Normally, I’d start this off by describing the weather in these parts and what’s going on in my day, but today, I’m in a somber mood. While I was beginning to write this to you, I was taken back to my late childhood through to my mid-teens, when I was a pretty damn good violinist – A fun fact that you may not have previously known about me! If you have kids who play an instrument, or if you play(ed) one yourself, then you know that you start off very simply by learning the basics, and as you master the basics, you’ll begin to have to work harder in order to stay at the top of your game.
My parents got me private lessons starting when I was about eight years old, and in the beginning, my private violin teacher gave me short pieces to practice prior to our next lesson. We’d go over the piece prior to it being assigned, and she’d note on the sheet(s) how to go after different sections, how it should sound, etc.
If you’re not musical, I won’t get technical, so don’t worry :-p
Anyway, my practices in between lessons didn’t require much effort between the ages of 8-12. I naturally picked up on the basics, and it all came easily for me. However, when things began to get more difficult starting at around 10-11 years old, I’d grow frustrated that I wouldn’t get a song within a ‘fast enough’ period of time, and I’d just give up on it. This was sadly right at the height of my ‘talents,’ as I had just been awarded one of the best violinists in my county (I think I was ranked fourth in my age group?), as well as being appointed my School District’s Concert Master, meaning that I was THE best violinist, and led the orchestra in a traditional ‘tune-check’ prior to a performance.
I was as surprised as anyone when I was appointed to that position, but I definitely held up my end of the bargain for that one year!
Sadly, as I mentioned earlier, the pieces began to get harder, and my talents alone weren’t good enough to keep me in high regard anymore. Music (at least when it comes to orchestral pieces) performed at a high level takes a combination of both practice AND talent. I didn’t want to do the hard work necessary to stay at a peak level, so I stopped practicing. As a result, I wasted a couple of years of both my parents’ money and my private teacher’s time trying to keep me at the high level I had reached at such a young age.
Once I stopped playing violin for good at the end of high school, I didn’t really think anything of my private teacher. In all honesty, I did what I’ve done in so many other ‘shameful’ times of my life once I’m done with them: I put those memories in the dark recesses of my brain, and moved forward, almost as if they didn’t happen…
My initial message to you earlier looked a little different than it does now. I was talking about my issues with perfectionism, and how at a young age I didn’t have the patience or the determination to work at something when I thought it should have continued to just come to me. My talents had gotten me so far, and I was pissed off that I wasn’t acing different sections of compositions on the first or second try anymore.
I had yet to discover that when you’re well-endowed in some capacity, you’ll ultimately hit a point where you see that there are plenty of people who are just as talented as you. You may be talented, but that’s not what makes you special. What separates those who flame out (like I did) from those who continue to succeed are the ones who work harder than the rest to stand out amongst that higher level of competition. I didn’t have it in my early-to-mid teens, and one of the biggest regrets of my life was giving up on my private teacher, who literally did EVERYTHING in her power to keep me interested and to keep me moving forward.
When I was putting the finishing touches on my first message, I decided to look her up. She was middle-aged at the time we worked together, so I figured I could find her email or phone number with a simple Google search. My plan was to send her the piece, and apologize for my lack of appreciation for her efforts at the time. I know I was young and that I didn’t know any better, but that’s not an excuse…
It hit me like a ton of bricks when the very first thing that popped up on Google was that she had passed just a few months back. Normally death (of people, at least) doesn’t tend to bother me. I’ve always been able to rationalize (for better or for worse) why that person passed, and as a result, I’ve been able to come to peace with death much quicker than most.
This situation was different. This was the loss of someone who saw potential in me, and went above and beyond to mentor me. I wanted to make amends and apologize for my teenage apathy (for lack of better words), and was saddened that I would never get that chance. All I can do now is apply the hard work and determination that I lacked in my early-to-mid teens to my life NOW, and to serve you, my clients, and my group members at as high a level as I can. That’s something I’m sure she would have been proud of, and it’s something that’s going to drive me until I, too, leave this earth for good.
Health and Permanent Weight Loss takes that same combination of practice and talent I mentioned earlier. By ‘practice,’ I mean the habituation of regular exercise, a positive growth mindset, and consistent, quality sleep. It takes about two months to form a habit according to scientific studies. This isn’t an overnight process. Instead, it takes critical thinking and truly NEEDING this to be your reality – Not a shortsighted want based on vanity.
By ‘talent,’ I refer to your genetic predisposition to how your body reacts to practicing the aforementioned healthy lifestyle habits. In my case, when I eat right, exercise regularly, and get consistent, high-quality sleep, my results are off the charts! And I’ll admit, if I fall off the wagon for up to a week, there’s minimal (if any!) damage. That being said, I’ve told you about a period of time I experienced a couple of years back, where after losing my 100 lbs, and getting into tip-top shape, I just decided to say ‘Screw it!’ and fly off the rails for just over two months.
The result was a 20 lb weight gain, and a decent undoing of all the progress I’d made. I’ve since righted the ship, but that experience showed me that I can’t exercise infrequently, eat fast food five times per week, and hardly sleep while expecting to continue to see top-notch results.
A mental exercise I’d like you to perform today is to think about a situation in life where you truly FAILED. You fail when you not only lose or cease to succeed at something, but when you concurrently throw in the white flag and you give up on whatever it was PERMANENTLY. Perhaps it was a job, an instrument, a relationship (family, friend, or romantic), or a sport. Whatever it was, think about how just giving up when you could have tried harder and done better makes you feel. Think about how you let certain people (bosses, teachers, partners, coaches) down when you decided NOT to push past your perceived limits, and continue to get better in an area you needed to put in the work.
Feel bad? GOOD! When it comes to the most important things in your life, NOTHING is more important than your health!! If you have a chronic condition, and/or if you’re overweight, that often is due to at least SOME negligence on your part. The good news is that EVERYONE has the capacity to make changes and BETTER their health. All it takes is some determination and the application of knowledge. Once that’s done, and you form your habits within 60 days, NOTHING is going to stop you from reaching your goals, and living out your days as a healthier, happier individual!
NOTHING. ‘Til tomorrow…
P.S. If you’re READY to take that first step on your health and weight loss journey, and you have 50 or more lbs to lose, then let’s chat!
With 10 years of experience, SEVEN different fitness and nutrition certifications, and a sustained weight loss of 100 lbs., I think I know a thing or two about this Permanent Weight Loss thing 😉
Unless you’re interested in working with me (which we’ll cover at the end of our call), there’s absolutely NO CATCH: Just a friendly 30 minute conversation reviewing your health and injury history, your goals, and what you can do right now to crush them!