Enjoying The Journey: Fitness and Lifestyle



Year after year the same problem exists for many people: they just don’t have the time to work out and focus on getting healthier. There always seems to be an excuse and fast food and junk food seem to be easier options these days. I’m here to tell you that there are “easy” ways to get into shape and stay away from bad food choices.  I’m no expert, but I’ve had success in achieving my fitness and lifestyle goals (I dislike the word “diet”).  First off, you have to evaluate what your goals are going to be (that’s right, goals). Having goals will get you to where you want to be. If you don’t set goals, then you’re going to end up disorganized, and ultimately, you won’t be achieving your fitness and lifestyle goals.


So, where should you begin? You should start by figuring out what kind of working out that you want to do. There are several options that you can choose from: do you want to add muscle like a bodybuilder, or do you prefer to be lean and toned? Now, how many days do you plan on working out? Three times a week, five times a week, or 6-7 times a week?


The next step in your fitness and lifestyle journey is to decide how you’re going to work out. Again, there are several options. There are various gyms that you can go to, but also consider working out at home. Everyone has their preference on where they would like to work out, but working out at home has a lot of benefits. I’ve experimented with working out at gyms, but nothing compares to working out at home. First off, you don’t have to worry about membership fees, and you can exercise in the comfort of your home without anyone watching your every move (literally). One of the best at home workout programs out there is P90x. I’ve completed the P90x program, as well as P90x+ and P90x2 with success. If P90x is not your type of workout, there’re tons of other workout programs out there. I’m a big fan of beachbody.com they have something for everyone that will fit your needs during your fitness and lifestyle journey. Also, there are a lot of apps if you prefer to workout from your phone. FitStar is a program that I’ve been using recently, and it’s an excellent program. The main thing to take away from here is to commit to something, and stick to the plan no matter what! Scientific studies have proven that if you stick to a habit (in this case, working out) for 21 days, you’ll do it without even thinking about it, and it will become a part of your daily routine.


One of the most integral parts of your fitness and lifestyle journey is what you eat. Admittingly, this was the hardest part for me (and at times, I struggle with this a bit). This was not easy for me, and I researched the heck out of what I should be eating. The tricky part is that everyone is different, and there is no “one size fits all” eating menu. It’s just not realistic, and you’re going to have to see what fits in your daily life and be prepared for a whole lot of ups and downs with this one. Once you get this down, along with your workout routine, you’re going to be unstoppable. Have fun with this side of your journey, and it’s ok if you eat “bad” more often than you eat “right.” Just remember that you can always turn it around, and get back on track. With the holidays upon us, it may be a challenge to eat the right things but pick your battles. If you know that you’re going to eat a lot during the holidays, set yourself up for success beforehand with working out and eating right a few days before you go all out.


Working out and eating right can be an uphill battle, but with determination and the motivation to change things in your life, you can expect to see incredible results. Don’t tackle all of this at once. Take it one day at a time, and go at your pace. Before you know it, you’ll be telling someone else about your journey, and helping them along with theirs.



Not Giving Up: Abigail Rich

Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography
Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography


It takes a lot of hard work to achieve certain goals in life, but hard work alone will only get you so far in life. You need determination, persistence, and be willing to fail. Abigail Rich embodies those qualities just named and more. Abigail has taken the twists and turns life has thrown at her, and turned them into something positive. Most people would throw in the towel if they went through what Abigail had to endure in her life. Get ready to be inspired, and take action in your life to accomplish goals you have set, put off setting, or have not set yet.


Justin Marroquin: What made you want to become a paramedic?

Abigail Rich: When I was a little girl, I was traveling with my grand daddy, and we saw an accident happen right in front of us. He stopped and helped as much as he could, and then the paramedics arrived. I was so impressed watching them work to save this persons life. I saw that they made a difference in that person’s life. From that moment on, I knew that was what I wanted to do.


JM: You were in a devastating air ambulance helicopter crash in 2003. What was going through your mind when that happened?

AR: Disbelief, a reality check of my life, questions about all the things that I missed, dreamed of doing. Yet, as we were crashing—at no time did I think it was as bad as it was. I thought it was going to be a rough landing; well at least I had that part right!


Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography
Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography


JM: What was your mindset like when you were recovering in the hospital?

AR: That my life was all over. I never have thought I was beautiful, or even sexy—and now, I have so many scars. I had over 400 stitches and 200 staples all over my body. I had titanium plates holding me together, broken bones, and tubes—how am I ever going to be able to go back to work? How would anyone fall in love with me now? Lives depended on me being there. How can I save anyone now when they need me? I had so many thoughts and feelings going through my mind, it was very overwhelming.


JM: When you walked out of the hospital on your own, how did it feel?

AR: It was a relief to be going home. It was time to rethink things; I refused to be in the wheelchair, and I walked out the very best I could on my own. It was time to make a plan on my future.


Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography
Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography


JM: Did you look at life differently after surviving that devastating crash?

AR: Oh, god yes! I realized that I was looking at life all wrong. That the little problems in life are really not that bad, they were just inconveniences. They are part of life, and that without a bad day—a good day really is not all that special. Bad things do not define who we are, but how strong we are.


JM: How did modeling come about for you?

AR: After about a year of hard work to recover, My sister took me to Hooters. She was telling me that I am still beautiful. I just did not want to hear that anymore. As I said before, I never had thought I was beautiful , but now it was even worse. I wanted to shut her up, so I asked to see the manager. When the manager arrived at the table, I asked him if I was pretty enough to be a Hooters girl. He got this big grin, looked me over and asked “when can you start?” in disbelief, I accepted. Within a week, I was approached to model at a trade show, and at that show—others booked me for their next shows. The very next week I was asked to do test shots for a major cosmetic company, which I still model for to this day.


JM: What has been your favorite experience in modeling so far?

AR: Oh, there are just so many. I have met such wonderful people. I have been able to create art, and help to bring someones vision to life. I have the best manager (Sophia), photographers (Model Shots Photography), and agents (Lonestar Modeling), in the world. But, if I had to say the one experience that truly amazed me the most, it was when I was asked to be a Playboy bunny.


Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography
Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography


JM: You were a bunny at the Playboy Club at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, NV. What was your experience like being a bunny?

AR: It was the best. It was so classy and so elegant. Playboy has always been very classy, and tasteful. I never felt like it was work. I met and worked with such wonderful people—ah, I mean bunnies. I loved being a Bunny, they are all so beautiful, and it made me feel proud to be a Playboy Bunny!


JM: Now you’re involved in acting. How did you get interested in that?

AR: I started doing TV commercials while I was at the Playboy Club. As of this interview, I have four airing in Las Vegas for major clients. I have such a great time doing them. My wonderful agency got me booked on an episode of TNT’s “Leverage.” It was so much fun to be handed a script that someone wrote, and now I had to become this character. I have to create this whole new personality to make this character real. This is the part of acting that I love. After Leverage, I got some more TV shows. Discovery Channel’s “Cheating Vegas” then I was offered a part in the feature film “The Hangover Part III.” I think that the opportunity of becoming an actress and modeling together—makes me better at both careers.


Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography
Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography


JM: You’re the definition of never give up. How can people instill in their lives your attitude and mindset?

AR: Don’t quit, and never give up! We all have problems and disappointments in life. It’s up to us to take these minor problems, and use them to make us stronger; to spend every moment enjoying life; to make our dreams come true—just look at my life!


Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography
Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography


Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography
Photo Credit: Model Shots Photography


See more of Abigail at lonestarmodeling.com

Check out her IMDB http://www.imdb.me/abigailrich

Like her page on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Abigail-Rich/121014871396418

View her YouTube channel http://youtu.be/wZJK5xB6GG4














Onnit: Total Human Optimization


In this day and age, our lives are extremely busy. Whether you’re going to school, work, exercising, have kids, etc. It’s a lot to keep up with, and with all the demands and high expectations in our lives, I am here to tell you about a company that will alleviate your problems, and get you to perform at a higher level not only with your mind, but your body as well.


Let me introduce you to Onnit. What is Onnit? It’s a company that is dedicated to providing quality products and fitness equipment to make you a better individual in every area of your life. I will explain what some of their products do, and how they can fit into your life.


alpha-brain-alpha-onnit-alpha-brain-shroomtech-beonnit-new-mood-HourlyRevShare-Hourly-Rev-Share-hourly-rev-share-review-felmina-alliance-chris-burpee-empower-network-banners-broker-visalusFirst up, is Alpha Brain: This is a complete, balanced nootropic. You’re probably wondering what is a nootropic? A nootropic is considered a memory enhancer, neuro enhancer, cognitive enhancer, and intelligence enhancer. Alpha Brain will make your brain work better, and it’ll keep you sharp and focused throughout the day. We can all benefit from having our brains work better, and this product does exactly that.


shroomTech_sport_logoShroom Tech Sport. Never again will you have to down energy drinks, or anything else for that matter. Shroom Tech Sport is designed to give your body clean energy, and power you through your workout, or any activity that you partake in. Shroom Tech Sport is a combination of cordyceps sinensis mushroom, adaptogens, antioxidants, and methyl B-12. Basically, your oxygen intake level will increase, which will allow you to get through your workout without feeling drained, or winded.


125Hemp Force Protein. With all the protein powder mixes on the market, it can be confusing, and downright annoying on which one to use. Hemp Force is a complete protein isolated from organic hemp seeds. It has all of the essential amino acids, all three branched chain amino acids, and Omega-3 and Omega-6. Also, it contains cocoa and maca root. This product is really good for after your workout, or as a small meal. As with all of Onnit’s products, everything is pure and natural. That’s what separates Onnit from other companies. They truly have a desire to provide people with the best products, and keep harmful ingredients out of their products.


monkey-primate-chimp-ape-kettlebellPrimal Kettle Bells. Your workout is not complete until you swing these around. In addition to the food and supplements, Onnit offers the best fitness equipment you can get your hands on. These Primal Kettle Bells not only look incredible, but they will get you into shape, and you’ll have fun doing it. Onnit focuses on, and emphasizes real world movement in their fitness equipment and programs.





There you have it. If you are interested in any of Onnit’s products, just click on the links provided, and see what Onnit has to offer. I only explained a little bit of Onnit, and I will get into more detail in future posts. I encourage you to try out their products, and see the benefits for yourself.







Failing: Why You Should Embrace It


I hate failing. The term “hate” may be harsh, but It’s how I feel about failing. That is until I discovered the beauty of failing. Think about it: failing has always been linked to a negative connotation. Throughout life we’re told that failing is bad! In some cases—rightfully so, but as I have come to realize in recent years, failing is an integral part of life, and plays a major role in reaching your dreams and goals.

It’s uncomfortable to think about failing, and going through that process. Our society is caught up in instant success, and being “famous” within a short period of time. Like it or not, failing is a part of life and without it; how would we grow as a person? If all we did was succeed all the time, we would never learn about ourselves, and how much we can handle mentally and physically.

Once you start embracing failing in your life, I guarantee you will be better off, and you will learn so much from it. Think of failing as feedback. It lets you know if you’re on the right track, or not. Basically, it’s like having your own GPS system. Now I don’t want to sugarcoat anything. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, it will be a tough process. You may even want to give up at times, but that’s the best part of failing. You will find out what works, and what doesn’t. Once you breakthrough and accomplish your goal, failing will be your ally.

Achieving success is about the journey, not the destination. When you do succeed, you will hardly think about the success you have accomplished. Instead, you will reflect on the challenges you faced along the way, and how you were able to overcome them. The time is now; get started on your journey, and start failing your way to success.

The Definition Of Determination: Ashley Alexiss



Playboy Miss Social February 2011. Playboy South Africa Girl Next Door 2012. Internationally published glamour/lingerie model. Creator of Cleavage for the CURE. Student. Ashley Alexiss works hard at anything she does, and her determination is second to none. Ashley is the perfect example of working hard and not giving up. I admire her attitude and the way that she carries herself. She doesn’t understand the word “can’t” and if you dare utter that word to her, she will most likely prove you wrong. Everyone will benefit from learning Ashley, and I’m proud to bring you my interview with her.


Justin Marroquin: Have you always been interested in modeling?

Ashley Alexiss: This is funny. When I was a kid, I hated pictures! I look back at my childhood pictures and I would literally have this death stare. It wasn’t until high school that I started actually smiling, then decided in my Junior year to enter the Miss Teen Massachusetts pageant. I ended up winning the title of Miss Congeniality, and had to do a mandatory photo shoot where I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and took to it and here I am.


JM: Of all the photo shoots you’ve done, what’s your favorite?

AA: Honestly, every photo shoot I do is different, and special. Until I do a shoot with penguins, I won’t have a particular favorite.


Photo Credit: Bob Sleeper www.zzzphotos.com
Photo Credit: Bob Sleeper http://www.zzzphotos.com


JM: What has been your best experience as a model?

AA: My best experience has been meeting some of my life long friends: Megan Retzlaff, Cassandra Marie, Katy Ann, Amy Madison. There’s so many other ladies too—but these girls have changed my life for the better. I’ve met them all through work and if I wasn’t in the field I’m in, I may never have gotten to share my life with them. I appreciate good people and good people is an understatement for those girls.


Photo Credit: Hot Shots Photography
Photo Credit: Hot Shots Photography


JM: Tell me about Cleavage for the CURE?

AA: Cleavage for the CURE was launched after I had gone through two life changing experiences. One, getting a breast augmentation and two, losing my grandmother to cancer. I put the two of them together and wanted a way to use sex appeal for better reason. I started by auctioning off my bras that I’ve worn in photo shoots, that no longer fit, on Ebay, and would donate the majority of the percentage to Susan G. Komen. Since then, I’ve sold silicone bracelets to raise awareness of C4TC and have made model contests to give models exposure. I want to think of Cleavage for the CURE as a pay it forward type of campaign.


JM: Where does your determination come from?

AA: My determination comes from being rejected the majority of my life, being told I can’t do what I’m doing because I’m short, curvy, and nobody would take me serious. I love proving people wrong, and that’s what I’m doing while making a positive impact.


Photo Credit: StewartSmithPhotography.com
Photo Credit: StewartSmithPhotography.com


JM: What do you want to achieve the most in your life?

AA: I honestly just want to be successful in this industry, create a movement that other people can follow and inspire others to follow their dreams no matter how far-fetched they may seem.


Photo Credit: Bob Sleepr www.zzzphotos.com
Photo Credit: Bob Sleeper http://www.zzzphotos.com


JM: Has there been a photo shoot that you didn’t like how it turned out?

AA: Every model knows you have more than one of those during your career. Whether the photographer just decided to be a creep, or not get your photos back. I’ve had that happen a few times by people I had highly respected only to find they clearly didn’t care about their professionalism. It happens, and you just have to keep moving on.


Photo Credit: Radiant Inc
Photo Credit: Radiant Inc


JM: How can people get more determined in their lives like you?

AA: Just believe in you. As long as you love yourself, believe in yourself, and are motivated, you can do anything! Seriously think about it. If you don’t think you can do it, how do you expect anyone else to think otherwise?


Photo Credit: Bob Sleeper www.zzzphotos.com
Photo Credit: Bob Sleeper http://www.zzzphotos.com


Follow Ashley on Twitter: twitter.com/AshAlexiss

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/AshleyAlexiss

Be sure to check out www.cleavageforthecure.com















Backstage Pass: Charlie Jacks

char new 10

The music industry is filled with people who have great talent, but there is only a select few that can engage people, and make them feel the music. One of the few people who can do such things is Charlie Jacks. She is a UK music superstar, and has a massive following in Japan (and soon to be US) with six number one albums, and nine singles at the top of the Japanese iTunes charts. Charlie took time out of her busy schedule to tell me about her music career, achieving goals, and what inspires and motivates her.

Justin Marroquin: How did you get interested in music?

Charlie Jacks: I’ve always been a bit of an entertainer. I loved singing in school and my mum noticed how much I danced around the house singing as a kid, so she put me in classical music lessons. I think it really kicked in at a Chinese restaurant. We went for a family meal and there was a performer singing with a piano and mic this particular time. My family managed to persuade me(with a $8 bribe) to go and ask if I could sing. I sung “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette. It was the silence of the room and the applause after that—made me want more. The feeling that you can acquire someone’s emotions with your voice, and impact them just a little really moved me. And that my friends is where it began.

JM: Where do you seek inspiration and motivation to write songs?

CJ: My motivation is simple—literally, life. If it makes me emotionally happy, sad, hurt, angry, I write about it. The same with my friends; if I see something I can relate to, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to capture in words and replay as a song. I find if people can relate to your story, they want to listen.

char new 4

JM: What do you enjoy more: writing songs or performing?

CJ: Performing songs I’ve written. It’s a beautiful moment when you see someone join into a song you’ve written.

JM: Do you set goals? If so, describe how you go about doing it.

CJ: This is tricky. My goal when I started music (in Japan) was only ever to release one single, that turned into six and nine albums. Now I have the same goal, but in the UK and US.

JM: How do you handle negativity?

CJ: IGNORE it. How does negativity ever benefit anyone? It doesn’t, so the best option—cut it out.

Charlie Jacks 4

JM: Do you have any plans to come to America?

CJ: Yes, I do all of my writing and recording in the states. I’ll be back soon to start the new EP.

JM: What is the best part about the music industry?

CJ: Achieving goals—meeting and working with creative people. Two creative people in the same room is a recipe for magic.

JM: What’s the worst part about the music industry?

CJ: There a huge amount of no’s. You have to be thick-skinned and willing to be turned away a lot to survive the industry. But if you are persistent and believe in yourself enough, you’ll get there.

Charlie Jacks 2

JM: How do you want to be remembered?

CJ: I just want to make a little impact on some people’s lives. “That song helped me through hard times” or “That song reminds me of summer” that kinda thing.

JM: What is one piece of advice that has helped you in your life?

CJ: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

char new 2

Follow Charlie on Twitter: twitter.com/charlietoons

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/OfficialCharlieJacks

See her photos on Instagram: instagram.com/charliejacks

Read her Tumblr: charliejacks.tumblr.com

Listen to her music on SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/charlie-jacks

Check out her website: charliejacks.com

Developing a Strong Mindset: Miss Texas and Miss United States 2012 Whitney Miller


Meet Whitney Miller. Winner of Miss Texas and Miss United States 2012, Professional wake surfer, fitness model, and practitioner of jiu-jitsu, I am thrilled to have the honor and privilege of sharing her advice on how to live a better life.

Justin Marroquin: What motivates you daily?

Whitney Miller: Definitely my fiery inner drive that forces me to challenge and better myself each day. Being in athletics since age four has given me the discipline and motivation that is necessary for me to continue pushing even if I’m having one of “those days.” I like to look at it sort of like a competition with myself by asking “what can I do today that will make me a little better than yesterday?”

JM: Define success and what it means to you?

WM: Everyone has his or her own definition of success. It seems that most of us are always trying to fall into others definition of the word when we should be focusing on what it truly means to us. With that said, success for me is living a happy, healthy, life while continually challenging and taking the steps to accomplish any goal I have set for myself.

JM: How do you approach accomplishing a goal you have set?

WM: First off, I write it down and put it somewhere visible, perhaps, on the screen saver of my computer or phone background. This is a constant reminder of the decisions I have to make in order to accomplish the goal. I also like to tell key people in my life the ultimate goal because, if you tell the right people, they will always check back in with you. Having other people hold you accountable is important in reaching a goal.

JM: What do you do to handle negativity?

WM: I make a conscious decision to not let it affect me. Mainly to prove to myself that I won’t let other people have control over my happiness or outlook/attitude about life. I’ve honestly had to deal with a bit of negativity towards a recent goal I set for myself which is entering an MMA fight. Unfortunately, more people than I had anticipated don’t understand my decision and have reacted negatively. In this case, all I can do is try to understand where they are coming from and respect them for their own opinion, but I’m not going to let it phase me. I have a goal to accomplish and I need to take the necessary steps to not get my ass beat. Outside of that, I’ve learned that most of the time people only want to unload their negativity on others because they don’t know how to handle it themselves. We are addicted to suffering, as author, Don Miguel Ruiz, would say. These people are dealing with their own inner demons that have nothing to do with me, so why would I give them the power to bring me down?

JM: Offer one piece of advice that you feel people would greatly benefit from?

WM: If something doesn’t work out the way you had expected don’t see it as a failure, you most likely benefited from it in some way. Honestly the most challenging and hurtful experiences of my life are the ones I have learned the most from.


Follow Whitney on Twitter: twitter.com/whitneymiller10

Check out her Instagram: instagram.com/missunitedstates2012

Like her Facebook Page: facebook.com/WomenAgainstMediocrity