What Really MattersPosted: Mar 09 in Weight Management Strategies by Dr. Lazarus
I have never been more excited about $0.63 cents! I learned this month that my music on Spotify had earned me nearly a dollar! At this pace, I should be able to retire in about 5 million years! But seriously, why would I be excited about earning such a pittance? Let me briefly explain why this perspective can be immensely valuable in sustaining weight loss.
Covid-19 Changed Everything
When the Covid-19 pandemic began and everything was shut down a year ago, I decided to spend my extra time studying music theory and composition. This quickly led to learning to use a digital audio workstation, recording, mastering and orchestrating. I read text books and participated in hundreds of hours of classes that I signed up for virtually. Imagine my joy when I published not only 1, but 2 albums of original music and had them released on Spotify! I was immensely proud of this accomplishment, and am continuing to produce original music every week.
Thousands of hours of work, and now I have $0.63 to show for it. Why is this exciting? Because it means hundreds of people have listened to my music! I have received lots of feedback – both good, and also constructive criticism on how to make my strings sound more realistic, how to make the piano sit in the mix better. But all agree that the music has soul. It is clear this was a labor of love, not a labor of misery.
Is it about the Journey, or about the Destination?
For me, music is a life-long journey – one that I hope to enjoy. It’s not about the money – it’s about enhancing my life.
Successful weight management should be guided by this same principals. Yet every day, the main issues my patients talk to me about are:
- “Dr. Lazarus – I’m very frustrated. I’m not losing weight as quickly as I should be,” or
- “Dr. Lazarus – I’m very frustrated. I can’t get to my goal weight.”
Unfortunately, both of these lines of thinking result in patients feeling hopeless, feeling failure, and ultimately lead to quitting the weight loss efforts and regaining all of the lost weight.
Celebrating the small things…
Similar to my celebration of only $0.63, we should celebrate not only every pound lost, but also the work that it takes to lose the weight. We should be implementing lifestyle changes not only that we can tolerate, but discovering a new lifestyle that we actually enjoy. Imagine if I hated actually writing music, and all I wanted to do was hear the finished result? Imagine if I’d only be satisfied with a full length symphony performed by the New York Philharmonic? I’d be missing out on all the beauty in-between.
With weight loss, we should be reveling in our new way of life. We should be enjoying getting out and moving around more. We should be savoring healthy food choices. We should be energized at our new, healthier weight. We should value our time and spend it more on doing the things we enjoy and less being overly stressed out. We should be getting the right amount of sleep, and enjoying our improved focus.
I once asked a patient who had lost 100 pounds what his secret was. He replied, “It was easy Dr. Lazarus – I just never eat anything that I like nor anything that appeals to me.” This was many years ago. I wonder how he has fared in sustaining the weight loss with this approach. Unfortunately, this type of thinking is unlikely to yield a sustainable result.
If we learn to enjoy the process, and remember that the goal is not a number on a scale, but a way of life, we can celebrate our small victories. We can keep “failure talk” out of our heads and out of our vocabulary. And we can enjoy the journey and not be so overly focused on the destination.
And, by the way, if you have any interest in hearing my music, you can find it on all major streaming platforms.
Click here for Remembering Tomorrow, an album of Piano music
Click here for First Flight, an album of Cinematic Soundtrack-style music