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Weakness is a Choice

weakness is a choiceWhere we are now is normally a result of our own actions and our own choices. Sure, there are some things that we can’t control – yet we still can control our reaction to even those things. 

We all have the same amount of time in the day. We may fill it up with work, facebook, kids, pets, church, TV, sleep, eating, etc…but we ultimately get to decide how we spend a lot of our time even if some of our time is not negotiable.

We ALL are busy. We all are pulled in a million different directions. One thing I’ve learned is I can ALLOW people, work, money, bills, stress, etc to pull me off track from what is important to me or I can stick to my guns and determine my own steps. 

When I say I did NOT want to run the morning I tweeted this quote out online Saturday, I meant it! I had precious family coming into town and knew I would be pressing it to run, shower, clean or do whatever needed to be done in time for their arrival. Plus, I was plain tired. I had already done 8 cardios so far that week and could have EASILY justified skipping a day. BUT (Biiiiiiiiiigggggg BUT) if I skipped it, it would have really been out of pure laziness and lame excuses. 

Running with your dogI didn’t have a ton of time, but I had enough time. I might have been tired, but I had the energy. My joints felt good, my body was feeling good. The whether was nice and Marley LOVES running with me so I can kill 2 birds with one stone – we both get exercise.

Steve got up and was doing his cardio. I honestly had no really good excuse NOT to – AND I knew good and well I’d feel horrible if I didn’t. Even though it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, it’s important to do the things that make you feel good and proud.

When it boils down to it, I had the choice. Run now, be proud later. Run now, be strong later, Run now, be thinner later, Run now, be guilt-free later. Run now, be a little closer to your goal later. Run now and live out the rest of the day in control, on track, focused, healthy and happy.

Next time you are tempted to be weak, remember you have the choice to be STRONG!!

The Strong Keep Trying

weak give upOK, can I get a count by lifting your hands: Who wants to be weak? I’m pretty sure no one is raising their hand right now. No one is jumping up and down saying “Meeee! Meee!” No one wants to be weak. People want to be STRONG! And even if they are not strong, they want to appear strong.

What is required for strength? Well, in the fitness world, building strength requires lifting things that are quite difficult. It requires putting your body under great pressure. Our body doesn’t get stronger using the same 5lbs weights we started with. No, we have to keep moving up, keep trying heavier weights and keep challenging our body – many times to the point of failure (or perceived failure).

I personally HATE to fail. That’s why I hate pistol squats. I only can do so many before complete failure. Not only that, I can’t do them really well, and I can’t do that many of them. Even if I do as many as I set out to do, I consider myself a failure because they aren’t deep as I want, I’m not flexible enough to hold my dang foot out in front of me and I am not strong enough to pump that many out. I leave that exercise every time feeling like a big fat failure.

This is why I don’t like doing them. This is why I want to quit trying them. I stink at them. BUUUUT, I know I will NEVER get any better, any stronger or any more flexible unless I keep trying them.

Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.

failureWe must realize every success requires many failures. We MUST fail to succeed. Every failure teaches us what not to do, it tests our strength, it teaches us discipline, it challenges our poor attitude and it grows our character. The good news is with every failure, is also a mini-success. These smaller successes help keep us trying. BUT, without trying, we never experience the small successes.

No one likes to fail. In fact, people try to avoid failure at all costs. People don’t love, for the risk of a failed relationship. People don’t pursue their dreams, because of the risk of failure. Many people don’t even start a diet or workout program because they don’t believe they can succeed and don’t want to be a failure in that too. However, if you want to succeed, you need to be ready for many failures (big or small) along the way. Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.

Don’t give into your weaknesses. Decide to be strong today. Accept that failure is a part of life, and the more chances you have to fail, the more chances you have to succeed.

Are Your Snacks Sabotaging Your Fat Loss Success?

snackingI don’t know what it is about feeling the need to snack at night, but I think most of us struggle with our eating after 5pm more than any other time of the day. So what do you do when you want results, but you want to snack?

The answer really depends on your goal. If you want to reach your goal fast, then snacking almost shouldn’t even be an option. For me, I’ve always allowed myself a 200-calorie window for 100-calorie popcorn, string cheese or beef jerky. But if I want to take things up a notch, even 200 calories can add up to nearly 2 pounds of fat not lost by the end of the month.

snackingUnfortunately, most people graze. They will have a small handful of nuts. Then they may grape a few grapes. Then they decide to pop some popcorn. Before you know it, they have a sweet tooth. It can really get out of control quick, so rules must be in place.

First, let’s look at the facts. You don’t NEED to eat. You probably just ate dinner an hour ago and are actually full. So the one time you don’t really need food, is when you want to eat more food. Does that make any since at all?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself so you can start setting some rules in your home.

post goals1. Decide what your goal is. Put your goal in plain site – on the fridge or on the pantry door. Write notes to yourself of the things you are going to quit doing like this picture. You need something to remind you what you are working for when the snacks try to distract you.

2. Decide how fast you want to reach your goal. Keep track of how you are doing. Whether you track calories on an app like I do (I use LoseIt) or you mark off each day you are on target on a calendar. Once you determine how fast you want results, track your progress along the way.

3. Decide ahead of time what you will or won’t allow. Are you going to go without completely or just limit your snacks?

4. Set a caloric limit on your evening snacks and stick to it. I suggest putting a cap on how many calories you are allowing yourself to eat. That way you have a strict cut off. Otherwise, you will keep having “a little more”.

5. Make a rule that you will not eat ANYTHING unless you count up the calories first. This way, you stay in tune with what you are eating, and the “damage” you are making. Here’s the reality – every calorie you eat is ultimately reflected on the scale. If you don’t want to be frustrated every time you weigh yourself, and you want to gain control of the scale – then learn to gain control of your snacking.

Here is a list of just a few snacks and the equivalent weight loss you would have if you skipped that item. If you are on target all day for weight loss, but exceeded your goal from snacks alone, this is how many more pounds of fat you’d lose each month if you were to forfeit them. REMEMBER: Most people have more than one snack a night, so you can see how quickly this adds up. You can also see why people slowly gain weight – the same happens in reverse.

controlling the scale27 Chips & Salsa = 2 3/4 lbs
1 cup of low-fat ice cream = 2lbs 
2 glasses of wine or 2 beers = 2lbs
1 small pack of pistachios = 1 1/4 lbs
100 Calorie Popcorn = 3/4 lbs
2 cups of grapes = 1 1/2lbs
1/2 cup almonds = 3 1/4lbs
10 crackers & 2oz cheese = 3lbs

6. BEFORE you take your first bite of anything, ask yourself “What do I want more? Get faster results or to taste more food?” Are you really going to allow snacks to sabotage your waistline? Seriously, you won’t die if you don’t snack – and the results you want so badly will come SO much faster! Get a grip! (this is really me just talking to myself!)

7. Just say no. I think most of us work so hard to figure out a way to still snack, when maybe what we need is to stop our bad habit to begin with. If you are snacking every night, you are stuck in a habit. Make a snack a treat – not a nightly habit.

8. Aks for accountability. Tell your family your goals. Ask them to not let you snack. This way, when an hour goes by and you’ve already changed your mind, and talked yourself into having a snack anyway, you have support to help talk you back out of it.

I will winLast night I had to talk to myself using these above tips too. Although I am very disciplined throughout the day, I train hard, I count calories – I still fight the snack attacks at night just like most people. I literally had a conversation with myself – and the part of me that wants results won.

In the big scheme of things it’s SUCH a SMALL sacrifice!! And, despite how successful I was last night, I will indeed most likely have the same exact conversation tonight until I get in a better habit of controlling my snacking – but the fit me will win the fight! 🙂

What’s Weak Will Become Strong

Weaknesses

Do you have muscles you hate to train? Why do you hate that body part or exercise? Normally it’s because that’s a weak area, or that particular exercise is hard for us.

When something is tough, we tend to avoid it. And, when we are great at something, we tend to do it more. That’s how runners get trapped into only running, or body builders get hooked into only lifting. People simply like doing what they are good at.

That sounds harmless at first, until you realize what you are really doing. You are neglecting your weak areas. For me, my weak spots are legs and flexibility. For many women, it’s upper body strength. For many men, it’s cardio. For some people, a weakness is something they just aren’t good at – like aerobics or something that takes coordination – but avoiding it is not the answer.

Practice makes perfect – and working what’s weak will eventually make you strong.

The Secret Ingredient to Becoming Stronger, Better, Faster

No matter what you are training for, if you want to improve there is one thing that’s always required. It’s something we try to avoid. We detest it, we run from it, and we do anything to not experience it. I’m talking about a good old-fashioned struggle.

No one becomes a better musician by playing easy pieces and no one gets stronger by lifting light weight. Strength comes only with a struggle – because that’s when strength is really required.

A good musician will struggle through a difficult piece, over and over, until they’ve mastered it. Physical strength is required. A guitarist’s fingers may get so tender their joints ache, their muscles cramp, and their fingertips bleed. Mental strength is also required. No one likes failure, yet failure is requirement to success. Rarely does anyone master something challenging on the first attempt, so they must resist the temptation to give up no matter how many times they fail.

Easy Develops Weakness
You don’t have to be strong on a good day. Strength is not required to do things that come easy to us. Therefore, those things will not make us stronger. Of matter of fact, we may even become weaker.

Change only happens you are challenged, yet we’ve been taught to avoid challenges – as if challenges and difficulties are bad. So, we avoid discomfort, we avoid inconvenience, we avoid pain and we avoid difficulties. However, those are the things we will need to endure to produce change.

We tease around our house “don’t pray for patience, or God will just give you more opportunities to practice”, but this is so true. If you want to improve an any area of your life, you will need more opportunities to WORK on that area.

If you want to become leaner, stronger, faster or run longer, you will have to challenge your body in those areas. Otherwise, expect to be exactly where you are ten years from now.

If you aren’t struggling, you aren’t changing!

Today’s Challenge:
1. Try to lift your one-rep max (the heaviest weight you can push for one rep) on at least one exercise today.
2. Try to sprint your fastest pace for a quarter mile.
3. Forfeit one of your favorite regular foods or drinks today as a reminder you are in control.

 

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