Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

 
 
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.
 
 
Pointing fingers at others

Cigarette smokers have long been relegated to the underclass of the social order. They are ostracized, even banished, from "polite society." This was hammed home to me recently while landing at Salt Lake City airport. Upon taxing to the terminal, the attendant takes to the microphone to make her customary proclamations: "Thank you for flying with us; we realize you have a choice of airlines. (I do?) Please don't remove your seat belt until the captain has pulled into the gate and, if you smoke, please do not do so until you arrive in the designated area inside the terminal."

Sure enough, literally smack-dab in the center of the terminal is an enclosed, glass-walled chamber where smokers light up and puff away to their heart's content. (That's probably a bad choice of expressions in light of the activity we're discussing.) What struck me was that through the grey misted air, they appeared as caged zoo animals, pacing in their restricted area, engaging in behaviors not accepted by the reminder of the population, while kept at a safe distance from those they could harm upon accidental release.

I found the whole thing to be incredibly sad.

Let me head off the armies of hacking militant, wheezing smokers who, even before they have finished reading this piece, are racing to computers to fire off angry missives about how I am insulting them. My comments are not as much levied at those who have chosen to engage in this habit as much as at the society that determines what is appropriate and what is not. Mores change and smoking, once considered "the cat's meow," is now considered gauche, existing in a strange societal limbo - scorned yet legal.

I am allergic to tobacco smoke. Moreover, having previously lived with a smoker, the stench that permeated and saturated everything from clothing to carpeting invoked regularly my gag reflex. So, I'm A-OK with the act being isolated. Yet, what is not tolerable to me is that it appears that we - the "Proper Members of Society" - are forever judging others in a misguided effort to feel better about ourselves, while ignoring our own annoying foibles.

Civility's spotlight, although not shifting from the nicotine user, has lately expanded to include the overweight. As with users of cigarettes, behind their backs, we shake our heads and whisper to our "normal" friends, "It's a shame that they don't take care of themselves. I'd never let myself look like that." We wag our fingers and click our tongues, satisfied that we are "better than that."

It's probably human nature to try and elevate oneself by putting down others. I know in my lesser moments that I am not immune. However, it seems that each and everyone of us has habits of which we would not want exposed to bright sunlight. Creating new sub-classes determined by what one eats or smokes is divisive, and we've got plenty of that going around.

I've got bad habits. You do too. It's not a reflection of self-worth; it is a method by which each of us is trying to make it through the day without collapsing under the weight of its stress. I'm not advocating abandoning personal responsibility and "let it all hang out;" quite the contrary. The process of growth is the cycle of "identify, adjust, and modify." It seems if each of us spent a tad more energy striving to be an example instead of a judge, it could alter the atmosphere just enough that we wouldn't need a cigarette - or bag of chips - quite as often.

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.