Nature or Nurture By: Matt Hagler, CEO – The Biggest Loser Resort

I don’t know about you, but I can’t start out the new year without the internal dialogue of whether I’m a born quitter or not. Ron White (comedian) plays in my head when he is mimicking his dad professing with mock pride, “Yup, that boy has a lot of quit in him”. We all have our own script to write and demons to chase. While I did not grow up struggling with obesity, I was the quintessential middle-child sandwiched between an older brother who went on to an Ivy league university and a career in medicine and an All-American athlete younger brother. This left excelling in feeling both stupid and uncoordinated wide-open for me from a very young age. I became adept at quitting any and everything.

Fortunately, with age, experience and pain comes maturity and occasional wisdom. Having children of one’s own has a unique way of softening ones’ perspective. There is nothing I have encountered in life that can match self-forgiveness and self-doubt lessons quite like being a role model for my children. As parents, we view them much closer to an expression of perfection than they will view themselves and no parent wishes on their kids a repetition of the self-criticism we all endured as we became adults.

Happy New Year
At 59 with 4 daughters it was vital to me that I instill what I had learned. There was no “quitter gene”. Sh*&% is hard for everybody and everybody feels like quitting in peaks and valleys over the course of their lives. Don’t mistake that feeling for labeling yourself a quitter!

We all experience pivotal moments and lessons over a lifespan. One of my personal favorites was reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg as it provided scientific understanding about why change is so sexy to talk about and so elusive to achieve. So, as a new year dawns I reopen my toolbox, forgive myself for what I didn’t stick to in 2016 and recommit myself to the work that it takes to not quit. I remind myself that it’s not these feelings of inadequacy that define me; the demons (while maybe not slain) can be caged, and this is an ongoing story where I control the pen.

One great tool is identifying your incentives-and thinking about your core values-what do you want? Number one on the list for me is to be as healthy and mobile as possible so that I can enjoy my time with my wife, kids, nieces and nephews and soon grandkids. The childhood skill to quit any and everything became the impetus for the adult to pursue the opposite.

Our mission as a company will be to continue to develop knowledge, tools, and pedagogy to support and assist as you write and celebrate your own story.

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