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.

 
 
Most of life is done by rote.

For most of us, alarm clocks buzz the same time every morning. The average grocery store stocks over 38,000 items; yet the standard shopper goes to the same store every week, usually on the same day, and chooses from the same few dozen items every outing. We become brand loyal, eating our meals at approximately the same period every day, leave for work at a uniform time, drive a standard route, and return home at a consistent hour every night. Evenings consist of consuming one of a few “favorite” dinners. Entertainment consists of books or magazines from a few select genres and a stable of favorite authors; or maybe a regular line-up of TV shows, which we watch while sitting in “our usual place,” and snacking — or not — on the same foods we had yesterday at the same time. At day’s end, we retire at the same time, even sleeping with the same person (hopefully), only to repeat these patterns come dawn.

This is not to suggest we are unimaginative, bland, nor boring; rather to illustrate that we are creatures of habit; no if’s, and’s, or butt’s about it.

Reality is these habits make life easier. Picture the above scenario where every single day consisted of an entirely new routine. Exciting? Sure — for a little while. After that, just plain exhausting.

The downside of a life assembled on a foundation of habits are the “side effects;” those unexpected results of our patterns. Make no mistake however; they are every bit as much a part of the habit as are the results we seek.  For example, if I’m bored, I eat. If I’m angry, I eat. If I’m sad, I eat. It’s a common routine. It allows me to feel better fast. After all, chips or ice cream not only alleviate boredom, but also go a long way toward holding negative feelings at bay — for the short term. The side effect is a weight gain. I get to feel good quickly, for the simple price of obesity long term.

Conversely, some people read a book when bored; when sad, call a friend; and when angry, take a brisk walk. (There is a clinical term for such folks: “Skinny.”) Whereby their habits also provide comfort, the side effects are healthier. Should I long for such results, I must also develop similar habits.

The thing is that it’s extremely difficult to “drop” habits. Since their sole purpose is to fill voids, simply abolishing them make those holes more painful. This in turn, triggers the very behavior we were trying to banish — which puts our actions at odds with our feelings. In a case like that, emotions almost always win out and the habit — and its side effects — strengthens.

To break this cycle, one must replace the offending behavior with a counterproductive one. So, rather than saying, “I won’t eat when stressed,” develop a plan, such as, “I’ll take a walk when stressed.”  Providing you don’t also grab a candy bar on the way out the door, the anxiety is still diminished — without the pesky side effect. Yes, feels awkward at first (because it’s not yet a habit), but given a few repetitions, it eventually forms a new, healthier, habit.

We never really get rid of habits. We put them in cold storage; we can thaw them out whenever we choose. Unfortunately we do that more times than we consciously choose, which is yet one more habit we can change.

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.









 
 
Building supportive relationships

In the end, we are remembered via the relationships we leave behind.

I stand five-eight, no one’s depiction of “towering giant.” Someone of my stature is supposed to tip the scales at no more than 165 pounds. When I was 39 years old, I weighed 250. More frightening was that at such an early age, I experienced chest pains with regularity. As a father for two young sons, I was a ghost. My career was in free fall; my 12-year marriage was in tatters. (When your marriage counselor suggests divorce lawyers, the odds for regaining your long-lost marital bliss are slim.)

Change is born of fear, force, or pain. No one wakes up one fine day and says, “Wow! I really love my life; how am I going to change it?” Rather, unhappy, dissatisfied, and overwhelmed, we resolve to do virtually anything to alter our circumstances; anywhere is better than here.

For me, that conclusion came late one night, sitting alone yet again, pondering sorrowfully the source of my life’s despair. Out of that sadness came the painful realization that the common bond among all my troubles was ME. It was ME who relinquished the reins of my life, it was ME who helped build a dysfunctional marriage, and it was ME who chose to stuff myself, medicating the hurt by eating instead of fixing it. Therefore, if anyone was going to transform my life, it too must be ME.

On stressful days, instead of eating, I started walked. I saw a therapist and I attended weight loss meetings. With such support, I learned to focus on what was triggering the urge to eat and avoid it, rather than lamenting the unhealthful decision when it was a fait de compli. Reacting differently created calm and peace, which in turn lowered the desire to “medicate,” therefore causing weight loss and its resultant health and happiness.

My wife, noticing my enhanced outlook (and shrinking waistline) probed, “You’re planning on leaving me, aren’t you?”

I replied — honestly, “No. My plan is to become healthy. My sincere hope is you’ll come with me — but I am going either way.”

In the end, she opted not to.

When we alter our lives, step one is a conscious decision to do so. That’s obvious. In our newfound zeal, what is less apparent is that the choices we make not only affect us, but all with whom we interact; children, co-workers, spouses, partners, and friends; to name a few. Equally true is that their timetables and needs might be dissimilar from our own; and they might not necessarily be ready, willing, or desirous of pursuing that same objective. Some will choose to support us. Others will slow our progress, while still others will leave us.

The sometimes-painful adjustments we make to achieve our true potential are not excuses to avoid doing what must be done. Yet they remind us that being healthy also means being aware of the impact our decisions have on those we care about. It is a sad reality that relationships come — and sometimes they do go. The better ones remain for long periods while others of less consequence exist so briefly, we don’t even remember we had them.

As I told my children, “Compassion always; but don’t be confused, the price of giving up your dreams is higher than the cost of letting go of painful relationships. That said, do what you can to repair them before you let them go. Other people are involved.”

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 www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com or friend him at facebook.com/thistimeimeanit. He is also available for coaching and speaking engagements at 707.442.6243 or scottq@scottqmarcus.com.

 
 
If deprivation was a successful weight loss strategy, obesity would be obliterated.

At first blush, sacrificing one’s favorites appears like it would blast away those extra pounds, and it does — but only temporarily. Long-term, it’s unnatural and ineffective.

Oh, sure, we can sacrifice our pet foods for brief periods. However, let’s face it, as the joke goes, seven days of bland makes one weak. Without variety, we get bored. Take away our special beloved “fun foods” and we give up, sometimes in horrifying ways.

As example, I decide to implement a new “healthy me lifestyle change,” a complete makeover of my insalubrious habits. My wife, ever the obliging supportive spouse; agrees to assist, so we commence a routine evening stroll. The weather is agreeable, walking burns calories, and the time allows us to re-connect after hectic workdays.

Along the route lies a small pizzeria. I am wise in the ways of weight loss and I know from unfortunate past experience, that the blend of salt, several varieties of cheese, as well as toasted doughy goodness, makes it problematic for me to lose weight. Therefore, I have sworn an oath of “pizza abstinence” until the scale reflects 15 fewer pounds. I am proud to announce that so far, all is going well. I’ve been “pizza-free” for well over three hours.

Fate however can be a cruel mistress and the gentle breeze this evening brings upon it a warm cheesy waft of mozzarella and garlic. As Ulysses being lured by the Sirens, my wife grabs tighter my hand, the rope attempting to bind me to the mast. Unhappily, she is not composed of wood and twine and I tear loose, hotfooting frenziedly into the eatery, no longer able to manage my impulse.

That’s when things got fuzzy.

Although I do not recall the incident after that moment, I am informed by my lawyer that the SWAT team pulled me from atop the front, shaking a terrified 19-year-old clerk by the lapels, flop-sweat streaming from my brow, spaghetti sauce dripping from my lips, while shrieking “Extra cheese, more pepperoni, and three pounds of garlic sticks — and no one gets hurt!”

Okay, I exaggerated (my demand was only two pounds of garlic sticks) but many a well-intentioned dieter has been kicked to the curb by an unexpected overwhelming urge for verboten foodstuffs.

The reality is that over-eating is an addiction; it might be  “small-A addiction,” but in many cases, it can be as debilitating as drugs or alcohol (and the societal cost is far greater). The difference is that with other addictions, one can go cold turkey. It might not be easy and one might need the support of others. Yet, a line in the sand can be drawn and never again crossed.

Food is obviously different. We need to learn to control our intake and to get away from the black/white, good/bad, on/off diet mentality. Thin people eat pizza. They eat chocolate too. Pay attention and you’ll even observe folks with a healthy waistline engaging in a bag of tortilla chips or a large scoop of ice cream. The reason they’re thin — and some of us are not — is that they don’t freak out about what they eat. Should they overindulge, they adjust by eating less or exercising more. For them, it’s habit. For the rest of us, it takes some thought, but anything of value usually does.
 
 
Improving oneself is not difficult. It might be uncomfortable. It might be slow; but difficult? Not so much. Figure out what you want to change; figure out a way to do it, move in that direction, correct as necessary.

So why don't most people change? The unadorned answer is we make it too complicated. The simpler the plan, the more likely we will accomplish it. To that end, here is a straightforward Five-Step Plan to move forward immediately.

1) Write it down

There's nothing magic to this, but once done, it makes it “real.” It also helps if we don't just write down what we want but why we want it. Emotions drive action. Logic directs it. As example, "I will lose weight to lower my blood pressure," is not as effective as "I will lose weight to feel better." As they say in sales, “We buy what we want, not necessarily what we need.” We need to “sell” ourselves on why we want it more than why we should do it.

2) Make it Small

Small steps done regularly generate better results than large steps done intermittently. In other words, it's better to get out a walk a block - and really do it - than to swear you're going to run a mile and plant yourself on the couch. We have to "squeeze" new activities into an already crowded life so the less we have to rearrange, the more likely we’ll be consistent. Ten or 15-minutes with consistency is better than “an occasional hour.”

3) Do Something Every Day

No matter how small the step, do SOMETHING each day, even if it’s simply refining what we wrote. Maintaining top-of-mind awareness retrains our thoughts to focus differently. That alone causes us to notice previously unseen opportunities.

Of course, there are days when “life happens” and we cannot move forward, which can bring out our critical inner perfectionists and we are inclined to think, "As long as I blew it, I might as well really blow it. I'll start again tomorrow.” This leads to undoing our progress. It’s important to remember everyone stumbles; progress is two steps forward and one step backwards.

4) Get Support

There are things we do well and there are things we want to do well. Making life-changes falls in the latter category, not the former. After all, if we were accomplished at our goals, we would have already achieved them. Building a network of support can guide and direct us when we feel lost, and applaud us when we aren’t. There is always more power in a group than in a single person (for better or worse).

One other benefit to group support is it "shuts the back door." Too often, we don't tell people our goals because if do, we have to actually change. Well, short of the fact that you can change your mind, announcing our plans does make us more committed to achieving them. Keeping them “quiet” allows us to back down quicker, which prompts the question, “Am I really committed to this?” (a discussion left for another column)

5) Reward Yourself Often

Change is as much emotional as it is physical. Holding off the goodies from our "inner kid," makes us feel like we’ve got one more chore in an already tedious life. We get resentful and quit. If however, we can make it more fun, we’re more inclined to keep at it Life is short, enjoy it - and remind yourself more often of the pleasures.
 
 
Obesity is by no means only a difficulty in the U.S. of A. As more of our planet has found its way to a more affluent lifestyle, faster food, and less exercise, the collective global waistline has expanded. As of this time, approximately 1.6 billion people on planet Earth are overweight. Of those, 400 million (more than the entire population of our country) are obese. Despite the urgency, the problem grows. In five years, it is estimated that more than 2.3 billion people will be overweight, with almost 3/4 of a billion being obese. (Note: the standard definition of "obese" is more than 20% above normal body weight or having a body mass index - "BMI" - over 30. A normal healthy BMI is considered to be between 21 and 25.)

Let's put this in perspective. When the baby boomers started being born shortly after World War II, the entire population inhabiting this third rock from the sun was 2.3 billion. Therefore, if we lived in 1947, and we were facing this same predicament, every single, solitary, person would need to be on a diet.

While we're playing "interesting facts to quote at cocktail parties," let me toss you another: NOBODY diets to lose weight.

Huh?

Anybody who has ever tried to trim a pound from a pudgy mid-section, whether by changing the way she eats or by increasing her exercise level (or both), has not embarked upon that path to weigh a certain number or to drop X pounds. She launched into the process to achieve the BENEFITS that the weight loss will provide. Lifestyle change - in this case eating healthier - is simply the vehicle she has chosen to obtain an improved life; henceforth referred to as the "benefit."

Moreover, how she chooses to define "better" is up to her: healthier, happier, more attractive, self-confident, more active, or anything else that tickles her fancy. But the bottom line remains that weight loss unto itself is not what drove the change, the results of it set the motion forward.

It might seem like we're picking nits, but the cool thing about understanding benefits is that we can see them almost immediately, and that's inspiring. However, waiting for the scale's number to drop can appear to take forever, making the process feel much worse and more difficult than necessary. Restated, if I focus on benefits, the effort it's taking to lose weight seems lessened.

For example, even if I am just starting my diet today, several benefits kick in even before one ounce has been lost. There is a sense of relief about overcoming procrastination, pride for moving forward on a goal, and my energy will probably spike due to the healthier combination of foods I'm now consuming. Conversely, if my sole measurement of success is a number on a scale, there's one long road to hoe before I get any strokes from the process.

If I focus on the benefits received, which are plenty; rather than the effort it requires, which in reality is not really that much; not only will the end results be the same, but life will most likely be more rewarding and fun. Dare I say it: yet another benefit of being healthy.
 
 
Michelle Obama has chosen to grapple with the crisis of childhood obesity. Props to the First Lady, as this is a dilemma of historic proportion. In a mere two decades, when we as elderly baby boomers, are gobbling up every available resource related to health care, our children and grandchildren, plagued by the ailments of a lifetime of obesity, will figuratively be feeding from the same trough. (Bad analogy; but it works.) We are rapidly approaching the only time in history when three generations will be suffering from the ill effects of poor health at the same moment.

So, let me make one thing clear: childhood obesity begins in adulthood.

At first blush, that makes as much sense as the bumper sticker that proclaims, "Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your kids." Of course, that placard is humorous; the wellbeing of society is anything but. The unvarnished truth is when we get down to brass tacks, children to not become obese by choice, but rather by the (in)action of adults.

Before, with great high dudgeon, mothers and fathers converge upon this establishment carrying pitchforks and hoisting torches shouting for my removal, let me add with great haste (spoken as a father as well as a formerly obese child), that I am not placing fault entirely on the parents. Oh, indeed, there is blame to spread far and wide. However, we are the primary and first decision makers for our children. We set them on their path. We instill upon them our moral guidelines. We are the where the buck - or cookie - stops.

I know that in today's two-working-parent-I-am-really-exhausted-at-the-end-of-the-day world, fighting the influences heaped upon our offspring is overwhelming. I grok that these influences are powerful, selfish, misguided, even mal-intended. Yet, I think that as a society, we stand in a circular firing squad aiming at those on either side; in effect - pardon the mixed metaphor - fiddling as an overweight Rome burns in its own deep fryer.

Parents place fault with the media for an endless wave of advertising aimed at those too young to discern accuracy from hype. The media passes it to the schools for poor meal choices and vending machines full of sugar. Our educational system holds responsible government for inadequate funding, forcing subsidized income provided by the vendors who place the goodies in the machines, who then shout, "lack of control" at the parents. Circle complete; nothing is accomplished.

We have seen the problem and it is all of us. Someone has got to do something; no longer can we wait for "the other guy."  It therefore stands to reason that since my children are the most important people in my life, I am the end of their line. I must step forward first, figuratively and literally.

I resolve, that before I collapse on to the softness of the couch at the end of a long day, I will take a 10-minute walk with my kids, giving them the example of activity and the support of listening. I promise to not bring into our house any product whose label has as its primary ingredient, sugar (or any kind of "-ose"). I agree to eat a little less and pay attention a little more. In effect, I will stand taller, striving to be the example I want my children to become.

Role models are not without flaws; however, they take responsibility for them and continually attempt to improve. That's an objective good for children of any age, no matter how wrinkled they might be on the outside.
 
 
It's not that difficult

Sometimes - one might even argue "always" - wisdom and truth are found in the most basic statements. One of the simplest, yet most empowering comments I have heard is from Dr. Sue Morter. Aside from being a powerhouse speaker, she's extremely inspirational, a dynamo on the stage, and outstandingly wise.

"So, what did liberating life-altering observation did she lay pass unto you?" You ask, breathless with anticipation.

"It's difficult until it isn't."

"Huh? That's it?"

Yep; five words; seven if you don't count contractions. But, consider the message in that unvarnished declaration. Most of what we want for ourselves is really not difficult to obtain. We possess the tools (or know where to get them) and we know what we desire; all we have to do is go get it. The hitch in the giddy up is how we assemble the plan, making it complex and complicated. We smother it with all makeup of parameters to which we really cannot - or do not want to - abide. We spend so much energy building the golden pathway that we're too exhausted to walk upon it.

As case in point, how 'bout we look at losing weight? (Wow, who would think I'd choose that as an example?) The bottom line of weight loss is brilliantly clear: Eat less; move more. Period. No pills, no programs, no late-night TV promises. See? That's not difficult, is it? If I regularly shut my mouth a few minutes earlier and move my feet a couple of steps further, the pounds "magically" falls away. We all know that. Yet, because we're in such a hurry to "get there," we go overboard in the implementation and develop barriers to actually achieving what we want.

Boldly, I stand tall, placing my fists upon my hips, puffing out my chest, and proclaiming to anyone who cares (and many who don't). "I am now on a diet! (Insert trumpets...) Therefore, until I lose 30 pounds, I shall not be able to go with my friends, family, or business associates to any eating establishment. While imprisoned in my barren, spartan, kitchen, I will consume only unprocessed, all-natural, organic, high-fiber, sugar-free, mostly tasteless, foodstuffs. Furthermore, I will rise two hours earlier each and every day and spend that time meditating, journaling, and exercising. I have calculated that this plan will shall allow me to lose three pounds a week, which I will do this day forth until I have achieved my goals." After my pronouncement, I twirl spectacularly on my heels, place nose firmly in the air and stomp dramatically into my self-established sensory-deprivation chamber, where I shall remain in exclusion until I have achieved a smaller waistline.

Hey Tinkerbell, can we put down the fairy-wand and step out from fantasy-land for a moment?

What began as extremely unfussy and obtainable intention - eating better and moving more - has erupted into a full-scale mega-production requiring learning how to cook differently, shopping with new eyes, rearranging schedules, altering relationships, and devising self-inflicting intimidating goals. Building such blockades makes the procedure ridiculously difficult and horribly unpleasant.

After ramming one's head against the wall enough, we will look for doors, finally "letting go" and releasing as unproductive the artificial rules and limiting beliefs; which allows us to get down to basics. We find something we will actually do and take one small, simple, easy, baby step; which we repeat until we get actually get what we want.

It was difficult. Then it wasn't. It is up to each of us to determine when we want that to change.

About the author: Scott "Q" Marcus is a THINspirational speaker and author. Since losing 70 pounds over 15 years ago, he conducts speeches, workshops, and presentations throughout the country. Join him on a nationally broadcast teleconference about weight loss on March 7, 2010. Find out more at http://www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com