Category Archives: Lifestyle

Stick to Your Guns

Whenever I hear the expression “stick to your guns”, I think of Tom Cruise (aka Maverick) in the 1986 blockbuster, Top Gun, when he’s in the heat of battle with six hostile MiGs and triumphantly declares, “I will not leave my wingman”.  Now that’s someone with true conviction who literally sticks to his guns, and one who sets a great example for anyone with little or no resolve to even make it through Lent without abandoning their abstinence.

Case in point:

I recently had dinner with two friends, a man and woman about my age (i.e., 50), who have each gained 20+ pounds in the past year. And both said exactly the same thing – that they “gave up sugar for Lent” and were determined to shed their unwanted weight. But when it came time for dessert, they both changed their tune and ordered the most sugar-filled items on the menu – Tiramisu in an edible chocolate cup and a slice of Red Velvet cake.  So when I chuckled and asked, “Aren’t you going to stick to your guns and not eat sugar for the next 40 days”, they simply brushed me off and said it was no big deal since it was only this one time.

So much for having the courage and discipline to stick to their guns, especially when it comes to their health and well-being. Something I just can’t get my arms around (no pun intended).

Think about it. Setting your intentions and following through with your game plan, i.e., doing what you say, is not only good for your psyche and your self-confidence, but also helps everyone else around you because you’re leading by example. And if you don’t believe you can do it…NONSENSE. Just set your intentions and muster the fortitude to stick to your guns.

YOU CAN DO IT…just like I’ve been doing in Hollywood for the past 7 years. Peace – R

Rich Tola at LA Fashion Week

Rich Tola at Los Angeles Fashion Week (March 10, 2014)

How to Live Strong and Stay Sexy

Everyone knows the expression “easier said than done” right? Well, that’s certainly not the case when it comes to Living Strong and Staying Sexy. At least it’s not if you’re always feeling good about yourself and radiating your Inner Beauty out into the Universe. Not to mention sticking to an energizing Daily Fitness Program that keeps your body (and your mind) strong and clear.

Believe in and commit to a Strong Body – Clear Mind. That’s my mantra, and it works! Just like the folks at Livestrong.com who are dedicated to building stronger, healthier and happier lives by offering authoritative expert content about diet, nutrition, fitness, wellness and lifestyle.

So if you’ve lost that strong and sexy feeling and could use a little fitness inspiration today, check out my “How To” videos on the healthy living website (click each title to watch the video):

#1 How to Burn Belly Fat & Lose Weight with a 7-Minute Interval Workout
#2 How to Do a Handstand & Touch Your Feet to Your Head
#3 How to Stay Active All Day
#4 How to Do a Back Stand
#5 How to Know Your Weight-to-Waist Ratio
#6 How to Warm-up for Squats
#7 How to Roll After a Jump
#8 How to Roll on the Ground
#9 How to Look for Yoga Teacher Trainings in Macomb County, Michigan
#10 Yoga Shoulder Shrugs

Enjoy – R

"LA's Sexiest" by Los Angeles Magazine (photo taken at the 'Sexy LA' premiere at Hakkasan Beverly Hills, October 2013)

“LA’s Sexiest” by Los Angeles Magazine (photo taken at the ‘Sexy LA’ premiere at Hakkasan Beverly Hills, October 2013)

Never Assume it’s a Done-Deal

No matter what your “deal” is, never assume it’s a done-deal while it’s still a work-in-process.

Case in point: This morning I was advising a real estate broker friend on re-submitting a purchase offer on a piece of land in the Hamptons (a popular seaside resort in NY with some of the most expensive residential properties in the US) when I said, “Never assume it’s a done-deal”. He responded by explaining that last week the listing broker said the property owner accepted an offer from someone else, and that his bone fide buyer should just “wait and see”.

Wait and see…forgettaboutit!

How about speaking with your buyer and determining whether or not they could sweeten their bid by changing a deal point – like the deposit money or contingencies or closing date – I said. Because a real estate deal is never done until title to the property transfers and the money is in the bank (or better yet, your bank, since that means the deal closed and you got paid).

So whatever you do, Don’t Make Assumptions. It doesn’t serve you well and only leads to futurizing, i.e., obsessing over something that hasn’t happened yet and quite possibly may never happen. Focus on the present, and don’t defeat yourself with a done-deal attitude.

Enjoy – R

PS – Audio-Book for my memoir COMING SOON!

Celebrate the Emptiness

Bruce Lee

Martial Art’s greatest, Bruce Lee

I was inspired today when I read this in my friend’s yoga newsletter and wanted to share it with you:

“Emptiness is the starting point. In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all your preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty.” Bruce Lee

It’s simply about clearing yourself of negative energy and creating space in your being, your mind-body-spirit, to absorb new positive energies & opportunities from a neutral, white canvas-like starting point.

Easier said than done. But definitely achievable…because ANYONE can.

Have the courage and confidence to empty your cup today and Celebrate the Emptiness!

Enjoy – R

Beware the Secret Affair

Here’s a follow-up to my recent blog – or rather Rant – about helping Ladies to stop wasting their precious time with bad-boys who just wanna have fun. Because for the most part Ladies, guys can be quite ruthless when it comes to dating.

Case in point: last night I was hanging with a bunch of twenty-something year-olds who were enjoying themselves over numerous Vodka Cranberries and Whiskey Sours. So this drunk guy starts talking to me about this gal he’s been secretly sleeping with for the past month. Interestingly, about 20 minutes earlier I specifically asked him if he was dating the hot party gal sitting across from me. Because as the wily veteran that I am, it was obvious she was smitten with him. He said no, of course, and proceeded to flirt with her until he asked me to join him for a smoke outside. And once outside, he started spilling the beans about his wild love affair with her – including ALL the sexy details of their romantic dalliances.

But wait, it gets better. As soon as we return to the table, his covert gal announces her departure and quickly leaves (and she was definitely hoping he would accompany her, but he didn’t). And not only did he stay, but as soon as she left he started hitting on her friend sitting right next to him. At which point I leaned over and said three simple words, “Don’t do it”. He just smiled at me and kept on pursuing. Until I finally pulled him aside and said “Hey buddy, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”, and if he continues with his stupid pursuit he’ll certainly screw-up his torrid love affair and “be left holding his own d— in his hand”. He just smiled at me and said, “No chance pal, they’ll never know.”

Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out, but there’s NO CHANCE this wanna-be Gigolo gets away with it. Fortunately for his sake, the unsuspecting friend denied his advances and soon left the bar. And fortunately for my sake, I didn’t have to be this chucklehead’s therapist since he didn’t say another word about it and was immediately hitting on other babes at the bar.

So there you have it Ladies – another disrespectful bad-boy who thinks he can score with two friends at the same time. Yes, I completely understand this mindset because 20 years ago I was this guy (go figure, right). So heed my advice and Beware the Secret Affair. And more importantly, when it comes to amateur Gigolos trying to be your Mr. Right Now, employ my favorite 4 letter word…NEXT.

And until next time…don’t forget to get your workout in! Enjoy – R

From The Big Apple to Screenland

Or shall I say, From Wall Street to Hollywood. Because if you didn’t already know, Screenland is synonymous with Hollywood and the movie industry. And you definitely know The Big Apple, my second all-time favorite city. Yes, it’s true, I’ve just moved back to Los Angeles – my favorite city in the world – after spending the past nine months exploring such unique and beautiful locales like Honolulu and San Francisco, not to mention my most recent adventures in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

In fact, when you read my intriguing new memoir that’s quite a page-turner, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, you’ll experience life in a plethora of other great cities I called home including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Princeton. And don’t forget my hometown of Trenton, NJ, where old-school Sicilian customs and traditions like representing the family, funerals, and falling off the truck were all the rage! Well, you get my drift. There’s tons of exciting stories from across the globe…with women attached, of course.

So I’m happy to report I’m “back in the wood” and here for good. North Hollywood, actually, because I always wanted to explore this NOHO neighborhood and Studio City part of town. At least until Howard Stern or Wendy Williams calls to have me on their NYC shows! Hey, ya neva’ know!

Have a great day everyone, and don’t forget to add at least a modicum of daily workout to your reading today. Enjoy – R

Set your sights…and weigh in!

Set your sights on new goals and opportunities, and weigh in. That’s right, it’s New Year’s Day so get on the scale and check your body weight. Because your weight matters, and having a known starting point for the new year is important. And the next thing you should do is workout. That’s right: weigh in and workout. Because preserving your body starts with a daily fitness program. So set your sights for 2012, and know that exercising every single day helps push back the hands of time – and unnecessary pounds of time.

Today I weighed in at 151, then did 30 minutes of abs and yoga stretches, then 30 minutes of weight lifting (mostly machines). Afterward I drove the amazing 5 mile stretch from Hawaii Kai to the Makapuu Lighthouse, hugging the shoreline around the southeast corner of the Island as the waves crash into the rocks below. The certainly challenging but very do-able uphill run starting from the Kalanianaole Highway up to the Lighthouse, well, it ranks second only to my favorite – Runyon Canyon in Hollywood. Not that the 1.5 mile loop around the Reservoir in NY’s Central Park, or the beautiful West River Drive and the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps aren’t great runs too! But the breathtaking ocean views along the narrow blacktop road leading to the Lighthouse are incredible. Not to mention the energy you feel as you pass the lookout for the Humpback whale sanctuary. Totally awesome. And worth running or walking – at least once in a lifetime!

I never imagined I would be traveling this lovely Hawaiian path when I first set my sights on publishing my memoirs less than six months ago. So believe in yourself and believe that you can. Then get on the scale and get started with your daily fitness program. Wherever you are! And if you don’t know where to start, how about strengthening your core with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #81 – Plank Crunches. Happy New Year – R

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

You know this old adage about beauty being subjective to each one of us, right? Well, that may be true for the rest of the world, but in Hawaii, beauty is everywhere to everyone! Today is my 10th day on the island of Oahu, and just like they say, it’s quite a paradise. Of course it takes time getting settled in a new place that I never visited and didn’t know a single soul who even lived here. But I’ve since met some really nice people and found a very pleasant place to live in the quaint neighborhood of Kaimuki – and a baseball’s throw away from Hawaii’s most recognized landmark, Diamond Head.

To add to my good fortune, I’m overlooking the Pacific Ocean as I write this blog. Two days ago I climbed Diamond Head State Monument and snapped this picture from the top of the 300,000 year-old saucer shaped crater overlooking Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu – and just after a rainfall, thus the beautiful rainbow. I came here to be inspired by this spiritual land as I prepare to publish my memoirs and to pursue life as an actor-filmmaker and yoga professional. So if you’re in need of a little inspiration today as you weather whatever climate you’re in, take notice of the Hawaiian beauty and don’t forget to get your daily workout in with some Lounge Chair Abs!

Enjoy – R

Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood

COMING SOON! I just finished writing my memoirs, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, filled with 45 years of colorful and poignant stories about Sicilian funerals, Goombata Sal, the Jersey Shore, Wall Street, NYC strippers, lots of married women, Ivy League romances, Goth gals, bachelor parties, Interventions, my dot-com crash and burn, The Trump Organization, the real estate crash, sobriety, Hollywood “babes”, booty calls, auditions, transsexuals, sex-filled yoga retreats, making a film in two days and for $50,000, and my charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation.

Today, I start the search for the right book publisher – hopefully I’ll have a release date soon, and a book tour to follow. Just like my other works, 10% of all sales go to the foundation.

As for the Fat Burn America Tour, we continue to seek corporate sponsorship, however challenging in a US recession. In the meantime, make sure you keep up with your daily fitness program, and enjoy the arrival of Autumn with our Hollywood Sneak Peek – R

GQ – Letter to the Editor

If you’re a GQ reader like me, you probably read the August issue with Mila Kunis on the cover. On page 32, there’s a brief article by Mark Byrne called “Rewriting the Book on Yoga”, with a 15 minute yoga workout as prescribed by a studio owner in NYC. Unfortunately, I cringed when I reviewed the workout that includes three twisting and forward bending poses, the last of which is an advanced pose.

But before I add my two cents, let me state my fitness and yoga qualifications: I’m 48 years old, 5’7″ and weigh 150 pounds. My body fat is less than 9% and most people think I’m 33. I’ve worked out in fitness centers every day for the past 32 years totaling more than 12,000 hours. I’ve practiced yoga every day for the past six years totaling more than 2,000 hours. An accomplished student/athlete through college, I’m also a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Cycling Instructor, and 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher. I’ve taught more than 15,000 yoga students of all levels in the past five years, from the ages 3 to 93. I’ve created more than 15 hours of instructional yoga videos in the past two years, including a Yoga Survival Guide detailing more than 100 poses.

I currently teach yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters, who had zero experience with fitness and yoga before I got there. I have neck, low back, shoulder and wrist issues, and have been injured three times since I started practicing yoga – all from bad teachers. Thus, my very precise teaching style is designed to minimize injury to any body part, especially the neck and low back. Finally, I’ve practiced yoga mostly in New York City and Los Angeles, the yoga meccas of the United States, and have taken classes with the “so-called” best teachers in the world. 90% of which are women.

That said, here’s why I disagree with the Byrne’s claim that GQ “found the best back-saving, workout-improving moves…” When it comes to anything twisting and forward bending while standing, you better move slowly and be super careful. Your stance is critical, which the caption doesn’t clearly emphasize. The caption also says “twist your head to look up”, which you should NEVER attempt without properly warming up the spine and preparing your body for such deep twists. Revolved triangle is a perfect example of this. A good teacher wouldn’t sequence this pose until at least halfway through the yoga class, because coming into this pose is AS IMPORTANT as the pose itself. So is coming back up to stand once you’ve been in the pose for any length of time. Here’s why: once your torso weight and your 10 pound head is down and over your forward leg, you’re balancing this weight over a tight triangular stance, making it quite difficult to manage. And since most men carry their weight in their torso and have tight hamstrings, coming into – or out of – this pose without bending your legs (like the picture shows), and without moving ridiculously slow, could lead to serious injury.

Thus, it’s not back-saving at all. It’s actually quite strenuous on your neck, low back and hamstrings. And requires ample core strength to control your torso as you’re folding forward at a 90 degree angle (if you keep your back straight like the picture – which is also very difficult). And although the directions state “you won’t be able to touch the floor right away – settle for your ankle”, very few men can even get to their ankle. Frankly, this is a very challenging pose for an advanced yogi, let alone anyone who’s never done it before. So take note and be VERY CAREFUL, especially when twisting and forward bending at the same time. And if you really want to experiment with this pose on your own, warm up and strengthen your core and abs first with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #82 – Easy Abs. Enjoy & hope to see you on the FAT BURN TOUR! – Rich Tola