Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

Does it pass the smell test?

Smell is our most dramatic sense.

As example, it might have been years since losing touch with a friend who always wore one particular brand of perfume. One day, while wandering through the mall, someone passes you adorned in that exact long-forgotten fragrance. As it gently wafts past, you are without delay jolted back to a vibrant, dynamic, long-forgotten recollection. Only the sense of small transports us so fully. Photos bring back images. Recordings make us nostalgic, smell stands alone in its ability to transform.

Smell is so potent and primal a force that it can induce healing, as evidenced by the increasing popularity of scented candles, essential oils, and aromatherapy. Smell can change thoughts or moods; even triggering us to take actions to which we might normally be resistant. Want to get your kid off the couch? No problem. According to researchers, the aroma of strawberries generates an urge to exercise.

While on the topic of a increased activity, suppose your husband or male partner has become lackluster in the bedroom. Re-kindle that waning passion by combining the scents of pumpkin pie and lavender, at least according to researchers. Conversely, they claim that women become more amorous when exposed to the scents of — I kid you not — cucumbers and the candy “Good and Plenty.” Husbands, I’ll meet you at the produce section; then we’ll hit the candy store!

Not wanting to be left behind, diet researchers have discovered that we actually tend to eat more (sic) when food has been altered to have a bad smell instead of a pleasant smell. To me, this seems counter-intuitive, but the results stand. Scientists provided test subjects meals that were sprinkled with “tastants.” What they discovered was that when the aroma was enhanced with a combination of green apples and peppermint, people ate less than when the smell reminded diners of dirty socks. (I swear I am not making this up.)

Enter a new diet product claiming to take advantage of our subconscious triggers. The manufacturer claims that to lose weight, all one must do is sprinkle their powdery product on every morsel of food consumed. In the name of easy weight loss, I guess some will consume just about anything as its formula includes silica (found in sand) and Carmine, the latter a derivative of carminic acid, found in insects, who apparently do not part with it willingly. Therefore it is obtained by boiling down dry insect carcasses.

Dead insects notwithstanding, several participants engaged in a six-month study, where they lost an average of about 30 pounds each. I’ll admit that’s a healthy, realistic weight loss; but I would be remiss to not point out that any healthy eating program would generate similar results. More importantly, in the latter case, the loss would more likely be sustained long-term because the dieter actually changed her lifestyle.

So how does it work? What allegedly occurs is that this product works with your taste and smell senses to trigger the satiety center of the brain, naturally inducing the feeling of fullness. Here’s where I have my biggest difficulty. Even if it works and it does provide a sense of fullness, most overweight folks usually do not usually stop eating when they feel satisfied. If we did, we wouldn’t be overweight. The reality is we tend to eat more for external reasons, such as emotions or celebrations, than for hunger. So anything that doesn’t address that core issue simply does not pass the smell test.
The common, accepted portrayal of a happy, joking, and supportive family joyously celebrating around a food-laden Thanksgiving table is definitely not a universal reality.

Some families despise the ritual (and aren't too keen on one another either); yet they meet year-after-after out a sense of guilt or tradition, jabbing each other with passive-aggressive verbal stabs. Even within families that are indeed content overall, certain members of the clan might resent, or even dislike, one another. They hold grudges over past transgressions or historic bitterness stalks silently beneath a transparent veneer of tranquility.

I point out these realities not with intent of injecting an unpleasant aftertaste to Thanksgiving dinner, nor as some sort of post-apocalyptic view of the holidays. And to be honest, I also do not know percentages of "unhappy" versus "happy" families; maybe it's minuscule; possibly it's everyone but you and I. Yet it is true. Moreover, to focus on "how many" bypasses the greater issue: we cannot release these strains until we acknowledge they exist. Once there, we discharge them with a type of thanks.

"Thanks," you might ask with understandable confusion; "Why would one give thanks for an irritating collection of boorish relations with whom I'm forced to endure boring football games and overcooked turkey?"

In the traditional sense of "giving thanks," you wouldn't. However, when one expands the concept of thankfulness, we realize that gratitude and forgiveness are actually the same act. All that differs is the direction in which they are pointed.

Similarities abound. Each brings with it a sense of inner peace and happiness. The action in each is directed toward another person; yet its true purpose is to help us, not the recipient. Each releases an responsibility: whereby thanks releases me from obligation to you. Forgiveness un-tethers you from a perceived debt I feel you have to me. The results are identical; what differs is the grounds. We give thanks when we believe something is "positive," while forgiving what we consider "negative.

Of course, it's normal to feel someone is unworthy of forgiveness. In effect, I cannot forgive you because the pain you inflicted was so extreme, or because I was so violated, that I lost control over part of my life; in essence you took away a part of ME. How do I forgive such heinous acts while remaining true to my core beliefs?

The dilemma lies in equating forgiveness with approval of the behavior.

Forgiveness is actually about my feelings, not your actions. If I change the perspective from "what you did" to "how I feel about what you did," I reclaim control over my emotions and can begin to regain that which was taken. The only alternative is to continue to be a victim, experiencing the anguish on a regular basis - the torment not only extreme, but also constant and repeated.

Unfortunately many view forgiveness as a mark of weakness. The reality is it requires enormous strength to direct one's emotions. Said Ghandi, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Forgiving what your sister did long ago, or how your parents mistreated you is not easy. However holding long-standing grudges does zero to help heal the pain, and - can we be honest? - it's really not hurting them in the slightest.

It might be time to let go, even a little. And this holiday seems as good of a time as any to start the process.

About the author: Scott "Q" Marcus became a THINspirational speaker and autho after losing 70 pounds in 1994. He can be reached for coaching, consulting or presentations at www.scottqmarcus.com, scottq@scottqmarcus.com, or 707.442.6243. Find him at www.facebook.com/scottqmarcus or follow him @scottqmarcus. He is thankful you have read his column for the last five years.