Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

Michelle Obama has chosen to grapple with the crisis of childhood obesity. Props to the First Lady, as this is a dilemma of historic proportion. In a mere two decades, when we as elderly baby boomers, are gobbling up every available resource related to health care, our children and grandchildren, plagued by the ailments of a lifetime of obesity, will figuratively be feeding from the same trough. (Bad analogy; but it works.) We are rapidly approaching the only time in history when three generations will be suffering from the ill effects of poor health at the same moment.

So, let me make one thing clear: childhood obesity begins in adulthood.

At first blush, that makes as much sense as the bumper sticker that proclaims, "Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your kids." Of course, that placard is humorous; the wellbeing of society is anything but. The unvarnished truth is when we get down to brass tacks, children to not become obese by choice, but rather by the (in)action of adults.

Before, with great high dudgeon, mothers and fathers converge upon this establishment carrying pitchforks and hoisting torches shouting for my removal, let me add with great haste (spoken as a father as well as a formerly obese child), that I am not placing fault entirely on the parents. Oh, indeed, there is blame to spread far and wide. However, we are the primary and first decision makers for our children. We set them on their path. We instill upon them our moral guidelines. We are the where the buck - or cookie - stops.

I know that in today's two-working-parent-I-am-really-exhausted-at-the-end-of-the-day world, fighting the influences heaped upon our offspring is overwhelming. I grok that these influences are powerful, selfish, misguided, even mal-intended. Yet, I think that as a society, we stand in a circular firing squad aiming at those on either side; in effect - pardon the mixed metaphor - fiddling as an overweight Rome burns in its own deep fryer.

Parents place fault with the media for an endless wave of advertising aimed at those too young to discern accuracy from hype. The media passes it to the schools for poor meal choices and vending machines full of sugar. Our educational system holds responsible government for inadequate funding, forcing subsidized income provided by the vendors who place the goodies in the machines, who then shout, "lack of control" at the parents. Circle complete; nothing is accomplished.

We have seen the problem and it is all of us. Someone has got to do something; no longer can we wait for "the other guy."  It therefore stands to reason that since my children are the most important people in my life, I am the end of their line. I must step forward first, figuratively and literally.

I resolve, that before I collapse on to the softness of the couch at the end of a long day, I will take a 10-minute walk with my kids, giving them the example of activity and the support of listening. I promise to not bring into our house any product whose label has as its primary ingredient, sugar (or any kind of "-ose"). I agree to eat a little less and pay attention a little more. In effect, I will stand taller, striving to be the example I want my children to become.

Role models are not without flaws; however, they take responsibility for them and continually attempt to improve. That's an objective good for children of any age, no matter how wrinkled they might be on the outside.
It's not that difficult

Sometimes - one might even argue "always" - wisdom and truth are found in the most basic statements. One of the simplest, yet most empowering comments I have heard is from Dr. Sue Morter. Aside from being a powerhouse speaker, she's extremely inspirational, a dynamo on the stage, and outstandingly wise.

"So, what did liberating life-altering observation did she lay pass unto you?" You ask, breathless with anticipation.

"It's difficult until it isn't."

"Huh? That's it?"

Yep; five words; seven if you don't count contractions. But, consider the message in that unvarnished declaration. Most of what we want for ourselves is really not difficult to obtain. We possess the tools (or know where to get them) and we know what we desire; all we have to do is go get it. The hitch in the giddy up is how we assemble the plan, making it complex and complicated. We smother it with all makeup of parameters to which we really cannot - or do not want to - abide. We spend so much energy building the golden pathway that we're too exhausted to walk upon it.

As case in point, how 'bout we look at losing weight? (Wow, who would think I'd choose that as an example?) The bottom line of weight loss is brilliantly clear: Eat less; move more. Period. No pills, no programs, no late-night TV promises. See? That's not difficult, is it? If I regularly shut my mouth a few minutes earlier and move my feet a couple of steps further, the pounds "magically" falls away. We all know that. Yet, because we're in such a hurry to "get there," we go overboard in the implementation and develop barriers to actually achieving what we want.

Boldly, I stand tall, placing my fists upon my hips, puffing out my chest, and proclaiming to anyone who cares (and many who don't). "I am now on a diet! (Insert trumpets...) Therefore, until I lose 30 pounds, I shall not be able to go with my friends, family, or business associates to any eating establishment. While imprisoned in my barren, spartan, kitchen, I will consume only unprocessed, all-natural, organic, high-fiber, sugar-free, mostly tasteless, foodstuffs. Furthermore, I will rise two hours earlier each and every day and spend that time meditating, journaling, and exercising. I have calculated that this plan will shall allow me to lose three pounds a week, which I will do this day forth until I have achieved my goals." After my pronouncement, I twirl spectacularly on my heels, place nose firmly in the air and stomp dramatically into my self-established sensory-deprivation chamber, where I shall remain in exclusion until I have achieved a smaller waistline.

Hey Tinkerbell, can we put down the fairy-wand and step out from fantasy-land for a moment?

What began as extremely unfussy and obtainable intention - eating better and moving more - has erupted into a full-scale mega-production requiring learning how to cook differently, shopping with new eyes, rearranging schedules, altering relationships, and devising self-inflicting intimidating goals. Building such blockades makes the procedure ridiculously difficult and horribly unpleasant.

After ramming one's head against the wall enough, we will look for doors, finally "letting go" and releasing as unproductive the artificial rules and limiting beliefs; which allows us to get down to basics. We find something we will actually do and take one small, simple, easy, baby step; which we repeat until we get actually get what we want.

It was difficult. Then it wasn't. It is up to each of us to determine when we want that to change.

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

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