Are people who are successful at long term weight loss superior? More disciplined? More focused? Blessed with some sort of gift?

Absolutely not!

But study after study shows that most weight masters started doing some things differently when they were finally successful in the long run. Things that you can start doing right now–today–that can set you on your own path of mastery.

In today’s episode 27 of Thin Thinking, we are going to look at the three skill sets that most weight masters develop when releasing weight that allows them to be successful in the long-term.

I am excited to share this to you hoping that you will have an exciting weight mastery journey.

Also, I want you to join me in my free masterclass: How to Stop the “Start Over Tomorrow” Weight Struggle Cycle and Start Releasing Weight for Good which will happen on September 22nd.

Please sign up and join me!

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: Did you know that people who have lost weight and kept it off permanently may come from all different ages and backgrounds, culturally and economically? But study after study shows that they have a lot in common when it comes to how they finally were able to succeed at weight release. In today's episode of thin thinking, we are going to look at the three skill sets that most weight masters develop when releasing weight that allows them to be successful in the long-term. I hope you are as excited as I am.

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, and welcome to our podcast today. For those of you who are new to the Thin Thinking podcast, I want to welcome you. I am so happy you are here. We are now in the middle of September of 2021. So that means we have reached our six month anniversary of the thin thinking podcast, which is extraordinary and amazing. I never thought that we, I would have a podcast, let alone be six months into it. And boy, I'm having a ball doing this. I want to thank all of you guys, all of you loyal listeners who have been tuning in and spreading the word all over the world. So thank you. We've had a lot of people listening, and just from this most super interesting places, I mean, places I never thought people would be tuning in. So super cool. So I'm really celebrating all things thin thinking this month with a live free, it's absolutely free masterclass that is coming up super soon called How to Stop the "Start Over Tomorrow" Weight Struggle and Start Releasing Weight for Good. We are going to be doing some hypnosis in this masterclass, which will be amazing. And especially for those of you who are new to it and never done any hypnosis, it's a really great little, you know, put your toe in the water kind of experience. The link to join is in the show notes and on the podcast webpage. So just please go sign up and it's coming up this week. So get in there now. And those of you tuning in later, check out the link in our, our on-demand version. But if you can come live, please do I love the energy of having everybody live and I will get to answer your questions. So please sign up and come live.

Rita Black: So today's episode, I am diving into the importance of approaching weight mastery with a thin thinking perspective of building skills of weight mastery versus being good on a diet. At the bottom line, weight mastery is about developing yourself and developing skills rather than hoping you're going to be good, pulling it together and trying to be perfect, which is never going to happen. Sorry, but that is just the truth, even though the diet industry will have you think differently. So, when you think about it, have you ever met anyone with long-term weight loss who said to you, "Yes, I have been perfect on the XYZ diet for 20 years. Just been doing it perfectly every day."? And even people who may be perhaps used a particular way of eating like Atkins or vegetarianism will say that they adapted that way of eating to themselves and their lifestyle. So it wasn't like they followed along perfectly, but they adapted it and made them work for them. So they took ownership. They owned a way of eating for themselves from the inside out versus being good from the outside in which is what we do when we're trying to be good when we give the power to the diet or that way of eating clean or keto or whatever, rather than taking ownership for ourselves and developing ourselves from the inside out, which is what is truly essential for success.

Rita Black: Long-term success with weight is the same as anything else in our life that we have been successful with. You know, think about the areas of your life that you've really mastered and are successful. You have developed yourself, you have learned, you've done trial and error. You know, it hasn't come easily and you have built skills and probably are continuing to do so over time, you know, I think about all the different things that I do in my life that I cherish and value like being a parent, you know, I certainly did not start out feeling confident as a parent. But, you know, over the years I have evolved, and you know, I have to continue to evolve because what required, was required of me as a parent, when my children were babies is certainly different than it is now, while they're young adults going out into the world, creating chaos and using my credit card. Talk about, you know, a new skill set of what did you spend this month. So, maybe you should get a job that pays a little more, you know, skills like that, telling your children to earn a little more. So, but I just, well, I don't, but, you know, yeah.

Rita Black: Our evolution in anything and your job and your profession, a, you think of a hobby that you're good at, you became better and better at it as you went along. I have gotten into gardening over the years and you know, I have killed a lot of plants in my time. But I didn't take it personally and I didn't start over gardening again. No, I kept going and I kept evolving and I got better and better employee. You should see my dahlias now. They're really good. So, that doesn't mean I am going to quit while I'm ahead. I have a lot to learn in the world of gardening, because I still can't seem to figure out which vegetables should be grown in the summer because I just don't get that yet. But I, tomatoes turned out well, zucchini turned out well, but man, the green beans did not. And boy did the basil look sickly. So not quite there yet, but I'm evolving and I'm developing myself and I, and I put my energy there.

Rita Black: So, when we struggle with weight, what happens is we just get stuck in this perpetual cycle of pulling it together and being good on Monday or starting a diet or an exercise routine and hoping, hoping it's going to last so that we can finally lose the weight. And then something goes off track and we say, oh, well I blew it or, oh, well I couldn't do it right now. I'm going to focus later. And, and it's back to square one. So frustrating. And you know, I understand, I understand the struggle. And a lot of it is, you know, the diet industry over the last 30, 40 years has really created this idea of happily ever after, you know, find the right diet and you're going to live happily ever after. And it really is focused on you and you like, if you're the right person, if you're a good person, if you're a disciplined person, you'll be able to pull it together and lose the weight. And it's all about being good. And it's all about being clean or having, you know, the perfect organic mix of this and that, or being super-duper this and that. And, and it really doesn't work like that. But it, but that's the culture that has been created. And then we develop our own perfectionistic inner critic, which has very high expectations of what we need to do in order to lose weight. And again, when we don't live up to that, when we get off track, we get beaten up by that critic and told, you know, you're, you're a lazy pig or you're super undisciplined and better people than you have lost weight. And why can't you pull it together? And why is it such a struggle for you? And there's some been, some must be something wrong with you and your body. And there isn't, it's just that we're approaching it from a completely wackadoo mindset and way. And it's not your fault that this is out there, but it is out there. And now it's time to take charge and come at it from a different place.

Rita Black: When I struggled up and down the scale for 20 years, I thought weight loss was about being good, meaning adhering to the plan or eating clean. And I struggled for years. Every time I failed, because of course I was never going to follow a diet exactly for the rest of my life or eat clean or be perfect. So when I began my own shift, I started getting curious about long-term success. Other people have been successful. Well, what are they doing that I wasn't? And it turns out what I found was there are a lot of studies about people who've lost weight and kept it off long-term. And the main distinction between masters and strugglers: masters developed skills that allowed them not only to lose weight because they saw it as a skill-building versus being good process. They took ownership of their development and they became apprentices.

Rita Black: Now, they might not have been consciously becoming apprentices, but they really started to look at this as like, I'm going to change my lifestyle. And I am going to probably, you know, learn in this lifestyle and make mistakes. And I'm going to learn how to, you know, feed myself appropriately and, and learn how to release weight within that. I'm going to learn how to get myself to exercise consistently. And again, I don't think everybody's started out with that. You know, I'm developing skills, but the, the mindset wasn't about perfectionism, the mindset was about developing, going on this journey, changing their lifestyle and coming at it from a self-respecting standpoint, rather than a self-discipline. And, you know, I've got to be perfect standpoint.

Rita Black: And so can you, you can start coming at it from a different standpoint, just by shifting your mindset and starting to look at this from a journey, as a journey of development of skill-building and, and start to build the confidence and the ownership around that there, or get the ownership that comes with getting confidence.

Rita Black: You know, just going back to parenting when my daughter was a little baby, Oh my God, I was a show. I, you know, like I had read all these books, you know, I'm organized, I'm a Virgo. I had fricking 16 books by my bedside while I was nursing my daughter about nursing. And they all had these different advice. I was a, I was a wreck, oh my God. And this, and I had the charts and the graphs and the, you know, you put the safety pin on one side, the breast you just gave your child milk from. And then you put on the other side when it, oh my God, I, and I, I was, my husband was like, what is, I became this crazy woman, you know? And, and I literally, you know, just, I had to throw out the books and I had to like, just kind of take it one day at a time with my motherhood. And I got there and I kind of, you know, was stopped trying to be perfect. And I just started to give my daughter what she needed and there, therefore, you know, true skills were developed. And some days I was better at others, then others at giving my daughter what she needed. And then, you know, by the time my son rolled around a few years later, oh my God, I was so much more lax and relaxed because I had those skills. I knew how to tune into a newborn. I knew it wasn't going to be a big deal if he spit up milk, you know, like that he wasn't dying or whatever. I, I knew that because I had developed those skills, I had that confidence. I had that ownership.

Rita Black: So, when I lead a shift weight mastery process, I teach people the nine skills of weight mastery, which are basically all of those studies boiled down into, you know, three skill sets. And there are nine skills, but for our purposes today, I just want to, you know, kind of dive into the skill sets. I don't want to dive into the skills specifically cause we would be here forever. But I want to give you a gist of what I feel like are the most important skill sets of weight mastery, so that you can start to think about things from a little different perspective.

Rita Black: Now, once you make this shift from, you know, being good or bad into, developing skills, the main distinction I want you to take away from this is that you are using your mind way more effectively. It's not like, oh, Rita, you know, you're being dogmatic and you have to build skills. It's just like, no, I'm not trying to, you know, like if you want to continue to be good or bad, that's totally fine. But, you need to know that being good in your brain absolutely means nothing. No lessons are being learned when we are being good. We are, the opposite of good is bad so we can either be good or we can be bad. But our brain isn't really learning lessons from that. We either are failing or we're succeeding. And, ultimately the brain doesn't really operate like that. The brain really learns, like likes to learn and likes to get curious about what is working and what isn't working. And so when we're coming at it from the good, oh, well I blew it. Let me go back to the beginning. There's no learning happening. There's only focus externally on, are we being good or bad? I hope I'm getting this across to you.

Rita Black: So, what skill building becomes this, this powerful self communication system? What did I learn? How can I improve? And it allows you to be curious and creative, i.e.: Engaging your deeper brain, your subconscious mind and gives you ownership, which is like I said, completely different from the struggle.

Rita Black: So, that is why the first set of weights skills are what I call the mind skills and the mind skills, just to give you a brief overview, you are, you know, really learning to manage your inner critic, learning to manage your inner rebel and really in developing your inner coach. So our critic and our rebel, obviously, when we are struggling with our weight, run the show, our critic loves to beat us up and our rebel loves to say, Hey, well, since you blew it, you might as well eat it all. And we'll start again tomorrow. We'll start again tomorrow and we'll start again tomorrow. So our critic and rebel are sort of in a power play for our attention. And when we are struggling, our inner coach really doesn't have a voice. So, the skills that we are developing, as a weight master in our mind skills are really developing that voice within us, which is the nurturing self-respecting voice. And that voice is the inner parent. But it's really the inner scientist to getting really curious about when things go well, what happened? Like what went well for us? Like, you know, because it isn't about, when we're going, oh, it went good again, the brain doesn't understand good, but if it says, oh, you know, that went well, because I planned ahead, I brought enough food so that I wasn't didn't get too hungry. And that's why I didn't overeat. When I went out to the restaurant right? Now, I learned something. Now I reinforce that. So that inner coach within me starts to point things out and starts to reinforce, oh yeah, we won here because this, or when things don't go, well, it's not like, oh, you blew it. You're a loser. You're never going to succeed. But like, oh, that didn't work for us. Because we didn't plan ahead. And, look, you know, you just got to hungry and that's why you ended up eating all the bread or, you know, eating three pieces of bread that you didn't intend to eat and overdoing it with dinner. What can we do the next time we go out that will allow us to win, allow us to go and eat a healthy dinner and enjoy ourselves. What can we do? And then guess what, the brain will start to think about it. And we'll start to come up with some solutions and then you'll go out the next time and you'll get that win. And you'll go, my goodness, aren't I, not the most clever person in the world. And you'll own that. And you'll own that new skill that you developed of thinking ahead when you go out to eat and making sure that you don't go in starving, but you developed that you didn't do you weren't good. Right?

Rita Black: So, that's how we are in our coach becomes sort of our inner guide on our journey of weight mastery. And so, you know, developing this voice of the inner coach, I think is like the top skill because it is our lifelong relationship that guides us through, through not just releasing weight, but keeping weight off. And if you heard my birthday show, which where I talked about maintaining my weight for 26 years, you'll know, or if you go back and listen to it, that really reinforces the idea of having a powerful relationship with your inner coach.

Rita Black: So, the next skill set is what I would call the weight skills. And these are the skills of basically the physics of weight release, right? So, really how are we leveraging energy, meaning energy in and energy out, you know, staying within the boundaries of our body's needs for weight release and then maintenance. And, you know, our bodies do burn a certain amount of energy and when we really learn to, to live our lives and this is the, one of the skills is like living your life, not, not depriving your life, but living your life within your body's energy needs for weight loss, and then weight maintenance. It's a different focus than dieting or being good on a diet because you're really learning to feed yourself in a way that, and, and so the skills really about the weight, laws of physics on releasing weight, but also about learning about what foods work for you and what foods, you know, maybe don't work for you so much, like in balancing that out, like the me who released 40 pounds and kept that off, that was a developmental journey of learning, you know, and a relationship changing my relationship with food. One about the quantity of what I was eating, the quality of what I was eating, the amount that my body needed, you know, I would release a certain amount of weight. And then I was like, oh, okay, I need to release more. What, you know, so obviously I need to kind of change of the, you know, maybe I'm upping the amounts of, of light foods and, decreasing the amounts of densely caloric foods, but in a way that I'm not feeling deprived, that I'm enjoying it. You know, again, you really need an inner coach as you are developing this way cause you are developing a way of eating that you are going to sustain in the long-term, this isn't a short-term fix. So, you want to respect yourself. And I think a lot of people try to lose weight really quickly because we don't, you know, I call it loving ourselves down the scale. You know, I think the more quickly we try to lose weight, the less we learn the lessons of really, truly learning a way of feeding ourselves that we can sustain.

Rita Black: So, and research shows that people who release weight more slowly actually are able to adapt to that lifestyle of eating in a way that allows them to support their weight release rather than, you know, a quick fix total deprivation diet, where we are, you know, white knuckling it, but losing weight fast, but then we can't sustain it. So, really look at this, um, you know, the weight release piece too is like, and the exercise piece, it isn't just about exercising your buns off for a short period of time, but you know, the, the skills of weight mastery and the weight skills are really about not just what it takes to release weight, but what it takes to motivate yourself, to stay with it, to keep exercising, even when you don't want to exercise, to inspire yourself when the food might seem to be, you know, getting a little boring. And then, you know, as we talked about boring in a different episode, it's not really boring, but it's our interpretation, but to keep ourselves in the game by, you know, really learning which foods we can make quickly when we don't have time and really learning how to prepare things ahead of time and all of that is developing skills so, of weight mastery. So, the weights skills encompass not just weight loss, but, but all the skills that support the food piece, the exercise piece, the self-care piece of that.

Rita Black: The last piece, which, the last skill set, which I consider kind of the most fascinating, because most of us don't really think about it too much when it comes to weight mastery are the environmental skills. Because if you think about it, here's the thing. You have a brain, you know, and that brain, uh, is kind of running your body. And so, you know, you've, you've need to manage your mindset. You need to manage your weight. You know, you learn, need to learn how to manage your weight release, but we rarely think about the environments that we live in and how those also need to be aligned to help us on our weight journey and our weight maintenance.

Rita Black: So, some of the skills of the environment are really, one learning to use, like measure things and make sure that the amount of food that you're eating is what you think you're eating. You know, why measuring and keeping data like, weighing yourself and even tracking what you're eating becomes really helpful especially in, in this again, supported by lots of studies who have looked at like long-term permanent weight management, tracking, measuring, weighing as much as a lot of us might have limiting beliefs and, negative mindsets about that. Why it can be so supportive is allows your inner coach, the data it needs to, to speak powerfully with us, when the scale is, you know, sometimes it's up or it's down. We have that data, the look to, to stay out of cognitive distortion when we are just relying upon our emotions when we are just running our weight mastery from, how do I feel today? Do I feel like, do I feel not? It's not going to be a long-term recipe for success. If we're just focusing on eating clean or eating in a particular way and hoping that is going to allow us that might get us so far on the weight loss journey, but I've met with tons of clients who, you know, like I was in keto or I was eating clean, or I was doing this. I was, I lost 20 pounds, but it stopped. And now I don't know, no, you know, like what's going on. I think I'm eating healthy. I'm still eating keto. Why am I not losing weight? And it's usually because of, you know, it usually goes back to the data like you are still consuming too much food to continue your weight release. So even though you might be eating super clean food, it is too much for your body now at what your body weighs, and we need to readjust your expectations. We need to readjust the way that you're feeding yourself. And that's not a negative thing. Most people are like relieved when they're like, oh, okay. I get it. That makes sense to me. You know, I was just so frustrated. It's a lot more frustrating not to know than to know. So data and interacting with data and, and, the things like measuring, like even measuring when I, the scale goes up for me, what do I do?

Rita Black: I measure stuff, because I think I'm pretty smart, right? Like I think, well, I've managed my weight for 26 years. Of course, I'm super cool right. Now, wrong. You know, my eyes are human eyes and my perception of what is two or three ounces of chicken or, um, a cup of fruit, or, you know, like I'm pretty good at eyeballing stuff, but what happens is my eyeballs will adjust and they'll get a little blousy. And you know, what I think is three ounces then become six ounces. And, you know, that might not seem like that big of a deal, but when you're a 57-year old woman and believe me, I've measured the metabolisms of a lot of women over the age of 40. And we aren't burning a lot of energy ladies. And, you know, we are burning energy for sure, but, but the difference between 300 calories and 400 calories a day of food, if we're, if we're mindlessly overeating it, even though it's super clean, like avocado or healthy nuts, or, you know, even if it's, you know, a bunch of vegetables and fruit, if we're eating too much and going over that, we're, we're dipping into that deficit that is necessary to release the weight. And so we might be thinking, man, I'm eating clean and I'm giving up because like, I mean, I'm eating cleaning and nothing's happening. Getting clear on the data will really help you be able to be in the driver's seat of how much you're releasing. When you're releasing my clients, like again, and students, you know, believe me, people all fight back when I say, you know, we need to collect data and they're like, why? You know, and, and most of the people like that, I interview, you know, who are, you know, successful students, they'll say, when you told me that I was so off, but oh my God, it was the biggest eye opener. And I realized why I hadn't been losing weight. Right. So, yeah, so the environment piece part of that is data.

Rita Black: Part of it is having support in your life. You know, people live in your life, whether you like it or not, you know, you have family or parents or coworkers, or, you know, people you interact with, and if they aren't on board with your weight mastery, then things might get challenging. So, we need to create what I call our support team and you know, and it also helps to have people in your life who are on the same journey with you because you learn from them. You know, I'm in business courses because I'm, you know, developing my business. And, you know, I learned the most from other business owners because they're in the same boat as me and their mistakes become my mistakes. And I, you know, I learned from that. So, get support, get, you know, get data.

Rita Black: And then the third, the other part of the environment piece is really, you know, if it's in your environment and it's not working for you, that's an issue, you know, stimulus control, it's controlling, what's in your environment and what's out of your environment. Think about it. You have a brain and your brain has a reward center. And that reward center has been primed for particular foods that you like to eat. So even if that food is in your deepest reaches of your cupboard, your brain knows it's there and it will keep bugging you to go and get it until it's gone. You know, unless it, unless you have some superior like relationship with it or whatever, you freeze it or do something and, and, you know, you're cool with it. Okay, great. Then that's not a problem, but if it's a problem, then it don't have it in your environment. Why would you, you know, like, even if you like your kids want cookies. Okay, great. Well, I'm sure there's some cookies that you don't like that you can have in your environment that aren't going to be an issue for you, but, you know, like, and to the opposite effect, get those foods in your environment that support you, that you can reach for that don't trigger you, you know, that stimulus control, believe it or not is 60 to 80% of the name of the game, you know? And people don't believe me, but, you know, think about it anytime. You've probably gone up, gotten off track is probably because something was in your environment that tempted you and, you know, caused you to get off track. So, you know, we gained food with the same plate. You know, we gained weight with the same food, the same places, the same times. So it, you know, stimulus control.

Rita Black: So, there you go, those are the three skillsets, the mind, the body and your environment. And those are skills that you can start to really develop. And you will start to see, you know, really be on your journey of weight mastery, and really start to reap the rewards of being on that powerful journey and developing that inner coach. So, I definitely believe the shift from, you know, being good, being bad to developing yourself is going to give you a whole new way of communicating and confidence and is really ultimately the door to your success. So I hope that you have found this successful, I mean, successful, I hope you have found this helpful. And, and, you know, think about that. Do you want to stay in the struggle or do you want to start to develop yourself for long-term success? You know, I really believe the key is beginning to see yourself, you know, as somebody who is an apprentice, developing a powerful set of skills. So, having said that, please join me for my free, free, it's absolutely free masterclass, How to Stop the "Start Over Tomorrow" Weight Struggle Cycle and Start Releasing Weight for Good. In this seventy-five minute masterclass, I am going to be taking you through a lot of stuff. The common weight loss mistakes that keep you struggling, the three mental shifts that you can make to remove the resistance and roadblocks and start losing weight for good. And my four part shift process that has helped thousands of people lose weight, long-term by using mind power over willpower, and we will be doing some hypnosis. You're going to fill the, you're going to finish that class feeling clear on what you need to do to lose weight permanently motivated, because you have a roadmap that breaks you out of the frustration and excited because, you know, you can be successful. So get in there, it's, you know, it's filling up fast. I think we only have a few seats left. The link is in the show notes. And if you're listening to this after the September of 2021, I think they'll probably be a link in there for the on-demand version, but come to the live if you can. So have an amazing week. I really hope it's an amazing powerful week for you developing those skills. 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.

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.