Today is the day you decided that you are ready for a change. You have gone years treating your body badly and the list of health concerns you have developed cloud your mind–high blood pressure, diabetes, bad cholesterol, sleep apnea, and the list goes on. Playing with your kids is an act of congress, because your lungs and heart are not conditioned to moving that fast or moving period. You are ready to take off the extra pounds you have accumulated throughout your adult life. You have never worked out a day in your life, and at the moment you are scared out of your mind because you’ve heard this big guy with a mohawk and muscles is your trainer and his partner in crime is his little pig-tailed wife who seems innocent but reports state otherwise. There are a thousand different feelings you are experiencing, and one of the most frightening ones is that you will give up before you even try. Before you even cross the threshold, to the weights beyond. Mentally, physically, and spiritually, this will be the most difficult challenge in your life. Harder than CHILDBIRTH, is what the main consensus is.Yet you are here, about to begin a journey that will last you the rest of your life. If you let it, it will transform you in ways you never thought possible, ways you couldn’t possibly imagine. Yes, you are in the right place my friend.
Welcome to TBF.
These are just a glimpse of some thoughts and feelings that go into a lifestyle change and training at TBF. I’m sure many of you have heard rumors–that people throw up constantly (thanks Cj Frazier!), can’t move for a week, or that Dan and I are slave drivers and beat people into the ground. What I want to talk with you about today, is what TBF is and what are some tools that you can begin utilizing in order to not give up and go back to the way things were.
First and foremost, TBF is based on a scripture from the bible out of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
Daniel had the idea for TBF long before he was certified and long before the training days at 24 HR Fitness. For both of us, training your temple or your body has multiple parallels to your spiritual walk with God. The one thing I know in my heart, is that God did not call us to have unhealthy, frail, and immobile bodies. He created us in his own image (WOW) and says that our bodies are the TEMPLE he resides in. It is not just for our best interest to be healthy and fit; God paid a PRICE for each and every one of us. Changing your lifestyle and turning away from the things that destroy our bodies is what God wants us to do by honoring him. We honor God by training for His glory, for his purpose, and for his calling on our lives.
We cannot be disciples of Christ if we are obese, have failing health, eating processed and refined foods, and are steadily preparing our bodies for chronic diseases. I will never forget a time when I worked at 24 HR Fitness I met a girl for a fitness assessment (which is pretty much introducing people to the gym and equipment) and she told me her reason for getting a membership. She was a Christian, and was devastated because she couldn’t go on a mission’s trip to Europe because she was so OVERWEIGHT. Can you imagine, knowing God’s calling for you and being unable to physically go when he told you to go?
While we are a gym and our goals are fitness related, our main calling is for you to not just have physical healing, but a mental and spiritual transformation of your mind and body. This is the crux of our mission–to change the culture of Pampa, Texas to become healthy, fit, and experience revelation.
This is our heart, our passion, and our CALLING.
I realize that fitness, health, and the whole shebang can be somewhat intimidating. I mean, you are looking at the girl who CRIED when her poor husband to her to work out for the first time. I was lazy, eating too many Donut Stop donuts, and weaker than a mouse. My idea of a work out was hit a couple of ab twist rotations and call it a day. It wasn’t easy for me either. Some days, it STILL isn’t easy. It took me years to get where I’m at now, and I’m proud to say I am STILL on that journey. It never ends. You just get better, and the realm of possibilities with goals are endless.
From this blog, I want you to take away this guide for new-comers to TBF or ANY fitness/health program you are starting. I can’t tell you how many people have started a program, and fallen off the wagon. They continue to yo-yo effect for their whole lives, never truly experiencing the blessings God wants to give them. The thing is, you must WORK for it. God may open doors, but unless you are willing to walk through discomfort from workouts, resisting temptations of foods, and staying committed to your goals, then you will NEVER be successful. Let me repeat myself: everyone at TBF puts in WORK. It is not given, it is EARNED. I can’t tell you how to get there–some people never experience that mental catalyst or they do, they just ignore the truth and continue on those bad paths. Here are my tips, tricks, and thoughts for the first timers.
- Do not be Afraid. Easy for me to say right? I was terrified of gyms–I felt like people were starring directly at my rather large rump and whispering things like, “Oh my God Becky, look at her butt!” Having Dan with me though, giving me instruction and pushing me past my comfort zones slowly brought more confidence and I began to feel empowered at every gym session.
- Focus on YOU: even though we have small class sizes, lot’s of newbies will come in and compare themselves to other clients or even try to keep up with them during workouts. Do NOT do this!!! First of all, you are here for you. If you get better range of motion, or do 5 more pounds in a workout when you had only been doing body weight that is FANTASTIC!! This is a MARATHON, and not a sprint. If it took you YEARS to get to this place physically, don’t you think it will take time for you to get back to being healthy again? Never compare yourself to someone else–you have no idea where they started, and how long they have been doing it!
- Ask questions. OFTEN. If you don’t understand something we are doing, or don’t feel what we are supposed to be working, just ask! Dan and I are here to educate you guys. In most cases, lifting is like learning a different language. I mean, what in the world is a SDHP and how do I exactly engage my TVA? This is the time to learn the basics of what you will do for the rest of your life. Like any good student, it is important to ask the teacher if you are confused or don’t understand concepts.
- Take Breaks. OFTEN. There is no need to go all out on your first workout. This is surely a recipe for an intra-workout bathroom run to throw up which by the way, is NOT a goal we have at TBF! Food is fuel, and it does no good to you outside your body. Pushing yourself is one thing, but don’t keep going if you feel yourself getting light-headed or about to pass out. Remember, you are shocking your body. It has absolutely no idea what you are doing to it and this is all new territory. No one, least of all me cares if you even FINISH a workout. Does that define you? Absolutely not! What defines you is if you give up because you aren’t a BALLER 100% out of the gate. To date, every client at TBF hasn’t finished a workout, including yours truly.
- Eat a small meal PRE-WORKOUT. Despite what you may think, not eating before a workout and training at this intensity WILL make you throw up. Eat something light, like some toast with a little peanut butter. Or maybe a piece of fruit. If you don’t, your blood sugar will crash and you will either A) faint B) barf C) all of the above. Again, your body is not used to this stimulus. Make sure to fuel up before taking on an intense workout.
- Learn what foods are best for YOUR body. There is not, and I repeat, is NOT a one-size-fits-all program for weight loss, muscle gain, or maintenance. You have to trial and error out several types of foods to see what your body works well on. My body loves oatmeal, but when I eat rice, even brown rice, I feel sluggish and like I have a pile of rocks in my stomach. I’m bloated and I don’t feel good! Just because someone eats a certain way doesn’t mean it will work specifically for YOU.
- Drink water. OFTEN. For daily consumption, drink half your body weight in ounces of water. If you are a 160lbs, drink 80 oz daily. For every hour you lift or do cardio, drink an additional 16 ounces of water. Water makes up almost 70% of our body–it is the mechanism by which our body performs several processes and flushes waste out of our system. Don’t neglect it!
- If you cheat, you are ONE meal away from getting back on track! Most people are too strict and if they make a bad choice they decide to throw in the towel for the rest of the day and eat more crap. Don’t fall into that trap! All is NOT lost. Get back to the right way of eating the VERY next meal. Don’t wait till tomorrow, next week, next month, or new years. I shouldn’t have to remind you we aren’t promised tomorrow.
- Don’t forget, you have FAMILY at TBF. We are your support system here at the gym, online, and ANYTIME. Dan and I are here for you all, no matter what the situation is. We commiserate over certain awful workouts, and celebrate in small victories on the scale or in smaller clothes. We yell about new PR’s and enjoy discussing our food successes and failures. You are NOT alone on this journey, so don’t think you need to do this on your own.
- Get consistent. It is too easy to say, “I’m too sore to workout today” or “I just don’t feel like it.” Motivation can come and go, especially since we want results YESTERDAY. Don’t ever forget this is a process; you are fighting against years of not taking care of your body. Don’t get frustrated when you don’t have a bikini body by week 2. Take joy in small victories–pants feeling looser and having more energy throughout the day.
- Don’t QUIT. Remember why you started in the first place. You are experiencing a traumatic change not just physically, but God is dealing with you in other areas of your life. The devil’s goal, is for you to QUIT. Notice I didn’t say fail. You will fail, lots of the time. Failing doesn’t mean you are a failure–quitting and giving up means he’s won the battle. Like a great marriage, your fitness, health, and nutrition takes lots of TLC, patience, and a committment to not quit when the going gets tough. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. Till death do you part.
There are definitely several more points that I could go over, like only being half way committed or believing in hype or not trusting your trainers.
The take away I want you to have is that this is the RIGHT step for you to take. It will be hard. You will feel broken (literally and figuratively). You will want to quit, throw in the towel, and find a reeces peanut butter cup. Following these steps will keep you on track to those ultimate goals, the ones that feel like they are so far away.
God sees your struggles–when you are weak, he will be your strength. You were never meant to do this on your own. When you are running, jumping, squatting, and deadlifting He is right beside you. Don’t forget the testimony you will have to friends, family, and the world because of what you will do to change your life. YOU have the ultimate responsibility to the people you influence.
“That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 NLT