Women’s Fitness Expert – Interview with Toney Dunaway

I have a special guest today, Toney Dunaway aka The Armchair Quarterback.

I met Toney online through a writing group a couple of years ago.  He was always making interesting posts about healthy choices and fitness, so  it was no suprise to me when he made the shift to becoming a certified personal trainer.

If you  get the chance to work with him, I highly recommend him.  I am very impressed with his healthy living outlook, and whole foods plan.

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.  

I’m currently a personal trainer, certified by two different international companies. I also specialize in nutrition and women’s fitness. Beyond that, I’m pursuing a master’s level in nutrition, en route to becoming a board certified holistic doctor. I believe that our bodies are miraculous machines that can do much on their own once we balance them by first figuring out how we are currently out of balance. I’m PASSIONATE about health and fitness and believe that we should all be able to live a full, active, lively life, if we so choose.

  1. Name one thing that is a highlight in your life that you would consider a huge success and name one thing that you count as a failure.

My biggest failure would be not paying attention to my personal growth early in my life. That one thing has set me back decades. My biggest success I would have to say is accepting myself for who I am, strengths and weaknesses, because that has allowed me to more fully love those that are in my life, and appreciate what I have in my life.

  1. Why did you choose this as a career?

There’s a story. I’ve worked out on and off for about 3 decades, and I had no idea how much time I wasted, and how badly I was spinning my wheels. I got a personal trainer for my wife and paid attention to that process. Her trainer suggested that she get certified, then her and I talked about how she thought I would do with it. After some time of batting the idea around, I took the plunge. From that point forward, my passion for proper training and proper nutrition was ignited. Once I started training people myself and teaching them about nutrition, and seeing their positive results, that impacted me, so I knew there was no turning back. I absolutely love seeing others achieve the positive results that they want, to become happier and healthier. It makes all the hours I put into it all worthwhile.

  1. For someone wishing to improve their health that comes to you for help, what would be the first bit of advice that you would give them?

Don’t expect overnight results, but DO expect positive results. If they can take that first step, we can have a very enjoyable journey together.

  1. What do you find to be the most rewarding part of what you do?

Helping others find ways to fit healthier lifestyle choices within the framework of their current life. From that, again, helping others to actually become happier and healthier. As they start seeing and feeling improvements, that makes me happy. With every client that comes in with a smile because what we are doing is making a positive impact on their life, that fires me up to give them that much more of myself.

  1. What part do you feel that the mental game plays in the person’s success or failure?

It makes all the difference in the world. If they are not ready for the needed changes, no matter what their words say, they will get nowhere. To be blunt, they will quit on themselves. I’ve seen it again and again. However, if they are mentally prepared for the journey ahead, together, we will plow through any obstacle. As they communicate with me about what’s going on, together we figure out ways that they can overcome what ever life is hitting them with, so they can continue on their positive journey forward.

  1. How do your services help a person who mentally is defeated?

Honestly, that’s really a tough one. The work outs alone will produce a chemical within your body that make you feel better once the work out is done…however, the longevity of their success has to ultimately come from their readiness to change.

  1. How important do you think supplements play in a person’s diet?

Define “supplements.” The word supplements has all kinds of connotations, some good, some bad. I personally do not recommend 99% of what’s on the market, whether it’s through MLM companies or sold in retail chains. I personally look at the quality of each particular product line, because most of them take shortcuts, and we don’t want shortcuts in our own health. We want ease and convenience, but not shortcuts. We are talking about not only the individual ingredients in a particular product, but also the processing that those ingredients have gone through. It ALL makes a difference in the quality of the product that you put into your body. The bottom line is, the daily diet needs to be balanced. Once it is balanced with the right minerals, then vitamins, then the needed ratio of protein, fats, and carbs, the body will become a well oiled machine all on it’s own. But it first has to have the necessary foundation, and the balance is built on top of that foundation.

  1. Can you share 3 things that will help people to achieve their goals?

Absolutely! Mindset, daily diet, and proper exercise for their particular lifestyle and goals.


Toney Dunaway

Toney Dunaway

Toney can be found at the following sites. I strongly suggest that you watch some of his videos –  they are inspiring!





Thank you Toney for being my guest!

You can  ask Toney a question in the comments!

Write on my friends, write on!



Wellness Wednesday – Levi

Welcome to one of my new things –  Wellness Wednesday.   You may wonder, Levi . . . is this about getting into those smaller jeans? Well,  ultimately I suppose you could  take it as such. But it has more to do with my guest.

As most people are gearing up at the beginning of the year to improve their fitness in some form or other whether it is to drop a few pounds gained over the holidays or begin training for a marathon, this is often the time many jump in. There are so many diets out there, so many conflicting voices as to what you should do, or shouldn’t do I thought it might be nice to get some input from the professionals. 

I have some personal trainers lined up, a nurse practitioner scheduled, a nutritionist, and a college professor that teaches in the nursing school. I hope they will bring some good information to the table to share!  

Please welcome my first guest, Mr. Levi Terrell.

  1. Tell me a little about yourself. 

-My name is Levi Terrell,  I come from a very fitness  minded family and my dad owned a gym so I pretty much grew up in weight room. Much of that time rubbing shoulders with professional athletes.  I was blessed enough to play 4 years of collegiate football as a starter, which paved the way for me to get my bachelor of science with concentrations in health education,  Physical education, and public administration.

  1. Name one thing that is a highlight in your life that you would consider a huge success and name one thing that you count as a failure.

-While I have many great highlights from my football career,  including multiple school records a rewards.  Not one of those would be possible if it wasn’t for God. Accepting Jesus into my heart is by far the greatest highlight of my life. I tend to see failures a bit differently than most, I truly believe one can not truly succeed unless they have weeded out the wrong ways to do something.  Therefore I see failure as part of the process.

  1. Why did you choose this as a career?

-Besides inheriting my love for fitness from my parents, I became a coach because there are few greater thing in life than helping someone reach their full potential. Giving someone their health back allows them to truly live life to the fullest again. In a world full of corporations poisoning people with chemically loaded foods for profit,  it is an uphill battle teaching people to think a different way.

  1. I think that is a very noble stance. I know personally, I am fed up with the chemical additives.  I don’t know if it’s just laziness or not, but I think it’s ridiculous to have to read a label before eating bread. Bread should be bread – the only difference whether you choose a 12 grain, whole wheat or white or whatever flavor, not to see if has 12 chemical additives and preservatives that, oh yeah that was determined to cause cancer, and so was that,  and that one messes with your brain.  Sorry, personal pet peeves.  Moving on,  for someone wishing to improve their health that comes to you for help, what would be the first bit of advice that you would give them?

-I have 3 things I always address first when speaking to a new client.

1.) How much water do you drink a day? If it is less than half your body weight in ounces it’s not enough, and it’s almost certainly causing you to retain water weight and slowing your metabolism.

2.) Cut out anything “artificial” from your diet. That’s colors, flavors, sweeteners,  etc. These chemicals are of zero nutritional value and do nothing but confuse your body and cause it to store excess fat.

3.) Get more sleep,  if you’re like most Americans, you’re not getting enough sleep. We feel like we must squeeze the most out of every day and sleep is usually the first thing to be sacrificed. Sleep is a major part of your health and not getting enough leads to many things:  increased cortisol levels being one of the main ones.

  1. Sound advice! What do you find to be the most rewarding part of what you do?

-Definitely helping others get their life back. Getting the middle-aged dad down to his college weight so he can run around with his son again. Giving a new mom the confidence to be comfortable in any outfit and love her body again. Rehabbing an injured athlete and getting them back to the sport they love quickly and safely. That is why I do what I do.

  1. I can see where that would be gratifying! What part do you feel that the mental game plays in the person’s success or failure?

-I love this question because a person’s thoughts are the most powerful thing on earth, and they are the main factor in determining a person’s success.  Not just with health but with a person’s relationships, purpose, and finances as well.

This belief is what inspired me to start my life coaching business. 23Seven Coaching is based off of Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) “For as a man thinketh in his heart,  so he will be…” If we can get you thinking the right way there is absolutely nothing one cannot achieve.

  1. I’m a firm believer in mental attitude.  I’ve done many  inspirational posts here on my blog. The right attitude can carry you into fulfilling your dreams while a negative attitude will propel you into a nightmarish existence of futility. Wasn’t it Job that stated ” My greatest fear has come upon me”? So, what you think about preceeds what you speak. What you speak prophecies your future. There is a lot more to it than ‘The Power of positive thinking’ but  basically, you have what you say and that starts with what you think.  If you think you are defeated you are.  If you think you will succeed you will. In that vein, how do your services help a person who mentally is defeated?

-First, we focus on pinpointing why you do what you do.  None of our behaviors are random,  everything is learned. Most of them without us even knowing,  so if we can pinpoint why a person thinks a certain way,  we can begin to replace that thought with positive thinking. I am a strong believer in speaking affirmations and incorporating daily wins to build self belief and teaching you how to be successful.

  1. YOu know,  I could spend the next hour discussing the above with you but  I know you have other things to do today. Perhaps we’ll come back to that some other time as it’s one of my areas of personal convictions. How important do you think supplements play in a person’s diet?

-Unfortunately a big role if you live in America.  Over the last 40 years the quality of our food has fallen substantially. Even to the point that fruits and vegetables have been nutritionally drained due to our land being so over -farmed. So even someone who eats a clean healthy diet is most likely still not getting all their needed nutrients. Now, the thing is, it must be the right kind of supplementation. The majority of supplements you find on store shelves are loaded with artificial ingredients and fillers, many of them known carcinogens. That’s why I coach my clients through nutritional cleansing systems loaded with all natural,  organic ingredients derived from all over the world. This process works great at flushing out toxins and helping release those stubborn pounds.  All while increasing energy,  sleep,  and even that healthy glow we all love to see on our skin.

  1.  I need to sign up for that! I certainly need the increased energy, and the sleep, and who doesn’t want a healthy glow? Can you share 3 things that will help people to achieve their goals?

*See question #4

  1. LOL!

Levi and his lovely wife Raediance, (She’s awesome in her own right!)


BIO-Growing up in the small town of DeSoto, MO. Levi’s passion for fitness and football took him to the University of Nebraska, Omaha on a full football scholarship where he excelled early, getting his freshman redshirt torn off in the 4th game of the season and tying the school record for carries in a single game (42) in his collegiate football debut. Levi went on to receive all American honors as well as freshman of the year and running back of the year.  After seeing the football program get dropped by the University after his sophomore season, Terrell was forced to find a new home. Just an hour south of his hometown the young standout was welcomed with open arms to the Southeast Missouri State University where he finished his football career. Levi later returned to Omaha with his wife Raediance to finish out his bachelor of science degree.

The Terrell’s now live in Missouri where they pursue their entrepreneurial plans and set out to help as many people as possible realize,  pursue,  and achieve their dreams of health & wealth. Levi’s life coaching business “23Seven Coaching” seeks to change the way people think about the world around them, in turn realizing they can truly have everything they want out if life.


Website: Coming Soon

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/LeviTerrell27

Instagram: LeviT_Fitness

Twitter: LeviT_Fitness

SnapChat: LeviT_Fitness

Thank you Levi for sharing this valuable information with us!  If you are  in the St. Louis area, look him up and see what he can do for you!  Follow him on Instagram, twitter, and wherever else you can where you can a daily dose of inpsiration!

I hope that some of what is shared will inspired you, encourage you, and convince you to take better care of yourself –  you’re the only you that you have!

Write on my friends, write on!

Confessions and Accountability

IMG-20110421-00029<—– Taken 6/2009  Jan 2 2013

Taken 1/2/2013  ——>

I’m not happy with where I am.  However, considering that in June of 2009 I was 289 pounds,  that’s nearly 300 pounds; I am reminding myself that progress has been made.  I mentioned last year that I had a plan and I expected my friends to hold me accountable.  As embarrassing as it is to share my fat pictures, I feel it’s necessary to  be honest.

The first picture is when I let life happen to me.  Mourning the loss of parents, marital difficulties, emotional battles, and putting myself on the back burner to be a mom were all contributing factors to eating myself to a state of morbid obesity.   I’m not exaggerating – 289!  I had a friend ask if I doctored the number.  My response: Have you ever known a woman to lie about her weight by adding MORE to it????   No!  As pathetic as it is, or was, that is where I was at.  That (notice expression above in picture A) was my happy face.  I had won two box seat tickets for the Cardinals vs Cubs game.

When you are carrying around the equivalent of another person all the time, you tend to be tired constantly.  For all those people who think I’m just a lot of hot air blowing around, honey I’ve been there.  I’ve been so low I had to look up to see the gutter.  I was at the bottom of a pit that I couldn’t seem to climb out of.

As you can see I’m still a work in progress.  By the way, the expression in picture B is before coffee.  Don’t leave me comments about the mess behind me. don’t leave me comments about my lack of expression.  I am up and dressed and my bed is made!  That’s as much as I can muster at 6:30 in the morning.  No one died in the taking of said picture  because they were on their way to school or work.  I have never nor will ever be a morning person.  Laughter and smiles happen after 10 am, and after at least two cups of coffee.

My determination to make fitness improvements in 2013 is at the top of my goals list.

  • Weight loss goal: 40 pounds.
  • Fitness goal:  to be able to run a 5K whether I compete in one or not.
  • Size goal: To fit into an American ladies size 12.  (First picture were size 24’s and yes they were tight. Second picture is a size 16 – 18.)

I”m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I started either.  It’s been a series of steps forward and backwards for me, but this isn’t a diet program.  This is my life.  I deal with everyday issues.  I didn’t get to run away to Biggest Loser ranch and have a team of medical experts on call, a personal chef to design an eating plan for me, or a personal trainer to design an exercise program for me.  I’ve expended my own energy, my own brain power, and reason to matters that I live with every day.  I can do this!  So can you!  Anyone can, it’s just a matter of daily choices.  Make better choices and do it over a long period of time.

For me, it’s a very long period of time.  Obviously, I’m not on a crash diet because the time it’s taken me to lose this weight seems astronomical compared to Biggest Loser results.  I’m not as hard after it as I could be, but I’m dealing with it.  One day at a time, one choice at a time, one decision at a time.  Sometimes I choose the comfort food that isn’t as healthy but overall I have a pretty healthy eating plan.  I hate the word diet – the first three letters is DIE!

Diligence day after day, month after month, and yes year after year.  It takes a lot more to undo the damage that giving up on myself caused.  I may get down on myself and mentally beat myself up but I will never give up on myself again.

I hope that in some way, this will benefit at least some of my readers.  We all have our struggles, mine is weight.  I’m not even setting my sights on a number on the scale, or a clothing size  but rather a level of fitness I once had.  Muscle memory – it affects my workouts and my mindset.  I will know it when I achieve it.

There are other goals that I have set myself for the year, and I am just as determined with them.  The weight issue however is a long time battle with me.  It colors everything I see about the world around me, and how I feel about myself.  I know I am perfectly capable in many areas but the weight goals have eluded me thus far.

Do you have that one thing that hangs over your head like the dust cloud that follows Pigpen?  Does it color your view of the world? Does it make you feel inferior?  Does it cause you to hold back and not give it 100%?

The biggest obstacle to weight loss is not what you eat, or the lack of exercise.  The biggest obstacle is what goes on in the six inches between your ears. How are you handling it?

Write on my friends, write on!