Weekends are hard enough to deal with when it comes to staying on track with your weight release goals, am I right?

But holiday weekends? They seem impossible!

Guess what? That’s where this week’s podcast episode comes in…

We’ll dive into how to switch out of fat thinking into thin thinking specifically when it comes to those holiday weekends and the cookouts that inevitably come with them.

And if you’re listening after Memorial Day, no worries! This episode will help with holiday eating or summer cookout eating in general.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: Are weekends hard enough to stay on track with your weight release goals, but holiday weekends are like, forget about it? Well, dive on into this week's Thin Thinking Podcast where we are going to dig into how to shift out of fat thinking and into thin thinking around holiday weekends, and end with a nice visualization to inspire you to stay on track. So stay tuned.

Rita Black: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right, the key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi, there I'm Rita black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist, weight loss expert, best-selling author, and the creator of the Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long-term weight mastery, I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict, and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need. Not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long-term and live your best life.

Rita Black: Hello. Hello. Hello And welcome. I hope this finds you happy and healthy and looking forward to a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. You deserve it. I am looking forward to relaxing this weekend and I hope you are too. So in this episode, we are going to dive into how to relax and also stay on track over the holiday. So it can truly be a happy Memorial Day rather than a "I wish I had no memory of this weekend" day.

Rita Black: This week's episode is brought to you by my free Shift Out Of Sugar Cravings hypnosis session. If you haven't gotten that one yet, you'll find the link in the show notes. Or you can grab your free copy at www.shiftweightmastery.com. What a great offer for the upcoming weekend. Okay. So three day weekends. Weekends are challenging enough, right?

Rita Black: But three day weekends, why are these three day weekends so frickin hard? Well, let's look at it from a thin thinking perspective, and look at it from how our minds operate over three-day weekends. So first of all, holiday weekends are long. Our willpower gets eaten away, meaning that, you know, whatever hope you have going into the weekend-I'm going to be good, I'm going to stay focused. Well, Saturday, maybe you do pretty well. And then Sunday, all the excitement of the weekend, the visiting, maybe the parties, going out on the boat or going to a sporting event, more and more stimulation for the brain. Right? And what does all the stimulation and decision-making and being with other people do? That stimulation of the brain ebbs away the willpower.

Rita Black: Okay. So, the second reason holiday weekends are really reward and celebration driving, meaning that part of our brain, our reward center in our brain is on. And we are looking for reward fun. The dopamine center, pleasure seeking brain thinks food equals letting your hair down and will agitate you to get what it wants. It will bug you. It will bug you, and it will feel like you need it. It's that craving feeling. And that part of your brain is like, it's the weekend. It's a holiday weekend, we deserve it. Let's have it. So that's another reason. And so the third reason the holiday weekends can be challenging is that we will start off with super good intentions, but our habit brain is used to throwing all of the weight release efforts to the side because only 12% wants to be good. And remember the other 8%, that subconscious part of our mind that wants things to happen just as they always do and stay exactly the same.

Rita Black: Yeah, it's going to be in full force. It wants things to stay the same, which usually means reward eating, drinking, partying, and you know, then saying, well, what the hell? I already blew it on Saturday. I'll let everything go Sunday and Monday. And I'll start again and be super angelic on Tuesday morning. And we've gotten in the habit of that. And so the brain is also driving us in that direction. So not to be a Debbie downer about the holiday weekends, because you absolutely can have a healthy and amazing holiday weekend. And I am here to coach you for one and also to create a powerful visualization at the end. So you can just head on into this holiday weekend, but I don't want you to go in, you know, unaware. So the great thing about the holidays is that they are here to give us extra time to relax and unwind and don't we need it.

Rita Black: The problem is is that when we are overeating, it really doesn't relax us. It makes us feel bad and ends up spoiling the weekend. I can think of so many three-day weekends where I was overeating and over drinking. And all I could think about was how horrible I felt, out of balance, chaotic. And that's all I could think about. And I couldn't really even enjoy the people I was with or whatever I was doing, or I was in such a food, eating frenzy. I didn't even pay attention to the other things that really were relaxing and enjoyable. So ultimately we want to just have a powerful weekend where we're truly taking care of ourselves, truly relaxing, truly being with those we love or want to be connected with and really enjoy. So I would like to share seven thin thinking strategies for creating a powerful, healthy, and memorable in a good way we can with you.

Rita Black: So thin thinking strategy number one, create the weekend. Don't have it happen to you. I will say that again because it's so important. Create the weekend. Don't have it happen to you. It's the difference between being offensive and defensive. If you go into the weekend where you have what I call, you know, I'm going to quote Stephen Covey, the man who wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He said begin with the end in mind. You want to think all the way through to Monday night now and think about how you want to end the weekend feeling. Think about the outcome you want to create with your weekend, because chances are we head into the holiday weekend thinking we're going to have a good time hoping we're going to have a good time. We can't wait to relax, but then all these things start happening to us and our brain isn't prepared to create a healthy weekend.

Rita Black: We are just heading into the weekend with the same old habits, the same old behaviors, the same old reactions and responses to people, places, things, and all the stimulus that is going to be out there this Memorial Day weekend. So you want to just like an athlete prepares to go into the field with a plan and a strategy and a game. What do they call it? The coaches call it the, you know, the play. You want to go in to your weekend creating a healthy weekend to have your brain prepared ahead of time. So being offensive, not defensive. So the first way you do this is you begin with the end in mind. You think about how you want to feel Monday night, what does this do? This engages your reticular activation system in your brain that is going to filter out the stuff that is not going to allow you to get to where you want to be.

Rita Black: And the brain is going to focus on, oh, yes. I want to feel light. I want to feel healthy. I want to feel like vibrant and that I had a really good time, but didn't go overboard this weekend that I connected with friends, that I sat in the sun. That I relaxed, but I didn't overindulge. So if you can really, in your mind what I would say, create a vision, sit down with your inner coach before the weekend, you know, your inner coach, that's your inner team member that, that powerful part of you, that problems solve her, that solution seeker that works really great, maybe in other areas of your life. We want to bring that part of you to the meeting before the holiday weekend and have you think through what you're going to create. So, and we're going to dive into some ideas, but you want to create a vision of how you want to feel that Monday night.

Rita Black: And you want that vision to be so powerful that it engages the dopamine center in your brain and that reward center and saying, oh yeah, getting to Monday night, feeling light and healthy and lean, that is a powerful reward. And so what that will do will it will help your dopamine center bypass all the lower level indulgences or cravings, or stimulation that your brain might get over this weekend with all the food, all the beverages that are probably going to be passing your way, especially if you're planning to go out and being social. And then you want to think through the weekend, what is the weekend about for you? What do you want to create? Do you want to create relaxation? Do you want to be super social? Do you want to connect with people who do you want to connect with and focus on the value you want to create for yourself?

Rita Black: Meaning rest, meaning human connection, meaning having some good times, running around or splashing in the water rather than just, you know, what's going to be on the buffet table. You want to focus on those other things, those other rewards. Okay. So that's number one, begin with the end in mind, create the weekend. Don't have it happen to you. Number two, I'm going to say set a specific weight goal, whether it's weight release, meaning you're going to just stay focused on your weight release this weekend or weight maintenance, which is a perfectly fine option. Even if you're trying to release weight right now. I always say to my clients, I say to people, my students, I say people into my monthly mastery community. I say, you know, it's the holiday weekend. You get to choose. You are always the driver of your weight release.

Rita Black: And sometimes we hit the pause button on our weight release because it's more realistic, you know, to go and, eat lettuce leaves and chicken at a big family reunion might not be realistic for you. And it might be more loving and, you know, ultimately better for your long-term weight release if you give yourself just to, your plan is to maintain your weight over the weekend, to be careful, to be mindful, but maybe not be in weight release mode. And you probably are a pretty good judge of when you're in weight release mode or when you're in weight maintenance mode, you always want to stay mindful. You always want to stay connected to yourself. So I'm not saying throw everything out the window, but usually when we go into the weekend unrealistically expecting to release weight, then that's when we get into trouble.

Rita Black: We say, screw it, I'll start again on Monday because the choice for us is either to lose weight or to go off the deep end, rather than finding that middle ground for ourselves, that mindful middle ground, where we've had just enough, where we start to learn to trust ourselves. So we eat til, you know, we've had just enough to eat. We're not too full, and we're, you know, focused, making healthy choices, realistic choices, but not being in super deprivation mode. I think and if you want to stay focused on your weight release plan, absolutely fine. But I think it's always valuable to give yourself the option and to trust that you'll stick with it. You know, weight mastery is really about sticking with yourself and believing in yourself. And, you know, even if you get off track over the weekend, forgive yourself, instantly bring yourself back on track because you will in the end save a lot more calories or, you know, not have to recover so much.

Rita Black: And you'll usually learn a lesson. And if you forgive yourself and say, well, what didn't go well here? What could I do next weekend? The next three-day weekend, or next time I run into the situation? That is where true weight mastery is you guys, all right. Okay. So three plan self-care and exercise each day. As a mom and as a wife, and as a business owner, somebody who is in the field with my clients all the time, you know, I work pretty much 24/7. I love what I do. I absolutely thrive on my life. And, because I do feel like I create my life, and I'm very lucky, you know, I feel like I can sit down every week and create a powerful week for myself.

Rita Black: AndI feel very, very grateful for that. Now, self care is a huge part of happiness. And I feel like a lot of us go into these three-day weekends, especially as moms and we are more worn out by the end of that three-day weekend because we're cooking and we're chasing after people and we're doing a zillion activities and we're the one who's picking up after everybody, or we're the one who's the referee in the sporting event. You know, we just go, go, go, go, go. And that's super cool if you're into, you know, living life to the fullest all for that, but I want you to set yourself up for success. Because I will tell you something that all that stimulation, what it does is it where's your brain down and it makes you way, way more prone to overeat.

Rita Black: So everyone out there, what I want you to do is as you think your weekend through, I want you to think of what I would call brain breaks, our self care moments, where you retreat from the crowd, retreat from everybody else, and to have some time downtime for yourself. And what you're doing is in that downtime, you are relaxing your brain. You're letting it sort of decompress so that then you'll have more focus, you'll have more willpower and be able to go to those parties and say no to the things that you want to say no to, instead of being overwhelmed, oh my God, pour me a drink and bring me a big old plate of whatever, because I'm just super tired. And mom has got to put her feet up and have a margarita, right? So, you know, take your naps.

Rita Black: You know, I love three-day weekends because I can usually grab one big power nap. And I just so look forward to that. Naps are my best friend. We'll talk about naps more in another episode, how important they are for weight mastery and permission to take naps too. And that's a big thing, permission to take a break, take a bath, take a stroll by yourself, or, you know, you can stroll with somebody else, but set up your breaks and also set up exercise, make sure you take care of yourself. The great thing about holiday weekends is you do have some time to go out for a walk every morning, plan a bike ride, you know, think it through. If you don't have a plan, the world has one for you and chances are, if you're a busy mom especially, or somebody who's a social butterfly, lots of people want lots of things from you.

Rita Black: And if you don't chisel in that exercise time for yourself, it ain't going to happen. And I'm not just saying, sitting inside doing a, you know, an exercise on YouTube. I'm saying get outside and do something amazing because the weather's finally nice and we finally can get outside. And it's a beautiful thing. So sit down and plan that out before the weekend. Here's another one, number four, set loving limits with food and drinks. You know, again, we head into the weekend. It's really easy for that reward brain to just drive us towards what it knows. And you know, and that, what the hell? It's a holiday weekend attitude really comes very easy. It's so easy to just say us the holiday, I'll start over again on Monday, but if you go into the weekend setting, loving limits, like, it's not like I'm not going to drink any alcohol, but you'll say, well, when I go to that Memorial Day party, I will set my limit at two alcoholic beverages, and then I'm going to drink water.

Rita Black: I'll drink water first. Then maybe I'll have a glass of wine. Then I'll have another glass of water. Then I'll have a glass of wine. When you're doing that one thing you're doing with your brain, you're setting a boundary, but you're also getting creative because you're asking yourself a question like how much alcohol is it that I need in order to relax and have a good time? Now, for some of you, it may be nothing like for some of you, maybe it's Coca-Cola or other sodas, or maybe for some of you beverages aren't a challenge, but, you know, with whatever beverage it is, you know, in our brain, food is fun, right? Like that becomes a belief. And so when we start to question, like how much do I actually need in order to have a good time when we really start to poke holes in that theory?

Rita Black: Because you know, from past experience, the fun part of food is the anticipation and maybe the first few bites of something, that's where our mouth gets the most impact are the taste buds and everything in the brain. They get that exciting thing. But after eating five bites of three or four bites of potato salad, or have tried to barbecue, or of corn on the cob with butter, or a chocolate devil cake or whatever, the excitement in the mouth goes down from 90% down to 20%. And now we're just shoveling calories down the hole. So having that conversation with yourself before the party, having those conversations with yourself, like how much is like, do I really need to eat Grandma's Blackberry pie in order to have a good time? Then you might say yes, and that's cool.

Rita Black: Then you might say how much, because the answer usually is going to be less than if you just did, uh, if you were on automatic pilot, does that make sense? I hope it does, but I want you to start thinking about things, uh, from a perspective of breaking it down, sitting down with yourself and, and planning ahead and thinking through those little moments where we just go into automatic pilot. And because by doing it ahead of time, you're slowing down. And when you get to that point in life, when you actually get to the point where they're serving the Blackberry pie, you'll remember you had that conversation with yourself, and you can ask for that smaller piece. Now, you know, if you feel like you need more in order to have a good time. Well, that's another question, but my guess is most of my clients, my students, my people in my groups, you know, we have this thing called the three bite rule where I will eat three bites of something and really enjoy it.

Rita Black: And for most of the time, it's okay, that's enough. And we feel like we can move on from there. And it really sets you free. So just consider that three bite rule. Otherwise what will happen is that a reward center in the brain might get engaged by excessive amounts of carbohydrates. And then we engage what I call the carb zombie, and then we just really become that OD. We get into that binge eating automated eating zone. So, so really set some boundaries for yourself, but think of them as what I call loving boundaries, because you're saving yourself from the pain of overeating feeling gross, and having the weekend end up being something that you regret, rather than something you really enjoyed. Okay. Get support from others. Your friends, your family members, engage them in being healthy too. Hey, we're all the same.

Rita Black: People don't want to feel gross and that they ate too much. I mean, how many people do you know who said, gosh, I really am super glad I gorged and ate way too much. Not many people, if any, really, really love that feeling at the end of a big overeating festival. So do everybody a favor and say, hey, why don't we have a healthy weekend? Why don't we make some healthy choices? You know, really, people hate overeating. So be creative, be the change maker amongst your friends and family, make some suggestions. Hey, let's go for a walk, let's go for a walk before we have dessert, or let's not eat a big old dessert. Let's go and get a single scoop of an ice cream cone, get them to go, maybe for frozen yogurt instead of going to the house of pies, you know, make the healthier choices, go to the healthier restaurant and where there are some healthy choices rather than to the bar and grill where there is just fried chicken, hamburgers, and French fries available, right?

Rita Black: You can, you can be the maker in your crowd, or if you're going to be alone this weekend, enjoy it and plan things, but maybe don't be alone. Maybe plan it, even if you are on your own and you're choosing to be on your own, reach out to other people. And so you can feel that connection as well. So number six, parties. So here's a big suggestion. If you don't do this already, I'm going to suggest you start doing it, is bring your own food and bring your own beverages. So I'm not just saying it, bring your whole meal. No, but I am saying, you know, if the hostess doesn't ask you to bring food, bring some anyway, I'm known as the salad lady, but I make really interesting fun salads. You know, I had a client, well, many clients, but this client really stuck with me.

Rita Black: She said, you know, I would go to parties and I would cut up apples, both red and green. And I would arrange them really pretty on a tray. She drizzled some lemon juice over them and put toothpicks in them with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top. And she said, you know, that was so she would have a healthy dessert to eat, you know, at whatever party she was going to, and she became known for this, but people loved it. Like that would be the thing that would disappear first. And I've gone to many, many parties that really ultimately didn't have many healthy food choices, and I would bring a big salad and sure enough, that salad disappeared before all the other food. So people really do appreciate healthy options. So make sure you bring a healthy option for yourself and the same with beverages.

Rita Black: You know, if you know you're going somewhere where it's going to be a bunch of alcohol, and maybe you want to have a glass of wine, but then maybe you want to move over to something else. I bring diet tonic water to parties. I bring sparkling water that I know that will feel festive. And so that I'm not overindulging in alcohol or at sometimes I make this really amazing, great recipe of ice tea from mint tea and I squeeze some lemon and lime and orange juice in it, just fresh juice and then put mint sprigs in it. And I put slices of lemon and lime in it. And I just let it sit for awhile and all those flavors blend together. I add a little Stevia or sweetener just to make it a little more sweet and I will bring that to a party in a jug.

Rita Black: And that for sure goes, I mean, it tastes like a cocktail but has no alcohol in it. And we all end up drinking it at the end of the night because we were like, okay, it's time for Rita's punch. We don't want to over-drink. Okay. So, and then number seven, no starting over you guys. No starting over this weekend, meaning you get to Friday night overindulge and go, well, screw it. It's Memorial Day weekend. I'm going to start over on Tuesday. Don't get to Saturday afternoon and have an extra slice of pizza and go, I blew it. I'm starting again on Tuesday now. No starting over. When you promise yourself you're not going to start over, things change. Stick with yourself, coach yourself through those moments. I assure you, you will move on, forgive yourself. Say let's just make the next meal a healthy one, and you'll feel so much better, so much more empowered and probably enjoy this weekend so much more. Okay. So now I want to do a visualization with you for this holiday weekend. It's my holiday treat for you.

Rita Black: And go ahead, if you are driving, please pull to the side of the road to do this, or just hit pause and listen to this later when you get home. Otherwise, go ahead and take a nice deep breath in, and as you exhale, close your eyes, and let's just begin. You're allowing your awareness to settle gradually on your breath, traveling in and traveling out. You don't need to try to breathe your breath. It just breathes itself naturally for you and you're probably aware of the fact that there's always more than enough air for you to breathe wherever you are.

Rita Black: So take a deep breath now into your body. I noticed that anytime you can breathe in relaxation and breathe out any tension you don't need. Now, with every breath you can choose to allow yourself to be as relaxed as you want to be. That's right. Just allow yourself to relax as deeply as you want. And as you continue to relax, I want you to just bring to your mind an image of yourself. This coming Monday night after the three-day weekend, just see yourself in a scenario. Having had an amazing holiday weekend and look at you. You've got that smile on your face. You look relaxed, you look like you had a fantastic time. Maybe you've gotten a little sun, but just see yourself with that smile on your face. Looking healthy, looking light.

Rita Black: Good. And now just step into that image of yourself and imagine yourself being in your body Monday night, feeling light, feeling lean, healthy, vibrant that you did truly relax this weekend. And you made healthy choices. You exercise just feel how your body feels toned and lighter because you took good care of yourself on Monday night. Just imagine that now Monday night feeling proud of yourself, feeling confident, ready to head into the week because you enjoyed yourself, but stayed light and kept focused on your health goals. What are you wearing in the scenario? How do the clothes fit against you? Because you ate lightly and think back over the weekend. How did you exercise? What did you do for yourself? Just think about that now. What were those things that you did that allowed you to move your body and enjoy your body, connecting your body to your mind, and how did you take care of yourself? How did you take those breaks and get away from people and just spend some time for yourself, just relaxing. And who did you get to enjoy being healthy with you? How did you get the support you needed from your family or friends or coworkers? What were some of the healthy meals that you made or ate? Good. And now go back to that feeling of feeling light and lean Monday night, proud, feeling good. Like you really enjoy those three days and now take a nice deep breath in and lock that feeling deep within you and allow, allow that to be your inner script for this coming weekend.

Rita Black: All right, now have an amazing weekend. And remember that this episode was brought to you by my free Shift Out Of Sugar Cravings hypnosis session. So just find the link in the show notes and grab it or head over to www.shiftweightmastery.com and find the offer there. Have an amazing week and weekend. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking that door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.

Rita Black: Do you want to dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release, tips, strategies, and more, and be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking: Unlock Your Mind For Permanent Weight Loss.