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Tuesday Power Up / Best or Nothing



There are those of you who out there who only give your best when it seems likes the “right opportunity”. You continue to only give 70% or 80% and you never go 120 all the time. I need you to stop that today and make a choice to be excellent everyday in all that you do. What you fail to realize is there is no other way to greatness except giving 120% effort at all times. From this day forward I need you to give your best or nothing !!

“Whatever your hand find to do, do with ALL your might.”

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cc: Dr. Eric Thomas

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Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

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Coach D: As A Man Thinketh



Join motivational speaker and trainer, Coach D as he encourages individuals to transform their thinking, stay inspired and create direction to make their goals a reality.

Coach D is not your average coach in Dallas. In fact, when he was 12 years old, he built his own weight set exemplifying his passion and love for fitness. From a young age through college, he saw sports as a way to create change within his life. Early on, Coach D not only had an outstanding work ethic, but he used his circumstances to develop his “make an excuse or make a way mentality.” Today, he uses this mindset of athletic distinction and excellence overall to inspire others. Despite facing many challenges and growing up in poverty, Coach D is now an accredited trainer and motivational speaker, where is has been able to motivate, produce, and train many people which includes, multiple NFL players, professional boxers and lacrosse players. Inspired to help create positive change in the world, Coach D brings his latest book, As A Man Thinketh: 30 Days To Jumpstarting Your Success.

“Jumpstarting your success in 30 days is possible, if you believe and push to make it happen. Your life is in your hands.” – Coach D 

In this ever-changing world full of triumphs and tribulations, advancements and distractions people are often searching within for their true purpose. Each person has a unique gift and divine calling on their life. However, it is difficult for individuals to delve deeper into what can be fully accomplished if the mind, body, and soul are not fully aligned. It is time to move pass just realizing your goals; it is time to surpass those goals.

“It is my main goal to be a mentor in everything I do,” says Coach D. “You have to be an example first. The key is to be purpose driven, because at the end of the day you have to have fulfillment which comes from your purpose.”

Coach D is a Dallas based author, mentor and motivational speaker. Inspired by his life’s journey, Coach D aims to motivate both men and women of all ages to embrace the challenges of life and take the leap into the next phase to jumpstart their success.

With his latest book, As A Man Thinketh: 30 days To Jumpstarting Your Success, he provides readers with a practical 30-day guide designed to help each individual reach their personal goals and aspirations. Through Coach D’s unique exhilarating style, his book depicts an inspirational journey for optimal self-analysis through the means of commitment and intrinsic motivation. Each day tackles different tasks and topics from surpassing obstacles and establishing a winning mindset to showing readers how to actively plan out their goals to achieve success in all circumstances.

“I love adversity. I don’t run from it. It makes you who are at the end of the day.” – Coach D

Coach D grew up in Fort Worth, Texas where is grandmother raised him. His mother gave birth to him at age 16, and later gave him up to his grandmother at two years old. With his mother out of the picture and his father in and out of prison, he sought guidance from his grandmother and found direction and father figures in his coaches. Regardless of the many challenges he faced growing up in the projects, he credits his mindset of “make an excuse or make a way” and his success to the lessons his grandmother taught him.

Coach D now uses his platform to further impact the lives around him as he travels speaking at events and mentoring anyone in need. He strives to change the environment around him by teaching the next generation core values and through divine principles. “My overall mission in life is to make an impact on society beyond the gym,” said Coach D.

Within the last few months, Coach D launched his 90 for 90 video series via social media. The series provides individuals with the unique opportunity to be motivated and inspired each day regardless of location or time constraints. For Coach D, the 90 for 90 series is a way of extending himself and his core values to those who are in need of guidance and motivation.

Every day, Coach D strives to use his gifts to create opportunities for others. Most recently, he founded two nonprofit organizations, Jacob and Sons and The P.A.K. Institute. Specifically, Jacob and Sons is a program designed to bridge the gap between fathers and sons to help build the bond of fatherhood in communities through various activities.

In the future, he plans to continue to publish inspirational books under the As a Man Thinketh series to help provide readers with daily guidance. Coach D is also set to release his autobiography and a series of children’s books in fall 2018.

“In this world of instant gratification, I will not promise instant change, but I will promise that if they follow the instructions that I’ve been given to give to them they will be different in some way,” says Coach D. “There is never a conclusion to our growth since life is always ever changing.”


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Mental Health

Dealing with Criticism and Difference In Opinion




We often become emotionally disturbed during a disagreement, or an argument, or when someone criticizes us or disagrees with us. In such cases our personality usually feels hurt, demeaned and in danger.

When we feel this way, we destroy our own happiness, clarity and health and often behave in ways which we later regret.

A simple technique for gaining clarity is to:

1. Remember that concerning criticism, there are two possibilities:

a. The other person might be correct in his or her observations and criticism. In this case we would benefit by admitting it and making the proper adjustment in our behavior. We have everything to gain by listening and evolving through others’ comments.

What prevents us is the belief that we are not lovable if we are not perfect. Thus, we do not want to see or admit our faults. When we realize that we are worthy of love and respect even when we are not perfect or right, then we will be able to look at our faults.

b. The other person might be wrong. In this case, it is his or her projection, and we need not be affected by these misconceptions or projections. We have in this case the lesson of loving ourselves and also the others even when they perceive us in distorted and negative ways.

2. One solution would be simply not to react one way or the other at first, but to reflect upon what has been said for some time so as to evaluate whether or not it is true.

We can establish a space in our minds where we can store such questions about our personality structure or actions so as to observe objectively for ourselves if they are true. If they are not, then we simply continue on in the way we were.

We need not feel hurt, angry, defend ourselves, prove ourselves, or attack. When we feel inner security and self-worth, we do not need to react in these ways.

3. We can simply thank the other for this feedback and tell him or her that we will think about this observation and will gradually come to our conclusions, and if necessary, make changes.

We do not need to live our lives in accordance with others’ perceptions. We can listen to all, but follow ourselves.


A “thank you” is enough.

(Adapted from the “The Psychology of Happiness” by Robert Najemy)

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Mental Health

The Challenge and Stigma of Mental Health Disorders Amongst Family



mental health stigma

Having a family member that is suffering a mental health disorder can be taxing at times. Depending on the severity of the disorder, many families have been broken up because of this. Some of them can be blamed on the lack of love or patience a family member can bestow. Some just cannot handle the pressure and others just cannot take the shame.

But if the people around a person with a mental health disorder feels awkward, then what about what the actual person with the disorder feels? Many or most of these people are too afraid or ashamed to share their disorder with other people because they fear being ridiculed or judged.

Even as seeing a psychiatrist or taking mental health disorder medicines are commonplace nowadays, many people still distrust a person with a mental health problem; they feel that they are too unstable and unpredictable. Fearing what they do not know, this ignorance causes more depression and damage to a person with a mental health disorder.

Getting Over the Fear

What mental health disorder patients want is for them to be considered as normal people. Only that they need more compassion, understanding and kindness. Treat a mental health disorder afflicted person the same way as you would anyone, this would make him or her feel more normal.

As they feel more accepted and happy, they increase the chance of becoming normal. Also, be prepared; learn about the disorder that has afflicted your family or friend. Know the symptoms so you can be prepared as well.

For the patient, learn and try to accept your condition, do not be afraid of what people will say, open up your condition to them. If they can’t take it then they’re not worth it. Remember that there are many people with mental health disorder; some are not just as obvious. Hold your head up high and live with dignity.

Steps to cope with stigma (via Mayo Clinic)

Here are some ways you can deal with stigma:

  • Get treatment. You may be reluctant to admit you need treatment. Don’t let the fear of being labeled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief by identifying what’s wrong and reducing symptoms that interfere with your work and personal life.
  • Don’t let stigma create self-doubt and shame. Stigma doesn’t just come from others. You may mistakenly believe that your condition is a sign of personal weakness or that you should be able to control it without help. Seeking counseling, educating yourself about your condition and connecting with others who have mental illness can help you gain self-esteem and overcome destructive self-judgment.
  • Don’t isolate yourself. If you have a mental illness, you may be reluctant to tell anyone about it. Your family, friends, clergy or members of your community can offer you support if they know about your mental illness. Reach out to people you trust for the compassion, support and understanding you need.
  • Don’t equate yourself with your illness. You are not an illness. So instead of saying “I’m bipolar,” say “I have bipolar disorder.” Instead of calling yourself “a schizophrenic,” say “I have schizophrenia.”
  • Join a support group. Some local and national groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), offer local programs and internet resources that help reduce stigma by educating people who have mental illness, their families and the general public. Some state and federal agencies and programs, such as those that focus on vocational rehabilitation and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), offer support for people with mental illness.
  • Get help at school. If you or your child has a mental illness that affects learning, find out what plans and programs might help. Discrimination against students because of a mental illness is against the law, and educators at primary, secondary and college levels are required to accommodate students as best they can. Talk to teachers, professors or administrators about the best approach and resources. If a teacher doesn’t know about a student’s disability, it can lead to discrimination, barriers to learning and poor grades.
  • Speak out against stigma. Consider expressing your opinions at events, in letters to the editor or on the internet. It can help instill courage in others facing similar challenges and educate the public about mental illness.

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Karen Civil, Live Civil, Black Fitness Today





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