If you are not driving, I want you to take a moment and close your eyes.
Are your eyes closed? Okay good.
Now I want you to imagine, to get a mental picture in your head of the car you’ve always wanted but can’t quite afford yet. Your DREAM car!
Imagine that the exact model you want with all of the bells and whistles is on the lot right now and God has blessed you tremendously. You are in the office signing the paperwork and the best part is… You’re paying CASH!
Now imagine yourself getting into that car as an owner for the first time.
How does it feel?
How do you feel?
You are loving it right!
Alright now imagine a few days have passed and you’ve been all over the place because you LOVE your new car. It’s time to get some gas.
You pull into your gas station of choice, figure out what side of the car the tank is on and park your brand new luxury machine!
You get out of the car and walk up to the pump and there are three choices 87 regular, 89 mid grade and 93 premium. You remember that the sales person warned you that this very expensive vehicle you purchased runs best on 93 gas. In fact, if you use anything else it may affect your brand new ride’s performance.
Alright, you may open your eyes.
I have a question for you…What kind of gas did you put in your new ride?
Now of course I don’t know this for sure, but I’m guessing you chose 93 right? Why? Because you LOVE, adore and appreciate your new car! Right? And because you value it and the investment you made in it, the work the manufacturer did to design it, so that it looks and performs exactly like you like it, you treat it a certain way right?!
I am also guessing that there are other things would you do to take care of your dream car besides put quality gas in it? You know, things like getting the oil changed on time, taking it for scheduled maintenance checks, etc. Right?
I want you to challenge you to see the parallels between the analogy and your health and wholeness journey. Now instead of BMW, Mercedes, Lexus or Acura, God is the manufacturer of this top of the line, luxury, dream machine AKA your body. How proud he must have been in his creation! He was intricately involved he was in its design.
Unlike his other creations detailed in Genesis we are the ONLY creation that he touched. Genesis 2:7 recounts “Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils, and the man became a living person.” He SPOKE everything else into existence and NONE of the other creations were made in his image. You are special, and just like Lexus and Acura beam with pride each time a new model comes out, God beams with every child that is born. To Him, you are a priceless creation!
Now, with this new found perspective of how WONDERFUL you are – how God sees you…
Until next time,
If you saw my Fight or Flight Facebook post (http://bit.ly/Fight265) you know that the results from the first 30 days of my big #transformation were discouraging, to say the least.
Here’s what I learned from that experience:
Trying to lose weight without accounting for the food you are eating is like chasing your tail even if you are working out! While working out in and of itself provides TONS of other benefits (a stronger heart, clearer mind, physical and mental strength, better sleep, etc), the pounds only drop when you #DetoxYourDiet. 99% of us simply can’t out-train a bad diet. That is simply because it’s a heck of a lot easier to EAT calories than it is to BURN calories.
Want proof? Here it is...
How long would you think it would take to burn off Olive Garden Spaghetti and Meatballs? Whatever you guessed is wrong.
4 hours 15 minutes walking
1 hour 45 minutes jogging
2 hours 20 minutes cycling
Oh and that assumes it is continuous training, NO BREAKS and an 8 or 9 intensity on a scale of 1 to 10 THROUGHOUT the workout. Trust me, I was taking multiple breaks.
Okay, let’s try another one - Starbucks Grande Caramel Frappuccino. You’re probably getting better but I bet you’re still off...
2 hours walking
48 minutes jogging
64 minutes cycling
Alright, last one - and one of my personal favorites - McDonald's French fries. Let’s say we get a small...
1 hour 4 minutes walking
26 minutes jogging
35 minutes cycling
Listen fam, I didn’t lose any weight that first 30 days because I was eating away my hard work! Are you repeating my mistake?
If the scale is hurting your feelings by going up or staying the same, your diet is the culprit.
That’s why I created the 21-day “Detox Your Diet” Challenge. It’s not our bodies that needs detoxing (it does that on its own), it’s our diets (daily way of eating) that need a total makeover.
So if you are ready to get the results you have been after and learn how to make it a lifestyle, go here to apply for our upcoming challenge: http://bit.ly/265challenge.
P.S. I don't do gimmicks. Everything you will be getting from me is 100% on the level. This is the beginning of a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.
If you have tried more diet and exercise programs than you would dare count and nothing seems to stick, I want you to know it’s not your fault.
You see, The Industry would have you believe that reaching your weight loss and fitness goals is all about choosing the perfect meal plan or exercise routine. They are wrong. If tools in of themselves caused transformation, we would all be skinny by now!
Just think about it...
We live in the most intellectually and technologically advanced era of all times.
There are over 50,000 diet books for sale on Amazon.com (many of which are available in e-books or audio)...
In 2015, iMedicalApps reported that there were over 165,000 health apps on (just imagine how many more there are now)...
There are now scales that measure body mass index, body fat %, bone mass, muscle mass, and how much of you is plain water...
Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, and others introduce a new and improved fitness tracker every few months...
We know more and have access to more than we EVER have...
And it still is not enough.
Tools alone do not cause transformation. In the end, a tool is just a tool unless it is used and used consistently in a way that moves our lives forward. So the real question is "what is keeping me from being consistent?" I’m glad you asked.
The answer is simple, but not easy.
Romans 12:2 reveals the answer:
“Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.”
-Romans 12:2 VOICE
Did you catch it? In order to experience total transformation, a literal change of mind is required. In other words, to achieve lasting success the Bible says you must rewire your brain.
If things are not coming together in any area of our lives, the real issue is our belief system - the automatic thoughts that drive our decisions.
So today, rather than simply focusing on the actions and results that you do not like, I challenge you to start paying attention to the beliefs, thoughts and feelings that are leading to the unwanted actions and results.
It may take some time to unearth the specific thoughts that are driving your behaviors but investing the time will pay off big time. Once you understand why you do what you do, you can start the process of changing - this time for good.
If you would like help identifying the beliefs and thoughts that are keeping you stick, click here to schedule a time. It’s on me.
Until next time,
"Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment."
~Proverbs 4:7 NLT
Of all of the topics pertaining to weight loss and fitness, my favorite thing to study is the science of motivation. Why? Because I know from personal experience that knowing does not always equate with doing. I knew that baked was better than fried, that water was a 100 times better than soda, and that bringing lunch from home was a much better call than eating fast food every day. I knew better, but that knowledge did not inspire me to do better (at least not at first). For 8 years, I kept doing the same old thing over and over and over again. Can you identify?
The cold hard truth: Many times we know exactly what we should be doing. We just don't do it.
The question is...WHY?
Charles Duhigg, New York Times reporter and author of The Power of Habit, sheds light on the subject. He contends:
"Most of the choices we make each day may feel like they are products of well-considered decision-making, but they are not. They are habits."
Did you catch that? Most (about 60-70%) of the time, we are NOT consciously making decisions. Nope. We are simply operating on auto-pilot. That explains a lot, doesn't it? If I were to boil it all down, my main problem is that I am sleepwalking through my decisions, so much so that they are not really decisions at all!
Charles goes on to say something really powerful: changing the unwanted behavior starts with identifying the cue(s).
According to Duhigg, cues tend to fall into one of five buckets
• Location (ex. at work)
• Time of day (ex. 3 pm or after lunch)
• Emotions and Feelings (ex. tired)
• Social Environment (ex. co-workers that are food pushers)
• Preceding Action (ex. someone offered me a cookie)
So for the rest of the week, I challenge you to start paying more attention to your location, the time of day, any emotions or feelings you are experiencing, your social environment, and what happened immediately before you felt the urge to cheat on your diet or skip the gym.
My clients that take these types of exercises seriously experience breakthrough. I believe it is possible for you too.
Write notes in your journal the rest of the week and let me know what you learn!
Until next time,
Back in the day, I dreaded entering big rooms like this. I always felt like a fish out of water. Sure, my hair would be tight and my clothes neatly pressed as I entered but the confidence still wasn’t there.
I was reasonably intelligent, had a decent vocabulary thanks to my professors at Va Tech (go Hokies!), could keep up a conversation about sports, and always had an opinion but I still had issues with these types of settings. The “weight” I was carrying made the entrance especially intimidating.
It wasn’t so much that the extra 100 pounds that I was carrying was the problem. It was how I FELT about the extra weight that was my undoing. I felt like I had a scarlet letter on my back and it affected how I entered the room, who I tried to converse with, and how long I stayed.
Everyone has vices and imperfections, but not all are tangible or visible. A woman who cheats on her husband, has a bad temper, or is a nag cannot easily be distinguished from one who does not until you spend some time with her. A woman who is overweight or obese walks around with a scarlet letter over her head. Regardless of her true condition, the dialogue in our culture is often that she is lazy, less competent and lacking in self-discipline. Everyone sees her problem and judges the root cause, but no one knows her story or sees her struggle.
So as I watch women enter the room, I wonder if any feel as I did?
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."
~Matthew 22:36-39 (NLT)
Happy Wednesday !
I am sure when you read this passage of scripture you get the “the love the Lord your God” part and the “love your neighbor" part but did you notice that this scripture challenges us to love ourselves?
I know that is not how this passage is typically taught. I am often challenged on this statement. The argument most often is that we do not need to worry about loving ourselves because humans are inherently selfish. But here's the thing: selfishness is NOT self-love so when I say that this scripture is teaching us an important principle about self-love, I am not talking about being selfish.
Here is what I believe: Jesus wants us to love others in the same way that He does - an agape kind of love. From what I have studied, agape love is not about putting everyone else's needs ahead of yours to the point of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Nor is agape love is not about stroking egos, making people feel good or giving them everything they want (and feeling guilty when you don't or can't).
Agape love is the love that Christ demonstrated towards us, a love that prioritizes what is good for the person and their development, not what feels good. He does not always give us what we want and as my mom is famous for saying "He prioritizes our character over our comfort." If that is true, (I see countless examples in my life and I am sure you do too), then loving others properly - in a way that furthers God's plan for their life - requires that I learn to love myself in the same way. You see, we can only give what we have. If I have an unhealthy view of self-love (i.e. selfishness or completely selfless), the love I give to others will be unhealthy too.
Just like Algebra must precede Calculus, you must learn to love yourself before you can properly love others. That means learning to do what is in your ultimate best interest even when it does not feel good or is inconvenient. When you can do that, you will love others in that way and:
You see, having goals, speaking up for yourself, and knowing what you need to do to be successful is not selfish and always pushing your goals to the side for others is not healthy. In Christian circles, it is easy to deem selflessness as the ultimate form of kindness, but that is not what Jesus modeled for us.
So I challenge the assertion that in order to be a "good Christian" we have to run around like a chicken with our heads cut off meeting other people's needs and always sacrificing our own. Now, hopefully, you do too.
Again, I'm not here to throw shade. I am on a journey with God too. You pray for me and I'll pray for you.
Until next time,
P.S. Are you following me on Facebook? If not, click here and then like.
Short on time but want to get an effective workout in? Try this...
After a 3-5 minute warm-up, complete 3 Rounds of the following:
Now, finish it with 10 minute walk/jog.
You're done! Nice Work!
Holiday weekend cookouts and reunions are an inevitable part of life. Let's face it, you can't live in a bubble!
But you may be wondering, "how can I be social and engage with family and friends AND avoid ruining my diet?" I'm glad you asked!
Coach Tam's Top 10 Cookout and Reunion Survival Tips:
1. Bring a “sippy cup”. Show up to the cookout with a 32-oz. water bottle to sip on throughout the gathering. It will help you feel full and keep you hydrated.
2. Think before you drink. When you fix your plate, continue to sip on the water and skip the sweet tea, soda, etc. You'll save 150-400 calories per cup just by making this swap.
3. Use a salad plate. This will force you to make trade off decisions. “I only have room for 3 or 4 things on my plate…do I really want that?”
4. Have only a spoonful of potato salad or macaroni salad. Mayonnaise-based salads are high in fat and calories.
5. Skip the chips. Forego munchies like chips, pretzels, crackers, and any dips that may accompany them. Instead grill corn, peppers, zucchini, squash, asparagus, peppers to get a good dose of healthy carbs. If they are not on the menu, offer to bring them!
6. Go lean. Lean protein - fish, shrimp, chicken breast, turkey burgers, and/or 90% lean ground hamburgers - when seasoned well, taste good and are very filling.
7. Dress it up. Rather than leave your protein naked, pile on lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard, salsa, relish. If you are a cheese lover, use a half of a slice of low fat cheese.
8. Eat your Wheaties. Skipping meals only hurts us in the long run, either by slowing our metabolism or leading you to overeat. Eat a healthy breakfast/snack before the cookout so that you aren't starving when you get there!
9. Practice portion control. Try to limit lean meats to the size of the palm of your hand and fill the rest of your plate with healthy veggies.
10. Enjoy fruit for dessert. Berries and watermelon make great summertime treats. If the dessert table is too enticing to resist, choose ONE item, take the smallest piece, walk away and savor every bite!
Remember, you cannot always control the temptations that will arise, but you can always choose how you will handle them.
Enjoy your time with family and friends!
Until next time,
Struggling to find time for exercise and healthy eating?
If that is true for you, you could be saying YES when you really need to say NO.
YES to constantly working past your scheduled hours (even though in your heart of hearts you know that you'll never "catch up").
YES to friends who sabotage your healthy eating plans by buying your favorite treats or making you feel guilty for making better decisions.
YES to your kid's emergencies that really amount to poor planning on their part and enabling on your part.
YES to Wednesday bible study, Thursday choir rehearsal, serving on the Usher Board, running errands throughout the week and serving all day Sunday every Sunday.
It's time to start checking your T.I.R.E.S. before you say YES to yourself and others.
Time: Is the time that I am being asked to do something open on my calendar? Hint: Before you can truly answer that, answer this: Do I have an up-to-date calendar with all of my work, family, ministry, and personal commitments for the month on them?
Interest: Am truly interested in being a part of this? Or am I tempted to respond out of obligation AKA people-pleasing behavior?
Relevance: How does the ask relate to my God given purpose, goals and aspirations? Does it bring me closer to the things that are truly important to me or take me further away? Have I consulted God on if this is the "highest and best use" of my time? Or should something else trump this?
Energy: Given all that I have on my plate do I or will I have the mental, emotional, and physical energy needed to fulfill this ask? Hint: In order to answer this question accurately, you must have an up-to-date calendar AND awareness of the mental, emotional, and physical impacts of participating in those activities.
Skill set: Does what I am being asked to do align with my strengths? Or is it going to take me twice as long to get this done because it is not my strong-suit? Do the developmental opportunities associated with the activity feel right intuitively (i.e. Are these things that God has been speaking to me about directly or through others)?
Until next time,
While many would have you believe that losing the weight and leaving it is about finding the perfect diet and exercise solution, I know better...
The extra pounds we carry have less to do with our taste buds and laziness and more to do with what is eating away at our Soul...
Feeling stuck in a job that we hate...
Living in a house that doesn’t feel like a home...
Having an exciting vision for the future but no motivation to pursue it...
Trying desperately to hold everything together on the outside while it feels like everything is falling apart on the inside...
No, it’s not that at the core of our being we don’t want to eat better or move more, it’s that our soul has been arrested and we don't feel empowered to break free...no matter how spiritual we seem to be.
Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be this way. There is an answer and it’s not what you think.
The answer is to invest your time.
The investment I am talking about doesn't just pertain to improving the physical body but also on identifying the real root of the problem and strengthening yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
When you invest in bringing your spirit, soul, and body into alignment, everything else falls into place.
Until next time,
coach tam's Blog
40-something who loves food, fitness, and fun!