Smiley, as she likes to be called, is 46 years old. She is a medical staff specialist at Baptist Health South Florida, and she is a “NaNa” of 4! She’s been working with me for 1 year and 3 months, and I couldn’t be more proud of her hustle.

Smiley had turned to junk food for comfort due to her stress. But one day, she was sitting in her living room and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and didn’t like what she saw. She saw fat rolls and thought to herself, this could not be happening. 

At that point, she made a decision to change. She tried every fad, diet, and diet pill out there, but nothing was working. Then an ad kept coming up while scrolling on Facebook, as if it knew she was trying to lose weight, but she ignored it the first time around. Then it came up again, like if it was saying, “Hello, don’t ignore me!” So then she said to herself, Let me just click on this thing and see what it’s about. It was a 6 week challenge offered by LyonStrong, and she thought, Ok, 6 weeks couldn’t be that bad. So she put her information in, and was contacted the next day. She set up an appointment and met with Lyonel 2 days later. She had to come back a second day to continue her consultation because she had to leave earlier than planned the first day and there was still a lot of information to go over. She officially started the next day, and didn’t think she was going to make it 2 weeks but she had to at least try.

She thought she was dying the first week because it was a totally different change as far as nutrition was concerned. She was used to working out, but the nutrition was a huge change. The workouts were totally different than what she was used to, but she liked them. It was the nutrition part that was different for her, but she got used to it. By the 2nd week, she was addicted and she kept going back.

She then had to take a week off since she was going on a cruise, but she did her LyonStrong workouts in the gym on the ship. People were looking at her like she was an alien, but she didn’t care. She still did them, and got her workouts in. When she came back from the cruise, she was ready to go! Needless to say, she DID complete the 6 week program! 😊 That was her first major accomplishment, she actually finished something she started!

Before, she had major pain in her knees because of arthritis. But she’s seen lots of changes since then. She’s lost weight, feels stronger, and seldom and has knee pain anymore. She has a lot more energy and makes much better food choices that she’s happy with. Sometimes she thinks that she wants the old stuff, but after a bite or two she thinks, “Why am I eating this?”. 

Interestingly, the sweet tooth hasn’t gone away but it’s manageable now. She feels like the program is great and the functionality of everything is good with her body. The weight loss is a bonus. She has fluctuated, but that’s because she knows where her trouble areas are, and fixes them.

She is now able to move in ways she couldn’t before – particularly, with squats. She wasn’t able to do them before because of the knee pain she would get from attempting to do them, and moving improperly. However, she is able to squat correctly now, without pain. She hasn’t managed to touch her toes yet, but she is closer to them than she was before, because her  flexibility has improved so much. Her body composition has definitely changed. You can actually see her muscles and shapely figure versus just having fat, so that’s also a big plus!

The LyonStrong program has made her more conscious of what she is now doing. There are times when she feels like she wants to slack, but when she does, she can feel the difference, and doesn’t like how it feels. Going to LyonStrong makes her feel motivated and helps her make better food choices. She now eats like she should about 95% of the time. It also helps her with the fitness part of it because it gives her the energy she needs to do it, since she feels very sluggish if she doesn’t eat correctly. 

She is very satisfied with everything. She feels emotionally balanced, she feels great physically and nutritionally. She used to be very picky with what she ate, what she didn’t eat, and what she thought she would never eat, but now she has no complaints about foods anymore.

If you haven’t been to LyonStrong yet, Smiley says, “Get your butts in here! Come in and take a look. The hardest part is stepping foot in here. Once you’re in here, it’s more than likely that you’re going to see something  you like.”

She personally didn’t like the commercial gyms she frequented prior to coming to LyonStrong because the exercises were boring, it didn’t feel like the staff really cared about her, and they were more concerned about taking her money. At LyonStrong, she feels like it’s a different atmosphere. “From the moment you walk inside, you feel the warmth, you feel like someone actually cares about you. If you haven’t gone to LyonStrong, you should go. It’s a huge family!”, she says.

For those that are just starting, she advises to continue. It may be difficult in the beginning, but don’t stop. Keep going, stay focused, stay committed. Just make sure you go in, even when you don’t feel like it, because that’s probably the best time to go. You will feel very satisfied afterwards. So don’t give it. Keep it up!

“If you’re having issues, please talk to someone. Talk to Lyonel, talk to whoever you feel comfortable with that has actually experienced what you are experiencing because more than likely we have all been where you’re at, so just keep going. Don’t stop.” – Charisa Smiley


Favorite Workout Music: Old School Miami Booty Shake Music – It’s something about the actual beats. Forget the lyrics, you can take the lyrics out, just take the music and pump it up. You can even speed the tempo up a little bit, and BAM! – you can’t go wrong with that.

Favorite Quote: “Don’t stop. Don’t quit!” – It’s very easy to quit as soon as things get rough. It’s very easy to go back into your shell and hibernate yourself. But you always have to push yourself. So keep telling yourself, Don’t Stop. Don’t Quit. You will see the results that you want, so you have to keep going. 

Favorite Book: The Bible – It’s our instructional guide to how we should be as people. It gives us everything we need in every situation, if we allow ourselves to pay attention to it. If you feel like it doesn’t apply to you, or if you don’t want to make the necessary adjustments, then it can be problematic. But, if you listen to it, it can mold your life, so it’s the greatest book for me.

Smiley can’t believe the fact that she’s still here with us at LyonStrong. Like she mentioned before, she didn’t think she would last the first 2 weeks. When she committed to the 6 week challenge, she felt buyers remorse. She didn’t think she was going to be able to do it, but she did! She’s very impressed with herself for the fact that it’s been over a year and she’s still with us. Now, she can’t imagine going anywhere else. “This is home” she says.

What she really likes about LyonStrong is that Lyonel really cares about you and your success. It’s not about him or his brand. If he sees that you are really committed and trying make your own lifestyle changes, he is a person who’s going to help you do it, as long as you’re doing the work. So if you feel like you’re going to be doing this on your own, you’re not. 

She feels like it’s very normal to come in here, and once you’re in the group setting, you feel like you can’t do everything that that group is doing – not knowing where everyone is at. But she says not to compare yourself to anybody else. Just come in and do it. The support that you get is phenomenal. You can’t go wrong with Lyonel’s program. She has never been this committed to any fitness program ever. She has never really found what she liked until she found LyonStrong.

Smiley’s been so inspired by all her improvements that she got certified as an Xtreme Fitness Step Instructor and now teaches others the joy of fitness through her Xtreme Hip Hop class here at LyonStrong every Saturday at 1:00pm

Watching Smiley’s journey has been so incredible for all of us here at LyonStrong!

Her commitment, consistency, and uplifting energy, has truly been an inspiration.

We are so grateful to be a part of her journey.

Lyonel Lumarque



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