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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Transformation Requires Surrender
People love to learn what they can do to improve their life. They hunger for tips that are easy to apply, like read this devotional, attend this service, do this workout, take this supplement – but BOY do they NOT like to hear what they shouldn’t do, what they need to give up, what they need to CHANGE.
Most people are willing to work a little harder to get something, but most people are not willing to surrender. Surrender requires giving up something you like. Christianity requires giving up doing whatever you want. Fitness requires giving up eating whatever you want. The gain is worth it, but so many people resist surrender, holding on to what is really making them miserable to begin with.
That’s where the bondage comes in. We hold on to it, and it holds on to us – paralyzing us, and preventing us to be all we can be. In both cases, it’s not about doing, it’s about surrendering. Once we surrender, then and only then, can we experience real freedom. After we surrender, major life-changing transformation can begin.
Let’s establish one thing first. Food is good. Food is a gift from God. Food is to be enjoyed. Food becomes bad only when we abuse it. Excess food is damaging. Unhealthy food eaten often is damaging. When food begins to rule our life, reshape our body, destroy our self-esteem, control our thoughts, affect our health and slow us down – food is wrong. It’s sin.
I know, harsh words from the skinny girl. Food is a big topic in our house. It’s a constant struggle for us too. We love food. We love to eat, but we can’t let it control our life.
Did you know God talks about food and gives specific commands and advice about it? Why? Why does he care what we eat and how much we eat? Simple! It’s not about giving a list of things to avoid, giving us more rules to be mean. He knows what it does to us. He knows we can’t be who He called us to be while we are fat, out of shape and miserable. He knows what’s BEST for us – and He wants us to have a flourishing, healthy, happy, long, vibrant life! He is not a God of rules, He is a God of love. The same way you want your loved ones to feel good and be healthy, He wants the same for His children.
10 Scriptures Concerning Food & Our Body
Even if you don’t believe in God, there is not one person who can deny that every word written is for our benefit. That it is helpful and good. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.. Even if you just feel it’s a good self-help book, it’s words have great value and shouldn’t be taken lightly. And if you DO believe in God, then you REALLY want to take this even more seriously. Check it out…
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. Proverbs 25:16
How many people could we feed if we shared our food instead of kept it to ourself. It’s amazing how much we are not willing to share. I bet I could feed an entire family every single day with the leftovers I should be leaving behind. Instead, we prefer to eat until we are stuffed…eating more than we even need.
Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. Philippians 3:19
In verse 18, Paul actually calls these people enemies of Christ. ouch! Could it be that our testimony is affected when we don’t practice self control and when we feed our fleshly desires in such a way we are more controlled by our stomach than we are by God? hmmmmm…
…make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:14
The New International Version says “do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh”. How often do we think of how much we want to indulge, planning our cheat meal, dreaming of food. We should be thinking of ways to resist it, practice control and think of things that are helpful to us and others.
#4 STUFFING YOURSELF:
When dining with a rich man, be on your guard and don’t stuff yourself, though it all tastes so good. Proverbs 23:1
Matthew Henry explains this verse, “The sin we are warned against is luxury and sensuality, and the indulgence of the appetite in eating and drinking, a sin that most easily besets us.” The next verse (vs 2) says “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” Don’t freak! It’s not saying slit your throat here and just kill yourself if you can’t control yourself. Matthew Henry explains it beautifully saying, “We must alarm ourselves into temperance and moderation: “Put a knife to thy throat, that is, restrain thyself, as it were with a sword hanging over thy head, from all excess.” It is clear scripture takes this topic very seriously.
They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. Psalm 78:18
The people were rebelling against God, being unappreciative. They wanted meat. This is when God sent down manna, but it wasn’t long before they were complaining about that too. Can you imagine? Complaining about God giving you a miracle of food falling from the sky. Ironically, we do it all the time. God has given us a miracle too. Each plant that sprouts up from the ground and delivers us a beautiful piece of fruit is a miracle, a gift. When did eating fruit and vegetables become such a bad thing? Do we demand the food we crave and have we become unappreciative of the food God has given us? What lengths are we willing to get it?
#6 FOOD ANXIETY
“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25-34
How much do we stress about dieting, eating healthy, being around unhealthy food, dreaming about eating foods we love and anxious about eating healthy? I love this line: “Is not life more than food? Powerful!”
#7 FOOD ADDICTION:
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
Many are enslaved to food. We look at food like “we have the right to eat whatever we want. What scripture is saying is you “have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial” you “have a right to do anything, but do not be mastered/controlled by anything”. Sure, you have the right to eat a cookie, but does that cookie control you? Ouch again!
#8 GLUTTONY & ALCOHOLISM:
Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep (laziness) clothes them in rags. Proverbs 23:20-21
This tells me 3 things. One, it’s wrong to drink and eat too much. Two, it’s wrong to be lazy and sleep too much. Three, we shouldn’t even hang out with people that eat and drink too much. Why? It’s not because we are too good for them or that they are bad necessarily. I think it’s because God knows it’s too tempting for us to join them.
#9 UNHEALTHY CHOICES:
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Eating too much and eating unhealthy foods destroys our body – plain and simple. We have an obligation to protect God’s temple, to protect our body.
#10 GOOD CHOICES: (Make God proud!)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
How wonderful to think I can honor God even in what I eat and drink. If we never thought he cares about what we eat or drink, this scripture corrects that. He does care, and He desires us to honor him even when we eat and drink. People are always watching what we do, and He knows we can even be a good example at the table. Awesome!
Please know I struggle with this too. You aren’t alone. I hope you were encouraged by these scriptures. I know some of these scriptures seem harsh, but if your kid jets out in traffic, do you think you’d be gentle and whisper? No! You’d yell and yank them back to safety in a heartbeat. God wants to yank you to safety! He cares about you – even what you eat and drink. What LOVE! ❤
This topic excites me SO much! I would love to write a book on this and a matching devotional! I pray someday I can do this!!!
CAUTION: THIS MIGHT HURT A LITTLE….
How often do we lie to ourself (and others) to avoid REALLY having to make a change. We point the finger, we make excuses, we pretend we are doing all the right things – when we know we are still cheating, still making poor choices and still not giving it 100%. We want people to think we are doing our best and that the weight just isn’t coming off. We want people to be proud of us, to admire us for trying. We don’t want anyone to know our real struggle with laziness or our lack of discipline in the kitchen, so we pretend to do all the right things while sneaking food, slacking on our workout & taking shortcuts.
We enjoy posting our healthy meals on facebook, while we carefully cheat in private, hiding our “sins” so no one sees. We are quick to post our run, but not our pace. We love to “check-in” to the gym, but we don’t “check-in” to the ice cream parlor. If people really knew, would they figure out your secret? Would someone be bold enough to hold you accountable and encourage you to take your fitness to the next level? Oh my! Change may be required then! “No one can know” you think. “No one can find out!”.
Even if we say we want something SOOO bad, your results and your actions may beg to differ. They tell on you. Even if we are dishonest to ourself and everyone else, the facts are there. What we eat in private shows up in public. What we refuse to admit is still there, still a problem – and WILL be a problem forever until you can be strong enough to admit it and face it. THEN, and only then, will you be set free. Denying your struggle imprisons you. The truth really can set you free.
What secrets are you keeping?
Going to the gym doesn’t make you fit. Even doing an occasional intense workout doesn’t necessarily get you fit either. Your body needs a lot more than just regular gym attendance – it needs a healthy lifestyle. Being fit requires eating for fuel, giving your body the nutrients it needs to grow and repair. It requires discipline. You may need to say “No’ next time you are asked to go out when you know your body desperately needs rest. Your body needs ample fluids for healthy hydration and to help flush toxins. Your body needs good posture to relieve joints and to prevent injury. Sadly, there are a lot of people working hard in the gym to get fit, who are destroying their bodies as soon as they walk out the door.
Whether it’s eating junk food, smoking, drinking, not getting rest, allowing too much stress in your life or being in an unhealthy relationship, unhealthy choices can trump any good workout if you are not careful.
Sure, you might get stronger if you lift weights regularly, but you could still die of lung cancer if you smoke. You could still be at risk of diabetes and obesity related illness even if you do regular cardio, if you continue to eat healthy. Even if you workout, you can still be at risk for injury due to poor posture or tight muscles.
The bottom line is you can’t expect to pick and choose what you are willing to do to be fit and healthy. Being fit is something you work toward all day long. Decide to strive for the full package – healthy inside and out. Look healthy because you ARE healthy!
- Be STRONG: Lift weights regularly
- Be FIT: Challenge your cardiovascular system with regular cardio
- Be HEALTHY: Eat healthy food – you really are what you eat!
- Be FLEXIBLE: Remember to stretch tight muscles to prevent poor posture and injury.
- Be CALM: Meditate, pray and rest. Your body and mind needs quiet time too.
“When Is the Last Time You Attempted Something Great?”
This is a very powerful question. I believe many of us avoid attempting great tasks to avoid experiencing great failure. There comes a time you have to ask yourself, “What is worse? Attempting something great and possibly failiing, or not attempting anything great at all and succeeding?”
I’ve recently been asked to do some pretty scary things – scary to me at least. My first instinct was to say “no”. Then I had to ask myself why I was saying no. Was it because it would hurt me? No. Was it because it would hurt anyone else? No. Was it because I was afraid to fail. The answer was yes – but that should NEVER stop me from trying something. When it boiled down to it, I had no other choice but to decide to do it because I really had no good reason not to at least try.
Sadly, many people never really ever try to do something great simply because they don’t want to fail. I believe we are looking at success all wrong. Success is not reaching your goal without opposition, struggle, failures or setbacks. Success is reaching your goal, or getting closer to your goal, despite all of that. Success is also not just doing what you are good at. You can be successful in just trying. You can be more successful attempting success, even if you fall short of your goal. Your goal may be in trying alone. Let me explain…
The Success In Trying
Someone recently suggested my mom be in the Ms. Senior Pageant. She thought long and hard on it and decided it was time she step outside her box and do it. Her goal was not to win. Her goal was to get out of her comfort zone and to experience personal growth, as well as encourage the other ladies there. Her goal was to show up.
Her dress didn’t come in time but she didn’t stress (I admit I would have freaked!). She could have easily used that as an excuse to back out. She could have taken that as an omen, “well it’s just not mean to be”, but she didn’t. She pressed on. She was scheduled to be out of town for work a lot, and she could have used that as an excuse for poor timing, but she found a way to fit it all in. She had never done a pageant before and struggled with the perception of being in a “beauty pageant” but she focused on what good could come out of instead. She had plenty of really good excuses but decided to not use one of them.
Just showing up for her was a big win. We were all so proud because we knew she was way out of her box. She was proud of herself. She said she would sit there at practice thinking “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” As I watched her on stage, I marveled at her bravery, knowing it wasn’t easy for her. I gleamed with pride and reflected on my own need to step outside my comfort zone. She not only did it – to her surprise, she won.
What If You Fail?
What if she failed? What if she didn’t even get to be a runner up? Would she really have failed? Absolutely not. She met some amazing ladies and she could celebrate the victory of stepping out of her box. The moment she said “Yes, I’ll do it” she succeeded. The moment she stepped on stage, she was a winner because she attempted something great. She practiced and performed her song. She memorized her philosophy. She learned how to walk, dance and prepare for such an event. She walked away with more experience, more confidence and more ways to encourage people. Whether she walked away with a crown on her head and a sash across her chest or not, she would have left a better person, a more fully developed person with one more great experience under her belt. Victory was inevitable.
I want to challenge you today to try something great. Don’t just attempt to lose 20lbs, attempt to lose the full 50 you need to lose. Ladie,s don’t try to just get any man, aim to find the BEST and GREATEST man for you. Don’t settle for a job you are miserable, keep applying for the job you’ve always wanted. Don’t settle for an average marriage, work hard to develop a phenomenal marriage. In every single attempt, you will likely see much improvement whether you reach your desired goal or not.
“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” (Les Brown)
I’m going to tell you something that could save you hours in the gym and weeks of wasted work for little to no results? Ready? OK, here it goes: you can’t exercise the weight off. (allowing a pause here for every woman to shriek in pure horror and disappointment)
Don’t get me wrong. There are SOME people who start exercising and lose weight, but normally they are also trying to eat better too. OR, maybe they were extremely overweight and sedentary so their new active lifestyle was a very drastic change for them. Whatever the case, it’s rare and exercise can only get you so far when it comes to weight loss. Weight loss requires cutting back on the calories taken in, unless you want to run 5-10 miles a day to get in the 500-1000 calorie deficit that is required for weight loss.
Unfortunately, many people join a gym and hire a trainer in hopes of losing weight and rely on those 3 workouts a week to do all the work. I only WISH this worked! Being a trainer would be awesome, everyone would get results and the world would be a happy fit and trim place. But it just doesn’t work like that.
Think about it. Do you really expect a one hour workout to erase all the poor choices you make for the rest of the 23 hours in your day? Does that even make sense? However, many people are doing just that. They expect their 3-5 hours in the gym each week to erase all the extra calories they eat over the 168 hours a week. Do the math! 5 hours vs 168 hours. If we were gambling, I’m pretty sure we’d all bet on the 168 hours winning the fight.
“You can’t compete with what you eat”
Think of it this way. If 30 minutes on the treadmill only burns 300 calories, but you can eat a 300-calorie pastry in 5 minutes, can you see how that math will never work? (PS: 1 blueberry scone at Starbucks is 460 CALORIES!!) So for every 5 minutes of pastry-eating, you’d need to work 30 minutes on the treadmill? Yeah, that ain’t happening.
It doesn’t have to be poor choices either. Most people just eat too much. They may eat healthy, but they eat a LOT of healthy food. And, the more they workout, the more they mentally think they can afford to eat.
Of course I’m just using these examples to help you grasp the whole exercise vs diet concept, do don’t get freaked out. This is also written for people who need to lose weight. Maintenance mode is totally different. When you are maintenance mode you aren’t trying to be in a caloric deficit so you can eat more. I can order fries if I want to and I probably won’t gain weight because I’m in maintenance. Now, if I did it every day, that’s another thing! However, I keep my calories low throughout the day so I CAN cheat here and there and not gain weight. I may also do an extra cardio here or there to make up for any extra calories, but I never can be completely irresponsible for several days straight or I will blow up quick. 😉
Sadly, most people don’t want to give up their simple little pleasures – even for a much BIGGER and GREATER reward, like a fit and trim body. They feel like they “must have chocolate” or “can’t give up wine”. Maybe their goal is too far away that they don’t truly realize what that glass of wine or nightly ice cream is costing them. They don’t realize how fast they’d reach their goal if they just stuck to both diet and exercise.
So, to make themselves feel better they decide to exercise. Working out is awesome and you can absolutely get in better shape. You can have a firmer body, stronger muscles, better stamina and more energy BUT you may not lose one pound if you are burning as many calories as you are eating. Diet is required for weight loss.
The same way you can’t eat a bunch of protein and magically grow muscle, you have to make sure you are doing what is required to reach your goal. If you want to lose body fat and lose weight, you have to diet. If you want to get fit, you have to exercise. If you want a better health report, you probably need to do both. If you want to look fit, you need to do both.
Most people act as if they are in maintenance mode – exercising and eating whatever they want. However, most people need to be in weight loss mode, which is dieting and exercising. The sooner you do it right, the sooner you can be in maintenance mode – but just a thinner fitter you in maintenance mode!
TIP: The longer you put off dieting, the longer you put off results. Go ahead and start today! You can lose 8-12lbs in one month with a great low-cal diet and exercise program. Do the math! How much do you need to lose? Isn’t it worth a few weeks of discipline!? I think it is!! You’ll be SO glad you did! Otherwise, 5 years may fly by and you are still the same weight because you weren’t willing to work as hard in the kitchen as you were in the gym.
I can’t tell you how often I hear people make decisions based on past experience. “Last time I tried that, I got hurt”, “I joined a gym once and I never used it”, “I’ve always been overweight and I always will”, “I’ve never been able to do that”, “I’ve never been able to control myself”.
These are all past-tense statements that are currently affecting the present. So what if you’ve never been able to control yourself. So what if you’ve failed 100 times? It doesn’t mean you will fail this time.
Take all your past experiences and learn what you can from them and then start NEW. Make NEW decisions, not based on who you’ve BEEN but who you desire to BECOME.
Weak people get strong. Out of shape people get fit. People fall, and they learn to get back up and secure their footing. I’ve known SO many people who have joined every gym in town and finally started to learn how to use the gym and become a success. I’ve know people overweight alllll their life (fully convinced they just inherited fatness) get fit – and even get shredded with physiques that belong in fitness magazines!
For every person out there who has a darn good excuse why they are depressed, overweight, unhealthy, tired or has failed, there is a person in the same exact situation with the same exact past who is succeeding.
You can be whoever you want to be despite who you’ve been. Redefine yourself. Start today.
Here are 7 Tips to Redefining Yourself
1. Learn to Move Ahead: Decide to accept responsibility for where you are if it’s your fault, and decide to forgive someone else for what you’ve been through if it’s someone else’s fault (poor childhood, abuse, etc). You can’t move forward if you are still holding on to the past.
2. Look for Lessons: What have you learned from your mistakes? Is it possible you didn’t follow the last diet like you were supposed to? What did you do wrong last time you tried to reach a goal? Was the goal too high, or did you just not give it 100% effort? Be honest, search hard, reach deep, find answers.
3. Promise to Improve: Write the list of mistakes you need to avoid and promise to improve. Promise yourself you will not repeat the past. When you want to repeat a mistake, claim the new you saying “that was the OLD me!”, reminding yourself of who you are NOW and who you are BECOMING!
4. Try New Things: Many people don’t experience the fullness of life because they are afraid to try something new. They cling to what they know, even if what they know isn’t good for them. Step out of your comfort zone and decide to try things that you know will grow you, strengthen you and improve you. (This is something I struggle with. I am working on stepping out of my comfortable safe box. It’s scary, but I know it will be rewarding.)
5. Train Your Brain: As Joyce Meyer says “where your mind goes, your body follows“. As SOOOON as you think a negative thought, you have to stop that thought and replace it with a positive one (or at least replace it with a truth you can hold on to). You have control of your thoughts – and if you don’t, they will control you. How we think is practiced, so we must practice right thinking. Take charge of your thought life and you will take control of your life. As soon as your mind says “I’m too tired to workout”, remind yourself “I always feel better after a workout”. If you think “I feel so weak”, remind yourself “but I am doing everything I can to get stronger”. Tell yourself “that was the OLD me, the new ME doesn’t think like that anymore”.
If you focus on your goals, you lose sight of your limitations. If you focus on your limitations, you lose sight of your goals.
6. Take Your Mind Off Yourself: The more we think about our own issues, flaws, shortcomings, problems, limitations, etc., the bigger obstacles they seem. There is a reason we say “focus on your goals” and “keep focused”, because we (trainers) know that when you focus on something, everything else gets out of focus, they grow dim, they blur out. If you focus on your goals, you lose sight of your limitations. If you focus on your limitations, you lose sight of your goals. However, when you look at your goal, and look at other people reaching their goals, you realize how little excuse you have. When I see one of our members rolling her wheelchair through the gym, or a overweight member hitting the elliptical for 45 minutes, all my lame excuses to skip cardio pale in comparison.
7. Rely on Science, not Hopes: Fitness isn’t like the lottery, where you play in hopes of winning. No, fitness is science. It works – period. Science doesn’t just work for one person and not another. If you aren’t getting results, there’s a reason. You have part of the equation off. Don’t keep doing the same thing hoping to get a better result. Find people who are getting results and do exactly what they are doing. I don’t know how often someone asks me what I do to stay fit and as soon as I talk about diet, they tune me out. They were hoping I told them about a new exercise or a magical piece of equipment. However, if they wanted to eat what I eat and do what I’m doing, they’d get the same exact results. It’s just science. Celebrate it! Learn more about it. You are your own science project – keep experimenting until you get the result you want!
Bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter what road you have traveled, what matters is what road you are on now. Get on the path to success!