Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

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.

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.