Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

 
 
I hadn’t seen him in years even though we live in the same town. You know how it is, I’m busy, so is he. Time got away from us. It’s not like we had a disagreement, or we didn’t want to see each other; it’s just that, well, life kicked in…

I answered the phone, “Hey Scott,” says he, “I just realized that we haven’t gotten together in a long time and we’ve got so much to catch up on. I thought we could schedule a time.”

“Sounds great,” I replied, “I can do lunch next Thursday. If that doesn’t work, we could get coffee in the afternoon, or, on Wednesday, we could meet early and grab a bagel. Where would you like to go?”

He responded, “You know the park with the duck pond?”

“Yes, the one with all the trails?”

“Yeah, that one. What about Thursday at noon?”

“Sure, that works for me. But I’m not familiar with any restaurants there.”

“There aren’t any. I’ve been trying to get in shape, and I know you’re always watching your weight, so I thought we could walk and talk. It would be nice to catch up outside.”

And so we did. But, can I be honest? It felt really weird; kind of like wearing someone else’s clothes. It seems normal enough at first glance, but you just can’t get comfortable.

I mean, think about it, what’s one of the first questions we ask when we decide to meet up with someone: Lunch or coffee? If you really wanted to crash our economy, ban meetings in restaurants or coffee houses.

I’m sure it goes back to primitive times. It’s conceivable (at least to me) that early Australopithecines at day’s end gathered around a half-devoured gazelle and discussed their events on the plains. After all, a leisurely grunting session with some close hominoids after a long period gathering, scavenging, and escaping from carnivores would be welcome.

Although the evolutionary train has pulled out, our habits have not. We celebrate with food. We do business over dinner. Relationships begin — and end — at restaurants. Even our last tribute, the wake, is deeply intertwined with eating.

There’s nothing wrong with these; don’t get me wrong. But one has to admit, that for most of us, it’s hard to picture doing anything else with each other. If we’re looking to adjust our collective waistlines and get in shape, maybe we need to examine some options. After all, there are book clubs, quilting circles, or even video games.

My son was in town; this usually involves copious amounts of food. Under the television lies our unused video console; the wireless type specializing in sporting events, where one creates icons to compete against each other.

Said he to me, “Bet I can take you in a sword fight.”

I might be 30 years his senior but I still have testosterone; I couldn’t let that stand.

Our characters faced each other. The battle was joined. After several close rounds, lots of laughter, a great deal of sweat, and exclamations of “You’re toast!” or “Take that,” age indeed triumphed over youth.

More important, I can already tell it will be one of my favorite memories, far more than yet another trip to yet another restaurant. Plus the added bonus is I got to show him he’d still better not mess with his old man. (Of course, I still can’t lift my arms; but I’ll deny it if you tell him.)

About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and the CDO of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website for people and organizations who are frustrated with making promises and are ready to make a change. Sign up for his free newsletter at the site or friend him at facebook.com/thistimeimeanit. He is also available for coaching and speaking engagements at 707.442.6243 or scottq@scottqmarcus.com.

 
 
He was celebrating four years of sobriety. When I asked how he knew it was time to initially seek help, he said, “I finally realized I had no control over alcohol. I thought about it all the time. I couldn’t wait to drink. I was obsessed with it.” As I listened, I thought, “Substitute the ‘food’ for ‘alcohol,’ and that’s me.” It was one of the triggers in getting me to lose my weight.

It was also the instant I realized that overeating is every bit as much of an addiction as drugs or alcohol.

We don’t like to think of overeating as an addiction for several reasons. First of all, it’s part of the norm to eat too much. That would make us a country of addicts, and true as that might be, we sure don’t want to admit it. Moreover, there are no age restrictions, you can do it in public, and it’s legal. Eating too much might make you fat, but a cop won’t pull you over for a 300-triglyceride level, it won’t cause you to black out, nor do unwise things you’ll regret with morning’s light.

Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary defines addiction as, “persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful.” Let’s be clear; when you’re hiding goodies in your purse, lying on the bed to tighten your belt, or avoiding social gatherings because you’re afraid of the reactions; it’s a safe bet you’ve met the entry qualifications for addicted.

The bigger problem is, unlike the more nefarious addictions, we cannot “just say no.” As difficult as it might be, an alcoholic can swear off booze, and a smoker can refuse cigarettes. We, however, must continue to indulge while learning to set arbitrary, always shifting, sometimes ill defined limits about what constitutes “too far.”

Sure, a half-gallon of ice cream is a pretty clear violation of self-control. One could say the same for a quart, maybe. But where do we draw the line? Is a cup all right? What about two? To the alcoholic, an ounce is too much. For us, where does it start?

Let’s set the stage: A healthy, thin person consoles herself after a rough day with “chocolate therapy,” downing a pint of fudge-brownie-chocolate chunk ice cream and a couple of devil’s food cookies as a chaser. After sharing with her co-workers the next day, they all laugh knowingly.

“I’ve been there,” says one, “Sometimes, you just need to go with it.”

No one thinks she’s addicted. She looks great. She’s healthy (albeit sporting a humongous sugar buzz). Yet, when I do the same actions for the same reasons, I’m out of control?

See, it’s not really about the overeating, but the internal dialog. A healthy personality analyzes the calorie overload and thinks, “Well, that was over the top. I better cut back tomorrow” — and she does, regaining her balance.

The food addict blows it out of proportion, thinking, “Oh my God! I blew it! How could I do this? This is awful! I can’t believe what an idiot I am!” Berating her very worth as a human being she finally decides she’s a complete failure. With that observation, she gives herself permission to let herself totally go and accelerates over the cliff.

Yeah, we’ve got issues. Yeah, it stinks. But handling mistakes is part of the process.  If guilt and shame were motivational, we’d be skinny as rails. It’s not about perfection. Everyone slips up; success will be determined in how we handle it afterwards.

About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and the CDO of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website for people and organizations who are frustrated with making promises and are ready to make a change. Sign up for his free newsletter at the site or friend him at facebook.com/thistimeimeanit. He is also available for coaching and speaking engagements at 707.442.6243 or scottq@scottqmarcus.com.

 
 
Complain, complain, complain…

My, but we’ve become a grouchy lot, haven’t we? Maybe it’s climate change, or the economy; who knows? It could be the alignment of the stars for all I know, but we’ve got our cranky pants hitched on and we’re wearing ‘em a little too snug around our sensitive parts.

Okay, maybe YOU are not cranky, but many of us are, and if you won’t own it, I will.

I’m at the supermarket loading up on low-calorie, high-fiber, sugar-free, non-fat, no-taste foods that I force down my gullet in order to keep my weight in check. I really want chocolate, french fries, and chips; but that’s not happening, so I’m feeling deprived. Adding insult to injury, I don’t have time for this errand, but since my refrigerator resembles an arctic cave, I’m cooling my jets in the check out line. The lady in front of me waits until after the clerk has totaled all her groceries before she takes out her checkbook, enough of a trigger to kick my internal curmudgeon into overdrive, “Hey lady!” the voice in my head screeches. “You didn’t realize you were going to have to pay for this before hand? Couldn’t you have check ready when you got in line … besides you’ve never heard of debit cards?!!”  Since I won’t comment out loud (I’m too “polite”), I roll my eyes, exhale with exasperation (making sure she hears it), shift my feet restlessly, cross my arms, and set my attitude to low burn.

Or have you ever had your cell phone drop a call? Jeeze! That irks me! It wasn’t even a particularly important call, and to be honest, I didn’t want to talk to him anyway, accidentally selecting ACCEPT instead of DECLINE because the layout of the phone is so stupid. Nonetheless, I’m now heavily vested in commiserated about how his 62-inch 3-D TV’s glasses suck. Really? That’s your grievance? There are people who would love simply to witness a sunrise, and you’re grouchy because your nifty cool absolutely amazing invention doesn’t come with rechargeable batteries? I mean, come on!  Yet, I’m empathizing — at least until his call explodes in a burst of static and I detonate a blast of curse words at my phone, cellular carrier, and even the government for allowing such inferior systems to get to market.

Time for a chill pill; on the grand scale of life, most of what rankles us is not even a blip on the radar screen of “real” problems; it’s microscopic. Half the time, we don’t even remember it long enough for it to survive the ride home, let alone why we got so upset in the first place; yet we’re singing “ain’t it awful” with the volume on full.

I’ve got a phone in my pocket that connects me to anyone on the planet, lets me watch family movies, listen to music, and take photographs. It’s got more power than the entire computer system on the Apollo space crafts; and I have the gall to launch a hissy fit because I have to push REDIAL? Or I complain about having to drop a few pounds — while half the planet would beg for what I throw away? Spoiled, you’re table’s waiting.

We don’t live in a golly-gosh-gee-willikers fog of happy thoughts and pink ponies; I’m not saying that either. Sometimes, life is tough, sure.  But equally true is that most of our “problems” are better than what most of the people on most of the planet face most of the time.

For that I need to be mostly grateful.

About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and the CDO of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website for people and organizations who are frustrated with making promises and are ready to make a change. Sign up for his free newsletter at the site or friend him at facebook.com/thistimeimeanit. He is also available for coaching and speaking engagements at 707.442.6243 or scottq@scottqmarcus.com.