It’s my birthday again!

That means another year older but it also means another year of weight mastery wiser and lots of “inner frosting”–reflections and gratitude to you in the Shift Community.

So in this 26th episode of Thin Thinking, allow me to light the candles on my 26 years of maintaining a 40-pound weight loss with you as I reflect on what have been the most important keys to my success.

You will learn what I think are the most valuable components of long-term weight loss and so much more.

My reflections. My story. My Weight Mastery journey.

I will also invite you to join me for my upcoming free masterclass that I am offering as part of my celebration. Free Masterclass: How to Stop the “Start Over Tomorrow” Weight Struggle Cycle and Start Releasing Weight for Good.

Please sign up and join me!

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: Holy crap. It's my birthday again. That means another year older, but it also means another year of weight mastery wiser. So, in this episode, I am lighting the candles on my 26 years of maintaining a 40-pound weight release and giving you my most important takeaways on what I have learnt. So stay tuned for some serious insights and inner frosting.

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, everybody. Come on in to my birthday party. Well, not exactly my birthday party, but please come in and join me. My official birthday is September 10th, but this is dropping on September 9th, 2021, the day before. So I'm just here on the cusp of turning 57 and reflecting on life specifically the last 26 years since I have been maintaining a 40-pound weight release. My birthday itself, well, it's going to be pretty low key, no big parties or anything. What I really love to use my birthday for is a time to reflect on the previous year and what a previous year it's been. Quite a crazy ride we've all been through. And, but I also love, love, love taking that same time and hallucinating the upcoming year. You know what I mean by hallucinating, I mean like really going into the upcoming year and saying, what's possible, what can we create? Because again, if you know me and know anything about what I believe in, I believe in we have the power to create our own lives. We have the power to create our own weight mastery.

Rita Black: So, I like to take my birthday time as a time to start really creating that upcoming year. I also do it at the new year's as well. Believe me, I, every quarter I typically sit down and create something. I mean, if you haven't noticed, if you've lived as long as me, you notice that life does get in, you know, like you have your plans and the life has plans for you, but there's a happy medium. And I think that when we, you know, allow life to bring us lessons that it wants to bring us, but at the same time that we're always challenging ourselves and always creating our future. It engages us in our life in a different way. It engages your brain in a different way where you feel more alive. I think when we're just kind of going through the motions, we kind of get into that automated feeling state, you know, and, and so life is living us rather than us living our lives. So, my birthday is a great milestone for me to kind of sit and, you know, really put myself out there and create that.

Rita Black: So, including, I have a lot of big wishes for this upcoming year, including some exciting shift weight mastery stuff that is coming up. So stay tuned. One thing I do have coming up right away very soon this month and that is, if you are listening to this, the September of 2021, is my free masterclass that I'm offering you a seat in and it's called How to Stop the "Start Over Tomorrow" Weight Struggle Cycle and Start Releasing Weight for Good. And that's is coming up soon. So please check the show notes for the details, the date, the times and assign yourself up.

Rita Black: No, I like to call this birthday reflection time that I've been talking about my inner frosting time. So, for those of you who don't know me, those of you who know me know what I'm going to say about inner frosting. But those of you who don't know me probably don't know how addicted to frosting I am. Probably, frosting is my biggest trigger food. Frosting is my heroin. I used to say that, you know, cake was just the delivery system for frosting. You know, I had this vision, like I say, why have ice cream stores, when you could have ice cream stores and have just frosting and vats of all the different types of flavors of frosting wreak, go in and just get a scoop of frosting in a bowl. Wouldn't that be awesome? I mean, you know, in another world and, and with it not being my trigger food, so I don't really do frosting anymore. I, I do it a couple of times a year when other people in my family have birthdays. I have a, what I call an inner boundary and loving inner boundary that I'm not going to get to into too much in this podcast, but just need it, suffice it to say that I've a peaceful, aligned relationship with frosting. That really, includes me not really imbibing in it too often, but when I do, I enjoy it and it's in a safe environment.

Rita Black: Now, if any of you know, well, so those of you who really know me, friends and family, probably know a lot of the pictures of me on my birthdays, especially as a kid while I was struggling with my weight and in every single picture of me on my birthday, I swear to God is me with a cake. I mean, you know, my parents are in the background, my sister and my brother in the background, but I am there in the forefront with that damn cake. Like if I'm looking at it, like it's a boyfriend, you know what I mean? Like, it's my lover, the me and that cake, there were, there was like, if you looked at the gaze, I have me looking at the cake. It's like, Hmm. Yeah, we are in love. And, you know, I, I crack up when I look at those pictures now, cause I mean, they're, they're so full of pain in this other way because I'm struggling with my weight and you can see it in the pictures. And I know what happened to that cake after that picture was taken, meaning like I pretty much ate the entire thing and felt horrible and gross and you know. But at that moment, that picture was taken, it was that cake was the promise of joy and fulfillment and loveliness and creaminess and all that, that stuff. And, all of my cakes for the most part, my mom, you know, who struggled with her weight, God bless her. She made me a cherry chip cake, every single year of my life. And, and I cry, a little bit actually. Cause, the last year she was alive, she made me a cherry chip cake. And I mean I had, I was mastering my weight at that time and I ate some of it and that was probably the last time I really ever ate a cherry chip cake. But, my mom made me this cherry chip cake, you know, this cherry chip cakes there, if you think about it, they're so disgusting. I don't even think you like, you can get cherry chip cake mix, maybe you can. But you know, like they had the little cherries and it was pink and then she would make the special frosting homemade with maraschino cherry juice and all that. It was just like, it was my cake, it was my thing. And like I said, it was like my lover. And you know, in our mind our relationship with certain foods are like, they are like our boyfriend or girlfriend or our companion, you know, we put food in our, you know, certain in our head, like, yeah, it's a relationship.

Rita Black: So, so yeah, you know, when I was a kid, my cakes were like David Cassidy. It was like the boyfriend I wanted to have those of you who knew who David Cassidy is. Okay. So now instead of focusing on the outer frosting and the cherry chip cake, I focus on inner frosting and all of the creamy goodness of that. And I am so grateful for all of you and the shift community. So, thank you for being here. So what I want to do for my birthday is share some of my inner frosting with you today, just enough, not so much that you get sick, but just some of the insights and takeaways that I am having about celebrating my birthday and my 26 years of maintaining my weight over time. And those of you who know my weight mastery story know that it didn't come easily for me, you know, releasing 40 pounds. And I never, in a million years thought I would escape the weight struggle that I spent the first part of my life in, you know, I started struggling when I was around eight. And like I said, my mother was overweight. I was addicted absolutely to carbohydrates and sugars and, you know, my mother was a baker. So we, our, you know, she was trained as a nutritionist actually, ironically, in that goes to show you knowing everything about nutrition doesn't necessarily mean weight mastery. But, yeah, I was surrounded with amazing food and I ate it all and struggled with my weight and then started dieting. And, you know, like lots of you, just the, you know, the, the circus began of dieting and then being able to lose weight, but gaining it back and losing weight and gaining it back over and over, you know, for the tune of 20 years, you know, and, and included in that with some bulimia and binge-eating and using diuretics and, you know, all of that stuff and, hating myself, hating my body.

Rita Black: You know, and then ironically, I, I, you know, just to really quickly go through this, I, you know, quit smoking with hypnosis, and that was such an eye-opener for me in such a powerful experience that I started using hypnosis as a way to master my weight. And what it did was it gave me a whole new take on myself, in my belief in myself. And, it helped me shift my habits. It helped me shift my perception of food and my relationship with food. It really gave me, it wasn't the magic wand by any means, but it was such a powerful tool. And it continues to be a powerful tool for me in my life for all transformation and change. And just for also just elevating my life, you know, because really, I see hypnosis as a major tool for just communicating directly with my subconscious mind and in our subconscious mind, our, our beliefs and our habits and our memory and, and, and our perceptions and, our imagination and all of these powerful things. And generally, you know, we're just consciously here, you know, intellectually understanding things and, and our subconscious mind is running the show. So to be able to communicate directly with our subconscious mind, that's, you know, that's, that's awesome business, right? So, that's kinda my story. I released weight, you know, over the course of a year, you know, nine months to a year, I really took off those 40 pounds. And the me who started that journey was not the me who finished that journey. I mean, I was, you know, still married to the same wonderful husband. I still lived in the same city. I still, you know, had the same hair color and eye coloring, but, I, you know, I really transformed how I thought about myself and who I was in the world in that time. And I created a way of eating that I loved, and that allowed me to live my life at my ideal weight.

Rita Black: So that is still to me to this very day a miracle, but a miracle I worked for, you know, it, wasn't a wave of the wand by any means. So, here are some things that I want to give you that I think will help you kind of put your, kind of like poke holes in that subconscious mind, and give you some, you know, like just some takeaways from, you know, not only taking the weight off, but you know, now going through 26 years of maintaining, and this is maintaining through giving birth to two children, so two pregnancies, going through tough time with my husband, the, I'm sorry, the death of both my parents in a very relatively short period of time, you know, starting a business being in business, my hypnotherapy practice, and then it turned into something bigger, you know, and, and writing a book and, you know, like all of those things that could, you know, in the past would have naturally led me to gain weight, really maintaining it about the same way, you know, within a three or four pound range for the most part. Yeah. It went up maybe five or six pounds when my mom died. That was a big one for me. Um, and I did do some comfort eating there, but I learned a lot about comfort eating in that time. And I really feel like I mastered it during that time. So, maybe that was my mom's gift to me. I don't know, but I have really maintained, my, my ideal weight. And ideal for me is a weight that allows me to feel light and vibrant and happy and not feel like I'm, you know, starving myself or having to, you know, exercise. I do exercise consistently don't get me wrong, but, you know, I be an exercise maniac or anything. It allows me to live a realistic life and not feel like I'm deprived in any way, shape or form.

Rita Black: So here's, here's some takeaways. Hope you find these valuable. So, long-term permanent weight mastery over time becomes not about weight, but about your freedom. And what I mean by that is, and I think this is very important because you know, so much of us when we are struggling with our weight, getting on the scale and having the scale be down becomes like the addiction, like, oh, I'm lost another pound and that's great. And, you know, there's nothing like wrong with that, but when our weight journey becomes just about the weight, it becomes a little too narrow and I really feel like ultimately our freedom, you know, because our, you know, ultimately, you want to get to a weight and stay at that weight. So, it can't always be about losing weight, right? Because ultimately you want to be at maintenance and maintenance is basically a plateau at your ideal weight. And, so in order for you to keep it up, meaning keep the excitement, motivation, power of that, you lighter you, for me, it has been about being free, free from the frustration, free from the feeling addicted to like, especially for me carbohydrates, like refined carbohydrates and things, because once it's like smoking. If you get pulled into it, then, you know, all of a sudden you're thinking about food all the time. So, my choices for food and my choices for my lifestyle became more about feeling free and staying in that feeling of waking up every day and feeling powerful and strong and lean and able to do anything and confident and that my inner communication system, meaning the way I communicated with myself was, was beautiful, powerful, self-reinforcing, self-loving, self-nurturing, I never wanted to go back to that prison of struggle and beating myself up, hating myself. And so the way I, you know, show up for myself and I take care of myself and I, and what I mean by that is mentally, I take care of myself and physically I take care of myself and I keep my environment set up for success. I'm going to be talking about this more in my next episode. That equals freedom to me. And that ultimately is I think in our brain, you know, when I work with smokers, when I work with weight management, I say, you know, you guys quitting smoking for your health is great, but it's not enough. You got to do it for your freedom and freedom from that tyranny of the, you know, the oppression of that struggled place. I hope that makes sense for you. So, so for me, I'm in it forever, from this place of, of being free. And the weight is awesome, keeping it off is awesome, but my focus is on my freedom and not on the weight.

Rita Black: Staying on track requires a continual relationship, meetings, friendship with your inner coach. It's the primary relationship in your life. And that is nothing truer could be said. So, on my journey of weight mastery, I developed what this concept of the inner coach, you know, a relationship that I had my 24/7 weight mastery coach in my side, my own mind, because I couldn't afford it otherwise. So it had to be me and, what a gift, you know, you have your ability to be your own powerful weight mastery coach. But unfortunately, we start off with a pretty loud critic and a pretty whiny loud and seductive rebel that run the show when we struggle. So, as you become more connected to this part of you who is wise and nurturing and shows up for you and speaks to you respectfully and forgives you when you, you know, get off track and says, Hey, well, let's pick ourselves up and get right back on track and asks you, what, what did we learn here? You know, there have been many times like, this is very personal, but like, I sit and I talk to my inner coach, you know, like even in the bathroom, you know, like, I'm like, okay, inner coach, what are we doing today? How are we managing the day? Or, oh, Hey, inner coach. I'm going to that restaurant, you know, they've got all the fabulous bread and, you know, like what, what am I going to do? You know, and, and how am I going to manage this, inner coach? My mom's dying and, um, I feel really helpless. So how can I do this without going to the food? And, and my inner coach, you know, when we ask ourself questions, our brain gets engaged in a different way then just like, well, I hope I hope I do well. I hope I do good at that restaurant. I hope, I don't get too crazy when my mom is sick. You know, we can't hope, hope is not a method here. But when we engage our brain in asking questions and learning our brain is a powerful, an unending resource for us.

Rita Black: So, that's what your coach's job is, is to, sit with you, um, even in the bathroom. And, I sit down with my inner coach every Sunday and the people who, are my, in my monthly master group. They do it too because I'm like, this is our time that we sit down and we, you know, I plan out my week, I think about my week. And I'm not just thinking about the food and the exercise, although that's certainly part of it. I think about creating my week, you know, just like I would sit down on my birthday and create the year I create my week every week. And sometimes it doesn't go as it plans, but it's allowed me, that such a powerful time with me and my inner coach to kind of like sit and powwow about, you know, check in, how are things going? What's going on? What are the feelings going on? You know, we can't hope to improve our lives and live our lives if we are on automatic pilot or not aware of what's coming down or going around, you know, like things that are going on in my life, you know, upsets that I have, you know, with the, you know, there's life is always full of upsets and challenges and happiness and, miracles. And if you don't sit down and kind of reflect and connect with yourself, you don't get that opportunity to work through them and process them. And I really think that, that your inner coach is such a powerful tool for that.

Rita Black: So, keep, think about that and really, really consider the fact that I think long-term permanent weight management includes not just using this inner coach till you lose the weight, but it's a lifelong partnership. And, and it's a pretty good one. You need to evolve your weight mastery with your life, never rest on your laurels, stay curious and stay flexible. So, this kind of continues on the theme that I'm on right now, which is like, my life has evolved so much in 26 years. You know, I'm not, you know, I'm a mother now I'm a, a mother who's, you know, almost an empty nester. My son is learning to drive. These things were not going on when I began my weight journey. And I think people have this idea, okay, well, I'm going to lose the weight and then I'm going to get on with my life. And it's all going to be like that. But it's, it's not that you know, and anybody who has mastered their weight will tell you it's a continuing journey. And the thing is, you think, oh God, I gotta do this the rest of my life. No, you get to do this for the rest of your life, because it's an awesome journey. You know, I think we put weight loss and weight mastering this place of like shame and this place of like, oh, it's this thing I gotta do. And I struggle with it and it's Ugh, you know, and why do I have to, and, and it's, and, you know, I will tell you that my weight journey, you know, it's, yes, it was painful, struggling, but the journey I have been on has, if the journey I had to go on in order to master my weight and be where I am today, I just bless the fact that I struggled because it forced me, the pain forced me to dig really deep and to go places I would have never gone. If, you know, I was a skinny, happy, you know, girl who woke up in the morning and ate a croissant for breakfast, and it didn't spike her blood sugar and make her want to eat 18 more croissants. You know, it would, if my legs were, you know, if I have, I always fit into the cute clothes and looks cute, I, you know, which I always, always wanted to, you know, I, when I was a kid struggling with my weight, I, my fantasy, you know, I had, you know, I would, before bed, I had prayers, you know, like, and I would go through all these prayers and my prayers were crazy prayers. Like, please, God, can we go to Disneyland this year? You know, it wasn't like, please God save the world and make it a better place. It was like, please, can I date David Cassidy?

Rita Black: And there was this one prayer, which was please, can I unzip myself from this big fat suit I'm in and step out and be this beautiful blonde, because I'm brunette, blonde, blue-eyed, you know, and looked like Marsha Brady basically. And, that never happened. And, but I'm glad it didn't happen because I was forced to go on this journey that has really been the biggest blessing in my life. It's really, you know, helped me evolve into a person that, you know, feels confident and powerful and strong within myself. And, and I'm really grateful for that. I'm really, really grateful for that. So, maybe consider if you are struggling right now that your struggle has, is the key to great happiness and great power for you. And, you know, maybe you're cursing it right now, but, you know, maybe look underneath it and get curious and go, how can I turn this around? I know I can turn this around, and, and dig deeper. And that it's the beginning of a beautiful journey with yourself.

Rita Black: So, here's something completely off that topic, which is exercising becomes a more powerful part of maintaining more than weight releasing. So I think for a lot of people, we think, oh, I have to exercise my ass off in order to lose weight. And it may be true. Like, it really depends on your body and on your metabolism. You know, many people who are extremely overweight in the beginning of their weight release journey do not even need to exercise because you'll just, you know, you'll, if you're getting your food in the right place, that will be enough for awhile, but as you continue your journey, you probably, you most definitely will need to probably not probably Rita, say, say, clearly you will need to begin to exercise, and that will become more important. And this, the studies actually support this. So this isn't just for me, but many weight masters, you know, once we get to our ideal weight, exercise becomes more important and it certainly has become more important for me as I've aged because my metabolism has gone down just because, you know, I'm older and, you know, I'm smaller than I was 40 pounds ago. So there's less of me to move around the world, meaning I burn fewer calories on a daily basis.

Rita Black: So, exercises become a powerful part of my life. And it, it, it, you know, I started out doing that when I was releasing weight, but I really just cannot say how much I love moving my body every day. And, you know, and what I love and the joy of finding that it's not just the movement, but the company that I have, because I often will hike with friends and those friendships have become very deep friendships that I really, really cherish. So, you know, moving your body is an opportunity for you to have an amazing relationship with your body. I appreciate my body so much more than, of course when I hated it. And I, you know, I know when my body's a little off and, you know, it, it, you know, I, I communicate with my body and I tell my body, I love it. And even the parts that don't look, so, you know, like that, I kind of used to have a negative relationship with, you know, I, I touch them. I say, Hey, you're doing a great job. And I love you.

Rita Black: So here's another one. And I don't know if this is going to be a good or bad for you, but your trigger foods are always your trigger foods. Your trigger foods are always your trigger foods. You know, I, I used to think, oh, you know, when I lose weight in my trigger foods and I'm going to get, be able to have them, but it's kind of like smoking, you know, I've been a non-smoker for a long time, 26 years, 26 years plus, and I know one puff on a cigarette, I'm back smoking a pack and a half a day, you know, and it's not because of me it's because how the brain works and my trigger foods, even though I have, I can eat a lot of foods. Like there's, you know, I can eat chocolate, I can eat. There's a lot of, you know, foods that people might consider their trigger foods. I can eat them, then I can eat chips. I can eat stuff. It's not like I abstained from anything crappy. I eat crappy foods sometimes, and I enjoy it. But, I know that, you know, there are certain foods that, you know, like candy corn, especially those very sweet treats and then frosting, like, I can eat frosting occasionally, but it is still a trigger food, but I manage it like by only having it outside the house or in very specific ways. And I know that it's a trigger food, so I handle it with super care and I handle myself afterwards too, because it does trigger my brain. So I need to manage that afterwards. So, you know, I know the price I'm going to pay, and then I pay it and I get on with my life. But, your trigger foods are always your trigger foods. And, orry to tell you that, but, but it's okay. The good news is I don't miss my trigger foods because there's lots of awesome foods I can eat that don't trigger me. And, I love them. So what can I say? Just, you know, I think you have to mourn it, you know, mourn in the fact, okay, so I'm not going to eat candy corn, you know, I'll cry a few tears and then I'm going to move on and live my life fully.

Rita Black: My vulnerability to sugar and refined carbs is a chronic condition. It is a chronic condition. It will never, I will never not have a vulnerability to sugar refined carbs because that's genetic. And, some of you may be really vulnerable. Some of you may not be vulnerable at all. Some of you may be a little bit vulnerable, but your vulnerability doesn't change, but you become a lot more as you master your weight. I have a extreme vulnerability to sugar refined carbs. However, I do eat sugar and refined carbs, but I know have learned which ones work for me in what amounts. And often it is not eating them on an empty stomach, but eating them with a meal or a within a meal, which is the way that I can manage it. So it's it. I respect that vulnerability. I don't wish it away. It's there. And it's a chronic condition, but that's okay. You know, and I'm okay with that. And I think we do ourselves a disservice when we think, oh, we keep thinking, oh, you know, somehow, like it's all going to get better when I lose weight and it's all going to go away and I can go back to the way, no, it's, it's something that you will learn to manage, and it will be okay. You will actually thrive and you'll feel better. I don't think about food all the time. Like I used to, I don't get super hungry. I don't, you know, like, my learning to manage my relationship and my vulnerability was sugar and refined carbs. Actually, and again, I don't, I eat a fairly low carb diet, but I don't need a no carb diet. I, you know, like people, look at what I eat. They're not like, oh my God, I, I, you know, I enjoy what I eat, but the way I eat allows me not to think about food all the time like you used to allows me to not feel super hungry. I, you know, I can eat and manage smaller way smaller amounts of food. And then I don't need to think about it. I mean, it's, it is kind of miraculous when you learn to manage yourself in a particular way, with your relationship with sugar and refined carbs, where again, you aren't feeling deprived, but you are feeling powerful, so it's a chronic condition, but I'm okay with that. And maybe you can be okay with that too. We don't want to be a victim of these things, you know, uh, I, you know, I've used this before, but there's that term poor me, poor me, pour me another milkshake. I mean, we have to kind of take a hundred percent responsibility for our life and for our weight management and just owning those things and going, got it. It's too bad. Does it suck? Yes. And now I'm going to make the best of it and love it and own it and move on.

Rita Black: So, here's, I'm looking at this, weight mastery is what I am not what I do, right. So it is who I am now. It's not what I do. So like, I think we go on a diet and then, then we've got this list of, okay, I've got to eat less, I've got to exercise more, but really weight mastery is an identity. You it's who you are. And you're always developing those skill sets. I am going to get into the skillsets of weight mastery next episode. So, I'm not going to get into those, but I really believe that weight management isn't about being good or bad or perfect because obviously, you know, I, haven't not been perfect for 26 years on a diet. But what I have done is developed skills that now have become a part of who I am. You know, I watch my son play the piano and he's been playing the piano since he's five and he's 16 now, is he amazing? No. But he's awesome. You know, he knows how to play. He can sit down and he reads music, he plays the classics. It's so awesome to have a kid who can like, you know, while I'm doing the dishes at night, play a Chopin and, you know, you get to play. It's like, you're, you know, you got a little concert going on in the background while he's practicing. I mean, it didn't always used to be like that. It was a real clunk show and hard to hear for many years, but, and he doesn't love playing the piano, but he does it. He's committed to it for mastery. You know, he's like, this is all about mastery for me. You know, he enjoys being able to play beautifully, but you know, he's not going to go off and, you know, learn or be in an orchestra or in a band or anything like that. But for him, it's, it's about mastery and has become a part of who he is. He, you know, he plays piano and it's kind of like his, it is his thing, you know, as is we, you know, we have a lot of different identities and one of my identities is weight master and, and I've developed those skills and that's allowed me to see myself in a different way. I haven't been perpetually being good on a diet. It's not list of things that I do. It's who I am. And again, for you think about it from that becoming rather than doing, and, and cause I think people put the stuff that they have to do for weight management on a list in their mind. And then it gets put down to the bottom of the list. So, think of it more as who you are becoming. And this, we really get into that in this shift weight mastery process. It's really transformative when you come at it from that place.

Rita Black: During tough times I took care of myself and I went to therapy and asked for help. So, I really think when you are, uh, taking care of yourself again, weight mastery, isn't just about weight. It's about a rigorous commitment to taking care of yourself and making yourself a priority in your life. And there have been times in my life where I knew I couldn't do it. Like my inner coach was great, but like I needed some, a mentor. I needed somebody to guide me through the tough times. You know, one of those times was when my mother was dying of cancer. Another time was when my husband and I went through a tough time and it's, you know, like you need to be vulnerable sometimes and ask for help and it's okay. You know, it's, it's okay to be vulnerable and you'll, you'll get through it and you'll be stronger for it. You'll learn tools. I learned amazing tools, of self-care, when I went to therapy. And I, you know, I often think that, uh, you know, when we struggle with our weight there, you know, there are things that we learn need to learn tools. We need to learn above and beyond weight management, managing our feelings and emotions that, you know, sometimes working with somebody, a therapist can be really helpful or working with a life coach can be really helpful. But your inner coach can be good too. So, you know that my inner coach has helped me through a lot of things and I didn't need to go to therapy, but it, you know, ask for help when you, when you need it. I developed a community of people that support my weight mastery. That is also very important to me. Not only my community, that my weight mastery group that I love, that, uh, you know, as a company, we are a caring and loving community of people who, support each other in our weight mastery journeys.

Rita Black: But, I, you know, I, my, everybody, every single person in my family supports me in my weight mastery journey. You know, and everybody, you know, didn't always support me in my family. My brother made fun of me. My nephews made fun of me. People didn't always understand my friends had issues in the beginning, but over the years, I've really, you know, it's so important for us to cultivate and communicate. Cultivate the people in our lives to like really give them the respect that they need to understand that, you know, they need the respect. They need, you need to respect them and understand like that you train them to behave in a particular way. And again, it comes back to taking a hundred percent responsibility. So, it's your responsibility also to begin to train, you know, let them know, give them the respect, like, Hey, this is how I'm operating now. And I still love you and it's okay. And, and not make it about them and not make them bad and wrong about what's going on, but that you, you know, but you, it's your cultivation. And, it's going to be important for you to have the people in your life support you.

Rita Black: So, another thing our, resentment and guilt are the most fattening emotions. I can assure you hands down, resenting somebody and being pissed off for whatever it is, or resenting yourself like feeling guilty or bad or upset with yourself are, you know, the biggest drivers to go and eat something, I think. And, and they create all these underlying emotions. So, I think I've become an expert at forgiving others, not for them, but for myself. I've had to let things, I've become an expert at letting things go. And again, it's self protection. You know, I don't lay down. I'm not a doormat for people. I, I ask myself like, what do I need to do here in order to move this forward? Do I need to say something? Do I need to ask for something? But a lot of times, my resentments are just my own perceptions that need to be, you know, like let go of, I need to be empathetic and see the other person's side of things. Often when I step into their shoes, I do get a different perspective and I can have sympathy and, and sometimes I just, you know, need to have stay on my side of the street and let it go. But I see a lot of people when they struggle with their weight is sitting in a lot of resentment. And, so getting skilled at, you know, forgiving people, I think is an important part of weight mastery, especially in the, long-term really learning to manage your thoughts, which then manages your feelings, you know, feelings are created by thoughts. And the thing that you have the most control over is your thoughts. Right? So, you know, wishing somebody, well, you know, like, you know, thinking, okay, well, they did that, but maybe, you know, maybe that from their perspective, that was the right thing to do. What can I do? What do I need to do here and forgiving them and moving on, or definitely forgiving myself. Forgiving yourself. Like, especially when we've done something off track regarding food or exercise and getting on with your life, learning, what you need to and getting on with it is the heart and soul of consistency. Forgiveness will, can stay keep you connected with yourself when you're pissed off with yourself, or you're feeling guilty, then you are disconnected from yourself. And it's so much easier to then get into the inner criticism, the inner rebellion and overeat. So, I have a term called Insta-forgiveness. And so anytime I start feeling bad about myself, I forgive myself. I say, what, what is my resentment against myself? And how can I, I let that go? I forgive myself, what did I learn here? What is this an opportunity for? And I move forward.

Rita Black: So, I take a hundred percent responsibility for my life and the results I get for my life and my weight. So I've already kind of covered that. I'm skipping over a few things, cause this could end up being like five hours long. So, but I do think taking a hundred percent responsibility because I think when I struggled with my weight, I was a victim of everyone and everything, you know, oh, you know, they brought that food in and I had to eat it and you know, it wasn't my fault. And, and so there, my body is broken and I'm a victim of my body. I am, you know, like there was anything you could point to it wasn't my fault. Or, you know, like I didn't show up for myself enough to protect myself and plan ahead so that I didn't become the victim of things. When I stepped in and, you know, there's this term called internal locus of control and external locus of control. And external locus of control, meaning it means we kind of allow everything outside of us to control us. And again, that's when your life is living you versus you're living your life. The internal locus of control is I, you know, you live your life from, I am a hundred percent responsible for what I create in my life. And my, and I'm a hundred percent responsible for my interpretations of what happens to me and what people do to me in my life. You know, like I have, you know, I can think that person's an asshole and I can be super off with them or I can, you know, manipulate my thoughts to go well, okay. I can forgive them and I can let that go. But maybe I need to ask them to change things or do something different the next time. I can ask for what I need, but I don't need to hold onto it. So, starting to bring it into yourself, in your own internal locus of control, I think, like I said, will allow you so much more power in your journey forward. And, that's where I really see people, you know, when they take a hundred percent responsibility for their weight and their weight mastery, that's where it's just becomes like nothing stopping them.

Rita Black: So sometimes, are easier than others. And that's for sure, like in the years, since I've gone through 26 years of weight mastery, some times in the year are easier than others, for instance, from April through to July, that is probably the easiest time for weight mastery for me. I'm usually at my lightest and lowest maintenance weight. The heaviest I am like, which is, you know, I kind of go in a three-pound range, um, is usually in the winter time from the end of January through March. And that happens for a lot of people. So, I'm not the only one that's sort of a hibernation mentality and, and physiological stuff going on in that time. So, but there are times that are easier than others and you know, you need to know that, but you know, you take the good with the bad and you know, I work, I, you know, I continue to exercise. I continue to do all those things that I do, but there are just sometimes where it's more of a more hard work than others where it's just so easy and free. So, I want those of you who are on your journey to know that like, it's okay, that it's hard sometimes and you got it.

Rita Black: So, here are some things that I still do 26 years into maintaining my weight. I still plan ahead. I still think through my vulnerable times, meaning like I am still vulnerable to overeating, you know, I am, and I think it through so that I, you know, the, the only difference between me and somebody who gets caught off guard is that I know it's coming, you know, like I know myself so well, I know like, oh, I'm going out and this is going to be a vulnerable time. Let me think that through, how am I going to manage that? And I think it through like an athlete thinks through going out onto the field, do a play, you know, those Olympic athletes, they think through their, routine ahead of time, they aren't just like, well, I hope it works. They're thinking it through. So I think through my vulnerable times, and I still overeat, there are times when I overeat. And I want you to know that because I want you to know that long-term weight maintenance isn't about perfection. There are times where I overeat and I get, I forgive myself, I get right back on track. And I adjust and I make it work. I still have to talk to myself and to exercise sometimes, you know, sometimes exercise is easy and effortless and sometimes I'm like, oh God, I got to exercise. And that part of me is like, I don't want to do it. And I was like, yep. And we're going to do it anyway, but I still have to talk myself into it.

Rita Black: I still overdue peanut butter sometimes. Yeah. Like, you know, I do have peanut butter in my house and usually I have a pretty good relationship with it, but sometimes man, it just gets me and, and I take responsibility for it. And then when I find that I'm really having a hard time with it, I get it out of the house. But, yeah, that one's like always been like, I know some of you are like nodding your head about the peanut butter. So it's like, it's, it seems so innocent. But yes, I don't eat the peanut butter that has sugar in it. Cause I think that that stuff is like pure evil. But anyway, um, I still overdo the whole natural, super organic peanut butter.

Rita Black: I love my body, my Bunyan's my thighs and my aging saggy skin. It's not my practice body. And you don't have a practice body either. Like I used to think, you know, like I said, I can just unzip my body one day and step out and look like Marcia Brady. And I can't. I gotta love this body. I have the way it's shaped, the way it looks, you know, it is my ideal weight body, but you know, like it has flaws. It, you know, are they, I used to think when I'd get to my ideal weight, that I was gonna be long and lean and skinny and it, you know, like, and I am for a 57-year old woman, I think, you know, I've got, I've got, I'm toned. I feel great. I have a lot of energy. I am at my ideal weight. Like I, I'm very proud of that fact and, but I'm really much more proud of my body for all it's done for me. My body is what allows me to experience my life. And I am so grateful for my body. So, I try to be so grateful for it all the time. I had a, I'm going to cry, just talking about it. But I had a bit of a health scare at this summer. And, and it just really, it reinforced like, wow, we have one body. It's not a practice body. You never know when things are going to go south. So just love it to death because if you don't, then you're going to, you know, like if, if something should happen, then you go, why didn't I love my body more? You know what I mean? Like, don't get to the end of your life and go, why didn't I love my thighs? Why didn't I love my belly? You know? Like, like you have that opportunity now, love it.

Rita Black: I do not take what I have for granted. You know, what I have for these 26 years is a miracle. And, you know, like I said, like, I've been talking about, I don't know how long I've been talking for and I apologize for going over, but, is a, it's grace and it is a gift and I've worked very hard for it. But like I said, the work that I've put into it, I've gotten back 100 fold in the quality of life and the freedom that I've had. So my reminder to you is that weight mastery is a journey. It is, it is work, you know, it's work on yourself. It is, but it is, the kind of work that will open up doors for you set you free. And it is a journey that you absolutely can go on. I think you should go on, I highly recommend it. I think you shouldn't be ashamed of it. It's very powerful. It, it allows you to have a relationship with yourself that gives you a life. That is a gift. And that is my, you know, biggest gift. This birthday is just, you know, being so grateful for all that I have and all, all that this journey has brought me and also for bringing you to me because I really cherish, I beyond words, this powerful community that is the shift weight mastery community, the monthly mastery community, all the other people in my life, are just the most amazing human beings. Highly functioning, beautiful, generous, funny, clever beyond words. I love you all and I'm very, very grateful for you.

Rita Black: Now, having said all that, just a reminder. If you want to dive deeper in to this, what we're talking about today, please sign up for my upcoming masterclass, How to Stop the "Start Over Tomorrow" Weight Struggle Cycle and Start Releasing Weight for Good. And this is a 75-minute masterclass. It's going to have a lot of stuff in it. I'm going to get into the common weight mistakes that had mental shifts that you need to make an order to have weight mastery. My four-part shift process. So we're going to walk through that. We're going to do some hypnosis and you are going to leave that masterclass feeling clear on what you need to do to lose weight permanently motivated because you have a roadmap that breaks you out of the frustrating on again, off again, struggle cycle excited because you know, you can be successful. The space is limited. So, get in now because it's going to fill up fast. All right. You guys, that felt like a lot. I hope I didn't overstep my boundaries in podcasts culture and, speak too much. Well, hopefully if it was too much, you just hit pause and we'll come back to it later. So have an amazing week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it. All right, you guys, I love you have a fabulous week.

Rita Black: Do you want to dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to 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.