8 Excuses Busted: Make One Change Today

no excuses

No More Excuses!  Easier said than done, right?  I mean, I don’t always make excuses, I just don’t  or can’t or won’t.  Anybody with me?

 

But there are definitely times when our excuses feel very real.  And honestly, they don’t feel like excuses.  They are facts of our lives.  They are real to us, and it’s hard to see a work around or another option.  Healthy eating?  I only have so much in my grocery budget.  Work out?  I only have so much time in a day.  Rest?  Have you seen my schedule???  Quiet time?  I pray when I’m falling asleep at night.  

 

Today I’m going to take on a few excuses, or maybe even facts of life, and bust them with some practical tips to a fit and healthy lifestyle.  

1.  Not enough time

  • As it relates to working out – For some reason we think that we must work out 30, 60, 90 minutes for it to “count”.  But that just isn’t the case.  Whether we do 10 minutes when we get up and 10 minutes at lunch or a 15-20 minute workout, something is better than nothing.  And those 20 minute workouts can give you some amazing results.  I recently reviewed some YouTube workouts that were only 10 minutes long, and they left me sore and sweaty.  Check them out here!
  • As it relates to preparing healthy food – Do you have a crock pot?  Do you have some time on the weekend or maybe one evening a week when you can bake ahead some chicken and put it in the refrigerator?  How about put snacks in a baggie or small container?  You can freeze a variety of dishes and pull them out to fix for dinner.  The key is to plan and prepare ahead of time.  

2.  Not athletic, can’t run, hate cardio – First of all, running isn’t the only exercise.  While some people (me included!) love it, others hate it, and that’s okay.  You don’t have to become a runner.  You didn’t have to be an athlete in high school to be able to exercise now.  There are so many workouts these days, I’m confident you can find something you’d like to do.  Do you like to dance?  What about Zumba or Cize?  Do you like hardcore bootcamps?  What about a kickboxing class or the new Hard Corps 22 workout?  Bike.  Walk.  Lift weights.  Yoga.  I can help you find a workout that’s right for you!  

3.  Weather – My husband has been known to be a “seasonal” exerciser.  I tease him about hibernating in the winter.  Lol!  I often say it’s not the weather it’s the clothes.  With the right clothes, you can get out in any type of weather (for the most part.  I know issues like asthma do make extreme conditions difficult.  Listen to your body!).

4. Too expensive

  • As it relates to working out – It doesn’t cost anything to put shoes on and go out the door for a walk.  But even if you want/need shoes and workout clothes, they can be found on sale all the time.  You can purchase one DVD with several workouts for a small amount of money.  There are several workouts on YouTube and Pinterest that are legitimate and easy to follow…and free!
  • As it relates to eating healthy – Places like Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Target know that people are interested in organic, gluten-free, and just all around healthy foods these days.  You can often find store brand for cheaper than name brand items.  Places like Amazon and Drugstore.com offer great deals on healthier versions of items.  Frozen produce or seasonal fresh produce are usually priced right.  

5.  My family doesn’t support me – This is often where it comes in handy to define your Why.  (read more here!)  Get your family involved.  Set the example.  If you have to, when they’re eating chicken nuggets and fries for dinner, have a salad.  Eat the protein and veggies while they go ahead and eat the starch.  Just choose smaller portions of whatever you have fixed for the whole family.  Take the kids to the playground and walk laps while they swing and slide.

6.  Healthy food doesn’t taste good – There are so many healthy Pinterest boards to follow with easy recipes.  One of my favorite websites is www.hungry-girl.com.  She has some great ideas on how to make your favorite recipes healthy without losing the yummy taste.  Seasonings are your friend.  Be willing to experiment.  Check out some ideas here.  

7.  I’m tired all the time – I know it seems backwards, but getting fresh air and movement will help your energy level and get those endorphins moving in your body.  Even if it means getting up 10 minutes early to go for a walk.  When you begin to replace sugary and starchy foods with fruits and vegetables and lean protein, you will notice improvement in your energy level.  

8.    God knows what’s in my heart – Yes, He does.  But He still wants time with you.  “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Just take a minute to really notice His presence in your life.  Write down 3 things for which  you are grateful.  Be purposeful in this time.  It will provide mental clarity.  

 

What’s next?  I know it’s not easy to bust these excuses on your own.  Accountability is key.  Support is critical, especially if you feel like you’re the only one in the house who wants to get healthy.  I have an answer!  Join my “Fight the Good Fight!” Facebook group.  This will be 3 weeks of check ins, encouragement, support, and accountability.  It’s free!  All I need from you is a desire for and a commitment to living fit and free!  It’s not always easy, but together we can “Fight the Good Fight!”  To get your special invite to this private Facebook group, please email me to let me know you want in AND what excuse you’re ready to bust!

 

Tell me….

Did I miss any excuses?

What other tips do you have to bust the excuses?

 

How to Have a Bad Day Without Letting it Define You

bad day

We all have a bad days.  They’re a guarantee.  (I know, not the way to start a Monday.  But keep reading….it gets better!  🙂 )

Humid weather = Bad hair.  

Daylight Savings Time but someone (certainly the husband!) forgot to set the clock forward an hour = Running late all day.

Spring thunderstorm + Power failure = Fridge full of spoiled food.  

PMS strikes = Bag of chocolates inhaled before you know what happened.  

Enough already!  I think you get the point.  We all have bad days.  They happen.  It’s life.  But it’s how we deal with them that determines the next day and the next time that same thing happens.  

 

Let me share a story with you…..  (This was a recent Friday)  

Early trip to Target (my favorite place on earth!  lol!).  Starbucks coffee (my favorite drink!).  Beautiful sunny day.  No traffic issues.  Got home a little before noon.  My plan was to make my shake as soon as I got in the door, because I was hungry.  Well, I got involved in unloading, putting things away, and then I opened one container of trail mix (and I KNOW trail mix is not good for me, because I can’t stop at one serving!).  And then I snacked on something else I got.  Then I opened something else to try.  And then I opened the Reese peanut butter footballs.  (Because you have to have Reese peanut butter footballs for Super Bowl, right??) And an hour later, I’m regretting every bite of everything I had just had.  And then the negative talk comes in. The feelings of guilt and remorse.  Why did I do that?  What kind of example am I?  But, I shook the thoughts (for the moment), fixed my shake (because I knew I still needed that boost of superfood nutrition), and I did fine the rest of the day…..with the eating…..

Then there was the evening.  

I was out and about.  I noticed EVERY person.  I began comparing bodies in my head.  “I wish I looked like that.”  “I bet she didn’t stuff her face with trail mix and chocolates today.”  “Why can’t I get a grip?”  Negative talk.  Comparisons.  Insecurities.  

And what?  

I made a few bad choices in the middle of one day.  But I allowed that to take over my entire thought life.  (Oh, and I won’t bore you with the small argument with my husband all because I was feeling bad about myself and took it out on him.)

 

It all went south after eating a bit too much trail mix.  I could’ve righted the ship immediately after, but I didn’t.  I indulged a couple more times, but then it seemed things were getting better.  BUT, my mind, my self-discipline had been exhausted by the fight I had with myself that day, so I had nothing to fight off the negative thoughts later that day and then took it all out on my husband too.  

Ugh!  Day wasted.  BUT, was it really?  Here is where we can still take back control.  

Yes, a lot of that day went south, but I learned some things.  (And I doubt I need to mention that I learned not to bring trail mix into my house! lol!)  

That day didn’t have to define me.  When I laid my head down on my pillow, I took inventory and determined the next day would be better.  It was Friday, I could’ve said, “Heck it’s the weekend!  Let’s just throw caution to the wind and start a diet of restriction on Monday.”  Nope!  I don’t operate like that anymore!  I wasn’t going to sulk and feel sorry for myself or beat myself up.  I wasn’t going to name myself as a loser or failure or quitter or fat or undisciplined.  

The day just was.  Now, what can I learn from it?  I had to take some time to go back over the day and notice where I could make changes.  It was not going to define me.  I would let it REfine me.  What could I learn and how could I handle things differently the next time?  

And in the midst of all of it, trail mix and Reese footballs in hand, I was always a loved daughter of the King who didn’t look at me any differently than He did when I woke up that morning.

On the journey…

Always learning and growing…..

 

Tell me….

Have you had a bad day recently?  What did you learn from it?  

Turn Your Why into Action

How

We talked about finding your Why on Monday.  I firmly believe that this is the key to success in any endeavor…..health, fitness, business, etc.  (For our purposes, we’re focusing on living a healthy lifestyle.)  Still once you’ve figured that out, you need to figure out how.  

How am I going to exercise?

How am I going to fit it into my schedule?

How am I going to find the right workout for me?  

How am I going to structure my eating habits?

 

Your motivation is found in your Why.  You know exactly WHY you are choosing to get fit and healthy.  You have something deep within that is moving you towards health and fitness…..and it’s not a number on a scale or a pant size….it has to be more than that, because YOU are more than a number!   (If you still need help working through that, contact me.  I’d love to help you figure out your Why.)

 

The first step in the how, is to find what you like to do.  If you hate to run, then running isn’t for you.  Even if you think that’s the quickest way to weight loss.  You’ll never stick with it.  Even though getting a gym membership and a trainer seems like the right thing to do, if you can’t afford that or don’t have time to meet a trainer 3 times a week for an hour, then that’s not how to meet your goals.  So, what do you like to do?  

Do you like to be outside?  How about walking, running, or biking?  

Do you like to dance?  Ever thought of turning the radio on and just moving around for 20 minutes?  If you want more structure like a class or DVD, there are zumba classes everywhere and DVDs that can lead you in some dancing.  

Do you want to get strong?  Maybe you have a gym membership where you can go lift some weights or get hooked up with a trainer.  Or there are great DVD and online workouts like BeFit and Metabolic Effect that incorporate strength training.  

 

Once you figure out what you like to do the next step is to decide if you want to workout in the morning, lunch hour, or evening.  You can read all kinds of things that tell you working out in the morning is better than evening or vice versa.  But again, bottom line is you need to pick a time that you’ll stick with.  If you’re not a morning person, then exercising in the morning is likely not the best plan for you.  

 

If you still need help figuring this all out, you don’t have to do this alone.  Contact me.  I’d love to come alongside you and help you find your motivation and your soulmate workout.  Let’s do this!  

And to keep the encouragement coming, be sure to sign up for my email to be sent straight to your inbox each week.  I give even more tips and encouragement on following your why and sticking with the plan that is right for you.  When you sign up, I’ll send you my go-to scriptures and prayers that will get you started on that path to being Fit & Free.  

 

Tell me……

When do you workout?

Have you found your soulmate workout?  If so, what is it?

 

How To View Your Setback as an Opportunity

SETBACK

Recently I was sidelined from my running routine. A freakish pain happened in my big toe during a Saturday training run that forced me to walk the last mile of the run and led to a couple of weeks on the sidelines, walking and riding my trainer.  

Should’ve been no big deal. Thankful nothing like a stress fracture. A week or two of not running. How bad can that be? Well, ask any “runner”, and any day you’re told you CAN’T run is a bad day. And for someone who has struggled with tying her self-worth to how much she’s running and working out, this is very difficult.  I mean, first question people always ask me when they see me is “You run this morning?”  Or when I see family it’s, “You still running?  What big race do you have coming up?”  My identity is tied to my running.  

And so back to what do you do when you have a setback or encounter a roadblock? The first thing is we quickly revert to old thoughts and habits. At least I know I do. In this case, I was finding myself gravitating towards new weight loss schemes and quick fixes. I was fighting the urge to compare and let negative self-talk enter my mind.

BUT, I had to recognize what was going on. When I start down that path that only leads to destruction of all that God has done in my life, I pause, and remember I’m supposed to turn north! I had to be thankful for what I had.  I had to be thankful that I could still move everyday. I was able to lift some heavy weight and I tore it up on my trainer doing intervals.  I walked.  I surrounded myself with a community of women for 40 Days of Faith and Fitness.

In the end, maybe this wasn’t a setback or a roadblock. Maybe this was an opportunity to live out my verse of the year “throw off everything that hinders and run…” I had some time to take inventory and identify some of the hindrances I need to get rid of to run the race.

 

Do you feel like you’re facing a setback or a roadblock today?  May I suggest that it could be an opportunity?  

  • Is there a lesson to be learned?  
    • For me, I still need to learn that my identity and my worth has nothing to do with what my physical body does or how it looks.  
  • Do you need to make a change in your life?
    • I’m learning more and more about exercise and its affects on me as a “40-something”.  This gave me some time to explore some different ways to exercise.  
  • Do your priorities need to be adjusted?
    • In times like these, I’m reminded how “things”, whether they are activities or possessions, to do lists or relationships, they can become idols in my life that takes my focus off of the One who matters most.

 

Tell me about a time you’ve had a setback that proved to be an opportunity.

When it comes to sports, do you prefer to be on the sidelines cheering or would you rather be out there playing?

Why You Should Work From the Inside Out

inside out

I’ve followed diets.  I know calories.  I understand macros.  (“IIFYM” anyone???)  I’ve read books by all sorts of experts on diet and exercise.  I’ve used pills and powders and DVDs.  I did Weight Watchers when it was all about cans of tuna, lettuce, and carrot sticks dipped in mustard.  (Yes, you read that right!)   I’ve belonged to a gym.  I’ve taught exercise classes.  I’ve used computer programs to log my calories in and calories out.  I’ve restricted food and binged on exercise.  I’ve taken laxatives to “cleanse”.  

You get the picture.  I’ve tried A LOT of things.  Why?  What was my goal?  Results.  But what results exactly?  I just wanted to feel good in my body.  I was never shooting for a specific size or really even a specific number on the scale.  Sure, I wanted clothing sizes or scale numbers to go down, but I knew I’d never be a size 2.  I really didn’t want that.  At the end of the day, all I wanted was to feel good in my body.  I didn’t want to look in the mirror and cry or avoid mirrors altogether.

Was that too much to ask?  Of course not, but I was going about it all the wrong way.  

Yes, I grew up in church.  I was shy and therefore didn’t go out much and thus didn’t get into trouble or try things I shouldn’t.  I prayed.  I even prayed about my weight.  In fact, I cried to God about my weight (that I’ve never really had a problem with, according to a doctor anyway!).  BUT, I never really trusted Him with this area.  I’d read what Christian writers had to say about body weight and self image.  But I always had a better answer…..or rather Dr. Oz or the Oprah show or the Google search engines had answers for me.  LOTS of them, and expensive ones at that!  

But then I was about to turn 40.  I read the book “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst. It was my wake up call.  It was time.  I realized once and for all that I needed to change from the inside out.  I needed to work on my mind and my spirit.  

Now, I’m going to be 44 this year.  So to say that I read the book and I was “fixed” is to simplify it quite a bit and really just isn’t accurate.  BUT, I was on the right road….finally.  I slipped up and ordered diet pills and restricted calories and binged on exercise, but this time was different.  Daily I prayed and handed this to God.  Daily I sought Him to help me know the right ways to eat and exercise.  I got out in “left field” at times (and still do!), but never so far out that it was like starting all over again when I finally came back!  I began to realize that this was about me and my uniquely created body.  I couldn’t do things that worked for someone else.  If a diet promised a quick fix, then you can bet I knew it was a scam.  

But a journey it has been, and still is.  Why do I share it with you?  Because if I can save you from some of the hurt and pain by sharing a better way, I want to do that.  I’ve learned some things.  And the most important is this:  If you want results, you must start from the inside out.  

I’ve created a document that is simple but it includes some key scripture and prayer that will get you started on a Fit and Free life.  If that’s something you think might help you, and if you want to hear more about my journey and bumps along the road and how I handle them, just sign up for my email list.  I’ll send you the scriptures, and you’ll get a front row seat on my struggles as well as how I navigate this journey.  Let’s travel this road together!  

garrisonpic
Don’t you love this picture my friend’s son drew? It’s really quite simple “God, thank you for making me so wonderful.” If we could only make this our daily prayer.

What Scale?

scale

What is your relationship with the scale?  

It’s been over 8 months since I threw away my scale….for the last time!  (I’ve maybe thrown away or had my husband hide my scale before and then bought a new scale or threatened him with his life if he didn’t tell me where the scale were!  lol!)  

I’ve spent so much of my life defining myself by that number and allowing that number to determine my day.  And for what?  Who even sees it?  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never seen anyone walking around with a sign on their foreheads telling me how much they weigh!?!?  Have you???

Last week I talked about how we label ourselves as “good” if we eat all the right things (whatever those things are!) or “bad” if we eat “bad” foods (again, whatever those are!).  The same goes with the scale.  If we reach a number that we feel we should, then we are “good”, we have a good day, and all is well in life.  If we weigh in, and we don’t see what we thought we would or should, then our day is ruined, and we are now “bad” because we certainly did something wrong, because the number didn’t budge.  

Can I share this terrible truth?  A few years ago I discovered a lump in my breast and therefore had to go and get it checked out and eventually biopsied.  (Thankfully it turned out fine.)  But here is what I was stressed about during those doctor visits…..STEPPING ON THE SCALE!  Really?!?! I have a lump in my breast.  I could have easily been told it was cancer, and my concern was with the scale???  I imagine some of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about.  Any visit to a doctor creates an anxiety around the scale.  

As I’ve shared before, things started really changing for me last year.  And it so happened that I was going through a 21 day devotion series by Michelle Myers and on a particular day the devotion made me take the step to throw away the scale.  Here is what I wrote in a post back in June last year:  

If conviction doesn’t lead us to action, then what?

Today’s #crosstrainingdevos inspired some conviction, so I’m taking action. I wish I could just re-type the entire devo, but here are some highlights & why my scale is now in the trash😳 “Why would we ever base our worth on a number that no one knows but us? It’s just a number, and it shouldn’t consume us the way it does all too often.” Then here comes the clincher: “what is your definition of fitspiration? If it doesn’t point you to a healthy mindset, it’s not inspiring.” So I was #madetomove & this was my move….so long scale! What move do you need to make? Today’s #quickprayer “God fix my gaze on you”. If it takes your gaze away, maybe it’s time for a big change. It takes courage (believe me, this makes me feel a little nauseous & yet free at the same time!!!).

 

So I ask you again, what is your relationship with the scale?  Maybe you can handle them.  I’m not here to judge you if you have them or if you step on them everyday or never.  I’m just here to tell you that the number you see on there has nothing to do with you or your worth….good or bad.  It just is.  And therefore, if that number causes you heartbreak and struggle and stress, then maybe it’s time to step away, put them away.  If not forever, then I challenge you for the remainder of lent to put them away?  Could you do that?

 

Let me know…..

Do you have a scale?  If so, how often do you weigh?  

How do you feel about weighing in at the doctor’s office?  (Check out my friend’s post here about not even weighing at the doctor’s office!)  

Why Did I Just Eat That?

guilt

“I should have never eaten that!”

“I was bad today.  I ate _______ (you fill in the blank).”

“Why can’t I ever pass that up?”

“Why did I just eat that?”

“I feel gross.”

“I have no willpower.”  

 

Chances are you’ve spoken one or more of those phrases before.  I know I have.  

Why do we gauge our worth on how we eat?  How did our food choices become the thing that determines whether we are “good” or “bad”?  A jug of milk goes bad when it’s kept beyond its date.  A carved pumpkin goes bad if it’s left on your porch until Christmas.  You say “good boy” when your puppy goes outside to potty instead of doing it on your carpet.  You tell your toddler “good girl” when she picks up her toys without being told.  

Yes, we can choose to make better choices when it comes to our food, BUT those choices don’t determine our worth. We must begin seeing our food choices separately from the definition of our worth.  Just because I eat something “bad” (although I don’t feel like anything should be labeled “bad”, but more on that in my email on Monday.  If you’re not signed up, you’d better get on the list!), doesn’t mean I’m bad.  It just means I’ve not made the best choice at that given moment.  

The next move we make is key.  And if we separate what we ate from the definition of who we are, it’s easier to say “Ok, so how do I get back on track?”  “What do I need to do next, so this doesn’t turn into a downward spiral?”  It just is.  It just was.  Move on and make a better choice.

I know…it’s hard.  Especially if you’ve always tied your worth to how you look, how much you weigh, what you’re eating.  Many people are either “on” or “off”.  They’re following a certain and very specific eating plan or they’re just eating whatever.  It takes practice, and it’s a process, to get away from those feelings of guilt and shame around food choices.  But to live in true freedom, it’s worth the work and the time and practice to get away from that mindset.  

 

What about you?  Is this an area of struggle for you?  

What labels have you given yourself based on your food choices?  

How would it feel to let you food choices be totally separate from how you view yourself?