It's All about Radical Love

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It's All about Radical Love

What if we were radical lovers of ourselves the way Jesus loves us? It’s really challenging to live our best life when we don’t take care of our physical health the way God wants us to. If you have tried to get healthy and lose weight time and time again without lasting results trying a different approach may be the answer. What if all the choices you made around your physical, emotional and spiritual health were made out of the context of love? How would that change your perspective and your choices?

Love the Foods that Love us Back

The first thing you need to do is to start to love food again. So many people have such an unhealthy relationship with food they get to the point of being neurotic about it. Becoming obsessed with food, binging and then restricting food, over consuming food, inhaling food and then feeling guilty about it. This is not a love relationship with food but an unhealthy obsession.

Loving foods that love you back means being able to enjoy foods. To taste it and to delight in the fact that you are eating foods that are contributing to your health. The solution to overeating and chronically obsessing about food is getting away from the notion of restriction and deprivation. Getting away from the idea of good and bad foods. Getting away from the emotional attachment of food is one of the best ways you can love the foods that love you back. It means you can take it or leave it. You can enjoy food if you are hungry, you can walk away from it if you aren’t.

Foods that love you back are the ones that contribute to your health and well-being. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and healthy fats are the foods that will love you back. Healthy eating is not a punishment, but a reward. Does that mean you can’t ever have your favorite sweet? Absolutely not. It simply means you want to eat the foods that love you back and when you do choose to eat a “treat food” you enjoy it and savor it without the guilt that usually comes along with it. It’s all about love when you love the foods that love you back.

Love Ourselves Enough to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

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I see so many people struggle with their health from lack of exercise, poor eating habits and being overweight and obese. This may sound like strong language, but not taking care of ourselves is a form of self-hate. Eating foods that contribute to diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease is not an act of self-love. It is vitally important that we be kind to ourselves. This self-love shows up through regular exercise, daily quiet time, eating nourishing foods, proper rest and stress management.

Do you love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle? You get to ask yourself that great question every time you put something into your mouth. Take control of your eating, exercise consistently and get proper rest and you will take control of your health. It’s all about love when you love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle.

It’s all about Love When we Serve Others

The greatest form of love is serving others. We take care of ourselves so we can serve others. If you truly want to make a contribution to this world you will put other’s needs before your own. Helping others is a sign of love. How you serve others should be tied to the gift that God gave you.

You may be at the stage of life where your greatest service is your kids. Where you put their needs before your own. As a parent of two young adults I know the sacrifice that it takes to raise them and put their every need before your own. It’s the most selfless thing we can do.

We can also serve at our church, through work or by volunteering. There are always opportunity to serve and this is the greatest sign of love. Miracles happen daily when we ask God what we can do for Him and how we can serve others.

When we make our life about radical love both by loving ourselves and loving others we live and create in a whole different way. Our life becomes more fulfilling and satisfying. We live radically when we love food that loves us back, love ourselves enough to live a healthy lifestyle and show love through serving. We will reap many rewards when you make it all about love.

Troy Ismir, MS

Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Spiritual Warrior Coach

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www.facebook.com/troyspiritualwarrior

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Creating the Habit of Greatness

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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.

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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.

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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

troyismir.com

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Do You Have Faith In Yourself?

Do You Have Faith In Yourself?

“Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

Do you have faith in yourself?  This is a question I have been wrestling with over the last several days, well actually the last 30 years, I just didn’t know it.   Let me explain.  I have been digging deep into my work lately with my business and life coach, Kim Dawson.  I have a fitness ministry that is geared towards men.   Doing the work and learning my voice in this space means asking myself some hard questions.  I have really had to take a hard look in the mirror and do some self-discovery. 

DO YOU HAVE FAITH IN GOD?

My coach asked me this question, “Do you have faith in God?”  Of course I answered yes without hesitation.  She next asked the question, “Do you have faith in yourself?”   I wasn’t quite as quick to answer that question.  I paused and hesitated and mumbled to her, not really. 

As I look back at my life, I have always struggled with having faith in myself.  So that begs to question, if I have faith in God, how can I not have faith in myself, after all he’s the one who created me?  I have thrown myself into understanding that over the course of the last several days.  I have dug into scripture more than I ever have before.  I also know this is a struggle with other men I have spoken to over the years. 

DO YOU HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF?

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Here is what I have learned.   I have realized that my deepest pain over the course of my life was caused by my lack of faith in myself because I haven’t seen myself the way God sees me.  God loves me deeply and gives me my value and worth because he created me.   My deepest pain was caused by valuing other people’s opinion of me rather than God’s. 

In Genesis 1:26-27 it says, “Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

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When we know that we are created in God’s image and that we share many of his characteristics this should provide our foundation for self-worth.   But what we do instead we seek out approval from others.   Our deepest pain comes from evaluating ourselves from worldly standards of success, achievement, possessions and physical attractiveness.  This causes us to think too much about our worth in the eyes of others.

I would like to invite you to a new possibility of knowing that your true value is God’s estimate of your worth not your peer’s estimate.  God says that you are deeply loved, adequately equipped and are worthy.   Absolutely nothing can ever change how God feels about you.  

CHOOSE TO SEE YOURSELF THE WAY GOD SEES YOU

If you always see yourself the way God sees you, how would you choose to be and what would you choose to do?  One thing I have started to do is to repeat this affirmation over and over in my mind, “I have no insecurities because I see myself the way God sees me.”  What a powerful way to show up in the world. 

If you don’t have faith in yourself it’s because you don’t see yourself the way God sees you and that is no way to live.  It causes us to have low self-esteem and to shrink back in this world.  There is no way we can be at our best to serve God if we don’t have faith in ourselves through faith in God.

I would like to invite you to create a new possibility for yourself by seeing yourself the way God sees you because of your deep faith in God.  It will change your lens of the way you see yourself and the world.

Troy Ismir, MS

Author, Speaker, Podcaster and Spiritual Warrior Coach

 

Inner Peace...Where are You?

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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

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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

troyismir.com

www.facebook.com/troyspiritualwarrior

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Redefining what it means to be a Superhero

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Redefining what it means to be a Superhero

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In the traditional sense a superhero is a character in a movie or story who has special powers, such as the ability to fly, that are used for fighting evil or helping people. One of my favorite superheroes growing up was the Incredible Hulk. I identified with him because he was a man of few words and incredible strength and durability. I loved watching him when he hulked out.

I think all of us have identified with a superhero at one point in our life. I think that is made evident with the Avengers: Endgame grossing 2.7 billion dollars this years in movie sales.

I often wonder what it would be like to be a superhero as an adult. One super power I would love to have is to never need sleep and always have an abundance of energy. My super power would be fueled by dark chocolate and coffee. How awesome would that be?

I would like to redefine what it means to be a superhero in the real world and not in a fictional story or movie.

Take a Chance on Ourselves

In a conversation with my business and life coach, Kimberly Dawson, she called me a superhero. She said we just need to redefine what it really means to be a superhero in this day and age. She said a superhero is someone who is willing to take a chance on ourselves and feel all of the resistance that comes our way when we are trying to change the world by being revolutionary.

It’s about being courageous and taking on that resistance we feel head on by overcoming self-doubt and showing up big in the world to fight the darkness that is so evident in our world today.

According to that definition I am a superhero. I have had so much personal resistance lately to my work that I want to bring to the world, but I have the courage to keep showing up.

Superhero Troy

You can just call me superhero Troy. You better watch out world, because here I come. No cape needed! Just a willingness to keep showing up, being vulnerable and a willingness to feel all of the resistance and continually moving forward regardless.

We are all capable of being superheroes. All that is needed is some courage, persistence and the willingness to never give up regardless of what obstacles are thrown in our path.

After all, life is all about taking risks. We need more real life superheroes in this world. Let’s all take a chance on ourselves and join in the fight against things that truly matter in the world.

Troy Ismir, MS

Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Spiritual Warrior Coach

troyismir.com

www.facebook.com/troyspiritualwarrior

Spiritual Warriors Unite Podcast

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Being Stable in an Unstable World

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Being Stable in an Unstable World

I have been a personal trainer for over 25 years. In the health and fitness industry that makes me kind of ancient. There aren’t too many gray hairs in the fitness industry. I have been a faith-based personal trainer for the last five years. That is when God put it on my heart to not leave the most important part out of the equation of health and fitness, Jesus.

Mobility and Stability

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A big part of my personal training philosophy is based around helping my clients with mobility and stability. Without those two aspects of fitness we will always struggle with our fitness. One of the most important things I learned from Gray Cook, one of the top strength and conditioning specialists and physical therapists in our industry is to, “Never put strength on top of dysfunction.” Another words, don’t make someone stronger when their body isn’t mobile or stable. This will only lead to injury and poor movement patterns. I practice and preach this philosophy in my own life and my clients’ training programs.

We are Mind, Body and Soul

That takes care of the physical stability piece. But more importantly what about our spiritual stability. If we are physically stable and spiritually unstable we aren’t going to be whole. We are body, mind and soul. If I am not helping my clients with their spiritual growth and spiritual stability I am doing my clients a disservice.

What I have learned is not to preach it, but to live it. To be it. Not from perfection, but actually learning how to share the chinks in my armor. Not to pretend to have it all together when I don’t.

The first half of yesterday was a wheels off day. I felt run down and tired. My throat hurt. I can’t stand to admit when I don’t feel well, but yesterday was one of those days where I just wanted to stay home and rest. I didn’t feel very inspirational and I certainly didn’t feel like training or ministering to anyone. But, yet that is what I do and I found a way to find my stable ground in Jesus.

I Will Not be Shaken

Here is the scripture that I leaned into for my spiritual stability. “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 I felt very unstable yesterday in an unstable world. Through some meditation and prayer and leaning into this scripture I was reminded that Jesus is our source of stability in an unstable world.

I have my clients do planks for their core stability and I remind them of scriptures for their spiritual stability. We need both. We will not live our best life if we are physically, mentally or spiritually unstable.

It is vital to work on your physical stability through core work every day and make spiritual stability part of your everyday routine. I believe with all of my heart and soul the integration of faith and fitness is the best way to live our best life the way God intended us to. Start to include God in your workouts. Start to recite scripture when you are out walking or doing a one minute plank. I guarantee you will see results like you have never seen before. It’s amazing what God can do when we include Him in every part of our life.

Troy Ismir, MS

Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Spiritual Warrior Coach

troyismir.com

www.facebook.com/troyspiritualwarrior

Spiritual Warriors Unite Podcast

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