Blog - Our Continuing Journey

We hope that you are enjoying this beautiful Sunday! Make us apart of your day, tune in to "Healthy Living with Integrity Fitness" at 2pm on FM Newstalk 97.1 with your host Debbie Portell, John Morris and our guest, Leslie Moore of Farmer Girl Grassfed & Pasture Raised Meats. Farmer Girl Meats follows organic principles, which means no antibiotics, no growth hormones or steroids, no feedlots, no confinement, no fillers.
For more information, check them out here:


Another amazing transformation! Meet Dan, a client
of Integrity Training Systems. With the right trainer and
nutrition you too can see amazing results!


Did you hear John Morris's testimonial on
"Healthy Living with Integrity Fitness" Sunday? 
Check out his amazing transformation!


Integrity Training System's very own Ali Mayer featured in 

Fall 2013 "John & Becky Arnold's Natural Build fitness eMagazine!

Courtesy of:  John & Becky Arnold's Natural Build fitness eMagazine


Food is Fuel: Diana Pitts

A Weight Loss Journey Guide

So, here it is, August already. What have I been up to all summer?  I have been gearing up for the IFPA Pro Galaxy Elite on August 17th in Troy, Alabama. I selected this show in hopes to qualify for the Yorton again this year. Along with an intense training program with Debbie Portell's Integrity Training Systems & competition diet plan with Roger Schemp out of Powerhouse Gym in St. Louis, I have been working part time as a registered nurse at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and part time as a personal trainer at Complete Fitness in Lake St Louis, Mo.  I've had the privilege of representing one of my sponsors,, at a couple of shows in the midwest this year. It truly has been an honor to hand out trophies to so many well deserving athletes.

At times as a single parent, I have found it to be challenging to find time to meal prep, train, take care of my boys and keep the house clean. I'd have to say it's a delicate balance. I'm always finding creative ways to multitask and prioritize.  I certainly am excited to step on stage again. I also have a few photo shoots lined up this fall. 

Competing and fitness modeling at age 39, mother of two, just goes to show anything can be done if you put your mind to it. For so many, the mind limits the body. Don't let fear get in the way of your dreams. 

Diana Pitts, RN BSN
IFPA figure professional athlete
ACSM certified personal trainer

"Force fear and frustration out of your mind.....favor fortitude."

Food is Fuel: Adrienne Hood

A Weight Loss Journey Guide

So let’s fast forward to the beginning of Fall. I’d worked hard ALL Summer during my husband’s deployment and it was finally coming to a close. He was coming HOME!! I’d gone from my heaviest weight, 180 pounds in a size 16, before working with Debbie to almost 120 pounds in a size 4. I couldn’t believe it!! It’s hard to describe that feeling of FINALLY conquering something that’d weighed on me, no pun intended, almost my entire life.  Anyone who is or has been overweight, you know what I’m talking about. The burning desire to lose the weight that’s coupled with a crippling inability to accomplish it. It’s a maddening circle of failure. It crushes your hopes until that fire in you dies down to almost nothing until you get fed up and repeat the cycle. Well, no more! I did it. I finally did it! I was free and happy and healthy! It made me think of all those times I’d watched a weight loss show or commercial on TV and tried to imagine that elated feeling those success stories must be feeling. How much I wanted to grab onto that, to have that for myself.  Well, it was mine. 

Over the Summer, I think the biggest realization I had to make was that excuses are just that, excuses. I always had an excuse for why I ate this or that like being stressed or bored, or that I was simply a victim of my circumstances like the influences that were around me. So the family wants to go to the Chinese buffet? Well, I shouldn’t but they want me to. Who am I to say no? Forget the fact that I could at least make some healthy choices at the buffet. That’s not what everyone else was doing. This was an extremely hard habit to break. Our family loved to gather around food as I know lots of families do.  You don’t have to eat what everyone else does. You DON’T.  Stop it!

People gather around food to socialize and talk. While food is the excuse, the focus is not for people to monitor what you eat during those gatherings so make HEALTHY choices, not excuses. No one will notice. However, you will when you get on that scale. When you look in the mirror. When you feel that huge wave of guilt rushing over you because you failed AGAIN. Why is it so hard? Because you let other people’s priorities become your own. You can undo this! It’s a difficult mental roadblock that is engrained in a lot of us but you can break through. How do you do that? By having someone in your corner.

Debbie was that person. Because of my healthy lifestyle, that circle of people in my corner has grown over the years but it all started with just ONE person. Debbie Portell. Find your person. Find a trainer. You will NOT regret it. Stop that maddening cycle of failure once and for all. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. You don’t have to try to be strong all the time, all by yourself because, let’s face it, you can’t. You’ve proven that to yourself time and time again. You simply don’t yet possess the tools to empower yourself so, please, let someone help you! This is not some ridiculous, quick-fix diet pill commercial on TV. None of that works. None of it. All those lies just help feed the cycle that I know you want to finally break out of. This is how you change your life. You get someone in your corner. Someone with knowledge, experience, and the fire to drive you to succeed. YOU can be that success story! It’s not some faraway dream that only exists on TV! Plus, I’d be willing to guess that almost all those success stories had trainers. So join the club! I would’ve never made it without Debbie and that’s the truth!

I don’t know if I can really put into words that feeling of not only seeing my husband after being gone for months of deployment but with the added joy of knowing that he is FINALLY seeing me like I should’ve always been. He’d never seen me like this. Ever. It makes me want to cry. Not just because of all the time I wasted being unhappy with myself, but also because I was so proud and happy to finally be where I always wanted to be. In my husband’s arms, I was finally the way I’ve always seen myself but never been able to realize on my own.  

So, like I said in an earlier blog, some people need that big life changing moment to realize that it’s time to make a change. My husband’s deployment was mine. Don’t wait and wait and wait around for yours. Stop wasting your life! Make that change NOW! 


Food is Fuel: Rich Wood

A Journey Through Weight Gain, Weight Loss, Diabetes and Lifestyle Change

I think the statement “I need to lose weight” is filled with negativity. It already has the word “lose” in it. Same as “I’m going on a diet.” You have said these words a million times. Try saying “I’m going to get healthy.” There is no way to think negatively about this. No one could say anything negative back to you if you say this. When you say “diet,” your friends will start coming up with reasons why you shouldn’t, but why would anyone be against you getting healthy.

Every day is precious, so start living your life in a way to be proud and healthy. Getting on the path takes incredible strength and commitment. These are powerful words. Can you think of any reason not to put time and effort into your own health? Who else is going to take care of that for you? The people I train are proud of themselves for what they are achieving. They let me know through positive words and actions. They thank me – but they are the ones putting in the hard work. I am humbled and grateful to be a part of it. I am thankful for them. One little lifestyle change can be the tip of the iceberg that will change everything. When you start working out and eating healthy, you will be no longer want bad food or alcohol. This statement is based on specific people I have watched completely change their relationship with food and alcohol. They no longer want to change how great they are feeling ALL the time, for short term unhealthy pleasure. Weight loss is part of it, but the way you feel everyday is the key. 

I write this blog to remind you that it is never too late. It’s not hard to start. There is nothing to fear. It’s time to stop talking about getting healthy and start doing it. Have you looked to see how inexpensive it is to join a gym? I’m so lucky that I get to work in an environment where people’s lives are changed everyday for the better. Come and change yours. The gyms I work in offer a free assessment. What excuse can you have about something free? There are no gimmicks in the training and nutrition program. It only takes your commitment and determination. The next time you are walking around looking for an unhealthy snack, or you can’t find the TV remote, think if there is a better way you could be spending your time. Next time you walk a flight of stairs and at the top you ask yourself “am I really this short of breath?” remember reading this. 

Start believing in yourself and start changing your life right now. Making excuses can no longer be a factor. You can no longer be weak minded and be controlled by food or laziness. My life is changed and enriched everyday by the people brave enough to take the first step. It’s going to be ok!!

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