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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 and let’s see how we can partner together.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior



I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (A Tribute to My Dad)


I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (A Tribute to My Dad)

It will be 11 years on January 25th since my father passed away.  Dad, you are dearly missed.  You planted seeds into my life many years ago that now are starting to come fully into fruition.  You were a true man of God with a servant’s heart.  Your greatest saying, “Every day is a gift, so you better make the most of it,”  is something I will never forget and try to live my life by. 

In honor of my father’s 11th year since he has passed and went to be with the Lord, I wanted to share one of his most famous sermons, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.”  This sermon along with many others can be found in the book I put together to honor my father called, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden:  The Inspiring Life Story and Words of Hope from a Palestinian Christian Pastor.

Enjoy these words of inspiration and hope from my dad. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

Personal Trainer and Health Coach


By Pastor Samih A. Ismir

“I beg your pardon 

I never promised you a rose garden 

along with the sunshine 

there’s gotta be a little rain sometimes” 

“We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.  They are the people he called, because that was his plan.”   Romans 8:28

Lord Jesus when the skies grow dark in our lives, help us to come to you not for a pill, but for your abiding and enduring love, for your unparalleled promise that you are with us always. 

One of Lynn Anderson’s greatest hits from the 70’s was “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.”  This popular song put into expression a well-known fact, it stated a profound truth, into each life some rain will fall.  That is the way life is.   

Who of us hasn’t seen the skies of our existence grow dark?   Who hasn’t felt the dark shadows take from our presence a loved one?   Who hasn’t felt the ugliness of an incurable disease?  Who hasn’t feared an unknown future?   

But what do the skies really tell us when they grow dark?  The first thing we learn when the skies grow dark is that problems are a part of every person’s experience.  Here is a great hearted woman who for more than 50 years shared in the life of her frail and aging husband where now she sits in a lonely hospital room and watches him slowly slip away. 

Here is a dedicated and loving father and husband who was with his family enjoying Father’s Day when a man who had too much to drink slammed into their car and in a matter of seconds his wife’s life was snuffed out leaving all of us with the everlasting question, why?  

Here is a high school girl who gives birth to a child out of wedlock.  Fiercely she clings to the child yet deep within her grows the haunting knowledge she can’t provide the financial security or the emotional health the little fellow needs.  What should she do? 

Here is a young executive who had worked hard to arrive at his present position within his company but due to a merger and reorganization he is forced out of a job.  All of his hopes, plans and dreams burst like a bubble upon the surface of his life. 

Here is a young mother of three lovely children who goes to the doctor for a routine checkup only to discover that she has a rampaging malignancy.  I could go on. 

I could go on to point to the homes going into foreclosure, to the down economy.  To the crimes committed daily.  To the winds of pain of loss and grief which come whipping into our daily lives.  But why go on?  You and I know from personal experience that there are times in our lives when the sky grows dark.  There are times in our lives when the rain falls.  I never promised you a rose garden.   

But there is more to life than dark skies, tragedies, heart aches and disappointments.  There is the beauty of the sunset and the evening stars.  People thrill at hearing great music, poetry and drama.  There is the infant’s first awkward step, the adolescent’s first fumbling kiss, and the teenager’s first car.   There is the utterly indescribable impact of a parent’s life as they look into the eyes of their first born child.   

There is more to life than dark skies, there is more to life than tragedy, and there is more to life than rain.  There is loveliness and joy, health and contentment, and there is richness and splendor. 

The second thing we learn when the skies grow dark is that how you and I deal with our problems makes a difference.  It is not difficult to accept life when everything is going well.   When our health is in good shape, when we win the game, when we get a promotion at our job.  We all feel like singing everything is going my way.  But it is a totally different story when we lose the game, when we are forced out of a job, when our health is in shambles.  Then what you and I do is important.  The fact that dark skies come into our lives is relatively unimportant.   What you and I do when those skies get dark is supremely important. 

One person will break down, literally break down.  Another person will become bitter, cynical, and hostile and infect his surroundings with his own misery.  And then there are those among us who become angriest even at God as they shake their fist at God and say what kind of God are you?  I have had enough. 

Fortunately for all of us, there are those who refuse to break down.  There are those who refuse to become bitter, hostile and angry.  Instead they turn inward.  They turn to their inner resources of faith and courage.  The great novelist, Albert Camus once wrote, “In the midst of winter I suddenly discovered an invincible summer within.”  It is this invincible summer within that you and I must turn when our skies grow dark.   

Nadeem was a high school classmate of mine.   He and his family lived down the street from us in the city of Jerusalem.  In 1948, the war broke out between the Arabs and the Jews.   One night we heard the drone of airplanes.   Bullets and bombs were flying all around us.  I remember hiding under a table for safety and security.  The next morning when I got up and went outside I could see about an inch of grey powder from the shelling that took place.  I found out at the end of our street where Nadeem and his family lived their house was destroyed.  His entire family was killed, but Nadeem’s life was spared.  He was rushed to the hospital where doctors had to amputate his arm and leg.  For several months he was in and out of hospitals.   He was able to go on as he drew upon inner resources of faith and courage.  He finished high school with high honors. 

I came to the United States for my education.  He went to the American University in Beirut, Lebanon to finish his education.  He majored in teaching and education.  I remember when I came back to the Holy Land I looked him up.  I found out he had been spending his time teaching in a refugee school in the outskirts of the city of Jerusalem and that same year he had received the honor of being the teacher of the year.   There is a man who had discovered an invincible summer within. 

Dr. Tom Dooley was a great missionary who established missionary hospitals in Laos.  He died at the age of 34 a young man.  In 1959 doctors operated on him for chest cancer and the doctors at that time told him he had a 50/50 chance to live out the year.  How would you react?  Listen to what Dr. Dooley wrote.  “I knew I wasn’t going to abandon what I think is the correct thing to do in life simply because of shadows on a page nor was I going to quit this living loving passion which I have for life simply because of a statistic.  There is still much work to do.   I must continue to do this work as long as God permits me time.”      Cruel circumstances did not thrust Dr. Dooley’s back against the wall rather with the hearty inspiration which comes with his kind of greatness he was able to draw upon inner resources of faith and courage and rise above the dark clouds of his life. 

You may forget everything that I have said so far, but I do hope and pray that you will never forget the powerful fact that the heart of our Christian faith is the insistence that there is not a situation beyond despair, no pain so raw, no fear so stark as to frustrate the gracious purposes of God and that all things work for good for those who love Him. 

It is in God’s love and our response to that love that you and I discover the power to overcome.  The great Apostle Paul expressed it this way.  Who shall separate us from the love of God?  Shall fear or tribulation or nakedness or peril or sword?   He emphatically answers no, for we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.   I am confident that nothing shall separate us from the love of God.  Not because God provides us with a pill, rather because he provides us with powerful promises.  Come to me you who are weary, who are troubled, who are burdened, who are experiencing dark clouds and rain and I will give you rest.  This is where our faith helps us to overcome.  When I say faith, I don’t mean a shallow kind of faith that promises an easy way out of every predicament, I don’t mean a faith that is a rabbits foot or an escape hatch, rather I mean a faith that is rooted in God’s love and promises to be with us at all times. 

I had once talked to a man who had lived through the Great Depression and it must have been a terrible time for many people.  This father told me when he was a little boy his family didn’t have two nickels to rub together.  He had to walk to school every day for two miles through rain and snow.  He had to work when he was a young boy to help the family.  But one thing he said he could tell his son was that he wouldn’t have to go through what he went through.    I felt sorry for that man.  I felt sorry because he was going to deprive his son the opportunity to grow in his faith.   It is when things get tough, that God is able to make something out of us.  Faith doesn’t want us to remain children all of our lives, pampering us with the things we want and the things we need.  Rather faith makes us strong as we stand firm on our own two feet, placing our hand in the hand of the living God who sits by you today and goes with you wherever you go.  That same God says to each one of us, come unto me, you who are weary and burdened I will give you rest. 

I am not going to tell you that life is easy and that our problems are easily solved.  If I did that you would know I am out of touch with reality.  You and I have at one time or another seen the skies of our existence grow dark.  We have felt the dark shadows of death take from our presence a loved one.  We have felt the ugliness of a dreadful disease.  We have gone through the trials of a divorce.  We have endured a broken heart.  We have feared an unknown future.  We have had insurmountable debt.   We have lost a job at the most inopportune time.  We have dealt with seasons of loneliness and despair.   God never promised us a rose garden, but take heart because we have a great God, a God who promises us to be with us always and a God who says to each one of us, be strong and have great courage.   








Expect a Miracle


Expect a Miracle

I am a very driven person.  I have always found a way to be successful in my career or in athletics.  I would push myself by learning whatever I needed to do to become successful at it.  I remember the first year I transitioned out of health and fitness full time and into pharmaceutical sales.   A decision I made that I felt was in the best interest of my young family at the time. 

The first year of pharmaceutical sales I hated it.  I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and face the rejection of people not wanting to see me.   I went from getting paid $80 an hour for my personal training and relationship skills to having the door shut in my face because doctors didn’t have the time to see me.  I was so frustrated and dejected. 

But, I knew this was the choice I made so I had to find a way to be successful at my new chosen career.  I kept just showing up and treated every one with compassion and kindness.  Eventually I built trust with the office staff and the doctors and after a year things started to change.  I felt like I was starting to make an impact.   My patience, persistence and inner drive led me to 17 years of great success in the pharmaceutical industry. 

I have since transitioned out of pharmaceutical sales and now I am starting another career as an entrepreneur.  I have started a fitness ministry in Northern Colorado after living in Orlando for 20 years.  Of course I am going to need a certain level of drive to be successful, but I am being shown in the six months that I have been in Colorado that it is going to take so much more than inner drive. 

I have a tendency to want to do things under my own power and my own strength.  I drive and I push.  What I am being shown since I moved to Fort Collins, both personally and professionally, that my dreams and my vision for my ministry and my personal life are way bigger than what I can do on my own.

I have been divorced for over 7 seven years and one of my biggest prayers is to be in a relationship with a woman who loves the Lord and draws me closer to Him.  Where we can seek first the Kingdom of God together.  I have met some amazing women along the way and for whatever reason those relationships haven’t worked out and have ended in heartbreak.  In some cases I have been trying to force the issue, moving too fast and not trusting the process for the relationship to play out the way God intends. 

What I am learning is that faith is more about allowing than forcing.   I came across a daily devotion by Pastor Rick Warren that I would like to share with you.  The main point is instead of trying harder we trust more.  He identified four ways of what surrendering your life to God means.

1.       Following God’s lead without knowing where he is sending you.

2.      Waiting for God’s timing without knowing when it will come.

3.      Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide.

4.      Trusting God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances.

Psalm 37:7 says, “Surrender yourself to the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”  What if we lived each day with childlike anticipation of expecting a miracle from God without knowing how that will happen?  Every time I think that way I get a huge smile on my face.  But I am also reminded that each breath I take is a miracle and the grace of God is a miracle in and of itself along with the gift of eternal life.

So as I wait in childlike anticipation for my wife to be,  I will not try harder, I will trust more.  I know you are out there and I can’t wait to meet you and who knows maybe we have already crossed paths somehow.    

My prayer is that God is working in your heart just like he has been working in mine to prepare us for a relationship that truly honors God and furthers His Kingdom.  I will wait for your timing without knowing when it will come.  I will follow your lead without knowing where you are sending me.  I will expect a miracle without knowing how it will come.  I will trust your purpose for me without understanding the circumstances. 

I am surrendered to you Lord and I will wait patiently for my wife to be and my fitness ministry to flourish.  I will stop trying so hard and will trust more. 

What area of your life needs to be surrendered to God?  Your health?  Your finances?  Your relationships?  Any strongholds or addictions?   Try the approach of not trying harder and trusting more.   Allow rather than force.  It is a freeing feeling.     

If this is an area you are struggling in, I would love to help.  Please send me an e-mail at  My mission is to help men have faith in themselves through faith in God so we can live the powerful lives we were created to live.  

Troy Ismir, MS

Author, Speaker, Podcaster and Spiritual Warrior Coach

Helping men have faith in themselves through faith in God.


The Need to Leave the World a Better Place


The Need to Leave the World a Better Place

We Need to Make a Difference

One of our core needs as human beings is feeling like we make a difference.  We all want to make a contribution and leave the world a better place.   That is one of the reasons I left my job in the pharmaceutical industry.   It was a great job that paid a generous salary, but for me, I didn’t feel like I was making the difference that I was put on this earth to do.   I had this strong feeling that there had to be more. 

I am about four months into leaving my pharmaceutical job and it has been quite a learning experience.   I left Orlando, Florida and everything I knew behind after being there for 20 years.  I left behind my church, my job, my two best friends and my son, who still lives in Tallahassee, Florida. 

My Life has Come Full Circle

After a short stint as a fitness manager at a local health club, I am back to being self-employed and recently signed on as an independent contractor as a personal trainer at a local gym called The Body.   It seems my life has come full circle, as this was my first job right after I completed my Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sports Science back in 1993.   How does 25 years go by so fast?

I don’t know where this path is taking me, but I am excited about the journey.   I am doing my Divine Wellness Academy podcast that makes me feel truly alive.  I am in the process of writing a book with Professor Scott Roberts who I met in Orlando at a Faith and Fitness Conference.  I am starting my first faith and fitness community at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, a place where my Dad preached. 

Starting a Fitness Ministry

God put a calling on my heart to start a fitness ministry.  I am surrendering that plan to Him.  I will follow where he leads me.    We were all created to live powerful lives that are transformed by Christ, but for many of us, there are things that can get in our way.  Most of the time it is the inner critical voice in our own minds. 

When we aren’t living life to the full we get stuck in spiritual mediocrity.  It is easy to lose heart and withdraw and become silent and anesthetize our pain. 

Digging into the Word of God

If you are yelling from the inside that there must be something more to this life, I want to encourage you that there is.  We are meant to feel fully alive.  We are meant to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.  

If you feel like you are mired in spiritual mediocrity, the best thing you can do is to start to dig into the Word of God.  It is a great source of hope and encouragement.   In Matthew 22:29it says, Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scripture or the power of God.” 

No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, spending quiet time with God, even if it’s for only for 5-10 minutes every morning, it can transform your life.  You will go from spiritual mediocrity to living a powerful life transformed by Christ. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

I help men get fit from the inside out so they can have more vitality, adventure and purpose in their life. 


Strength Training For the Mind


Strength Training For the Mind

The mind is a powerful tool that can work for us or against us.  I think for most of my life it has worked mostly against me.   My thoughts have been more harmful to me than helpful.  More fear based, than love based.  Can you relate with me? 

I made a decision I am not going to live my life that way anymore.  God doesn’t want us to live a life of fear.  God is love and only loving thoughts come from Him.  Every other thought that enters our mind that is not love based is a lie and we have to root out that evil.  How do we go about doing that?  Through continual prayer, surrender and meditation.    It takes time, work and energy to continually fill your mind with loving thoughts towards yourself and others. 

I rarely if ever miss a day of  physical training, but yet I have been pretty haphazard in doing my strength training for my mind.   My history has been to say a prayer in the morning after some quiet time of reading the Bible and some devotions, which is great, don’t get me wrong, but it takes so much more than that. 

I have meditated off and on over the past 10 years, but have never stuck to a consistent routine.  I know when I do meditate regularly it makes a significant difference in my thought life and my connection to God.   I would never dream of not going to the gym, so why do I stop meditating when I know how much of a difference it makes in my life? 

I would say at this point in my life my mental and spiritual training is significantly more important than my physical training, although all three are critical for holistic health. 

If you aren’t doing any form of meditation in your life, you are truly missing out.  Meditation changes the level of our thinking and that is why it changes our lives.  Meditation puts us in touch with the mind of Christ.  When we meditate each morning we are placing our minds and emotions into the hands of God.  It gives us a place of tranquility when we see that the ways of the world are wheels off. 

From Marianne Williamson’s book The Gift of Change she says, “If we meditate sometimes but now always, then it will seem to us that God helps us sometimes but not always.  If we pray and meditate on some days but not all days, then we will feel the peace of God on some days but not all days.  If we go to God only when we’re in trouble, then of course His help seems inconsistent.  Yet the inconsistency lies in us.  The more time we spend with God, the more we develop our spiritual musculature and the stronger we become in dealing with life’s challenges.  I remember the song lyric, “Darlin’, if you want me to be closer to you, get closer to me.”  The same applies to our relationship with God. 

The form of practice doesn’t matter.  I prefer to use Christian meditation.  I interviewed Rhonda Jones, a Christian meditation coach on one of my podcasts, I recommend listening to the podcast or going to her site to get some more ideas on what Christian mediation looks like or to try a guided meditation. 

Meditation will rest the mind the same way that sleep rests the body.  I want to encourage you to start practicing strength training for your mind.   Five to ten minutes every morning turning over your thought life to God can change your internal state and ultimately change you, which can lead to changing the world. 

Meditate, pray continually and surrender your thought life to God.  Your life will be transformed from the inside out. 

I would be honored to be part of your tribe to help you with your strength training for your mind, body and spirit.  Please contact me at for a complimentary consultation. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

I help men get fit from the inside out so they can have more vitality, adventure and purpose in their life.