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3 Musts to Make Extreme Self-Care a Priority

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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. 

MAKE A COMMITMENT

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. 

MAKE YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS A TOP PRIORITY

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.

MAKE IT BIGGER THAN YOURSELF

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

 

 

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Lottery Ticket vs. the Sculpture

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

PICK YOUR ROCK

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.  

CHIP AWAY AT YOUR ROCK EVERY DAY

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

YOU NEED PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE

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. 

MY STORY

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. 

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Troy Ismir, MS

Personal Trainer and Health Coach

Divine Wellness Ministries

 

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3 Strategies to Get in the Best Shape of Your Life and Stay There

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3 Strategies to Get in the Best Shape of Your Life and Stay There

It is significantly more challenging to get in shape than it is to stay there.  In fact yo-yo dieting can be one of the hardest things on your body and your metabolism.  I tell my clients work hard to get in the best shape of their life and then do what it takes to stay there.  Maintenance of your fitness is much easier than the road getting there.

My challenge to you today is to decide to get in the best shape of your life no matter if you are 20 or 80 years old.  Every great accomplishment starts with a simple decision.  Decide today, right now, that you are sick and tired of being sick and tired and you want to get in the best shape of your life.

Follow these 3 life changing strategies to get in to the best shape of your life and stay there. 

Strategy #1:  Sustained Long-term Effort:   It is important to recognize that getting to your goal is only half the battle.  Two characteristics of people that maintain their behavior change over the long term are patience and persistence.  The race isn’t always won by the fastest runner, but is often won by the person who keeps on running no matter what.  It is important to recognize that there is no quick fix to making lasting lifestyle changes.  Changing from a short term perspective to a long term perspective can help you transform your life.

Strategy #2:  Create Positive Alternative Behaviors:  In order to overcome your old habits, it is important that you find healthy alternatives to replace unhealthy habits.  For example, you are used to having that afternoon snack of a Snickers bar when the energy starts to run a little low and your body is craving that sugar rush.  You have decided to give up your refined sugars for your health, so instead you pack a healthy snack of strawberries and carrots.  While this may take a little getting used to, your body will adjust in a short period of time and will learn to appreciate the taste of your new healthy alternative. 

Strategy #3:  Environmental Control:  Rule number one of nutrition is if it is in your house you will eat it.  What you have in your surroundings has a huge impact on the decisions you make.  Having control over your environment isn’t a sign of weakness, but instead it is a sign of someone who is determined, smart and in control.   Try a kitchen makeover to take control of your environment. 

Follow these three life changing strategies to get in the best shape of your life and stay there.  As a health coach and personal trainer I can help you take better care of your body as a way of taking better care of your soul.  It’s so much more than just fitness.   Would it be worth 15 minutes of your time to chat on the phone with me to learn how you can transform your body so you can be better in every way?  E-mail me at troy@troyismir.com to set up a complimentary discussion about how I can help you get into the best shape of your life. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

Health Coach and Personal Trainer

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How to go from Pain to Performance

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How to go from Pain to Performance

Excruciating Pain

The pain I felt in my hip started about 7 seven years ago.  I noticed that I was having a hard time bending over to tie my shoes and if I sat for long periods of time, my hip would get “stuck” and I had to move it in a certain position in order for it to get “unstuck”.  The pain and limited mobility kept getting worse and worse.  I didn’t have a specific injury, but eventually I was diagnosed with femoral acetabular impingement.  As it turns it this is a congenital issue where the head of the femur is oval instead of round and with all of the sports I played throughout my life, it eventually wore away my hip socket.

My limited hip mobility turned into excruciating back pain.  It was like a domino effect.  If you have gone through any type of orthopedic or back pain, I am sure you can relate.  I lived with this excruciating pain for over 3 years.  I really didn’t want to have surgery, but my quality of life was getting so poor I was left with no other option. 

After consulting with 5 different orthopedic surgeons I decided to have a hip resurfacing procedure done.  This is a type of hip replacement for people who are active and younger.  It’s a metal on metal ball and socket that fits into the femur and the hip joint.  

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Painstaking Rehabilitation

The rehab was painstaking.  Being an athlete and one who normally recovers pretty quickly after an injury, I thought I would bounce back pretty fast.   I was completely wrong about that.  I had a physical therapist come to my house for a few weeks and I wasn’t even able to lift my left leg up under my own power.   I started to have doubts if I would ever be able to lift my leg up, let alone walk normally. 

Psychologically, I was pretty low.  I was scared that I would never be the same.    I love to ride bike, lift weights and play golf and I was wondering if I would ever get to do those things again.  I was also in so much pain. 

What I slowly had to do, was focus on taking small baby steps in my recovery process, otherwise I would have been completely overwhelmed.  I started out by setting the goal of trying to lift my leg on my own 1 inch off of the floor.  I knew I had to start somewhere.  It took me about a month to get there, but eventually I was able to accomplish this seemingly small, but huge milestone for me. 

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From Pain to Performance Key #1

Focus on baby steps:  Don’t try to take on too much at once.  Small victories add up over time.  Lifting my leg one inch off the ground led to lifting it two inches off the ground.  It took me a month to get there, but it eventually happened.  Maybe for you it’s going for a 10 minute walk every day.  That 10 minute walk can lead to a 20 minute walk which can lead to a 5 minute jog.  Just focus on baby steps.

My next goal was to ditch my walker and graduate to a cane.  I would go for walks in my neighborhood and would try to go a little further each day.  After about 6 weeks I lost the walker and went to the cane.  I never thought I would be so happy to walk with a cane. 

From Pain to Performance Key #2

Set goals for yourself:  My goal was to transition from my walker to my cane.  I set a deadline of when I was going to ditch the walker and nothing was going to stop me.  Set realistic goals for yourself, but also ones that will challenge you.  Get determined and have lots of patience and perseverance.

After this milestone, I started to regularly go to physical therapy at a sports medicine clinic.   It was one of the hardest and most exhausting thing I have ever done.  I will never forget the athletic trainer I worked with.   He worked me so hard, but I knew it was because he cared about me.  I remember leaving there just completely wiped out and exhausted.  

From Pain to Performance Key #3

Don’t do it alone:  Change is too hard to do by yourself.   Work with a great coach that inspires, motivates and encourages you.  A coach that gets more out of you than you ever thought possible.  My athletic trainer pushed me harder than I ever thought I could be pushed and this is coming from a college athlete.  He had me doing ladder drills that I haven’t done since my college days.  It wasn’t fun at the time, but I wouldn’t be here today in the shape that I am without his care and concern.

Never Give Up

One thing I will say through this process is that I never gave up.  I was determined to get back on my feet and get in better shape than I was before the surgery.  Although, there were many days of doubt, depression and extreme fatigue, I battled through it and came out of it on the other side. 

It took me about a year, to get back to where I was and about another year to get my fitness to a level of where I wanted it to be.  I remember the first time I got on my road bike I was so scared.  I didn’t have the mobility yet to swing my leg over, so I practically had to lay the bike on the ground to get on it.  But I was determined to get out and go for a ride.  I think I made it about 3 miles.  About a year before I could go 50 miles without even thinking about it, but it was a small victory.   

From Pain to Performance Key #4

Do the best you can each and every day:  Some days were better than others.  Some days I wanted to give up.  Some days it hurt more than others, but I gave the best I had each and every day.   Give yourself grace.  It’s about progress not perfection.  There will be set backs.  There will be days you question your why.  But don’t give up.  Stick to it.  Just keep showing up.  That’s what I had to do even through the lows.  Eventually those days became less and less and I finally started seeing results after months of hard work. 

The reason I share this with all of you, is because I know some of you have your own struggles.   Maybe it is with your weight.  Maybe it’s with your health.  Maybe it’s being burned out and exhausted.  We all have our own battles to face.  Trust me I know.  I want to encourage you to never give up. 

If you are struggling with your motivation to change, it is understandable.  If you are racked with self-doubt if you can actually make the changes you want to, we have all been there.  Focus on those small baby steps and most of all, don’t go it alone.

I would be honored to be part of your tribe on your health and fitness journey.  I will be by your side every step of the way to encourage, inspire and motivate you to get healthy, have more energy and vitality.  You can reach me at troy@troyismir.com.  I would love to hear from you and see how we can work together to help you go from pain to performance. 

Troy Ismir, MS

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