Lisa Charles is a federal prosecutor turned singer/actress, wellness expert, certified health
coach/consultant, and speaker.
She is the CEO of Embrace Your Fitness, LLC, the author of Yes!
Commit. Do. Live, and a Brain, Body, and Belief Alignment Specialist. Lisa empowers individuals
to let go of their limiting beliefs, embrace who they truly are, and break through any age limiting barriers, allowing them to experience wellness from her top-down, inside-out
approach—The AGE DEFYING LIFE!
Find her at Yes Coach Lisa Charles | Fitness Expert. Author. Speaker. Coach.
My Life Journey:
If I could sum up my life, it would be one of love, faith, belief, and a creative outlook on career. I
grew up 1 of 5 siblings, often integrating school systems from New York, Maryland, and
Connecticut. My parents, LaVerne and Edgar Russell, were very supportive of my creative
endeavors and recognized my interest in becoming a lawyer from an early age. I loved Perry
Mason! I loved how he helped people out of difficult situations, and how he did it with drama
Therefore, it was no surprise to my family that I later became a state prosecutor focused on
child abuse and rape cases and then later a federal prosecutor putting away organized crime
members, crooked police, and other corruption defendants. What surprised everyone was when I left the practice of law after 13 years to pursue my love of the arts as actress and singer. After getting an agent, I did commercial work and corporate
work. I created several one-woman jazz and gospel shows; and I appeared in several off Broadway shows, including playing Blanche in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” I even had the opportunity to sing opera at Carnegie Hall.
I thought I had everything figured out—Broadway, here I come! But after a throat infection and
a bad reaction to medication, both my singing and speaking voice were compromised. At the
time, I decided to focus completely on my health, with one driving force—get healthy without
Life is funny. In my despair, I found a new passion that I never knew I had. After successfully
losing more than 77 pounds, not only did I love fitness, but I was also passionate about
acquiring a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the brain and the body.
I became a fitness trainer, fitness instructor, health coach, wellness coach, and later the
fitness/wellness coordinator for the Rutgers University Aging & Brain Health Alliance.
Now, as CEO of Embrace Your Fitness, I help stressed-out corporate executives, employees, and
community members find their inner power to tap into true wellness with my top-down,
Many career events informed and transformed my life. One situation made a lasting impact on
me as a person and as a woman of faith.
As a federal prosecutor, I was on a case with two other attorneys. We were taking on a major
crime family, and I found myself as the only woman and only African American on the trial
team. After conducting a particularly blistering day of cross-examination, I returned to the
office, where I was surprised to find my supervisor and two FBI agents waiting for me.
My supervisor, Bob asked, “Lisa, is there someplace you can send your son?” (At the time, my
husband and I had only one son, who was about 2-1/2 years old.) I replied, “No … what are you
talking about?” They told me there was a threat placed on my life and that until that threat was
resolved, my family and I would be under 24-hour watch. The SWAT team and the U.S Marshals
were tasked with keeping me safe until the threat no longer existed.
When I look back at that time, it seems surreal that SWAT team members would drive me to
and from work and take my son to daycare, and U.S. Marshals would accompany me wherever I
went. That was my reality for almost a year.
When I was growing up, my mom shared one of her grandfather’s questions he loved to ask,
“What are you made of?”
With this experience, I found the answer. I learned that I was strong, resilient, and focused
beyond belief. I also found that I could meet my fears and that I had the ability to do anything
that I put my mind to. After all, I still had to prosecute our case regardless of what was
happening in the background.
But most importantly, I gained a deep understanding that the most significant thing in life is
love—love of family and friends. That experience challenged me to gain a deeper
understanding of my faith and who I was at my innermost core.