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Faith and Fitness

My Journey from a Personal Trainer to a Fitness Minister


My Journey from a Personal Trainer to a Fitness Minister

I remember when I was a teenager and someone had asked me if I was going to be a pastor like my dad. I recall looking at that particular guy like he had a third eye. I politely responded no, but in my mind I was thinking that there was no way I would every pursue ministry. In fact, the last place I wanted to be on that Sunday morning was church. It was always a check the box kind of experience for me. I would have much rather been outside doing my thing. Playing sports or something at least a little more fun than being preached at.

In fact, my teenage years were marked by rebellion. A little too much drinking and looking for external validation from the girls. Thank goodness my passion for sports kept me from getting into too much trouble. But being a minister? All I could think of was hell no. I was going to be a professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings. That dream was as clear as could be.

But God had a different plan for my life. We all have defining moments in our lives. I just didn’t know it was going to happen on a Saturday afternoon in October of 1986 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. That was the day the world came crashing in on me. That was the day my knee and my life would never be the same. My knee went in a direction it wasn’t supposed and my life followed in a direction it wasn’t supposed to either.

Troy Ismir-football at UND, Grand Forks, ND-19851.jpg

Pursuing my Dream of Playing in the NFL

I was a sophomore at the University of North Dakota pursuing my dream of being a professional football player. When you grow up in North Dakota the two best options of playing college football were the University of North Dakota or North Dakota State University. My path lead me to play at UND. It was a dream come true to play at the college level. I was only one step away of having my dream realized.

I wasn’t the greatest athlete in the world, but I knew I could out work anyone. I was fast and determined. One piece of feedback I always got from my coaches was that I was very coachable. If my coaches told me to do something, I would do it and a little bit more. That’s how I was wired.

After a disappointing freshman season in college, I was determined to get bigger, faster and stronger. I worked the hardest I could possibly work during the summer to get ready for my second year of college ball. The high heat and humidity of a North Dakota summer didn’t keep me from running sprints mid-afternoon in the solitude of determined greatness.

When we started two a day practice my coaches were blown away by how fit I was. I led all of the sprints. I showed them I was ready to be a leader and be the best defensive player on the team.

Life Can Change in an Instant

At the time of the fateful play that destroyed my knee and my identity, I was the leading tackler on the team. It’s amazing how life can change in an instant. My pre-determined life path of playing professional football was literally derailed in a fraction of a second. I went from having a dream of playing professional football, to just hoping to walk normally again.

With my foot planted firmly on the artificial turf of the University of North Dakota playing field all I remember was a 290 pound offensive lineman fell directly on the lateral side of my knee and my lower leg going in the opposite direction that it was designed to go. I knew the instant it happened my career was over. The pain was so immense I went into shock.

I was carted off of the field and into the locker room where my mom and dad met me. I was sobbing and telling my parents “it’s over.” I am done with football. I remember my mom saying I am so glad it’s not your neck. You are going to be ok.

I had surgery a few days later. After the surgery I was told by the orthopedic surgeon that it was the worst knee injury he had ever seen. I figured if I was going to do something I might as well do it right. It turns out I tore my anterior, posterior and medial cruciate ligaments otherwise known as the terrible triad. And man was it terrible.

Back in those days the incisions were long. I have scars on both sides of my knee that add up to over a foot of scars. I have a screw that to this day you can visibly see and feel holding my knee together. I have forty staple marks on my knee and the muscle that makes up my quadriceps known as the vastus medialis is non-existent. I am limited in my range of motion where I can bend it only slightly past 90 degrees and I am missing about 15 degrees of full extension.

Those are the physical scars, but what really made my life go wheels off at that time were the emotional scars. That’s the hardest part because people don’t see what is going on deep inside our souls.

As a kid growing up my identity was wrapped up in being an athlete. I was the star on the baseball team, basketball team, baseball team and yes the football team. We won the state football championship my senior year at Bismarck High School. I made the interception that spring boarded us to an amazing win. I will never forget that day and that feeling. There was nothing better than being part of a team of guys all battling for a victory.

Lost Identity

After I blew out my knee, I was completely lost. I lost my battle mates. I lost my identity as Troy the star football player. I had nothing else. Everything was taken away from me. I fell in a deep pit of loneliness. I was isolated from the team. I was in a cast for two months. I remember when they took my cast off I didn’t even recognize my leg. It was a shriveled up piece of meat with staples sticking out everywhere. I remember breaking down and crying.

I missed about a month of school. I didn’t want to drop out or delay my education. I dug down deep and found a way to get back to class. I got a handicap sticker for my car. Driving to class was an adventure. I would drive to class with my casted leg up on the seat while driving with my left foot. I had to get real creative, but I was determined not to quit. Fortunately, I was a good student and was able to keep pursuing my degree.

While all of this was happening, I started spending more and more time lifting weights by myself as part of my rehab. It was just me and the iron. I was no longer part of the team. I tried coaching for a while, but it was just too hard. I didn’t want to be around it if I couldn’t play. To this day it’s hard for me to watch football. I would rather watch golf as watching football brings up so many memories for me. Some good, but many of them bring back hurt and heart break.

Intense Passion for Health and Fitness

As I was spending more and more time in the weight room I was feeling my depression being lifted. I was finding something I could replace my identity as a football player with. My identity was slowly transitioning to Troy the bodybuilder. As is my pattern I went all in. I started lifting weights religiously. I started taking nutrition and exercise physiology classes in college. I had already declared psychology as my major, but I started to develop this intense passion for health and fitness. It started to fill the deep, dark hole from football. I was finding a new identity.


I got a job at a local gym. I started to hang out with bodybuilders. I started to learn what I could do with my body through weight lifting. I became obsessed. One thing I want to make clear. I have NEVER done steroids or any illegal substance for that matter. I don’t believe in them. To this day because of my physique at the age of 52 people have questioned if I take steroids or human growth hormone. To me that never did make sense. That was cheating. I believe in a good old fashioned work ethic. Yes, looking great at that time was really important to me, but never at the sacrifice of screwing up my body for life.

I became so passionate about health and fitness I decided to go on and get my Master’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Utah graduating in 1993. That has taken me on a path of being in the health and fitness industry both full time and part time for over twenty-five years. I took a detour for seventeen years of being in pharmaceutical sales, but had always been at least a part time personal trainer.

I am Changing

I have always loved helping people reach their health and fitness goals. Whether it was helping an elite athlete get bigger, faster and stronger or a general fitness client to lose weight. I found deep satisfaction in helping people reach their goals. I love to geek out on nutrition and exercise physiology. I am always learning and wanting to get better at my craft. I will always be passionate about health and fitness. That will never change. But something is changing. I am changing.

About ten years ago I gave my life to Christ. I went through a devastating divorce about ten years ago. I was crushed and heart broken. I lost the single most important thing in my life, my family. I was lost, broken and desperate. It was at that time I realized that no matter how physically fit I was, I wasn’t going to be able to move forward without some type of spiritual guidance in my life.

In my moments of darkness I would pick up the Bible and start to read it. I had really no idea at the time what it meant, but it gave me some sense of peace. It gave me some sense of hope. I would find myself reading and praying for hours.

God started to bring people in to my life that spoke words of encouragement into me. I started going to church for the first time in years and I began to realize church was so much more than a check the box experience. It was about developing a personal relationship with God. It wasn’t about image or performance as I was led to believe. For the first time in my life I actually belonged to a church family.

Once God got a hold of my heart I knew there was no turning back. I wanted to learn and grow as much as possible. That’s when I knew that God was calling me to more. That’s when I knew that I was called to start to integrate my passion for fitness with my growing passion for my faith.

That’s when God put this vision on my heart to start the Divine Wellness Academy. This is a ten week course that helps people understand the connection between their physical and spiritual health. So many people struggle with their health and try to make lasting lifestyle changes, but are challenged to overcome self-limiting beliefs that keep them from truly stepping into the life that God created them to live.

The vision that God put on my heart is to turn the fitness industry upside down. I want to do for health and fitness what Dave Ramsey has done for finances. When it comes down to it, until we see ourselves the way God sees us, we are always going to struggle to change. We are always go to struggle to live our best life. We won’t feel worthy and will have self-doubt expressed through every fiber of our being. Therefore we will live a safe life not willing to take a chance on ourselves.

Called to be Revolutionary

As I look back at my life, I have struggled with self-doubt for years. I think if we are honest most of us have. As God has put this vision on my heart there are many days I feel overwhelmed by what I am asked to do. To not only have an impact in this world that is desperately in need of better physical health, but to truly share the love of Jesus with everyone I meet. I am being called to help churches do fitness and gyms do ministry. To be a leader in this area. To be revolutionary.

I have always thought of myself as a personal trainer and to think of myself as a minister has really freaked me out. As I shared earlier, I have never thought of myself as being a pastor. It’s the last thing in the world I ever thought would be part of my life. I have put up resistance to this in my life even to the point of having health issues do to my body resisting this calling. It’s so much easier and safer to call myself a personal trainer. But I know I am so much more than a personal trainer. I am a healer. I heal peoples’ souls. I just use fitness as a platform.

Ministers are Servants

I was curious about what the actual definition of a minister is so I looked it up. This is what it says on about what is a Christian minister? “A minister is, literally, a servant. In the Bible, the role of the minister is not linked to licensing or being an official wielding some kind of authority. In Romans 5:16, Paul says that he was called to be a “minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. (God) gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” Following in Paul’s footsteps, any person who desires to serve God by “proclaiming the gospel so that…others might become sanctified by the Holy Spirit” is a Christian minister. Broadly speaking, being a servant of Christ makes one a Christian minister.

So there you have it. As Christians we are all called to be ministers. To be servants. To show people the love of Jesus. So why have I and so many other Christians been resistant to being ministers. For me personally, I haven’t fully stepped into my calling yet. I gave my life to Christ ten years ago and it has been a slow process and often times painful process of seeing myself the way God sees me. I have lived a smaller life because of believing the seeds of self-doubt that have been planted in my mind.

This is the area of my life that I am working really hard on as we speak. The life I live will only be as powerful and impactful as the way I see myself. If I don’t see myself as worthy I won’t live a life that is worthy.

If I don’t see myself as a minister that can change the world, than I won’t change the world. If I don’t see myself as a servant, than I will continue to put my own needs before others.

See Ourselves the Way God Sees Us

So how do we start to see ourselves the way God sees us? I believe it starts by not only reading the Bible, but believing what the Bible says about us. How come it is so much easier to believe the lies of the enemy instead of the truth of God? It’s a daily battle for sure.


I have also been spending a lot of time meditating. When I do this consistently in my life I always have a deeper sense of inner peace. For whatever reason I let life get in the way of this life changing habit and stop doing it from time to time. It’s amazing how just ten minutes a day of meditation can make a huge difference.

Surround Ourselves with other Godly People

We also need to surround ourselves with other godly people that will speak the truth into us and encourage us. Just in the last few days I have had two people speak words of love and encouragement into me. They see more of the minister in me than I do. I have to hear and receive those words and most importantly believe the words they are speaking into my life.

Personal Trainer Mindset to Fitness Minister Mindset

Any time we are making major changes in our lives there is going to be resistance. Going from a personal trainer mindset to a fitness minister mindset is a major change and one that I have been transitioning to for some time now. I am starting to change the way I see myself. I am starting to step into the work that God is calling me to do. I am a fitness minister who just happens to know a lot about personal training.

I am here as a servant of Christ. As believers we are all ministers. When we all step into that role is when we will collectively change the world. We are all on a journey. Spiritual growth is always an ongoing process. We are all works in progress. It’s amazing to look back on that day that happened many years ago when that man asked me if I was going to be a pastor like my dad. I am proud to say yes. I am now a minister like my dad. I know my dad would be very proud.

Troy Ismir, MS

Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Spiritual Warrior Coach

Spiritual Warriors Unite Podcast



Creating the Habit of Greatness


Creating the Habit of Greatness

Whether we want to admit it or not we are all creatures of habit. The vast majority of us do the same things day after day. We eat the same foods, we think the same thoughts, we drive to work the same way.

Creatures of Habit

Of course that is good in many ways. Thank goodness we don’t have to re-learn how to drive a car every day. We have that habit instilled in us to the point we often times drive somewhere and have no recollection of how we even got there. That’s a little scary isn’t it?

Case in point when I was living in Orlando I had moved to a new house and had been living there for over a month. I completely went on auto-pilot when I realized I was driving to my old home. I had developed the habit of driving to my old home and completely forgot I had moved.

Destructive Thinking Habits

But the problem really lies in our habit of thinking. We have created these destructive thinking habits that have become hard-wired into our subconscious mind. Thoughts of fear, lack, being the victim, anger, pride, suffering, shame, guilt and the list of negative emotions goes on and on.

I realized not that long ago that I was living my life from a place of destructive emotions. Who wants to follow a leader that isn’t living from a place of joy, love and happiness? It hit me right between the eyes.

Since that time I have been working really hard on creating the habit of greatness, the habit of joy. But the ultimate habit I am working on is creating the habit of expressing God through me. I certainly can’t do that when I am living in a place of destructive habits.

Create Habits that are Positive and Healthy

Since we are hard-wired to create habits, why not create habits that are positive and healthy? That brings us to a place of joy, peace, freedom, love and happiness.


Once I realized that I am my own worst enemy and started to get out of my own way, the world is responding to me in a much different way. God is opening up doors for me that have been amazing. God is working in me and through me in a way I never thought possible.

The hardest thing to do is to remove the limits we put on ourselves and the limits we put on God. We have developed habits that limit our true greatness.

Create Habits of Greatness

How do we go about creating the habit of greatness? It doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a great deal of hard work, patience and perseverance. It takes training our mind daily. It takes being intentional about what we think about.

To be more like Christ, we must train ourselves to think like Christ. One way of doing that is through spending time meditating. Asking God to work in us and through us. Asking God to change our destructive thinking habits to thinking habits that lead to greatness. Being still and letting God work in our hearts.

Another way to change our way of thinking is by what we allow into our minds. How much time are we spending reading the Bible, praying, spending time with other godly people, reading inspirational books and listening to podcasts?

Start the Morning Off Right

I refuse to start my day watching the news or reading the newspaper. I will skim the paper later in the day just so I am up on current events, but my morning time is spent studying the word of God, journaling, praying, meditating and setting my intention for the day.


I don’t care how early I have to get up. Recently it has been as early as 3:45. To me it’s worth it as I am working on cultivating the habit of greatness. Unless I believe I am great, no one else will either. Not out of pride, but from a place of being a son of God. He created me for greatness and being anything less than great isn’t truly expressing God through me.

I want to encourage you to start to instill habits of greatness into your life. Start to think differently and you will start to see amazing things happen around you. We change the world by first changing ourselves. I pray that God continues to work in you and through you for his glory.

Troy Ismir, MS

Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Spiritual Warrior Coach

Spiritual Warriors Unite Podcast



Inner Peace...Where are You?


Inner Peace...Where are You?

Why does inner peace seem so elusive? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like I find it for a period of time and then it mysteriously slips away. And when it does slip away there is little joy in my life.

Worry and Fear Rob our Inner Peace

The two biggest robbers of our inner peace are worry and fear. I worry about trying to make everyone happy and fear rears its ugly head when I fully step into sharing my voice on my entrepreneurial adventure.

I made a commitment to myself that I would write a blog post every day for the next 365 days. I do love to write. In the past I have written pretty conservative blog posts mainly about fitness and nutrition. Two of my biggest passions. But as my life as matured and evolved my faith has really become the most important thing in my life and that is what I am finding that I am writing about more and more these days. I am still very passionate about health and fitness, but without Jesus in my life, nothing else really matters.

What’s Your Resistance?

As I have been expressing my voice over the last ten days and showing more of my authentic self I started to get the worst sore throat and terrible mouth pain all on my right side. I was trying to understand what was going on and why this was happening. After I did some research and consulting I realized that there was resistance showing up sharing my authentic voice.

I have always believed in energy centers to some extent, but not fully understanding how our emotions and what we are thinking and feeling effects our body. The 5th energy center or chakra is the area of the throat. To be open and aligned with the 5th energy center is to speak, listen, and express ourselves from a higher form of communication.

Interestingly enough, as soon as I decided I was going to put my voice out there more in the form of writing my throat closed up. I have experienced intense throat, mouth and tongue pain and my body feels exhausted. I have also felt very tense and out of sorts for the last week. I have had little joy and inner peace.

After this realization, I believe I am under some level of spiritual attack. As I share more about my faith and what Jesus means to me in my life, it’s a little uncomfortable. Thoughts of what will people think of me swirl through my head. 

Be Your Authentic Self…No Matter What

Writing about fitness is safe. Fitness will always be a big part of my life, but as I step off the fitness platform a little more and step onto the faith platform, I realize the dynamic completely changes. My life’s work is the integration of faith and fitness. As I truly express myself not everyone is going to agree or like what I have to say. I am going to have to be OK with that. Certainly not everyone liked what Jesus had to say.

As I step into my speaking and writing ministry and fully express who I am and the huge impact I want to make in the world, I realize that my biggest obstacle is me and the resistance I am putting up. It has shown up big time with severe physical symptoms that pretty much wiped me out this past week.

Jesus is Rest for our Soul


I now understand that Jesus can be the only one that can bring me rest and peace to my soul. I am going to write what is being put on my heart. I am going to pray and meditate that I will have inner peace regardless of my circumstances. I will let go of control and embrace the uncertainty of life and trust God and all of His promises. That is the only way to true inner peace.

I will leave you with this scripture that says it all about inner peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27 To answer the question, inner peace where are you? It is in the hope we have in Jesus. Pray and meditate on that my friends.

Troy Ismir, MS

Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Spiritual Warrior Coach

Spiritual Warriors Unite Podcast



Gotta Get Away


Gotta Get Away

The busyness of life. The simplicity of life. Being over-scheduled. Having the freedom of time. Feeling rushed. Living life at a slow pace. Feeling overwhelmed. Feeling deep inner peace. Feeling unfulfilled. Having a deep sense of purpose.

What life are you living? What life do you want to live? I know for me I want to live a simple life, have freedom of time, feel inner peace and joy while living life with a deep sense of purpose.

I think the majority of us do just the opposite. We are too busy and over-scheduled. We feel rushed and overwhelmed, lacking inner peace and purpose.


I love the idea of less is more. This is the lifestyle I am dreaming about. This is the life I am imagining and working on creating for myself. I deeply desire to make a huge impact in the world and also find a way to do it without sacrificing my health and quality of life.

As I think about how Jesus modeled this, he would preach to the masses and then go be by himself to pray, meditate and be with His Father. How often do we forget this part of our life? Time alone. Time to think and pray. To create. Time to be with our Heavenly Father. Time to just be still.


Let go Let God.jpg

When I was considering leaving the pharmaceutical industry and moving to Colorado to start my fitness ministry, one of the things that helped me take a leap of faith was three days at the beach. I had three days of complete solitude.

I read the Bible, the Purpose Driven life by Rick Warren and Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. I took two hour walks on the beach. I wrote down every thought that God put on my heart.

I am going to share some of my fears and insights on that life changing three day gotta get away trip.

Our fears can hold us back from living the life of our dreams. I know that historically has been the case for me and something I still battle. As I look back at my journal here were my three biggest fears.


Fear #1: The fear of being alone. I was married for eighteen years and at the time I went away for my three day gotta get away trip I had been divorced for six years. The fear of being alone is something I have always struggled with.

Fear #2: Not living the life I was created to live. Being unfulfilled. I think we all fear that we are not living our life to our full potential. That we are wasting our time here on earth. Life is too short not to feel fully alive, but the desire for comfort and security usually outweighs our desire for adventure and the willingness to embrace uncertainty.

Fear #3: Money…not having any. I had a six figure job at this time. I had a steady paycheck. The fear in the back of my mind was do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Am I good enough to be successful at having my own business? There are no guaranteed pay checks. Am I going to go broke and end up on the streets? Those were all very real fears that I had to overcome.


I love the definition of courage. Courage is being afraid and doing it anyways. I am glad I had the courage to take a leap of faith and ultimately start my own fitness ministry.

Those were my three biggest fears and here are my four biggest insights.


Insight #1: My life moving forward will be in complete dependence on God. I will be living for an audience of one. I will care less about what people think about me and know that God loves me unconditionally. I don’t need to be a people pleaser any more. It will be no more Mr. Nice Guy for me.

Insight #2: I will live a purpose driven life. As Rick Warren says in his opening sentence in his book The Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not about you.” I made a decision that I will be mission focused in my life. I will live for a transcendent cause greater than myself. My purpose is to help people grow spiritually with fitness as the platform. I help people see themselves the way God sees them so they can overcome self-doubt and unworthiness and start to take chances on themselves and in life.

Insight #3: I will be my authentic self. I will show up in the world being me. I will love myself for who I am and who God created me to be. I will be vulnerable and share my story so people can go on this journey with me of living the life God created us to live.

Insight #4: I will be a Spiritual Warrior every day. This is what I wrote down in my journal of what it means to me to be a Spiritual Warrior:

· Live a life of adventure

· Embrace uncertainty

· Live with passion and courage

· Be disciplined internally and externally

· Have mental focus

· Have an attitude of persistence

· Train physically, mentally and spiritually every day

· Look to Jesus, the ultimate Spiritual Warrior as my model

If you are contemplating a big decision in your life, suffering from smoldering discontent or just feeling stuck and bored thinking there has to be more to life than this, I want to strongly encourage you to get away. Even if it’s for a day, but I highly recommend at least a long weekend. It could be the catalyst to living the life of your dreams.

Have I conquered all of my fears? Absolutely not. Have I perfected all of those insights I had from that trip? Absolutely not. I am a work in progress. But I do know that God can use me while he is working in me and through me. God doesn’t use perfect people, he uses willing people. I made a life changing decision in those three days that I would be willing. God knows I am far from perfect.

I don’t think I would have made the leap of faith if it wasn’t for those three transformative days in August of 2016. I eventually ended up leaving my job and moving to Colorado in May of 2017. As you can see this wasn’t a snap decision. It was thought out and planned.

I think many of us think about and plan to make many changes in our life, but we stop there. The big question is are you willing to take that leap of faith. Are you willing to take a chance on yourself? I think the only way to truly do that is to start to see yourself the way God sees you. To be the Spiritual Warrior you are created to be. To step into your greatness. To live a life of purpose and passion by overcoming your fears. If I can do it, you can too.

Troy Ismir, MS

Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Spiritual Warrior Coach

Spiritual Warriors Unite Podcast



Are You Dense?


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


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.



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


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. 


 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




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


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. 



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?


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.



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. 



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