In 2021, the Center for Disease Control reported that over 49% of adults in the US reported trying to lose weight in that year. 

Here is the thing, ONLY 5% of them were able to release the weight and keep it off. 

Now, was there something wrong with the other 95%? Were they incompetent? Were they social rejects? Did they have a lower IQ or just weren’t as savvy at dieting as those shiny, radiant and slim people? 


In my 20 plus years of working with people in the area of weight management, I have found that most people who struggle know more about weight loss than their doctors and even many nutritionists or trainers.

So why do very well informed and well intentioned people still struggle to lose weight despite knowing how?

For our second anniversary Thin Thinking Podcast episode, we are going to explore subconscious reasons why you may be still struggling despite your years of weight loss experience. 

And I will also give you some doable ways that you can begin to turn this around on the subconscious level. So come on in to the Thin Thinking Podcast to celebrate 2 years AND to uncover the mystery!

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: In 2021, the Center for Disease Control reported that over 49% of adults in the US reported trying to lose weight in that year. Here is the thing, 5% of them were able to release the weight and keep it off. Now, was there something wrong with the other 95%? Were they losers? Were they social rejects? Did they have a lower IQ or just weren't that savvy or just weren't as savvy at dieting as those shiny, radiant and slim people? No, no, no, no, no, no, no. If you have been perpetually banging your head against the wall in the world of weight loss, my guess is that like those 95% of 2021 dieters, there is nothing wrong with you. In fact, in my 20 plus years of working with people in the area of weight management, I have found that most people who struggle know more about weight loss than their doctors and even many nutritionists or trainers, sorry.

Rita Black: It's true. And in today's second anniversary, today is the second official anniversary, today's second anniversary, the Thin Thinking Podcast, we are going to explore subconscious reasons why you may be still struggling despite your years of weight loss experience. And I will also give you some doable ways that you can begin to turn this around on the subconscious level. So come on in to the Thin Thinking Podcast.

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.

Rita Black: 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 in. Happy, happy official second year anniversary. I know we have been spending the month of March celebrating somewhat. It's been a long celebration, especially with the contest. But today is our official second anniversary. So thank you. And thank you so much for joining me and participating and being a part of the Thin Thinking community these two years.

Rita Black: And maybe if you're new to the Thin Thinking Podcast, that's cool. I welcome you warmly and really appreciate your participation. I know many of you didn't start out two years ago that many of you came along the way or were referred to us, so thank you for joining. It's just been such an amazing journey. And you know, I think I mentioned during our 100th podcast episode, which wasn't that long ago, that I started this podcast in the middle of the pandemic when I think a lot of people were struggling even more with food and being shut in at home. And I started this podcast in my closet, and I don't know, I mentioned that in that hundredth episode. But I don't think I mentioned how terrified I was. I was petrified to do my first podcast.

Rita Black: The first few podcasts. I was, it was challenging myself. Honestly. My husband this week said to me, because I'm always trying to challenge myself in my life, you know, just adding, he's just like, okay, another challenge. I was like, well, I mean, I like challenging myself, but honestly, when I started this podcast, all of my insecurities came flooding in. And I think of myself as a fairly confident person. But oh my gosh, I'm not good enough to be a podcast host. I'm not smart enough. I'm not eloquent enough. Oh my goodness. All of these vulnerable insecurities came flooding in. And I will be honest with you, I'd redid my first episode about three times. I was perfectionistic and highly critical of myself. Oh my goodness gracious me. My voice was trembling. I, I really did have to redo that first episode.

Rita Black: It wasn't just perfectionism. My voice literally was trembling. But as JFK would say, courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. And I just did it very imperfectly. And I did another episode very imperfectly. But that's how we just get going in life. We do things and we keep going. Imperfect, imperfectly, even saying it imperfectly. And little by little, you get a little more brave. You risk a little more. That inner voice gets a little more confident. And pretty soon you're doing it just like you're doing weight mastery, right? We've gotta get over the perfectionism. It's the death, it's the death of everything. So I did it anyway because I was really excited about sharing the Thin Thinking message that you can free yourself from the weight struggle, but the answers don't start on the plate or in the gym, but in your mind.

Rita Black: And we are all about the mind here. And that is what we've been doing for two years. And now our audience is growing every week. And I, you know, I have this podcast, I, what do you call it? Software, I guess. And it allows me to see, it has this little tab and you click on it and you see stats and it shows the globe, and it shows all the different countries all around the world. And it will show you sort of in a patchwork sort of way that kind of highlights each country that you have listeners in. And I will tell you, I mean, I probably sound like such a data nerd, but also just, I get so excited when a new country lights up and we have new listeners in a country. I, and I've gotten to really know my geography so much better through having a podcast.

Rita Black: That country's there. I never knew that I we're horrible, these people, you know? And here in the US, I'm not a geography buff. My son is, but I probably, I'm, I feel really embarrassed sometimes. I mean, I'm pretty good, but I mean, honestly, sometimes I'm like, that country is there. Gosh, I always thought it was on the other side. So anyway, I've, it's been thrilling and joyful and just so meaningful to have people from all over the world tuning in to our community, you joining us, being here, being together, bringing together our joys, our sorrows, our frustrations around the weight mastery journey, and really learning to use our minds more effectively, to communicate with ourselves more effectively so that we can be aligned with ourselves and love ourselves down the scales. So thank you. Thank you for being here. And, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for, for, for being a part of this community.

Rita Black: So I also wanna thank the people who have helped with the podcast, my small but mighty team, my amazing guest experts and shifters, and my husband who helps me. He gets me set up with my podcast. My kids who have to be quiet. My daughter doesn't live at home anymore, but my son, I just told him five minutes ago, I need you to be quiet. my dog Mack, who has to go to the special room where he doesn't bark when the recording is going on. And most of all, you, I wanna thank you. And I just, l love our connection over these last two years. You have been so supportive. It's such a special time we share together. So thank you. And you know, I know listening to a show that's about weight loss may seem silly, may seem stupid sometimes I think we think, oh gosh, why am I struggling with my weight and it's such a stupid thing, and why am I still struggling?

Rita Black: And, but it's not, I wanna tell you how profound it is that the way that we communicate with ourselves, I mean, when you think about how much we think about our weight every day, the way we think about how we feed ourselves every day and care for our bodies every day, it's not just about being skinny. It's about how we live our lives, how we advocate for ourselves, how we show up for ourselves, how we communicate with ourselves. It is the very thing within which we live our and experience our lives. Not just weight, but all of that self-care piece is that, you know, it's, it's a context. You know? Think of it as a bowl that holds our life. It's not silly at all. So trying to do better, to uplevel that experience is one of the most profound things that you can do.

Rita Black: So thank you for being here. Thank you for being a part of the conversation. Thank you for participating. It's, it's a profound thing that we are doing, and I really, really am so proud of the work that we are doing. So thank you. You move me every day. Your comments, your suggestions, your ideas your vulnerability with what you write in to me is just so moving. It really feeds the fire of my mission, which is to help people out of the struggle and into empowerment and success in their weight mastery journey. So I'm giving you a virtual hug.

Rita Black: And now a quick reminder because it's coming up that today well, the, today the show is dropping this the last few days of March. And March 31st midnight is the end of our Thin Thinking review contest. So the contest is you write a review on your favorite platform. There is always a place, a link to make a review. It's not that hard. I'm, I'm not a technical person, but I have figured out how to write reviews. So if I can do it, you can do it too. Write us a kind review, take a screenshot, send it to me at ritashiftweight That's The link is in the show notes. You will get a coupon for a free hypnosis download from the Shift store, and you will also be entered into our contest. One person is, we're gonna do a drawing and one person is gonna get a free Shift Weight Mastery Process, the live version, the spring version of 2023. And I suppose if you can't make that, you can do our self-study program. It's up to you. But we have a live process coming up in May, and it's an awesome 30-day process with hypnosis meditations, and I am guiding you through it so it's all online, so you don't have to be anywhere except for your own comfort of your own home or car when you're listening to the coaching or wherever you happen to be.

Rita Black: So, I hope, hope, hope you'll write a review and join the contest. Super fun. And we will be announcing the winner soon in early April. So now today, since we're celebrating twos, I am pulling from our Archive, our Thin Thinking archive, one of our most listened to episodes is our second episode. And in it, I dive into how even though we may know everything about weight loss, we still struggle. I know you are gonna love this episode, so let's get into it.

Rita Black: I know everything there is to know about weight loss. Why am I still struggling as a hypnotherapist and someone who helps people, coaches, people, guides people into long-term permanent weight mastery? Believe me, I hear that question all of the time. You know, by the time people have decided to approach and use something like hypnosis and use their mind, they've pretty much gone through probably every diet or a regime.

Rita Black: I know meditation and hypnosis are now coming to the forefront a lot more. But in, especially in the early days of my career, you know, cuz I've been in business for over 20 years you know, people were a little more wary of hypnosis or using mind techniques. So the people who would come to me would be like, okay, I've done every single diet now I think there's something wrong with my mind, and I think I need your help. Right? I know everything there is to know. I'm still not doing it. What is wrong with me? And, you know, when it comes to weight mastery and really busting through those barriers, it's hard because we are dealing with the mind. And if we don't start with our mind first, the food, the exercise, it does allude us. So I get people coming to me who are weight loss professionals.

Rita Black: These are people who make a living for weight loss, but for themselves, they might still be struggling or a lot of them are struggling when they come to see me. So they might know everything there is to know about the food. They might know everything there is to know about the exercise, but they still struggle with, you know, what I call fat thinking and get into thinking those roadblocks, those mental roadblocks that just keep them from that, getting that own, their own mind wrapped around it in the right way. I was a bit of a tongue twister. You know, I know when I struggled up and down the scale, 40 pounds, I honestly did think I was insane. I really, really did. I had all these different voices in my head. What, and we're gonna be talking about some of those voices because I think you might have them too.

Rita Black: So I wanna tell you a story of my own insanity because this story just sort of underlines a lot of what the struggle I feel like you might be in right now. But mine was amplified like 10 times because this summer just was the quintessential weight struggle story. So after my freshman year of college, I decided to go home to Seattle for many reasons. One was to work and make more money for college, but two was to be in my brother's wedding. And so I came home and my second term in, at, at, in NYU. I was working really hard to lose weight because I had actually gained a bunch of weight at Christmas time after losing weight in the autumn. Can you see a trend here? And anyway, so I had dieted down and I literally was eating stuff like salads with that zero calorie dressing.

Rita Black: I mean, like, it was pathetic. It was, you know, there was just so, such meagerness going on in the way I was feeding myself. But I was, you know, I was, I was, you know, committed, committed. I was gonna go home and I was gonna be thin, and I was gonna look great for my brother's wedding. And it was all going to, you know, I was gonna live happily ever after. So as I touched down in Seattle, I was about five pounds above what you, I would call my ideal weight. But I was not quite satisfied and I felt I need to lose five more pounds. So I got off the, the plane and I headed home with my family. And of course my mother being the major cook and bakers that she was, there was a huge feast laid out before me.

Rita Black: Now I thought, oh, I've gotta be good. I've gotta be good. But of course, I ended up eating everything, binging, eating even more, and pretty much eating, you know, everything thing in sight for the next few days for the weekend, thinking, okay, I'll be, I'll start on Monday, right? Our famous refrain. So anyway, I get on the scale on Monday and now instead of being five pounds above my ideal weight, I'm now eight pounds above my ideal weight. And I think, okay, well I can manage this. I'm gonna just pull it together this week. Now eat the lettuce, chicken and broccoli, workout, super hard exercise, and I'm gonna get that eight pounds off this week. No problemo. So I, you know, first day, second day, doing great, third day, fourth day, doing great. And then of course, you know, around Friday the weekend again, hmm, I went out with some friends and what do you do?

Rita Black: And when you're in Seattle, you go to Kid Valley, this place where I used to work, which is a hamburger stand, and oh my gosh, they make the best hamburgers and milkshakes and all that stuff. So off we went and I was like, okay, well since I ate Kid Valley, then I just might as well eat more on Saturday and Sunday. And oh, by the way, did I mention I was making my brother's wedding cake? Yeah. Mm-hmm. So that also meant I had to bake and sample frosting and cake. And yeah. So I, I'm gonna get into my whole cake thing in later podcasts, but I am a cake aholic and a frostingaholic. So for me to be making my brother's cake and thinking then I'm losing weight and all of this, oh, it was just a hot mess.

Rita Black: So by the end of the second weekend, not only was I eight pounds above my ideal weight, I was now 10 pounds above my ideal light. So I said, no problem. The summer is long. I've got three months before I have to head back to NYU. I've got a month before my brother's wedding, I'm gonna whip this end of shape. I'm gonna be so freaking freaking perfect. You're not even gonna believe it. Chicken and broccoli, chicken and broccoli, whatever the, you know, the, the healthiest most meager portions, I'm just gonna be a little saint and, and bang this out. Get that, you know, that weight down the scale. So I, now, now what was complicating things was the fact that I had gotten a job for the summer and my job, can I just tell you how I did not set myself up for success for the summer whatsoever?

Rita Black: Now that I'm telling this story, I'm like, what was I thinking? Because this summer I was working at this place called DeLaurenti's in Seattle. Now, if any of you know Seattle, and if you any of you know, the Pike's Place Market in Seattle, DeLaurenti is a famous Italian deli in the Pike Place market in Seattle. It's, it's quite famous cause it's been for the years and years in there. Lovely family owned that. I don't even, it's probably been bought out by a corporation by now cause this was a long time ago. But I had a job, you know, in the department where I was doling out like goodies and weighing flour and semolina flour. And I knew about Italian food because I had, I had worked in New York at a deli there as well. So I had a fair, fairly good understanding of Italian food and, and of course through eating lots of Italian food, I had a very good understanding of it.

Rita Black: But there I was down at the Pikes Place market, and for those of you who don't know that you could just imagine it's just like a food forum of every day. It's like you could go to a different place and try different food. So it's just like a food lovers extravaganza. And here I was trying to be chicken and broccoli in the midst of all this food, the smells of DeLaurenti's, there was a pizza counter, there was, you know, the cappuccino counter and it was just all so a Italian. And, and here I was, you know, trying to be good on a diet. What a joke. So my first week at DeLaurenti's , oh, you must try this and try this cheese and you must do this. So every night I go home and I say, well, I blew it today.

Rita Black: I might as well eat a big dinner and I'll start again tomorrow and start again tomorrow. So you can see the running theme here. So by the time it was my brother's wedding a month later, not only was I 10 pounds above the scale, I was about 20 pounds above the scale. And it was horrifying because I had bought this dress for the slimmer me, and I was not wearing that. I had to go out with my mom and get a bigger dress. And I was so disappointed in myself and getting sort of unraveled here because I was like, is holy crap. You know, like, it, it's all coming apart at the seams. And I, and the more I tried to lose weight, the more desperate I got. So the more desperately I, I tried to diet, you know, drinking only water for a day.

Rita Black: I mean, literally limiting myself so much because now I was like, I was doing math, I was like, okay, it's two months left and I've got you know, 20 pounds to lose. Let's divide that by, you know, eight, and that's, you know, three, four pounds a week. How can I do that? I think that's right. My math is so bad. But anyway, I definitely was challenged and and, but the challenge, so my stress kept mounting the promises I made to myself get kept getting bigger. So by the time the summer was almost done, I was over 35 pounds overweight. And you know, and my mom, my dad, like, you know, people who saw me at the beginning of the summer and my friends, nobody said anything except you could see it in their eyes, right? And, you know, I had struggled with my weight.

Rita Black: Everybody knew I was a struggler, a yo-yo dieter. But I think this was like the one of those summers where people were like, maybe there is a problem here. And I definitely felt insane. You know, I would go to bed at night just beating myself up and saying, you've gotta pull yourself together. And you, you, you know, you look, you're going back to New York, you've gotta look good. You know, like literally that last week I was like, if I do not eat anything all week, and if I exercise for three hours a day, maybe I can lose 10 pounds. And of course that didn't happen. So I ended up going back to New York, getting out of the cab at my dorm, and my roommates were like, literally looked at me like, what the hell happened to you? Never go back to Seattle for the summer again, promise me, you know, they, they were just shaking their heads and they just couldn't believe it.

Rita Black: And neither could I, it was heartbreaking. So there is a lot of, we feel that we are insane, you know? Cause I knew how to diet. I knew how to lose weight but I just could not get myself to do it. So and maybe you feel the same way too. I am assuming that if you're listening to this podcast you are hoping to get some, some more tools to help you get over those mental humps, the things that seem to be your roadblocks to your success. Okay? So that's my horrific story of my horrific summer. And, you know, being convinced I was insane. And if you have been struggling, maybe you have felt insane too, or just like, what is wrong with me? You know, do I need a phlebotomy? Do I need, you know some sort of just to be put into a rehab facility?

Rita Black: I mean, wouldn't it be great if we could all go to that desert island and just nothing was around us and we worked out with trainers like they did, you know, in the Biggest Loser? Oh, that would be great. But no, we live in the real world and we need to really powerfully learn to communicate with ourselves so that we can release weight for the last time. So now, when it comes to this struggle, what's going on are a couple of things. You are absolutely not crazy. There is nothing wrong with you. But there are two things from the way I see it that are going on. One is the way our brain is designed, and the other is the crazy weight loss culture that is built out of these weird, unrealistic expectations.

Rita Black: So let me talk about the mind first. So when it comes to weight loss, I mean, or anything, here's one of the challenges is that our mind is really divided into two, right? We have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. And the conscious mind is our logical, rational, willpower part of our mind. And this is the part of the mind that will usually put us on a diet. This is the part of the mind that knows about weight loss and exercise and all those good things, right? This is the part of the mind that's like, eat less, exercise more, start on Monday, come on, let's go. And then there's the subconscious mind. And you know how that conscious mind, well, it wants us to lose weight. It puts us on the diet is very, very invested in our losing weight. Our subconscious mind, eh, pretty much wants things to stay the same. Yeah, business as usual. Even in our subconscious mind, we have our beliefs, we have beliefs like food tastes good when I feel bad. And I, I, my metabolism is slow and I love to eat a whole plate of food and one is not enough and a chocolate makes me happy.

Rita Black: You know? And then we have our habits, and those are those repeatable patterns that happen over and over again beneath our consciousness. So even though we might wanna come home and exercise, if we've been coming home and cracking a beer and opening up a sleeve of crackers, that subconscious mind has that pretty much wired in. And and it, we will feel compelled to do that even though consciously we've said, Hey, let's go home and exercise. We end up cracking that beer and eating that sleeve of crackers. I'm saying, why am I doing this? This is crazy. And then we also have other things, like our memory is in our subconscious mind. Our our imagination is in our subconscious mind and even our identity and our subconscious mind, our emotions, all of these things sort of swirl around together in this 88% that wants us pretty much to stay the same.

Rita Black: So when 12% of our mind wants us to be good and wants us to lose weight, and 88% wants things to stay the same, what will happen now, you might go on a diet and you might lose weight or go on a regime or go on some sort of thing, and you get so far. But unless you are really impacting your subconscious mind, unless you're making deeper changes, ultimately what will happen is, you know, a month later, six months later, something will happen. And that subconscious mind is just there, sitting there kind of waiting for the diet to be over. So it's like, yeah, business as usual. So, you know, those of you who are baffled by the fact that, you know, in the past, maybe you have been able to pull it together and lose weight for a month or six months, or until the reunion happens, or, you know, until you win the contest or whatever it is or, you know, or, or until you fit into your, your skinny clothes, a a lot of times we will go back to the old behaviors that caused us to gain weight in the first place, unfortunately.

Rita Black: So, so, so that is what is really working against us, and that's why it's so important to get tools to get working with your subconscious mind. We're gonna look at a couple of those today. And the other thing is, is that we have a crazy weight loss culture that is built of weird, unrealistic expectations, right? I mean, think of any of the diets that you have gone on in your life and, you know, you read a diet book and it promises you, okay, everything's gonna be great. You follow this structure, you're gonna win, you're gonna lose weight, and life is gonna be great. And, you know, you see pictures posted on Instagram and social media and you see the before and after pictures and it all, the dieting culture really promises like if you've got it together to be good and really be disciplined and focused and, and you know this perfect person, then not only will you lose weight, but you are gonna live happily ever after.

Rita Black: And it just promotes the idea that all the answers are outside of you. You know, you know, whether it's again, going to a guru or, you know, the specific exercise class. Now, any of these things might work. But unless you are communicating powerfully with yourself, unless you are really engaging yourself on a deeper level, none of these external things are going to be successful in the long run. But we live in a culture that is like you are gonna walk off into the skinny sunset and live happily ever after. It never is realistic with you to say, you know what? Long-Term permanent weight management is a continuing story. It is a journey with yourself and it is a relationship with yourself that you need to continue to tend to. And I don't mean this in a harsher disciplinary way, I just mean like your journey.

Rita Black: If you talk to anybody who, who's taken weight off and kept it off long-term, it wasn't like, oh yeah, I lost the weight and then it was all good. Yeah. Mm-hmm. It's like they are continuing their journey. It is a continuing journey into maintenance and into long-term maintenance. And it's a powerful journey. It is an exciting journey, but it is a journey where you just don't lose the weight and then you can check out, you know, whatever you want or, you know, and I think that that's really a, our screwy dieting culture.

Rita Black: So here's the thing. This is what I want to get into today, is to get some thin thinking strategies to get that 12% of your mind working together with that 88% of the mind. What we're gonna look at is two things. We're gonna look at our identity and our beliefs. I feel like those are like the core of our challenge and you know, our, some of the biggest roadblocks that we have on our journey, at least in beginning our journey of weight mastery. Because, you know, when I lead a Shift Weight Mastery Process, we start with identity because any transformation starts at the core. And at the core is our identity. And our identity is really how we see ourselves. You know? It's who we are in the world, and also we get labeled with identities from the external world. But really how we see ourselves in the world, in our place, in the world, is at the root of identity. And the interesting thing is, we all have multiple identities. It's not like we just have one. Like I am a a mom, I am a wife, I'm a southern Californian, I am a hypnotherapist. I am a gardener or like to think I am, except when you, you know, see my Brussels sprouts aren't really growing very well. But you know, I'm a bike biker. You know, I'm a hiker. You know, like I, and I am an enthusiast of food. I love to cook. I love to entertain. You know? Those are all identities that I have. And I'm sure you have a lot of identities and there's so many identities out there. So all of my identities kind of swirl around in my mind and allow me to think, see myself as I am out in the world. Like it creates my identity. And one of my identities is I am a weight master, or I'm not a, I don't see myself as like the master master, like somebody who has like a, you know, black belt and karate.

Rita Black: But I am on a mastery journey, right? And I am an apprentice of Weight Mastery And apprentice is an ongoing apprenticeship, right? So I see myself in that. But see, what, what happens is when we struggle with our weight, we see ourselves as a weight struggler. And we live in this world of struggle. You know we, we struggle with food, right? We, it's always like, it's like a food fight. We're always in a fight with food, good, bad. You know, it's always like, should I have it in my house? Should I not have it in my house? Should I order it? Should I not order it? Is it good? Is it bad? What am I gonna eat today? Oh, I hope I don't eat that at the party. It's such a struggle. And then exercise. Oh God, I gonna exercise. Oh my God, how am I gonna exercise? Oh, I have an exercise in a week. You know, oh, I've been exercising. Oh, I'm, you know, I'm, I hurt my, my hip. I, I was exercising. You know, like, it's a struggle. And, and we struggle with our body. Oh my gosh, I feel fat. Oh my God, feel the rolls on my stomach. Oh my God, I wish my legs would be longer. Oh my gosh, I wish. Look at the flap on the back of my arms. You know? And then, and then we also struggle with saboteurs, you know, those other people in our life. Oh, come on, have a brownie. I baked them for you. Oh, look, you guys, I got you some bagels, you know? And on and on. And we struggle with the scale. Oh my God, I was so good. Why is the scale up to date?

Rita Black: You know, all of these things. It, we live in a world of struggle where we're always struggling on our mind. You know, I have clients who come to me, beautiful clients who have these lives that seem so amazing, and yet they're like, Rita, I can't even enjoy my life because I'm thinking about my weight and my struggle with weight all the time. It's obsessing my mind and our weight struggle, identity. It is sticky, sticky. And what I mean by that is you know, it's something that is, we bring with us wherever we go. And no matter how much weight we lose, we still see ourselves as a struggler. And that's why a lot of people still struggle. They can go on the diet and lose weight, but they're still in a struggle. You know, and, and, and that's why a lot of times people have told me, they, they said, I lost the weight, but then I didn't, I still didn't believe in myself and I didn't believe I could keep the weight off.

Rita Black: A lot of people when they approach their ideal weight, they get very nervous, like, am I gonna be able to do this cause I'm a struggler? And it just doesn't seem like I'm gonna feel confidence because we have this identity and being a struggler, it really thwarts our success because it predicts our future. Because I struggle, therefore I am. So you know, when, when we're starting on any weight loss attempt, we are a struggler going on a weightloss attempt, right? So in our deep subconscious mind, we're like, well, I'm a struggler, you know, I'm somebody who I can't trust myself. I'm not good on a diet. I've never had, you know, lost my weight and kept it off. So we have all these beliefs that create the identity that we're bringing with ourselves on the diet. And what chance in hell do you think somebody's gonna have of being successful if they see themselves as a struggler?

Rita Black: You know? Strugglers also, our identity takes your power away, right? Because it makes us a victim, right? We give so much power away to the struggle, you know? And we make excuses to ourselves about ourselves. That was so hard for me. I can't do it. I don't have a metabolism. I hate to exercise. I don't like vegetables. You know? We'll make excuses to ourselves. We'll give our power away to these things outside of ourselves. My husband doesn't respect the fact that I wanna lose weight. And he just is always tempting me like that, we remain a struggler. The more and more we give our power away. So, you know, I work with smokers too, just by the way. And I'm gonna use the smoker identity shift because I think it's a little more clear cut than what I'm gonna get into the, with the weight.

Rita Black: I mean the weight and smoking are, there's a lot of similarities. And I work with smokers, by the way, because I, if you don't know about me I am a former also pack and a half a day smoker. So not only did I struggle up and down the scale, 40 pounds, I was puffing away while I was doing it too, on Benson hedges ultralight mentholated, if anybody is curious. But, and I quit smoking with hypnosis, thank you very much, hypnosis. And in that hypnosis session, I became a non-smoker. And that shift is so clear. And, you know, when I work with smokers, you know, the thing with a smoker is they live in the world of smoking. They see themselves, they self-identify as a smoker. So they might be a mom or a dad or a lawyer, but they're also a smoker.

Rita Black: And when they quote unquote, try not to smoke, they are still in a smoker mindset. And they're trying not to smoke. And their mind just doesn't get it. It's like, but I'm a smoker. So they feel deprived, they feel victimized, they feel like this is being taken away from them. So we don't go that way. We work with the brain the right way. We say, Hey, no, you're gonna decide to be a non-smoker and you're gonna step into this whole new idea of yourself and really recreate. It's a transformation, right? So instead of a weight struggler, I'm gonna give you a suggestion. I'm gonna say, join me and become a weight mastery learner. Become a learner or an apprentice. Now, why is being an apprentice so powerful? You know, again, we want you to take your power back from this struggle identity. It doesn't suit you.

Rita Black: You're not a victim. You're a powerful person. And the more power you take back, the more power you have from all of this nonsense. And, you know, look, I don't mean to call it nonsense, it's real. But you know, when you start to poke holes in it and say, Hey, you know what? Maybe that struggle, eh, it was fun in the beginning, but aren't you tired of it? Let's, let's try something new on. And, you know, in your subconscious mind is your imagination. And that's what I'd love to engage people in is seeing themselves, you know, from their imagination in a whole new way. You're taking, you're giving back your power to you're taking your, sorry you're taking all that victimhood of being in that struggle and you're going, I don't need that anymore. I'm gonna become an apprentice of weight mastery.

Rita Black: And weight mastery journey is a learner's journey. Anytime that, and you can start it. And why I feel like an apprenticeship is so important is because a learner can start from anywhere they are. If you've never tried to lose weight before or release weight before, not a problem. If you have hundreds of pounds to lose, not a problem. If you have five pounds to release, not a problem. At any point, you can become an apprentice. And here's what happens in your brain when you are a learner versus a struggler, is that anything that happens to you in a learning journey is all good. Meaning, you eat you overeat you go to the buffet table and you plan to eat something healthy and you end up loading up some macaroni and cheese and eating it. Oh, why did I do that?

Rita Black: Well, in a struggler mindset, that reinforces your idea that you're a failure, you're undisciplined, you're a fat pig, whatever, however you speak to yourself. In an apprentice mindset, you say, oh, that didn't work for me. What did I learn from that? And you begin to start to self correct those things that are getting in your way. Those beliefs and those habits that are stopping you. Because what happens when we just say, oh, well I blew it. And we go back to the beginning, or I'll start again tomorrow, or I'll go off this diet and I'll start a new one is that we don't learn anything. And really long-term weight mastery is a learning journey. It's a self-correcting learning journey where we learn about our behaviors, we learn about our thinking, we learn what is stopping us. And we say, okay, let me fix that.

Rita Black: Now, let me find a solution. And our brain is powerful. It's like a computer. It will start to help you find the solutions, but you need to start to come from a new framework. And that framework in neurolinguistic programming, they call it a reframe. You are reframing how you see yourself to yourself. And the reframe is, I am no longer a stronger struggler, but I am an apprentice. But in my Shift Weight Mastery Process I believe in this so much, you know, in the very beginning, everybody signs an apprentice contract because, and it's amazing what happens to people when they start coming at this from the eyes of a learner, an apprentice, is they start connecting with themselves. They start respecting themselves cause they're learning. They're like and you know, you know that feeling when you go to school or if you, you know, you've signed up for an adult education class or you do that thing.

Rita Black: It's like, oh, I'm learning, I'm learning. And we see ourselves from a much more powerful place. We respect ourselves. Oh, I just learned something there. And, and it does something. And a lot of our long-term permanent weight mastery journey is about staying connected and showing up for ourselves in those moments that we used to abandon ourselves, abandon ship and just go, screw it, I'll start over tomorrow, or I'll start over next month, or I'll start over next year. And I just don't wanna think about it. And we want to get turned on, tuned up and be engaged from a completely different place. And that's the place of a learner. Okay?

Rita Black: So that is number one, identity. All right? Now, now that we've looked at identity, I wanna look at the next piece of the puzzle, which is our limiting beliefs around our ability to be successful. So our belief system, our weight struggler belief system, we develop beliefs about food eating and ourselves at a very early age. And it's deeply rooted in our subconscious. We develop beliefs around food. Food is love, food is comfort. Food relaxes me. Beliefs around our weight. I am fat. I have no metabolism. I am the biggest in my family, or I am the biggest amongst my friends. Beliefs about other people's weight. Skinny people are lucky, skinny people are, other people have it together and that's why they are thin. And then we develop beliefs about our body. My body is broken, my body is ugly, my thighs are disgusting. You know? A former client of mine was a world famous singer. You probably know who this person is. And this woman is hailed as sexy and beautiful by millions and millions of fans. And you know what she had to say about her body? She said, my body looks like a buffalo. Seriously. I mean, you know, it makes your jaw drop when you think about that and you think about, you look at these beautiful people and you think, well, they don't have a care in the world. Well, think again.

Rita Black: We also have beliefs about our ability to lose weight. I'm a sugar addict. I have no willpower. I'm a bottomless pit. I'm a foodie. I hate to sweat. I'm lazy and undisciplined. I could go on, but you get the picture right? Well, here's the thing about our beliefs. They are not real. They are opinions and interpretations formed through the eyes of our crazy diet culture, our family, our friends, and ourselves. Can I tell you something? And this is something that is so extraordinary to me. You know, I've worked with thousands of people. The reason why I say that is I have worked with everybody from every walk of life and every - that we are all the same. And if I could tell you how many women especially have told me that when they were young, you know, in school, maybe in fifth grade, sixth grader, or in their teen years, and they were convinced they were fat, you know, like so fat amongst them, their friends, you know, like, oh, I would pose them pictures and I, and I'd feel horrible and I was the fattest girl and I hated myself and I hated my body.

Rita Black: And then, you know, here I am now 30, 40, 50 years old and I look back at those old photos of myself and I see that I wasn't fat at all. I actually was thin. I actually was beautiful. And I wish I could have gone back in time and told myself that then because I didn't believe it then. And I suffered so much and not a waste. You know? And that's what I mean. Like, it's not just one person who's told me this. It's, it's hundreds, it's thousands of people who have told me this. See, our beliefs are these interpretations that strangle us, that keep us from living our best life. So we need to start to bust up these beliefs and get some tools to bust up these beliefs. Okay? So our beliefs are not necessarily true. How do we shift them? So I wanna introduce you to one of those characters that may be lurking in your head.

Rita Black: I certainly know I have one in mine. And that character is what I like to call your inner critic. And your inner critic is that critical part of you. And that's the part of you that pretty much is the harsh high expectations perfectionistic part of you that doesn't believe that you got it in you to lose the weight and it doesn't believe that you are disciplined and thinks you're lazy, thinks you are, you know, kind of a failure cause you keep failing over and over and over again. And she's probably counted, or he's probably counted every single time you failed and let you know you failed. So our negative inner critic, I want you to start to develop a relationship with them because I want you to understand they exist and we wanna start to see them as sort of like that librarian perfectionistic, like, you know, with the purse lips and like looking at you because the more silly that they seem, the less power that they have.

Rita Black: And I want you to start to tune into what this inner critic says to you, because a lot of times it goes on so subconsciously we aren't even aware. We might feel anxious, we might feel bad about ourselves, but we aren't hearing that inner shaming that is going on. And when you start listening to it, it gets quite ridiculous. It gets quite laughable almost. So, we'll definitely, the once we start tuning in and understanding it's coming from just this one part of our psyche that is a very insecure, doesn't believe, you know, like that we've got us and it, and you know, your inner critic doesn't hate you, it wants the best for you, but it just thinks that you're doing it also wrong. And, and you know, it's that you could do it so much better. So this inner critic over the years has created this huge file in your subconscious mind.

Rita Black: Like, it's sort of like an evidence folder. Your your inner critic is like the prosecuting lawyer, right? And she's got this big old evidence folder of why it's gonna be impossible for you to ever lose weight. How incapable you are, how slothful you are, you're no good. You know, that you're unworthy. Your thighs are ugly and you're just, you're a buffalo. You're a buffalo. I love that word buffalo. It just is such a no wonderful word, isn't it? I don't want anybody to think themselves as buffalo, but you know, so anyway, here you have this huge file that your inner critic has very meticulously over the years put together for you. Now, there, does exist your weight mastery file in your subconscious mind, and at the moment it doesn't have anything in it, or it has very few things in it, right?

Rita Black: So we're gonna start to work on that. But we have this big huge negative file folder. And, and so what we need to do is start to understand that we do have an inner critic, and our inner critic exists. And, and I want you to create an image of them. Like sort of like, again, not beautiful and quaffed, but you know, like, like the, the lady with the librarian with the little glasses and then she's just very, or he's just very like, so mm, you know, nitpicky and perfectionistic and me, me, me, me, me. Okay? And then I want you to now start to create a new character in your head. And I don't know that this character exists yet for you. Yeah. I mean, I know that this part of you exists for other people in your life. And I bet because you're, you know, there are parts of your life that probably work for you that you are, this part of you exists in other parts of your life, but in the area of weight management, I don't know, we've gotta pull this part in.

Rita Black: And this is the inner advocate. This is your inner coach, and this is, and we wanna really create a powerful inner weight mastery coach that is your partner on your weight mastery journey. This is so important. This is the key to your success because this is the part of you that is going to advocate for you and against that critic. But this is also your partner. This is the part of you that is gonna nurture you, inspire you, guide you, because you guys, nobody, you know, look, I don't think I could hire a personal trainer. I don't have, I'm not a millionaire. I don't you know, like I don't have the money to hire somebody to follow me around 24/7 telling me what to eat and what to do. I don't know. You don't probably either, right? I, I'm assuming maybe you, you do.

Rita Black: That's super cool. I know. Oh my gosh, I do, I think I wrote about this in my book. I did have back when we lived in London, my husband worked for this man who had a wife, who had a man who like followed her around and helped her quit smoking by just telling her not to whenever she wanted to. And then he told her, you know, then she gained weight and he did the same with food. But, you know, we're not like that. We don't have all the money in the world. We aren't like an investment banker in London, or if you are awesome. But even so, I, we need to develop that powerful free inner coach that is, can be with us for 24/7, helping us make those powerful choices and helping guide us. And, you know, we're gonna get deep into the inner coach and a lot of different podcasts because this is the, the most important relationship with yourself, your inner communication system.

Rita Black: I want you to start to develop this way you speak to yourself. And, and again, if you've been harsh with yourself, maybe you're like, well, Rita, I don't know everywhere to begin. So where you wanna begin is this take a moment and, and just do this little exercise with me. And I'm gonna call it your inner coach exercise. And if you're driving in your car, cause I'm gonna have you close your eyes for a moment, please don't do that. Or pull over to the side of the road and follow along. But please do not listen to this while you're driving, or if you do, please don't really listen to it. Okay? So take a moment and, and close your eyes, or if, or if you can't close your eyes, don't close your eyes. But I think it would be good for you to close your eyes and think about when you were being loving or nurturing to someone in your life.

Rita Black: Maybe it was a child, maybe it was, you know, a loved one, maybe it was a coworker that you were helping out or a really good friend. And I just want you to, to listen to the way that you are communicating with that person. The tone of your voice, the soothing sounds you're making, the empathetic way that you are probably communicating with them or coaching them and being powerful, being inspirational, being motivational. Just spend some time thinking about the way you are with other people. Now if this is hard for you, maybe you wanna think about somebody else in your life who is, you know, a therapist or an aunt or an uncle or a grandmother or a parent who's just very loving and, and, and you can adapt their voice until you can come up with your own. But you know, start, start to start to do this for yourself. But, but right now just think about the way that you, you know, looked at that person. And just imagine now that you are stepping outside of yourself and looking at the, you listening to me and look at yourself as you were looking at that child or that friend, or that loved one with so much admiration and admiration and respect, love, empathy.

Rita Black: And now in that loving voice, I want you to say to yourself, I believe in you. I believe in you. And we can release weight for good, and it's gonna take commitment and it's gonna take patience and it's gonna take focus. But we can do this and just feel that for a moment. We can do this. Say that to yourself and take a deep breath in and bring that inner coach energy within you. Let it kind of crack open a little place in your heart and insert there like a seed. Good. And then let it go. And open your eyes. All right, so we've given birth to this inner coach, and if you have worked with me or or are already on a journey with me, I hope you found that helpful to, to even beef up your inner coach's voice even more. So now here's the thing that you wanna start to do.

Rita Black: You're gonna still hear your inner critic's voice and you wanna start to question what your inner coach is saying with your coach. Your, sorry, you wanna question that inner critic with your coach. You wanna start to question your own fat thinking or limiting beliefs, limiting weight management beliefs, okay? You wanna poke holes in what your beliefs are with your inner coach. For instance, if you get conscious to saying to yourself, I am a lazy pig. I want you to say, says, who says who? You're a lazy pig. My culture. Does my culture say I'm a lazy pig? Does my family say I'm a lazy pig? Am I really a lazy pig? Am I a pig? Really? Now if I look in the mirror, I don't see a barnyard animal. I see a human being.

Rita Black: Am I lazy? Get really curious. Am I lazy? Really? I'm lazy. Hmm. I didn't look that lazy yesterday when I woke up and I went to work and I did all that stuff that I was doing at work. And then I, I came home and I took the kids to practice and then I made dinner. And then I cleaned up and then I put did the laundry. That I don't think that that's really a lazy pig. So that's what we wanna do. We really wanna start to really poke holes in those limiting beliefs. So you wanna get conscious to them, and then you wanna start really questioning them. So, so it will, it will mean you and your inner coach are gonna be tuning in and then questioning things. And believe me, this is where the magic begins. And the next thing you wanna do is you wanna start to put new positive beliefs in that weight mastery folder.

Rita Black: There is such a thing as what we call cognitive distortion, and it's like we amplify what is wrong and we diminish the positives with our mind. And there are a lot of behaviors right now that probably are aligned already. You know, you're probably doing a lot of behaviors on a daily basis that are aligned with your releasing weight for good. But now with your inner coach, you're gonna observe these habits and behaviors that you already have, and you're gonna put them into that. I believe I can achieve weight mastery file. So, you know, maybe you eat a healthy breakfast, well go ahead and put that in the file. Maybe you are in the habit of ordering a salad instead of fries. Well, that sounds pretty good. Put that in the file. Maybe you take a walk every day with your coworkers at lunch.

Rita Black: Well, you know, not during the pandemic, but maybe you're getting up and taking a walk after lunch, you know, at home. Or if you are back in the office, put that back in the file and you'll start to see things emerge once you're looking at them with that filter, you're starting to look at them from a, I believe in my self filter and just put them in the file. And why this is important is not only are we building up that folder, but we're really building up that positive communication muscle with ourself. We're really starting to create and connect with ourselves and we're starting to respect and believe in ourself because when we struggle with our weight, there is a very little self-respect and there's a very little belief. And we really have to start from here, ground one, ground zero, mm-hmm.

Rita Black: Whatever that is. Okay? The last thing that will help you really build up that belief file is to start doing what you say you're gonna do. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, often we set such high expectations for ourselves with our weight loss attempts. They become impossible to do, just impossible. Like back in my summer in Seattle when, you know, I was trying to lose 20 pounds in one week. Well, that was impossible. I can't tell you how many clients have said to me, like, when I say, well, how, where do you wanna start with exercise? And they'll say, well, I think about seven days a week. An hour and a half a day sounds good. And I'm like, oh, okay, well have you been exercising already? That measure? They're like, oh no, I haven't exercised in 20 years. And I was like, and you're gonna exercise seven days a week, an hour and a half a day, you know?

Rita Black: But that's what we do. We set these really high impossible expectations with that inner critic in our head. Like, that's what you should be doing, and you should be eating the chicken and broccoli perfectly everyday. You should be being good. That's what it looks like. And and then it's hard to live up to that. And then we fail and then we reinforce that negative belief. So we wanna just start to set the bar a little lower. You know, I have a joke. I've been married to my husband for now, almost 32 years. 30, 1989. When was that? That was, yeah, that was like 31, 32 years. You know, it gets to a certain point, you stop. Okay. Anyway, long time. And and people will say, oh my gosh, what's the key? And I was like, low expectations. I was like, yeah, two words, low, lower expectations.

Rita Black: You know? When I lowered my expec, I I got happy. It was really good. And, you know, I think Weight Mastery journey is we wanna expect, we, we have, you know, we have goals, we have focus, we have vision, which we will be talking about in future podcasts, but those expectations, we wanna be able to do what we say we're gonna do, and we wanna start to do that on a daily basis. So we wanna be realistic with ourselves. And that's something that your inner coach can work with you on, is to say, okay, well what, maybe we're not gonna exercise seven days a week, an hour and a half a day. Maybe we are going to do 10 minutes a day. Could we do that? Just like start 10 minutes, five days a week going, walking around the block?

Rita Black: You know? And that might be super low for some of you guys. Obviously you might be super fit and fitness experts and all of that stuff. But that's just sort of an example of like, you wanna have a little conversation with yourself is like, well you know, do I want to eat three meals today? Do I want to eat two, do I want to eat you know, five snacks and does that feel doable? Can I do that? You know, and you write it out. Have a plan. Create a food plan for your day. You know, if you don't have a plan, let me tell you, the world has one for you. And it is not a healthy one. So at least in the beginning, when you are rebuilding trust with yourself I really, I really do.

Rita Black: Because here's the thing, your brain is kind of wired to do what it's gonna do and what it's gonna do isn't getting you weight mastery, right? So we wanna start to create realistic plans that you can follow through on. And I'll tell you something else. You wanna practice the plan. You wanna think that plan through, through, through for the day, at the beginning of the day when your willpower is high, because when we wake up, our mind is fresh. And if we can visualize how we wanna feel by the end of our day and say, okay, you know, this is what I'm gonna do for breakfast. This is what I'm gonna do midday and dinner's gonna look like this and, and I know I can do this and, and I'm gonna walk around the block a couple of times, or I'm gonna go for my run, or whatever it is that you do.

Rita Black: And you see yourself getting in a bed and what you're doing is sort of creating an imprint, a blueprint for your day and the beginning of the day. Because change, you can't hope to come to a habit area in your life. Like if you're hardwired to come home and eat and cheese and crackers without having practiced, you know, like athletes don't go onto the field without having practiced the play. And your inner coach is there to get in a huddle with you in the morning and go, let's practice the play. What are we gonna do? And how is it gonna work out? Oh, when the husband brings in this cheese fries tonight, because he does that every Thursday night why don't we practice yours saying, Hey, no, thank you, honey, I appreciate the offer, but I'm going to eat this.

Rita Black: Or, oh, well, you know, or we practice taking three of the cheese fries because that will work for you. And eating your healthy dinner and having a little bit of the cheese fries, but you finish 'em and they feel good you did it and you, you, you got through feeling light like you took care of yourself, right? So, so you're working with this aspect of yourself, this inner coach, and you're thinking it through and you're getting those wins and you're putting them in that belief folder. And this is how you start to connect with yourself. You start to, what I call, show up for yourself on a consistent basis. Because let me tell you, weight struggle, we jump ship, we're like, I'm outta here. I blew it, so screw it, I don't care. We'll start again tomorrow, you know, and we get in the habit of doing that, and that's a whole other thing all together.

Rita Black: So create that realistic food plan for the day, what you know is doable and stick to it, and you reconnect and build that trust and you practice that ahead of time. And this is, like I said, I call this like the morning huddle. And I'm gonna be honest with you, I've been doing my morning huddle for 25 years. That's right. And it's one of the biggest keys to my success is because I think it through. I know in my week where I'm vulnerable if I know social events are coming up, I think those through. That's what I'm saying to you guys. It's not like just lose the weight and live happily ever after. I've been working with myself and my inner coach for a really long time. And I will tell you, it's the most amazing relationship that I have. I mean, this ability to connect with myself and think my life through and really ask me why do I wanna create this week?

Rita Black: I mean, it really is a creative journey. And when you're working from this place, I'll tell you, your life will change. I mean, many people go through the Shift Weight Mastery process, and they, it's not just about the weight, it's wow, look at how much power I have and I've taken back my power. And I, you know, I, it's not just the area of weight, it's my relationships. It's my, because when we start connecting with ourselves and believing in ourselves, our lives change. And I wouldn't give that up for the world. So I have to meet with my coach every morning. I kind of like him, and I kind of like being able to create my life instead of living this life where I show up and I hope things work. You know? I am not, I want to be in a creative active out there you know, making the world work and loving my life.

Rita Black: And I'm telling you this relationship with this inner coach, it's the start of it. So let me just say that one more time. You know, start advocating for yourself and start this week. Go out and practice, practice using that powerful voice with yourself. And I hope you are beginning to see that you are not a failure. And the challenge is the way our mind is designed and wired and this crazy diet culture. But when you start stepping into that powerful new identity as an apprentice of weight mastery, and you're immediately removing yourself from being a victim and start being a powerful learner, you know, you're learning and you're gaining knowledge, you're gaining self-knowledge and changing things, and you are developing this powerful relationship with your inner coach, you're turning down the volume on that inner critic, breaking up all those old beliefs in that file folder, and starting to put powerful beliefs in yourself in that new file folder in your subconscious mind. And you can do this.

Rita Black: Alright, thank you everyone for two amazing years. And don't forget, enter the Thin Thinking podcast contest. Write a review of the Thin Thinking Podcast by March 31st. It's coming up. And you can win that free shift. You'll be entered into a drawing and you definitely will get a coupon for a free hypnosis download. But please get it into us soon. And the link is in the show notes, [email protected]. If you don't send it to me, I'm not gonna know to enter you into the contest, so please send it to me and do it now while you're thinking about it. It's coming up, the deadline's coming up and now have an amazing week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door the way it's struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.

Rita Black: You wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release, head on over to That's, 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.