I ran sixty miles per week, ate low calorie and zero fat, and couldn’t get abs. Two years of that didn’t get abs. Thin. Yes. Abs? No. No deep muscle definition at all, really. Far more than fifty people told me it would work. All of their opinions were wrong.
Twelve years later, I ate three pounds of beef per day, ate yolks only, drank heavy whipping cream, and spooned up butter, ghee, and coconut oil. In that photo, nearly 5,000 calories of my food every day came from saturated fat. No more running. THAT resulted in abs, along with the best cholesterol profile on earth. Yes, actually, my cholesterol improved: https://www.elev8wellness.com/.../vegan-dieting-destroyed... .
Should I have just done another two years of running and low cal/zero fat? If it doesn't work at all, how long do we listen to idiot opinions?
How long exactly should I have kept listening to the ineffective popular advice before I tried the exact opposite which worked like a dream?
When I first came to the Twin Cities, I turned in almost fifty applications to different prospective employers. I followed up on all. I received ONE response. It was TSA. They brought me in for their screening process and never contacted me again. I walked into the next (and last) prospective employer and did NOT fill out the application UNTIL after I’d met with and chatted with the General Manager. THAT started me on my current professional journey.
Should I have given up at five applications? Maybe at twenty? Maybe I should've just kept filling out applications?
After I discovered the reality that filling out applications doesn't work, how many more should I have kept filling out?
“She went to eleven doctors who told her nothing was wrong; the twelfth identified brain cancer; they treated her and she lived fifteen more years,” my 6am client said to me last Wednesday. She was describing a friend who would’ve died within a few months if she had accepted the first opinion, or the second, or the third, or the fourth, or the fifth, or the sixth…
or the seventh “I’m sorry; there’s nothing we can do for you.”
or the eighth “I don’t know what to tell you.”
or the ninth “all of your tests look normal.”
or the tenth “blood work looks good.”
or the eleventh “non-contrast MRI doesn’t appear to be worrisome.”
Should she have given up at the first opinion? Maybe the tenth? What if it took ten more? What if it took forty more?
I think about how it took me and my wife almost four years to help our son with his autoimmune issues. No medical professional was ever remotely helpful in that time period. What if it took four more years? What if we still didn’t have any understanding of it today, over eleven years later?
A close family member of ours received a death sentence around May of 2021: end-stage esophageal cancer. It had spread through nodes, liver, lungs, all of the body. There were innumerable cancerous masses throughout, making surgery a non-option. First four opinions: “There’s no cure; treatment is palliative.” That is, help the patient suffer as little as possible in his final few weeks. “Organ failure is assured.” “It’s terminal.”
He switched clinics, tried a novel immunotherapy that made him dramatically worse, unable to sleep, unable to lie down, too weak to talk… but he survived it, and the cancer did not survive it. Fourteen months later, his clinician ordered the port removed, as there’s no good reason to believe he’ll need more treatment. The past two scans show no evidence of prior masses.
What if it had taken a fourth or fifth clinic to get the breakthrough? What if it took twelve opinions instead of five or six? What if forty-nine in a row were wrong?
When I got Lyme disease, the first three doctors assured me I didn’t have borrelia infection/Lyme disease. My first tests came back negative. Should I have just quit looking and learning then? Because, just so you know, I’d be severely handicapped or dead today. ONLY a retest AFTER antibiotic treatment showed positives for infection on all titers. That was my idea, by the way. Not theirs. The infectious disease specialist DISCOURAGED the retest. She actually declined at first. I had to plead and explain to her that the research I read made clear that the bacterium is immunosuppressive and, as such, CANNOT show up for most patients UNTIL after antibiotics.
My wife USED to get migraines, debilitating migraines. For years. No clinician helped. SHE CHANGED HER NUTRITION. No more migraines. Should she have quit trying after the third or fourth doctor told her nothing useful?
Genuine success in the fitness industry is not easy. Burnout is incredibly high. And even with a cursory glance around, you’ll discover that most famous influencer coaches with multi-million followings cannot financially support themselves through coaching alone. They rep clothing lines, sell supplements, 12-week online templates, etc. More often than not, they frantically jump from expo to expo, cross-promoting, oversharing, and straight up just going into other lines of work. I know A LOT of people; but I don’t even know OF one other man who is/was persistently the primary breadwinner or sole provider for a family just based on being a great coach independently in the fitness industry. Always, there’s a caveat, like he’s counting on celebrity status, or the spouse has a more stable or advanced career, and/or they’re trust-fund babies, and/or this is their side hobby while they’re coming from unrelated industries.
Should I have given up when I found no role models or examples?
Should I have quit at year five, ten, or fifteen?
When precisely was the point I should have thrown in the towel?
Coming up on two decades now. When I went out on my own ten years ago, the first opinions ALL wondered how it was going to even be possible. Medical expenses went up. Cost of living went up. There’s no longer a giant institution generating marketing, leads, and sales for you. There’s no longer a giant institution covering memberships, the facility expenses and insurance policies. “It can’t be done,” was the general sentiment. “Why leave the corporate gym environment when you’re the most successful and highest paid employee in the region?”, were the exact words by my exit interviewer.
Should I have listened to those ten to twenty expert opinions?
Should I have copied and pasted the average template onto my life? Or was I right to invent the first of its kind? The only of its kind?
What I have found is that among the first forty-nine opinions mostly you get average-speak. They’re uninspired. They’re drab. They’re common sentiments. They’re emphasizing a tiny life with tiny vision and something that lands between hopeless and pointless. The first forty-nine efforts are merely uncovering what doesn’t work so well.
And, of course, people can keep being wrong well past the fiftieth opinion mark.
As far as the authoritative organizations and experts go, I don’t care what your suffix is. If you don’t have any more ideas on how to make progress, I have no use for you, and you should question your choice of profession. If you have no more creativity left to figure out improvement, your opinion is worthless. Have the humility and humanity to say, “perhaps you’ll get better answers elsewhere.” If you throw your hands up, saying, “it can’t be done,” how about just keep your mouth shut.
Get a fiftieth opinion. At least.