You Can Do It!
Physically, spiritually and most of all musically, I must start with the message that you can achieve anything you put your mind and heart to. I know what I said just now can sound cliché. It also sounds like something you would hear: on the cover of an Oprah magazine, hear from someone who's famous or someone who's won the Nobel Peace Prize; but I stand here now saying anything is possible!
It's also easier said than done because it can be extremely hard to see through all the: garbage, negativity and warring agendas of the world. It's not just the television either. For example, I used to blog on Facebook about my favorite songwriters in the music industry, but I honestly dread now even looking on my Timeline because everybody is just trying to get their two cents in about everything. How do I know about this, because I'm one of them! Whether it's about: the upcoming presidential election, any current tragedy or when someone "bites the dust" (as Freddie Mercury puts it). It's then when everything starts to become emotionally draining. Don't get me wrong, opinions are great! They are the foundations for our beliefs and everyone should have an opinion or two about something. I just feel Facebook and many other forms of social media have become a distraction; which is sad. Maybe it's because I don't know enough people, but there aren't that many people I know closely that are using social media strategically for their own advantage. We should want to empower our friends. Not distract them from what's most important; which is health and happiness. So I thought the next best thing for me would be to start was a blog from my very own website. After all if we don't have good health; how can we expect to share our beliefs with the rest of the world? Especially if we are laying in a hospital bed from heart complications or diabetes.
I have made my own changes. With the help of Weight Watchers, I have hit my goal of losing 60 pounds! It took me 3 years but I did it with determination and the right guidance. I just took everything one step at a time. The Weight Watchers point system allowed me to monitor my calorie intake while burning fat on the elliptical at least 4 times a week. Not every week when I weighed in I was a winner because like any discipline, it takes a lot of patience. But I eventually reached my goal. When I first weighed in at weight watchers I weighed 256 pounds. I am now today 197 pounds and I am 3 pounds below my my goal weight (200 pounds). Another reason I am where I am today because of the knowledge I've gained being an intern at the company Omni music. Omni music is not only the place where I learn about composing music but they also run great and informative non-for-profit organization called Grassroots Environmental Education, where they bring public awareness about environmental issues and nutrition. My boss Doug Wood and his wife Patti have their own show on WBAI radio called Green Street. On this show, my boss and his wife talk about how these environmental issues affect smart diet and nutrition. To get these radio shows ready for our GreenStreetRadio channel on Soundcloud; I had to listen and use non-linear techniques I learned with Pro Tools audio software to cut out and splice references to the WBAI radio station. This was so that there was continuity in the audio of the show and the shows were ready to be streamed on the internet. Listening and editing these radio shows definitely made me more aware about what foods to consume and not to consume. It's not always about how much you eat but what you eat as well. After losing all this weight I have to say that I have so much energy. It really has made me appreciate my: body, strength, and how important it is to take care of oneself. I am not the environmentalists that I work with all the time; but I do agree that we are talking too much about mandatory healthcare and not enough about: disease prevention and how to eliminate the possibilities of cancer and other illnesses before they happen.
My physical strength has also poured into other aspects of my life. I have to say that I am more spiritual. I feel like I have a total different outlook on everything and I am more proactive than I used to be. I just feel like I've been given a second chance to just live and I feel way beyond my years. If I am not doing something or I am not productive, it bothers me. I also have more of a sense of what I want to contribute to society and I am more driven to become a working songwriter-producer. I am reading a lot more and I am reviewing school notes to make sure I am getting the most out of my bachelors degree. I'm also making sure I am surrounding myself with people who have the same interests as me and who will help me grow as a musician. I am also not surrounding myself with people who are going to suck the living life out of me. So I guess you can say I'm growing up ha ha lol! Not to say that the rest of my life is going to be lollipops and rainbows, because it isn't; but I know that people are capable of amazing of things and doing amazing things. It goes back to that old saying, "God helps those who help themselves."
I have to say also, after losing all this weight and feeling more spiritually zen; I am a lot more inspired to become a better songwriter. When I have a long day, my first coping skill is to automatically go to the gym. Working those endorphins relieves all the stresses that I feel on a day to day basis. Now I take the same approach from my exercise into my music. Whenever I am frustrated about something or I feel like I'm facing some sort of adversity; I go straight to my lyric writing to get the most of what I'm feeling at the moment. Since there is that saying that all songwriters say about songs they have written. When you feel something, there's always the chance that there is someone out there who feels the same way. This is why music is so therapeutic, because when someone has an album of songs they've written from certain experiences; it becomes empowering because now that someone has something to show for those experiences. I also love pieces of art that tell a some sort of story or albums that exude some amazing listening experience. I love albums from artists that I've listened to that I can say "Hey that album got me through this, " or "That song got me through that experience." Either that or I go to the piano and just play a certain piece by a certain composer. Do not believe in the myth that exercise stifles creativity. Music now is my ultimate defense mechanism because I know now I can look truth right in the face and see it for what it really is. Becoming physically fit has allowed me to be honest with myself and makes me realize there will always be something to write about. All in all, because of the changes I have made, I'm happy with where I'm at in my life. But most of all, if you anyone is reading this. You can be happy too.
Musically Inclined to Say What's Your Mind,
Jeremy Brown (ASCAP)