5 Ways to Honor God with Your Bod

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5 Ways to Honor God with Your Bod

Have you ever stopped to think about what an amazing gift our body is?  It truly is a miracle if you really stop and think about it.  God gave us this incredible body that can do mind boggling things.  But we often take this gift for granted. 

Think of your eye sight alone.  The eye consists of the retina, pupil, iris, cornea, lens and optic nerve.  It has 137 million light sensitive special cells that sends messages to the amazingly complicated brain.  About 130 million of these cells appear like tiny rods, and they handle the black and white vision.  The other seven million are cone shaped and allow us to see in color.   That alone is incredulous enough.  No designer of telescopes could have done a better job of designing the eye.  This is no accident.

God uniquely designed each and every one of us.  But yet, we take our body for granted.  We treat it poorly day in and day out.  We do this in so many ways. 

Our bodies were created to move.  There are approximately 640 muscles in the human body.  The main function of the muscular system is movement.  It is estimated that 60% of American adults are not regularly active and 25 percent of the adult population is not active at all.   Americans are increasingly becoming inactive and risking their health. 

Sitting has been coined the new smoking.  Martha Grogan, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic states, “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.”   Our environment is set up for us to be sedentary.  We have to purposely build in time to move every day.  It can be as simple as going for a 20 minute walk, or taking the stairs every chance you get instead of the elevator.   As a society we are literally sitting ourselves to death.  Honor God by moving your body every single day. 

More than one-third of adults are considered to be obese and more than two-thirds of adults are overweight.  We are eating ourselves to death.  Obesity is a main contributing factor to diabetes and heart disease.  We are abusing the temple that God gave us by the over-consumption of food.  Food addiction is real and it is eating away at the health of our society.  

Obesity is now becoming an epidemic with our children too.  Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.  In 2012, more than one-third of children were overweight or obese. 

God gave us everything we need to nourish our body.  He gave us plants, animals, fruits, nuts and seeds.  We are abusing our temple by eating man-made processed foods.  Let’s get back to eating the foods that God provided for us in their most natural state. 

Imagine if we started to treat our body as the temple it is.  1st Corinthians 6:19-20 states, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.  So you must honor God with your body.”   The better we take care of our body the better we will be able to take care of our spirit.

So how can we better take care of this miracle of a body that God gave us?  Here are 5 ways that we can honor God with our miraculous bod.

1.     Build in some type of movement every single day.  God created us to move.  Use motion as devotion.  When you do this you will be better off physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Consistency is always the Biblical pattern for success.  I am a big believer in doing some type of physical activity every day.  Go for a walk, ride your bike, lift weights, take a fitness class, play with your kids.  Anything to get you off the couch and moving again.  Its amazing how a little bit of movement can energize your mind, body and spirit. 

2.      Eat nutrient dense foods.   Nutrient density refers to a food which is relatively rich in nutrients for the number of calories it contains.  It’s getting the most bang for your buck so to speak.  Consume foods that nourish every cell in your body and leave you feeling satisfied and satiated.   Stop wasting money on processed foods that leave you with toxic hunger that lack the ability to provide the nutrients your body needs leaving you with limited energy and a body that is starving for good nutrition.

3.     Get proper rest.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 50-70 million Americans have some type of sleep disorder.  Approximately 20% of Americans get less than six hours of sleep on average.  Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your body.  In fact, chronic sleep deprivation has similar effects on your body as type II diabetes.   This can lead to obesity and many other health issues.  On average an adult needs between 7-9 hours of sleep. 

4.     Manage stress.  In today’s world it is virtually impossible to avoid stress.  We live in a chaotic world where it is easy to get overwhelmed, anxious and stressed out.  We get so accustomed to carrying all of these heavy burdens on our shoulders it is like carrying a 50 pound backpack around all day every day.  This leads to being physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. 

Here are some stress management strategies:

·         Pray often

·         Open your heart and life to Jesus

·         Renew your mind with scripture

·         Focus on making a difference in other people’s lives

·         Exercise daily

·         Praise and worship Him regardless of your circumstances

·         Feed your body nutritious food

·         Get adequate rest

·         Manage your time wisely

·         Meditate on the Word of God

·         Manage stress with the Word of God

5.    Put God first in everything you do.  The focus on taking better care of God’s bod has to be on God first and foremost.   By building a personal and intimate relationship with God you will learn to lean on His strength to help you make healthy lifestyle changes.  One way to do this is to spend quiet time with the Lord every single day, preferably first thing in the morning.  I strongly believe this is the single most life changing thing you can ever do.  It certainly has transformed my heart and my life.  God is more important than anything else, and the sooner we learn this, the better shape we will be in spiritually, emotionally and physically. 

Our body is a miracle.  Let’s stop taking it for granted and start treating it as such.   If you are struggling in this area of taking care of God’s bod I have created a 10 week online course that will help you discover the connection between your physical and spiritual health.  Check out my 10 week course here and enter DIVINE for the coupon code for a 20% discount. 

I am here to help in any way I can.  Trying to make sustainable lifestyle changes can be very challenging especially when doing it by yourself.  Having a great coach in your corner to motivate, encourage and inspire you can go a long ways.  I work with a business and life coach myself and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support. 

If you are ready to make 2018 your best year ever in mind, body and spirit I would love to be part of your tribe whether we work together in person or online.  It’s all about doing this together in community.  I can be reached at troy@troyismir.com.    I can’t wait to hear from you.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

Health Coach and Personal Trainer

 

 

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Body Image Gone Wrong

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Body Image Gone Wrong

No one should feel less than because of the way they look.  That’s a pretty powerful statement and not one many believe as I have come to learn in my last 25 years in the fitness industry, including myself. 

Our self-worth seems to be very much tied into our body image for both men and women.  For many years that is what the fitness industry was all about and it still very much seems to be all about, the way we look.  We get wrapped up in thoughts like,  am I skinny enough?  Am I too fat?  Do I have too many wrinkles?  How can I lose more weight so I can feel good about myself?

For many years my identity was wrapped up in being an athlete and then being a bodybuilder.  When I blew out my knee playing football in college, I was completely lost because I was known as Troy the star football player.  That’s just who I was.  That was my identity.  

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When that was stripped away I discovered bodybuilding.  My identity was all about the way I looked.  How big and ripped could I get without taking steroids?  I would thrive on what people said about my physique.  My identity was determined by external validation from others.  It was a very surface way of living. 

As I have started to evolve and grow in my faith, I am learning how to integrate my faith and fitness.  I don’t have it nailed yet, but I am learning that it’s not really about my fitness or the way I look.  It’s about glorifying God with my body through movement and exercise. 

This morning as I was on my way to the gym, I was praying and thinking about how my workout could be different.  What would make it better and more meaningful?  This scripture came to my mind, Colossians 3:23-24 which states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” 

What a huge shift in perspective when we think about why we get to workout.  It’s to work for the Lord and glorify him by taking care of our body, our vessel. 

Body image issues are rampant in our society.   One statistic estimated that as many as 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal shape.  Surveys on male body image found that 20-40 percent of men were dissatisfied with some aspects of their looks, including physical appearance, weight, and muscle size and tone. 

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Clearly the vast majority of people are disenchanted with the way they look.  Let’s take a look at what God wants for us.  Genesis 1:27-28 states, “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." 

God’s truth is that he loves all people unconditionally regardless of their body shape.   This unconditional love builds the foundation for our Christian life, but it is up to us to believe that truth.  People who don’t accept this love can’t accept Christ, others or themselves because God is love.  1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Christ ultimately wants us to be focused on Him and not obsessed with our body.  The world tells us we need to be thin to be beautiful if we are a woman and it tells us that as a man we have to be muscular with a V shape in order to have a sense of self-worth. 

But God is the ultimate source of our self-worth.  Your personal relationship with God, not the way you look or a number on a scale, should mean the most to you as a Christ follower. 

That doesn’t mean it isn’t important to take care of your body, it just means that you should do it because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  He created us in His image and he expects us to take care of our vessel.  It’s more of a matter of the why behind why we exercise and eat healthy without the obsession of the way we look. 

I want to challenge you to really think about how you can integrate your faith and fitness, your body and your soul.  Pray about how you can glorify God through your body and take pleasure in the amazing gift He has given you with your one and only body. 

If you are struggling with body image and self-worth, I would welcome an opportunity to talk to you more about this.  Please send me an e-mail at troy@troyismir.com for a complimentary consultation. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

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Being Battle Tested

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Being Battle Tested

How does God bring out the warrior in a man?  It’s typically through hardship, trials and tribulation.  James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  

I know for me my spiritual growth has come through my hardships.   A divorce about seven years ago put me through my greatest test.  Many people become bitter when hardship is placed in their path.   It’s a choice we have to make when life doesn’t turn out the way we expect it to and it usually never does. 

If we don’t find meaning for our pain and suffering and if we don’t use our pain to do good in the world, it will end up crushing us.  As I was sitting through a church service one Sunday morning as I was right in the thick of my divorce my pastor was talking about pain.  He said something I will never forget and it altered the course of my life from that point forward.  He said whatever pain you are going through in your life right now, embrace every ounce of it and use it to do good.  I made a decision on that day that the pain of my divorce would be used to make a difference in other people’s lives. 

We all have pain in our life at some point.  I don’t know what you are walking through right now, but my prayer for you is that you somehow find purpose in your pain.  In Romans 8:28, a scripture I recite to myself often says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  I have seen that come to fruition in my life. 

Through my pain God has transformed my heart.  He continues to work in me and through me.  Since my divorce God has worked through me in the following capacaties:

  • Led community groups at my church.
  • Published a book on Amazon that honors my father called, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”.
  • Started a fitness ministry.
  • I have a weekly podcast called the Divine Wellness Academy.
  • Written an article in Faith and Fitness magazine
  • Started a Faith and Fitness class at a local church
  • Started a men’s discipleship program called Bible and Barbells
  • Started a public speaking career

I tell you this as a way of encouragement and hope, that God can use you through your pain if you allow him to.  We grow through pain.  It is part of our warrior training.

I pray every day that God gives me the strength, patience and perseverance to rise up and accept my warrior training.  I pray that when I doubt myself,  God will give me His grace and encouragement to continue the battle because the recovery of the warrior is absolutely critical to the recovery of the heart of a man. 

A warrior heart is hard wired into the DNA of every man.  We need you to fight the good fight.  To not be passive and get out there and make a difference in the world.  We are meant to act and to not be passive.  We need you fully alive, because the glory of God is man fully alive. 

If you are struggling to find purpose for your pain, I am here to help.  The biggest mistake men make is to go into isolation when they are struggling or losing hope.  A true sign of strength and grit is reaching out for help when you are struggling.  I would be honored to be a part of your tribe to help you reclaim your inner warrior.  Please reach out to me at troy@troyismir.com to see how we can partner together on your journey to having more vitality, adventure and purpose in your life.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

 

 

 

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Move:  For Men’s Health  (A Fight for Your Life)

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Move:  For Men’s Health  (A Fight for Your Life)

This is a statistic I have a hard time believing, but it is true.    Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality and it causes 3.2 million deaths globally.  Physical inactivity is literally killing us.

41% of men don’t get enough exercise and that puts us at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity and certain cancers.   

From the American Cancer Society research shows that being physically active helps reduce the risk of a variety of cancers.  Physical activity also helps to reduce the risk of developing obesity-related cancers because of its role in maintaining a healthy weight. 

Being active is thought to reduce the cancer risk by improving energy metabolism and reducing circulating concentrations of insulin and insulin-like growth factor. 

Carrying an excess amount of abdominal fat has been shown to increase your risk of colorectal cancer and may be related to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. 

Also, more evidence is being shown that obesity increases the risk of cancer recurrence and decreases survival rates for several cancers.   

So men, we have to get on the move.  We are in a fight for our lives.  Here are 3 ways that you can find some motivation to get off of the couch and into the game. 

1.  Find your why:  Have a transcendent cause greater than yourself.  Weight loss is a great goal, but when you tie your health to a deeper why it is much easier to make sustainable lifestyle changes.

2.  Come up with goals that have meaning to you:  Come up with goals that are realistic, but also challenging. 

3.  Have accountability and support:  The number one reason people make lasting lifestyle changes is because they have accountability and support.  Find a group of fellow brothers that will encourage, support and hold you accountable for getting more movement in your life.  Go to the gym together, play some basketball or simply go for a walk. 

Men, we need to be healthy for ourselves, for our family and ultimately to serve God.  Without our health, we won't have the energy and vitality to live the life we were created to live.  Let’s be purposeful in our movement. 

If this is an area you are struggling with, I am here to help in any way I can.  As a personal trainer and men’s health coach, I specialize in helping men get off the couch and back into an active and healthy lifestyle.  Please reach out to me at troy@troyismir.com.  I would be honored to be a part of your tribe.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

Personal Trainer and Men’s Health Coach

Helping men have faith in themselves through faith in God.

 

 

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Expect a Miracle

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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 troy@troyismir.com.  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

Men’s Health Coach and Personal Trainer

Helping men have faith in themselves through faith in God.

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Do You Have Faith in Yourself?

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Do You Have Faith in Yourself?

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. 

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. 

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.”

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.  

If you always saw 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.

If you are struggling in the area of having faith in yourself, I would welcome the opportunity to be a part of your tribe.  My mission is to help men to build their physical, mental and spiritual fitness to better serve God.  Please send me an e-mail at troy@troyismir.com.  It would be great to connect with you.

Troy Ismir, MS

Men’s Health Coach

 

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