Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

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


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.