Mark Turnipseed wasn’t always a model, fitness coach and author. Addiction and depression ruled his life for years before he discovered his lifeline: fitness.

Now, Turnipseed wants to share his journey and resources with others through the Sweat with Pride Fitness Expo.

The expo will be held at FTX Wellness and Performance in Boca Raton June 13. Several different vendors will be set up at the expo to offer advice, products, and a path to sobriety to attendees.

Celebrity beauty expert Tim Quinn, who has worked with Giorgio Armani Beauty, will be at the expo to share his stories and advice about becoming your best self.

“We've partnered up just because we believe that feeling beautiful on the outside is helping that mind, body, and spirit connection and is helping people recover, may it be from trauma, addiction, or the loss of a loved one,” Turnipseed said. “Developing that connection with yourself is very important.”

The expo also received donations from Hampton Sun and Dr. Barbara Sturm skin products.

Turnipseed believes that getting and staying sober requires an alignment of mind, body, and spirit.

“When I first got sober, that connected my mind with my spirit, but my body was still floundering about not knowing what to do and I ended up gaining a whole bunch of weight, and finding a brand-new depression,” he said.

After relapsing, Turnipseed decided enough was enough. He began going to the gym to swim and even started training for a triathlon.

A couple of months into his training, he started a blog so other people could benefit from his journey. Then, he came out.

“Building your network is a big thing that can happen by coming [to the expo]. Meeting other people in the LGBTQ community or other people who may not be in the LGBTQ community but are supportive of it is a huge part of recovery,” he said.

Turnipseed shared that Lakeview Health as well as Recovery Unplugged, two nationwide rehabilitation centers, will also have booths at the expo to answer questions and offer resources for overcoming addiction.

Mark will be signing copies of his number one best-selling LGBT memoir, “My Suicide Race.”

Turnipseed knows that recovering from addiction is hard, but encourages those seeking advice to come to the expo and to start small.

“I started by waking up and making my bed. I would wake up, make my bed and then I would lay back in my made bed, and I would fall back to sleep,” he said. “This little itty bitty change of just making my bed and laying back in, it started to change something inside of me.”

Turnipseed wants recovering addicts to know that they are not alone and have plenty of people ready to help them on their journey.

“That's one of the biggest things that people can realize is that they're not alone. They're not the only hopeless people,” he said. “One of the most important things that I teach people who are still struggling with addiction is to be compassionate to yourself.”

While an expo may not seem like the path to recovery, Turnipseed firmly believes it is a way to take the first step.


To register for the Sweat with Pride Fitness Expo, visit www.gayandsober.org/wellness.


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