Viewing entries in
Faith and Fitness

Are You Dense?

Comment

Are You Dense?

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”

3 John 1:2

OBESITY AND TYPE 2 DIABETES

I think we have all heard these statistics before.   In fact we have heard them so much I think we have become numb to them because being overweight has become normal.  7 out of every 10 Americans are overweight.  4 out of every 10 Americans are obese.  1 out of every 2 Americans has some type of chronic disease such as heart disease or diabetes.  Currently there are 30 million Americans living in the United States with diagnosed diabetes, costing the US healthcare system 245 billion dollars.   One of the main reasons that disease is so rampant in the United States is due to the over consumption of processed foods. 

I think most everyone knows that eating sugar and processed foods isn’t very good for us, but so many people continue to consume these foods.  One of the reasons for this is that processed foods are specifically designed to be addictive.    Processed and packaged foods are also readily available at the grocery store and heavily marketed to kids and adults alike.    

As a nation these processed foods are being over consumed, but it is leaving our bodies literally starving for nutrients.   We have it backwards in this country.  We eat a lot of food, but get very little nutrition.  We actually don’t need a lot of food, but we do need a lot of nutrition.

NUTRIENT DENSE

nutrientdensity1.jpg

That is where eating foods that are nutrient dense comes in.    Nutrient density refers to a food that is relatively rich in nutrients for the number of calories it contains.  It’s getting the most bang for your buck so to speak.  This is true both literally, getting the most nutrients and energy per calorie, and figuratively, spending your hard earned dollars on foods that leave you satisfied and sustain your metabolic needs. 

It’s a fact that purchasing foods that keep you satiated and nourish every cell in the body keep you from wasting money on expensive packaged snacks, fast foods, and unhealthy foods that lack the ability to provide what the body needs. 

In order to get your hijacked taste buds back, start eating foods that are very nutrient dense.  Here is a list of some of the top nutrient dense foods you can consume. 

·         Kale

·         Watercress

·         Bok Choy

·         Spinach

·         Brussel Sprouts

·         Carrots

·         Broccoli

·         Cranberries

·         Strawberries

·         Raspberries

·         Blueberries

·         Flax Seeds

·         Basil

 A POWER SALAD A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY

One suggestion that I like to make to people is try to eat at least one power salad a day.   Have a big bowl of greens such as spinach and kale and top it off with some berries, broccoli sprouts, peppers and other vegetables you enjoy. 

powersaladtroy.jpg

 Start gradually by replacing one meal that would normally be full of processed foods and eat a power salad instead.  Eventually replace all processed foods with real food that is nutrient dense.    You will get your health back and drop those extra pounds without starving yourself to death.

 According to Webster’s Dictionary, the original definition of the word diet is “the usual food and drink consumed by an organism.”  However in today’s society the word diet has become a nasty four letter word.  Most people associate the word “diet” with restricting food intake in order to lose weight.  The thought of restriction elicits all types of negative emotions setting most people up for failure before they have even begun to make changes.    My goal is to change this paradigm. 

Diet is what you do on a daily basis to nourish every cell in your body; it’s a lifestyle.  What you choose to put in your mouth moves you in one of two directions; the direction of health and nourishment or the direction of disease and degeneration.  The choice is yours.  You have the God given power and strength to decide.  The good news is that even small changes in your eating habits can yield big results!

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

 

 

Comment

How to Thrive in the Face of Fear and Self-Doubt

Comment

How to Thrive in the Face of Fear and Self-Doubt

Fear, self-doubt and self-judgement seems to sabotage so many of us.  In whatever area we are trying to change in our lives, fear, self-doubt and self-judgement are the limiting factors that reach up and tear us down most often.  At least that is the case for me and many of the other people I talk to. 

I have recently been geeking out on some documentaries.  The latest one I have been watching is called iThrive.  It is a documentary on obesity and diabetes.  It’s a fascinating and heartbreaking documentary on how obesity and type 2 diabetes have become a pandemic in our world. 

The name of the host and creator of the docuseries is Jon McMahon.   At the start of the documentary he shares his story of his battle with being morbidly obese and having type 2 diabetes.  He has diabetic neuropathy, has suffered a silent heart attack and struggles with many of the other symptoms that go along with obesity and diabetes. 

FEAR…SELF-DOUBT…SELF-JUDGEMENT

selfdoubt.jpg

When he started on the journey of self-discovery of trying to overcome the dreaded disease of diabesity (the combination of diabetes and obesity), his biggest battle was overcoming fear, self-doubt and self-judgement.   He didn’t know if he had what it would take to get healthy.  He was scared of failing, because he had tried so many times before to get healthy and never had any sustainable success. 

I have never struggled with my weight a day in my life and I have never struggled with type 2 diabetes, but that doesn’t mean Jon’s story doesn’t resonate with the deepest part of my soul. 

No matter who we are, we all face demons in our lives.  Mine just happens to have never been about weight loss.  That isn’t my personal struggle.  It may be yours and I know from working with hundreds of clients over the years who are struggling to lose weight how challenging it can be.   The inner voice of fear, self-doubt and self-judgement seems to rear its ugly head just when you think you have everything mastered.  It’s really sneaky that way. 

So what’s my battle if it isn’t weight loss?  It’s believing in myself enough that I can step into the leadership role that God is asking me to take.  To be the inspired leader of a movement of men who want to become Spiritual Warriors.   For the life of me I want to keep playing small, because it’s safe.  I am full of fear, self-doubt and self-judgement. 

My coach, Kimberly Dawson, spoke these words into my heart that shook me to my core. “The safe life isn’t safe because it destroys us.”  I experienced that in my pharmaceutical career.  It was safe, but my soul was filled with smoldering discontent.  It literally was destroying me despite all of the tangible benefits.  I knew it wasn’t my life’s purpose. 

Overcoming fear, self-doubt and self-judgement is a daily battle for me.  The voices inside my head aren’t always kind.  In fact they are downright brutal some times. 

So how am I going to overcome this battle of self-doubt and flip it on its head so I can fully step into being the inspired leader that God is asking me to be?

PRACTICE SELF LOVE

self love.jpg

The first step is to practice self-love.    As a self-confessed perfectionist for the majority of my life I have become really good at beating myself up.  For the slightest mistake or failure I would ruminate over it to the point it would destroy all of my joy.  I would get caught in this relentless trap of being hypercritical of myself.  I would literally beat myself up with my words. 

I am learning to give myself grace when I don’t do things perfectly.   To be more vulnerable and know I can show up in the world less than perfect.  I am finally getting to the point in my life where I don’t need any external validation from anyone.  I know my identity is in Jesus.

SEE YOURSELF THE WAY GOD SEES YOU

ephesian210.jpg

The second step is to see ourselves the way God sees us.  Why is this so hard to do?  Why do we focus on our flaws instead of all of our gifts?  Why do we focus on our weaknesses and not our strengths?  What if we actually believed everything that God says about us? 

Until I start to see myself the way God sees me, I will not be the inspired leader that I am called to be.  I will not make the impact in the world that God wants me to make.   It’s so easy to believe the lies of the enemy instead of the truth of God. 

TAKE A CHANCE ON YOURSELF

takeachance3.jpg

The third step to overcoming self-doubt is to start to take chances.  To overcome fear, self-doubt and self-judgement and live from a place of inspiration instead of trying to control our world requires risk.  It requires putting ourselves in a position of vulnerability and daring greatly with failure as a very real possibility. 

When we practice self-love, see ourselves the way God sees us and start taking chances is when we will lead the lives that make us feel fully alive.  Not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of humanity. 

The people who are most fully alive are the ones who are living a life of adventure, purpose and vitality.  That is what I want for you no matter what battle you are facing whether it be weight loss, finances, career, relationships or any other challenge.  I want you to know, you are not alone.  There is power in community. 

As Spiritual Warriors, let’s unite.  Let’s come together to change ourselves so we can change the world all for the glory of God. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

Comment

Nothing to Prove

Comment

Nothing to Prove

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?  Or am I trying to please people?  If I were trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ?”  Galatians 1:10

Have you ever been caught in that trap where you feel like you have to prove yourself over and over again to yourself, God and others?  It feels like my whole life I have been on that hamster wheel of proving myself by performing and proving myself. 

DRIVEN BY GOALS

At the beginning of the cycling season I mapped out four different races that I was planning on doing over the course of four months.  I completed a 100 mile gravel race in May.  A 110 mile gravel race in June and had my sights set on another 100 miler in July and August. 

Due to some schedule changes and a new puppy in my life, I decided I would do a self-supported century on the local Fort Collins bike trails.  I set out early Saturday morning for my planned 100 mile ride.  I really didn’t think much of it.  I am trained and fit and was prepared for a fairly easy, albeit a long day in the saddle.  My goal was to finish in about 6 ½ hours. 

troybike1.jpg

As I was heading out, I was feeling strong.  It wasn’t too hot yet and the wind seemed fairly calm.  Then I noticed the wind starting to pick up and when I turned around to head back to Fort Collins I ran smack into a 17 mph headwind.   At this point the temperature was climbing steadily into the mid 80’s with a higher than normal humidity in Colorado. 

“You Have Nothing to Prove”

nothingtoprove.jpg

As I got about 50 miles into the ride, I started questioning my why.  I wasn’t feeling all that great as I had been fighting a cold all week.  I was feeling dehydrated and quite honestly I was exhausted.  As I think back to all of my training rides and organized rides, I can’t recall many that I have cut short.   I kept telling myself to push through and then this deep sense inside my soul said, “You have nothing to prove.”

Those words reverberated in my heart.  It actually brought tears to my eyes.  I have been trying to prove that I am enough my whole life.  Mainly through sports, bodybuilding and now endurance cycling.  I felt the presence of God when he spoke those words into me, “I have nothing to prove.”  To God or anyone for that matter.  I am enough.

I decided to call it quits after 60 miles.  I felt the beginnings of heat exhaustion.  I read the day before that a former professional football player died from heat stroke from working outside all day. 

What was different for me, was I didn’t feel guilty or less than because I cut my ride short.  In fact I felt really good about my decision.  The words ring true that I have nothing to prove. 

LIVE FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE

How about you?  What are you trying to prove?  Who are you trying to impress?  I am learning to live for an audience of one.  God already approves of me and loves me unconditionally.  I don’t need to earn anything.  Through his grace and mercy I am deeply loved.  Oh how easy it is to forget this. 

Let’s rest in the loving arms of Jesus and leave the performance based need for approval behind.  Rest easy my friends.  It’s not about accomplishing certain tasks, it’s about who we are becoming on this journey of life.  God loves you just the way you are.  When you start to see yourself the way God sees you, you will fully step into the person you are created to be. 

MY MISSION

I am on a mission to build a movement of men who are willing to go on this journey with me of becoming a Spiritual Warrior.  My vision is to impact one million men’s lives through this tribe of Spiritual Warriors.  The journey to one million men starts with one.  Will you be that one who is willing to take a chance on yourself so you can live the life of your dreams?  So you can live a life of purpose feeling fully alive. 

The first step to being part of this community is to sign up for my Spiritual Warriors Unite Newsletter and becoming a part of our Spiritual Warriors Unite Facebook group.

One thing we must never forget that what is done for ourselves will quickly be forgotten, but what we do for others will be remembered for eternity.  The choice is yours.

Troy Ismir, MS

Speaker, Author, Podcaster and Spiritual Warrior Coach

facebook.com/groups/spiritualwarriorsunite/

https://www.troyismir.com/

 

Comment

Three Ways to go from Surviving to Thriving

Comment

Three Ways to go from Surviving to Thriving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

We only have 24 hours in a day.  So much to do, but so little time.  My question to you is how efficient are you with that time?  It’s not about doing more with your time, it’s about being more effective with your time.  One of the biggest barriers and challenges I hear from my clients as a fitness professional is a lack of energy and honestly, something I struggle with from time to time.   Many of us are just trying to survive the day and not thrive.

Think back to a day where you felt well rested and full of energy.  What was that day like for you?  I am guessing it was enjoyable and you felt very productive.  Now think back to a day, and that day may be today where you are exhausted and just trying to survive the day.  What was that day like for you?

I know for me, when I am rested and full of energy I can take on the world.  My challenges don’t seem so big and my purpose and vision for my life is much clearer.   On days when I am exhausted and don’t have much energy, that is often times when my thoughts are negative and self-destructive.  I find myself questioning my purpose and self-doubt and fear creeps in.

Of course we are all going to have days that our energy level is low, that’s just part of life.  But how would your life be different if the majority of your days were full of energy and your stamina was through the roof? 

Here are three strategies that can significantly improve your stamina that will allow you to be more efficient and effective each and every day of your life. 

BUILD IN MOVEMENT EVERY MORNING

Our bodies were created to move.  When we are sedentary, it creates fatigue in our muscles and our minds.  By getting the blood flowing first thing in the morning it sets the tone for a positive and energetic day. 

Troybikepro1.jpg

I know what you are thinking, I don’t have time in the morning to go to the gym and workout for an hour.  I totally understand.  My question to you is, do you have 10-15 minutes to move?  It’s more about setting the tone for the day that you did something healthy for yourself to increase your energy levels.  It’s amazing how good you can feel after just 10-15 minutes of movement. 

Try doing this basic body weight circuit first thing in the morning:

·         20 reps of push-ups

·         20 reps of body weight squats

·         60 second plank

Repeat this circuit three times.  This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.  You will be surprised how energizing this can be. 

WRITE DOWN FIVE THINGS YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR EVERY MORNING

When you write down every day what you are grateful, study after study has shown that it makes you feel happier.  When we are happy and grateful our energy levels naturally increase.  We feel less stress and our body’s neurochemistry actually changes in a positive and helpful way.  Instead of producing cortisol which is a stress hormone it produces oxytocin which is one of the “happy hormones.”

READ SCRIPTURE EVERY MORNING

Even if it is for only 5-10 minutes there is no better way to start the day than spending some quiet time with God.  It sets the day up to be connected to God.  Without his guidance and strength it is easy to try and control everything on our own.  That can be exhausting.  Ask for God’s guidance for your day and allow Him to direct your path.  This will ease your tension and allow your energy level to flow naturally. 

daily-bible-reading.jpg

One of my favorite scripture passages is from Matthew 11:28 which states, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, I will give you rest.”  This is a powerful promise. 

Our energy level often dictates the quality of our life.  By starting to incorporate some stamina boosting habits into our life, we can have a more productive, efficient and joyful life.  Setting aside 15-20 minutes a day to move, be grateful and study God’s word can be life changing. 

MISSION

I am on a mission to build a movement of men who are willing to go on this journey with me of becoming a Spiritual Warrior.  My vision is to impact one million men’s lives through this tribe of Spiritual Warriors.  The journey to one million men starts with one.  Will you be that one who is willing to take a chance on yourself so you can live the life of your dreams?  So you can live a life of purpose feeling fully alive. 

The first step to being part of this community is to sign up for my Spiritual Warriors Unite Newsletter and becoming a part of our Spiritual Warriors Unite Facebook group.

One thing we must never forget that what is done for ourselves will quickly be forgotten, but what we do for others will be remembered for eternity.  The choice is yours.

Troy Ismir, MS

Speaker, Author, Podcaster and Spiritual Warrior Coach

Helping men bust through the status quo through shared workouts and coaching so we can make a bigger difference in our world.

facebook.com/groups/spiritualwarriorsunite/

https://www.troyismir.com/

Comment

ONE Million Starts with ONE

Comment

ONE Million Starts with ONE

In this world of follows and likes on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and however many more social media platforms we have it is so easy to get caught up in numbers.  Believe me I have fallen into that trap many times myself. 

I often times wonder what our life would be like if we went back to the days before social media.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think social media is all bad and I certainly use it to share my story and encourage others, but I also know it’s a source of wounding.  It’s a source of comparison and envy. 

Sometimes I feel wounded after habitually glancing at Instagram when I subconsciously grab the phone without thinking about it and mindlessly scroll down the page. 

My thoughts run to why does he have so many followers and I can’t get past 230?   Why was he able to find an amazing and beautiful wife and I am still in my singleness searching for my life’s partner and dealing with the challenges of loneliness and the dating world?  Wow, that dude has some serious biceps and abs on him.  What do I have to do to look like him?  Wound after psychological wound.

That’s not good for any of us.  It has created an atmosphere of lack, scarcity and victim hood.  All very negative emotions instead of being grateful for the gift of life we have.   

There is one number that is truly important to me and that is the number ONE.  First of all, I am here on this earth to live for an audience of ONE.  That ONE for me is Jesus.  If I am living each and every day according to His plan and not my own, I know my life will be fulfilling and full of love, joy and inner peace.   It’s the audience of ONE that I crave not the number of followers I have on Instagram.

faithandfitness1.jpg

The other reason that the number ONE is important to me is that I want to be a conduit of transformed lives ONE person at a time.   Yes, I have a huge vision of impacting ONE millions men’s lives through my Spiritual Warriors Unite community, but to me it’s all about that ONE person.   That ONE person I can reach through my blog, my podcast, my Bible and Barbells ministry, my Faith and Fitness class at Redeemer Lutheran Church, my Spiritual Warriors Unite monthly gathering at The Body. 

I got a phone call the other day from a twenty-five year old man who is seeking out mentorship from me.   If I can make a difference in this ONE man’s life, then I am doing what God has called me to do.  I am not going to worry about the numbers.  That I will leave up to God.  My job is to dream big.  To be more visible so more people can know our amazing and wonderful invisible God.   But my main focus is to be a source of encouragement and inspiration for that ONE man who will be sitting across from me. 

I will continue to have the dream and vision to impact ONE million men’s lives through my fitness ministry, but my main concern is that ONE person God has put in front of me today.   The rest is up to Him. 

What if we all just focused on the ONE?  The ONE interaction we have at the grocery store.  The ONE interaction we have at the gym?  The ONE interaction we have at the park.  We never know how God is going to use us.   We never know when those divine opportunities are going to happen, but when we live with openness and powerful energy and in our strength, God will align the moments at the right time so we can have a positive influence on ONE.

audience-of-one.jpg

My message is let’s dream big.  Let’s take risks.  Let’s change the world with love.  But let’s not lose sight that it starts with ONE.  It starts with living for an audience of ONE and impacting ONE person’s life at a time. 

I am on a mission to build a movement of men who are willing to go on this journey with me of becoming a Spiritual Warrior.  My vision is to impact one million men’s lives through this tribe of Spiritual Warriors.  The journey to one million men starts with one.  Will you be that one who is willing to take a chance on yourself so you can live the life of your dreams?  So you can live a life of purpose feeling fully alive. 

The first step to being part of this community is to sign up for my Spiritual Warriors Unite Newsletter and becoming a part of our Spiritual Warriors Unite Facebook group.

One thing we must never forget that what is done for ourselves will quickly be forgotten, but what we do for others will be remembered for eternity.  The choice is yours.

Troy Ismir, MS

Speaker, Author, Podcaster and Spiritual Warrior Coach

facebook.com/groups/spiritualwarriorsunite/

https://www.troyismir.com/

Spiritual Warriors Unite Podcast

 

 

Comment

The Next Chapter

Comment

The Next Chapter

It has been about two years since I left the comfort and security of my six figure pharmaceutical job and moved to Colorado after living in Orlando for the last twenty years of my life.   I left behind comfort, safety and security for the great unknown.  What a faith adventure God has me on. 

I would love to tell you since moving out here it has been all sunshine and rainbows.  It hasn’t been.  There have been many ups and downs along the way.   But I wouldn’t change this adventure for anything.

TRANSFORMING PEOPLE’S LIVES

My fitness ministry is impacting many lives as evidenced by this recent text message I received the other day.  “I know the workout is good for me, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.  Your class is a bright spot in my life right now and I appreciate that it’s available to me.” 

faithandfitness1.jpg

When I get testimonials like that I know I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  One of the challenges that I am facing is how to make this a sustainable business where I am making the impact in people’s lives that I desire while providing myself the financial means to have the quality of life I desire. 

CREATING ABUNDANCE

I know God does not want me to starve pursuing my passion.   I believe God is asking me to be creative in how I do my fitness ministry so I can I have the impact in this world while living in abundance.  My dream is to have financial and time freedom so I can have the impact that I want to make in the world. 

I think one of the things that holds people back from pursuing their passions and desires and staying in a job that is sucking the life right out of them is that attachment to comfort and security.  Trust me I get it.   We all need money to live, but as the old saying goes, money doesn’t buy happiness.    What good is it if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?

This is where the trust in God comes in to provide for all of our needs.   As Luke 12:7 reminds us, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” 

I am determined to make “pharmaceutical money” and then some living out my purpose and mission.  Yes, I believe God will provide, but I also believe that He is asking me to work hard, to go all in and be revolutionary in redefining how we are currently doing fitness and church.   I have to do my part while I am trusting God. 

GOING ALL IN

God gave me gifts, talents, dreams and desires and He is asking me to use them for His glory.  That means going all in.  That means never giving up, being creative and visionary.  And most importantly of all to keep working on my purpose and mission even if I don’t see the fruits of my labor right now.   For me, it’s all about fulfilling my purpose.  It’s about building my character along the way. 

I can honestly say that I can look in the mirror each and every morning and say to myself that I love the man that I am becoming.  There is no way I would be the man that I am today if I hadn’t had the courage to quit my job and pursue my dreams. 

What I am also learning the more risks we are willing to take, the bigger risks God asks us to take.    We are asked to dream big, not for our own self-centered purposes, but to change the world.   God is putting something so big on my heart that it scares me and I have found myself resisting.  But then this scripture keeps coming up over and over.  Hebrews 10:38 says, “And, but my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”  Wow, if that scripture doesn’t hit you between the eyes, I don’t know what will. 

What if we all went all in on our dreams God puts on our heart?  What if we all lived the lives that made us feel fully alive?  How would our lives be different and how would the world around us be different? 

As I am challenging myself every day to live the life God intended, I want to challenge you to do the same. 

LIVE EVERY DAY AS AN ADVENTURE

I want to challenge you to live every day as an adventure and take every chance you can to live the life God is asking you to live.  To live life boldly and with courage.  To be the man in the arena who is willing to get bloody and sweaty.  To live from a place that you are enough.  To live life like every day may be your last, because it just might be. 

As Henry David Thoreau says, “Live the life I have dreamed.”    In this next chapter of my life I am committed to going all in with my fitness ministry.  I think of all the lives that will be transformed through this ministry and what a disservice to the world it would be if I don’t go all in.  I am committed to living life with a sense of urgency.  I will create my dream life and live it every day!

How about you?  Are you ready to go all in?   Whatever you do, don’t go on this journey alone.  We all need people in our lives to spur us on to greatness.  This is a challenging road.  It is a very rewarding road, but there will be many bumps along the way. 

As your Spiritual Warrior Coach I will help you reach heights you never thought possible physically, mentally and spiritually.  I will help you get out of quiet desperation and live fully alive for the betterment of humanity. 

GOD IS RE-STORYING OUR LIFE

RESTORYYOURLIFE.jpg

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17.  Can I get an Amen on that?  Please reach out to me at troy@troyismir.com so we can sharpen each other and move towards becoming the warriors we are called to be.  Live life with a sense of urgency. 

All of our stories are continuing to be written.   God is re-storying my life.  I know how the final chapter ends when I no longer walk this earth.  I will spend eternity with my heavenly Father.  What I don’t know is what will happen between the dashes.  But what I do know is that God is calling me to greatness and to leave a legacy that impacts this kingdom here on earth.   That is the next chapter in my life.  What is the next chapter in your life going to be?

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

Comment