3 Musts to Make Extreme Self-Care a Priority


3 Musts to Make Extreme Self-Care a Priority

If we don’t have our health what do we have?  Sadly many of us neglect our physical body.  We take for granted this amazing God given vessel we are given.  We abuse it with poor nutrition, lack of exercise, limited sleep and chronic stress.  We are over-worked, stressed and exhausted and our body takes the brunt of this go, go, go mentality. 

I would like to propose a new possibility for our health and taking care of our body.  One where we treat our body as precious, because it is.  It’s the only one we are going to get in this life time, so treat it with tender loving care. 

What if we made our physical health one of our top priorities in our life?  What if we made it a non-negotiable to take care of our health and fitness by moving more, eating better, sleeping more and managing stress?  How would your life be different?  How would you feel?  Imagine a life full of energy.  Imagine a life where you look, feel and perform better.  It’s right at your fingertips with a few small changes. 


Everything starts with making a decision.  A decision to get healthy.  Once you decide then it’s just a matter of having an effective strategy in place.  But nothing happens until you decide to act.  Often times the hardest part is just getting started.  It’s taking that first step. 

Fear of failure is the thing that most often holds us back.  But there is no such thing as failure if you have a growth mindset, meaning that you can’t fail, you can only learn.  So be bold and courageous and make that commitment to get healthy. 


The number one excuse people make for not taking care of themselves is lack of time.  What I have learned is that it’s not a time management issue it’s a priority management issue.  We make time for what’s important and what is more important than our health?

Exercise and eating healthy has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.  I find time to do some level of physical exercise almost daily.  I make an appointment with myself every day to take care of my body.  I know I am a much better person physically, mentally and spiritually because I practice extreme self-care daily.


I know the better I take care of myself, the better I will be able to give to others.  Carving time out for ourselves isn’t selfish at all.  In fact being healthy and full of energy is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and others.  When you make it more than about a number on a scale or the way you look, health and fitness takes on a completely different meaning. 

One of my clients who has struggled with his health and energy for many years has completely transformed his perspective on why he exercises.  He said it has changed his relationship with his family.  They now go do outdoor activities such as hiking, bike riding or kayaking on a regular basis.  Before he didn’t have the energy to do any of those things.  His renewed health and vitality is having an impact on his family.  Focus on the big picture and all of a sudden exercise and eating healthy takes on a whole new meaning.

Make a commitment to yourself that you are going to practice extreme self-care.  Make it a top priority in your life and realize it will have a bigger impact on the people around you then you think.  Take a chance on yourself and move towards getting in the best shape of your life. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior




Why You Should Push Your Physical Limits


Why You Should Push Your Physical Limits

One of the things I loved the most about playing football was that adrenaline rush of running out onto the field in front of thousands of screaming fans.  It made me feel fully alive.  I was always nervous before a game, but completely pumped.  It’s what I lived for. 

There was always the fear of going into battle knowing that there was going to be pain involved.  In football there is just know way to escape it.   But I loved the game.  I felt like a warrior.  A team of men giving it our best against another team of men each hoping to come out victorious. 

Unfortunately, my football career came to an abrupt end when I took a devastating lateral blow to the knee shredding three out of my four knee ligaments.  Surgery and two years of intense rehab got me back to walking normally, but my football days were over.  


After my football career was over, I knew I needed another outlet.  Not only for my physical health but also for my mental health.  I am wired, as I believe all men are, to be physically active and adventurous.  We aren’t meant to be sedentary and lay on the couch and watch TV.  I turned to bodybuilding and road cycling to stay fit and challenge myself physical and mentally. 


Being a bodybuilder taught me self-discipline about eating and training.  I ate the exact thing every day for 12 weeks.  To this day I will never eat another piece of orange roughy.  Road cycling taught me how to suffer well.  I learned how to go into my pain cave and dig down deep when trying to stay with a group of cyclists.  I can’t imagine my life without some type of daily physical challenge. 


I recently signed up for a bike ride in Colorado called the Triple Bypass.  It covers 120 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing over three mountain passes.  The reason I signed up for it was because I started watching ultra-endurance documentaries on Netflix.  I was amazed and inspired by what ultra-endurance athletes put themselves through and how mentally tough they are.  Many of the athletes talked about how they also grew spiritually because of the endurance races. 

I knew I had to sign up for something  that seemed completely out of my comfort zone.  I am a cyclist, but it has been a long time since I have ridden over 100 miles.  Eight years to be exact.  I have had my hip resurfaced since that time, but I knew I had to do it. 

When I first started training about ten weeks ago, I was thinking to myself, what was I thinking, I can’t do this.  I don’t look like a traditional cyclist as I have added muscle mass on my upper body from all of my years of bodybuilding.  I am more bodybuilder than cyclist. 

But I pushed through, and my training has been going great.  My last big training ride last week was 80 miles and 7500 feet of climbing.  I have been getting up early every Saturday morning to spend at least six to seven hours on my bike. 



The Triple Bypass is next week and I am ready.  I know it will be hard.  I know there will be suffering.  But I also know I will feel fully alive.  I know I will be mentally stronger for doing this.  I also know I will grow spiritually because of this experience.  Ultimately, that is what this adventure is all about.  To push my limits physically and mentally so I can grow spiritually. 

I have come to believe as men we need some type of physical adventure or challenges to make us feel alive.  In my line of work as a personal trainer I have seen too many men lose their inner warrior.   This warrior mentality is hard-wired into every man, but it is so easy to get complacent.  To go lay on the couch after a full day’s work and just check out and eat a bag of potato chips or grab a couple of beers. 

I want to empower and inspire every man out there to reclaim your inner warrior.  To start to train physically every day.  To start to make better choices around food.  Imagine how you would feel?  Imagine the self-confidence and the warrior spirit coming back?  That feeling of being strong and powerful.  

What would it look like for you if you chose a physical adventure that would get you out of your comfort zone?  Maybe it’s signing up for a 5k in 3 months.  Maybe it’s to do a 10 mile hike or to do 50 push-ups without stopping. 

But whatever it is, know that it is more than getting physical fit.   I would suggest you ask yourself these four questions:   

1.       How will I become a better human being because of this?

2.       How will I make a difference to my family, friends and community by being more fit?

3.       How will I grow spiritually?

4.       How will I be of better service to God?

Your physical adventure is all about you, but then it’s not all about you.  Of course you will be more physically fit, have more energy and develop more self-confidence.  But how are you going to use that new found energy?  My challenge to you is to become the best version of yourself through your physical training.  Become the man that God created you to be.   

So are you ready for the challenge?  Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone physically, mentally and spiritually?  I would love to hear from you and help you and be a part of your journey.   I specialize in helping men reclaim their inner warrior through my unique combination of nutrition coaching, wellness coaching, life coaching and personal training.

I would invite you to send me an e-mail at troy@troyismir.com and let’s see how we can partner together.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior



A Square Peg in a Round Hole


A Square Peg in a Round Hole

For seventeen years of my working career I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.  It just didn’t fit.  I often times remembered that sense of dread when Sunday evening came around because I knew that it was almost time to start my work week.  Can you relate to that?  Dread is a horrible feeling.  One that will suck our soul dry. 


The reason I got into the pharmaceutical industry was that I wanted to spend more time with my kids.  Before getting into the pharma industry I was in health and fitness full time.   I managed a personal training program for a large health club.  To say the least, it wasn’t a very family friendly job.  I left work before my kids got up and when I got home, usually around 7pm, I was exhausted from putting in a fourteen hour day.  It wasn’t sustainable, even though my passion was health and fitness, I quickly got burnt out from the daily grind. 

Therefore, I left my passion of health and fitness to become a pharmaceutical sales rep.  My first year in the industry I was very depressed.  I could hardly get out of bed in the morning to go to work.  I couldn’t stand my job.  I didn’t feel like I was making a difference.  I felt like I was just driving around all day without any teaching or selling opportunities. 

But I hung in there and eventually broke down barriers and became quite good at it.  With one of the companies I worked for I finished first in the country in sales and usually finished in the top ten percent.


The problem was that I always felt out of integrity.  A square peg in a round hole.   I wasn’t living my passion.  I never thought of myself as a sales person.  A lot of the times I found myself talking to my customers about health and nutrition.    


I remember when I knew I couldn’t last in the industry much longer.   I was at a national sales meeting and they were giving out awards for the top sales performers.  I was just thinking to myself, this isn’t my gift.  This isn’t why God put me on this earth.  I recall getting in my car and just crying knowing that I couldn’t do this any longer. 

My why of getting into the pharmaceutical industry was no longer relevant as both of my kids had graduated high school and were off doing their own thing.  I knew I had to get out to save my soul.  I was easily making six figures at that time, but I didn’t care.  What good is it if a man gains the whole world and loses his soul?  That is how I felt. 


What I have come to learn is that if we don’t know our purpose in life and are actively pursuing it we will feel empty inside.  We may become bored, restless and turn to other things in our life that usually isn’t healthy such as hours watching TV, alcohol, drugs, porn, power, money or materialism. 

My dream since I was twenty three years old was to be an entrepreneur.  I always wanted to have my own fitness business.  I just never had the guts or quite honestly a faith in God or myself to take that leap of faith. 

That is until about a little over a year ago.  I knew I had to get back into integrity with myself and with God.  I had to go back to what I know I was created for.  I have always been passionate about fitness, but now my faith has become the central focus in my life. 

My calling, passion and purpose is to help men reclaim their inner warrior and lead more valiant lives through physical, mental and spiritual fitness.  My vision is to be revolutionary in impacting men’s lives with fitness as the platform for growing spiritually. 


My core values are completely lined up with what I am doing now.   My work is my ministry.  Most of the time I don’t know what day it is because I love every aspect of my job.  I know longer dread Mondays.  What an incredible feeling that is. 


Are you currently in a job that you aren’t passionate about?  Do you go through the motions day in and day out and are bored out of your mind?  Are you not giving your gift fully to the world? 

I would like to invite you to start to dream and imagine the possibilities when you are fully lined with up your purpose and living that out in your life.  Your whole world will change.  I know mine did.

Becoming an entrepreneur has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is also the most rewarding.  My faith has grown tremendously over the last year.  I am completely dependent on God’s goodness for him to help me grow my ministry.  He is guiding and directing my path on this great Kingdom adventure. 

Think about what it would feel like in the morning to jump out of bed feeling fully alive because you are making a difference in this world. 

Our calling in this lifetime isn’t to mold ourselves into some façade we think we ought to be, but discover who we already are and become it. 

My challenge to you is to start to work towards becoming the person you were created to be.  Follow your dreams and passions.  You will never feel more alive giving your gifts back to the world.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

Divine Wellness Ministries



Fit Dad Fit Kids


Fit Dad Fit Kids


One of my earliest memories of exercising with my kids is when they were two and one years old.  I traded in my road bike for a Burley bike trailer and attached it to my mountain bike.  I would sneak in a bike ride with my two kids in tow with their heads bouncing around like bobble heads.  Thank goodness I didn’t cause any permanent damage to their cervical spine. 

I have always included my kids in my exercise program.  I believe one of the most important things we can teach our children is how to be physically active and eat healthy.   I was the dad who wanted to know what my kids were doing in physical education class more than in math class, because if we don’t have our health, what do we have?  I have always felt that it was my personal responsibility to be a role model for my kids in this area.   

Here are three things I did to instill the value of health and fitness into my kids’ lives. 


I have always been a big believer that we should teach our children why it is important to exercise and eat healthy.   Educate them on why sodas aren’t good for our health or why eating too much sugar will catch up to us in the long run.   I then allowed them to make their own choices as they got older.  I never said they can’t have those things, I simply provided healthier options and allowed them to choose.  Now that my kids are twenty-two and twenty-one years old, I am proud to say they both love to eat healthy and to exercise. 



Exercise and physical activity should be fun.  I have been in the health and fitness business for over twenty-five years and one of the things I have loved about being in this profession was taking my kids to the gym with me.   My kids learned from a very young age that taking care of our bodies doesn’t have to be drudgery.  It’s fun to move and to be physically active.    To this day I hike, play golf, lift weights and ride bike with my kids every chance I get even though they are young adults now and leading their own lives. 



Ah yes, the lost art of cooking and eating dinner together.   Some of my greatest memories are cooking together with my kids.  It’s simple, fun and creates team work.   From choosing the recipe, going to the grocery store, meal prep and ultimately spending time in the kitchen together followed by quality time at the dinner table. 






Its Father’s Day this Sunday.  As a father who strongly believes in health and fitness, I want to encourage you to make health and fitness a priority with your children.  I have been blessed with two beautiful children that are as passionate about health and fitness as I am.   One of the greatest Father’s Days gifts we can give to ourselves and our families is sharing in health and well-being.  Fit dads create fit kids. 


Lottery Ticket vs. the Sculpture


Lottery Ticket vs. the Sculpture

We hear these marketing ploys over and over again from the fitness industry;  Follow this exercise program for 21 days and you will have the perfect body.   Do the ab roller for 21 days and you will get 6 pack abs.  Follow the 21 day diet and you will melt off all of your fat.   We have all heard that it takes 21 days to change a habit.  But is that really accurate?  Is it really that simple?   

Changing our habits can be extremely challenging, especially when we have a short term mentality.  I know I am certainly guilty of wanting a quick fix in my life when things aren’t going the way I want them to.   

A recent study showed that it took people on average 66 days for a new healthy habit to be automatic and for some it took up to 254 days.  In other words, if you want to set your expectations appropriately it will probably take anywhere from two months to 8 months to build a new behavior into your life, not 21 days. 

Lottery ticket.png

Let me ask you this question.  Do you have a lottery ticket mentality or a sculpture mentality?   The lottery ticket mentality is the quick fix approach.  It’s having the attitude that I am going to take this pill and I am going to magically lose all this weight in 21 days and I am going to have instant success without having to work for it.   The problem with this approach is people give up too early.  When they don’t see the results in 21 days they simply get discouraged and give up.  People simply give up too soon when things get hard and life gets in the way. 


In comparison, the sculpture mentality is taking a long term approach to making life changes.   One of the most amazing historic landmarks Mount Rushmore in Rapid City, South Dakota.   It took 14 years and 400 workers to carve out the faces of four presidents.  The name of the sculptor was Gutzon Borglum.  This is a true definition of a sculpture mentality.  Imagine the hard work, patience and persistence it took to show up day after day for 14 years to get this amazing monument completed.    I have this quote up in my house and it’s titled the Essence of Persistence and it says, “The race goes not always to the swift but to those who keep running.  You have powers you never dreamed of.  You are capable of doing things you never thought possible.  There are no limitations on what you can do."

Imagine if you took the sculpture approach to your life, instead of the lottery approach.  There are three things you must do in order to take the sculpture approach in your life. 


First and foremost, you have to pick the rock.  What are you going to chip away at?    Is it your health?  Is it improving your nutrition?  Is it getting better at your job?   Is it exercising consistently?   Ideally you would just focus on one area at a time.  Research shows if we try to change one thing at a time we have an 85% success rate.  If we try to change two things at a time it drops down to 35% and if we try to make three changes in our life it practically drops down to zero success.

Proverbs 4:25 says, "Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you."  Stay focused on that one thing and align your life to making it a habit.  


Secondly, each day you must chip away at the rock.  Day in and day out you have to work towards your goal.  John Capilari, the University of Kentucky basketball coach tells his players you have to learn to love the grind.   Life is a grind, so you might as well embrace it and learn to love the day to day challenges you face.  

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:14


Finally, you need patience and persistence.   Start to think of your life in 18 month sequences.  Have you ever come across the book called the 18 month diet?   I am sorry to tell you, that you can’t undo a bad diet in 21 days, but you can make transformational life change in an 18 month period if you learn to sculpt your rock each and every day. 

I think one of the hardest things people struggle with in making changes in their life is wanting a quick fix, to take a magic pill.  But it just doesn't work that way.  It takes patience and persistence and that never give up attitude. 

Galatians 6:9 reminds us to "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Every single person I have seen achieve health and fitness in the long run accomplishes it by simply showing up every day, not by trying to get it right and being perfect.   The world is messy, complicated and unpredictable and things get in the way.  It’s vitally important to be flexible and honest with yourself in context of your real human life.  Set realistic long term goals and work towards those goals without having that all or nothing attitude.  In my experience, this kind of all or nothing thinking, rarely gets us all.  It usually gets us nothing. 


Let me share with you a little bit of my story.  I was in a job for 17 years that wasn’t my passion.  It was a great job because it provided for my family and it allowed me to spend time with my two awesome kids.  But it wasn’t my calling.  

My true calling in life is to inspire, motivate and coach others to take control of their health.   My purpose is to help this world overcome the obesity epidemic that we are facing.   I made a decision that I don’t want to die with my music still in me.   That’s why is started my fitness ministry. 

One thing I have struggled with my whole life is self-doubt.  I often times find myself listening to that voice inside my head that says who are you, you can’t do this.  Do you know what  I am talking about?  I have started several small businesses and have never stuck with it long enough to be successful at it.  This is my fifth attempt at starting a business and you know what, I will be successful this time.  This is my rock.  This is my Mount Rushmore.   This is my one thing.    

I decided I am going to work it and work it until it blesses me and I can be a blessing to others through my fitness ministry, public speaking and coaching.  I don’t know the how, but I certainly know the why.   One of my favorite quote is, “someone who said I failed is ten times more of a man than someone who said what if”.  Never give up on your dreams.  I don’t care how many times you failed, try again. 

Imagine for a moment what you are going to sculpt out of your rock.  How do you want your life to be different in 18 months?    Imagine you are the healthiest you have ever been.  Imagine that body you have always wanted.   Imagine having a life full of energy and well-being.     

There is only one way to develop life changing habits, you must practice them and that takes time.  There are no lottery tickets when it comes to making lasting life changes.  Practice these things and devote your life to them so that everyone can see the amazing Mount Rushmore you made out of your rock. 


Troy Ismir, MS

Personal Trainer and Health Coach

Divine Wellness Ministries



Addicted to God

Addicted to God

I have been a personal trainer and health coach for over twenty-five years and by far the biggest challenge I see people facing is the struggle with emotional eating.  Eating for reasons other than hunger.  

The majority of my clients come to me with long standing patterns of making unhealthy lifestyle choices and a poor relationship with food.  The struggle is real.  It’s a pattern that can be changed, but takes a great deal of work, patience and persistence. 

There is no magic pill for making sustainable lifestyle changes.  Sure, we live in a culture where everyone is promising the 21 day program for ripped abs, 14 days to lose 14 pounds or add 10 pounds of muscle in 30 days. 

I am here to tell you those programs may work in the short-term, but they rarely if ever work over the long haul.  It just gives people false hope.  Until you learn to change your mind set, it’s going to be very challenging to make sustainable lifestyle changes.   You never hear about the year-long program to ultimate health and fitness, because we live in a microwave society that wants results NOW!

A big part of my purpose with starting Divine Wellness Ministries is to help people make SUSTAINBLE lifestyle changes through Christ-centered principles.  The journey isn’t about the weight loss, although that will be a healthy side effect, it’s more about developing your character to be more Christ like.  To learn how to love yourself unconditionally like God does.  To start to see yourself the way God sees you.  To grow spiritually in joy, peace, patience, kindness and self-control.

God wants us to be health in mind, body and spirit.  Our thought life plays such a significant role in our overall health.    “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”  (Proverbs 4:23)  But yet, how many of us suffer from toxic thinking?  How many of us look in the mirror and can’t stand our reflection in the mirror?  It’s going to be really challenging to make lasting lifestyle changes until we have a mind and heart change.

It’s one thing to read scripture, it’s another thing to truly let it sink into our hearts and our souls.  Until we allow God’s words to transform our minds we will continually look for quick fixes, unhealthy habits and repetitive sin. 

“My son pay attention to what I say.  Turn your ear to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” (Proverbs 4:20-22).



I have been digging into a lot of Dr. Caroline Leaf’s work lately.  She is a neuroscientist that ties her research into Biblical principles.  It is very fascinating.  The book I am currently reading is called, “Think and Eat Yourself Smart.” 

She talks about how our mind controls our brain and that we aren’t victims of our circumstances.  We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our response to what happens to us.    It comes down to choices. 

One of the things I tell my clients all of the time is that every time you put something into your mouth you are either moving towards better health or disease.  When you choose a fruit or a vegetable over a sugar laden snack you are moving towards health.  When you decide to have that soda vs. a glass of water you are moving towards disease.  It’s your choice. 

What happens over time is that we develop long-standing habits that are hard to be broken.  Many of my clients have been eating unhealthy for years.  It takes hard work and persistence to start to make lifestyle changes.  I tell all of my clients to give themselves at least a full year to implement the changes they want and most importantly to make them “stick.”

It’s not a popular thing to tell them, but it’s the truth.  As their coach, I feel like I would be misleading them if I told them something different. 

According to Dr. Caroline Leaf’s work, over a period of 21 days a short term memory becomes a long term memory, but it takes another 42 days for it to become a habit.   Therefore, it takes a minimum of 63 days to form a habit, not 21.  The good news is that over the course of a year you can change six long-standing habits. 



My suggestion to my clients is to only work on one habit at a time.  It can be overwhelming to try to make a complete lifestyle overhaul.   When you focus on making one change at a time you can be much more deliberate around that change and the likelihood for long term success is much greater. 

Dr. Leaf refers to this as the Quantum Zeno Effect.  This enables us to fully direct our attention, focus our reflections and rigorous effort to a particular issue which leads to true learning.  When we constantly focus on one thing and learn everything about it, it creates a genetic change and learning takes place.   These new thoughts and habits become entrenched and implanted into our minds. 

Now of course that can work against us too.  Think food marketing.  Food marketers put thoughts into our nonconscious mind.  If we aren’t deliberate about what we watch and listen to, it can easily seep into our mind, without us really being aware of the power that can have over us. 



So how do we overcome our propensity to eat emotionally and become addicted to food as the food industry thrives on?  My suggested is that we become addicted to God instead of addicted to food.  God gave us the power of free will.  We get to choose what we eat.  We get to choose what we think about.  We get to choose if we want to live a healthy lifestyle or not.  We are not victims, we are given a spirit that doesn’t make us afraid, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). 

What if we became addicted to God?  What would your life be like if you let the Word of God sink into your heart instead of reaching for food that isn’t health sustaining.  What if you followed this scripture daily “My son pay attention to what I say.  Turn your ear to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” (Proverbs 4:20-22).

Try becoming addicted to God and not food.  Focus on your thought life, allow time to be your friend when it comes to making sustainable lifestyle changes.  And finally, don’ try to do this alone.  Making sustainable lifestyle changes is one of the hardest thing you will do.    I specialize in helping people make lasting lifestyle changes based on Christ-centered principles.  I promise no quick-fixes, but I do promise results over time. 

Please send me an e-mail to troy@troyismir.com if you are ready to make lasting changes in your life.

Troy Ismir, MS

Personal Trainer and Health Coach

Divine Wellness Ministries