Does someone become an olympic athlete by practicing the most difficult trick? No. A gymnist will start with a forward roll on the ground before they advance to cartwheels, round-offs and flips. They have to do what they CAN do first. Then they advance, onc small challenge at a time.
This is how our workouts are. If someone can’t do a military push up, they start on their knees. They may not even complete the movement in full range, but they do what they can, going deeper and deeper (with better and better form) each time they “practice it”.
If I had a dime for every boot camper, or member, who said they never DREAMED they’d be doing what they are doing now – I’d be filthy stinkin’ RICH! Sadly, many people don’t even begin to try because they don’t see what’s possible. All they see is the impossible.
Be encouraged! Don’t think about all the things you CAN do, just do what you can – and eventually, over time, you will be doing things you never thought possible!!
Happy 2014 everyone!! I hope you enjoyed my 31 Days of Motivation. More motivation to come!
Bring Your Gym Bag, Your Muscles AND Your Brain
When I show someone an exercise, I believe it’s important to tell that person what we are working, why that exercise is working that muscle group, and how they can make the most of that particular exercise to get the results they want. Not only will they understand the importance of that exercise, and know how to do it correctly, they will be more motivated to do it when they understand what it will do for them.
Sure, I could easily just point to a machine and have them go through the motions. Shoot, if I did that, they’d HAVE to keep coming back to me for help. Maybe other people consider that good job security. Some trainers have the mentality of, “don’t teach them anything, or they might go off and do it themselves”. But, if I just told people what to do, although it may change their body, it won’t change their mind.
Here’s my philosophy. People need a mind make-over. People need more than guidance, they need education. They need to make better decisions when no one is around to tell them what to do. The more a trainer empowers people with knowledge, the more lives they can change. The more success stories, the better their reputation will be – that THEY were the one that helped so many people reach their goals.
Sadly, some people just don’t want to learn. Often times people resort to short cuts or programs that tell you what to do because they don’t want to think for themselves. While joining a program that directs you is a good thing, beware of spending hours being told what to do without learning anything. Don’t be afraid to think, to try to understand, to invest time and energy in learning.
We are supposed to LEARN from our hard work. Dedication and discipline is supposed to challenge us, grow us and teach us how to persevere and overcome obstacles. Don’t look for short cuts, look for the right path – no matter how long or hard it looks. The right path is where you will learn the most, and you’ll learn how to stay on track once you get there!
Don’t look for shortcuts, sometimes the hardest routes teach us the most!
14 Quotes to Motivate You to Work Hard in ’14!
- The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work. Thomas A. Edison
- Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Peter Drucker
- Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich
- Enjoy your sweat because hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but without it you don’t have a chance. Alex Rodriguez
- Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. Sam Ewing
- Talent in cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Stephen King
- Young people are threatened… by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire. Pope John Paul II
- For every two minutes of glamour, there are eight hours of hard work. Jessica Savitch
- All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. Thomas J. Watson
- You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. Alan Alda
- Temporary success can be achieved in spite of lack of other fundamental qualities, but no advancements can be maintained without hard work. William Feather
- No great achiever – even those who made it seem easy – ever succeeded without hard work. Jonathan Sacks
- Opportunity looks a lot like hard work. Ashton Kutcher
- A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell
Making NO Decision is Still Making A Decision
I think many of us are not making bad decisions as much as we are making NO decisions. If we stop to think about what we are doing, we typically know the right thing to do. However, most of the time, we rush into things or live on the fly, without stopping to ask ourself if we are making the best decision. Every time I ask myself “could I, would I, should I?”, I make MUCH better decisions – purposeful decisions, instead of impulse decisions.
Even the smallest decisions are decisions we can regret. From whether we should run or not (Spoiler Alert: The answer is almost always yes) or we should eat “this or that”, sometimes we just need to stop and really think about what we are doing. If we are honest with ourselves. We’ll make more decisions we can be proud of – and less decisions we regret.
We all have a favorite food we seem powerless around. Some people crave sweets, others (like me) crave salty snacks. If you want to see me struggle, just put a bowl of chips and salsa in front of me. It’s my kryptonite. I will shrivel up into a ball and lose all my super powers. OK, not really, but you get the point.
If you want results this year, you need to STOP obsessing over your kryptonite, and START obsessing over the super powers you will get as soon as you get away from it. If you think you can’t live without your nightly ice cream, you should be more stressed out about living one more night not feeling your best, your strongest, your fittest, your healthiest. That, my friend, is actually something worth worrying about.
Think about living one more day in tight fitting jeans. Think about living one more day, out of shape and out of breath. Think about giving up a healthy heart, a long life, and spending time feeling your best playing with your grandkids. THAT, my friends, is what you are GIVING UP every time you GIVE IN – and THAT is some scary stuff!
Are you giving your kryptonite too much power?
Make a list of the things you are giving up (the future, healthier you), if you don’t give up the things you need to reach your goals.
If I had a dime for everyone who said they just weren’t motivated to workout, I’d be filthy stinkin’ RICH! It’s like people are waiting on this euphoric feeling of magical motivation that lifts them up off the couch like Tinkerbell, slips on their ruby tennis shoes like Dorthy, and floats them to the gym on a enchanting carpet of inspiration and fitness excitement like Aladdin.
It’s a Fantasy Wonderland where cauliflower tastes like Feticcini Alfredo and grilled chicken tastes like Filet Mignon rapped in bacon and topped with Gorgonzola cheese. It’s where a low calorie diet satisfies you each and every day – and, no matter how low your calories are, you have enough energy to power the entire the gym as soon as you walk through the doors. …Oh yeah, and Snow White is your best friend, saying “just one more rep”, and you say “No! I can do 100, because that’s how you roll!!”
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that place doesn’t exist. While motivation is surely preferred, it is not required for success. Sadly, many people wait on it to show up, like it’s a workout partner you can’t train without.
Listen people, motivation comes and goes. Motivation is just a feeling. Determination is what will get you to your goal – not motivation. Motivation will drop you faster than the drunk on a mountain bike.
Motivation Where Art Thou?
Does it mean you quit searching for it? NO! It can surely help you, but it’s not something you should rely on. You have to rely on the decision you made to reach your goals – on good days, on bad days, on days you are motivated, on days you are completely exhausted and discouraged. You keep showing up because you have a goal to reach. You don’t stop for anything, anyone or anything. Your decision has been made.
Heart vs. Mind
While there are many real things in life that motivate us to do stuff, most of us think of motivation as the warm and fuzzy energizing feeling. I’m here to remind you, feelings will let you down. They lie to you, they cheat you, they mask the truth and they rob you of your joy. However, determination is a DECISION. It’s not that people who are determined have extra super-powers or don’t have bad days – they just decided ahead of time to not let their feelings change their decision.
- A quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult
- A fixed intention to achieve a desired end.
- The settlement of a dispute or question. (Another words, quit debating with yourself. The decision has been made. There is nothing else to discuss or think about.)
Determination is not a quality you are born with, it’s learned. It’s practiced. It’s acquired over time. And, the more you practice it, the easier it will come – and the reward is what will motivate you to stay determined.
Start practicing these traits today, and say goodbye to doubt, hesitation and indecision.
Synonyms: resolution, purpose, resolve, drive, energy, conviction, courage, dedication, backbone, fortitude, persistence, tenacity, perseverance, willpower, boldness, firmness, staying power, stubbornness, strength of character, constancy, single-mindedness, earnestness, obstinacy, steadfastness, doggedness, relentlessness, strength of will, resoluteness, indomitability, staunchness.
Antonyms: doubt, hesitation, indecision, vacillation, irresolution
When we talk about definition in the gym, we talk about leaning out so you can see more muscle definition. Today, I’m going to talk about another type of definition. It’s not about defining your physique, but defining your self – which greatly determines your success in and out of the gym. Be ready to be inspired (and maybe even cry).
I came across this awesome story about a girl, Lizzie Velasquez, who was once labeled “The Ugliest Girl In The World” and just HAD to share! You are about to see just how wrong those people were. Lizzie was born with an extremely rare syndrome that doesn’t allow her to gain weight, (Yes, she can eat all the Oreos she wants. Don’t get jealous dieters!! lol). That luxury came with quite a price. Lizzie has had a very difficult life. Did she let that stop her from pursuing her dreams? No! Check it out…
Now a very powerful motivational speaker, Lizzie describes her feelings after reading ugly comments about her on online from complete strangers. One comment that stuck with me was someone telling her “Lizzie, please do the world a favor and put a gun to your head and kill yourself”.
Can you imagine someone saying that to you? Can you comprehend knowing people think so little of you that they would suggest it would be better for the world if you die? I honestly can’t fathom that. Sure, it hurt. I bet there were SO many tears shed over such mean words. However, she decided to wipe her tears and use those words to fuel her to prove them all wrong and show the world just how beautiful she really was. And she succeeded.
Time to Get Defined!
One of the key points she made in her speech is about deciding what defines you. This is something EVERYONE can relate to. In her situation, it would be easy for her to allow her appearance or other people’s opinions to define her. Instead, she decided she wanted to define herself. How often do we let circumstances and other people define us? Too often I’d say.
What defines you? Is it your weight, your health, your past failures, your financial bracket, your spouse, your job, your insecurities, (fill in the blank)? Or have you taken the time to decide for yourself what you want to define you. How I look at is this: How would you want Webster to define you?
Think it’s too late? My mom redefined her life in her late fifties, losing 80lbs and making fitness a permanent part of her healthier life. Think you have failed too many times? Harland David Sanders, the famous KFC “Colonel,” was rejected by 1,000 restaurants before his chicken became a success. Think you don’t have what it takes? Marilyn Monroe was told she was not pretty or talented enough to be an actress, but that didn’t stop her.
You can’t be something you haven’t ever first decided to be. You must decide ahead of time before you can begin to work toward that. This is a crucial part of your fitness journey. I encourage you to complete the following homework and use today to begin working on your own definition of you.
Define your body
- 10 In and Out Squat (narrow stance squat & jump to wide squat for “1 Rep”)
- 10 Plank Up/Down (up, up, down, down)
- 10 Push Ups
Define your self
2. Decide what you want to define you.
3. Believe, with all your heart, you can be that person with practice. Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, and many others believed in themselves before anyone else did.
4. Practice, practice, practice. You don’t just become talented overnight, so you can’t expect to become fit overnight, become successful overnight or live your dream overnight. It will take continual practice. It will require continual surrender – as you lay down the things that hold you back, and purposefully work on the things that get you closer to your goal.
When you are working toward a goal, like losing weight and getting fit, there will be many days you will be tempted to quit – even if it is just for the day, or just for that week. There are many times where your mind will convince you that you deserve a break, next week will be better, it’s too late, it’s too hard, your diet is too strict, your schedule is too busy, your body is too tired, and you are just being too vain. All these things are lies. Sadly, we listen to those lies and will quit – even if it’s just going off the diet for a cheat meal or not finishing up the week’s workouts. We quit, and we enjoy it …for a time.
There is a temporary peace in not trying, quitting, running away and giving up. But that’s just because you aren’t fighting anymore. Fighting for what we want is work, giving up is easy. If we quit, we beat ourselves up. Either way, we are going to endure some punches. We can either fight for what we want and deal with the battle scars along the way, or we can quit and plan on self-inflicted pain.
Someone once told me that when someone leaves their spouse, there is a temporary peace (or relief) because they are away from what they perceive to be the problem. But what they don’t realize is they can’t run from themselves, and 9 times out of 10, that person is part of that problem. So they have 2 choices: they can tackle the problem right then with the spouse, or put it off for a while and end up having to face the same problem with the next person. Either way, it’s going to raise it’s ugly head and they are going to have to face the problem again – unless, of course, they just want to go through marriages like they go through underwear to constantly avoid every fixing anything.
The same goes with our fight with fat. We can either tackle it now, or we can tackle it later. The great thing is, if you can fix it now you can live free, proud and happier than a person who is running from the problem. You surely don’t want to regret waisting years running.
Don’t let the false sense of peace trick you into thinking where you are is not that bad, it’s out of your control, or you just need to give up because it’s just too hard or not worth it. Continue to fight if you know in your heart you are not where you should be. Fight with wild abandon for the life you want. Literally FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE! No one else will.
As you set goals for the New Year, it’s not only important to look at what you WANT, but it’s crucial you look at what you DON’T want. Maybe failure is not about what you ARE doing, but what you ARE NOT doing.
Moving on, in many ways, means saying goodbye. The problem is, goodbyes are often hard, even when the place we are headed may be a good place to be. I don’t know why it is so hard to let go of the past, but it is. We prefer the known over the unknown I guess. Ironically, we often prefer the known even if the known is in prisoning us.
It may sound crazy, but I believe many of us don’t get to experience a lot of great things in life because we have such a strong grip on the past. This issue can also affect us when attempting to make New Year’s resolutions – especially when it comes to weight loss.
It reminds me of the story of the monkey trap. The trap is basically a hollowed out coconut filled with rice. The coconut, which is chained to a stake, has a small hole in it just big enough for the monkey’s hand to go in but too small for his closed fist of rice to come out. Crazy as it seems, the monkey cannot see that freedom without rice is more valuable than being captured with it and is trapped.
Like the monkey, we are often scared of losing something, like a favorite food or a certain lifestyle. While pride may stand in the way for some, others hold on to excuses. Unfortunately, many people simply accept things the way they are, as if there were no other choice. In essence, we are no different than the monkey – trapped by our own decisions.
Sometimes we need to take a closer look at what is standing in the way of our success. What do we have such a tight grip on? What has kept us from making our New Year’s Resolutions stick last year or what prevented us from even making them to begin with? Whatever your answer is, this year is the year to let go so you can move on.
Don’t fall for the monkey trap this year.
Write down the things holding you back right now. Post them so you see them every day. Every day you decide NOT to do anything about it, is a day you decide to stay where you are.
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People will do nearly ANYTHING to lose weight, yet, people can’t stand it when I tell them to count calories. Whether they just are annoyed at the work it would require to count everything up, or they are just annoyed at the thought of having to have restrictions – either way, most people are not happy to hear those words coming from my mouth. Unfortunately, calories count whether you count them or not.
I admit, not everyone needs to count calories. Some people are lucky enough to be able to make smart choices (because they really enjoy eating low-calorie foods) and do well managing their weight naturally. Some people are able to make healthier choices simply because they don’t struggle with some of the temptations others struggle with. HOWEVER, if you battle overeating, binging, sweets, carbs, laziness or yo-yo dieting, I believe you should count your calories to help you stay accountable and manage portions, high-calorie items and exercise. Remember, it’s not something you have to do forever – but it will teach you SO much!
If you have tried eating better, eating smaller portions, working out more, etc but you’ve reached a plateau, maybe it’s time you start counting calories. You’ll be AMAZED with the results! Believe me, I’ve seen this time and time again – and I’ve watched people who have worked insanely hard not get results until they started counting calories. Are you ready to start moving that scale?! Commit to counting calories for 30 days. Unsure you can do it? Start with 14 days of calorie counting and then decide if you can do another 14 days then. I bet you surprise yourself!
If you are like me, it’s SUPER easy to get down on yourself. You see someone else that is stronger, fitter, smarter, quicker, better, more talented, more successful, more loving, more giving, more selfless, a better cook, a better wife, a better person…the list goes on. It’s funny how most of the time, we aren’t even comparing apples to apples. In healthy doses, comparing yourself with others may motivate you to push a little harder and work to be better, but if you let your thoughts go wild you can spiral out of control quick.
Speaking of spiral. Yesterday, Steve and I were on I-95 heading to West Palm Beach. It had been crappy weather all day long so we weren’t really going very fast and were tense with all the bad rain – when we HIT water and started hydroplaning out of control. We swerved left, we swerved right, then back left and then back right, where we finally went into a full 360 and ended rear end in the median (pictured left). Thank the Lord we didn’t go across the median into oncoming traffic. Our guardian angels were hard at work protecting Team Pfiester – but who’s out there protecting you from letting your thoughts spiral out of control?
There is no one to stop your thoughts and direct them back to a safe place. This takes practice. I have to admit, if Steve was more practiced on the whole hydroplaning bit, we might not have ever gone completely out of control, but he had never hit water going 70 miles an hour like that. Plus, I have to say, we weren’t the only ones in the ditch. (This was a pic of us immediately after we spun out – right after we prayed, thanking God for our safety!) After we soared off the road, others followed and all of them collided with something and wrecked.
My point is this, when your thoughts go off track, you need to be prepared to pull them back on track. As soon as you start to compare yourself with someone else, or get on a pity party of how rough your life is because losing weight seems so much harder for you, or working out is more challenging with your busy schedule, you need to take the wheel of your mind and redirect it where you want to go. Otherwise, your mind will lead you so off your desired route you will end up stuck in some ditch wondering how in the world you got there.
Today, I want you to THINK about what you are going to THINK about.
- I don’t have to compete with anyone but myself.
- I know my opponent (me) well, so there is NO reason I can’t beat her (him).
- I can feel strong, no matter how weak I am if I’m stronger than I once was.
- I can feel thinner even if I’m 1 pound lighter than I was last week.
- I can be proud if I’m getting better, whether I’ve “arrived” or not.
- I will not allow my thoughts to roam loose. I will have control over my mind.
- I will never be ashamed or embarrassed of where I am, instead, I’ll be proud of where I’m headed.
- I will not speak negative thoughts – no ifs, no doubts, no excuses.
- I will purposefully only speak of my goals, dreams, hopes and victories.
- I will be OK with just doing my best, no matter what that looks like.
- I will look for victories instead of shortcomings.
- I will not become complacent. I will not let my stomach control me or stand in the way of my goals.
- When I feel someone is competing with me, I’ll consider it a compliment that I’m competition worthy.
- No one can get me upset unless I let them. Let being the key word.
- I will celebrate every single itty-bitty victory on my journey.
- I will recognize that success may be closer than I think.
- I will focus on my goals, and put them in plain site every day.
- I will keep showing up even if I don’t want to, or don’t see results (yet).
- I will treat failures as lessons and victories as motivation.
- I will never give up, no matter how big of a failure I feel like I am.