit the gym to do your favorite cardio machine or high-intensity aerobics class.

Protect your investment. If you are trying to lose weight, the next focus is trying to make sure you don’t replace the calories you BURN with calories you EAT. If you burn 300-400 calories in the gym, you can erase that with one latte and reduced-fat coffee cake, so be careful not to sabotage your hard work in the gym.

1o Diet Tips to Get You Bikini Ready

If you don’t know where to start with dieting, here are 10 simple tips to apply to help get you started.

117656608985424083_ryna4OoR_c_large1. Keep meals to 300-350 calories for women, 400-450 for men.
2. Keep snacks to 100-150 calories for women, 200-150 for men.
3. Eat something (doesn’t have to be big or fancy) 5-6 times a day.
4. Wait at least 2 hours to eat after meals.
5. Never go over 3 hours without eating something (even something small like a few almonds)
6. Never eat more in one sitting than you can burn in one workout.
7. Eat on salad plates instead of dinner plates.
8. Eat with salad forks and small spoons instead of large silverware.
9. If you DO mess up, count up the calories so you know how much your mistake “costs” you. (this will not only be good information for you to learn, but it is also good motivation not to mes up again). Out of site, out of mind.
10. Drink a LOT of water.

Abs on Fire Workout

awesome absWhile you work to improve your eating and lose the body fat, here is a workout @stevepfiester put together to sculpt your abs so when your do lose the body fat, your new great abs can start peaking through!

15 Med Ball Throw
15 Russian Twist
15 Oblique Crunch L
15 Oblique Crunch R
15 Side Plank Pulses L
15 Side Plank Pulses R

CLICK HERE to watch the instructional video to learn all the moves and follow along with Steve.

Best Beach Buns: The Bikini Bottom Workout

Need More What?
Most of us don’t need more exercises to follow – we need more motivation to do the exercises we already know. However, as soon as I write a post about a new exercise or workout routine, people flock to it like bees to honey. bzzzzzz!

Fresh new moves are  not only great to learn, they can give you a new boost of motivation as well – and staying motivated is half the battle.

The Best Beach Buns
Since everyone loves a good butt and leg workout, and bikini season is now officially here, what better buns are there than volleyball players. I mean LOOK at that body!! I just looked at PAGES of volleyball players and almost every single one of them had amazing buns and legs! They squat, they lunge and jump their butts into wedgie worthy shape – and you can too!

Get ready to sweat & tone that Beautiful Bikini Bottom!

BEACH BODY WARM UP
Bcx Express™ Warm Up

BIKINI BOTTOM WORKOUT
20 Crisscross Squat (Burn fat & tone those thighs!)
20 Sumo Squat (Glutes & inner thigh – go deep!)
20 Overhead Walking Lunges
20 Curtsy/LEFT (Keep weight off back leg!)
20 Runner’s Pose Stomp/LEFT (Burn those buns!!)
20 Curtsy/RIGHT
20 Runner’s Pose Stomp/RIGHT
(Repeat 3 X with no rest between exercises)

NOTE: Consistency trumps any one killer workout any day – so remember, no matter how awesome you think this one workout is, commit to staying consistent and repeating this workout on a regular basis.

Tell me. What keeps you motivated? What kind of motivation do you need and enjoy the most? Do you like words that pierce the heart of all your excuses? Do you like to see crazy fit bodies that remind you someone is reaching their goals and that someone could be you too if you got off your butt? Do you love a new workout routine and new move to try in the gym? What is it that moves you to put your tennis shoes on and Get-R-Done? My inquiring mind wants to know! 😉

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