Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

Numbers loom large in our lives. We commemorate birthdays and anniversaries in numbers of years. We monitor wealth in number of dollars. We even categorize our state of being via numbers: IQ, BMI, HDL.

Certain numbers are more popular than others. Take the number “3.” We’re conditioned to “think in 3s,” which explains why we use expressions like “Top three reasons…” or “Three examples…” Angry parents rely on “3.” My father, when upset, never said, “I’m going to count to four;” I’m guessing yours didn’t either.

One is a “power number” too, so when I woke up New Year’s day and noted the date, 1.1.11, I thought, “How cool!” Only nine times per century is every numeral in a date identical. My first “matched set” was 5.5.55 - but I was too young to fully appreciate it. Should I get a second chance in these next 100 years, I assure you there will be extreme gratitude.

However, 1.1.11 caused me to ponder, “Is there special significance from four “1”s? Might there be a cosmic sign in the only year that truly begins at the beginning? I’m not superstitious; but what about lucky numbers? What could “1.1.11” be trying to communicate?

In binary “1111” is “15.” Maybe this year’s providential number is 15? However, with the exception of the Fiesta Quinceañera, “15” doesn’t show up much in our society.

So, I turned to numerology. In full disclosure, numerology is a topic about which I know zero (an unfortunate “power number). I could not tell my Soul Urge Number from my street address. But, I believe there is a lot of adding numerals together (or maybe there isn’t; like I said I really know nothing about it). Either way, that's what I did. I added 1+5 from “15” to get “6” which seemed more probable than “15.” After all, it’s literally in the top ten of numbers. (Why don’t we say “Top Nine” or “Top 11?” See… there we go again…)

Yet, if I'm adding, why not use the sum of all the ones? Wouldn’t that make more sense? So, “4” must be the positive omen we need for the next 365 days.

Oy! Now I’m confused. We have three promising numbers: 15, 6, 4. Add those and the result is “25.” Two+5=7. Seven could work; that feels right. But “7” is so commonplace and run of the mill; everybody and their brother uses “lucky 7.”

Maybe I’m working this too hard. It’s obvious. Staring me right in the kisser is the solution; it’s a great big honkin’ "ONE." And if we’re looking at a new year as an opportunity to change, “1” squares perfectly with it. Most people do not achieve their goals (or “resolutions” if you insist) not because they’re too small, but for the opposite reason: they make too many of them and they’re ridiculously complicated. With great intention, but poor planning, they devise 46-step action plans, with options, timetables, flow-charts, and alternatives. Who has time to keep track of all that? The result? We get overwhelmed and intimidated. We feel bad and when that happens, we give up, feeling it’s more trouble than it’s worth, which is usually true. So, nothing happens. It's a horrible vicious cycle we repeat year after year.

To counter that, what’s simpler than “1”?

If “1.1.11” is an omen, it’s telling us “simplify.” Pick ONE thing each day. Do it until completion. Repeat as necessary. After all, ONE goal here and ONE goal there done well can really add up to ONE happy life.

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
There are few reasons why we do not achieve our dreams.

Yes, there are "acts of God." Philosophically, one might even accept fate or destiny as insurmountable barriers. Yet, aside from those, the immense majority of people living lives of quiet desperation reside there because of what's going on in their minds more than on our planet. With credit to Walt Kelly, "We have met the enemy and he is us." We - not others - are more times than not, our worst adversaries.

I mean this not in a condescending, judgmental manner, as one might hear from no-nonsense hyper-achievers, "Just pull yourself up from the bootstraps, suck it in, and get it done. Don't be such a wimp!" One cannot change years of brain wave patterns in the same manner in which he switches on or off a light. Negative thoughts today - click - positive henceforth. My objective today is also not designed to illustrate how messed up we are; I don't think that's true, we're all doing the best we know how to do.

With appropriate disclaimers admitted, if we accept that we are standing in our own way, it begs the question, "Why would we do that?" Why do we NOT reach further, dream larger, and believe better?

The primary answer is: Fear; Fear of Success, and its dastardly sibling, Fear of Failure.

These concepts are tossed about often than a well-worn basketball in a high school gym, yet rarely do we take the time to understand the difference between the two. For in doing so, we might be able to get past them.

Usually, Fear of Success is an apprehension that achieving one's goals could generate future events unforeseen or out of one's control and we won't know what to do with them. For example, if I lose weight, members of the opposite sex might look at me differently. I might need to deal with flirting, or even sexual tensions, that - until now - have been kept at bay by the extra layers in which I can (literally and figuratively) hide. Another illustration could be that I worry friends who currently socialize with me around food (such as going out to lunch) might no longer feel comfortable doing so. What will we do then? Will I lose friendships? Will I become lonely?

Fear of Success's baseline concern is I might not like the way things are right now, but at least I know how to handle them. Change them and it could be worse.

Fear of Failure, far more common, is being scared that my goals are really just empty pipe dreams. The regret in attempting it - and failing - would be so much more devastating than the conditions in which I now find myself, that I'd rather just stay put. In other words, "If I don't do anything, I can't fail and therefore, I won't be disappointed. As it stands currently, at least I have my fantasy to comfort me. I am unwilling to risk those."

Fear is a normal, sometimes even healthy, emotion. Like a fortress it can keep out what might harm us - or, as a cage, it can prevent us from getting what we want.

About the author: Scott "Q" Marcus is a THINspirational speaker and author. Since losing 70 pounds over 15 years ago, he works with overloaded people and organizations who are looking to improve communication, change bad habits, and reduce stress. He can be reached for consulting, workshops, or presentations at 707.442.6243 or scottq@scottqmarcus.com. He will sometimes work in exchange for chocolate.