From humble beginnings to the Hollywood lifestyle. My personal life story.
My journey really started as I drove for three days by myself at age 18 from Ohio to Los Angeles. In those three days I transformed from a child to an adult. With each passing mile, relief and joy overtook me. Finally, I was able to close the door on the people and places that would never accept me or see me for the person that I was. In Los Angeles I could be whatever I wanted and find others that were not only like me but that would invest in me for being unique. I’ve traveled the world and I like many places but I still feel very happy when the plane wheels touch down at LAX.
I went to fashion school. I went to art school. I sold aluminum siding. I worked as a telemarketer. No job was beneath me and I tried to be the best at whatever crappy place I would go. I was a good sales person and started my first business at 21. It was very successful and my life changed. I had financial freedom and could travel or buy whatever I wanted. After I sold my business I worked for Warner Brothers and other entertainment companies. But I always got bored and felt that I wasn’t living my passion. My purpose in life was not being fulfilled.
I have to disclose that I was diagnosed as a depressive when I was thirteen and really struggled significantly with that until I found fitness and healthy food. At 20-25, I became obsessed with natural, healthy foods whole foods with healing powers. I also started reading magazines and books about bodybuilding. I took what I was learning into the gym and kitchen and really learned to heal myself. Exercise releases three very important happy chemicals in the brain that depressed and anxious people are lacking serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Intense exercise and certain foods can cause the brain to release them as well. I will teach you how you can maximize this happy cocktail and feel calm and in control.
People that have known me for a long time know that my life changed drastically when I became a certified trainer 16 years ago. I saw the absolute miracle that fitness was in my own life. I became strong, developed an A-type personality and became more charismatic. My energy was completely different than when I was younger. I learned how to be adventurous and I took risks with no fear. I believed in myself completely. I am telling you now that this is all because of fitness and the healthy lifestyle I was living! First, it saved my life, and then it made my life. My friends asked me to train them and I was happy to do it. It was exciting to see that through my work with them they were not only getting great bodies and certainly looking hotter but their lives were drastically changing for the better. I was hooked! Clients started coming from all around and within a year I started my first gym and medical group. I employed trainers, physical therapists and doctors to work together to create a drastic life change for people. I employed the top trainers in the world and we worked together to develop cutting edge exercises and techniques for weight loss and strength. I’ve worked with thousands of people from all walks of life from people dealing with obesity, disease, moms wanting to lose baby weight, athletes that want to perfect their game, drug and alcohol addicts, celebrities and my favorite kind of client the one that knows they have to workout for drive and to thrive in life.
Two shows, two clinics, two gyms, five #1 DVD’s, three books (two New York Times best-sellers with one on the way) and thousands of articles, covers and media appearances later. I’m even more passionate and excited about my industry than ever before. Please hear me that your body is a beautiful machine and is the greatest gift that you have been given. It is the physical manifestation of everything you are on this earth. Through the chemical changes and the confidence you gain from embracing this new way of life, you will find that the world and people literally bend to YOUR will. Your world becomes one of YES and you will better realize your calling.
When I turned 40, I kind of fell into crisis. I didn’t like doing the type of TV that I was doing which made me uncomfortable and uneasy. I had succeeded in many ways but always had very tumultuous relationships, which caused me quite a lot of misery. Shortly thereafter, I sold my clinic and gym and found myself wondering what’s next? My last TV show didn’t do well and the shooting conditions were so bad that I vowed never to do television again unless it was a fully positive experience. My relationship with Bravo was over. They were going in a direction that I no longer fit into. Owning a business and having consistent work had always comforted me in the past, but now it was gone. To be honest, I felt a bit lost and started partying a lot. It felt like I was taking a few steps backward in life and I started making bad decisions.
I looked in the mirror one morning and realized that I did not like the person that I had become. I could no longer hide the fact that MY decisions were causing me unhappiness. I was completely exhausted by my life, my choices, and what I surmised was inauthenticity about who I really was and how I wanted others to perceive me. This dishonesty was creating a deep chasm in my psyche. I knew that I had to grow in every direction.
Anyways, here’s what I decided to do: I quit drinking for a year and I quit dating for a year. I prayed every morning and night that God would guide me to what my purpose is and that I would trust there was a plan and that not my will, but his will be done. I cut almost everyone out of my life- my friends and my business partners, everyone from managers to lawyers to social media people. I let my publicist go and told everyone I did not want to do media until I felt that I could again find a strong purpose and message. In that time, I started painting and making music, both of which make me immensely happy and self-satisfied. I wrote poetry as an outlet for my pain instead of turning it inwards. I wrote a book that has the most relevant content of anything I have done in my life. I gained 20 lbs. of mostly muscle and my body is stronger than it’s ever been. My new mantra is when in doubt, go workout. When I was super lonely, I went to the gym. When I wanted to drink, I went to the gym.
I created mega-diets for others and myself; diets that I designed and heavily researched for their healing and strength building properties. I created smarter workouts that lasted less than an hour but brought maximum intensity.
I am mentally and physically stronger than I have ever been in my life. I am balanced and happy.
My positive self-esteem has come from three things:
1) Not using negative coping tools like weed, drugs, alcohol or unhealthy relationships.
2) I create something everyday-whether its writing a poem, working with my body to create strength and proportion or anything artistic.
3) Utilizing my own methods and food plans
Just like me, you can reinvent yourself and learn to fall deeply in love with yourself. It is the greatest feeling in the world. Thank you for allowing me this honesty and vulnerability. I have created this whole website to support you on your journey and give you a place to take that step forward, with me.