Find YOUR Awesome



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Have you ever found yourself thumbing through a magazine or surfing the internet, pointing to a picture of some fit person, and say “Gosh!! I want to look like HER!” (Note: Guys are not excluded here. I’m using ‘her’ for ease of writing)

Have you ever ripped that picture of the magazine or printed it off the printer and showed it to other people as a visual representation of your goal?

“I want to look like HER!”

“I want her abs/shoulders/legs/back/whatever!”

“I want to be lean like her!”

“I want to be her!”

Before you bring it up, I will go on record and say that setting goals is HUGE and very important. Having visual reminders of your goal is very helpful too.

However,

Let’s look at these statements. Do you see a common theme? What do these statements, that we’ve all said, really say?

They say, “I want to be SOMEONE ELSE!”

I want someone else’s body because MINE is not good enough.

I am not happy with ME.

I am not content.

 

This makes me sad, to be honest.  I’ve been just as guilty as the next girl for thinking and saying the same things.  It isn’t fair to me and it isn’t fair to YOU.

We see these pictures that are often unrealistic and we put pressure on ourselves to be skinnier, stronger, fitter, and prettier.  Then we exercise more and eat less all in pursuit of something that is not even ours to be had.

So, the question is….

Does trying to look like that picture make you happy?

I’m going to make an educated guess and say, “No, it doesn’t make you happy.”  It sure as heck doesn’t make ME happy.

It is time to draw a Line in the Sand and say, “IT STOPS HERE!”

Your body was made for one person and one person only.  YOU!!

The girl in the picture?  Her body was made for HER!

There’s no crossing over.

Her muscles are her muscles and your muscles are your muscles.

Your stomach is your stomach and your back is your back.

Our bodies are DIFFERENT and UNIQUE!

Your genes are unique to you and your body responds differently to different things.

So, what works for Picture Girl probably won’t work for you!  Stop trying.

Since that is the truth (scientifically proven) what do you do?!

 

You FIND YOUR AWESOME!!!!

 

You are…

Beautiful

Strong

Smart

Funny

Brave

Confident

and

AWESOME!

You are any of those things and there is absolutely zero reasons why you should waste one millisecond wanting to be someone else or having someone else’s body.

This is why when someone shows me a picture of what she wants to look like I say, “Okay, that look is good for her.  Let’s talk about your goals for your body. You are different.”

It is good to want to be leaner and stronger because you know it will improve your health and quality of life. It is great to want to improve yourself.  It is awesome to become YOUR AWESOME.

It is time to embrace your own strengths and abilities.

It is time to love food and exercise not because you want to be someone else, but because you want to become the most AWESOME YOU.

Close the magazine. Turn off the computer.  Hug Yourself (touchy feely, I know). Go to the Gym. Go for a Run. Eat something delicious. Look in the mirror and say…..,

“You are AWESOME!  I’m doing this for YOU!”

 

Find YOUR Awesome!

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Find YOUR Awesome

“No Absolutes” Nutrition Coaching


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You might remember my post from Monday. It was rather long and rather hard to write. I had to admit to things I never thought I would admit to.

If you haven’t gotten your chance to read it, go on over to ‘Coming To Peace with Food: My Journey from Restriction to Freedom.’

I admitted to how disordered my relationship with food has been for so many years. That is until now. I have finally found freedom with food through much prayer, soul-searching, and learning.

And I want to share this awesome and liberating freedom with other people.

THAT is why I have become a Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition.

In my previous blog post I wrote about all the different ways I tried to lose weight.  I tried….

Meal Replacement Shakes

Low Fat

Low Calorie

Vegetarian/Vegan

Dairy-Free / Gluten-Free

Extreme Competition-Type Program

I bounced from plan to plan to plan.  It had to be something wrong with the plan!

Not once did I think that there was something wrong how I viewed food.

I had an UNHEALTHY relationship with food.

Now that everything makes sense I can see how my story can help other people.


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Courtesy of http://www.FarrahGray.com


Enter my “NO ABSOLUTES” Nutrition Coaching


When I serve as your Nutrition Coach I will guide you on a journey to better eating and healthy living.

I will help you make the right food choices that you can carry for the rest of your life.

I will show you that healthy eating is fulfilling and delicious.

I will give you tools so that you don’t go to food for comfort.

I will help you find your limiting factor (that “thing” that prevents you from being successful) and we will bust through it together.

I will give you a meal plan that includes a healthy calorie allowance for the day and  I can break those calories down into macro-nutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) if you desire to be more advanced.

I will stay with you every step of the way.  Bit by bit.  Step by step.  Forward progress no matter how slow.

What I WILL NOT do is give you ABSOLUTES! NO ABSOLUTES!

What does that mean?

I won’t tell you that you can’t eat fruit or certain fruits.

I won’t tell you can’t eat bread, pasta, oatmeal, or rice.

I won’t tell you can’t eat out on the weekends or during lunch.

I won’t tell you can’t eat meat, eggs, or drink milk.

I won’t tell you can’t eat a cookie or a piece of cake.

I won’t tell you NO.

Okaaaaaaaaay? That sounds too good to be true. How does this work?

Well, I give you a meal plan that is customized to you and your goals. Follow that plan and you will lose weight. I will adjust your plan as needed as your body adjusts to the plan.

I will tell you calories and perhaps, the macro-nutrients you can have each day to reach your goal.

How you fill up those provided numbers each day is up to you. I will give you ideas of how to eat in the most nourishing and filling way but ultimately it is up to you.

Overtime, I believe you will realize that the best way to fill your personal numbers is by using whole, real foods. Those foods make you feel good and feel full all day long. You choose to eat that way everyday because it works.

Then there will be days when you REALLY want that cookie. Oh, I get that. Trust me. I will show you WHEN to eat the cookie so it affects your plan the least amount.

You will also need to log that cookie into your log sheet and recalculate those numbers. You then realize that you just used up a bunch of carbs for the day when you could’ve had fruit and been more satisfied.

See how it works?

NO ABSOLUTES!

I will never tell you NO.

I will tell you HOW.

Does that sound good?

Please let me HELP YOU!

You can contact me through my “Contact Us” form or by emailing me at sarah(at)clothedwithstrength(dot)com (repleace parentheses with actual symbols)

I am always listening!


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“No Absolutes” Nutrition Coaching

Coming to Peace With Food: My Journey From Restriction to Freedom



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*Warning*  Long post ahead!  But, it is oh-so-important.

Today, I want to tell you a story. I want to tell you my story and it all has to do with food.  It is a story of how I went from restriction to freedom.

This journey really begins way back in childhood.

I grew up in a very good household.  I have zero complaints or problems with how I was raised. I am the person I am now because I was raised by an incredibly loving and supportive family.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am blessed beyond words to have the family I have.

I was raised in the 80’s and the 90’s and I remember vividly the impact of the ‘Low Fat’ and ‘Low Calorie’ methods of dieting.  My parents were doing their best with the information they had.  You want to lose weight?  Eat low fat and low calorie.  That meant cakes with whipped icing instead of cream cheese icing.  That meant unsweet tea and ‘low fat’ versions of all our favorite snacks.  To my very moldable brain it was the first example of food restriction . I want to be thin or skinny so I must restrict all the foods I enjoy and eat the foods I don’t enjoy.

I started down the road of food restriction and food indulgence.

College became a nightmare in my food journey.  I went off to school and was in complete control of what went in my mouth. My school had dining halls that were “all you can eat” and they had so much food. It was all good tasting food too.  I know that’s hard to believe at a college but it was true.

I ate and I ate and I ate and I ate.  And I gained 50 lbs. in college.

I would take note of my weight gain and I would go into restriction mode.  I would go  to the gym. I would run around campus.  I would walk to classes instead of taking the bus.  I would lose weight.

Then, something would happen to upset me emotionally and all the hard work would be flushed down the toilet.   I would gain that weight back plus some all the way to the 50 lbs.  I went from 130 lbs to 180 lbs in college.

As I look back at college, I can see how formative those years were for me in many ways. I defined who I am as an individual.  I experienced true pain and hurt through a couple major losses.  I also experienced TRUE LOVE by finding my Savior and finding my future husband.

I left college knowing I was at an unhealthy weight.  So, I did what I knew to do. I adopted a low fat/low calorie way of eating.  I ate 1200 calories a day (at 180 lbs. ) and only 20 grams of fat a day.  Guess what?  It worked.  I lost weight pretty consistently each week without much exercise.  When I hit a plateau I started going to the gym and I got my first taste of weight lifting. The weight loss got back into gear and I was down to 140 lbs. by my wedding day. It took me a year and a half to lose that 40 lbs. That was on the rather slow side but I did it and I was happy.

But, let me share something with you that occurred during that time. I would restrict my food very heavily during the week (Monday – Friday).  Yes, I was hungry but I adapted and I learned tricks to help along the way.  I told myself I could have a ‘cheat day’ on the weekends but that often meant a ‘cheat weekend.’

Those cheat weekends became ‘binges.’ It has taken me a long time to admit it but I would definitely BINGE on the weekends.  I would eat everything in sight.  I would eat till I was sick.

Then I would restrict even more during the week to ‘correct’ my indiscretions over the weekend. It was a nasty cycle.

Sometimes the cheating of the weekend would flow into the week for various reasons.  Perhaps I was stressed from something or I thought, “Oh, what’s one more bag of chips?  I’ll get back to it tomorrow.”

THIS has been my way of eating for a very long time. I restrict and then I binge.  I feel guilty about the binge and I restrict even more.  The restriction deprives me of so much nutrition that I can’t stand it anymore and then I binge again. Round and round we go.

This mentality has taken many different forms.

I have done meal replacement shakes. If one meal replacement shakes doesn’t help me reach my goals, I will drink two day.

I have done green smoothies. (Note: I think green smoothies are still nutrition powerhouses and I still drink them. It was my attitude toward them previously that was the problem).  Same as the meal replacement shakes.  One doesn’t work?  Drink two tomorrow.

When those didn’t work I started eliminating entire food groups. The problem was always something in my diet.  It had nothing to do with something missing or wrong inside me.

I have gone vegetarian and I have gone vegan not because I thought those were the best option for my overall health but because I thought RESTRICTING something in my diet was the key to success.  It is the animal proteins keeping me fat not the rather frequent binges.

I have done an elimination diet that fed into a more Paleo lifestyle of restricting dairy and grains. The elimination diet, for me, just confirmed what I already knew that I have an intolerance to dairy.  I did see results from eliminating dairy and grains from my diet.  But, guess what?  I would binge!  I would binge until I was sick.

Oh, and how could I forget.  I also adopted a competition diet for a time.  I would follow what girls who compete in figure competitions and I would eat what they ate to diet down for competition.  When done without proper guidance, this is EXTREMELY restrictive. Ten points to the first person who says what would happen quite often during this period of dieting. Yeah. You got it. BINGE! It was horrible and I was miserable but I wanted to be LEAN….by golly!

During this time I was heavy into weight lifting and I was learning a lot about exercise and food.  I realized, oh my goodness, I wasn’t feeding my body enough!  I loosened up a bit on my food.  I allowed myself more calories.  And my weightlifting improved.  All my lifts got heavier.  My body started responding and I was happier and more content.

Slowly, but surely my goals moved from being ‘appearance’ based to ‘performance’ based.  I went from “what should I NOT eat so I look lean” to “What should I EAT so my deadlift or squat get heavier?”

Here’s the exciting part.  My body really responded to the training and the extra calories.  I was leaning out even though the scale rarely budged. I embraced my muscles as beautiful.  I started to actually like my body. *GASP*

It has been a LONG journey. It has been a very emotional journey. It has taken a lot of PRAYER and soul searching.  But, I can honestly say for the first time in my life….

I HAVE FOUND FREEDOM WITH FOOD!!!

It has no control over me like it used to.

The true root of this discovery is acknowledging that food has been an idol in my life for way too long. I allowed food to control me.  I allowed food to dictate my mood.  I allowed food to be my comfort when it should’ve been Jesus.

I now allow myself to EAT THE FOOD and BE HAPPY!

Does this mean eating everything in sight?  Nope.

It still means making healthy choices.  I eat more fruit and vegetables than chips and soda.

I still have performance goals and junk food does not support those goals. So, I don’t eat junk food. I’m okay with that.  I don’t crave junk food anymore.

Why is it different this time?  Because, I know that I can eat that junk food any time I want to.  I choose not to because my goal is bigger than that temporary junk food.  Also, my GOD is bigger than that junk food and far more FULFILLING than that junk food.

Do I eat apple pie at small group?  Yep.

Do I feel guilty about it?  Nope.

Do I binge anymore?  I am so happy to say now that the answer is NO!

I can eat one slice of apple pie and be content.  I don’t eat two or three thinking I’ll never have apple pie again.  I can have apple pie again if I want it. So, I eat one small piece today and am happy.

This is a good place to be. 🙂  I pray more people can find this place.

This is a BIG, HUGE, ENORMOUS reason why I chose to become a NUTRITION COACH! I long to help other people find that peace with food and their own bodies that I am experiencing now. Feel free to message me if you want to talk!

I am ALWAYS listening!!

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Coming to Peace With Food: My Journey From Restriction to Freedom

Nope, Not All Personal Trainer Certifications Are Made The Same …

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….and why you should care WHERE your Personal Trainer is Certified.

There are literally hundreds of Personal Trainer Certifications out there. Did you know that? Go ahead and Google, “personal trainer certifications” and find out what happens.

I’ll wait right here.

Crazy, huh?

Then how in the world does an aspiring personal trainer know where to go to be certified?

And how does someone who is looking to HIRE a personal trainer know where to look for a good fit?

Unfortunately, personal trainer certifications have not been standardized yet.  There is a lot of good stuff out there and there is a lot of junk out there.  The requirements to be certified can range from months of studying to take  a proctored exam all the way to a weekend seminar that ends with an open book exam.

In comes the NCCA to the rescue!  The NCCA (National Commission For Certifying Agencies) is an agency that basically has pretty high standards for who they will put their seal of approval.  The process is rigorous and the certifying that come out on the other side with the stamp are the top of their fields.  And the people who get certified by NCCA approved agencies are also the top of their field in the knowledge.

Well, that’s all fancy.  What does that mean?

It means that if you want to be a personal trainer you need to go with an organization that is NCCA approved.  That way you know that you are getting a top notch credential that you can carry just about anywhere.

(Note:  There are personal trainer certifications out there that while they appear flashy, awesome, and affordable you can’t use them in every gym.  You could find yourself stuck with nowhere to go.)

What are some NCCA approved Personal Trainer Certifications?

Here are the top FOUR (in no particular order): (Source: Best Personal Trainer Certification)

1) ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)

ACSM tends to be more on the clinical side of exercise science and is well-known by other organizations for their research. These other organizations often cite ACSM research in their own documents. The test is to be taken very seriously because it is tough to pass.  ACSM is the oldest certifying agency for personal training.  Unfortunately, ACSM is also the most expensive certification.

2) ACE (American Council of Exercise)

ACE is the biggest and the most widely accepted certification out there.  ACE and NASM are pretty much the same in level of acceptance.  ACE provides a very wide base of knowledge which is good starting out.  You can then choose to specialize later.  The test is not the hardest out there but still requires you to study.

3) NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association)

NSCA was the first organization to be certified by NCCA and it leads the charge in cleaning up the personal training certifications industry. NSCA is very good for someone wanting to work in sports conditioning and training.  NSCA also offers the CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) which requires people to hold a bachelor’s degree before even taking the test.  They aren’t playing around.

4) NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) <–That’s ME!!

NASM is mostly known for their focus on corrective exercise and their OPT model (Optimum Performance Training) for exercise and workout plan design.  You learn how to do a top notch screening process of clients to find muscle imbalances and then how to design a program to fix those problem areas.  NASM is preferred in most gyms and it has one of the hardest tests to pass.  The test is a proctored exam in a private testing facility and that, in my opinion, only increases its credibility. You also go in depth about how to train special populations like the elderly, pregnancy, youth, and healthy limitations.

 

There are other NCCA approved certifying organizations out there but the four above are the TOP four. Go hang out at each of their sites to learn more about each program, costs, methods of studying and testing, and specializations.   You can’t go wrong with any of those to BECOME a personal trainer or to HIRE a personal trainer.

Questions?  Feel free to comment or message me!! 🙂

Looking to HIRE a personal trainer?  Go check out my PERSONAL TRAINING SERVICES page for more information!!
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Nope, Not All Personal Trainer Certifications Are Made The Same …

Honesty Builds Trust

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Hey Everyone!

I have a confession to make.

*SIGH*

I’m not perfect.

There I said it.

I guess I could present myself as the perfect coach who has complete control of my food and exercise at all times. I never have a craving.  I never have a cheat meal. I never miss a workout. I drink a gallon of water a day with no fail and I never get less than 8 hours of sleep.  I could say my body is perfect and the envy of all those who come near me.

But, then I wouldn’t be a real person, would I?

Could you believe and trust someone who does not struggle like you?

I don’t know about you but I could never approach the people in the gym who exuded ‘perfection.’ My thought was always, “What is she hiding?” I need someone who struggles like me.  I need someone who understands my fears and insecurities.

I need someone who knows what she’s talking about and can coach me, but also someone who can truly HEAR me and help me change.

I need someone who GETS me.

I believe that HONESTY builds TRUST.

Well, I totally understand the struggles so many of you go through.  I have the same struggles.

Want to know about my most recent struggle?

Starting in January I started a fat loss, or ‘cutting,’ phase in my training after a period of muscle building.  I had some fat to lose from eating in a surplus and obviously, from the festivities of the holidays.

January started out well.  I had a solid nutrition plan and an awesome workout plan.  I followed it and I was seeing results. YEAH!

And then reality hit. I got sick with a nasty cold that lasted for too long. It got super cold and yucky down here in the South.  It was the perfect storm that lead to more than I’d like to admit emotional eating.

My results slowed waaaaaaaay down. I did not back track to where I started but my progress crawled at a tortoise pace or stopped all together.

UGH!!!   LIFE!

So,  I ask myself what would I do for a client to figure out why progress was not happening?

Hmmmmmmm…..

Me Coaching Me

1) I would ask how compliant I am to my Nutrition plan.  If I am 100% honest how close was I following the plan that was working in the beginning?

Not so well.

So, it was ME not that plan that was failing.

2) How was I at following my workout plan?  Was I missing workouts I shouldn’t?

I am doing much better with workouts than I am with my nutrition plan.  But, even then if I have to miss the gym I should make a bigger effort to workout at home even if it is a short workout.

3) What is my plan to remedy this situation?

Track every single bite, lick, and taste that goes into my mouth.

I will use the app called FatSecret to record everything I eat so I can see and understand where I am the weakest and then adjust accordingly.

I will use a form I offer to clients to record and figure out level of compliance. Am I at 50% compliance?  Am I at 80%?  Where am I?  Once I know where I am I can improve on that.

Knowledge is power.

It isn’t easy to admit that your coach has flaws too.

But, I really want you to know I am a person and I do totally GET IT.

I LOVE YOU ALL!!

BLESSINGS!
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Honesty Builds Trust

Seven Bad Eating Habits That Need To Be Obliterated Now

Republished from July 11, 2013………….

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We all do them.  Me included.  And these are the things that will completely unravel a fitness and nutrition plan.  All that hard work down the drain.  What are they?

Bad Eating Habits

And what makes this even tougher is that we don’t always know we are doing them.  They sneak in and before we know it our very own habits are usurping our otherwise hard work.  Ugh!!

Let’s discuss what these habits are so we can name them, avoid them, and come out victorious.

1) Eating Too Fast

Our culture is so fast.  We live at a pace that is just unhealthy and one of the main areas is our eating.  We shovel food in way too often.  We eat the biscuit in the car while we drop off the kids.  We eat dinner in front of the TV.  What happened to slowly eating and enjoying every bite? I am guilty of eating dinner over the kitchen sink or by the kitchen counter.  You know.  Finish the meal so you can do the next thing.  Well, food is meant to be enjoyed and savored and our body is hardwired for that.  It takes about twenty minutes or so for your brain to register satiety (that full feeling).  So, if  you take your time to eat you will ultimately eat less because your brain registers the satiety no matter how much you eat.  If you shovel the food in like a dog eating a treat you will eat far more and probably come out feeling stuffed and sick. Be mindful of your food.  Enjoy it.  Savor it. Slow down.

2) Drinking Our Calories

UGH!!  Guilty!  I do love my coffee, lattes, frappacinos, and smoothies.  It is quick (see above), portable, and delicious.  Most of this stuff is full of fat and calories and no good.  How often do you feel full and happy after a drink?  Okay, maybe for a little while but it doesn’t last.  Your body wants solid food and more of it.  Get your nutrition from real meals and save the drinks for special treats.  You will be more content.

3) Emotional Eating

This is the thorn in my flesh.  It doesn’t matter what the emotion is for me.  Happy?  I celebrate with food.  Sad?  I grieve over food.  Angry?  I take it out on food.  I feel good for a few seconds as the food is going in.  But, then I feel so yucky.  I feel guilty for giving in to my emotions this way and I feel angry with myself for being weak.  Then that  just makes the original feelings that much worse.  It is a terrible cycle of defeat and I hate it.  It is okay to feel and embrace your emotions.  That is healthy.  But, reacting with food is not healthy.  We need to find other outlets.  Go for a run? Friends? Writing? Art?  Whatever it is find an outlet that will build you up and not tear you down by undermining your goals.

4) Licks and Tastes

Did you just lick the spoon after making your child a peanut butter and jelly?  Did you lick the beaters after making cupcakes for the classroom?  What about grabbing few crackers while packing a lunchbox?  HaHa! I caught you.  It is hard to say but those licks and tastes add up and they add up quick.  You may be completely on plan for an entire day but it means nothing because of those random licks and tastes sprinkled throughout the day.  I know it is hard because you don’t even think about it.  We need to be more aware of what we put in our mouths.

5) Skipping Breakfast

I think this one goes with number one above.  A lot of us are in such a hurry in the morning that we choose to save time by skipping breakfast.  Unless you are following a specific nutrition protocol called ‘Intermittent Fasting’ it is pointless and not healthy to skip breakfast. Your body needs that energy in the protein and carbs of breakfast especially after not being fueled during the night. You will also be hungry and more likely overindulge later in the day. You might become more reactionary in your eating due to hunger instead of intentional. Slow down and take a few minutes every morning to eat your breakfast. Maybe even enjoy breakfast with your family.

6) Eating Too Late

I think eating too late goes along the lines of mindless eating.  It is a myth that eating to late will cause weight gain.  You are fine if you are staying within your caloric needs.  But, what kind of eating is late night eating usually?  It is usually in front of the TV or computer while you watch a favorite TV show. You are not focused on what or how much you are eating.  That includes drinks (ex. wine).  All these things add up quick.  You will also benefit more from going to sleep than staying up for that TV show and snack.

Finally, ….

7) Eating Junk

We live in a junk food society.  We are in a rush and love convenience food.  The truth is that NONE of this food is beneficial for our body.  I don’t care what the claims are.  That food in that package is no good.  Throw the plastic wrapping away.  I also don’t care if it is “diet” food to help you “achieve our weight loss goals.”  UGH!!  Okay, that will just have to be another rant (ahem….blog post) for another day.  Focus on REAL food.  What do you think is better?  An apple with a spoonful of natural peanut butter or that pre-packaged “protein bar?”  These junk foods do taste good.  Trust me. I know.  I do LOVE Cheeto’s.   But, they are so bad for our bodies. They do not fill us up and they only leave us wanting more.  Thus, an obesity problem in our country.  What is the solution?  Shop the outside walls of your grocery stores.  Stick to foods that will spoil if you don’t get them in the fridge quick.  Eat foods that were once alive be it vegetables, fruit, milk, and/or meats.  Your body thrives on those foods because those are the foods your body is supposed to eat.  Stick to those and you are far more likely to hit your goals.

How do all these points add up?

Well, I think it comes down to being mindful and intentional about what we eat.  We need to slow down and think about how we fuel our bodies.  Eating is a process that we need to consider with care.

And if you feel totally lost in navigating the world of food, please consider hiring a nutrition coach. I can help you break bad habits and develop new ones along the way. You won’t be sorry. Check out my Nutrition Coaching page for more information. 🙂

Let me know your thoughts!!

I am always listening!!

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Seven Bad Eating Habits That Need To Be Obliterated Now

Hey Girl….Are You New To the Gym?

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Hey Girl….Are you new to the gym?

I saw you from the other side of the gym. I was in between sets and I saw you cautiously stepping up onto that treadmill/elliptical/bike/stepmill. I couldn’t help but take notice of you.

I’m sorry if it seems like I was staring.  I don’t want you to feel awkward or anything.

It is just that I see so much of ME in you. It makes me smile and it makes me reflect.

I remember when I was brand new in the gym.  I remember the excitement of new things coming and I remember the fear of not knowing what to do.  I remember being nervous and I remember feeling so very self-conscious.

I couldn’t believe that I had let my body get to this point.  How in the WORLD did that weight creep on?  How is it that I could barely run for 30 seconds without losing my breath?  I was once lean and athletic!  WHAT #%&* HAPPENED?!

Goodness, I remember. Honestly, it kind of hurts when I remember too.  I remember how lowly I thought of my body.  I remember how little self-esteem I had.  I had confidence in the negative numbers.  And the depression was crippling sometimes.  *sigh*

Anyway…

I do remember that there was ONE thing that got me in the gym that day. I knew I had to do SOMETHING! I had a husband and a little son to take care of when all I wanted to do was curl up in a hole.  There was just enough hope in me to know something had to change.  (I give Jesus all the credit for that mustard seed of hope.)

How are you doing?

How are you feeling?

Do you mind if I tell you something before we get back to our workouts?

Okay, good….

Please don’t give up.

You have such an awesome future ahead of you. You are awesome now and will continue to only become MORE awesome.

I know the gym is such an incredibly scary place right now.  I know you don’t know what to do or how to do it.  Your knowledge will grow over time.   And before you know it you will be walking in here with your head held up high.  You know what to do and how to do it.  Believe me.

What are your goals?

Oh, that’s a great goal!!!

Now, take that goal and write it down.  Plaster it on your bulletin board. Make a desktop picture of your goal so you see it everyday.

Please don’t give up!

Ready for some honesty??

It will get HARD!

There will be days when the last thing you want to do is go to the gym and eat right. Believe me.  I know.  Do your best to overcome these obstacles. Tell yourself you will workout for 10 minutes and if that doesn’t work you will go home. Guess what?  Most of the time that ten minutes is enough to get me motivated to finish my workout.  Try it sometime.

Eating right?  Yeah, I know.  That’s the hard part for me too.  Take it one bite at a time. You won’t completely change your diet overnight.  Well, I guess you can but most of the time you will just crash and burn. Change one habit at a time and it won’t be too long before you don’t even recognize your new lifestyle.

Just….Please….Please….PLEASE don’t give up!

Give it time.

True change TAKES TIME!!

It has taken me two and a half years to get where I am today.  It has taken almost three years of consistent training and healthy eating to get here.

I am not perfect.  Trust me!  I’ve had plenty of times of eating off plan.  I have knowingly made poor choices because I just felt lazy.  I’ve gone on vacation and stuffed my face with Cheetos and filled my belly with Coke. Yep, even me.

But, guess what?

I believe in GRACE!

Make a poor choice.  Okay.  Get back to it with your next meal.  Make a plan to get your workout tomorrow.

Move On.

Give yourself Grace and Time.  You WILL get there.

PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP!

Gosh, I’m being a bit long winded, aren’t I??  I’m sorry.  Thank you for listening.

One last thing????  I promise….

Please, for all that is holy in this world, please don’t compare yourself to others in this gym or outside this gym.

Have you heard the saying, “Comparison is the Thief of Joy.”  Well, there are no truer words.

comparison
This is YOUR body.  Those are YOUR goals.   Focus on that.  Your only competition is yourself.

Lastly, ……

PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP!!!

I’m always here and listening!

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Hey Girl….Are You New To the Gym?