Isn’t it funny how opinionated people are about body weight. “she’s too skinny”, “she’s too fat”, “she’s too muscley”, “she’s too lean”, “she looks like a man”, “she doesn’t even look like she lifts weights”.
I could be having a totally fat day (or month! lol) and people will feel the need to remind me that my fat day would be their skinny day. Does that make me feel thinner? No. Do I instantly feel dynamite, fit and happy? Not a chance. Do I still feel fat and crappy? Yep. Are my jeans still too tight? Yep.
Too fat, too thin, too confused
I remember one time, a couple of years ago, a company wanted to hire me to be a fitness model for a celebrity workout series, and another company wanted to hire me for a infomercial. In the same period of time, one told me I was too lean and muscular, and the other one said I needed to lose 15lbs. I had to laugh. I admit, at first I didn’t laugh at all. I was totally frustrated. I found myself dieting one minute, and trying to add some mass the next. I was on a fitness rollercoaster ride and how I felt about my weight was determined by what others thought. Then I realized I just needed to be me. I needed to be at the weight I feel most comfortable, and not worry what others thought.
The issue of judging and stereotyping body types applies to everyone in some way or other – and it will likely happen to you too. As you diet and strive to reach your goals, it is not uncommon for people to tell you you’re getting too skinny, or to remind you how happy they’d be if they were at your weight. Another issue is people may judge you for caring about your body and health – maybe they think you are being selfish. They may judge you for the time you spend in the gym or how often you run. Some people perceive a healthy person to be vain or conceited. At the same time, fitness fanatics can come across equally judgmental. As Johnny Depp playing Donnie Brasco said, “forgetaboutit”. What matters most is how YOU feel.
Don’t let people define fitness for you. You are the only one who knows what you have to do to feel your best and to do what you need to be healthy and happy. So set your goals based on that – not one anyone else is doing or thinking. Not what you think the scale should say or a magazine may tell you. Define your own fitness this year.
Yesterday I talked about living with purpose – and the importance in making sure each step, each bite and each decision leads you to where you want to go. Taking the RIGHT steps also means avoiding the WRONG ones.
My pastor just was talking about Eve being tempted in the garden. As many times as I have read that and heard that story, I never realized 2 very powerful life-changing points. One, she was CLOSE to the one thing she was supposed to avoid. Why was she even hanging out around the tree that she was forbidden to eat from? Stupid right? Yet, we hang out with friends who are a horrible influence on us, and visit restaurants we have no business being around while dieting too.
Two, she was TALKING ABOUT the forbidden fruit. How ridiculous is that?! If we have issues with sweets, let’s say, should we go down the cookie and candy aisle? Should we really put our brain, and taste buds, through the torture of talking about it? The same way Eve should not have allowed herself to have a long conversation with Satan about whether she should eat the forbidden fruit or not, we too should avoid tempting conversation (EVEN WITH OURSELF) about things that are off limits. Trust me, just like Eve did, you can easily begin to doubt your beliefs, justify your actions, and before you know it, you have messed up.
Anything that is standing in the way of you being your best, and becoming the person God called you to be, has no place in your life – not now, maybe not ever.
Here are 4 Tips to Protecting Yourself From Your Greatest Temptations:
1. Know your weakness. Charles Stanley said, “One of the important things about temptation is, if I’m going to deal with it I’m going to have to recognize, this is an area of weakness in my life. I have been tempted here before and before and before.” You can’t possibly protect yourself from something you think is not an issue for you. Ironically, one of the hardest steps for addicts is to admit they are powerless over their addiction. They think they are making the choice, or there is a reason they do it. It’s not until they completely surrender and admit they are powerLESS, that they can become powerFUL!
2. Be willing to let go (for good). Some people can eat pizza occasionally and keep their weight off. Others can’t. If you are truly obsessed with food, you may need to treat it as a true addiction. Your whole thought process may not just need to change for a period (like while you are dieting), but forever. There are plenty of people who do cocaine and never get addicted. In the same way, you must know what you can and cannot handle. If you have dieted before, but gained the weight back, it’s likely that you simply set aside your addiction for later, instead of laying it down for good.
Be willing to let go of the things that are ruining you – not just for a period, but be WILLING to let go of them for life (if that’s what it takes). Anything that is standing in the way of you being your best, and becoming the person God called you to be, has no place in your life – not now, maybe not ever. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can never have it again, but letting go completely (and being OK if you never have it again , knowing you are trading it for SO MUCH MORE) is the first step toward a permanent change. Letting it go doesn’t just set it free, it sets YOU free.
3. Focus on what you are gaining, not what you are losing. So many people are SO busy focusing on what they are giving up, that they never truly realize what they are trading it in for. Is the freedom to order whatever you want at your favorite restaurant REALLY that much more important than losing weight, being fit and healthy, and feeling good about yourself? Your issue may not be the food itself, but giving up the “right” or “freedom” of doing what you want. Either way, the reality is most people are miserable when they are overweight and out of shape. They are insecure, depressed, restricted, physically uncomfortable, unattractive feeling, weak, out of shape, sick and tired. That is what poor decisions cost us. Personally, I can’t even think about what I want, or what I’m giving up. I just have to focus on what I’m GETTING – and it trumps my favorite treat any day.
4. Run from temptation. Not only should we not be around it, we have to physically and mentally work on getting the obsession of food out of our mind. I believe a lot of us struggle with things more than we should because we LET ourself fixate on it. We think about it, dream about it, talk about it and make future plans with it. When we diet, we even SEARCH for ways to still get it. Whether we look for the newest latest low-fat, gluten-free, paleo version of it, or whatever, we are still allowing our obsession to live with us.
Let’s think of it this way. Pretend it’s something that is SERIOUSLY WAY off limits – like another man or woman, an illegal drug, or breaking the law. We know to run from those things. We know not to focus on them. We know to push those thoughts out of our head as soon as they pop up. However, food can be just as dangerous if we LET those thoughts stay and take residence in our mind. They set up camp, they bring all their friends and, before you know it, they are ruling your body. If you want to really cut ties with your “drug of choice”, then you need to go to extreme measures to sever ties completely. With a drug addict, that means changing phones, blocking calls, deleting phone numbers, joining a support group, arranging people to hold you accountable daily, ending unhealthy friendships, changing your circle of friends, avoiding certain places, etc. AND, even if you do most of those things, if you don’t do it all you are still leaving an opening for failure. Are you running from temptation, only to leave a forwarding address so it can find you later?
- What is your weakness? Let’s get specific today. What is the one thing (or things) you could not imagine giving up forever?
- Would you be willing to live without ______________ for the rest of your life if you knew in your heart you could reach your goals and succeed? You must be happy and whole with just you and God alone. If you panic at the thought of never having _____________ again, then you have an obsession. Surrender that obsession and realize how important it is to not rely on certain things to make you happy. Truthfully, it’s often those very things that are destroying us.
- Make a list of the things that are most important to you (that you are gaining) by pursuing your fitness journey. Compare those benefits to the item(s) you listed in question #1.
- Look for the cracks in your plan. Have you closed every door, or are you leaving a door cracked somewhere? Commit today to close all doors and FULLY 100% commit to changing your life forever.
DON’T FORGET! Subscribe to get your daily fitness tips and motivation for my 2014 New Year Motivation!
How do we lose our way? It’s not that we forget THE way, or that we get lost. Most of us just end up lost because we slowly go off course, little by little by little. Like a tourist in an unfamiliar town, as long as we stay by the main roads, we normally are safe. But, it’s easy to get distracted or lost if you aren’t careful – and most of us aren’t as careful as we should be because we don’t really grasp just how easy it is to get off course.
You’ve heard people say “just go with the flow”, but going with the flow of life is what gets people in trouble. We have to fix our eyes on our goal and do everything we can to go against the flow of life that normally knocks us off our feet. This is more than setting goals, you have to SET goals and RESET your life daily – and even hourly. Since life constantly pulls us off course, sticking to the right path requires CONSTANT readjustments and planned purpose-filled steps.
Exercise with Purpose. Diet with Purpose. Live with Purpose.
It’s not like we don’t know we’re gaining weight, getting more in debt, not going to church as much, or getting further from a goal – but we act surprised because we don’t realize just how far off track we are until it’s too late. Sadly, it’s only until it’s painfully obvious, as we are facing the repercussions (which normally means we are completely miserable), that we decide to get finally back on track.
How can we avoid this? We need to recognize the signs and to be quicker to make the necessary adjustments to get back on track. It’s not only about getting back on course this year, but this time it’s imperative we purposefully STAY on course, and stick with the right people who will help us stay on track. And, when we fall (which we will at times, so be prepared for it!) we commit to keep getting back up.
You CAN reach your goals this year. You WILL be tempted to fail. BUT, you CAN be prepared to succeed by being one step ahead of each temptation, each slip and each obstacle.
- Recognize the signs before they pull you off track. What are things that have pulled you off course before?
- Decide NOW, before you get off track, how you plan to adjust, to get BACK on track when you stray.
- What guidelines can you set to keep you tethered in? Do you have friends that can help you stick with your program? Should you weigh in weekly to hold yourself accountable? What about hiring a trainer until you get enough results to keep you motivated?
- What are you purposely doing different this year, this month, this week and today?
Yesterday I talked about the power in trying. As you know people LOVE motivational words, quotes and images. After I mentioned the quote that has been shared all over social media saying, “no matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch“, I decided to make a similar quote to remind us that we are only competing with ourself.
Today I want you to focus on being a better version of yourself. It really DOES matter how slow we go if we are not improving. At the same time, it DOESN’T MATTER how weak we are, or how slow we go, if we are better than we USED to be.
This year commit to what Steve calls “keeping your eyes on your own paper”. What he means is, focus on YOU and what you are doing. Don’t let Little Miss Suzy Q fit friend throw you off your game. There will always be someone better, faster, fitter, thinner, more motivated, more disciplined, more seemingly perfect – DON’T DARE EVEN COMPARE YOURSELF! Commit to focusing on YOU and simply defeating the old lazier version of yourself.
This year you have a chance to get the update – to reinvent yourself, work out all the bugs and run faster and better than before. Enjoy all the victories, big and small, of simply beating the old you. Start the “YOU 2.0 UPDATE” today!
The last two days I discussed the hard part of getting fit in my 2-part blog series “The First Step to Fitness Success”. I discussed the sacrifices you must make in Surrender to Win Part 1 and Surrender to Win Part 2 I talked about denying yourself some of the things that give you pleasure now in order to enjoy the longterm pleasure of a healthy body. Today I talk about the easy part – and it’s a lot easier than you think.
Getting stronger, faster, thinner, healthier and better may sound like a lot of work, but it’s almost inevitable if you just keep trying. Have you seen that saying people share on facebook that says, “no matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch“? Well let’s take that a step further and make it a little more personal, “No matter how slow I go, I am still lapping THE OLD ME that used to sit on the couch.” My point is, whatever you ARE doing is better than when you did nothing.
So, let’s put things into perspective here. If you are one of those people that try really hard for 6 weeks and then drop off the face of the earth, you can easily do better this year. Anything you do that is more than what you have been doing is better. If you are the type of person who trains hard to make up for not dieting hard enough, anything you do to improve your eating will be an improvement. My point is, you don’t have to train like a professional athlete to be stronger or faster. You don’t have to starve yourself to be thinner. You don’t have to be perfect to be better – you just have try to make improvements. The more improvements you make, the greater your results will be.
Trying is of the most powerful things you can ever do. If you don’t try, you will never have the chance to succeed. Trying is the key to all victory. If you want to guarantee failure, quit trying. That is the only way you truly can fail.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Michael Jordan
If you plan on beating the old you (last year’s 2013 model), then you have to write out what that looked like. Make a list of your training schedule and what you typically did. If your issue is your diet, then you may not need to change your training much, but you’ll need to focus more on eating better. Make a list of what you did wrong last year and what you want to avoid this year. Remember, ANY improvement is an improvement – and improvements multiply into great success.
Be encouraged! You can BE better. Just refuse to give up and commit to starting over as many times as it takes!
Before you can start on your fitness goals, you need to have a grasp on what your journey will require. Yesterday we talked about surrender vs deliverance. Today we are talking about making sacrifices. While you ABSOLUTELY can enjoy life, eat fun treats, etc. while moving toward your goal, it would be irresponsible for me to not warn you about the sacrifices you must be willing to make. Of course you may already know this to some degree, but if you are like 99% of the rest of America, you probably hope that you are one of the exceptions who will be able to have your cake, and eat a little too. It’s this mindset that gets you in trouble. You must be willing to do WHATEVER it takes to reach your goal – no matter the sacrifice. Before you can change your actions to get the weight off your thighs, you need to change your mind. Success always starts in the mind. So let’s talk….
Worth the Sacrifice
Nowadays people try to do anything possible to avoid cutting back. We work harder so we don’t have to cut back expenses. We exercise more so we don’t have to change our eating. We try to change rules so we don’t have to change anything about us. The fact of the matter is there are certain things in life that REQUIRE sacrifice.
You can’t expect to be an Olympic Champion without making certain sacrifices. Many kids sacrifice parties, sleeping in, vacations, afternoon cartoons and other things regular kids enjoy. However, the reward is worth the sacrifice. The same goes with fitness. Most people can’t have the body they want and eat (and do) what they want. I don’t even mean a ripped physique – I mean a fit, healthy physique requires taking care of your body.
If you want your body to last long, you need it treat it well. You need to drink less, eat healthier, rest more, get regular check ups and exercise often. Living healthy requires sacrifice – and one of the BIGGEST sacrifices is denying yourself the things your flesh craves.
a. to refrain from satisfying one’s desires.
b. to refuse to indulge oneself in; abstain from.
Deny Yourself to Save Yourself
Scripture is full of truths. You don’t have to be a Christian to learn from what it says. Look at this statement, explaining what it takes to experience freedom and life. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself…For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-34)
What does it mean by “lose your life”? It means a lot of things, but one thing it means is to let go – to be willing to sacrifice for a greater purpose. We often are obsessed with what our body and mind wants NOW, without thinking about what it will affect LATER. You must be willing to lose your life (to not feed these cravings) in order to become the man or woman God desires you to be. You don’t have to be a church-goer to relate to this. Seriously, this applies to everything in life. Great things require sacrifice – in your job, marriage, health and dreams.
What does it mean when it says “if you try to save your life, you will lose it”? Many people eat, drink, spend, love and party their way through life in a pursuit of happiness. They want to live life to the fullest and so they live for the moment. How many times have you heard someone say “if I just had _________, I’d be happy”. We often even treat money, food, power, climbing the corporate ladder, etc as our salvation – like if we get those things, it will save us. However, it’s the pursuit of these things that often destroy us. Our own selfishness is truly is the root of all our issues including food and our health. The taste of food, laziness, self-indulgences, comforts, not wanting to give up your time, and doing things that make you feel good for a moment are all things that can get in the way of your New Year’s goals.
“You Can’t Compete with What You Eat.”
You may think you can just workout more to make up for what you aren’t willing to cut back, but you can’t compete with what you eat. True success requires more than that. It’s funny that scripture doesn’t say, “If anyone would come after me, he must work harder“. No, that’s something we don’t mind doing. We don’t mind working hard (like exercising more, or doing more good deeds), but don’t dare tell me I have to deny myself chocolate, wine, time or money. “However, it is in the act of denying our flesh (the desires of our mind and body) that we become free and can really start to live. Otherwise, we live are just living in bondage of the things we refuse to give up. That is why it is in denying ourself, and truly surrendering those things, that we become free.
If you struggle with food, if you are unable to deny yourself or control yourself, you are allowing food to rule you. Food is your god. Food is your boss. Food owns you. The same goes with any other struggle. It could be alcohol, drugs, work or any other out-of-control area of your life that is out of balance or unhealthy. Just like you can’t compete with what you eat by trying to erase all frivolous your calories with exercise, you can’t always erase the damage by doing more good stuff. Some unhealthy habits must die. Look at Joyce Meyer says we can fix it…
“Everytime you feed the flesh, you strengthen it. This is good if you are trying to build a good habit, but detrimental if you are trying to stop a bad habit. The way to “kill the flesh” is to starve it; to stop feeding it.” Joyce Meyer.
You decide what is getting stronger or weaker in your life by what you are feeding. Are you feeding your bad habits? Are you investing time and energy in things that destroy you or lift you up and make you stronger? Are you ready to surrender the things in your life that have been keeping you from your goals. Are you ready to surrender WHO YOU ARE and tell the world that is no longer you, in order to BECOME who you WANT TO BE?
REMINDER (A little encouragement):
You may need to drink water and skip the fried hors d’oeuvres while everyone else stuffs their face at a party – but they won’t enjoy your healthy life. It’s a tradeoff. You can easily feel sorry for yourself, but I guarantee people would trade a healthy fit body for fried macaroni if they were honest. So while you may be jealous they are eating what they want, and feel sorry for yourself while you are dieting and denying yourself of your favorite pleasures, your friends are probably jealous of your discipline – and envy you for being on the path to looking and feeling how YOU want! 🙂
- OBSTACLES: Make a list of the things you must sacrifice to reach your goals.
- DESTINATION/GOAL: Make a list of all the benefits of reaching your goals.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Compare the two and keep the lists visible to help keep you on track (and keep things into perspective) daily.
Did you miss Part 1? Read Surrender vs Deliverance
Surrender to Win: Part 1
In this 2-part blog, I will be talking about surrender, deliverance and denying ourself. I know, you are probably already looking for the EXIT key. Believe me, it may not be the motivational words you think you want to hear, but they are words (packed with truths) I believe you need to hear before you can chase your goals and begin to really change once and for all. By the time you are done with these 2 blogs, I believe (if you apply them) it truly can change your life. With that said, put on to your big-girl (or boy) britches and get ready for some tough talk.
In order to change, you must first surrender the things that have kept you from your goals so you can become who you want to be. You may need to surrender certain food, or surrender your time, so you can exercise more. You may need to surrender laziness and decide that is not who you want to be anymore. Whatever your goals, I guarantee it will require a certain level of surrendering.
Deliverance vs. Surrender
I believe many people are waiting around to be miraculously delivered from their addictions, struggles, weight, health, financial stress, bad habits and selfish ways. They might even pray for deliverance, that God would just take away their desires completely. I personally believe, most of us can’t be delivered until we first surrender.
Seriously, think about it this way. If you are holding on to something SO tight, how hard is it for it to be pulled away from you? It would be very difficult. However, as you loosen your grip, it becomes easier to take away (not that God needs to workout harder so he can win an arm wrestling match). But how fair is it to ask God to rip something out of your hands that you refuse to let go of? Even if He did take it from you, if your mind hasn’t let go and you will likely just take it right back.
We have to surrender. We have to take the first step and let go – in our mind, in our heart and in our actions. It may take weeks or months of letting go before you are completely delivered. You may have to let go every morning and decide to continue surrendering certain things every single day of your life.
Look at the first and second definitions of surrender. It explains surrender is often used in reference of giving up something for something else, something better. Surrendering to either avoid something bad, or in favor of something good. In war, someone may surrender (or wave the white flag) to save their life. In that case, a warrior may even lose his rights to land or freedom (something that is rightfully his), but it’s a trade-off. The same applies for us in many cases.
We have the right to eat whatever we want. We have the right to say whatever we want. We have the right to be as fat and lazy as we want ….BUT that doesn’t make it right or best for us. We choose to surrender those things in order to have life (and a better, happier, more peaceful and joyous, healthy life).
Of course most of us are not held at gunpoint, forcing us to choose and wave the white flag, but there comes a time in our life where we come to the end of ourselves. We get tired of feeling bad. We get tired of the repercussions of our poor choices. Then we finally realize that surrendering is the only way to deliverance – AND that it will be SO worth it!
Warning signs you may be in bondage with food:
Here are some warning signs you need to take your relationship with food more seriously and make some serious changes (surrendering) in order to WIN the fight with fat once and for all!
- When you are stressful, blue, mad, sad or excited – you reach for food. It’s your coping strategy.
- You panic if you can’t have it.
- You plan your whole diet around still trying to have certain foods or beverages.
- You focus on adding good habits, to avoid getting rid of bad ones.
- You look for fitness, diet plans, supplements and diet pills that allow you to keep doing/eating what you want. You buy every gimmick you see. (Why do you think stupid gimmicks like the “Cookie Diet”, “The Ab Belt” & Diet Pills does well? Because they prey on this type of person.)
- You work out more than you need to, to make up for eating more than you are supposed to.
- You can’t control yourself around it. If you have one, you have to have 5. If you can’t control yourself around something, then it is more than an indulgence, it’s an addiction.
- You binge. Maybe you deny yourself something, and when you finally do give in you go crazy.
- It is always on your mind. You talk about it, think about it, plan your day around it.
- You think you need it to be happy.
Homework (for the brave and determined:
While I’m not expert of food addiction, I can tell you that I’ve seen plenty of people be fully delivered from their prior addictions. You don’t have to fight a chemical dependency like a cocaine addict, but in some ways you likely have developed a coping strategy and a dependency on food to help you through life – to comfort you, to reward yourself, etc. In a way, food addiction is just an extreme bad habit that can be broken. Breaking habits take work, a lot of practice and a lot of introspection. So be honest with yourself and be openminded to the idea that your weight issue (or food/drink issue) is more than just a luxury you aren’t willing to part with – it could be more serious. If you treat is seriously, you CAN conquer it. However, the same way you can’t expect to put a bandaid on cancer and it heal, you can’t put a bandaid on a food addiction and expect it to go away. Some things must be cut out, removed, treated, operated on – until it’s GONE. 🙂
- What are the things (types of food, alcohol or habits) you need to surrender?
- Do you admit you are powerless around food, or certain types of food or drink? (this is actually the first step to recovery for true addicts. And it typically takes a while before someone come to grips with acknowledging they really are powerless. However, if you haven’t been able to give “it” up yet, it’s likely you are truly addicted to “it” or the lifestyle. Once you realize you are powerless, then you can begin “treatment” to gain back control.
- How do you plan to “let go” of these things? You have to know what this is going to look like. You also need to realize there’s a reward – you have to lose something to gain something (even better).
- What kind of support do you need? Are you willing to get the help you need no matter the cost (time, money, effort)? Put it this way, if you had cancer, would you do whatever it takes to get help?
- What actions and guidelines can you apply in your life that can help prevent you from falling into temptation. Drug addicts might change phones so drug dealers or friends don’t have their number anymore. They would quit frequenting their favorite hang outs, and start spending time with people who are on the same path. They would not allow whatever it is they are addicted to to be in the house, or around them. They would go to weekly meetings and they would join a 12-step program to learn what their triggers are so they can identify signs they may act out. They would require their friends and family to be supportive – and they too may join groups to learn how to be more supportive and understanding.
Note (the good news):
Realize, while some people will never be completely free from an addiction, as you separate yourself from the things that have ruled your life, it is likely those things will become less and less important to you. Over time, a rich food will likely not taste as good to you. Feeling healthy will feel SO good that you will know there is no comparison to your old past and old ways – so it will be easier to “say no”. The same way an true addict goes through withdrawals in the beginning, the hardest part will be the beginning of your journey. It will get easier, but also like an addict, you must never let down your guard. You have to guard yourself against things that can sabotage progress, as well as guard yourself against those same things when you reach your goal to avoid a relapse.
Next Up: Don’t forget to read tomorrow’s blog for PART 2 of this series. Subscribe (above right) to get notified when blogs are posted.
I recently heard 7 powerful words that I will never forget: “Nothing you’ve been through will be wasted“. These encouraging words mean even more as we approach the new year. Pastor TD Jakes totally turned the tables for me. No failure, no mistake, no loss, no pain, no hardship or no experience (no matter how bad it was) has to be wasted – and instead, it can actually be USED for good.
Yes, you heard right. Any mistake you made or any failure you experienced (EVEN if it was your own fault) can be used for your benefit, for others’ benefit, and even for God’s benefit. How? Here are 3 ways the failures of 2013 can be a success in 2014.
#1 The Lesson
First, we can LEARN from our mistakes. If you tried 10 ways to diet in 2013 and failed, you’ve successfully know 10 diets that are not for you. You probably also learned a few things along the way. You might have learned how many calories are in your favorite cheat meal – or you discovered a low-calorie snack you actually love. You may have discovered a workout you love, but now realize you can’t compete with what you eat – and now you know you need to try the same workout with new eating habits. Either way, you still have learned something.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas A. Edison
#2 The Testimony
Second, we have a more powerful testimony when we DO succeed. It may seem like some people succeed with ease (and they may). However, when someone succeeds in an area of their life that was truly challenging, THAT person can make even more of an impact on others than someone who easily reaches their goals. Whether your struggle is with your weight, or something else, when you finally do succeed, just think of the encouragement your story will give others who are dealing with the same stuff you have conquered. Your testimony can help someone have the courage not to give up.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
#3 The Understanding
Lastly, our experiences allow us to see life differently, in order to relate to others. If I never struggled with my own weight, or struggled with laziness, weakness, injury or failures, you may not even listen to me right now. You may be under the impression that I couldn’t possibly understand what you may be going through. You may even believe it’s just easier for me than it is for you. You might even be tempted to think that what works for me cannot work for you too.
That is why I try to make it very clear in my blogs and posts that I am one of the laziest people I know – so you realize if I can do it, anyone can. Do I look lazy? Maybe not, but do I have to fight my lazy lame flesh every single day, and drag my sorry butt to the gym? Almost every single time! Hopefully, that encourages you! Hopefully, you will see that fitness isn’t a feeling or the result of insane motivation, but that it’s a decision. It’s a commitment, like a job, – and it pays off BIG TIME!
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” Booker T. Washington
Sure, you can waste your experiences by not learning from them, by not sharing them, and by not helping others who are going through the same thing you have gone through. OR, you can realize your experiences can make you stronger, wiser and better – and they make you a more effective leader to impact others in a way unimaginable.
1.) Make a list of your 2013 failures, struggles and mistakes.
2.) Write your response on what you should have done differently.
3.) Make notes of how you can use those experiences to help you reach your goals in 2014. Focusing on USING your experiences (instead of WASTING them) may be the only thing that motivates you to not fail – and that may be exactly what you need to succeed!
4.) Journal your feelings, failures, victories and progress daily. Pretend you are going to write a story of your success. Even if you never write a book for millions to read, your story can help you stay on track, never forget what you learned and help you share your story with others in a special way.
As you reflect on your goals this January, don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed with how much you need to do. Set your goals, and then look at the reality if you commit to TRYING to reach them – you CAN, and will, improve. Honestly, that is the worst case scenario. For example…
Goal: I want to lose 50lbs.
Reality: I will feel better even if I lose 25!
Goal: I want to pay off my debt.
Reality: It will be awesome even if I pay off a big chunk!
Goal: I want to read through the Bible.
Reality: I’ll read more than last year just trying!
Goal: I want to be live healthier
Reality: The more I workout and eat healthy, the better I will feel.
Even if you don’t reach all your goals, as long as you commit to trying, you can at least make improvements – and that’s a great thing! Think of the things that will improve if you workout more, eat healthier, drink (alcohol) less, go to church more, spend more time with family, spend less time wasting time, spend less, budget more, work more efficiently, be a better steward of your money, time, home, friends, etc. Just attempting these things will change you if you commit to trying.
This year, instead of focusing on reaching a goal, commit to making healthy changes so you can make improvements. As you begin to improve, you will find more motivation to reach your goals, as your goals get closer and closer. Sure, you will never be perfect – but you sure as heck can be better in 2014! Goodbye 2013, Hello to a better year and a better you!
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Winston Churchill
‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house,
Every creature was stirring, yes, even the mouse.
The stockings, once hung by the chimney with care,
Were being packed up and are no longer there.
If only the children were nestled all snug in their beds,
All the adults in the house wouldn’t be losing their heads.
I finished some cleaning and took off my thinking cap;
And thought for a second I might take a nap,
When out of nowhere, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Across the house I flew like a flash,
Tripping over empty boxes, wrapping paper and trash.
My neighbors’ Christmas lights lit up the neighborhood
So I could see my neighbor clearly exactly where she stood.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
She was standing on her scale crying in fear.
More rapid than eagles, all her weight came,
She cried and shouted and called her scale a bad name.
“Now Dangit! Now Darnit! Dagnabbit and Flippin!
My True Religion jeans are no longer fittin!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall;
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves before Hurricane Frances did fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount in the sky.
Out of her garage her husband flew,
With the car full of toys and all the kids too.
And in a twinkling, I heard my doorbell sound,
Followed by crying and sobbing from everyone around.
As I drew in my head wondering how I could help,
All my friends and neighbors were at my door with a yelp.
They were dressed in fitness gear from their head to their feet
Their clothes were all tarnished with cookie crumbs and sweets.
They seemed to have an extra bundle around their fronts and their backs,
And they all looked like peddlers, each one with a gym sack.
Their eyes, how they twinkled – but wait, they weren’t merry,
They’d all been crying, their noses red as a cherry.
Their droll little mouths were drawn up like bows;
And their faces looked shocked, like they had all seen a ghost.
They had gotten on a scale and didn’t like what they saw.
And now they were ready and determined to erase it all.
They had broad faces and a little round belly,
That shook when they cried like a bowlful of jelly.
They were chubby and plump, each like an unhappy old elf,
And I laughed when I saw them because I was there myself.
A wink of my eye and a twist of my head,
Soon they all knew they had nothing to dread.
I spoke not a word, but went straight to work;
Getting the gym ready, and then turned with a jerk.
And laying my fingers on the computer keys,
I started writing out my fitness tips with ease.
I sprang to my car and gave my team a call,
And told them “get ready! Get ready for them all!”
And away they all flew to the health clubs that night
saying, Happy New Year to all, let’s give fat a good fight!
story by Bonnie Pfiester
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