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 want to give up, just think of the people who want to see you fail. Don’t give them that pleasure.”
This was a quote I posted on instagram yesterday, along with this text as I was thinking out loud: “Sometimes you don’t care about failing as long as you can fail privately. But when you realize there are people out there who would actually enjoy watching you fail, laugh at you behind your back and rejoice in your defeat, it’s sometimes just what you need to make you mad enough, hurt deep enough and become determined enough to do whatever it takes to not give them that pleasure! So instead. While it really doesn’t matter what they think, you can use the very thing they mean for harm to fuel you to succeed. So go ahead and hate on me and wish me harm or failure, because it’s exactly what I need to go one more rep, one more step, one more try.”
Later last night, Steve and I had a long chat about this. First, we both agree that you should lose weight, be healthy or try to reach your goals for YOURSELF. Not to prove a point, not to do it for your spouse or not to do it because someone is making you. No. The first reason we work on our fitness is for our OWN good. Agreed?
Fear of Failure or Fuel for Success?
So, the next question was “if you shouldn’t care about what people think, is it wrong to use what they think to fuel you to succeed?” Personally, I don’t think so – as long as you can use it (within reason) for a positive, healthy result.
I know good and well I should care less what people think. We all have haters. No matter how nice you are or how “good” you are, people will dislike you, wish you failure and be happy if you don’t succeed. Why? It stems from jealousy. If you succeed, it is just a reminder of what they could do or have if they tried as hard as you did. When people feel bad about themselves, they don’t want to be around people who actually are happy, healthy or successful. OR, if it’s a rival, sometimes it’s simply because they want all the attention and want to stay on top. Either way, since you will always have these people in your life, you can decide now what type of response you will have. You can A: ignore them (not a bad idea), B: resent them or C: benefit from them. I choose either A or C (depending on the person or situation).
Most of the time I use it to fuel me, to hold me accountable, and to stretch me to do more than I am willing to do. I am extremely lazy by nature. I was born with one extra big lazy bone. While some areas are easy for me to succeed, other areas (like discipline and physical labor) are challenging. So, I have to figure out ways to push myself, to motivate myself and to keep myself pressing forward to my goal. How do I do that? I use one of my character flaws to actually bring about good in my life.
Say hello to pride.
Pride: Good or Bad
Webster defines it as: “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” There you have it. Pride. Yuck!
Pride is typically referred to as a very negative characteristic, and it’s something I am not proud of at all (no pun intended lol). I can’t particularly say I get deep satisfaction from my own achievements, however I can admit I get deep dissatisfaction with failure. I HATE to fail – so much so, I won’t even try something new if there is a risk of bombing at it. This is something I discovered recently and am working to improve. I am not perfect so I don’t know why I have such high expectations of myself, but I do. Always have.
“It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” Proverbs 25:27
I believe it is healthy and normal to have a certain amount of pride and have those proud moments. I can be proud of an accomplishment or take pride in my work. However, if I am full of pride and haughtiness, I think that’s totally wrong. (When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2). Webster choose these synonyms for prideful: disdainful, haughty, lofty, lordly, superior. And the main antonym for prideful is humble. Another words, you can’t be prideful and humble at the same time, so it’s something you really have to keep in check.
Just like it’s wrong to eat too much “honey” (AKA: food), you can have too much pride. If I’m careful to manage my pride and not focus on the selfish victorious feeling (that deep satisfaction Webster talks about), I can use the very thing that is meant for bad to bring about good in my life. The same way it is not good to care what people think, we shouldn’t not care at all – to the point we lose our drive to be the best we can be. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24. The last thing God wants us to do is become complacent, and I think many people say “I don’t care what they think” as a way to stay complacent. Sure, don’t measure your self-worth based on what others think, but why not use their opinions to encourage self-examination and drive to become better?
Some people use competitions to drive them, some use weight loss contests to push them or they even reward themselves with money or shopping. I really don’t have a need to succeed big, I just don’t want to fail big. I love striving for goals, but they are regular normal goals – nothing insane, nothing flashy, just me trying to be the best me.
One of the things that drives me is knowing people are counting on me to lead by practicing what I preach. I also know there are people are counting on me to fail. Even Joyce Meyer uses Satan’s desire to ruin her day or damage her ministry to fuel her to do what’s right in good. She calls it giving Satan a ultimate black eye. I love it! Whatever you choose to use to drive you, we could all use a little more accountability.
What drives you? What gets under your skin? What pushes YOU to succeed? Do you train for a race? Do you work towards hitting the stage? Do you exercise to improve skill and compete in physical competitions like CrossFit games or mud runs? Or do you let those nasty mean coworkers of yours fuel you to keep showing up even though they’ve already made fun of your dieting, already reminded you of how many times you failed, told you of all their friends who have “tried that” and it didn’t work, and taunt you with chocolate and fast food? There’s no wrong answer here. You just have to figure out what you need to use to push you to improve and not give up. 🙂
But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also. 2 Corinthians 8:7
I think of all the people who have tried to get fit for YEARS and failed. THEN, they decide to join one more gym, do one more boot camp, hire one more trainer, try one more diet program, take one more class, do one more fitness program, join one more support group, try one more time – and they SUCCEED!
What if they didn’t try one more time? They would have never known that success was just around one more corner.
I challenge you today to make it your goal, your mantra, your promise to yourself that you will never stop trying one more thing to help you get fit. Fitness rarely works for people on their first try. Everyone has to learn what they enjoy, learn how to train right and eat right and learn how to bounce back when they mess up – because everyone messes up.
I’ve seen WAY too many people who said “I’m not a gym person” turn into gym people. I’ve seen people who truly thought they’d never be able to lose weight lose 100lbs. I’ve seen elderly and feeble feel young and strong. Each one of them had to take the risk and try “one more time” – and it paid off.
Where are you in your fitness journey? Are you at a standstill? Are you in reverse? Are you questioning if you can ever reach your goals? Are you ready to give up? No matter where you are, remember…Just. One. More.
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.
I don’t know who we think we are fooling when we think we can get away with eating crappy food, or eating too much food, just because no one sees us doing it. Even if we eat with no one watching, and we throw away all the wrappers and the pizza box, there will still be evidence of our poor choices eventually – and that evidence shows up as body fat, muscle loss and/or weight gain.
We need to make sure we aren’t just “acting” health, but we ARE healthy. If you really want to get results, it’s time to be honest with yourself and deal with your food demons. It’s time to clean up your act because your food should look as lean and healthy as you want to look.
Come out of the closet
2 signs you don’t have control of your diet:
1. You workout all the time. Are you, or someone you know constantly at the gym, yet still struggling with their weight? Does that make you a bad person? No, it just means you are super disciplined with exercise – but it can also mean that you are not disciplined enough with your diet. If you manage your diet better, you could relax a little and not have to workout so much. To get the best results, you should be as disciplined in the kitchen as you are in the gym.
2. You are gaining weight, or not losing weight. You can complain all day long and tell me all the reasons you are not losing weight, but weight loss comes down to one thing – calories in vs. calories out. The fact is, 9 times out of 10, it’s not what you are DOING but what you are EATING. A simple fix is counting every calorie you eat for 7 days straight. If you lose weight, then you know you have been eating more than you thought.
There is something about wearing a shirt with a message. It can make you feel strong when your mind is weak, and it can make you look as strong as you may feel. Either way, motivational tops are the craze right now, empowering men and women all across the globe.
This tank (left) is one of my newest tanks: SWEAT – She Will Endure All Things. Steve got a t-shirt that says “Fear is Useless“. So true! If you love motivational apparel too, here’s some thoughts to chew on. Get ready for good juicy bit of advice, because your motivational top may be more powerful than you think – for the Good or for the Bad.
What Message Are You Sending?
One of my favorite tanks is this “Strong Women Empower Women” top. You guys know I love to encourage people to reach their goals. You also know how much I love motivational mantras and sending empowering messages. So this shirt is top on my fav list because it says what I hope to be. Are you already trying to figure out how in the world a positive shirt like this could deliver a wrong message. Well, keep reading (and have no fear, there is a very positive message in all of this too!).
We all have a chance to make a difference in someone’s life. It starts first with what we DO, not what we say. Then it’s followed up by evidence (results), the availability to help others, and your desire to pass along what you’ve learned. Everyone has someone who has influenced their life – especially in fitness. Some people influence people to go in the right direction, and some people influence people to go in the wrong direction.
My warning today is if you wear a shirt like this, it’s like putting a Christian fish on your car. You are labeling yourself and there is a responsibility to act like your label. As soon as you put that bumper sticker on your car, you can’t go cutting people off and acting a fool on the road and expect people to believe your bumper sticker. A matter of fact, you may make everyone think every Christian is a jerk like you – and because of their one bad experience after you flipped them off, they may vow to never step foot in a church again. That’s quite a responsibility right?
The same goes with fitness. If you wear a top like these tanks, you are labeling yourself as a leader and a fitness enthusiast – and people are watching. Will you be a good example or a bad one? Will your lifestyle, actions and words turn people OFF to fitness or turn them ON? Will people see you and think, “I’m never stepping foot in a gym if that’s how people act” or will they RUN to the gym out of pure excitement after watching you pick healthy foods in the grocery store, seeing you run in the rain, or watching you drink water while everyone else drinks beer. Will you inspire people to also be their best and get healthy?
Be a GOOD Fitness Witness
This doesn’t mean you have to be fit and trim to wear this type of shirt. It means you have to be going in the right direction. You should be TRYING – and you have to realize people are watching your every move. You are a “fitness witness”. If you wear a top that says “Never Surrender”, then you better never surrender!!!! If you wear a shirt that says “Strong Women Empower Women”, you better make time for other women, encouraging them, lifting them up and passing along your strength.
GYM RATS: I encourage you, if you are a gym rat or workout queen, remember where you came from. Remember the time you felt weak, fat, out of shape and completely uncomfortable in the gym. Remember how good it felt when people helped you. Remember how bad if felt when people were discouraging or acted to busy to help you. Remember what you needed when you first started – and be THAT person. Be the person making a difference and letting their fitness rub off on others.
NEWBIES: If you are new, remember you can be a great “fitness witness” too. Even if you are 100lbs overweight and just starting your journey, you can encourage others to do what you are doing. You might even be a BETTER “fitness witness” because your struggle is a little more noticeable than someone else who may not be overweight, but has another type of struggle. You have an amazing chance to inspire someone to get fit no matter where you are on your fitness journey!
People are watching you and it is SO GOOD FOR YOU. You can use that to empower you, to hold yourself accountable and to keep you on track. It gives you one more good reason not to fail. Your failure could prevent someone else from trying and succeeding too. There is someone out there looking at you thinking “if she can do it, I can too”. At the same time they are thinking, “if she can’t do it, no one can”. How’s THAT for pressure? However, I believe pressure is good. Accountability is healthy. Use it to help you reach your goals – and STAY THERE!
Show the world what you are doing and who you strive to be, for the most accountability and the most impact on those around you!! Wear the motivation. Be the motivation.
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