Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas


There was a cosmic event last week. For the first time in 400 years, one could view a full lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice. If you were crazy enough (like me), you even went outside in the cold and stared up at a reddish, glowing moon. (What was really a cosmic event was that it was clear enough on the normally foggy Northcoast to actually view it!)

At precisely 12:01AM January 2, another cosmic event shall occur, although it happens annually. Step outside at that moment and you will hear a giant clunking sound rumbling across this wide land as the consciousness of the population shifts from “how much can I indulge?” to “how can I undo what I’ve done to myself for the last two months?”

To capture this public consciousness, you will be inundated with experts telling you how to stick to resolutions and providing all sorts of tools to assist you in that noble quest. Advertisements for in-home gym equipment will converge on you. Infomercials will scream (falsely): “LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT CHANGING YOUR HABITS.” The back page of periodicals will sport a full-page banners proclaiming: “SECRETS THE WEIGHT LOSS INDUSTRY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW.”

Simply put, these are gimmicks. Remember the adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Reality is that we are where we are because of what we have done so far. Period. If we wish to be somewhere else, we must do something else. No matter how loud the scam artists scream from the rafters, nothing changes if nothing changes.

If one were to look at the construction of our lives in the same way a contractor might plan to build a barricade, things make sense. Each brick is carefully chosen, sized, and cemented in its space. Over time, an entire, structurally sound wall is formed and the structure evolves into a fine fortress, secure in it’s ability to prevent intruders. However, it can also hold us prisoner.

Although our bricks are made neither of quartz nor clay, we are architects; our building blocks are the actions and thoughts we have used and reused over the decades. As illustration, the block entitled “celebrate” is often located next to the one labeled “eat.” The unit holding down “take a walk” is entitled “stay comfortable.”

Resolutions fail because we try and remove too many of bricks at once. “This is the year I’m going to lose 20 pounds, stop smoking, exercise daily, stress less, and spend more time with my family,” we proclaim. It’s not that these are unworthy or unachievable goals; it’s that they are so interwoven into the wall of our life that we have to demolish the whole entity simply to move forward. To drop some weight, I must re-learn how to celebrate, shop, and handle my emotions. If ceasing smoking is the objective, I must find a substitute when the habit calls, develop support, and learn rearrange my life so a new option is always at the ready. Every change requires a series of others to support it, a cascading effect. Stated else wise, I cannot demolish my wall, I must substitute each brick with a fresh one or my entire existence feels like it has literally fallen apart and I rush quickly to rebuild it.

To get past this Catch 22, think smaller. Resolve to pick the ONE thing that matters most and agree to repeat this action every day NO MATTER WHAT. Once you have cemented that in place, add on to it.

Success is built in small steps; failure collapses all at once.

About the author: In 1994, after a lifetime of obesity, Scott “Q” Marcus lost 70 pounds and assists people and organizations who are tired of making promises they have continually broken but are ready to change. He can be reached for coaching, consulting or presentations at www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com or you can find him at www.facebook.com/scottqmarcus or @iMeanItThisTime
At four years old, in 1930, with a mop of brown curly hair, bright hazel eyes, and light skin, Ruth Pinsker waited with her family on the side of a slickened Detroit avenue for a cable car they would never ride. Her family was comprised of Zlate and Shmuel “Sam” Pinsker; two immigrants who had recently migrated to the U.S. from Russia; as well as her younger sisters, Mildred; two years old, and the newborn Eleanor; still swaddled in her mother’s arms.

An attorney, driving while heavily under the influence, careened out of control down the boulevard toward Zlate and the kids. Although Sam would have been spared, he instead shoved them out of harm’s way, taking the full broadside in exchange and killed upon impact. Zlate was dragged under the auto’s wheels, breaking several bones. The children — short of emotional trauma — remained untouched.

Zlate did not speak English, and since the only kin she had in this country was her brother, officials felt it would be “better for all” if the children were removed from her custody while she healed. It took an act of congress to allow her entry into the United States. It would take more than that to get them to take away her children. With the help of the community and friends, my grandmother raised her children from a hospital bed until she was able to leave; becoming a pioneer, one of the earlier women in Michigan to pilot her own business, a junkyard, which survived for decades.

Every family has its history, passed from mother to son, father to daughter, weaving its way through generations and across time. Obviously, I am unclear how much of what I know actually occurred as I relate it. Families tend to make their backgrounds more heroic and less bland.

What I do know is that Ruth Marcus would have turned 85 this week. Her memory, unfortunately fading, is still a guiding light.

As a young woman, Ruth earned her keep as a radio actress and copywriter. In her sixties, she retired as an executive assistant for the California State University system. She was married once, for 25 years; it ended poorly (I won’t go into details). Aside from my sister, my aunts, and myself, her greatest joys were playing the piano (never took training), acting, traveling, and reading. She never went anywhere without a dog-eared paperback in her oversized purse.

What I remember most was her laugh, a rowdy unrestrained explosion of elation. Ironically, the recollection is so strongly charged because she became so angry at me once when I asked her to “tone it down.” Our family and the Barabashes were attending a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, Mom and Mrs. B hooting hysterically in the last row of the shuttle bus. Being a teenager, embarrassed by virtually anything my parents did, I rudely request they be quiet because everyone on the bus was looking at them. Bad move on my part…

My mother froze mid-guffaw, her expression transformed from happiness to humorlessness as she faced me down. “Don’t ever tell me not to laugh. There are plenty of times in life when we will cry. You never know when we’ll get the chance to laugh. Any time you do, take it — and apologize to no one for it.”

Families come in all stripes. However, my wish for you during this season, no matter the structure of your “family,” is that you share wondrous stories, be of good health, hug much, and laugh often. In the end, that’s all that really matters.

About the author: In 1994, after a lifetime of obesity, Scott “Q” Marcus lost 70 pounds and became a THINspirational speaker and “recovering perfectionist.” He now helps inspire others to break down large obstacles into small steps in order to accomplish their dreams. He can be reached for coaching, consulting or presentations at www.scottqmarcus.com, scottq@scottqmarcus.com, or by calling 707.442.6243. You can also find him at www.facebook.com/scottqmarcus or follow him @scottqmarcus


Re-discovering hope Oops! I made the misstep of watching the news, not wise if you wish to maintain an upbeat attitude. Rather, it’s an excellent way to become discouraged.

Politicians, with soft spines and moral compasses no longer pointing north, have become wholly owned subsidiaries of Special Interests Inc. and Mega-Business Unlimited. “Establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” has been crushed under the weight of partisan bickering and a landscape awash in uncountable dollars.

There is plenty of blame to share; as they say, “we get the government we deserve.” But since money has long tentacles, we seem — in my humble opinion — to be getting the government the upper crust deserves.

I am not a “class warrior.” I do not dislike nor inherently distrust the wealthy; truth be told, I would like to be so labeled. I also do not believe that money is the “root of all evil,” rather it simply allows you be more of who you already were. As illustration, if you’re a charitable, involved, dedicated person with an empty wallet and fate or hard work decrees you great prosperity, you become a charitable, involved, dedicated person with a lot of money; able to do much more. Unfortunately, if you were a jerk with but a few dollars who happens to receive a fortune; you become a jerk with a lot of coin, increasing your jerkness. That said, I cannot deny that — lately — it appears many well-off folks have an “I-got-mine,-the-heck-with-you” way of thinking.

It is distressing to think that the concept of helping “the least of us” has become quaint and passé.

An addict, unable to give up my painful addiction, I collapse on my couch to watch the Sunday morning news shows. Ironically from the same spring as my depression bubbles forth hope.

Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Ted Turner; three members of the aforementioned privileged order were discussing their views on charity and — in a broader sense — the general order of society. I do not have a great deal in common with these denizens of the uber-wealthy community. They can spend more at a restaurant than I will spend on a year’s groceries. I seek out for-sale items in stores they buy and sell. We’re not on the same strata.

But short of the number of zeros in our paychecks, turns out we actually have a lot in common. Ms. Gates summed it up, “With great wealth comes great responsibility.” All are working diligently to give away vast amounts of their fortunes before they die; Mr. Buffett has pledged to donate more than 90 percent. With projects ranging from U.S. schools to Global Nuclear Disarmament to Energy Conservation, this crew of ultra-fortunate share a belief that we are all interconnected and they are asking others of the same class to join them, sharing a common belief that it is wrong to not give it back to those on whom their success was built.

I understand they are not saints (none of us are). I know they don’t have to choose whether or not they can afford to go to a doctor. None will ever wake up at 3AM wondering how to pay their mortgages. Yet, that does not detract from an extremely powerful benevolent gesture.

Maybe, just maybe, we’re better than I thought we were. I can hope.