Power of Contest Prep

 

To my anxiety-ridden mind:

I know that if I set up something far in advance, I become overwhelmed with you and just unwillingly, sabotage myself ahead of time…

I was doing fine, I set my own diet and followed it, didn’t have cravings, didn’t have the need to constantly go out to eat for greasy food or sugary treats. I was cutting my own weight and doing fine. Once a week, on the weekend, I’d go out to dinner with my husband and that was the extent of it. I felt better, I didn’t have the feeling of being hungry, I was committed and I felt strong. Everyday I woke up with determination and set out to become even better and stronger than the day before; to get that much closer to my goals. Whatever that was. No. I mean it. I didn’t have a goal to drive towards. I was just kind of idling day by day, conflicted and tortured by my own anxiety. I wanted to compete in a figure competition again, but I didn’t want to say “Ok I’m doing it”. Just like that. No, that made me feel too much. Besides, I felt like I was just setting myself up for failure once I spoke about it out loud. If I just kept it quiet and shifted it back into my own head, no one would know, and I wouldn’t feel pressured or anxious. It was my way of maintaining control; or at least I like to think so.

Once I made a commitment, I felt like I lost control and relinquished to some unknown bleak hole that would rupture my very existence; my little bubble that I often contained myself in for fear of treading on anything that might make my mind explode and reel with anxiety; send me into a panic attack because of the secrets I would have to keep so no one would or could judge me or criticize me, or even just sabotage my goal because they didn’t want to see me succeed. Oh but that was me. Right now. All the time. That’s me. So I guess in a way if I don’t speak about my goals, then it’s not really there. But if I take it day by day, than I can better control it all.

The other day, I relinquished control to an online coach for contest prep. Twelve weeks in advance of a figure competition. It started out with a simple email and erupted into a full blown commitment. Right away, I went into panic mode, trying to find a way to make adjustments already; adjustments so that I could maintain some kind of control. But since Saturday, when I submitted the final information and payment, I cannot stop eating. It takes him a couple days to get my custom plan together, so until then I have been thinking of ways to sabotage myself. Apprarently.

I’ve been on a non-stop binge fest. I’m having cravings and urges to go out to eat all the time now. For every meal.

I look in the refrigerator and see food and just want to devour it. I rationalize my behavior; try to soothe my mind. I’ve literally been fighting the urge to just keep bingeing. Part of me says it doesn’t matter, it’s just food, and it’s not going to hinder my goals. But the other part of me reminds me that success doesn’t come from excuses or rationalizations. But, I just want to have control.

Not only that, but I automatically have become consumed with so many antagonizing thoughts and worries that it literally feels like they are taking the very breath from deep within my heart and the lack of oxygen is so undeniably debilitating. I freeze at the thought of being asked to go to lunch with a friend or to go anywhere. And subconsciously, I isolate myself and place limitations in front of me that might otherwise be a challenge or a test of true worth or true strength. Maybe I’m afraid of the answer… I’m almost afraid to question it or to go up against it. It’s fear. I know that. It’s a lack of control. I know that there are options but it doesn’t matter in those moments when I set out to achieve something. It’s like getting in the car and purposely taking the wrong turns or inadvertently making sure that you just keep going in one big circle as long as you know you’ll end up where you started. But I want so much more. I feel it. I mean I can really feel it. It’s like a bleeding wound that burns with even the slightest amount of pressure. It feels like an attack. If you try to cover it up or dress it in bandages, it’ll just seep through or either that it’ll just dissolve the bandage making it as nonexistent as my confidence or self worth. That’s the problem I have very little self worth. I think everyone else deserves much, much more than me, and if I could I’d  be willing to give it all to them. Whether I knew them or not. And then I see these people who didn’t really notice me before or probably more likely I didn’t notice, asking me to do things, go to lunch and I look at them as challenges and obstacles that are trying to block me in my attempt from going any further when even I know deep down inside that’s the biggest lie; the biggest flaw of them all.

When I feel a loss of control; I freeze up. My body won’t move. There’s an external force that cannot be reckoned with. Over and over my mind tries to bludgeon the anxiety from my mind, and to tell you the truth, it works for a little while. Just a little while. And if you understand, then you know that you just have to keep fighting; have to keep yourself guarded, not against the world, but from your own mind. You’d understand that you cannot just walk out on your own skin; your own mind. Your body will scream like it’s beckoning anxiety and pain, but we have to remember that we’re so much larger than that. Than any of it.

We are strong enough to rise and succeed. We’ll always find a way to reach another step; another goal. And I know. I know because I did it. I seem to always find my way to the center of my goal; the center of my fear that is engulfed with the belief that I can overcome anything. And so can you. Because if u don’t do it, someone else is going to. Someone else is going to be living your dream; your life. And that control that we may so desperately cling to and think we have is going to turn into feeling of hopelessness, regret, and instead of living you’re just going to be dying. Your just going to fall into darkness and that will transfer into anger. So don’t let fear stop you; the unknown prevent you from living. And not because we have to; not because you think you don’t need to or that you have to give up control. And not because you don’t consider yourself as worthy or deserving.
Besides, I guess we’re not really controlling much when we are losing and surrendering to our anxieties; our fears and doubts. No, I guess we don’t have control if were being suffocated by fear. Fear controls us. And we need to stop it.

So here I go again. Round three to the stage.

Let’s Get Off Our Ass and Let’s Be Honest With Ourselves.

 

I resist change. I can’t help it. I’m pretty sure that you’re all aware that I’m human by now. I swear the older that I get, the more structure I need. I guess now I understand why my grandmother started eating dinner at 2 in the afternoon and staying in the kitchen with her cup of tea before retreating to the living room to watch tv until it was time for bed. Yep. Like clockwork. Every single day.

I’ve realized that I spend too much time or a lack thereof, thinking about how I can make things that seem challenging much more simple. I think about how I can take the fear away and just overcome the challenge…and then once I find the way, I keep doing it over and over again, but unfortunately, since the challenge is no longer in the way and fear no longer exists, anything new that comes along to change what I now have deemed comfortable, causes me anxiety and irrational behavior. But I went into this with determination and the will to want a stronger body and stronger mind, and I know that in order to continue to change this body that I’ve been given; to change this mind that I’ve been given, I need to erase the fear and see any challenge as an opportunity to grow and to allow myself to exceed my original belief of what I considered was my potential. To continue to ignore the fact that in order to grow; in order to make progress, I need to seek change rather than to sit and wait for someone or something to change me is only to continue to be dishonest with myself and to live in fear and a state of unhappiness. I need to be honest with myself and figure out what I could do to become better than I was yesterday. Better than I was a year ago; in body and in mind. And no one is going to do it for me.

So this week, I promised myself to approach my workouts at the gym differently. You see, the fear I have is that if I make a change in my diet or workout plan, even if it’s not drastic, I am going to lose what I have spent time building since the beginning. And even though I have the knowledge, it’s often hard to be objective with myself. It just is. And hey, if you have that power or ability, kudos to you, but I fear that I will end up looking like that skinny girl who people came up to and asked, “Are you okay, you’re so skinny…” I get upset if I wake up in the morning and don’t look as full as I did the day before. I think “shit, my muscles are smaller” when I know the truth from competing in fitness competitions; from experience, mine and others. I knew the why; I just didn’t want to give it any merit or attention. We are, after all talking about my own reflection; what it is that I see in the mirror. I’ve been on a “bulk” for ages now. Every time I would look in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw, I would pull back from my diet and binge just so I could maintain the fullness in the muscle. I knew that I couldn’t lose muscle that quickly, but for some reason, I couldn’t convince my own mind.

I was obviously still living in my early thirties, where my metabolism was a lot faster than it is at the ripe age of 36! Haha. So I was training and eating like I was when I first started, ignoring the fact that I didn’t even have the body that I did when I first started training. So, I took Sunday off and thought about how I can get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself further; step out of my box and face some more fears. (even though changing things up was challenge enough); I promised myself that I was going to let go of any fears and anxiety that I may have and just do it. Change something. My workout. It’ll just be for the week, I reminded myself, just for one week. I’m used to doing legs, shoulders, etc, a 6 day split with a little bit of cardio mixed in. This week, however, I wanted to focus on strength and the workouts this week have been focusing on NOT overloading the same muscle group all in one day. Well, it’s killing me. I mean, killlllinnnggg me. Like I said, it’s like a whole separate battle to fight. But, I know I need a change if I want to get stronger and better; to see the results I want; to progress further. It’s hard work, mentally and physically, and requires a lot of patience and faith, but I know that with challenge comes change.

I guess we all get in a routine because we all become too afraid to deviate from a program that we have become comfortable with, and any workout is better than none at all, right? I guess we all need someone to walk around to slap us to remind us that we need to change what we’re doing in order to progress and continue to make changes. But we’re creatures of habit; we crave direction and a routine, and yes, oddly enough, even if that means staying in one place.

We have to remind ourselves that we went into this seeking a change with sheer determination and a fight that existed in us so deep that we were willing to do what it took to make our fitness goals happen? Remember how it felt when you saw that first small change? Remember how great you felt, how alive you felt and how you craved more? Well, when did we just stop craving more? What happened? What the hell happened? I mean, why should we just come to a complete stop when everyone and everything else is still moving along? Come on, we’re more than that, we deserve more, much more than just a ticket on a one stop train. I know we just can’t help ourselves; once we’re in it, it’s hard to see what we might be neglecting or in need of because we think we have it all, and as long as we’re happy with our current state, that’s all that matters. I know because I live it. We always find a way to compare ourselves to others and we ask the same questions over and over again, expecting the answer to be, “keep doing whatever it is that you’re doing.” But that’s not the truth and deep down we know that, but are afraid to leap and take a chance.

For the week coming up, I ask you to reflect on what you’ve been doing and really ask yourself what you could work on and make that your goal. I promise that you can go back to what you were doing before, but you probably won’t want to. I’d like to hear what you’re going to do to challenge yourself this week. Let me know in the comments section!

Post from my Instagram account @meglifts

Post from my Instagram account @meglifts

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge Meets Challenge

Before I set out to get my personal training certification, I would have underestimated the power of how much of another person’s life can affect your own. We are all ridden with our own insecurities, ailments, limitations (most of the time more so mentally than physically) that we suffer from; that we hold onto and quietly allow them to saturate our minds and bodies until they make us feel paralyzed. Once we become aware of ourselves, we tend to place even more limitations and restrictions on ourselves, and very rarely are willing to step out of our comfort zone. Yes, even if we’re already uncomfortable, because even when we’re uncomfortable, most of us can still find comfort in our own current state of discomfort. Understandably so, it’s familiar to us. And even though some of us suffer in silence, we are still afraid to open ourselves up to change.

For a long time, after the college degree, I found myself becoming remarkably absent and unmoved from life in general. I had grown tired of constantly trying to discover “who I was”, and while I was desperately trying to savor any possibility of discovering who I really was or was supposed to be, I found myself slowly collapsing rather than rising to any sort of podium that would scream success. I was in place where it felt dark all of the time and at that point, going to the gym became my saving grace; it became something to look forward to; to be able to at least allow me to feel something; anything.  It was something I used to challenge myself, mentally and physically. It became more of a test mentally rather than physically because lifting weights seemed to defeat any self doubt or fear that might have been lingering around, waiting for me to reach back and grab onto it for one last fall.

Everyday was a new challenge, a new workout; one more day of hope and one more moment of feeling alive and present, and the best part was that no one could take it away from me.

My passion for fitness was never tested and I soon knew how desperately I wanted to share it with others; I just didn’t expect to feel even more motivated, more challenged by the work that the people who I would spend an hour with would put in. Each one of them was so unique and had a different story to tell; a different kind of shadow haunting them; chasing them and some were so willing to lay it all out on the gym room floor, beads of sweat dripping out of their pores, making me feel like I was someone to believe in just as much as I believed in them.  And I knew, right there that I wanted to be more than just someone who told you how to lose weight; someone who would put you through some vigorous workout that I knew that you might not be able to even achieve, not because I didn’t think you were capable, only that I knew the limitation; the mental barrier that needed to be torn down in order to move forward.

It has become much more than just a scheduled time, a scheduled workout. No. It was about earning trust and lending support. It was to help them destroy defeat rather than feel defeated.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is, if you’re thinking about becoming a personal trainer because you want to change lives; you want to help people lose weight, feel better, understand that you’re life will be changed as well, you will grow, and you will have to accept that you don’t necessarily know everything. You will have to understand that clients are people not science experiments, not a number or an outcome. No. They are much more than that. They are relationships, life changers, life savers, fighters, and while they hired you, that doesn’t mean that they are going to trust you right away, so don’t expect to throw some numbers at them, or change their entire method of living or diet the very first time you meet with them.

So, again, if you’re thinking about becoming a personal trainer because you know how to get a six pack or a reduction in body weight, that’s only short term for them. Are you prepared to set them up for the long term? Are you prepared to give them the tools necessary to achieve success and overcome obstacles even when you’re not with them? Are you willing to create a plan that challenges them emotionally, mentally and physically? To help them feel confident, strong, and healthier for the rest of their life? Even after you stop working with them?

How to Eat Better; the Affordable Way.

With so little time on our hands these days, it’s hard to be the exact epitome of health. With so much going on, and so little downtime, we’re often overtired, overstressed, and just plain overwhelmed to even consider the thought of carefully selecting healthier options by reading labels more carefully. No instead, we’re usually just waiting for the microwave or oven timer to beep to deliver a prepackaged meal or waiting in the drive thru frantically checking the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if on most days you spend learning (and struggling) with the new common core curriculum that’s eased its way into schools around the country. Or you probably just have to rush right out the door as soon as your child gets home from school, have them complete their homework later, and try to make it to sports practice or dance rehearsals or maybe even just a school function.

Long gone are the days of having cookies and milk after school was considered the only processed food you might have had, which in that case, wasn’t so bad. But even as we’re forced to acknowledge the ever growing rate of obesity in this nation, more and more meals are rolling out of the microwave and into our mouths.

People think they can’t afford “healthy” and why shouldn’t they?  They feel overwhelmed when they walk into a grocery store and are quickly discouraged when the have filled up their grocery carts with what looks to be enough for only a couple meals, but for an entire family, only to find out the total comes to well over their budget. Then they realize that they actually have less for the same budget they had before they made the choice to “eat healthy”, which results in people doing what they can afford; eating less calories, skipping meals, or just not doing it at all. Ever notice that it’s easier to find a coupon for a processed dinner such as “Weight Watchers” or “Healthy Choice”, rather than any other staple that would be more than likely a far better choice.  People do want to lose weight, they do want to look better, feel better, live better, but they’re stuck not with lack of information but with limited resources to make that change.

So I’m going to dispel a few of what I consider “myths” and just society being, well, self-absorbed and what is often said, “Keeping up with the Jones”.

You may have heard all the hype circling in health and fitness communities about Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but that’s what it is; Hype. Don’t walk away from getting fit and healthy because you can’t even afford to just lurk around at those grocery stores without feeling like you need a guest pass.

A membership to BJ’s or other wholesale club is extremely helpful. Or if you don’t have one close to you, Wal-Mart is just as good as any to find healthy, inexpensive food. BJ’s even offers coupons for healthier options. I have a membership at BJ’s and I have literally knocked $400-$500 off of my grocery bill each month. They normally offer coupons for top brands such as Eggland’s Best Egg Whites, Greek Yogurt, Chicken, Fish etc.

Healthy doesn’t only equate to organic foods. No, it’s doing the best you can, with what you know and more importantly, what you can afford. It also doesn’t equate to bland and boring meals either. I’m not going to claim I’m Martha Stewart in the kitchen or that I deserve my own cooking show, no, that’ll go to my husband, but I know there’s a lot of you who know how to work the kitchen. In fact, you may even discover or rediscover the passion of cooking and creating meals. You never know.

But for me, I don’t enjoy cooking. I just want to eat. I love to eat. So, spices are my friend. And you can find spices at the Dollar Store. And at BJ’s or Wal-mart.Okay so look I know that fresh vegetables and fruit are what some consider to be the best choices, but buying them are expensive enough, so to buy them, bring them home and have them spoil too soon can be frustrating. Makes me want to scream actually… Especially if you’re struggling to pay bills and eat healthy, the last thing you want to do is see your hard earned money go in the garbage.  I know various nutritional sources will inform you that frozen and canned may lack the same nutritional value, but there are also some that will tell you the opposite, so I go with what I can afford for my entire family. (Besides, according to those same sources, if you purchase fresh vegetables and boil as opposed to steam them, you lose the nutrients anyway.)

As for fruit, I do buy fresh bananas, but only what I know will be consumed. I usually purchase frozen fruit such as blueberries and other kinds of berries. (They just last longer that way.)  And if you’re wondering what to do with frozen fruit? Try heating them up and putting them in your oatmeal or cereal, or you can even add the frozen fruit to plain Greek yogurt, freeze it, and enjoy as a frozen dessert!

For water and the environment, I take advantage of Primo, the water cooler system. I buy the 5 gallon water jug and once it runs out, I just recycle and get a new one! I have a couple of those shaker bottles as well as flip-top water bottles to carry around with me. Believe me, drinking bottled water can become very expensive!

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m the World’s Healthiest Mom and that I deserve an award for feeding my kids all organic, all natural foods. Please! I still buy my kids snacks, but I try to choose snacks that are only minimally processed, and don’t have 10 different ingredients that sound more like a science experiment gone bad. I do try to stick to just buying chicken, fish in bulk, but for the kids, I will keep pizza rolls, hot dogs, and frozen pierogies in the freezer to have once in awhile. It is okay, to still live after all.

Besides, I’m not going to preach to you about restriction, I’m going to tell you that if you want to reach a goal, or just feel better; improve your health, you can do it. There are plenty of fad diets most are willing to follow for a pretty hefty price, mostly because there is so much misinformation about what you have to do to look and feel better.

Choose you. All day, every day; for a life time. Always.

Taking the Mask off Confidence

I remember when I used to go out a lot. I used to love to drink; get drunk and smoke cigarettes (also known as a social smoker). I used to love going out all the time and spending the next day in bed with a major hangover. I used to be in love with what I felt gave me confidence at the time. I never once thought about my health. Nothing really mattered. I was living my life, but I wasn’t really living it.

Image

Left and Right Picture: 2/4/2014  

Middle Picture: 7/2006

And while some of the greatest memories stem from those days, I look back at this picture and see someone who may have seemed confident or not so awkward. I just didn’t have time to dwell on anything; I didn’t want to. Besides, that’s just what confidence was for me; that’s what I understood it to mean.

Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with having a drink with friends or family, going out to dinner etc, but this is just my story; my version.

While I have grown up, (and the bathing suits might have gotten a tad smaller), I am still searching for confidence; I am still searching everyday for the true meaning of what it means to walk with pride, and trying to process what it truly entails. And even when I think I truly understand it, I am left to try to come to terms with it. You know, face it without the alcohol and horrible hangovers? It’s hard to push past boundaries and leave your comfort zone behind, but the only way I know how is to just face it.

Maybe you can relate. Or maybe you have a different version of what confidence means to you, and how it has changed throughout different parts of your life. If so, I’d like to hear it.

It’s About Time You Be You

You probably hate being called “fat”. Or even a little overweight. Well, you know what I hate? I hate being called “skinny”. I hated it back in school and I hated it when I first started working out and was losing too much weight. Yea. There is such a thing. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. No one body type is superior to the other.

Then there is the body sculpted with muscle, and women get criticized, “it looks too manly”, “gross” and “unnatural”.  I remember I encountered a man who told me not to “lift too much more weight, you don’t want to look like a man” or the man who told me to “not lift heavy, I’m a girl…” Ok. Well, I was hurt. What did they know? That’s when I realized no one is ever going to be happy with how I look, so why should I care? I need to do it for me. Do what makes me feel great.  

There are so many diets, exercise techniques, training methods and theories out there; you just have to find what works for your body type, and not what someone else thinks your body type should be.

Find someone you could trust to help you.

I’ve spent my time at both ends of the scale; I never really focused on a “body type” until I got to the gym, and then I kind of let others decide that for me; with their unwanted criticism of course. 

When I first started working out, and hearing people tell me I was “too skinny,” I’d get anxious,  and I’d go on a binge; eating anything and everything. Then I would feel guilty, which made me restrict my calories even more for the next week or so, and workout even more. It took me awhile to discover what I truly wanted to look like and what I needed to do to achieve it. It took me awhile to come into my own skin, and I’m not going to lie and say that I have it all figured out yet. There are some days where I look in the mirror and like what is happening with my body, and then there are times where I want to gain more muscle, or get leaner.

It’s a swinging pendulum and it never stops.

And that’s why I feel it inside and out of me to help other people overcome their “body issues”; their insecurities that make them afraid to walk into a weight room or even a gym because they are afraid people are judging them…

Or that the mirrors that line the walls of every gym make them feel mocked and ridiculed…

Or that “someone” who’s already made you self-conscious of yourself; defined who you ought to be, and now you can no longer see through all that smoke to see just how capable you really are.  

We’ve all been there.

I want everyone to know that you’re in their somewhere; the real you, and everyone else is waiting for you to reveal yourself, and they’re just as scared as you are. It’s your best kept secret and by holding it in, you’re holding yourself back, and allowing everyone else to keep marching on. Without you of course.

There are so many people around you that see your true potential and they may just be threatened. So they make you feel sad. They define you, condemn you, and make you lie awake at night searching for the answers so that you can finally win the battle that is going on inside your head. It’s you versus them. But it’s affecting YOU not THEM. No one else. And it’s time that you made it about you.

It’s time for, YOU versus YOU.  Don’t allow yourself to be someone else; don’t allow yourself to be their reflection in the mirror. It’s all you baby. Let’s do this together.

Perfection Is Quite Ugly

I am sorry, but as a personal trainer, I cannot and will not guarantee that you’ll have an hourglass figure. I can’t promise you that you will have a “coke bottle body” or you won’t lose your breasts once you lose weight. And I’m also not going to lie and tell you that losing weight by “any means necessary” is not going to potentially cause you to have sagging, loose skin, and/or various health problems. I’m not going to advocate for fast weight loss or a quick diet to get you to your “goal weight”.  I don’t believe in a goal weight. We are all different, and your goal weight is when you feel the most energy; when you feel alive inside and out, when your skin is glowing and you’re happy and content.

 The only goals that I believe in are the small steps that provide you with the tools to improve your health and your life. If the side effect of that happens to be fitting into clothes that you never were able to before, then that is a bonus.  

 I am, however, going to keep my promise that you can gain strength, balance, flexibility; and overall the ability to depend on yourself, so when your children are all grown up and move to another state to start their own lives, you won’t feel so alone; you will not ever feel defeated or like giving up. You will have independence, confidence, and a boost in your self esteem as well as pride and love within yourself.

 I will also tell you that it’s the way a person twists their torso at the right angle, in the right lighting, and sometimes with just the right app, that they look “perfect”;  you look at them and see an illusion of  “a perfect body”, “perfect boobs”, “perfect butt,” “perfect abs, hips, legs” etc.

 I’m not going to allow you to believe that cellulite is going to completely vanish overnight. I cannot make those guarantees or promises. I will not lie. What I can and will promise you is through hard work and dedication, and of course sheer determination, you will and can achieve what someone else may call “their perfect body” But you will never be happy. You will probably still ridicule that reflection looking back at you.  

 Did you also know that it’s the way a person flexes in the mirror right before they snap a picture under the right lighting that makes their abs or muscle tone more defined and sculpted?  Sure, it also depends on proper nutrition and exercising, but it’s also genetics, lighting, and quite possibly the latest and coolest app. That may make them look oh so perfect. Or close to it.

 I know, because I am guilty of all of that. I am not yet vulnerable enough to put myself out there in a raw unedited image of myself. I am not comfortable with the cellulite that covers the back of my legs and makes me wince whenever I see a woman posing in a scantily clad bikini with absolutely no cellulite whatsoever. But I do my best, and I am proud of what I have accomplished through changing my eating habits and exercising. No one can ever take that away from me.  

 Perfection is unrealistic, yet so many of us spend so much time damaging and distorting our bodies and ourselves to try and alter our physical appearance, when all it’s really doing is causing us to suffer in silence as we allow it to destroy ourselves emotionally, mentally, and psychologically.

 All in all, perfection is quite ugly.

Who We Are In The Mirror

Who are you?

Do you say that when you look into the mirror? Does your reflection scare you, intimidate you, and make you look away? Maybe it’s the way you think others see you, or maybe it’s just how you envision others will see you.

You know you can change, you know the path, but life keeps steering you off that path and leading you in different directions, making you look in different mirrors, laughing at you through different angles. Eventually the lights become so bright, and you begin to think that if they just go easy on the lights; maybe dim them just a little bit; it wouldn’t even matter who you are, what you look like…you could even be anonymous.

Who we are in the mirror, is just a glimpse of what our insecurities tell us who we are.

A six pack, a flat stomach, doesn’t define you; sculpted shoulders or legs doesn’t create you or make you more valuable. It’s your health, your wisdom and your quirks. Whether you’re neurotic or just like to be free and have a good time, the mirror isn’t going to tell you that. The mirror isn’t going to tell you whether or not you’re healthy or unhealthy. It’s not going to reflect an image that is going to be life altering; life changing.

In that mirror, your reflection doesn’t tell the story that hides behind your eyes; your skin. No. You have to just learn to turn your back to the mirror, turn your back to the scale; remind yourself that a mirror or scale isn’t going to reveal the inside beauty that you have within. No one can tell you what to look like on the inside, only you can control that. You have the power. You are in control. It doesn’t matter if you have loose skin or cellulite; you’re doing the best that you can. Just do me a favor and let the inner beauty that you hold inside of you; the inner beauty that shines right through and captures every single light and makes someone laugh and smile; the beauty that could make a person’s day; just promise me that you’ll take care of that.

Promise me that you will try your best to never allow a poor diet or lack of exercise steal that shine away from you or from others way too soon.

Remember that your inner beauty is more important than your outer beauty, so nurture it and never, ever think that you’re not good enough just because you don’t have flat abs, wear a certain pant size, or look a certain way.

Release any doubts that may be holding you back.

Don’t starve yourself, don’t overindulge all the time, don’t drink excessively, don’t give up on yourself, I’m here for you. I need you. Someone needs you. Anything too extreme or anything deemed unhealthy just dims the light you hold within, and robs you of the life you should be living and it can and will kill you. Eventually. And maybe way too soon.

Diet Wars: 26 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t “Diet”

How we Rationalize our Eating Habits…

We’ve all been there at some point in our life. We start a diet, we’re in the middle of a diet, we‘re in search of a new diet, and we somehow find a way to rationalize our eating habits.

1. I’ll start tomorrow.

2. I just bought all this food, I can’t just let it go to waste; I’ll start tomorrow.

3. I didn’t gain weight from eating that ENTIRE bag of chips last night, and they were really good, so I can probably just eat this bag of chips too…yea, I’ll just start tomorrow.

4.  Beyonce’ was on this all liquid diet and lost like 20 pounds, I’m going to look into starting that sometime in the next few days.

5. It’s freezing outside, I don’t really shave my legs that much in the winter so there’s no real point to staying in shape, besides I can always just start tomorrow. Or next week…

6. That was my cheat meal. I’m entitled to at least one cheat meal per week. I’m on the right track. Tomorrow I’ll get real though.

7. Yesterday was my cheat meal, but that was what I wanted yesterday, not today. So, I can just eat this now and start tomorrow.

8. I’m not going to lose any weight overnight; I might as well wait until next week. Yea, I’ll start at the beginning of next week.

9. Carbohydrates give me lots of energy, I want to lift really heavy in the gym…I’m bulking. I’ll just start next week.

10. I haven’t had any carbs all week, I think I’m fine to eat whatever I want now.

11.The scale tells me I lost a couple of pounds in the past couple of days, I can splurge now. Besides, I’ll just start tomorrow.

12.  I have to go out to eat with my friend, it’s her birthday, I’ll probably have a couple of drinks too…I can just start next week because tomorrow I’ll just have a hangover…

13.  It’s the holidays. I’ll start when they’re over.

14.  I’ve been drinking lots of water and taking a fat loss supplement, I can eat whatever the hell I want. See. I don’t need to actually “diet”.

15.  I’ve been restricting sugar by not eating lots of fruit…I can have these cookies, and a few drinks. Besides, what the hell am I dieting for anyway?

16. I’ve been eating weight watcher frozen meals, and doing lots of cardio, but I still can’t seem to lose this extra fat on my stomach. I give up.

17.  I can eat whatever I want as long as I go to the gym for at least 2-3 hours to do lots of cardio. Screw the diet. What diet?

18.  I’ve been dieting for weeks now and don’t see the results that I’m looking for…I give up. Screw the diet.

19.  The people on the Biggest Loser lose like 20 pounds per week, why can’t I? I give up. Screw the diet. Screw the gym.

20.  The people around me aren’t very supportive of my “diet” they said I’m losing too much weight. They don’t approve. I give up. No diet for me.

21.  Yeah, I’m down to like 900 calories per day, and I can’t seem to lose any more weight. And I have no energy. I give up. No more dieting. Maybe I’ll only eat 1000 calories instead. I’ll let you know how I feel in about a week. Or maybe never…

22.  I’m too busy, I don’t have time to diet. Besides, I only eat once or twice a day anyway. That pizza really isn’t going to kill me.

23.  I can eat this cake, I just won’t eat for the next few days. Ha Ha.

24.  Ihop is running their “all you can eat pancakes” special, I can’t pass that up. “Stack after Stack…”

25.  I also have a coupon for Mcdonald’s…

26.  I can just start tomorrow. No. Really.

This is why I believe it shouldn’t be a “Diet”; it should simply be a “Lifestyle”

22 Facts Personal Trainers Want You To Know

Personal Trainer’s Creed

If you are overweight, your body is already under stress from your own bodyweight. Extreme diets can lead to added stress to the body, which makes you more prone/susceptible to injury etc; you will not be able to function at your best.

Don’t do so much cardio that you wreak more havoc on your body. Doing a ton of long cardio is not going to change you permanently; it’s only going to put more physical and psychological stress on your body in the long run (no pun intended).

Same thing with weights, don’t just train with weights. You do need some cardio to keep your metabolism functioning effectively.

Losing weight slowly is the best way to prevent muscle loss

You’re feelings are warranted. Everyone feels like a failure when they first begin, however, you can’t fail at something you don’t allow ample time to develop. That’s called giving up, not failing.

Everyone has feelings of insecurity.  Comparison is a hard thing to avoid. At least everyone wants to be “that guy” or “that girl”, but you can’t change who you are, you can only change what you think you are You are different. You are you. And most likely someone else is looking at you and wishes they were you too.

Improvement of any kind, that takes time, dedication and lots of hard work, but you can do it.

I believe you when you tell me that it’s impossible to look like “that” because I don’t even know what “that” looks like.  And quite frankly, neither do you.

I will listen to you, laugh with you, and share with you. But when it’s time to workout, it’s time to move your body, not your vocal chords.

I believe you when you tell me that you can’t do it. Obviously, you wouldn’t be standing here looking for a solution. However, if you’re not looking for help and you are saying that, I believe you only because you refuse to allow it to happen. You are the only one stopping yourself from yourself.

Everyone knows how to workout and exercise, but when you look at yourself and are unhappy with what you see, you must make a change. Unfortunately, you tend to call in the entire squat team rather than just the police. Interpretation: you tend to do drastic, unhealthy things to your body.

I know that the only reason why you scoff at my beliefs and passion for fitness and health is simply because you’re not ready for change. But you haven’t admitted that to yourself yet.

I also know that I am never going to convince you, you’re going to have to want it more than I do.

It is not unrealistic to look and feel healthy after you’ve had children, after you turn 30, after you’ve gotten married, or once you establish a career.

I understand that you believe that I am obsessed with working out and eating properly; that I must be nuts, that it’s unrealistic to maintain, or that you think that it gives people a way to have “control” you are wrong. It is a way to fight back and stop the things that have control over you. It’s a way to prevent the things that you fear the most from controlling you; it’s about going out and creating a change.

Exercising and eating healthy is empowering, once you see even the slightest transformation, you feel confident and powerful.

You can lift more than just five lbs. you aren’t going to break. You don’t give yourself enough credit for the empowering, challenging things you have already achieved in your life no matter how big or small.

Always be prepared to fight; don’t wait until you have a battle to win. It’s okay if you don’t win as long you still have the ability to still fight.

Do everything with purpose. Do everything like you mean it. Run with purpose, walk with purpose. Remind yourself that you have purpose.

It’s okay to NOT deprive yourself all of the time.

Group Fitness classes are fun, allow you to practice coordination, balance, and gain strength, but it doesn’t cater to individuality; it’s a one size fits all approach.

It’s not about the money. It’s about you and your transformation.