When it comes to weight loss, it seems there are only two modes-being good or being bad.

But did you know that being good on a diet is actually bad? 

Sounds crazy, right? But in this episode, you’re going to learn exactly what I mean by that, and more!


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Rita Black: Being good, being bad, being good, being bad. When it comes to weight loss, it often seems like there are only two modes of behavior-being good or being bad. In today's podcast, we explore how we communicate with ourselves in this good/bad way can keep us from the long-term success we want. And look for some thin thinking ways to turn it all around.

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 come on in. Welcome. How are you doing? I hope you're doing well. It's been quite a week for me. Busy, busy and planting tomatoes all on top of it because early April is the planting tomato time in Southern California for people who want to have an early tomato harvest. And my husband has been planting tomatoes for years and I come out and help him. And we planted a lot of tomatoes. So we're super excited. And, by the middle of the summer, we are so sick of tomatoes. We've made Gusbocho. We've made homemade marinara, we've done everything, but right now we are super excited about the crop.

Rita Black: And before I dive in to our episode today, which I'm super excited about, about being good and being bad before we dive in, I am inviting you to stay tuned to the end of today's podcast, where I will be announcing a free new masterclass that I'm hosting called How to Break Through to Consistent Long-term Weight Release, as well as a reminder, that it's the last few days to enter our post a review of our podcast and to be entered into the drawing for a free in the upcoming spring 2021 Shift Weight Mastery Process that begins at the beginning of May. So stay tuned or check the show notes for both of these things.

Rita Black: Okay. So let's dive right in to why being good is bad. Shall we? So one of the things that comes across my path all the time, as somebody who works with people on their weight mastery journeys over and over year after year, one of the hardest things to break people out of is the idea of being good and being bad when it comes to weight release. But in order to really get into that thin thinking for long term weight release success, we absolutely need to break out of this habit because it's bad. That's not good.

Rita Black: So there seems to be from my perspective, two gears of weight loss, when we are stuck in fat thinking one gear is what I call the being good gear, right? And I have a nickname for this gear called chicken and broccoli because it's literally, we are really focused on being perfect to the T on any of the weight loss regimes that we may be on. You know, if we veer off, just one iota, I know I have people who like get just so persnickety about even a brand name. If they can't get the right brand name that you know, for this special weight loss formula that it's not gonna work. So I called this the chicken and broccoli, chicken and broccoli. We are being good, really adhering to the plan, whatever our plan is, exercising and to ourselves, we are perfect. We are angelic. We are being good and it all is good. Good, good, good chicken and broccoli. Chicken and broccoli.

Rita Black: Okay. And then now let's talk about the other mode, the second gear called pizza and ice cream gear. Oh yes. And that is what we are in the bad gear. We are in bad mode. We are no longer being good. So anything that looks like anything good? Oh, we are so not interested in that. No, no, no, no, no. It's pizza and ice cream pizza and ice cream. Oh. And, Oh, let me have a double order of those fries and whatever passes my path because I am simply not interested in anything healthy because I am in the bad gear. And that is not of any interest to me and to exercise, maybe not so much

Rita Black: So when we struggle, it seems like we just go between these two gears. I hear this from clients all the time when they come to me, especially for their intake session or when, when students come into the course and we do our first, uh, kickoff, uh, we talk about the way that we've been eating and often it is, I've either been very good or I go off the rails and it's kind of like, I have a mountain bike ride and it's, I bought it used, I just started mountain biking during the pandemic because my gym closed and I love mountain biking. I'm so glad it's been one of the blessings of the pandemic for me because I'm biking out in nature. Wow. So fantastic. I bit the dust last weekend and I think I've a bruised rib, but anyway, aside from that, my bike that I bought used, one of the gears is broken on the left-hand side for those of you who bike.

Rita Black: You usually have like three years on the left that are the bigger, larger gears. And then you have the ones on the right. And my second gear, isn't very good. And I can really only use the first or the third gear. And it really, when we struggle, it is really like that we, we have that one extreme, or we have that other extreme gear, but there doesn't seem to be this middle ground, this energy graded way of eating that we can be healthy, but also enjoy have a realistic for your life way of eating. That is inclusive of the treats that you love, but allows you to live at your ideal weight. And ultimately for long-term weight mastery, this way of eating is the way of eating. We want to get to a way of eating that we love that allows us to live at our ideal weight.

Rita Black: And it isn't those things outside of us being good or being bad, it is a way of eating that we've owned that we've created. And it is a creation journey, not a being good or being bad journey. You get it. I think you do, but it's really understandable that we've gotten into this good or bad on our all or nothing way of thinking because our diet culture sets us up to think that the answer is outside of us find the right diet or the right plan or the perfect regime. Be good on it until you lose all your weight, then ride off into the sunset, slim and happy. But think about it. Are we really going to wake up one morning and magically be able to be good for the rest of our life on one diet? No, but that has what has gotten wired in our subconscious as the status quo. The reality is in order to really have a breakthrough and find longterm success, we need to go about this with a different mindset. We gain weight with the same food at the same times and the same thinking patterns.

Rita Black: We have vulnerable points at the weekend when we go out with friends or when we're social or when we're stressed or when we feel emotional or maybe around our lady's time, right? We come up against them, no matter what diet we are on, because diets are external structures and they don't address the deeper subconscious belief, identity, and habits that create our struggle. When we are being good, we can be good for a certain amount of time, but then we hit that struggle point. And then, because we struggle, we labeled that behavior as bad, and then immediately, or maybe eventually

Rita Black: Just give up and we eat pizza and ice cream pizza and ice cream pizza and ice cream. So we can't keep going on in this good or bad modality we have to break through. Now, there are three reasons we want to break out of the good and bad label. First of all, labeling your behaviors as good or bad, those are super general terms and they don't help you learn what is working and what isn't working with. Your weight journey. And that's ultimately your key to success. I ate what was on my diet. I was good. I didn't eat what was on my diet. I am bad. I've been good this week with exercise. I bit it and I didn't get to the gym once I was good. I didn't eat the dessert. I ate the dessert. It was so bad. Labeling yourself and your behaviors of weight loss as good or bad does nothing for your brain. When it's trying to work for you to help you with your weight, you see your mind is a computer and it needs to be wired with the right coding. It needs more specific instructions. Good and bad means nothing to your subconscious mind. So it just keeps giving us the same patterns because the code we are using to rewire good and bad is completely ineffective and reinforces the struggle long term success is about creating a communication system with ourselves that lets us improve things.

Rita Black: As we go along, tweaking making adjustments to our behaviors and our habits a little bit at a time. Number two, the States of being good and bad, usually lead to overeating at some point, and the research backs it up. Being good, actually gives yourself permission to be bad. How many research studies, including the one at the University of Chicago School of Business shows that feeling good about something we did motivates people to indulge in self sabotaging behavior. Think of the times when your scale was down and that was a license to eat and promising to be good tomorrow. Research shows that to the degree that we promise to be good tomorrow. It gives us permission to be bad today. And I think about all those weekends, I spent stuffing myself silly while reading the diet book that I was going to begin on Monday and be perfect on feeling bad leads to more eating, to stress in the brain.

Rita Black: Neuroscientists have shown that anger, sadness, and anxiety leads to a reward seeking state. We need to learn how to refocus the brain and understand that ultimately the labels of good and bad in weight management are cues for the brain to take us off track in some way. And lastly, we literally get addicted to being good and then falling off and being bad. Why? Because it gives us a little bit of a high, it gives us a release and the dopamine center in our brain goes, aha, this is good. Let's do it again. So you'll find that when you're being good, being good, being good, there's that part of your mind that now expects that being bad is going to happen. And it, the dopamine center in the brain will start to bug you for it. Maybe if you typically let loose on Friday night, somewhere around Thursday or Friday, you're going to feel that agitation of wanting to let loose to wanting to let go or going to that party or going out or feeling stressed and feeling that tension mounting that's the dopamine center saying you should go for it. Let's do it. Let's let loose.

Rita Black: And when you finally do, when you finally do go for it and eat the, whatever, the pizza, the ice cream, you're letting loose of that rigid control. And it's a release, ah, and it creates a feel good feeling. Now, obviously after that initial release and we typically will then eat a lot of pizza or a lot of ice cream, then those bad feelings begin to set in the feelings of remorse, the feelings of guilt and the feelings of pain or feeling stuffed or wishing that we hadn't eaten that. But the dopamine center in the brain, it doesn't remember that it just wants what it wants. It wants that release in that high that it gets from letting go. Does that make sense? So in essence, what's happening is we're restricting and then letting go and restricting and letting go, and the brain has gotten into the habit of doing that. And we've got to break ourselves out of that. So how do we break out of these two gears of being good or being bad? Well, the first step is to be a learner and to see yourself as a learner and not as a dieter or somebody struggling with weight, long-term weight release is not about being good, but it is about creating way of living. That allows you to live your life at your ideal weight.

Rita Black: That is a learning journey and a self-loving journey and not a journey of being perfect or beating yourself up and shaming yourself for being a failure. Let's be clear from the start. When it comes to weight mastery, you are not good and you are not bad. This isn't about your worth. And yet that is often what we make it about with the labels, labeling ourselves as good, makes us feel nervous when we are good on our diet, we get nervous because guess what? Our inner critic will probably remind us that even though we're being good now that's just luck. Our inner critic will remind us that the shoe is definitely going to drop and we will for sure be bad later.

Rita Black: Being good in and of itself means that ultimately to the weight, struggling subconscious mind, that being bad is probably just somewhere right around the corner. Even when people are near or hit their ideal weight, it's often hard for them to really believe that they are going to be able to stay there. I worked with a child therapist once who agreed that this labeling, that being good is bad. She said for children, it's the same that it makes children nervous. When parents give them praise like, Oh, you were so good. You cleaned your room. Or you did so good on that test. Look at that painting. You are such a good painter because deep down the child will worry about living up to this good label. And the parent might withhold their love if they don't perform well in the future.

Rita Black: Think about for yourself. When somebody gives you a compliment, Oh, you look nice today. What do you usually say to yourself internally? No, I don't. So what that therapist said to do instead was to reinforce with the child specific things about what they did that worked. Oh, look, you painted within the lines and you chose very interesting colors. Or you really made an effort to make your room tidy and it paid off. Look how much easier it is for you to get around and see everything you need.

Rita Black: I know it was like this for me when I was struggling with my weight and I was a diet and being good consciously, it was like I walking on the clouds. I mean, when I was being good, my doodoo didn't smell and I was a fricking rockstar, but subconsciously I was a nervous wreck lurking behind the glitter of being a dieting goddess was impending doom, a feeling that I was going to suck and be bad because I knew it was coming. My inner critic loved to remind me and would never let me fully bask in my diet in glory. And sure enough, the day always came when I blew it. And those clouds of dieting glory that I was walking on became storm clouds that I came crashing down out of. And my inner critic gave me a good lashing while I was in the mud.

Rita Black: You are just bad, bad, bad. How dare you think you could be good? How did you ever think you were going to get away with being good forever? And so I would just wait for the storm clouds to pass and start working on being good again, hoping this time it would last enough of the insanity, right? You are not good and you are not bad when it comes to managing. There are behaviors and habits that work for you or don't work for you. And the sooner you start tuning in and getting curious and focusing on shifting those things, instead of labeling everything as good or bad, the sooner you will start to get to lasting results.

Rita Black: So what do we need to do? We need to begin to code our mind with specifics rather than generalizing. And we need to turn that inner critic into our inner coach. You probably have been told that your brain is like a computer, especially your subconscious mind. It needs specific input. So what happens internally? When we say to ourselves, I have been being good with my food, or I have been being bad with my food. Your subconscious mind hears that like the Charlie Brown teacher do, you know, remember the Charlie Brown teacher in the peanuts cartoons, the teacher would be off screen and Charlie Brown would ask a question and all Charlie Brown would hear back from the teacher was why you never heard the teacher actually say words or speak. And that's kind of what the subconscious here is when that hears good or bad, and it doesn't learn any from your communication with yourself in this way. It's often what I hear from clients or students in my courses, I'll check in and I'll say, how have things been going?

Rita Black: And sure enough, people will say it's been going good, or it's been going bad. And especially in the beginning, when I'm working with people, as they begin to cotton on and inner coach themselves and get more specific, this obviously changes. But in the beginning I do a lot of intercepting and saying, okay, what was good? And what behaviors worked for you? What foods were you eating that worked for you? What foods were you eating that didn't work for you? What exercise? What, how did you set yourself up for exercise? Uh, how did you set your environment up for success? Did that work for you? Did that work against you? You want to be conscious of the specifics. How did you adjust your thinking so that you created that positive outcome? Thoughts create actions. So we need to look deeper and look at the wiring and thought processes that are either creating the actions that work for us or the actions that don't so that we can begin to change them.

Rita Black: If you haven't been getting the results from your brain that you would like, you are being too general, you're not being bad. You're just not being specific. You need to give your brain specifics to work with when things are going well, great program that into your brain, the specific behaviors that are working for you and coach yourself about the behaviors instead of criticizing yourself over them. For instance, I'm being good with exercise, again is why why why to your brain. And instead, the thin thinking would be to get specific about the behavior. I have been waking up at seven and walking for 30 minutes each day, that is working for me. I am feeling energized and getting toned. When I wake up, I don't really want to get up, but I say, think about how you're going to feel 15 minutes into your walk, your going to feel great.

Rita Black: And that gets me out of bed. I want to keep getting up and doing this. I want to keep speaking to myself. So I will get up in the morning in this way. Now that is something you can work with. Now, you can even ask your brain a question, like, how do we make this consistent? Is there anything else we can do now? Your unconscious mind loves questions, and we'll go to work for you to answer them, but maybe not in the moment, but ask. And you shall receive. The answer is in your brain and brain will go to work for you and will, and it will come to you like an epiphany often, I'll say to myself, okay, I want the answer to this question. And then I'll go for a walk. And somewhere during the walk, the answer will come to me because my brain, my subconscious mind has gone to work for me.

Rita Black: So even though I'm consciously doing something else, that answer will eventually come, but we have to start asking those questions. Maybe it will come to you while you're driving. I live in Hollywood and we know people who are screenwriters and often screenwriters work in this way. They get to the end of a scene and they don't know the answer to the end of the scene or the character that they're working on isn't exactly right. And they'll say to their brain, I need to solve this scene, or I need to figure out this character quirk, and then they will get up from their desk and they'll go and buy groceries, or they'll just do some other sort of tasks, that they'll go exercise. And sure enough, the answer always comes to them. So think like a screenwriter, think about those challenges that you're having, because when you get specific about them and when you ask your brain, like this is something I need to solve, let's start to figure that out.

Rita Black: Your brain will start working for you on a deeper, more subconscious level, but you have got to ask the questions. That's why I love the idea of an inner coach. Coaches ask questions. Coaches are curious, coaches use specifics. That's how they get to your excellence is by digging deeper and by asking questions and by using your mind and your abilities more effectively not working against you, but working for you. Does that make sense? I hope it does. When things are not going well, the same applies. I am being bad and I'm eating too much dinner. What does our brain do here? Why, why, why am I, why now? This can be shifted into my goal is to eat smaller portions at dinner. I am still eating way too much at dinner and feeling too full. Next time what can I do?

Rita Black: Maybe I can try having my dinner on a smaller plate. Maybe I can eat more slowly and tune in every couple of minutes to how full I am. So when you ask those questions, you start to get more specific. It isn't about your being bad or a negative person, or this person who's a super overeater, it's a problem to be solved. You are not the problem. The challenge is something that you are going to come to a solution with. So you are actually the solution, not the problem. And this is a way my friend, that you start moving the needle in the right direction.

Rita Black: Now, the last thing we want to do is we want you to start breaking the habit of starting over tomorrow. How do we start by getting conscious of when you feel the urge to start over tomorrow? And instead you try another communication, which is, I am not bad, and I don't need to start over. I choose to learn the lesson instead. So start to observe what I would call your struggle points. These more vulnerable points in your life, where you usually get thrown off track for one reason or another, don't make yourself bad or wrong about them, but really have some self empathy and look and see, like, this is a vulnerable time for me. This is a place where I struggle. I'm not a bad person because of this, but this is definitely something I want to tune into and start to problem solve. I go out on Friday night and I eat too much. I'm not a fat pig. I don't need to start over. I need to get curious. I wonder why I overeat on Friday night. Do I allow myself to get too hungry? Do I get to the end of the week? And I've overworked myself so much that I just need a reward. And my mind tells me the reward can only be fattening foods.

Rita Black: Could it be that I go into social situations and I don't think it through ahead of time? So I'm just automatically going along with the crowd, doing whatever they're doing without really honoring myself and my true needs. So what you can do is next Friday, you can work on it. And over time you can start figuring out your Friday nights and own them rather than them owning you. And also with regards to food in general, instead of labeling food as good or bad, you want to start to see the foods that really nourish and stabilize your bodies as not as good, but just as powerful for your body.

Rita Black: And start to look at the other foods, what you would call reward foods, the less nutritious foods, but maybe the foods that we impulsively reach for when we think we're being bad as something that you can integrate into your life in a small way, but not definitely going off the tracks all the way. See, because the more you feel like you're integrating your life with healthy nourishing foods, and that's primarily the big part of your diet, and then integrating the foods that work for you, those reward foods in a small way, then you begin to develop a way of eating that you love. There is a cognitive behavioral study that shows that when people allow themselves a reward or a treat of obviously not a triggering one, um, at the end of the day, either after dinner or a little ways after dinner, and they really just have that treat, they find that their behavior is far more consistent during the day.

Rita Black: So they're able to say no to the bagels at the office and to the afternoon snacking, because they know they're going to get that reward at the end of the day. And this has been shown to be just a really wonderful way to integrate reward, uh, something that's you feel it might be your, your treat food into your way of eating without feeling that you're depriving yourself, but not going overboard and going off track. Does that make sense? So here's our thin thinking coaching for the week, get conscious to when you are using good and bad with regards to yourself and your weight behavior, get underneath the words and get specific about the thinking and behaviors that are working and not working for you and start reinforcing what is working and start solving what isn't get curious and leave the critic in the back and leave that inner critic back in weight struggle land.

Rita Black: The more you do this, the more you will be recoding your brain for health, confidence, and long term success. Believe in yourself, you can do this. You can figure this out. Everything is figure out-able to quote thought leader, Marie Forlio, everything is figure out-able and everyone of your struggle points and vulnerable times you can figure out and you can own it and have that weight mastery.

Rita Black: Now, if you want to dig deeper with this and experience some hypnosis for weight release, I am super excited to announce that I am going to be doing a free new masterclass coming up on April 21st, 2021 called How to Break Through to Consistent Long-term Weight Release. In the 75 minute masterclass, I will guide you through a powerful process, including a light hypnosis session where you will learn the three most common weight loss mistakes that keep you stuck in struggling. These are the foundational ones, the ones that really trip us up, to three doable mental shifts that you can make to remove the subconscious resistance and roadblocks and start losing weight for good three, and my four-part Shift Process that has helped thousands of people release weight long-term by using mind power over willpower. You will finish the masterclass feeling clear on what you need to do to release weight permanently, motivated because you have a roadmap that breaks you out of the frustrating on again/off again cycle and into the ability to be consistent and excited because, you know you can be successful. And one more thing, we are going to start on time. So make sure to be early, if you sign up and come in, this masterclass has limited seating, and I'm being honest about that. We're only allowing a certain amount of people in each class.

Rita Black: So the links are in the show notes. So go check it out and sign up. I'd love to have you in class. And just a reminder, you can earn a free ticket to our upcoming live Spring 2021 30 day Shift Weight Mastery Process guided by me. All you need to do to be in the running is to write a review of our podcast, take a screenshot of it and send it to [email protected]. That's [email protected] by April 12th, 2021. And you will be in the running for a drawing on April 13th, where I will give the three winners a free ticket free enrollment into the Spring 2021 online Shift Weight Mastery Process. So take a few minutes of your time and get the chance to save hundreds of dollars when you win. And I hope you 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. Have an awesome week.

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.