I am another year older in a few days–hopefully wiser as well. 

And what do I want to do for my birthday? 

To share with you what I think are the 5 top keys–the main reasons that I have kept 40 pounds off for 27 years–after struggling for 2 decades to keep it off for even 1 week. 

Please make a birthday wish and join me for the 78th Episode of the Thin Thinking Podcast where I will be sharing with you the top 5 main reasons how I was able to lose and keep 40 pounds off for 27 years. 

I am also inviting you to join me – for my Free Live Masterclass with Hypnosis that will happen on the 28th of September at 9am and 5pm. It is called How to Break Through the Weight Struggle Cycle so You Can Lose Weight Consistently and Permanently.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

Subscribe and Review

Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? If not, go ahead and click the ‘subscribe’ button for your favorite podcast platform! You don’t want to miss a single episode.

If you enjoyed this episode, it would be very helpful to us if you would leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. This review helps people who are on the same weight loss journey as you to find us and soak up all the wonderful insights and lessons I have to offer.

If you aren’t sure how to leave a review in Apple Podcasts/iTunes, view our tutorial by clicking here.

Subscribe and Never Miss an Episode


Rita Black: Birthdays. They just keep coming. Well, I am another year older in a few days and hopefully a little wiser as well. So what do I want for my birthday? Well, I want to share with you what I think are the five top keys - the main reasons that I've kept 40 pounds off for 27 years after struggling for two decades to keep it off for even a week. So please make a birthday wish and join me.

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, bestselling 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 fat 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, my friends, please come in. Welcome. I hope you are wonderful. This is the first episode of the month of September, which is going to be a crazy, crazy month for me, oy, but I must love the insanity as I seem to always be saying how crazy life is. Yes. And September is my birthday month and it's coming up this week. My birthday is September 10th. So those of you listening to the podcast afterwards, that's, you know, whatever, September 10th of Virgo, for sure. And then this following weekend, just the craziness of this month, I am going to my 40th high school reunion in Seattle and I actually have some stuff to talk about with that with you guys, but I think I'm going to hold off for next week. And then I'm coming back and I am teaching my new free masterclass and the master class is called How To Break Through The Weight Struggle Cycle So You Can Lose Weight Consistently And Permanently. And as I get into today with the podcast, I have a feeling you all know how to lose weight, and it really, really is not about that knowledge, that the mind, that the conscious knowledge, but it's about shifting your deeper mindset and there are really what I consider three main shifts that you can make that will really shift your perception and get you a different journey forward. And that's really what we're going to get into that. These what I call cognitive reframes can really change your weight destiny very quickly once you have them. So that's really what I'm teaching in this master class is really how to really shift your mind in these three ways so that you can get out of that struggle cycle and really begin getting some traction on long term weight mastery. Plus, we are going to do some hypnosis. So I do some weight loss hypnosis in the session as well. So for those of you who are, you know, never done hypnosis before, it's a really great introduction. And for those of you who like to do hypnosis, I hope you enjoy the session. So please join me. It's absolutely free. The link is in the show notes.

Rita Black: So yes, this big crazy month is topped off. At the end, I'm starting another life shift weight mastery process. That is again, and I'll get into that more later, but so just to give you a picture at this month, I'm like, ah, it's coming up. Oh my gosh. So, I'm going to keep my birthday super low key, no parties, nothing splashy. But what I did want to share with you are some insights about long term weight loss that I've really been deeply thinking about. You know, this year has been a year of deep reflection for me. I don't know, it must be this time of my life, but I'm also observing, you know, as I work with more and more people, I've worked with thousands of people now, you know, you would think, oh, okay, well she knows everything. Well, I do know a lot, but the deeper and longer I do this, the more insights I get into the human psyche, around what it really takes for long term sustained weight maintenance and mastery, which I consider mastery is like living your ideal life, you know, eating in a way that you love, exercising in a way that you love, and all the pieces, you know, really come together to allow you to feel, you know, be your best self within all of that. So those of you who know me, students, members of my community, clients, you know, I'm really obsessed with this and not short- term obvious results, but long term sustained weight mastery. And so this year, you know, every birthday, I sort of reflect about my journey. So I wanted to share some insights from you, from my journey of keeping 40 pounds off for over 27 years like I've boiled that down, and for those of you who don't know me, who may be new to the podcast, you know, I'm somebody. So keeping 40 pounds off for 27 years is kind of a miracle only that because 20 years prior to that, I literally yo-yo up and down the scale, you know, trying every diet, failing miserably, you know, bulimia and then, and just then, you know, feeling so screwed up in my brain about myself, about my body, about my ability to lose weight. So it truly, truly is for me. I have, you know, I say this with such you know, humility because I understand that this place of standing in sustained weight maintenance for a long time required a different type of journey than a diet.

Rita Black: I wanted share with you, these five takeaways, these five, what I consider the big keys, and I hope you find them valuable. So key number one, key number one. And I think this is the most, well, they're all going to be important keys so I'm not going to say this is the most important, but this is the first key. And I want you to understand, if you don't get this already, that it isn't just about losing weight, but really, a successful long term weight mastery journey is a journey of transforming your life, right? And going into it, that with that attitude, going into it, knowing like this is a lifelong journey, see, I think what happens, we have been so steeped in a diet culture and I know diet is a bad word these days. Like maybe you might say, well, I'm not on a diet. Well, no, I understand that. But I just mean a culture where we are focused on very short term results. A culture where it is about like getting the weight off as quickly as possible, looking good, oh, you know, and it's not really about a relationship that you are creating with yourself because when we struggle with our weight, we have inner communication, a challenge, you know, that there is a breakdown in our inner communication. And often the weight struggle cycle is really based on the fact that we go on diets or some sort of regime or some sort of, you know, food plan or way of eating. And then, you know, I just had a client in my office two days ago, who was telling me like my boyfriend and I have been on this, this plan, the clean eating plan. And I don't know what plan, like, it's something that you pay a bunch of money every month and you get some food and drinks and all that stuff, and we haven't lost any weight. And so I mean that aside, I'm just saying that, you know, like we go on plans, we go on diets, regimes, all that stuff, but this idea like, okay, I'm going to do this thing. I'm going on this external structure and I'm going to be good on it. I'm going to be perfect. And then, you know, we eat something off track or, you know, we get bored and then we're off again. So nothing has changed internally, right?

Rita Black: So really, the diet industry or the weight loss industry, I'll say instead of diet industry, has really trained our brains like we're in the habit of, you know, let me find this diet or plan, let me do good on it and that is the answer and I understand that because we want to organize the chaos that we feel when we are overeating, right? Like it's a very chaotic feeling. It's a very stressful feeling to feel. And then to feel like you're gaining weight, it's a horrible feeling. So we are very vulnerable to short term. I get, you know, do something fast, and, but really, I'm going to be honest with you. One, that it's not just like, oh, lose the weight and then live happily for the rest of your life because interestingly enough, I, you know, the way I work with people is effective. So people get to their ideal weight but then is a next part of the journey. It's not like just over and drive off into the sunset. It is like, oh, wow, I'm at maintenance. And this is a vulnerable time, right? Like there's many, many pieces to a long term, permanent weight mastery journey. I know for me, my journey, you know, I released the weight and I, you know, it took me about nine months and, you know, I used hypnosis and I, you know, changed my inner speak. And I changed the way I ate. And it was an evolutionary process. It wasn't like just overnight, but I really changed my thinking from the inside out.

Rita Black: However, when I reached maintenance, I had to figure that out for myself. And there were many, many times along the way of my journey I was like, am I going to be able to do this? You know, I would, you know, when I was releasing weight, I would hit plateaus. There were times during my, even my weight maintenance, you know, like I really look at my journey as many, many chapters along the way. I had to continue to cultivate my maintenance and my journey. I think that it's an illusion. And I'm sorry that I'm, if you know, like I'm really bumming you out with this idea, but it's an illusion to think that you're going to lose the weight and then you're going to like go back to your life or it's going to be life as it was, you know, that's what I mean. It's like what I call a hero's journey, right? And the hero's journey, according to Joseph Campbell, this anthropologist who studied many cultures, and there's like this one underlying storyline, or like a story structure, which is called the hero's journey, it's the journey of transformation. And really ultimately, you know, the hero is called into action and a little ways, you know, and usually the hero�s reluctant and then the hero decides to go on this journey, but the hero gets thrown obstacles all along the way, but the obstacles build her character, the obstacles build her sense of resilience and herself that she doesn't give up when, you know, the first obstacle happens. And I think that's what we've been trained in this diet culture is, oh, you know, I did bad. Let me start over. And somehow I'm going to get perfect again. Well, the same is true too as we're sustaining our long term weight mastery journey, there are many you know, like I had, you know, I released my weight before I had children. So I had pregnancies. So I did gain weight during my pregnancies. You know, fortunately not a lot. I stayed healthy. I did, you know, the right things. And I was able to release the weight fairly quickly after each pregnancy. But, you know, there was those, there was my parents both dying within a couple of years of each other and going through the morning process and, you know, gaining a few pounds, getting depressed, but not, you know, I consider my weight maintenance, a five pound range, so above my ideal weight and below my ideal weight. So, you know, I stayed within my range, but I really, you know, I worried, and I struggled and I was on a medication and then I got off the medication and then, you know, like an anti-depression medicine, you know, because it was really hard when both my parents died.

Rita Black: And then, then I went through menopause, you know, like going through perimenopause and menopause and like, and so many different things. And all along the way, I had to say, who am I as a weight master in this particular situation? And you know, I had to adjust expectations. I had to adjust sometimes. As I have aged, Just like this month, or this last year, I shrunk an inch And so I actually adjusted my weight down a few pounds because I was like, well, I'm a shorter person. You know? And I, and that mattered to me. Like because I'm really focused now on longevity, you know, I'm 58 years old and I really, I really do have a vision of dancing with my son at his 60th birthday. You know? And my son is 17. I want to live a long time. And so making those changes for me are not just about looking good or being able to feel fit into, you know, my genes. It's really, really about being in my life and the way that I love. I'm going to get into that a little more. But I just wanted you to understand that the journey of transformation is so worth it. Right? And so I think we think, oh my God, I have to work at this in my whole life. I'm going to get, because that's another key, but I just want you to understand that there are many, many chapters on the journey of weight mastery. And I think going into it, knowing that, then you aren't disappointed, but you are invigorated. You are like, oh, okay, I'm getting to this place. There's a plateau. I'm going to learn something from this plateau. And it doesn't mean I'm a failure.

Rita Black: I think that's another thing is when we get to these different places in our journey, I mean, I see this many times, there's the honeymoon phase when you're releasing weight and it feels good and you're on top of the world. And then all of a sudden, the honeymoon ends and, you know, at the honeymoon ends in any sort of phase in our life, whether it's like when we meet the love of our lives or, you know, things become different over time, the initial high fades. And that's really when the true work with yourself begins and it gets exciting. But I think a lot of people get there and they're like this isn't fun anymore. This is boring or I'm doing it wrong. And we make ourselves bad and wrong because we're used to doing that. We don't respect ourselves. We don't believe in ourselves. And we, you know, just give up or get bored or, you know, get off track. So really, look at this journey as a lifelong journey of transformation. And I think that when you hold it in that place and you hold yourself in that place, like I am a hero, you know, overcoming obstacles and ultimately the hero slays the dragon, comes home and is transformed. You today, releasing weight. I knew for me, the me today, releasing 40 pounds was going to be a different person at the end of the journey. Not, you know, not necessarily better or worse, but transformed. And it, for me, it was like, life is better because I am no longer struggling with myself in this area of my life. Thinking about food all the time, thinking about my weight all the time, you know, I'm free of that. And that freedom for me is way, way more important than being my ideal weight. Just, you know, FYI. And I'm sure ultimately for you, it will be as well. So I just wanted to kind of put that little marker out there for you because that is really ultimately where the juices, you know, what I mean, like the juicy juice, isn't just, you know, we all know about getting on the scale, being down, but you know, there's other stuff going on too.

Rita Black: Okay. Now I'm going to move on. Because that took long time. Okay. This one will be shorter, but this one will be a little more weighty. So own your journey, 100%. This is such a powerful key. I have a saying, be the cause, not because, right? And I see this all the time that people, we become victims of other people and other places and our weight journey and we give up, right? Oh, they brought the donuts into the house. Oh, we went out for pizza on Friday. Oh, you know, my, my brain, isn't very creative today, I mean in this moment, but you know, like, oh my mom, you know, cooks for me and she, you know, okay, all that stuff is story. And you, you get to create your story of weight mastery. Others don't write it for you. You write the story. And when I say be the cause not because is when you own everything a hundred percent and I'm just talking everything, then you have the power, you keep your power. So, you know, I, I didn't lose weight this week because I didn't get out and exercise because I hurt my foot. Okay, great. I'm sorry you hurt your foot and you can change your weight release goals. You can do many things to bring it back to you. You may not even release weight this week, but it's not a reason to get off track. You follow what I'm saying? There is usually an answer for everything when you are determined to be the cause, not because you know? And within that, you do have to do some things that probably are uncomfortable for you. And I want to be clear about this because I'm talking about long-term permanent weight mastery. I'm not talking about losing weight, just losing weight. So this is really, you know, having conversations with people. And there are many, if you go back in other episodes, there's one called the hamburger technique, having conversations with people because chances are we fall victim to, you know, like we can fall victim to other people's expectations. Other people trying to feed us. Like our environment is a very important part of our long-term journey and I think taking a hundred percent responsibility for the people in our life and our, you know, what we're bringing into our environment, what's coming into our environment. What's going out of our environment is an important thing.

Rita Black: And I just mean this from, you've got this, you've got the power. And when you get in that place, then those conversations with people become easier when you are and you aren't being mean to them. You're, you know, asking them from respect for your yourself and respect for them. But that does mean probably being out of your comfort zone. So long-term permanent weight mastery probably is going to mean for you. And again, this is what I'm talking about. It's a hero's journey. You watch TV shows, you watch the movies and those heroes, aren't like LA LA LA LA through the movie, they're kind of challenged. And they have those, you know, come to the light moments where they're like, okay, I don't know that I can do this, but I'm going to try. And they try, and they stretch, and they're uncomfortable, and then they get what they need, and then they move on, and because they've stretched, they've increased who they are. They've evolved themselves, right?

Rita Black: I had to get out of shame, you know, about weight loss. Right. I think when we, you know, one of the being at the cause is like taking ownership for the fact that you are getting healthy. In my membership, we were talking about the shame. Sometimes when people pay attention to our weight loss, right, then when we say, oh, wow, you've lost weight. And there's this feeling sometimes where, you know, happy people are noticing, but sometimes there's this great shame around the fact that people know I'm losing weight and they've seen me lose weight and gain weight and we have this shame about the fact that we're somebody who struggles with weight and so the weight loss, this weight loss kind of goes into the part of our brain where we hold a lot of shame or we have a lot of shame around this and we have to kind of start to work through that shame as well as being the cause and not because, because I think otherwise then there's, you know, you want to be proud of the fact that you -and I said this to my member who was saying, you know, people are noticing and I kind of makes freaks me out. And because I know that they've seen me lose weight and gain weight and lose weight. And I said, well then, you know, maybe what you need to say to them is thank you for noticing. I am on a journey of really getting healthier, taking care of myself and showing up for myself, you know? So there's no shame in that. There's no shame in really making your life better. Right. So, and I think that opens up the, you know, conversation to something more powerful than, oh, you've lost weight. Right? So being the cause and not because there are things that we have to go through. So I'll just kind of name some of the things, you know, I've had to sit with major resistance from myself. Like, you know, this is boring or I'm hungry or, you know, I had to sit with getting off track and feeling uncomfortable about that and defying that impulse that I wanted have to start over and make it look perfect. Especially in the beginning, I had to sit with, you know, gaining some weight, you know, here and there gaining a few pounds here and there definitely, not looking good to other people like, you know, or especially to myself, like there are times you don't feel like you're doing it perfectly on a long term permanent weight mastery journey. You just don't. But you communicate with yourself differently in those moments than you do when you're like, well, I blew it and I'm going to start over because that isn't an option. You are the cause not the because. You know? There is, you know, excuses, there are no excuses when you are really committed. The excuses fall away and you figure it out. And that is where you get your transformation.

Rita Black: All right. And now the third key, and for those of you who have worked with me or been a client or a student, you're probably familiar with this key because this is the key that I call building skills versus being good. And what I mean by that is in a long, long, long, long, long term way mastery journey, it is, almost impossible to be perfect and it is almost impossible to be good for 27 years. I have not been good or perfect at all for 27 years. And I think the ridiculous thing about going on diets or any sort of plans or regimes is that there's this kind of weird idea that develops in our brain that, you know, one day, one, Monday, one magical Monday, we're going to wake up and be good on a diet or a plan or a regime for the rest of our lives as really the way that the diet or weight loss industry has really framed it for us and our brains have kind of gotten into that loop. And again, I see this epidemic of people getting in the habit of starting over again on Monday. And if you do come to my master class or if you come to any, my teachings, a lot of what I help people with is break that cycle and break into consistency. And I really think the mindset of consistency comes from this idea of building, mastering rather than focusing on an external structure. You're internally building yourself up. You are building internal skills. The brain is very creative and it likes to learn. Very curious. So if you put in front of the brain like, Hey, we're going to build these skills rather than be good on something or not eat this, you know, macro this whole set of foods over here, we're just, you know, cut something out or try not to eat. Brain doesn't like that. But the brain loves to learn and the brain is good at learning and evolving. And again, this is an evolutionary transformational journey that I really believe is the heart and soul of a long term consistent journey.

Rita Black: So the mindset around this is really I'm building myself just like you would build any other skill set. You know, if you were become an athlete, you would, if you were going to play football, there was a whole set of skills that you need to learn running, dodging. You need to build your core. You need to learn whole strategies of, you know, the plays. You can tell I know nothing about football. It just came into my mind. But with cooking, you know, there's baking, there's sauteing, there's cutting, there's, you know, prepping vegetables, there's spices and flavor profiles. I know cooking a little more. So there's all these different aspects to cooking that when you cultivate cooking and you build the skill of cooking, I mean, I've been cooking for wow, I'm 58. So, you know, 48 years. I started really cooking when I was 10 and I still consider myself an apprentice. And I still consider myself an apprentice of the skills of weight mastery. Now there are many, many, many skills to developing yourself as somebody who is long term sustaining weight releaser and then maintainer. And there are different skills to maintaining than there are to releasing. But you know, over 200 studies into long term weight mastery or what I would call weight mastery, but long term permanent weight loss, you know, it shows that there are foundational skills. And I really dive into these in my shift weight mastery process, but, you know, to touch upon them lightly because I have two more keys that I really want to get into with you. But, you know, there are obviously the skills, the mindset skills, which are really about your inner communication system. I really believe in acknowledging and turning down both the, the volume on our inner critic and our inner rebel. And if you're interested in my take on those two characters, you can find podcasts on the inner critic and on the inner rebel in my library of podcasts and really, really, and truly about developing a powerful inner coach within yourself, you know? And this coach is going to help you build strategies, help you plan, create a vision, and develop yourself. In my long term weight mastery journey, this was the foundational relationship, the relationship with myself, you know, I worked with personal trainers.

Rita Black: I'd worked with a lot of people outside of me, but when I got turned onto my own ability to work out problems, to figure things out, then I had ownership over that. Now, of course I had mentors and people who helped me along the way, of course, and that's very important, but, but the key relationship was that relationship with myself. Then of course, there's the weight management skills, which are skills that you probably already know a lot about, but you probably don't see them as skills. You probably see them as being good on a diet, and then there's the environmental skills. And those are a little more subtle. That's much more about the, you know, really getting people to support you because your environment is so key to your long term weight management and something I see a lot with people who maybe are successful for a couple of years, and then something happens and they gain the weight back is that typically nine times out of 10, one of the things that happens in that scenario is their environment changes. Like maybe they move or maybe they go through a divorce or something that changes their environment or what's coming into their environment and or they have a child or something that changes their environment or changes their lifestyle. And they got so dialed into this lifestyle that allowed them to, you know, sustain their weight loss, but then they didn't, then they got off and then they started to get back into that cycle of like, oh, I've got to be good and I've got to pull it together. And then they can't get back rather than looking at this as what were the skills that were helping me sustain my weight or release weight, you know? If you look back at the times that you were very successful at weight loss and not look at it as this time when I was being good, you know, like that doesn't help you. But what helps you is to get more specific about what were you developing within yourself and your environment and in the way you were eating and exercising that actually worked for you. What were you developing? The skills you were developing. Go back to those and start cultivating and focusing on those rather than focusing on being good, which really tells your brain absolutely nothing. Hope that makes sense, you know. I laugh because you know, people like teachers and doctors and lawyers and even hypnotherapist, we need to go back and, you know, get, take more classes every year in order to continue to be certified. Or, and I feel like they should have the same for weight management because I am always learning and I am always developing myself. Like I said, I've gone through many different periods of my life where I've had to really lean in on different skills more hard than at other times.

Rita Black: So really to understand that there is a big, broad skill set that you are developing and that there there's core skills and that there's, you know, like external, like extracurricular skills, then you can never get bored. Never. Then you can never say, well, I've done all I can do or, you know, I'm doing everything I can do. No, that's not true. There's always more to cultivate. And the more you do, the more you engage yourself, the more you stay in the game, the more interesting it becomes, just like any other thing you value in your life, like marriage, parenting your job, you know. The more you develop yourself and the more you get curious and push yourself, the more you're in the game of whatever it is that you are mastering in life. So when you focus on building and continuing to build the skills of weight mastery, it never gets boring, you know. It can get frustrating at times, for sure. But learning anything is frustrating. You should see me in tech, you know. It's not a happy yoking, but I am bound and determined. And I really look at the journey I've gone through with tech, the building, those skills. And I will happily say, I'm now tech literate. I know all the software I need to use to run my business. Can I mastered them? Hell no. But you know, that was a journey.

Rita Black: Okay. So I digress. Let's move on to Q4. So keep your power over food. Respect its power and keep yours with it. Okay. What the heck do I mean? So there is something that I could go way deep into and I, one day, in the shift weight mastery process, I offer a bonus. We do a workshop called carb savvy. And what I get into in that it's like is a three hour workshop so I'm not going to get into it here, but I'm going to give you like the super mini version of it. Is this: long-term permanent weight mastery, I believe is not about cutting out carbs, but it is about understanding and empowering yourself with your personal relationship with carbs. And what I mean by that, by diving a little deeper is that over the 20 years that I've worked with people and with, you know, all the studies I have seen, and currently what they're now with these continuous glucose monitors, where you can wear one of these devices and really see what foods spike your blood sugar. I have seen that the more white foods carbs that people eat - so, I'm getting ahead of myself here. So, when we struggle with our weight, typically we run in a spectrum of carb, sensitivity or vulnerability, I would say. We have a genetic propensity of some sort. And it runs in a spectrum. Some very few people, about 20% of the population, they can eat, you know, whatever. Like they can eat a croissant for breakfast or cereal for breakfast. And it really doesn't impact them, make them think more about food or get hungrier. But for a lot of us eating carbs, especially refined carbs on an empty stomach or eating certain trigger foods, and that are triggers really for us and personally us, what they are learning in studies is that everybody responds differently to different foods. Now, what makes this kind of, you know, make you want to pull the hair out of your head is that you can't read some book and go, okay, I'm going to do that. And it's going to be exactly the same as your neighbor. It's kind of really a journey of tuning in and learning what foods give you power and what foods take power away from you. And you probably know what I'm talking about, you know, since you've probably, if you're listening to me, struggled with foods long enough, you probably know when I say trigger foods, you know, those foods that you eat a little bit of, and then you eat the whole bag or the whole carton, those foods you really don't have power over.

Rita Black: And what I have discovered, because, you know, I work with smokers and with smokers, once the neural pathways in the brain are trained and primed with nicotine, that person is going to smoke a certain amount per day no matter what. When they become a non-smoker, the nicotine priming goes away. That part of the brain goes dormant. Now, if they smoke again, they, you know, that part of the brain goes dormant and then they can be a non-smoker then they're not thinking about smoking. They can live a normal life, you know. Of course they'll occasionally think about smoking, especially in the first few years, but they are not run by it. They're not owned by that part of the brain. I call it the cigarette monster or the nicotine monster. With sugar and carbs, it's a little more subtle. And that's what makes it kind of crazy. But we really basically have, we wire ourselves and for a certain amount and or certain types of carbs and certain amounts of carbs and when this wiring is engaged, it's almost as if there's another entity, you know, like that's why I call it cigarette monster, I call it the carb zombie within us that really is running us. You know, it's running us, meaning we're thinking about food all the time. We're constantly hungry, you know, even finishing a meal and feeling like you're still hungry, you still want something. It's because that dopamine center in the brain is super engaged around food. So there is a way to put that carb zombie into dormant sea, right? Which, you know, for me is one, staying away from my trigger foods and, and really unpriming those neural pathways in the brain. But, you know, I eat a really fairly healthy diet. I don't not eat carbohydrates. I do. And I eat some white foods, but what there is, and this is why it's so important for you to start to get mindful about what you eat when you eat it is because, when your carb zombie is engaged, is going to be very hard for you to manage your weight. So for a lot of people that means really eating, you know, I call it 80, 85%, 15% like 85%, really fairly healthy diet, lean proteins, even, you know, vegetarian proteins, lean proteins, meat, proteins. If you're meat eater, fruits, vegetables, you know, what you would imagine, clean eating, wholesome eating, whatever you want to call it, eating healthy foods that stabilize and nourish your body. And then there's what I would consider a buffer zone. So it's not like smoking where it's black and white, but it's more gray. And this is what makes it hard really because, but the good news is that within that gray zone, that 15% you can really eat. You know, I can drink wine, I can eat dessert. I can have things as long as they're not my trigger foods, because, and this is, again, this is a three-hour conversation. I don't mean to take this slightly, but trigger foods are trigger foods are trigger foods and I don't know if you've ever noticed, but you know, maybe you lost a bunch of weight and then you were like, okay, well now I can eat that trigger food because I'm, you know, what would be the word healed or saved, or, you know, I, I'm now my ideal weight so I can eat whatever I want.

Rita Black: Unfortunately, we start then eating those more refined foods and guess what? Our carbs zombie comes back and then all of a sudden, we're like, what the hell? I'm gaining weight again. Why am I thinking about food all the time again? And it's because that part of the brain's gotten engaged again. So for 27 years, I believe, me, I've tried and tested this, you guys, and I've worked with thousands of clients and I've seen, been in the trenches with people. And I know that this is a phenomena that when you hibernate that carb zombie, its like flipping that switch and I know, you know what I'm talking about. You've been in those places where you're like, this feels so good. I'm not thinking about food. I'm not hungry and it's not magic. You've really put that part of the brain into hibernation by, you know, eliminating the refined foods that trigger you, that trigger your body, or eating them in a way like with a protein and not eating it on a naked, empty stomach, what we call now naked carbs so that you can, and so really I believe a long term, the key to a long term, permanent weight mastery journey and sustained weight loss is figuring out a way of eating that you love that allows you to live at your ideal weight. And part of that is really tuning in and figuring out, when you eat a certain food, like a carb, ask yourself an hour later, how do I feel? Did that tweak me? Am I tweaked three hours later? Am I tweaked six hours later? And it may seem like, oh my God, this seems like such hard work. It's really not. You know, we tune into ourselves anyway, we might as well be asking ourselves the right questions so that we can look at the value of the food that we're putting in our body not just from calories, not just from nutrient value, but does it take my power away from me or does it not? Because the way I look at food now is I have no problem saying no to certain foods. I don't feel deprived. I don't feel that, you know, everybody's lucky and I'm not, I'm this poor weight struggler who's having to, I'm like, I'm not going to eat that food because if I ate that food, I'm going to want some more and it's going to hijack my brain and tomorrow I'm going to wake up and I'm going to want to eat more carbohydrates. And then I'm going to be shoving aling a bag of something down my golet and feeling horrible and feeling uneven. And it's not even about weight at that point. It's just about being hijacked and you know what I'm talking about. So really, I hope this is helpful for you that I believe part of that journey and part of the key is really figuring that out for yourself.

Rita Black: And I wish I could say, well, here's the magical formula, but it really is about tuning in. I do think eating a certain amount of protein, 50 grams or more a day is helpful. I do think taking your carbs probably down at least below, 150 grams often is very, very helpful for people. And some people need to take them lower, but that's something that you really need to figure out for yourself and it's going to depend on how, where you are in your health profiles, your blood sugar insulin profiles. A lot of it will have to do with how healthy you are, how much you exercise. So many components go into this, but, and you can start out very simply just by tuning in, just by committing to saying, Hey, I'm not going to let food have power over me anymore. So I hope that you find this helpful, like I said, but there's a much bigger conversation to be had, but I wanted to open that door for you.

Rita Black: So I hope you found that was helpful. So the last and final key: drum roll, please. The key number five is: I understand my weight journey doesn't take away from life, my life. It gives me life. So I'm going to repeat that one. So I understand my weight journey doesn't take away from my life, it gives me my all right. So my, as I have been getting into, and I, I left this one for last, so that this could be kind of a no brainer, but I do think that as we have been discussing, the journey, we are on is a hero's journey. And for too long, the weight loss industry has framed this or we have framed it from being perpetual, perpetually in this weight loss mode, this weight loss struggle. We've put it into a place of shame, place of deprivation, a really painful distasteful, unhappy place in our mind, in our psyche and in our soul. And so I think when people think about releasing weight, going on a weight journey, they can feel nervous. They can feel fearful. They can feel afraid. One afraid of failure, I understand that, you know. If we've failed before so many times before, but I want you to know that most people who have struggled with weight and then finally are successful for the long term, have gained and lost 500, well, not 500, sorry, but you know, 250 pounds, a hundred pound, like a lot of weight over the course of their lives. So I want you to understand that this, the way it is presented to you in your brain right now, the way that your brain is framing that story to you right now is not a success story. It is not a happy story. And our life is the story that we tell ourself. And I want you to start to tell yourself a new story about what managing your weight is about. It isn't just about getting thin, you know, there's many people who have, you know, weight on their body who love who they are, where they are, and in their body, they feel healthy. They feel strong, and that is awesome. But if you're struggling with weight and primarily struggling with yourself, because at the root of it, I really believe the pain comes from the struggle with ourself and our inability to love ourselves and our bodies as they are. Because, you know, I really am a firm believer in loving yourself down the scale, you know. We, if we can frame this story that we're embarking upon a hero's journey, then we remove the resentment. Then we remove the fear. Then we remove the failure. And because we're going on something one step at a time, beginning to trust ourselves, beginning to respect ourselves, we're beginning to embrace ourselves for all we are, and our ability to just take one step and put the next step in front of the other, and really start to believe in ourselves and to really create a new, powerful identity of somebody who's mastering their weight, rather than struggling with their weight and somebody who's compassionate for themselves and you know, these are the things that my journey of weight mastery have given me so many gifts beyond weight, because like I said, you know, it took me nine months to release 40 pounds and I've kept it off for 27 years. That's 26 years and three months that I've been maintaining my weight. I've been getting on the scale and it's been relatively pretty much the same. I don't know about you, but when you're in a weight release journey, getting on the scale and having it be down, for most people is the part we become addicted to. So really, if you think about getting on the scale and it being the same, you know, a plateau for a lot of people, that's really frustrating or boring.

Rita Black: So there's so many other components to this journey of maintaining and developing yourself, really developing that inner communication and relationship with yourself and in doing so, you become fearless. You become, because you are stretching yourself so much, because you are being bold and asking for help and doing things that maybe make you feel a little uncomfortable in doing those things, those uncomfortable things become comfortable. In loving yourself unconditionally, and I know that sounds, you know, corny in California. Woo, woo. But really what I mean is that, that the reason why we're so afraid to take risk in our life, isn't the risk. It's the fear that we are going to beat ourselves up after and tell ourselves we're a failure and we're a fool, and we should have never tried in the first place. So when you know that the voice on the other side of any risk you take is going to be a compassionate, powerful, loving coach-like voice that says, Hey, you tried and wow, look at all, you did, you're amazing. Look at that. You become fearless and you can go out into the world and be your best self fully expressed. And that just isn't about weight, my friends. That is about you living your best life.

Rita Black: And so for me, I hope that these five keys have unlocked within you belief, excitement that you can do this. Believe me, if you guys saw me taking food out of the trash can and shoving it down my face, if you saw me stealing food, you know, I hate, I'm ashamed to say it, but yes, I've stolen food to eat it, binging. Oh my gosh, all of that stuff. If you knew, you know, me, oh my gosh, I'm going to cry those nights. I just really didn't think I could do what you know, that it was always going to be like that. I just want you to know that you absolutely can have weight mastery. You can do this and be this. You just got to take that first step, and I hope these five keys have been helpful. And I want to thank you so much for being here and thank you for being with me on this journey then thinking, and thank you. It means so much to me, all that, your support and kind words and ideas and even if you haven't sent anything into me or said anything to me, if you're a perfect stranger to me, I value our audience and I value our community because alone we diet, and together we shift.

Rita Black: So please, please join me for my free masterclass, how to break through the weight struggle cycle so that you can lose weight consistently and permanently. We're going to dive deep into the three main mind shifts that you can make to start your journey to weight mastery. And we're also going to do some weight loss hypnosis. So please sign up and remember that, I thank you so much. First of all, for being here with me on my 58th birthday and have an amazing rest of your week. And remember that the key, and probably the only key to unlocking the door, the weight struggle, is inside you. So keep listening and find it. Have an amazing week alone. We die together. We shift. Thank you.

Rita Black: Do you want dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release, head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com that's www shift weight mastery.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.