Health Raiser Spotlight: Tony

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 5 minutes

You never know who’s watching you, but you should live like someone always is. This week’s Health Raiser, Tony (aka The Goat), understands the importance of setting a healthy example. As a former personal trainer and now Vice President of a health and fitness club, Tony has a lot of eyes on him. He’s acutely aware of the impact he can have on his colleagues, the gym members and his loved ones, so he lives each day with the utmost integrity. This Health Raiser wants you to know that you, too, harness the power to influence others in a positive way. Inspiring those around you may be exactly the motivation you need to stay healthy and positive for yourself.

Raise Health with Tony

What does health mean to you?

Health means to live life freely, fully, fearlessly and without being hindered by internal, physical or psychological limitations. Some people view health as simply their weight or body fat composition. To me, it must encompass your mental state, as well. Many people abuse health and turn this lifestyle into something devastating over the long term – not only for themselves, but for the loved ones around them. To be truly healthy is to be healthy from within, which will project out into everything you do. A healthy way of living should inspire others, because it comes from a positive place within your heart and soul; it is not built upon a foundation of egotistical bricks.

What inspired you to start living a healthy life?

My inspiration to live the healthy lifestyle came from my extensive sports background. When I was younger, I played collegiate football and ran strength and conditioning camps during the summer for teenagers. Post-college, I became one of the top Personal Training Directors in the country for LA Fitness.

My drive to become even healthier has grown exponentially in 2015, because of coworkers, fellow gym-goers, friends and family being inspired to push forward and better themselves from my example. Emails and messages came in as people started to watch me create a routine of success through my workouts, reading and eating healthy foods. I wanted to show others you can live a healthy lifestyle, regardless of the workload you carry. I’m currently a Vice President with LA Fitness and continue to dedicate time and energy to living this way.

My message has always been if you want something badly enough, you can always make time for it. It starts with a decision, and then through discipline and follow-through, you can accomplish anything. I push forward for those who have started watching my path. I push forward to give strength to those who want to give up. I push forward for those who have not yet begun but will because of me.

What are three things you do to stay healthy?

  1. I strength train 5 – 6 days per week, changing up my routines frequently to keep my body guessing and make working out fun and not a task.
  2. I eat 6 – 7 times throughout the day to keep my metabolism going and energy levels as high as possible.
  3. I wake up each day and perform a morning meditation of sorts. Before the day officially begins, I dedicate 20 minutes to focusing on myself. This usually involves a form of positive energy flow into my being. It could be as simple as fasted cardio or jump roping while listening to motivational videos.

Starting your day with positive messages will help ensure your day flows with that same good energy. This meditation method, along with daily goal setting, has taken my success to new heights in everything I do.

What is one motivational quote you live by?

My dad once told me, “Son, play now, pay later; pay now, play later.” This stuck with me. When I think about how so many young teens and adults give no second thought to what they eat and drink, the excess of negative things consumed will eventually create major health consequences. These consequences include anything from illness at an early age to physically not being able to do fun activities with loved ones later in life. It all stems from poor decisions. Those who take care of their bodies in their early years will be the parents and grandparents who are able to enjoy trips and outdoor activities with the next generation. These people will likely have far less health risks and hospital visits. These people will be truly enjoying life during those golden years!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what Vitacost product could you not live without?

OH YEAH! Victory Bars, preferably Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my go-to. If I’m ever super busy at work and need a snack throughout the day, these are my prime choice. I also typically have one before every workout, because of the great carb, protein and fat content. I could literally survive on an island with these!

What advice do you have for someone who is trying to live healthier? 

My advice is to first write out the reasons why you want to become healthier, so you physically see it. Next, write down what would be different about your life once you achieve the state of health in which you want. After that, it’s all about goal setting and small victories along the journey. Your goals should fit comfortably within your weekly routine that you can maintain long term. You’ll be making a true lifestyle change; not a quick fix, or something you drop just a few months later. Find the perfect balance, which allows you to be in a great state mentally, physically and spiritually.

Is there a role model you look up to? 

I look up to Eric Thomas, the motivational speaker. I met him in Detroit while I was overseeing that region for LA Fitness. His motivational videos catapulted not only my work career, but my health and fitness lifestyle years ago. He sent me a personalized video at the start of 2015 to go from great to untouchable. This inspired me to no end!

A month later, he and I met for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel in Michigan and swapped stories. He’s someone who was homeless at one point and dropped out of school. He’s now arguably considered the #1 motivational speaker in the U.S. He went on to earn not only a Masters but a Doctorate from Michigan State University. His story proves that you can become whatever you dream to be if you want it badly enough. It doesn’t matter where you start; all that matters is where you’re headed. “Be phenomenal or be forgotten,” as Eric Thomas would say.