From my peak weight in 1983 to my peak shape in 1993, I transformed myself from 248 lbs. to 175 lbs. To everyone else, I looked like the embodiment of health and fitness; I was one of the top celebrity trainers, a fitness writer and an in-demand fitness model. I’d done my share of TV appearances, posters, calendars, and even had my own Fitness Work-out videos. I also wrote and hosted a critically acclaimed video about steroids for the educational market. To my friends back in Jersey and even myself, it really seemed like I was living “the Dream”.


If this was “Living the Dream”, I didn’t know how much more I could take. Somewhere along the way the dream had become a nightmare and it was breaking me. Although I was known for that “Healthy Blond California Look”, no one knew what it took to achieve it. I was obsessed with always being my best. I thought the constant pain, hunger and cravings and the binge-purge cycle was the price to pay to live the dream. After all, my ability to make a living depended on it and if you can’t hit your peak each time, there’s always someone else to fill your spot. To get the ripped abs, I had the perfect routine of overtraining, stimulants, laxatives, diuretics, fasting and vomiting. Add a tan, some blond highlights, the right make-up and hair people and my “Game Face” was on.


After 2 years of fitness modeling, my body started to rebel against me. I was well past my expiration date and living on sheer motivation and discipline. It started getting harder for me to peak and maintain top shape. My willingness to do “Whatever it takes” led me into a more dangerous lifestyle. “Bulimic episodes” and “Herbal Stimulants” became an integral part of my preparation.

At the time, my routine seemed like a good idea, but the problems it caused soon became impossible to ignore. My heart raced, my kidneys hurt, I couldn’t sleep, I was in constant pain and it wasn’t long before I had that burned-out look. The cost had become too high; there wasn’t enough time or energy to do what I needed each day to look my best. I had the feeling the end was near and I knew it was only a matter of time before I would breakdown. In a span of 3 years I’d managed to go from chasing “the carrot on the stick” to choking on it. My health, energy and youth had slipped away and for what - A magazine cover? To be known? To impress people? To be accepted? All of the above!

Everything I’d worked for and built my life around was crumbling down around me - my body, career and life. I racked my brains thinking if I had left any stone unturned. I searched everywhere for the magical exercise, newest super-food and miracle supplement that would buy me more time. In short, I was looking to cut a deal with the Devil, but unknowingly, I already had years before when I started with all of my ingenious shortcuts. The devil had come to collect and now it was time to pay up.


The constant pain had been intensifying for years; the breaking point came on Dec 30, 1994. I took a walk on the beach to contemplate my darkening future. That day is etched within my soul. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t think straight. Every step was killing me. Everything hurt, my joints, lower back and my ever- present sciatica. It had gotten to the point that I couldn’t sleep and I dreaded waking up each day, every step was a reminder that the gravy train was running out of track. I actually feared getting modeling jobs. I knew I was on borrowed time and life as I knew it was coming to an abrupt end. I’d never before felt so helpless or hopeless as on that day. I was humbled to the point of prayer. If not for Divine Intervention, I don’t know how it would’ve ended.

For me there was no absolution, dispensation or miracle healing from the pain. It actually got worse before it got better. On New Years Eve I flew to Sun Valley, Idaho to train a client for 2 weeks. It was A-list luxury on the grandest scale and I was miserable in my pain. I couldn’t sleep and there was no relief; all I could do was think about how unbearable life had become, how I got into this condition and was there going to be a future.


After 2 decades of following the new and next “Guru du Jour” I’d hit rock bottom and I hit it hard. I was a burnt-out, broken-down mess and I was angry. I’d trusted the Industry Experts with my time and money, and their incompetence robbed me of my health, strength, youth, and quality of life. I learned first hand that the industry doesn’t take responsibility or offer any guarantees. If it doesn’t live up to the hype or go as planned, you’re on your own and left to sort thru the wreckage wondering how, what, why and where it all went wrong.

In LA, failure is like a disease, everyone thinks it’s contagious, word travels at lightening speed, the phone just stops ringing and you don’t get a second chance. In a town where it’s all about 'Health, Strength, Youth and Beauty', I suddenly felt like a social leper. I was reminded of my situation every time I would see people who knew me when I had been my best. I didn’t have to be a psychic to know their thoughts. They always had the “What in the hell happened to you?” look in their eyes. It was awkward, embarrassing and humbling. To avoid these situations, my vanity turned me into a recluse for over a decade. In the end the curse of my vanity would turn out to be the greatest blessing. It was the sparkplug that pushed me to keep listening to my soul’s voice and find my way back to pursue the dream.

So it seemed that before I ever got a chance to start to live my life, the dream was over and the best was behind me. At 33, The dream couldn’t end this way, I wouldn’t accept it. It’s not like I arrived at this state because I’d lived like a hedonistic Rock Star, the ticket to my breakdown wasn’t decadence, but thru over-motivation and unwavering discipline.

My condition may have derailed my dreams, but it brought me face to face with my soul and allowed me to see what I was made of. When all the soul-searching was done, I realized I had 2 options - I could either accept that the best was behind me and find a new line of work or take control and find the missing information to rebuild my health, strength and youth that no one seemed to think was possible. The “Acceptance route” was unacceptable. I realized that I would rather die trying to achieve what I knew was possible in my soul than buy into the New Age "Acceptance" movement and accept “this is as good as it gets and try and make the best of it".

When I made up my mind, I went from consumed to possessed. I found there was another gear I never even knew I had. I became a human experiment; I pursued every viable option and modality at my own expense, which would top well over $100,000 by the end of 2009. As I threw myself into learning as much as I could about every possible healing modality, I began to see the litany of mistakes that led to my current mess. It was like peeling away the layers of an artichoke. My path would end up taking me 15 years before I came up with a livable program that reconciled all the different realms of information - Old and New Schools, Eastern and Western philosophy, Physical and Meta-Physical.


Finding the Sinnergy program came at great cost. I ended up “Jumping from the Frying pan into the Fire“. If my life which was intolerable before the breakdown, it went from bad to worse for the next decade. I had to give up my life, but at that point I really didn’t have much of one anyway. I was trading the pain for much more visible effects which were devastating to my ego and vanity. From the mistakes I was making, my hair fell out, my insomnia got worse and I was losing my strength and vitality so fast that my 1994 breakdown looked like a picnic. Although there was no Blueprint for what I was trying to do, I knew in my heart I was being given a second chance at life and achieving the dream. What kept me going was the realization that all the damage could be undone and I could be better than I ever thought possible. This, was the "carrot on the stick" that kept me going full throttle over the last 14 years.


So where does one start? Is it a vitamin or an herb? What about my diet? Is it really about "Mind over Matter"? Is a "Positive Mental Attitude" the answer to my problems? Is it a meditation, mantra or mudra? I found that there is no science or blueprint for regaining ones health, strength or energy, once it’s on the decline. Without an all-inclusive blueprint, we all end up in the same gauntlet of Trial and Error, making the same mistakes. Trying to find the truth within all the conflict and confusion can easily break our spirit in the process. I learned the hard way, it's a 'Buyer Beware' market and it’s every man for himself.

Finding the information to restore my health and strength became a full-time job. I was on a frantic search for answers and I left no stone unturned. I was willing to pay anything for the secret. The biggest eye-openers were the Health and Wellness Trade Shows. Everywhere you turned, you would hear about the newest guru or miracle product. I’d never seen so many self-proclaimed experts and masters in one place at one time. I fasted, went vegetarian, used crystals, massage, magnets and Energy Healers. It was a wake-up call to say the least. The more guru’s I met the more disenchanted and self-reliant I became.

The last thing I wanted to do was become a 'Professional Seeker'. I could no longer afford to blindly accept claims and defend experts that couldn’t demonstrate what they taught. The “hope effect” of something “New” only lasts so long, and then reality sets in. My quest was to find “Who, if any, was right?” I couldn’t rule anything out until I experienced it, but how much did I have to experience before I knew it was the same old shite with a different name and face.

After years of being scammed, I was more than a little cynical to say the least. Realizing that I couldn’t trust the same mind that got me into this mess, I started to trust my instinct and use plain old common sense. I now took everything with a grain of salt. I became hypersensitive to “expert speak” and the "politically correct, new age" talk. I saw everything was just conjecture backed by shadowy new age credentials. As far as experience, I’ve tested every viable modality that’s made the slightest bit of sense within the New Age and Alternative Industries. I've learned 2 lessons that I can pass on to others 1) “the reality never lives up to the hype” and 2) “ a fool and his money are soon parted”.

A funny story - I was told I would be a good candidate for one of the newest miracles at that time, Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT. I’d had several bouts with HRT in the 80’s, only then they were illegal, supposedly harmful and called Anabolic Steroids. I believe that my past history with HRT was one of the main reasons I was in the mess to begin with. Since the 80’s when I had my bouts with steroids, popular Science had reversed it’s position on them, renamed it HRT and the same doctors that said it was deadly in the 80’s were now telling us that it’s was the Fountain of Youth in the 90’s. GH or Growth Hormone was also touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Being a partner in a Cabo San Lucas Growth Hormone Longevity clinic in 1991, I’d already taken a few cycles. If it was the miracle that science claimed it to be, I wouldn’t have been in the mess I was in.


As I started to find my way thru the Meta-Physical jungle, I started to gravitate toward Eastern Philosophy and Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. The problem I faced was that I was always listening to some westerners interpretation of Eastern Wisdom. I saw that there was a chasm of difference between the message and the messenger. If anyone really knew, they’d “Heal Thyself”. I knew if I really wanted to know about Chinese Medicine, I’d have to find a real Master, but how?

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. The only people that lived the quality of life that I knew was possible were the Shaolin Monks of China. I didn’t see that as an option for me, I couldn’t rush off to China, nor did I have the years to become a master's pupil. I wanted my life back now. Out of the multitude of Healers, Guru’s and Masters I met, only a few actually helped me. Of this handful only one was living proof of all that I knew was possible. He is one of the most remarkable people I’d ever met in my life. James Lu was a 61-year-old Shaolin Grandmaster that was also a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. One day out of the blue, a friend in my gym introduced me to him. Master James Lu was the most knowledgeable, powerful and vital people I’d ever met. It was Divine Intervention and I knew it. I became his student while he was in this country.

James Lu taught me the differences between Eastern and Western Science. The secret wasn’t in different ways to increase the heart rate and ‘what not to eat’ but connecting to the flow of Chi that connectes and animates all things. This was the missing link. I had to learn all about the boundaries of connection, but Grandmaster Lu went back to China before I got a full understanding of the Chi energy. He did give me the introduction to the concept and show me the example of what was possible. A good friend of mine, Nancy Santullo, who was also seeker, introduced me to another master that she studied with, Chris Fernie. I became his student for the next 2 years. Nothing can compare to learning how to connect to the Chi energy. Chris was one of the most patient and best teachers on my path back. He helped make it simple.

In the last Decade, I was forced to confront all the basic premises from the different contributing Western Sciences and reconcile them with Eastern Philosophy and the concept of Chi energy. When I finally understood the concept of the energy force and flow, everything fit together. I was able to reconcile the conflicting opinions and conclusions between the eastern and western sciences and build a better blueprint to achieve and maintain what we all know is possible.

Three thousand years ago, the Chinese gave the world a set of rules to connect with the Chi energy to help us achieve and maintain health, strength and longevity. Thru Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi and Chi Kung, we’ve become aware of the secret of the ancients and it’s now here to stay, but the problem is we’re adapting it to our flawed Caloric Balance model never seeing the conflict.

I haven’t reinvented the wheel, but hopefully I’ve been able to make it easier to understand how to use weight training, stretching and breathing to connect with the Chi energy. When we master the boundaries, Life becomes fun again. Through better understanding of choices, we have a chance to get closer to our goals every second. Without the information about connecting with the energy that's around, nothing in the world can take its place. I know because I tried just about everything in my 14 years search.