As 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.
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.
Now, 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%.
Maybe 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).
One 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!
Remember 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
People aren’t just born awesome, they decide to TRY to be awesome – and with practice, they become more awesome every day. Fear is the #1 roadblock to greatness. They don’t let fear stop them from dreaming, trying or quitting. They recognize there is a risk on the quest for greatness. Your “greatness” maybe being a great mom, the healthiest you, a successful career person, a person who dedicates their life to making a difference. I’m not talking about money or power, I’m talking about being the best you can be. The healthiest you, the strongest you, the best you.
Sure you may fail. You may feel embarrassed. You may not get the results you want fast enough. You may not be the greatest on the planet, but I guarantee you, if you TRY you will be better than you ever could be without trying. What you should really fear is never trying to find out what you could do and who you could be if you don’t let fear get in the way.
Is what you are doing right now stretching you? Are you a little uncomfortable? Are you are little scared? Are you pushing your body. Are you challenging yourself with good habits and discipline? Are you depriving yourself of the temporary to be better longterm? If you aren’t doing these things, you will never see your very best. You will never become the best you possible.
Get ready to be motivated and be ready to take your life to the next level – more commitment, more confidence, more determination, more dedication, more perseverance. You. Can. Do. This!
I’ve been off my “diet” (AKA: Eating clean) for a month or so now. We’ve been staying pretty strict over the last year and wanted to take a break, and just have a little fun. (That even just sounds dumb already! Like we can’t have fun without a burger and ice cream?) Anyway, our plan was to start dieting again after July 4th. Monday, July 7th was the day to kick it back into high gear – but seriously, I just couldn’t wait. I couldn’t stand how I felt one more second!
I was so sick of feeling crappy, flabby and lazy. I had it up to my eyeballs in high-calorie food. 80% of the food I ordered I didn’t even really like that much. It was like I was on the search for something to satisfy my tastebuds in some special way. I almost boycotted salads because I can have those every day when I’m eating clean. I tried to squeeze in every food item I normally limit – and what a let down! Then, I thought “I really like the way eating clean tastes and makes me feel. So WHY OH WHY do I want to eat garbage?”
Don’t get me wrong, an occasional burger is no biggie, but hot wings one day, pizza the next, and ice cream too – that’s just dumb. Crappy food makes me feel crappy. It has no real fuel and nutrients to energize me so I am also more tired and less likely to workout. It’s double dumb! Yet, when I eat clean most of the time and have a small treat, it’s awesome. It’s not enough to make me feel bad and it’s just enough to satisfy a craving. That’s smart. So, why can’t I always be smart? I think it’s because we feel like we are missing something. How stupid is THAT!
When we are dieting, we aren’t missing anything worth missing. It’s when we are eating poorly, we are really missing out. We are missing out on feeling awesome in our clothes, as well as feeling energized to really LIVE and have fun. Our confidence is better, we are stronger, we are happier, we are more apt to do stuff we wouldn’t do when we feel fat and ugly (like go to the beach or wear a fitted dress). We don’t mind being in pictures, we are more positive to be around and aren’t as depressed. That’s not worth missing. Eating pizza and feeling like a big greasy slob afterwards? That’s worth missing!
So, the next time you feel like you are missing something when you are dieting, remember no chocolate in the world is worth what you’d be missing if you weren’t dieting & exercising! Making poor choices is trading the positive effects of healthy living for a temporary pleasure. It’s ain’t worth it – and it’s just plain dumb!
Let’s eat smarter!!
Before you can set goals, before you can change your ways, before you make any big decisions, before you commit to anything, there is something you must do first. You must consider the cost. Then, you weigh the cost with the reward.
Most people fail because they are too focused on the reward to consider the cost. They don’t dig deep enough to find out exactly what sacrifices are required. They jump in blindly ready to get the reward, without really being prepared for the work. As a result they fail, they quit or they get fired, divorced or unfriended.
How many times do we see this is the job place? People seem so excited to get a job, to get the paycheck, to enjoy the benefits….but they seem shocked they have to do a job – as if they had no clue they’d be expected to actually work for the pay.
You see it in the marriage. People love the idea of being loved, but forget there is a cost. Is it worth it? Heck yeah!!!! But, sadly, many people never really, REALLY think about what will be expected of them if they want to continue to be loved “til death do us part”.
When it comes to fitness, there is also a cost. Being fit costs time. It normally cost some amount of money. It may even cost you relationships (typically unhealthy ones you don’t need anyway). It will likely cost your favorite food fix, giving up a few bad habits and it the price of hard work. Sacrifices must be made. The question you have to ask yourself is “are you willing to make the sacrifice to get the reward?”.
David (in 1 Chronicles) was smart and understood true sacrifice. After he screwed up big time, he desired to pay full price for the sacrifice he was going to give to the Lord. Even after being offered a gift, he insisted on paying FULL price. I believe we should have that type of desire in everything we do. We should live in a way where we aren’t always looking for shortcuts all the time, but we are looking on ways we can pay in full – and be excited to do it.
As we say in the fitness world, EARN IT. Not that we can ever earn God’s forgiveness or love, there is something to say about how good it feels to earn our pay and to earn our good health. Even as a Christian, it’s great to know we are doing the right thing. It’s the earning process that is the learning process.
If we mess up, we need to accept it fully, and be willing to pay for our mistake in FULL. If we ate too much, if we were lazy and if we were irresponsible, we deserve where we are and we should be OK with paying for it. Anything else would be cheating (like David felt).
We can’t expect to fix a mistake without cost. We also can’t expect there not to be repercussions to our mistake and act surprised or irritated when we face them. We can’t expect to have someone else fix us. We can’t keep trying to find someone, or something, to take the blame.
We must be willing to pay full price for our mistakes. We must embrace the work, realizing it’s the work that will make us proud. It’s the hard work that will grow our character and shape us into the person God desires us to be. Short cuts cut corners, including cutting out important part of our personal growth. Not only that, they rarely work.
Insist on paying full price!
OK, can I get a count by lifting your hands: Who wants to be weak? I’m pretty sure no one is raising their hand right now. No one is jumping up and down saying “Meeee! Meee!” No one wants to be weak. People want to be STRONG! And even if they are not strong, they want to appear strong.
What is required for strength? Well, in the fitness world, building strength requires lifting things that are quite difficult. It requires putting your body under great pressure. Our body doesn’t get stronger using the same 5lbs weights we started with. No, we have to keep moving up, keep trying heavier weights and keep challenging our body – many times to the point of failure (or perceived failure).
I personally HATE to fail. That’s why I hate pistol squats. I only can do so many before complete failure. Not only that, I can’t do them really well, and I can’t do that many of them. Even if I do as many as I set out to do, I consider myself a failure because they aren’t deep as I want, I’m not flexible enough to hold my dang foot out in front of me and I am not strong enough to pump that many out. I leave that exercise every time feeling like a big fat failure.
This is why I don’t like doing them. This is why I want to quit trying them. I stink at them. BUUUUT, I know I will NEVER get any better, any stronger or any more flexible unless I keep trying them.
Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.
We must realize every success requires many failures. We MUST fail to succeed. Every failure teaches us what not to do, it tests our strength, it teaches us discipline, it challenges our poor attitude and it grows our character. The good news is with every failure, is also a mini-success. These smaller successes help keep us trying. BUT, without trying, we never experience the small successes.
No one likes to fail. In fact, people try to avoid failure at all costs. People don’t love, for the risk of a failed relationship. People don’t pursue their dreams, because of the risk of failure. Many people don’t even start a diet or workout program because they don’t believe they can succeed and don’t want to be a failure in that too. However, if you want to succeed, you need to be ready for many failures (big or small) along the way. Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.
Don’t give into your weaknesses. Decide to be strong today. Accept that failure is a part of life, and the more chances you have to fail, the more chances you have to succeed.
Seriously, this is SO ME! As I lay in bed, I think of all the things I should have done and need to do the next day. I think of what I will do better and what I will quit doing. I reflect on both my failures and my successes. Since snacking at night is always a struggle, many nights I think “I blew it”. Sometimes it’s me fussing over 100 extra calories, sometimes it’s 500! Either way, as I lay there, I begin to imagine me burning them off.
I imagine waking up more motivated, strong and disciplined. Honestly, if I could run at night (Yes, technically I can run at night, but I don’t like running in the dark, and it IS bedtime, etc. Just humor me here!)… If I could run at night, I would bolt out of the house like lightening. (Of course this is just my imagination. I’m sure it wouldn’t look like I picture it in my head. Needless to say, I fall asleep thinking I will make it all better in the morning. My pulse even increases. I get excited. I get motivated. I picture myself extra determined and really disciplined. I remember how great it feels to run and how awesome I feel when I stay disciplined. I decide right then that I will start my day off right and I will erase those dang calories tomorrow! Yessss!!!
Now that I have a solid plan in place, I can rest. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Then I wake up. Ut Oh! Where did that girl go!? Where’s the girl that was ready to leap out of bed right into her running shoes? Yes, that girl! Where is she? Have you seen her? Maybe I’ll have a cup of coffee and give her some time to show up. Still no where to be found? OK, maybe I’ll have another cup of coffee. Hmmmmm. Maybe she’s waiting for me outside.
Time to put my running shoes on and go find her. Yes, I must search for her. She is out there somewhere. I can’t wait on her to show up. My results can’t depend on her. I must find her. I will go. I will chase her down. And, every morning I will search for her. Eventually I will find her. Eventually she will show. But until then, I’m running – with or without her!!
We all have excuses why we can’t do certain things, or we why we are down on our luck, but we often act paralyzed when we really are just simply limited. The truth is, most of us have limitations. We just have learned to work around our limitations. Money is limited, time is limited, our abilities are limited. Some people are more limited than others, but we can ALL do something to improve.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you CAN do. Sadly, people often think “if I can’t do it 100%, I won’t do it at all””. Do you have that attitude? That’s no way to live. A better attitude to have is “I may not be able to give 100% in comparison to others, but I can give it MY 100% right now – no matter what that looks like”.
Maybe you feel defeated if you can only workout 2 times a week so your tempted to not exercise at all. Maybe you have a physical limitation that is keeping you from the gym because you can’t do a full body workout, but could you work just part of your body? Maybe your body is able and your mind is willing, but you simply don’t know what to do. Do what you know you CAN do. The point is you can always do SOMETHING.
Make a list of things you CAN’T change right this minute that bring you down. Now make a list of things you CAN change that will improve your life, attitude, health and even your situation down the road. Start tackling that list. Do what you can with what you have. Even if you can’t change your situation, you can change you for your situation. As a result, your situation often changes too. 🙂
No More Excuses.
When you go into a marriage, you each come with a lot of baggage – baggage you might not even know you had. At first, you are so in love you don’t notice the weight you each carry right away. Over time, the burden of carrying the extra junk begins to show – and new junk gets piled on too! In many ways, marriage is like weight loss. It requires a permanent commitment to succeed, and it takes a lot of work, discipline, balance, self-control and constant effort if you want to maintain it.
Today we celebrate 20 years of marriage! This above photo was of Steve and I at a company beach party in the early part of our marriage (in the 90’s – that explains the high waisted swim suit I had on! OMG!). The party was put on by Steve’s favorite boss of all-time, Tom Kane of the Center for Orthopedic Sports & Physical Therapy in Tallahassee, FL. We thought we were so fit. haha! Boy did we have a lot to learn!
Sure, we worked out. We even did occasional cardio! lol However, we were merely in the honeymoon stage of both our marriage – and our fitness. The newness was fun and exciting. We were beginning to do a lot right, but we were still doing a LOT wrong.
Over the years, we not only learned that marriage was going to be harder than we thought, and so was staying fit and healthy! It’s taken years to learn how to eat healthier and work out better (more effectively and more efficiently). We’ve learned how to maintain a healthier weight by managing calories and practicing self-discipline. Instead of yo-yoing up and down, binging (cheating) and then crash dieting, now we eat pretty healthy all the time with small cheats here and there – which is a healthier and happier way to live. We rely less on exercise to erase our food “sins” and more on self-control and keeping our diet and lifestyle in balance so we don’t have to spend 2 hours a day in the gym.
I encourage you to always work to improve. Alway seek knowledge. Always work at it! And always remember you are learning every single day – even in your failures. And, most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP. All the hard work, all the failures, all the mistakes, all the struggles are WORTH IT as LONG AS YOU stick to the commitment you first made. If you quit, all the work was for nothing.
I’m so thankful Steve and I have stuck it out, even when the hard work didn’t seem to work right away (like doing a new fitness program…and you wonder when it will EVER pay off!). Sound familiar? I am telling you! There were days we both were nearly convinced we couldn’t succeed no matter how hard we tried. Now we laugh at that thought! And the same goes for you – in whatever you are striving for. Don’t give up when things are tough…chances are, victory is JUST around the corner!!!
Keep your eye on the prize! Don’t look back and keep pressing on. The reward is greater than you could EVER imagine!!!! Whether it’s weight loss or your marriage. The reward is worth the work!
❤ Love you Stephen James Pfiester!!!
Have you been doing a lot of complaining lately? Have you been griping about how fat you feel or how much you hate “dieting”? Have you been reciting how you’ve been wronged or how tough things have been lately? Then prepare for big changes!! Your circumstance may not be your problem, you may just need a little attitude adjustment so you can get your power back!
Brace yourself! This one might just hit you between the eyes, but if you can take the punches, you’ll finish a champ! 😉
We all go through things in life that cause us to want to go on a “pity party”. We’ve all been wronged, we all experience tough times, we fail, and we get beat down at times. It’s not how many times we fail, or bad we are beat down, that matters most. It’s how long we decide to STAY DOWN that really has the most affect on our life.
Success requires taking control – taking the power back! This also means taking responsibility for your own actions, no matter what happened in the past or why things are hard for you now.
Sadly, we often enjoy swimming in the pity-party pool for a while. Sometimes we waller around in our sorrows for weeks, sometimes for years. I am not sure why we do this to ourselves, but we ALL are tempted to do it. Unfortunately, in the fitness world, you can’t become very successful if you remain in self-pity and point the finger at everyone (and everything) else. Like Joyce Meyer says, “You can by pitiful or you can be powerful, but you can’t be both”.
Success requires taking control – taking the power back! This also means taking responsibility for your own actions, no matter what happened in the past or why things are hard for you now.
Pitiful People Point to Problems, Not Solutions
For instance, you can easily blame your parents for feeding you unhealthy food and not teaching you how to eat healthy. You can blame your body for breaking down and getting old. You can blame your old boss for firing you and causing you to go into depression, which might have started your weight gain. You can blame your husband for eating whatever he wants without gaining a pound, and keeping junk food in the house. You can blame your finances for not being able to afford healthy food. You can choose to use any of these excuses and take the PITIFUL route, OR you can choose to be POWERFUL instead.
Pitiful vs Powerful
Check out Webster’s synonyms and antonyms for of PITIFUL.
Now look at how Webster’s defines POWERFUL.
Synonyms: heavy-duty, influential, mighty, potent, important, puissant, significant, strong
Antonyms: helpless, impotent, insignificant, little, powerless, unimportant, weak
Why in the WORLD would we ever be OK with being in a pitiful (miserable, pathetic, sad, sorry) state and not do everything we CAN to be “influential, might, important, significant and strong”? Every minute you are choosing NOT to be powerful, you are choosing to stay pitiful. It’s a choice, it’s not a result of something. We either are remaining or changing.
Powerful People Plan and Prepare to Change
Power requires ACTION. Powerful people take control. They strategically plan to change their circumstances if they can. They don’t blame others, they take responsibility for what they CAN do. They FIGHT for what they want. They CHASE their dreams.
Decide TODAY to stop being pitiful. STOP feeling sorry for yourself. STOP feeling like it’s unfair that weight loss is hard. STOP focusing on the unhealthy foods you will have to eat less of. STOP being jealous of your skinny friends who don’t appear to work as hard as you. STOP making excuses. …and START taking control. START acting powerful. START doing what you can to make a life-long change. START becoming a new you today!
If you want to BE powerful, you need to start acting like it!
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My body wants to do a lot of things that are bad for me. It wants to overeat, to overreact, to be lazy, to be angry at times, to be comfortable all the time, to protect itself… but that’s not what I want. So, I work hard to not give my body what it wants. I fight to do what is right, because what my body wants and what is right are two totally different things most of the time.
Sadly, we often let our body beat us up, without even trying to fight back – even if it goes totally against what is best for us. You may say, “but I just have no self-control”. Yes you do. Joyce Meyer was talking about this yesterday. She said she used to throw a fit when her kids would make a mess, and just totally lose her temper. For the longest time, she sincerely thought she just had a bad temper she couldn’t control. Then one day she had of her pastor coming to her house during one of those fits. She said it was clear she would have snapped out of that fit so fast it would make your head spin, and open that door with a glorious happy hello and not care at all about what the kids did. Why? Because we tend to practice more self-control in front of people we respect or want to impress.
You see, if you have the self-control to not overeat if I were sitting at the table, or if you are doing a weight loss contest for a big prize, then you can do it when no one’s looking or there’s no prize money. Unfortunately, we act our worst when no one is looking – but YOU know what you are doing. YOU are looking. So why don’t we matter more to our own self? It’s great for your trainer to be proud of you, but don’t YOU want to be proud of YOURSELF?
I want to challenge you today to practice more self-control. Every time your body tells you it wants to taste something sweet or wants a second plate, decide to put up a fight. Pretend you are in a ring with all your friends cheering you on. Envision yourself sitting with your most respected trainer or fitness professional. Think of how you would eat if Bob Harper were in your kitchen. Don’t think of what you are missing out on or what you are losing that moment, think of what you are LOSING if you give in – and think of what you are GAINING if you refuse your body’s desires.
Stop & Think
I believe many people fail because they simply don’t think before they cheat. Remember the old saying “WWJD?” (What Would Jesus Do?” Sometimes we need reminders like this to force us to think before we act. If I allow myself enough time to have a conversation with myself about what I am being tempted with, 9 times out of 10, I’ll talk some sense into myself. However, if I just grab something and push any accountable thoughts out of my head, I’m doomed.
Below are 6 really good questions to help you stay on track and learn to lead with your head, not your stomach.
6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Cheat
1. Is this going to bring me closer to my goal, or further away?
2. Am I wanting to eat for fuel or fun?
3. Will I feel better after I eat this, or worse?
4. Is it worth the calories? (If it ain’t worth it, don’t eat it!)
5. Would I eat this if ______________ was sitting next to me?
6. Will I be able to burn this cheat meal off in one sitting? (because you don’t want to eat in one sitting more than you can burn off)
It takes about 1 mile to erase 100 calories. A typical cheat meal at a restaurant can be well over 1,000 calories. That’s 10 miles you’d have to walk to erase that meal.