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Fit for Life: Motivational Quotes, Just Words or Wisdom?

Saturday, September 29, 2018


We all hear and see motivational slogans and cliché quotes daily.

Whether you are surfing Facebook, or just conversing with others, there are always little self-help nuggets that are being passed around to help elevate us to new levels of success with everything we do.

Heck, even fortune cookies are encouraging. So, my question to you is, does this work for you?

Like everything else, I always over analyze things.

What do these slogans mean, and do they sink in, or do you just read them, get inspired for a minute and go back to life as usual or do you live by them.

Let’s break down a few and decide if they truly resonate with you.

1- The grass is always greener…. Are you a person that suffers from comparison syndrome? Is the grass always greener on your neighbor’s lawn? Are you constantly trying to “keep up with the Joneses? Do you always complain that everyone has it better than you? Jealousy is an ugly description, and if this is you, then you will never be happy. Someone always has it better than you and even more have it worse than you, so worry about you, and what you have, and what you are doing. If you focus on what you want and need, then who cares what anyone else has. Work on being the best version of you, and you will not only accomplish more, but become happier in the meantime.

2- Be stronger than your excuses. This means that almost anything is possible as long as you give your best effort. I always say, “Find a way or make an excuse”. Everyone can be fit and healthy if they had will power, avoided instant gratification, and was willing to put in the work, but somehow most folks make up excuses as to why they fail. No time, can’t afford it, blah blah. If you put the excuses to rest, you will find success faster on all levels in your life.

3- Actions speak louder than words. Yes, they do. Thoughts and words are bottomless promises you make, unless you follow it up with actions. You can say you want to make more money, and lose weight all day long, but it won’t happen until you start acting and putting your plan together. “I want to play pro football” a lot of youngster’s claim, but the only ones with a chance are the guys in the gym and on the practice field on a regular basis. So, if you say it, back it up.

4- Turn discouragement into determination. I think I made this one up, but not sure. When I fail at something, I don’t let it fester for long. I try to get up asap and course correct. I become relentlessly determined to either fix the problem or find an alternate route. Many marketing efforts have failed for me and I have lost a ton of money doing trial and error things, but that doesn’t stop me from trying again. If you self-destruct, get down on yourself and give up, you make matters worse, then you really lose. So, keep aiming for the wins, and don’t stay down for too long.

5- If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Exactly. If you work a regular 9-5 job doing the same thing day in and day out, it’s an easy job, and you won’t grow much from it. Compare someone that pumps gas or sorts mail to a doctor, or auto technician. When you are in a profession that changes constantly, you either evolve or die. You need to get better, or someone else will, then you will be on the outside looking in. The same goes for your fitness. If you lollygag on a treadmill, or elliptical machine, your physique will probably stay the same. There is nothing wrong with being content, but if you want to develop and grow, change is necessary. So, embrace challenges, and make the chances you so desire.

That’s my 2 cents on the whole “motivational” quote philosophy. People love to post these things, and say them in passing, but they mean little unless acted upon. Next time someone says “shoot for the stars, if you want to land on the moon” ask them, what that truly means to them, and ask if they apply it to themselves.

Committed to your success,

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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