Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

We’re six weeks into the year; so, how are those New Year’s resolutions workin’ for ya?

If they’re now broken shards lying along the highway shoulder several miles in the rear view mirror, fret not, you stand not alone. According to surveys, as many as 80 percent of people give up their vast and glorious seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time plans by the tail end of January; more alarming is as many as 90 percent are never brought to fruition. What might the foremost reasons for not accomplishing them be? About 40 percent of respondents say they didn’t have enough time (read that “not a high enough priority”) and about one-third say they weren’t even committed to doing them in first place. Basically, they set them to get someone off their back. Yep, nothing says “motivation to change” like a heaping, steaming pile of guilt.

Personally, I think the “New Year’s Resolution” is a manufactured event; akin to holidays we didn’t know existed until we went into the greeting card shop. We respond to public pressure, and since “everyone’s doing it,” we don’t want to pay the social price for not going along; hence we make promises we never intend to keep.

Nothing’s wrong with January 1; I mean why not, it’s as good date as any. But change drives its own train and you better get on board when it’s time or you’ll be left at the station. If your marriage is monotonous and unsatisfying on April 7, you might be single in seven months. Having trouble seeing your belt buckle without looking in the mirror? Why wait? After all, your belly’s not going to shrink by itself, is it? Or, if you get up most mornings with an “ain’t-life-a-drag hangover,” it might seem the perfect date for a decision is the one that’s staring you in the face on the calendar.

I don’t mean to be snarky but in the interest of trying to make a point, the perfect date for change is, well, today. If you re-read this tomorrow, that works also. Yet, per my previous comments, most of us like to feel we’re not alone in our quest; so ever the helper, by the power vested in me (which admittedly isn’t much), I proclaim February 15 as the first annual “This Time I Mean It Day.” (Please insert your own trumpets.) I am attempting to get as many people as possible to recommit to objectives delayed — and equally as important, to celebrate those things we have accomplished already, while supporting others as they reach upward also.

It might appear out of the norm to discuss resolutions when red roses, heart-adorned boxer shorts, and enough chocolate to give us a yearlong cocoa high surround us; but there’s method to my madness. The date was specifically chosen to coincide with the holiday most dedicated to commitment: Valentine’s Day.

When we care about someone and we value the relationship, we take those extra moments to engage in those additional activities that ease their burdens, lighten their load, and lift them up. If we care about ourselves, it seems we need no less. After all, if we don’t take care of us, who will take care of everyone we take care of? (I know; that sentence is horribly constructed but you get the point.)

So, onward self-improving soldiers, carpe diem! Make a commitment. Take a step. Share it with a friend. Don’t worry about joining late; we’ll still be marching on February 16th, June 17th, or any day thereafter. The road never ends.


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. He is also the founder of “This Time I Mean It Day,” a playful holiday celebrating our personal successes, every February 15. Join the celebration and download a free goal planner at the website or contact him at scottq@scottqmarcus.com, www.facebook.com/thistimeImeanit or on twitter @thistimeimeanit

OK class, today's assignment is to create the most annoying place ever; ready?

Let's begin by populating it with lots of tired, irritable inhabitants confined to a cramped area with hardly any places to rest and absolutely no spot to get comfortable. Many of these folks will wear too much perfume or, better yet, haven't seen the working end of a shower in days. Of course, the whole environment has to be far from home, and - oh yes - let's make it extremely loud.

Now, let's spruce up the annoyance factor by tossing in some arcane commands.

Rule one: You are only allowed to have in your ownership one container of essential items; but the consequences for possessing those is that is you must drag them behind you wherever you go; a ball and chain. Rule Two: Not for a minute can you let them leave your custody. If you want to add more items, you can purchase from a very limited supply of things that will be far more costly than they should be, and you must stand in long lines to obtain them (don't forget, you must have your container always in tow).  Rule Three: Nosy, ill-mannered, discourteous natives will handle and interrogate you at will, sporadically rummage through your package of personal belongings, and time after time subject you to yet additional seemingly useless rules which may change at any time.

I think we're done. What shall we call it?  Dante's Inferno? Hell? How about, "An Airport?"

Traveling has a knack to make anybody cranky; so, I had empathy for the nine-year-old with the pink suitcase waiting in the petrified line to board the jet. Her dad, bent close to her, staring unflinchingly into her eyes, was wagging his finger for emphasis and scolding her sotto voce. "We don't push people out of the way. We wait our turn, do you understand?"

Her eyes drilling into the floor of the gateway, an angry expression contorting her face, she rocked defiantly from side-to-side, holding steadfast, "He's not 'people;' he's my little brother! And he's slow! I want to get on the airplane all ready! I'm tired!"

"I understand," replied her father, "We're all frustrated. But that doesn't excuse pushing. Are we clear?"

"I want to get on the airplane!" She stomped her foot for emphasis and crossed her arms across her chest.

"We will go on the airplane when you apologize to Robbie. Tell him you're sorry."

Begrudgingly realizing she had no choice and finally accepting the parameters, she faced her sibling, mumbled something, then looked back at Dad.

"Very good," he said; hugged her, rose to his full height and took her by the hand as the family proceeded forward. She had learned her lesson, her reward being that she now able to proceed to her objective.

As I watched the drama, it dawned on me that this process does not end when we move away from our parents. It is a sequence that presents itself continually: Frustration. Lesson. Acceptance. Progress. Repeat cycle as necessary until learned.

The only difference between those of us with single-digit ages and smooth skin, and those of us with a few years under our belts and a road map of wrinkles, is that we aren't always fortunate enough to have someone explain the guidelines so clearly.

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

I am one of the underclass of the holiday season — those who wait to the last minute to buy gifts — so I find myself on Christmas Eve in yet another line. The customer at the front; an elderly, bearded, overweight gentleman with thick black heavy boots, and wire rim glasses resting on a pug nose; is having an animated discussion with an apathetic clerk. Shoppers buried under sparkly packages are restlessly shifting from one leg to the other, glancing at watches, and staring at the ceiling as the long-winded debate ricochets back and forth.

The sales person reiterates, “You can’t pay for that many toys using pennies.”

“That’s all I’ve got. I can’t pay you in milk, cookies, or crayon drawings; but sometimes children leave me pennies. That’s all I own.”

The clerk shrugged. “I’m sorry Sir, you’ll have to go elsewhere.”  He abruptly turns to me, next in line, and disregards the pudgy gentleman.

Trying to avoid looking at the old-timer, but finding it impossible to notice his eyes losing their sparkle, I inform the clerk to charge me for both our purchases. “It is a blessing to give,” I tell the shopper as he looks on in amazement.

The heavy man shakes my hand profusely as he lets out a deep robust belly laugh, his middle shaking like jelly, “I’m going to make sure you get something astonishing tomorrow morning! It’s my greatest gift!” With that, he again laughed his full, rich, belly-quaking laugh, gathered his packages and hurried into the cold.

The next morning, I raced downstairs, not knowing what to expect — sure that whatever it was, it would be big, or expensive — or both. I surveyed the living room. Nothing. Then the obvious became apparent: “Come on Scott, you’re an adult. What were you thinking? How silly to even pretend. He was an eccentric geezer who cashed in his penny jar, that’s all.” I brushed aside my foolishness and started to exit when I noticed a simple envelope adorned with an embossed snowflake and a monogrammed “S.C.” Slitting it open, I pulled out a handwritten note on parchment: “Henceforth, you will realize how fortunate you truly are. Your life is full even when it seems not. Enjoy your blessings. Thanks for the help.”

Reverting to my previous analysis of a well-meaning gentleman whose ornaments weren’t hanging from the right tree, I shoved the memo into my pocket and cradled a warm cup of tea between my hands, noticing the heat against my skin on this chilly morning.  “What a simple pleasure,” I thought as I sipped it. It tasted soothing and generated a lovely glow in my belly, which — I noticed — is looking rather flat these days. I ushered a silent thank you to God for my health, and smiled, realizing how very fortunate I am. While others are concerned about getting enough, I have to cut back, an important reminder this time of year. My mind wandered to images of family and friends, and how much I benefit from their presence in my world. I surveyed my house; I’m not wealthy, but I do have a roof over my head, a fireplace, full kitchen, and belongings others couldn’t even imagine. I live in an area I love. I have my health, family, friends, and faith. What do I lack? I really do have it all.    

Sitting in silence with a crumpled note on my lap and a radiance emanating from deep within, I understood this was a memory in the making and I would value it forever.

The old man hadn’t left a thing but had indeed given me the greatest gift of all.