Your Personal Best, and Cookies

by Christian Garcia

Where to begin? I guess I can start off by saying that in life, anything you desire may or may not be easy to obtain; it will take time, patience, and determination. Whether it is health, fitness, money, relationships, an education, etc., it will take hard work and dedication. This can discourage you from striving to achieve and obtain your desires; impatience, frustration, lack of motivation, and many other things destroy the driving force and will power. The question is how far are you willing to go to succeed? What are you willing to exchange for your desires?
Anything you desire will always come at a cost.  Whether it is time, sweat, energy, money, your favorite indulgences (foods for most), it requires something.  The most important question is what will you get out of fulfilling your goals or desire? Do you get happiness? Satisfaction? Relief?  There are many factors that will discourage some, but it is perseverance and courage that will lead a person to succeed.
In my life nowadays, I strive for fitness and optimal health. As of recently, I have been training towards competing in amateur bodybuilding. I have been inspired by many average, everyday individuals (the team as well as many others) to pursue something I truly love doing: becoming as fit as possible while spreading a valuable message: strength through compassion (thanks, Ed Bauer). What’s the cost to me? It costs me time, energy (mental, physical, and emotional), money, and part of my social life. But for me, it brings me happiness and satisfaction knowing that I am not giving up on myself. More importantly, knowing that I have people supporting me makes me that much more willing to succeed.
One thing I have found myself doing more than before is comparing myself to others. However, this is not conducive to progress. Realistically, it is counterproductive. I am not they and they are not I. I am very own body, mind and self. When comparing yourself to someone else, you can lose focus of what is important: being your personal best.  When I am unsatisfied with how I compare to others, it takes a toll on my self-esteem and creates self-doubt.  However, I take a deep breath and remember that I am doing my very best; I am training extremely hard, eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, and focusing on the present. I may not be where I want to be at the moment, but I am getting there. I have envisioned a physical self-image, not of someone else, but of my own physical self that I wish to achieve. I am determined to get there and do not see myself being easily deterred.  Sure, I am pursuing something that requires a lot of physical strength, but more than that, it requires an immense amount of mental and emotional strength. To be willing to overcome the naysayers, to be willing to hurdle over the obstacles, to stay motivated enough, means that you are ready to succeed. This is where the emotional and mental determination comes into effect. Again, I say that to get what you truly desire means having perseverance, courage, and a strong character to succeed.  Always remember to do what you can and not what someone else can. You can and will succeed.
How far are you willing to go to get what you want? There is no definite answer to this question: it depends on you.
Best of luck in your endeavors,

Christian Garcia Cookies

Protein Power Cookies
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
4 tablespoons chia seeds
2 bananas, mashed
3/4 cooked quinoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water/almond milk/coconut milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3-4 tablespoons of coconut palm sugar
3/4 cup dried fruit, diced (raisins, figs, apricots, berries, etc., or chocolate chips too)
1 cup gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill- also available in bulk at Whole Foods)
a pinch of Himalayan sea salt

• Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and line cookie pan with parchment paper.
• In a medium sized bowl, mix dry ingredients (except chia seeds) together.
• In a separate bowl, combine chia seeds, mashed bananas, quinoa, and water/milk. Mix well.
• Then combine dry and wet mixtures together and stir until batter reaches a dough-like consistency.
• Scoop batter into golf ball-sized nuggets and place on baking sheet.
• Bake for 15 minutes.

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