Hi. My name is María Isabel, I’m an R&B singer-songwriter who’s been making music her whole life, but only just started sharing it. I recently released my first EP, “Stuck in the Sky”, and the response has been incredible. I’m so grateful that I get to do what I love for a living, but in my short time here, I’ve grown used to feeling super underwhelmed & indifferent about things/moments in my life that should bring me joy, and I thought this moment would be no different. But the messages I’ve received since the songs went up have had an unbelievably unexpected effect on me. I have never felt less alone than I did scrolling through my DMs, and it wasn’t because all of these people had taken the time to listen my music (although I didn’t hate that), but because so many people reached out to tell me that they were feeling exactly what I had put into words for them.

I should start by saying that a year ago, I wouldn’t have shared this with anybody. It isn’t easy to admit that I’ve struggled, but I have for a long time and still do. I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for about 8 years now. I didn’t have a name for it when it started, I just knew that I was feeling & behaving differently than the people around me, and I didn’t know why. I came to the conclusion quickly that no one else was feeling what I felt because no one was talking about it, and that meant that everyone else was doing just fine. It wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I finally sat someone down and explained everything that I thought was wrong with me. It took 1 conversation to give me the courage to start talk therapy where I was finally able to identify, with someone else’s help, what I was dealing with. 

It has been an uphill battle since. Living with mental illness requires endless upkeep but it’s all about figuring out what works for you (usually through a lot of trial + error). Movement has become a huge part of my mental health journey. Working out with Almost Home has brought me so much peace of mind in a matter of weeks. I really love getting to leave everything outside of the gym for a few hours a day. 

I’m still learning so much about what hurts and what helps, but one thing I know for sure is that no good comes out of suffering in secret. The weight of the world came off of me the first time I realized that someone else felt what I was feeling. So, whatever it is you’re carrying, please find a place to put it down. Find someone. Hold onto anybody that keeps you anchored to this earth. 

We as a society need to work so much harder to destigmatize mental illness. There’s a very high chance that, if not you, somebody you know & love is struggling with their mental health. So why aren’t we talking about it? If you’re going through it, I want you to know that all of your feelings are valid. There is nothing wrong with you. You belong here. You deserve to feel joy as much as anyone else does. I am sending you all of my love and I hope this helps even if only to communicate to you that you have never been and will never be alone. 

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Anxiety and stress are at an all-time high for many of us right now. Acupressure is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that can provide some relief and help restore the body to balance within a matter of minutes. It involves stimulating pressure points on your body. Usually, feelings of intense anxiety and stress hit us at the worst when you're in a social setting or at 2AM when you’re trying to fall asleep. These acupressure points are easy to do and can be used in any situation at any time.

Yin Tang “Hall of Impression Point"


Start by sitting comfortably. This point is located between your eyebrows. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Gently apply pressure with your index finger or thumb. Massage the point in a circular motion for 5 to 10 minutes. Mantras or visualizations are powerful tools to use during this time. For example, I like to imagine that there is a protective light shining around my body as if I were glowing with a golden white light. This point calms the spirit in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, and agitation. (Sidenote: This is a good point for those Sunday scaries or battling a hangover). 








Large Intestine 4 "Union Valley Point”             

One of the best points for actively moving Qi (energy) in the body, LI4 is well known for its ability to relieve pain. This point is located between the index finger and the thumb. Stimulating this point can help reduce stress, headaches, and neck pain. With your index finger and thumb, apply firm pressure with your other hand. Massage this point for 5 seconds taking deep, slow breaths. NOTE: Avoid this point if you're pregnant as it can induce labor

Liver 3 "Great Surge”

This point is famously paired with Large Intestine 4 to create "4-gates", which open up the flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body. Liver 3 is located on your foot in between your big toe and second toe. This point is excellent for promoting the smooth flow of Liver Qi. Stress and blocked emotions are usually the most common causes of "stagnant liver qi." Liver 3 helps reduce anxiety and stress as well as reduce pain, insomnia and menstrual cramps. Apply firm pressure to this point and massage for 5 to 10 seconds. 


Heart 7 "Spirit Gate”

Spirit Gate is located on the wrist just below the pisiform bone on the ulnar side (pinky side). This point calms the spirit and is beneficial for insomnia especially when you’re overtired. It can regulate the heartbeat and tonify the heart muscle. Liver 3 is excellent for acute stress, while Heart 7 is most helpful for chronic stress. Spirit Gate is located on the wrist in a depression just below the pisiform bone on the ulnar side (pinky side). This point calms the spirit and is beneficial for insomnia due to being over-tired. It can regulate the heartbeat and tonify the heart muscle. Liver 3 is excellent for acute stress, while Heart 7 is most helpful for chronic stress.


Conception Vessel 17 "Chest Center”

Known as the "Sea of Qi" CV17 has the ability to move Qi throughout the entire body. This point is located in the center of the sacrum, level with the 4th intercostal space. This point is intimately involved with the circulatory and respiratory systems. When stress causes chest pain, feelings of tightness in the chest, racing heartbeat or palpitations, this is a great point to use. This point can be done with gentle, direct finger pressure, or more gently placing the palm over the point


Ear Shen Men "Heavenly Gate”

I suggest using a mirror to locate this point. It is located in the upper shell of your ear, at the of the triangle-like hallow. I love using this point for most of my patients at the start of treatment. This point is so powerful that it treats almost everything from anxiety, stress, insomnia to inflammatory disease, etc. I like to send my patients home with ear seeds placed on the point and can be stimulated throughout the day.  Apply firm pressure in a circular motion for 2 minutes. 

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Anyone that knows me and my Virgo mind for real knows how hard it was for me to decide to post this before and after, but since becoming a mother and experiencing how amazing the female body is, I felt it necessary to share.

At the time of the picture on the left I was a little over one month postpartum and 30lbs heavier than the picture on the right from yesterday (8 months postpartum). It is the only “before” picture that I allowed my husband @alexfine44 to take of me. Honestly, it was a struggle for me to even allow him to take it because one, in the moment I didn’t even recognize myself looking in the mirror and two, I didn’t understand the importance of a before picture. It made me cringe. I just wanted to do the work and wake up one day and be back to my normal self - no before picture! It was TMI! 🤣 That being said, I now know that if you are working towards any health goal, taking a photo at the beginning of your journey is really important. Should you choose to share it is up to you. Take the picture for yourself.

So to rewind a bit, I had my daughter Frankie on December 6th, 2019. I gained a total of 60lbs. Yes! I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy lol. I lost 20lbs within the first couple of weeks which I was told was normal and then another 10 gradually over the next 2-3 weeks. I started to workout when I had a goal of 30lbs to go and when my doctor cleared me to. I went pretty hard at first. By mid March I was down another 15 and feeling pretty good. I had a bit of unexplained anxiety, but I was able to work through it and down another 15 meant I only had 15lbs to go to get back to my pre-baby weight. That only lasted a couple of weeks and out of nowhere I gained the 15 back. I was right back to where I started. After a few weeks of bloodwork I found out that I had something called postpartum thyroiditis. Basically my thyroid was hyper for a short period (hence the anxiety and weight loss) and then slowed down causing me to gain weight back. From what my doctor told me it’s not super common. About 5-10% of women experience it within the first year after childbirth.

The next 3 months following were confusing and depressing to say the least. I changed my diet paying attention to things that I reacted negatively to (ie, bloating).  I actually started roughly following an autoimmune diet (AIP) in fear that my thyroiditis would turn into Hashimoto’s Disease (an autoimmune disorder). I had completely lost my mind, but I’m glad that I did. I needed to understand what was happening with my body. I went from creating and bringing life into this world to trying whatever I could to get back to feeling like myself again. It wasn’t about my weight anymore, it was about being happy,  feeling good and not developing a disorder I’ve never heard of. After that 3 month period and a few more bloodwork sessions my thyroid finally regulated. From the beginning of learning about my thyroid issue I went up and down with working out.  It was discouraging. Once I started to become more consistent, I started to see and feel the results very slowly but it was happening. I know a lot of people think, well she’s married to a personal trainer, it shouldn’t be hard for her or she should be in shape she has no excuse, but I was unhappy with myself. Shit happens, I’m human. Truth be told, Alex spent those months in quarantine with me trying to drag me out of my slump to workout because he wanted me to be happy again, but more often than not I didn’t budge.  I finally started working out 2-3 times a week and I’ve gradually moved up to 5-6.

I wanted to share my story because I want it to be a reminder that no two weight loss/get fit stories are the same. Gaining that much weight in pregnancy had many negative physical effects on my body. I spent a lot of time @sportsrehabla trying to correct my back  pains from the weight and neck pains from breast feeding and constantly looking down at the baby. Once I was able to rebuild my core strength a lot of my pain went away. Consistency was key. The program that Alex designed for me was the best gift he could have given me besides Frankie, of course. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but it was worth it and I’m so glad I didn’t give up. Today I’m in better shape than I was before the baby. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been in this good of shape. I was always thin in the past so I got away with looking fit but didn’t really work out consistently. In fact, it just wasn’t my thing.

As women, (not all of us, but a decent amount) we put so much pressure on ourselves to look a certain way when I think what we should be focused on is our overall health and happiness. Working out has given me a place to get rid of any negative energy and emotions that I might have, boost my serotonin and practice discipline. Everyday that I workout isn’t perfect, but I show up and I push myself.

Whatever your goals are, choose to be healthy. For me, this is what it looks like when I’m taking care of myself. This is what healthy looks like for me. It's not about being thin or muscular or whatever people have in their minds as looking “healthy.” Health comes in all shapes and sizes, it’s different for everyone. Health is a peace of mind. I hope that reading and seeing this is uplifting and that no matter how and what you do to be a healthier human being you are doing your best and that’s all that counts.  ♥️

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My name is Brittany Robertson, I am an actor and have been working in the entertainment industry for 20 years. As an actor, we work long hours, often times going from one project to the next, without much time for our personal lives.

Growing up in a fast paced industry, I was taught to remain professional at all times, which can be challenging if I don’t feel mentally, physically, and spiritually well. I’ve tried to continuously make an effort to put focus on these important parts of my personal life, even when it doesn’t feel like there is enough time to do so. There are also moments in my career where I’ve had more time off than I am used to, but I’ve learned to use this time wisely and work towards becoming a more well-rounded version of myself. For me this focus most often includes a combination of a consistent workout routine, talk therapy, meditation, and community work.

Wellness can look very different for people and one size definitely doesn’t fit all. I have felt like the best version of myself when I pay attention to what my mind and body need, so these combinations often times will change depending on where I’m at. Sometimes the type of wellness that I might need won’t come just from within but also from the world around me. Staying involved with people outside of my own experiences can help me gain a much needed perspective, which is why being involved in my community has been hugely beneficial.

Even if my personal wellness routine changes, what I always try to maintain is consistency. Whether I'm on location for work or in Los Angeles, I have noticed that when my dedication to wellness falls away, other aspects of my life suffer. To be successful in life, I have to feel healthy. What I have learned is we can’t always be in control of our reality, life will throw us curve balls and we have to be ready to adjust. I am most prepared to take on these challenges when I am mentally strong and equipped with the tools to handle myself.

Lastly, this is not an easy process. Actively working to be the best version of yourself in a consistent way, can be challenging at times. With that said, I also try to be patient with myself and surround myself with a good team for support. Life is a long journey, with not a lot in our control, all we can do is be the best versions of ourselves and do our best to bring that to the world we’re living in.  

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Acupuncture is an ancient technique of inserting thin needles into specific points on the body that trigger physiological and biochemical changes - stimulating the body's own healing process. Acupuncture stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and harnesses "Qi" - the energy that flows through the body in pathways called meridians. When Qi/energy is flowing smoothly through the body, we are at our healthiest. When Qi is blocked or becomes stagnant, illnesses, and disharmonies arise. Everything from anxiety and depression to a sports injury or joint pain can be treated with acupuncture. As an Acupuncturist, my goal is to re-establish the flow of Qi and harmonize the body's balance of Yin + Yang.

As living beings, we carry an energetic vibration. We learned in physics that everything in the universe is made up of matter and energy. Even something as solid as a rock is constantly vibrating. When you say someone has a good vibe about them, you're really talking about that person's vibrational energy. Happy/healthy people tend to vibrate at a higher frequency; lighter, happier, and more at ease. We recognize and feel it when we are around them. Acupuncture strategically moves energy through meridians in order to promote blood flow and, thus, the flow of Qi. You walk out of your appointment feeling better but not quite being able to pinpoint how or why.

Another important aspect of eastern medicine is the use of herbal formulas. Often acupuncturists use herbal medicine to complement and prolong their treatments. Herbalism is the study and knowledge of healing with plants. In herbal medicine, a plant's seeds, roots, bark, berries, leaves, or flowers are ground up for medicinal purposes, and when they are formulated, they create powerful healing and can help achieve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

So, why would someone choose Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine? Acupuncture effectively addresses and treats the root of the issue. As an Acupuncturist, I want to know the cause of the symptom - i.e., why are you experiencing this issue? Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (like back and neck pain), mental health issues, insomnia, and infertility. I love that I can treat several issues at once - not to mention all of the health issues I'm preventing. If you're originally coming in for sciatica, but you also are under an enormous amount of stress at work, we address both of those issues in one treatment. This makes Acupuncture healing in an extremely powerful way because it is both preventative and effective after just one treatment.

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Going to the Olympics is every kids dream. But for me it was winning the Olympics. Ever since I was a troubled kid, all I could remember was getting into trouble. First it was futbal (soccer), Secondly it was Fencing. I thought fencing was incredible right away. The reaction speed, the quick twitch muscles, the mental warfare and the pure essence of sword fighting drew me in right away.

So when I dedicated my life and did just that. Two Olympics later, 1 Medal and Many More to win. I was always told that I was naturally talented but those who work harder than anyone else. Will always win. So I would sacrifice time with my friends and family so I could stand on top of that podium. I would spend 4 hours a day from 15 years old to perfect my craft. I was always there before anyone including my coach. I would take the train from New York to competitions in NJ, CT, MA on my own. I would study videos of myself and only myself . If I could perfect my craft, nobody would be able to beat me.

I would train for my first Olympics by taking a year off my first year of college. I would move to New York and work by myself to be the best fencer that this planet has ever seen. Those 5 am workouts would be my favorite. Those 9PM footwork drills would make me unstoppable. I would learn discipline to the fullest.

Now, going into this next Olympic. I will work on becoming an all around savage. I want to be the fastest, most explosive, flexible, strongest, and mentally above all. So I will dedicate all the time now during this OffSeason until the Olympics and World Championships start up again.

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I loved every minute of being in the gym while I was in college playing football for Central Michigan University. I knew it was something I was passionate about but had no clue where to start. My sophomore season I tore my labrum in my shoulder and required a massive surgery. I flew out to LA that summer to rehab with a doctor who would help me return the next season. I was at a gym in Long Beach called metroplex, and was approached by an enormous man saying “you tryna make some money? I need help training clients here and I like your style” I said “duhhhhhh."

I had no idea how to write a workout or work with a client but I needed the money because I was sleeping in a Spin Studio in the broom closet because I was too broke to even get a motel.  I started working the next day with CT Fletcher and that is where my career started.  I went back to school after a couple weeks and knew that was going to be my career path. A few years passed and after my senior football season still with no degree I reached out to hundreds of trainers asking for an internship.

Two weeks before I was supposed to graduate Jason Walsh who was a well known celebrity trainer called me back and told me to meet him in LA the next day. I borrowed money from a friend interviewed for him and got the internship on the spot.  My mom was so adamant that I fly back and graduate but I knew this is where I needed to be and I couldn’t wait another moment not doing this.  The job was not what I expected mostly cleaning the floors but I saw how to interact with high-profile clients and what was necessary to run a gym. 

A few weeks into my internship I walked by Unbreakable Performance a New gym on Sunset Blvd that worked with NFL clients and Actors. The day I walked in is the day they fired someone and I got the job do to great timing. I was 20 years old (no one ever knew my age) working with 30 NFL athletes and actors I had posters of in my dorm room.  I knew that I was on the right path and I was learning everyday I worked so I could move out and start my own company.  I worked weekends and I opened up the gym however early or late a client wanted to come in. This allowed me to work with my own clientele one on one because I was the most accessible.  I ended up quitting there a year later because it was time to make my own hours and build my brand on my own.

I had no backup plan after leaving unbreakable, but I knew if I stayed another day there it wouldn’t help me grow as an individual. I was living in a 250sq ft motel room and had no clients. I started doing construction on the side, I was one of the guys you see outside of Home Depot looking for a cheap hire. Then fate struck me one morning where I got a call from a friend to train Jennifer Anniston and this was the first step in building my business. I knew that I needed a private gym if I wanted clients like her so I saved up my money and got a deal with Hemp Hydrate where I could create a training center from my own home.

I built a gym in my garage and had clients sleep over who were preparing for movie roles and needed constant attention and 3 hour workout days. My business flourished because It was unique, private, and a comfortable vibe.  All of my clients came through referrals which I find the most flattering because people tell their friends to come train with me which is their reputation as well as mine on the line.  I never graduated with a fitness related degree, I never held any of the certifications required to train people but I offered a service that was unique. I don’t program workouts like most of the educated people in my field and sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason why were doing these workouts but one thing I can always guarantee is results. 

Results and personality is the biggest thing in business, Ive developed close relationships with all my clients and I consider some of them my best friends. I believe in pushing each person past their potential in the gym so their work outside of it seems easy.  My ethos in training is pushing the mental and the physical will come. There is days where the reps are around 1000 and it seems impossible but I believe that humans are so much more capable than what is expected of them.  I also workout with my clients a lot of the time because I want to make things competitive and show them it can be done.

The reason I love my job so much is because I get to work with so many amazing and brilliant people 1 on 1. For the most part I’m the only part of my clients day where they’re not surrounded by people, assistants, fans etc. so when they come into my home gym its a very real and humbling moment for the both of us and that’s why I love what I do.

 As mentioned before I believe in pushing people to the brink, because I believe that it drives people to success.  I can’t stand Gary Lee and other bullshit motivational speakers.  There is NOTHING in this world that should motivate you to do something. Success comes when Opportunity meets hard work, and hard work comes from your true self. Self-Motivation is the only form of inspiration that will last over time. You need to wake up and want to be great and want to beat everyone in your field.  Individuals who are Self-Motivated don’t find any excuses. If something falls down they find another way to finish and I think that’s what separates people in this industry and every industry.

I have been asked a lot of questions about how I have been able to succeed by myself in this industry and I accredit it to staying even keel when times are good and bad. I have had multiple deals fall through the table last minute and so many empty promises made but I have never made any excuses I work all day every day at 5am in the morning till I am done because I’m waiting on that opportunity. I think that everyone deserves happiness but it should be earned. Im working non stop because my happiness is my freedom.

Freedom costs money so I’m going to work until my family is good for generations. Freedom is my happiness because its the freedom to do whatever you want at any moment. The Freedom to take my daughter and wife to a foreign country and see a culture different from our own just cause its Monday, or the freedom to make others liberated around me like take care of my Mom and Dads bills or freedom to volunteer at charities. Freedom for myself so I can spend every special moment with my family is what inspires me everyday. 

For anyone who is lost I suggest they spend time at what makes you happy then make a career out of it. Were all given the same amount of time in the day so use it accordingly.  I was not given the silver spoon, I didn’t grow up with money, I made bad decisions, and I’ve had major setbacks but I always kept moving forward overtime when you get a second to look back those small increments of moving forward are crucial in the success of a person or company. I hope you enjoy ALMOST HOME, designed to make you the best version of yourself so you can help bring up the people around you.

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When I got the news that my mom had been the victim of domestic abuse and violence, I really didn’t know how to handle it. I was angry - part of me wanted to hurt the person who did this to her and the other part of me felt paralyzed. Watching the trial drag on for three years, and seeing my mom have to relive the memories of that violence over and over again over those three years was one of the most helpless feelings I’ve felt. I didn’t want to give in to those paralyzing feelings. So, I decided to channel my anger and feelings of helplessness by running fifty miles to bring awareness and hopefully raise some money for other victims of domestic violence.

Let me first say, running is not my favorite. I love working out, I love all things fitness, but running is not something I enjoy. I can’t stand it, so I knew I had to do it. Originally, I was planning to run a full marathon. At the time I couldn’t remember the last time I ran more than a mile. So, a full marathon was insane. Then I saw this man run 50 miles and decided a double marathon was what I needed to do. I thought by doing a double marathon I would bring more awareness and hopefully more money to victims of domestic violence. Personally, I knew the fifty miles would just short of kill me, but I had to put myself in that pain to heal.

To hold myself to it, I put it out there and shared it on Instagram that in 6 months’ time I would be running fifty miles from Compton to Malibu to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence. During those 6 months I tried to train for it, tried to get myself to run longer and longer distances but I hated it, and eventually committed to winging it. I wanted my family there when I did it so decided I would do it the day after my wedding.

The day of I started out on my fifty miles at 5am in Compton, alongside the Compton Cowboys. My family was there driving in front of me in the sprinter van. The first twelve miles flew by I was amped, I felt like I was fighting my own demons, and not to mention running alongside a horse will get your adrenaline going. After mile twelve I quickly started feeling the lack of training for this run set in. I broke my ankle from a stress fracture, I was regrettably wearing Converse, and I had no food or water in my system after reading horror stories of long-distance runners losing control of their bodily functions.

After that my brother (also in Converse, untrained, and without food or water) hopped out of the sprinter van to run by my side. Mile after mile I could physically feel my body tearing down. It was one of the hottest days in the middle of the summer in LA. I was miserable. When I hit thirty miles the pain was unbearable, I began to have this internal struggle about just stopping there. But I couldn’t quit, I wasn’t going to quit. I said I was going to do it so I’m going to fucking do it.

At mile forty-five I greeted by Peter Berg and my other brother and decided to check the GoFundMe to see how much money had been raised: “$2,000.” I was gutted, it felt like I wasn’t raising any awareness or making any impact at all. So, I gave my mom my cell and my platform to go live and share her story and why I was running. It was that moment I returned to why I did this in the first place. I realized I needed to amplify my mom’s voice and her story. After that the donations started coming in. By mile forty-eight over a million people saw the video and we raised over $50,000 dollars.

When we finished through mile fifty, I was in excruciating pain, I was starving and exhausted, my ankle had swollen like a balloon, I could barely walk, but sitting there in that moment was so cathartic. I hugged my family and we all just broke down and cried. It was emotional but for all of us it felt like a moment of closure. I felt like I made peace with my anger and feelings of helplessness. At mile twelve my body had quit, but for the last thirty-eight miles my mind fought through. And if by running these fifty miles and amplifying my mom’s story we helped one woman or one child then all the pain and suffering was worth it.

As a son, husband, and father to three incredible girls I will always fight to protect them and amplify their voices. As men we need to check other men, so this doesn’t keep repeating. And as parents and leaders, we need to teach our children that domestic violence and abuse is unacceptable. I brought my daughter into this world and I want her to feel safe, loved, and encouraged to be the greatest she can be.

I pray that any woman or child that is the victim of domestic violence and needs help finds the same courage my mom had to speak up. Call a domestic violence and abuse hotline or shelter and seek out help. My mom’s story is one story but know that you are not alone. My mom’s story had been shared to over a million people, and we were able to donate over $50,000 dollars to help other victims of domestic abuse and violence.

For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you are unable to speak safely, you can log onto or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474. For more information and resources about domestic violence and abuse please visit:

You are not alone.

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