I suppose my first book, The Woman Missing in the Mirror, came to exist through what I have come to understand as sheer necessity. Sure, I could have written the book to a much larger audience and probably done it relatively easily because the majority of the principles I included in the book are not gender-biased. They are highly effective, regardless of gender. The reasons I have chosen to speak to women exclusively came through working almost exclusively with female clients. I couldn’t tell you with certainty how this unique circumstance came to be. What I can tell you with certainty is that through working with countless women over a career spanning more than fifteen years, I was given a gift by each and every one of them that has shifted the entire direction of my career. The gift is this.
Each of these ladies provided me with a glimpse of a reality that I had no idea existed. No matter who the woman was who sat down in my office seeking help, regardless if she was the middle-aged mother of four who woke up one day to find herself at the bottom of a mile long to-do list, making sure her husband and children’s needs are all tended to long before her own. Or is she the single mother juggling the responsibilities of providing for her children while working a full-time job and desperately attempting to maintain her sanity. Or perhaps she is the independent woman who feels she has to sacrifice her own identity and health to climb to the top of the corporate ladder. Regardless of which one of these ladies was sitting across from me, her reality was always the same: She held deep inside, locked away from the world, a view of herself that was very different from mine.
After helping the number of women that I have, I have become comfortable with the fact that I can physically transform anyone who steps into my office. It is not my intention to make that last statement sound obtuse or egotistical. It is a necessary statement to best illustrate my point. That said, when looking at the woman sitting across from me, the question is never if but rather when I should be able to complete her transformation. It is common practice for me during initial discussions to evaluate the woman’s current physical state, for obvious reasons. It is at this point in the process that I believe the seeds were planted for what has now grow to become my book The Woman Missing in the Mirror. I have sat in dismay time and time again during initial discussions with females to find that no matter what the woman’s background included — the level of education, financial or social status — this dazzling, fully capable woman sitting with me thought of herself as worthless and had completely giving up on the idea of actually reaching any of her goals. Regardless of beauty, size, shape or age, it didn’t seem to matter — I always found the same woman stepping into my office! A woman who sat down broken and defeated from a lifetime of tried-and-failed attempts to desperately find the woman missing in the mirror. It was at this point that I became obsessed with the idea of helping as many women as possible to find that missing woman.
I simply could not believe that this is how so many women experience their lives. Uncomfortable and despondent from whom they see reflecting back in the mirror. Through my obsessive desire to find an answer as to why this was the outcome for so many, I began to seek what had actually triggered such a poor mental disposition in each of these women. Obviously there are a number of variables, and for that reason, each case is somewhat unique, but I was able to discover a set of universal expectations that would throw anyone, including myself, off the road to success.
This is the point when I made the connection. The negative disposition I have discussed throughout this blog that so many women share is nothing more than a symptom! A symptom created from a problem in the fitness industry that I have been aware of for the better part of a decade. The “problem,” as I have labeled it, is this: The fitness industry tends to provide you, the consumer, with what you want, not what you need. There is a significant difference between what you actually need and what think you need to achieve lifelong success in relation to the physical changes you’re seeking.
If this idea seems crazy, stop and think about your track record up to this point. In most cases, if you can recall a time in your past when you were successful, the results you saw were mediocre, at best, and ultimately unsustainable. Now because this is the experience so many women share, it becomes the expectation! You lose weight and gain it back. You always maintain two wardrobes in your closet, one for the when-life-is-good version of you and one for the when-the-world-is-ending version of you.
Let’s pause for a moment to look at the big picture here and see if you can spot the problem I am trying to point out to you. The business model described above really puts a spotlight on how and why the fitness industry has become big business. You spend your hard-earned money on the latest and greatest fat burner, in-home six-minute workout, or thirty-day challenge — none of which were designed to provide you with long-term results. They were designed to provide instant-gratification results, or short-term success. This short-term success I speak of equates to results you are incapable of maintaining, which then creates a sense of dependency that keeps you coming back for more of those magic pills or insane workouts that nearly kill you every time you perform them. This is the recipe that big-name companies in the fitness industry use to sell a whole lot of products to lifetime customers like you!
Think of those instant-gratification results as nothing more than the smoke and mirrors you see in a magic show. They often teach you to focus on specific data, such as what your trusty scale is telling you, which just so happens to be a piece of information I virtually never use with my clients because it has no true bearing on how they are progressing. In fact, in most cases I ask my clients to toss their scale because it has the potential to do more mental damage in the event they step on it. I will save the in-depth conversation in regard to that pesky scale and why it is useless for another blog. The point is that what the fitness industry preaches you should do, and what true fitness professionals do personally to achieve their own results are oftentimes drastically different prescriptions.
Now those of you saying to yourselves, “Well, of course the prescriptions are different for the pros; their bodies don’t operate like mine, otherwise I would look like them!” WRONG! As I tell every one of my clients, at the end of the day, we are all made of the same stuff! Sure, there are a few variables that need to be addressed, which is why you will never find a one-size-fits-all diet or workout that actually achieves results. As a whole, our systems all operate and respond to exercise and nutrition in similar ways — which brings me to the point of how my book came to exist. I was sick and tired of meeting woman after woman who was completely broken and hopeless from countless failed attempts at transforming her body using resources that were never going to provide her with the tools for transformation in the first place. After developing the program I use today to help countless women achieve what they were certain was the unachievable, I knew I had the solution that could completely transform so many lives. I just needed to find the platform that would allow women all around the world access to it.
I have always believed that all things happen for a reason and exactly as they were intended to. With that personal belief, I began to understand that the shift in my clientele to almost exclusively women was no accident. After seeing so many of the profound changes the women I worked with had achieved and what those changes had done in their lives, I began to believe and understand that getting my message and resources to as many women as I could was my life’s purpose. This is the thinking that laid the foundation necessary for the book to go from a simple idea to where it is today in the publishing process. Despite the tremendous amount of hours that owning my own business requires and all of the responsibilities I have in my personal life, I knew putting my methods and concepts down on paper would provide the best possible opportunity to extend my reach and help women all around the world to recognize they do not have to go through life ashamed to put on a bathing suit, or shut the lights off before their spouse comes into the bedroom. She’s not destined to live out her days trapped in a body she can’t stand to look at simply because she made the choice to start a family. Most of all my intentions are that through my book, that the woman who feels helpless and alone finally finds the beautiful, vibrant woman who had been nothing more than a distant memory, a woman she was certain she would never see again.
I will leave you with this thought: In every single one of the women I have helped to transform, regardless of personal goals, responsibilities or physical limitations, the most valuable tool I possess and provide her with is the ability to see that same strong, exquisite, priceless woman that I see when she first sat down in my office. Next time you step in front of that mirror, stop for a moment, take a deep breath and remember that the woman you’re so desperate to see reflecting back is standing right in front of you. Each of you reading this is worth the effort and absolutely capable, just as in the case of each of my clients!