Categorized as: Blog

Fitness vs Holidays

Fitness vs Holidays…You can do Both!


Good morning blog readers & fitness enthusiasts! I am very excited today to share with you my recent interview feature with my dear friend at Phil Turner. Phil and I actually met in the gym a couple of years ago, and our cliques hit it off right away. We not only became gym buddies who shared workouts, but quickly became friends sharing meals, nights out with friends, and business ideas. We are excited to finally collaborate for our Fitness versus Holidays series. Check out the interview here! Enjoy!

NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMSPhil: Finally! The holiday season is here! A time for travel, family, rest and of course food! While the holiday season is what most of us live for; there are some downfalls to the season that we all dread. Unfortunately, this is one time of the year everyone decides to let their “New Year’s” fitness resolutions subside next to the turkey at Thanksgiving. As the holiday season approaches, do not become a victim and let what you have worked
so hard for all year long, leave your sight.
I couldn’t do this one on my own so I had to bring on my favorite partner in crime, Channéll Holmgren. Make sure you follow her on Twitter @ChannellNicole. She is an amazing Personal Trainer, and is working on some amazing projects that will have a deep impact on our community to provide inspiration for life to us all. Also, follow her motivational movement @InspiredPurpose. I’ll let Channéll introduce herself and we
can get right into the things we should all be aware of this holiday season and how to avoid the “holiday slump”.
Channéll: I`m Channéll, a Personal Trainer, and I currently work in a corporate gym as a Personal Trainer and Bootcamp Instructor. I am an emerging motivational speaker who takes pride in what I have been called to do. I also try to take life seriously as little as possible. I am really excited to announce the launch of my upcoming website in January in which an online speaking community will be launched to help offer development and exposure to aspiring motivational and public speakers as well as entrepreneurs. My passion is for fitness, health and inspiring the lives of others through leadership!
Phil, it’s a pleasure finally collaborating as we’ve been talking about for a long time! Now
we’re not talking, we’re living it! Will you also introduce yourself to my followers?
Phil:  Absolutely! I am Phillip; I have a strong physical fitness background from doing sports
like Track and Field, Basketball, Weight Training and Boxing. All these things have
helped me define and build my character. Currently, I am focusing on motivating others
through speech. I am helping build my fitness program at my church and working on a
business venture that will impact the lives of anyone looking to change for the person they know they
can be. To sum it up, I am Leader/Manager by trade but driven by my passion to build/develop leaders
while building influential relationships in hope of impacting someone’s life through the Christ in me.
The main goal is help people learn how to invest their time into fitness and not just spend it. We have also put together a few questions we would like to answer from each of our perspectives to help out all men & women alike.
Channéll: So Phil, I have a few questions for you from our followers. First, what do you find to be the biggest obstacle that keeps people out of the gym during the holiday season?
Phil: All the big “stressful” holiday planning! I think with the holiday season we get
complacent and relaxed because we tend to stress and occupy ourselves with other
things to prepare for the holiday season, which builds a great excuse that turns into us
blaming the holiday season for a setback. Ideally, we need to be flexible in our fitness at
this time and switch our workout up to fit into our holiday schedule. Instead of spending
two hours in the gym, crank out a workout in 30-45 minutes. This is good because
realistically your body hits its peak performance within this time frame and anything
after that is a drop off which means your body gets fatigued. How about you Channéll?
Channéll: I find EXCUSES to be the biggest obstacle. People seem to completely stop caring about
themselves and their own basic needs just to fulfill the needs of others. While being selfless is not a bad thing, it’s as if the giving season becomes giving to everyone else, and not at all to oneself. This is wrong! It is important to take care of yourself so that you can have a good quality of life to be able to give to others, without causing a huge burden to yourself. While most agree that holidays are “just another day”, few treat
them as such.
Okay Phil, you know that people often make any excuse possible. Usually this is year-round and for every event celebrated by food; do you believe this is a changeable mentality? If so, how could people see festivities differently in relation to their health and fitness goals?
Phil: Well Channéll like you mentioned, it is all an excuse. It is just what you said it is
a mentality. The key word here is mental which means you have the ability to change
it but you must have a reason why. Just because there is food in front of you does not
mean it is a must that you eat it all. Eat in moderation. Try doing different things like
drinking water in between bites and have an idea of how much you want to eat before
you even start. If you truly want to change and build a healthier happier you, your
fitness has to hold some time of priority in your life. It has to be a lifestyle which means
you may have to sacrifice to reach your goal.
Channéll: Phil? I have noticed my clients and people who ask for my advice about holidays usually
ask about their diet and how to counteract all the sweets they know they`ll be eating.
What advice do you have for people wondering the same thing this season?
Phil: There is no way to actually counteract all the sweets, once we eat it there is
nothing we can do, choose wisely. I would recommend trying to make healthier snacks.
Many things we love can be made with healthier ingredients and substitutes but still
taste great. This will help your calorie and sugar intake. If you must have some chocolate
or candy; try eating it right before you exercise. This way you can use the sugar to give
you a boost in energy and use it for fuel. At the end of the day, you still have to watch
your caloric intake; there is no substitute for the calories. Remember, the flavor doesn’t
last as long as the fat does.
Channéll: Again, EXCUSES are detrimental to results. My advice is simply to stop making excuses.
You may think that there is validity in abusing food for the sake of a celebration or season, but really there isn’t. This may seem harsh but the truth is that it is not just one day or celebration we are speaking of, it is many days year round! We see this especially with so many holidays from October-January.
While we all agree that food is social (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), it is important to recognize when this social aspect of life becomes a problem and puts your life and health in jeopardy. Partaking more frequently in abuse of food and alcohol significantly increases your risks of not achieving your goals; which leads to discouragement and a nasty, unhealthy cycle.
SET A GOALThe best way to beat this is to not forget about your goals or set them aside! Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. Keep yourself conscious of your goals will help you respond appropriately to eating excess amounts of food or skipping a day at the gym when you’re scheduled to go. Keep yourself aware and accountable; no matter the circumstances. Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t indulge from time to time; however indulgence and abuse are totally different. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t take most of us a holiday to want to celebrate and over-indulge!
Phil: Channéll, last but not least, I am going to get a little personal here but only to let
the follower’s know we all face some type of trial and tribulations. What are some of the
obstacles and experiences you have had with the holidays and your fitness achievement?
Channéll: For me, I have struggled in the past with traveling. It’s not the traveling part that gets me, it’s
the overbooking myself when I visit home for a few days. It seems impossible to see and catch up with
everyone. I’ve overcome this with purchasing a gym pass as soon as I get in to town. Another obstacle,
are grandma’s cookies! We bake every single year together. I’ve limited myself in the amount of food
that I`ll let myself eat. In this case, less is more!
Phil: I love it!! Thank you Channéll for co-hosting this one with me, I think we got some really
good things answered. Stayed tuned as we will be posting more information on how to
obtain your goals this holiday season and some pretty cool tips on how to get there.
Remember fitness is a lifestyle not a good behavior for just the moment. Do not become
a part of the crowd that drops fitness to eat and drink everything that touches the table.
It is easy to get complacent and also remember once you stop; it is that much harder to
hit the gym hard again.
Don’t let the Holidays beat you, beat the holiday first. 
Do not underestimate the power of momentum!
Follow us on Twitter:
You can find the original blog post on Phil’s blog here: Fitness vs Holidays

Community Volunteers: Soap for Hope


Today I want to share Courtney Bell’s touching community project that I have had the pleasure to be a part of in previous years, and this year also!


Courtney is a Community Leader, Entreprenuer, Keynote Speaker and Personal Friend, who’s motto is:


“Empowering People to Empower Themselves”










Courtney is the founder of the People’s First Foundation and is a mentor to underpriviledged children. He is a young man who offers hope and support through the bible studies at local jails, is a keynote speaker at high schools and conferences, as well as a son and friend. I have had the priviledge to get to know and work with Courtney as a Personal Trainer (back in the day), as well as a volunteer for his organization’s fundraisers, and other professional endeavors.



Last year, I was a volunteer for Soap for Hope 2011 for the first time. From the donations generiously collected in our community, we distributed laundry supplies to over 200 families living in motels here in Reno. There were about 15 of us who met in the morning, and sorted out laundy supplies based on a list Courtney put together from families in local motels. We then caravanned and spent the day delivering laundry supplies to every family on our list. Courtney personally interviewed each family, and set this fundraiser up because he saw the need; he believes every child should at least have clean laundry!



I can truly say that this was a wonderful experience, and open my eyes to the great need in Reno for simple necessities to be provided. Not only did I meet amazing, like-minded people, but I got to be a part of something bigger, and truly make a difference in the lives of otheres.



You can too! Here’s who we’re helping & how!

Data equation specialist statistical analysis project

(The families we will help with your help)

  • 8 out of 10 families are single parent families.
  •  9 out of every 10 underprivileged children go to school with unclean clothes at least three out of every seven school days.
  •  9 out of every 10 low-income single parents are in need of assistance with laundry supplies.
  •  10 out of 10 homeless and transient families are in need of assistance with laundry suppliesor dryer sheets

The Goal

Provide 200-400 single-parent, transient, homeless and low-income families with a month’s supply of laundry detergent, bleach and dryer sheets.

 Locations to drop off laundry supplies and monetary charitable contributions

  • UNR’s Orvis Bldg. Room 104 – 2nd Floor, Room 202 or 204 E; 775-351-8120
  • Belvedere Towers, 450 N. Arlington Ave., Downtown Reno; 775-324-5888

Location Hours

Drop off from 8am- 5pm, Mon-Fri or call and we will pick up your generous donation. Drive ends November 5th

Volunteer with Us on Saturday, November 10th!

Volunteer for Soap for Hope!

Drop off from 8am- 5pm, Mon-Fri or call and we will pick up your generous donation. Drive ends November 5th


826 Wyoming Avenue in Reno, NV (Off of Seventh Street by Raley’s off of Keystone)


Starts Saturday, November 10th  at 11:00am until we are finished. You may leave at anytime.

How to Donate

  • Write out a check to People First Foundation P.O. BOX 162 Reno NV 89504
  • Have a drop box at your office and collect laundry supplies!
  • Tell a friend to do the same!
 These organizations have partnered with us, we are asking for your organizations support to help 300 families with a months’ worth of laundry supplies:
The City of Reno’s Senior Advisory Board
Doctors Wives of Northern Nevada and Alliance with Washoe County Medical Society
Girl Scouts
Unity Center
Sparks Seven Day Adventist Church
Reno/ Sparks Mormon Church
Wall Mart
University of Nevada Reno Men’s Athletic Department
Pathfinders Children Ministry  The Belvedere Condominiums
This effort takes a combination of $6,140 in monetary contributions and donated laundry supplies to help every 200 families.
Read Courntey’s Inspirationation Story featured from University of Nevada Reno

“We can all use a little help sometimes, especially those who are already helping themselves
with love and commitment” – Courtney Bell

Contact Courtney

Courtney Bell Founder and Executive Director
People First Foundation
P.O. BOX 162
RENO NV 89504
(775) 351-8120
Facebook: People’s First Foundation

The Testimony of Max Bradley: "How I Saved My Life"

As a Personal Trainer and emerging Life Coach / Motivational Speaker, I am always seeking knowledge and inspiration for myself to pass on to my clients, and the lives I influence daily. A major part of my catlyzed process I can attribute to speakers like Tony Robbins, Tara Mohr, Joshua Metcalf, Zig Ziglar, and Eric Thomas (aka ET The Hip Hop Preacher   (to name a few!)
Eric Thomas has had a special effect on me, as he has  “Lit a fire..!” for me with his words of response to my ideas. In his words, he told me “Get it done!” But, I am not the only one who has truly been hammered down by his enthusiasm and powerful words!
Recently, ET released his T.G.I.F. video series featuring a man by the name of Max Bradley entitled “Thank God I Lost Weight”. As soon as I saw Max’s story (via Twitter), I had to get ahold of him. As a fitness professional, and someone looking to bring together an online community of aspiring speakers, Max’s story is powerful! I’ve personally shared it with my clients and family, and want to share it here with you (if you haven’t already seen it!)

Max was kind enough to do an interview to with me to further get his story out there to my viewers in hopes of further inspiring others with his weight loss journey! 

This is what he had to say…


Me: Who are you? How would you define yourself as an individual?

Max: I`m 24 yrs old ,and would describe my self as a outgoing, dedicated, motivated and always striving to be the best person I can be. No matter what I’m doing: from work, to working out, or sports I always want to give and do my best. Love pushing my limits and seeing what possible.

Me: Tell us about your life and goals

Max: I live in Oak Park, Michigan currently. During the day, I work inventory control for a company that liquidates furniture stores, so I get to do a lot of traveling.

My goal is to inspire as many as I can with my story. Eventually I also want to get into personal training and motivational speaking, I know first hand what a lot of people are going through, and definitely feel it’s a callling of mine to help. I also, as a more of a personal goal, want to move out west somewhere and start this journey from there.

Me: What’s your story? Share your struggle…

Max: Well, I was always on the bigger side (never really huge) early in life. I always played sports so that kept me fit in school, but after high school and organized sports, I progressively got bigger and bigger. During the weight gain, I would try diets here and there, and  started doing a little working out; nothing serious.

I  was even offered money to lose weight, I tried to lose weight for girls I liked too, but nothing ever stuck. I was always doing it for the wrong reasons. In July 2011, I weighed in at 295-300 lbs. I was going out for a job in Alexandria, VA. They had this amazing gym and indoor basketball court (gym from the video). I said too myself,  “It’s time to stop living this way. You had your fun, it’s time to man up and change things”.

Me: What was the hardest part about being almost 300 pounds?

Max: I just decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired just like ET said. I knew it was my shot for a better, healthier life was now and I had to run with the opportunity. The hardest part was just looking at my self and being so unhappy with myself; knowing that I did this to myself. I was disgusted. Another hard part was my physical limitations. Not being able to do what my friends were doing because of my size.

Also,  (I never really told this story before because it was the most embarrassing thing of my life), but I went with some friends of mine we waited in line for bout an hour for a ride. When we got there, I couldnt fit in the harness to the ride and had to get off. It was embarassing. All of these things inspired change…

Me: What changes did you make to your eating and workout habits?

Max: I was in the process of quitting pop/soda drinking and eating fast food. Then, I stopped eating fried foods. At the time, I was working about 65 hrs a week, but committed myself to working out after work every night. I also did tons and tons of research on what to eat, what boosts metabolism and started eating the right way.

I started small because I didnt really have a clue on what I was doing. I did this all by myself: no trainer, no nutritionist. So, I went with what I knew didn’t work to determine what I should do. For example, I knew that running on the treadmill killed my knees, so I decided to try the elliptical instead. That process started slow, about a mile at a time. It took me 20 minutes the first time to get that mile in.

I progressively got faster and after 2 weeks of just cardio. I continued to do a lot of my own research on the best type of work outs to do, attempting to find anything that was working for other people. I also watching other people workout at the gym.The bottom line is that I wanted change!


Me: Is being FIT, in your opinion purely physical, or do you feel that it’s mental too?

Max: Being FIT is 90% mental for sure. the physical part of this was nothing compared to the mental hurdles I had to jump over. Your mind is a very, very powerful thing. Without having a clear focus and the right environment, you’re not going to achieve anything you want in life; not just weight loss.


Me: How do you KEEP your weight off?

Max: Keeping the weight is the hardest part.  If you saw ET and Giavanni Ruffin’s HBDYWI Part 1 & 2, after I  lost weight is were my personal part 2 started. Now I`m redefining the grind, by still eating healthy and continuing to workout. If I stray (which everyone does sometimes), I still know I could put in that work!

Also, always switching up routine, and not always going to the gym to work out! I like to take it outside and get creative with what I`m doing so I never get bored. I also always set new goals. Always striving for that perfect you! The only thing I can think to add right now is that I did  is a trainer. I did all the research my self and did not have any expert advice of a trainer or nutritionist; now I want to become an expert! People need to hear my story to help them overcome battles such as mine.

Me: What advice do you have for others looking to acheive a huge weight loss goal, or goal in general?

Max: Don’t be scared to watch others! To me, it’s the best way to find new workouts.  You have to hold your self accountable, and if you eat extra or things you shouldn’t, you gotta put in that extra 10-15 mins in the gym that night no excuses/no days off from not only working out, but living that healthy lifestyle.

For me, after I initially lost weight, I fell into this place of over-confidence because you got all these people telling you how good you look and how amazing you are. With all the attention, I lost track of my goals and felt complacent on where I was at. I  started eating whatever I wanted because I thought I was invincible and shot up 15 lbs quick. That was hard, but I  looked at my self and said “You came this far don’t go backwards now”.

So it was gametime fo rme. I had to not only re-lose weight I gained back, but had to get refocused and really lock it down; which I did. The KEY to all of this is doing it for YOU, because  no one else but your self is going to chose to eat that salad over fast food for you, and only YOU are going to drag your ass to the gym after working 10 hours everyday. When you want nothing more than to lay in bed and pass out, but you do it anyway is when it counts the most.

This goes for most things in life, no ones going to hand you anything you gotta work for it, So once I got back to the gym, I hit it even harder!

Anything you want in life is obtainable by hard focus and determination.

Me: So what are you doing now to further your goals?

Max: Currently still grinding a pushing limits! I am also trying to become a personal trainer and would love to motivational speaking to help others!

Me: Who inspired you to finally make a change?

Max: At the beginning I just started for me, but throughout this process I have found huge influence, and one of the biggest would be my boy ET. Hearing his speeches changed my whole outlook, and really lock down that focus, Also Giavanni Ruffin ! His ambition to succeed is amazing. He is a good role model for hard work,  and seeing what it takes to perfect the you!  Im also a huge skier, I love it with a passion, and my all time favorite skier is Tanner Hall.  He has over come 2 signifigant injuries to where no body thought he’d ever fully recover, but he put in that work through had his road blocks he’s coming back.

Me: You want to become a Personal Trainer now that you’ve lost so much weight & literally saved your own life; what do you want to say to inspire those who are currently struggling with their weight?

Max: I would like to tell you guys your not alone out there, people change their lives for the better all the time, YOU CAN DO THIS!! Keep grinding, stay focused and never, ever let someone tell you you can’t do something. Make sure your doing it whatever it maybe for your self and the right reasons because if your doing it for someone else or the wrong reasons it will never stick.

Throughout your journey you will hit road blocks, might even go backwards, but never let your self get down because one bad meal, one bad work out wont ruin month/yrs of work. So stay positive and hold your self accountable because in the end your only lying to/hurting your self.

So there you have it! To all of my clients & readers, make sure to check Max out on Twitter!

*Disclaimer *
I am in no way affiliated with Eric Thomas or Giavanni Ruffin, or any other name mentioned in this blog, other then looking up to them as motivators and life changers! I am simply using this opportunity to help Max further get his story out via my blog, provide opportunity and knowledge to Max in the fitness and speaking reals through my website, and reach my clientele and 8000 viewers in hopes to motivate them regardless of their current struggle! Links to all websites on here are courtesy links to give credit where it is due.

Inspired By Purpose: Provoking Success in an Ambitious Generation

Hi everyone!

As most of you know, I have an upcoming website that is due to launch in January: Inspired By Purpose. Since we have put out our logo contest, we have been receiving emails asking for clarification on EXACTLY what our website is all about! So, here is the layout of our site, goals, vision, and how we are turning our idea into reality!

What is Inspired By Purpose (IBP)?


An online speaking community for aspiring motivational & public speakers to develop public speaking skills through video and feedback. But, this isn’t just for aspiring speakers! Any entrepreneur or anyone looking for motivation, can gain exposure through not only speaking but also writing, art, and music on our site. 

 What is Our Goal?
Our goal is to provide opportunities to those who are searching for a positive environment to grow in!
Many of you want to grow, but your environment isn’t helping you with that. You’re not sure what do to, where to go, or how to change it, so we want to create a positive space to anyone, anywhere. We are creating an environment that will change the face of our generation!
Our Vision
Develop leaders through peer review and feedback of videos, create opportunity for interns and other developing leaders to be featured, and encourage you through your process by spreading motivation through our speaking engagements! We aspire to create an environment for all young people to pursue dreams without limitations! No matter what your passion, you can use your gifts to make a career and great life for yourself! We’re aiming for the top, and we want to share our insight and resources with you! It’s all about building each other up!

What is Your Benefit?
There is no better place to come together then with like-minded people who have ambitions and high aspirations for themselves & their lives! We know it can be hard to find, so this site is your community!
You will get mentorship, answers to questions, career and life questions, network with like-minded people, gain support & inspiration during your growth process; as well as get exposure for your craft, and peer review on your work. 
How did this Idea Develop?

We see that there’s a HUGE need for positive environments to be created for our generation because we are the ones personally living it! We are young and on our journey too, and we developed this site to support one another through the process of growth in our goals, and encourage you to do the same. It is possible! Too many people sit back waiting for something to happen, but we are proof that you can make it happen!

I personally, have had many affirmations in my life this last year that I am being called to motivational speaking; as well as consulting and career development. Thanks to Eric Thomas aka ET THE HIP HOP PREACHER and his feedback to an email  I sent him about my ideas, and inspiring lives of others; this idea has come to manifestation. Eric (as busy as he is), graciously emailed me back with some advice, and told me to “Get on it!” From there, I have taken my idea and visions and have been running full throddle!

In recent months, I have joined forces with my partner and friend, Martin Lewis who is extremely dedicated, and has the same visions as I do. Through our partnership we have been able to catalyze this process, merge our ideas, and to deliver this site to you! This is our passion, and what we feel called to do. As we transition our lives from the corporate world, to our gift and calling, we realize that we also need development in this area. We also will use the website for our own development, and to fine tune our gifts; while helping our generation realize that instant gratification is not possible for successful people! We must all WORK at it.

Current Contest
Logo Contest!  We are looking for artists, graphic designers, and creative minds to develop our logo and be featured on our site for an indefinite period of time! Please follow us on Twitter & Facebook for detailed guidelines, submission information, and a printable flyer!

LIKE US: Inspired By Purpose (Community Page)
The time is always NOW!
Don’t worry about the HOW, just keep faith that you are called for a purpose.
Feedback is welcomed through Blogger comments & contact info provided. Only serious inquiries will be reviewed.

Motivation: We All Need It

Every day that I encounter people, I pass by them in the grocery store, talk with someone on the phone, listen to conversations, watch people workout, and even see how people interact with each other; I realize one thing – We all need motivation!

Haven’t you experienced it? You smile at someone, but all they do is look down and keep walking? Or youlisten to someone complaining all the time about every situation that goes wrong in their life? Or maybe you are at the gym, and you see the person who only attends classes and darts out the door after because they need some personal motivation?

We can all agree that we live in a world where nothing comes easy, and bad things do happen to good people. Despite the bad things that happen, there are always good things that happen too. Often times, the good is all in our perception.

For example,

Eric Thomas (Author, Lifecoach and Motivational Speaker) used an example in his book The Secrets to Success of a time when he ran away from home, and how his perception of school changed almost instantly. He said:

“Just three days ago the only reason I wanted to be in school was for the girls, field trips, or a pep rally. Now I couldn’t wait fo rthe doors to open. I needed to get out of the cold and get into a place where I felt safe.”  p 35

It’s amazing how the same circumstance we perceive in our emotional self to feel “good” or “bad” to us depends on our mental state of being, our needs, and our maturity. So the next time something “bad” happens to you, think about WHY you perceive that as bad. What is it about the occurence that doesn’t make you feel good? That is, WHY you don’t feel good about it.

All of us have our struggles, our series of life events that hinder us and try to keep us down, but I`m telling you that YOU have more control then you think! Too many people accept that they are merely depressed, have bad luck, they’ll always be broke, or nothing will ever go right for them. This is false and negative talk!

Whatever it is that you’re struggling with stay inspired. Find things and surround yourself with people who life you up every single day!


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. DaLai Lama

Healthy State of Mind

Keeping a healthy state of mind is absolutely critical to success in performance demands on every level, in every aspect of life. You’ve heard the phrase “Attitude is Everything!” Well, it is!

In a world of high energy performance demands in every field, a full schedule can quickly become chaotic without proper planning on a physical and mental level.


You’ve heard the saying that all activity is 90% mental and only 10% physical, well that’s true! It’s true of athletes, and it’s also true for you. Whether you have a tedious desk job in which you must pay close attention to numbers and detail, or your have a physically demanding job of a construction worker or physical trainer, you must be mentally prepped and rejuvinated each and every day.


How does one go about attaining a healthy state of mind?

The answer is simple – Make the choice.

As easy as it may sound, it really is that easy! Only you hold the power over controlling your thoughts. It’s extremely important to mentally train yourself to reroute your thinking when your mind becomes filled with doubt and negativity. Make a concious effort to replace negative with positive. When it comes down to it, your key is GRATITUDE. Be thankful even in the most difficult situations. As hard as that may seem, if you are living then you still have a purpose!

What are some practices to help train my mind toward positive thinking?

  • Meditation
  • Prayer / Spiritual Feeding
  • Silence
  • Journaling
  • Affirmations / Guided Imagery
  • Reading

How can I put what I learn in to practice?

Start with a focus and practice! Practice requires action not thought! In other words, put your thoughts in to action!

Become really good at the first practice that feels good to you (you’re more likely to follow through with incorporating it in to your daily routine). Then, continue to build and set goals for yourself each week. Continue incorporating “you time”, “family time”, “friend time”, “God time” every single day. We all know that work is a given. Particularly if you’re in a position in your job or career that you don’t like, make sure you emphasize your gratitude in the areas that tend to give you the most anxiety.

Practice these things, and soon you will find open doorways that will lead you to a more fulfilled position, whether personally or professionally or BOTH!

What can I do on a physical level to reroute my thinking?

Exercise! This is a no-brainer here. We all know that exercise is good for our health in our functional, everyday lives. You do not need train like an athlete to benefit from exercise (though some of us strive for that level anyways)! It can be as little as taking walks, or as physical as competition in a sport. The main thing is to keep your body in motion! Bodies in motion stay in motion!
Nutrition! Proper eating and water intake is aboslutely essential to functionability of the human body. You can not expect to mentally focus or function at a high capacity if you neglect your physical needs to operate at optimum energy levels. The same holds true in reverse – You cannot function optimally on a physical level if you do not have the right state of mind.

How do I identify where I need improvement?

That answer is simple – ask those around you. Trust me! People will be willing to offer constructive feeback if you are open to it. Don’t have a great support system? Hire a coach or find a willing mentor who has your best interest in mind. This person should be someone emotionally neutral to you (in most cases), and someone of the caliber of success you wish to achieve. This person is your go to person (or people), and can help you identify areas of struggle that conflict with your success and state of a healthy mind. This person can and should also teach you valuable lessons about how to construct a better support system of indivuals around you. Even if you do have an excellent support system, a coach / mentor is still a good idea for unbias feedback!


What are some resources I can explore?



Most of you know I read a lot! I am also in to seminars, webinars, and watching speakers. When I`m really busy, I turn to audio CDs or YouTube clips in my car during commute times. No matter what you turn to in your quest for knowledge, give yourself options. Circumstances are rarely, if ever ideal! Make it work.

A few of my personal top favorites recently:
The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Who – Bob Beaudine
The Travelors Gift – Andy Andrews
It’s Your Time – Joel Osteen
The Bible – God
(Check out his mixtape & also his book! I`m a huge fan)
(Also check out his affirmations & guided imagery iPod/iPhone apps!)

What’s the most important part of a healthy mind?

The most important part of having a healthy state of mind is believing that a healthy mind, is just as important as having a healthy body. The truth is that no outer transformation will ever be lasting or fulfilling without inner growth and tranformation coinciding.
Get healthy and decide that a healthy state of mind is essential! Make the choice.
Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.
 – Earl Nightingale

Kindness: Not so Random

Today I lead a busy day, like most every other day, but found myself touched by a specific individual I didn’t even know. After an early and filled day with clientele at the gym, I headed off to go teach at City Hall downtown Reno for the Shape Up Program I’ve had the pleasure of being a major part of.

When people love us even in the shadows of our darkness,
they shine on to us their light…

On my way I decided to stop at Walgreens to buy some cold water for the hot outdoor bootcamp about to take place! On my way in, I noticed a young man who was covered in dirt and a somber look on his face. He was probably about 20-25 years old. As I passed him, I smiled and couldn’t help but think about him when I got into Walgreens. I looked around for something to buy him, and felt lost. I didn’t want to offend him, but wanted to help at the same time. I decided on Trident gum (I know he hasnt brushed his teeth), Gatorade (every man loves the red kind), water, and mixed nuts (high in caloric density).

As I walked out, he politely aqsked me if I had a dollar to give him to catch the bus. I informed him that I did not have cash, but instead handed him the bag telling him I purchased those things for him. He seemed taken back before he looked at me square in the eyes, and I could see the person underneath the filthy external appearance and the unapproachable demeanor I saw when I walked in to the store. He thanked me. I said “you’re welcome” as I walked only a short distance to my car. Looking back at him, I watched a college-aged couple throw a quarter at him and heard it bounce to the ground; obviously in the most demeaning and cynical way. The young man did not say anything, but instead went to pick up the quarter silently. I felt horrible for him. My heart could not let me just rush off to teach my class; even though I had only 15 minutes left to get there and set up.

So, I found a receipt in my car, and wrote down a website that I felt could inspire this young man. WWW.ETINSPIRES.COM. One of my favorite motivational speakers and life coaches that was once himself homeless. I walked back to the young man and told him of the website, and that I was unsure of his present situation, but that I also know what it’s like to be alone and down and out. In fact, I was once myself “homeless” living in a motel in Reno trying to pursue my destiny. Again, he seemed shocked.

At this point, he couldn’t look me in the eye. Emotions surfaced, as he tried to surpress them, and all he could do was thank me. He asked what this guy Eric Thomas does. I told him that he was a speaker and life coach who has overcome struggle, and has personally helped me see my life more clearly. He assured me he would “check it out”. I walked away feeling sadenned, and wanting more time with him. However, I knew it wasn’t the time or place. I can’t save the world, but I can only plant a seed.

As I drove off, I watched the young man’s gaze follow me all the way down the block. I didn’t even get his name, but somehow I know I have to have had an impact. And guess what? Even though I was running late for my set up, not one single person showed up on time today. Nope! Not even the director Andy Bass, named 1 of 100 Most Influential People in Reno! He always helps me set up for my class. This tells me that this was no “coincidence.”

Maybe taking a few extra minutes even though I was running late could be strong enough to save his life. You just never know where God will place you, and I believe it’s our duty to act when he feel our heart strings being tugged on.

Now, I`m not using this story to boast or to say that you should give to every needy person you encounter because that is impossible. What I am saying it that is so important for us to recognize life outside of ourselves, and help others in need. The more you give the more you get! But, do not give expecting anything in return.

Today my heart was truly touched as a young man was willing to listen to me, allow me to help nourish him (even temporarily), and even in the hardest of situations that he seemed to be encountering, he trusted me enough or was desperate enough to reveal some emotions to me. For anyone who knows anyone down and out or on the street, this is a difficult barrier to break more often then not.

Imagine if our community of people all helped plant a seed one life at a time. Could you imagine the turn around in the poverty and the depressing nature of someone struggling? I can see it…

My life today was put in perspective by a young man who doesn’t even know my name. I think he helped me more then I helped him. I helped him on his path, and he helped me on mine…



When our path is lit, we can gain confidence
in the journey of our destination knowing that
our path leads to somewhere beautiful.

Is your life in perspective?

Act as if what you do matters because it does! YOU have the ability to change lives! To save lives! To live your life fully and your dreams.
It all starts with sowing into the lives of others…

Strong People: Finding the Value in Self Care

Self Care…

A topic of discussion typically only among the weak or misguided in life right? Wrong. Too many times have I heard “strong people” make mention of “sucking it up”, “just doing it” and “grinding 24/7/365”. My goal today is to help you draw an educated conclusion on practices of self care, how to integrate self care into your hectic schedule, and help you find the value.


Afterall, the way you care about yourself will flow in to the way others believe you care about them…

What is Self Care?

When many think of self care, they think of luxuries or pampering. While luxuries and pampering may sometimes play a role in self care, it is necessary to realize that luxury will not help you long term and is only a temporary relief.

In my research, I found two definitions of self care that I most associate my own persoanl care with:

  • ” One’s understanding and behavior that helps to build a healthy mind, body and spirit for himself and others.”  – Mark Gibson MA, CSMC
  • “Self care is personal health maintenance. It is any activity of an individual, family or community, with the intention of improving or restoring health, or treating or preventing disease.”


  • I was personally taught that for women self care meant getting your hair done, nails done, massages or other luxuries of indulgence; while for men self care meant time away from the kids, a six pack of beer, blasting music in the car, and watching ESPN. You know, just “not caring for awhile”. Well, self care is just the opposite of not caring – it’s caring! While there is not necessarily anything wrong with indulging from time to time in luxury, or “lazy activities”, it is important to recognize that these behaviors are not self care behaviors. Which leads me to my next point of interest…

How Do We Practice Self Care & What Are Considerations?


  • Set a Focus – First and foremost,  you must set a focus for yourself. You are using your self care time to focus on your specific needs. What is it that’s bothering you? Stressing you out? What needs to be addressed? Is it primarily physical pains, emotional pain or just recurring stress that keep running through your mind? Depending on your needs and priority, you will then determine your self care practice. For instance, if your body is aching perhaps your self care if yoga. On the other hand if your entire life seems to play in fast forward, maybe you just need silence.
  • Timing – It’s imporant to make self-care a priority, not optional. Choose a daily time to practice your self-care and plan accordingly. Self care is just that – by yourself!
  • Location – Your location should be serene and free of distractions. Turn your cell phone on silent, and eliminate interruptions. If you’re practicing self care admist chaos, you will not reap the benefits. Choose your room, car, a park or any place you are free from others.
  • Prayer / Meditation – Allow yourself quite time to be with your thoughts, reflect on your day and allow your own spiritual growth to flourish. This may mean prayer, meditation, mental training techniques or simple silence.
  • Exercise / Physical Activity – Exercise and moving is a great way to preserve your temple, get your endorphins flowing, feel good, and develop confidence in yourself both internally and externally. However in excess, some of us (I have been guilty!), spend ALL of our self care in the gym. This can lead to unhealthy mental behaviors especially in a hectic schedule. Yes, I am a Personal Trainer who said spending ALL of your alone time in the gym can potentially be unhealthy long-term. It is extremely important to find a balance of hard work, and true rest.
  • Affirmations / Goal Setting – This is a great way to affirm within your being exactly WHO YOU ARE. This practice can be great in helping you determine your imbalances, as well as staying focused on the positive. Setting aside time for your goals, visions, dreams and building confidence on a mental level will help you feel better about all aspects of your life.
  • Read / Write – Anything of your choice. Studying an area of passion or interest can also be a self care practice. Reading or writing can also help you feel connected with something marvelous; while being disengaged from the world your perceive around you. You can explore new thought processes and ideas for yourself, or just simply relax.

I hope you can realize that strength comes from disciplining yourself enough to listen to not just the chaos, but also the silence…

Remember! No one else will want to care for you unless you care for yourself. In the same light, you cannot care rightfully for another if you don’t first take care of yourself!

Living: Dreams, Purpose, Calling (A Tribute to T.O.)


Just a simple thing filled with much complexity.

We live in pursuit of becoming whomever it is that we’re meant to be, and we set goals in order to progress to another level. These are called our dreams.

Some of us know our calling from the time we can think, others of us discover our calling through processes and exeriences of hardships, and losses. Some of us never even get the chance… Or maybe we do, but we just wait too long to bless others with our gifts. Our lifespan is unknown, so we must make the best of each and every day. Through recent loss of my friend today, I believe that my calling is to connect and communicate with people to serve them in love through inspiration. This is the purpose of this blog…

Today’s Story:

Through several series of events seemingly unrelatable (but all too connected), I have been affirmed of my purpose and calling. That is, to inspire and to love on people. In the last  24 hours, two of my close friends have lost their dearest friends, and I have also lost my friend.

Through heartache, I have realized the innate confusion of death and desire for love. Every single one of us desires to know our purpose. When death strikes, the question of reality, afterlife, and purpose resignates. As we grieve, we realize that not only is life a process, but so is death.

In experiencing these two deaths I have closer bonded with the best friends of these two young men whom are my friends that I absolutely love. TO (who you read about in my last blog), lost his battle to cancer today. The other young man, 30 years old also, was murdered in his home. Both tragic and piercing to the core. I have seen first hand the toll it’s taken on the best friends of these men – my friends. In a desperate yearning to be there and take away some pain, it has been made clear to me that we are all interconnected for a greater purpose.

As humans, we have a strong desire for connections with others, and usually experience our strongest connections in the roughest of times. When we connect we learn the dreams of others and are able to develop a passion to carry on their name and legacy. Through loss comes a burning desire fueled by pain to “do something”.

The point? Your life matters. Every connection you welcome, every time you outwardly communicate a goal, every attempt toward success, every person you reach out to, everything that you give back –  it all matters. BUT there is more than that. Just because you are pursuing your dreams and work toward a goal does not mean that you’re living. To live doesn’t mean that you’re alive.

What are your connections? Your experiences? What are you going to do with them? Don’t sit around “bored” with your life. And, do not sit around wasting your health! If you are healthy it is a gift. My friend T.O. fought every day for years to regain health. Do not waste your body with poisons, toxins and addictions. Whether it’s food or drugs or alcohol. Take care of yourself the best you can.  Your body is a temple. There is someone fighting for their life right now wishing they had the opportunity that you have to get out and make a difference. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally in the lives of others.

There are people losing their battles. DEATH – something we have not experienced so it is scary. Not only is it scary, but it is also certain. At some point, we will all experience it. My friend TO did today, and his connection with everyone who knew him was so strong, that a little bit of each person died with him too… I see a burning fire that is ready to explode and help others suffering. All suffering are about to find a way to keep his legacy alive & spread his life message. He made sure his life meant something to others. It certainly meant something to me.

T.O. had the ability to connect with others he barely knew to help leave a positive impact in their lives. He benefited nothing from this except that it was just in his nature to care for others. Even while he was the one struggling, he offered care and support to others needing encouragement. To me, he offered not only kind words, love and support, but also connections with others. The loss of him today is bittersweet. His physical suffering is now over, and his spirit is free. Yet, the ones who loved him will miss him very dearly. While we do not understand the purpose behind his death at a young age, we do understand his message. I speak for myself, and all of his friends and family that will be using his legacy to make a difference for others suffering. When lived right, one life affects many.

 “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!”
– Eric Thomas (aka ET the Hip Hop Preacher)

Do not wait. Live your life as if it means something, and take your connections seriously. Reach out in love and be there for those who need it. MAKE YOUR LIFE COUNT.

Follow Up / Action

TO’s website to give is still active to support his family with outstanding medical bills. Please share and give as your heart is convicted of. I also ask that you continue prayer for his family.

Direct Links:

Edgar Ter-Oganessian  “T.O.” – Gone but not Forgotten (GIVE FORWARD) 

T.0. Video Clip: Using Social Media to Pay Medical Bills

Former FSU Lineman Battles Cancer

Two Former College Football Players Unite Through Shared Rare Cancer

Dying to Live: A Published Article on T.O. in Progressive Greek Magazine

FACEBOOK : Friends Against Cancer

“My life life might be cut short but, damn… I lived! And hot damn Im living! It’s an art”
-Edgar Ter-Oganessian “T.O.”
(as quoted by a close friend)

Development : It NEVER Stops

Today I was coached by a person of greater success then I on things that I need to work on in the way I document my business. I couldn’t help to feel not only held accountable for my work, but also inspired by the blunt nature of the approach this person took. I was not discouraged by the coaching, but rather encouraged  because I know I am heading for the next level.

You see, even if you are recognized as “the best” at what you do, or in your current position, being the best does absolutely nothing to ensure you remain the best. You see, greatness is a process. Greatness is NOT a desitination.


Development is the main course of action taken toward any form of success or greatness. Without active development, thoughts and ideas are irrelevant. It is necessary to continue development, education, and becoming an overall better person if you wish to have a competitive edge or respected position.

So what are some things you must focus on during development?

  • Goal acheivement

Obviously, you must first have goals in order to acheive them. So go write out your professional goals, and develop an action plan on how to acheive them.

  • Organization

If you wish to reference improvements and measure success you must be organized. Being organized, despite popular belief, is a skill not a personality trait. Get yourself organized and streamlines to easily navigate your must-haves for your processes of your development stages.

  • Time Management

This is key. If you mismanage your time, you will never be able to complete your tasks or properly prioritize your scheduling. Get yourself a calendar, and schedule in all of your weekly priorities first. Thereafter, you can schedule in lesser priortiy tasks. This is a sure-fire way to make time for your development in an unchaotic manner.

  • Paying Attention to Tedious Details

Details are the trace elements that are essential for professional development, and most often overlooked. In any profession, documentation is a great example of how we measure successes, trends, statistics, and overall progress. Documentation is essential.

  • Education

This is a no brainer. If you are not educated in your profession, you will not be respected. Educate yourself as much as possible to ensure success of you and your team.

  • Perfect Practice!

We all make mistakes along the way, but with proper time management, organization, paid attention, and goals in mind we can begin to practice our profession in a perfect manner. Every single action we experience should serve to be perfect and contributory.

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”