Emotional eating is one of the leading causes of inconsistent weight release. Last week we began to  look at some key tools to prevent emotional eating.

This week I want to dive deeper into this important topic giving you even more tools and insights so that you can begin to have some leverage over this challenging cycle.

For a long time, I found myself turning to food as a source of comfort during stressful moments, using it as a way to numb my emotions and avoid dealing with them.

However, through my own journey, I learned how to manage my thoughts, nurture my mind, and ultimately take control of my feelings–this began to give me more power and prevent emotional eating from happening in the first place.

In today’s episode, part two of preventing emotional eating, we will explore a number of effective tools to help you steer away from emotional eating. Together, we will delve into downshifting expectations and discover the power of self-comforting phrases and practices. These tools will empower you to build resilience and strength in the face of emotional triggers.

As you begin to manage your emotions more effectively, you’ll notice that the emotional eating muscle weakens while the emotional mastery muscle becomes stronger.

The best part is, you are not alone in this journey. We are in this together, and I am committed to providing you with the guidance and support you need to succeed.

So, get ready to grab that tool belt once more and join me for part two of an insightful and transformative episode.




What if there was a resource center with coaching sessions, meditation and hypnosis to help out of emotional eating? Now there is–but time is limited–this offer will be ending!

Check out more here.

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Rita Black: Emotional eating can be a challenging cycle to break, but prevention is a powerful tool that can lead to lasting change and emotional mastery. I understand the struggle because I have been there myself. I used to turn to food for comfort in times of stress, using it as a way to calm down or avoid dealing with my emotions. But as I learned to manage my thoughts, my mind, and ultimately my feelings, I discovered a new path to self-soothing from within. And that's what I want for you. So take a moment to settle in, take a deep breath, and in today's Thin Thinking podcast episode part two of Preventing Emotional Eating, we're gonna explore various tools to prevent emotional eating, such as downshifting expectations and self comforting phrases and practices. Right now, your emotional eating muscle is strong and well-formed, while your emotional mastery muscle might be a little weak and limped. But the good news is, that with every step you take towards managing your emotions, instead of relying on food, you are flexing and strengthening that emotional mastery muscle while the emotional eating muscle weakens. So let's embark on this journey of preventing emotional eating together. Remember, you are not alone and your emotional mastery awaits. So grab that tool belt one more time and come on in for part two.

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 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, you! Come on in and sit down, get cozy. Last weekend, this last weekend, I went biking out of town with my friend and her husband and my husband. And we didn't have kids! Yippie. It was wonderful. And even though my son isn't leaving, and leaving the nest and leaving us empty nested for another six weeks, I feel like we're kind of getting there. It was fun. We had a great time, and I am tasting this whole new world of freedom. Now I know there are gonna be tons of feelings and emotions and stresses coming up, like paying for his tuition, next week it's the deadline, so there's that stressor. So I'm gonna have to listen to my own coaching in last week's and this week's episodes about preventing emotional eating because prevention really is the key. And if you missed last week's, please, please make sure to catch that episode as well.

Rita Black: And thank you, those of you who let me know how much you got from it, I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you. Thank you. It's all a part of a bigger project. I have been working on this Emotional Eating Toolkit all summer and I can't remember when I started. It's been that long. You know when you're working on a project and you kind of go into the depths and you emerge and you're like, where am I? Who am I? What am I? Well, that's been going on while I've been making this Toolkit Shift Out of Emotional Eating. And it has coaching sessions, hypnosis sessions, a morning meditation session, and is all available on a online website where you can go in and either listen to it from there or you can download it or you can download the app and listen to it easily and effortlessly on your phone from the app.

Rita Black: So lots of choices of how to listen and how to get all these sessions. And it's designed to just help you build the skills of emotional mastery, so you don't need food for stress or for comfort, but that you can calm and comfort yourself from the inside out. The toolkit is half price only through August 11th. And if you use the coupon code comfort, it's half price. So make sure you use that coupon code. Go click the link in the show notes and check it out. Emotional eating can be such a big part of the weight struggle, and I'm happy that I've had the time to create this.

Rita Black: And today, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna play you the second part of the preventing emotional eating coaching session just to give you a taste, but also just because I think it's really good stuff. Now, for those of you who didn't listen to part one, I want you to go back and listen to it. But for now, if you just wanna listen to episode two first, in this episode or in this coaching session, I talk about my client. She eats emotionally, but you know, her life is stacked from the morning. The moment she wakes up in the morning to the moment she goes to bed at night with things like taking care of kids and her mother lives with her and she works full time and her husband's outta town a lot. And so she found comfort from all of this crazy life that she has where she's putting everybody first in food. So she's now learning how to unwind from all the old emotional comfort eating and moving into emotional mastery. So we're gonna get into some more tools and learn how Jeannie uses these tools to break free and move towards a healthier version of herself, but also you too.

Rita Black: Okay, so let's get started. Okay, so now let's look at the next tool that you can add to your check-ins. Shifting out of negative thoughts. We have 80,000 thoughts a day, and for many of us, those thoughts are negative. From the time we wake up yelling at ourselves for overeating the night before or not getting up to exercise, to as we go through our day, those negative zingers just keep coming at us. Have you noticed that when you're feeling a negative feeling and when you've noticed when you're feeling a negative feeling, that when you tune into what is going on in your mind, that negative thoughts are creating the negative feeling, you are never gonna have a job you love. Why did you wear those shoes? What a horrible choice. You ate that whole sandwich and you said you were gonna eat half. You are such a pig. Your boss snapped at you because you are not moving fast enough. Pull it together. You have no discipline, you never exercise. Your children don't even respect you. Your mom loves your sister more than she loves you.

Rita Black: These were some of the thoughts that Jeannie told me she had over her day when she noticed a feeling come up, I asked her to do what I'm going to ask you to do now. Start tuning into the thoughts that are creating the feelings of stress, shame, or emotions as you go throughout your day. And I assure you there are some zingers in there. Just as Jeannie was discovering, I don't speak to my worst enemy the way I speak to myself, she said. Ain't it the truth? Number one, when you begin to feel a negative emotion come over you, or when you're doing a check-in, if you feel a negative feeling, stop and ask yourself, what is the thought that is creating this feeling?

Rita Black: It may not come up right at first, but stay curious. It will. What is the thought that is creating this feeling? And the more you ask, the more quickly the answer will come. Number two, you wanna then label the thought as a thought. Because as the thought passes through your mind, your mind sees it as real, but it's not real. It's a thought. The more specifically you label the thought, the less power it has over you. For example, here are a few ways Jeannie labeled some of her thoughts. There is that thought that I am never gonna have a job I love when I'm feeling bored with the paperwork I'm doing. There is the thought that I'm not disciplined. When I didn't go out for a walk like I said I would, there is the thought that my mother loves my sister more when I hear her laughing with my sister on the phone in her room.

Rita Black: When you label the negative thought, it actually separates you out from the thought where you can observe it. And as it's separate from you, it's not a part of you, then this gives you leverage to shift the thought. I find the way to shift thoughts isn't to deny them. The more we push them down, the harder they push back. But we need to shift them or to change them around so that they give you power instead of taking power away from you. Negative thoughts just reinforce your negative beliefs about yourself. But when you shift them around, they open your mind to a new, more powerful thought and belief. So I wanna give you three thought shifting phrases that I find work very, very well in this way. Number one, I have a choice and I choose to. I have a choice and I choose to.

Rita Black: Number two, I am moving in the direction of number two. I am moving in the direction of. And number three, stop. I don't say that anymore. I say, okay, now I have a choice and I choose to is powerful. It reminds us that we are the storyteller of our life and the one in charge of our actions. Negative thoughts often put us in the role of victim rather than the creator of our life. She tried this with a negative thought. I am never going to have a job I love. You can see how this takes her power away from her and makes her a victim. So she shifted it into, I have a choice and I choose to see. I have a job that uses a lot of my talents and is fulfilling in many ways, but paperwork isn't one of them. So maybe I can make it more interesting.

Rita Black: Now, Jeannie is back in control and has opened her mind to even shifting something she isn't enjoying. So maybe she can listen to music while she's doing her paperwork, or she can share the paperwork with a colleague. She isn't a victim of the thought. She has shifted her thought and now has the power to create a new outcome. How about the next phrase? I am moving in the direction of Jeannie had the thought, I'm not disciplined. I didn't walk when I said I was going to. Now, you can see how that is very self-reinforcing and not a powerful way. So she shifted it into, I am moving in the direction of walking each day. I am moving in the direction of opens her mind. She doesn't have to walk, but it gives her mind the option. This takes the self shaming away and opens her mind to see what it might look like to walk thinking this through.

Rita Black: Jeannie realized it wasn't the walking that she didn't want to do as much as she wasn't setting the time aside for the walk. By opening her mind, she saw that when her daughter was at volleyball practice, it was a great time instead of having to wake up early and walk during her already hectic morning. When we call ourselves lazy, it shuts down our mind. So try this one out for yourself. It's a favorite among many shifters. I am moving in the direction of opens your mind to seek the answers. Now, the last one, stop. I don't say that anymore, I say. Jeanie tried this one. My mom loves my sister more than she loves me. Now, that's a tough thought. And does it serve Jeannie to believe this? Sometimes we just need to interrupt the pattern and give it a new thought altogether. That is where stop, I don't say that anymore comes in. Jeannie thought about this one and came up with this stop. I don't say that anymore. I say my mom loves both my sister and myself. She just loves us both a little differently. Again, Jeannie is rewriting an inner myth that she created for herself. Instead of giving her power over to that old useless myth, she uses stop, which interrupts the pattern in her brain and then takes a moment to replace it with a kinder more loving thought.

Rita Black: So there you have the three shifting negative beliefs. I have a choice and I choose to. I am moving in the direction of, and stop, I don't say that anymore, I say. And again, using these thought shifting phrases takes practice and patience. But using this thought shifting technique will change your emotions, help eliminate emotional eating and change your life.

Rita Black: Often the urge to overeat comes over us during times of feeling overwhelmed or when we feel anxiety. Many times anxiety and overwhelm stem from unreasonable expectations. Many weight strugglers live under the weight of expectations that are distorted, unrealistic, and self-abusive. Many of our expectations about what we need to do in order to be loved or to survive are not conscious. They are subconscious. And here's another kicker. Most of our expectations that we hold ourselves to aren't even our own. They belong to our parents, our family, our culture, and our media. Jeannie felt anxious a lot of her day, and if she didn't feel anxious, she felt overwhelmed. I feel like a good part of my day I'm running a race to catch up, but I never feel caught up. I asked Jeannie to start to tune in during her check-ins, and when she noticed that she felt anxious or overwhelmed to ask herself the question, what is the expectation that is creating this feeling? At first it was a little hard. These answers don't always come right away, but as you keep asking, your mind starts to respond. She asked herself in the morning during her check-in in bed, she woke up feeling that anxiety and the pit of her stomach, the one that she usually ended up stuffing down with peanut butter on a piece of bread. As she was putting the kids' lunches together, what is my expectation? She asked? What she heard was that I have to get the kids sorted and my mom sorted before I go.

Rita Black: It's a lot. When you get that all done, what does that get you? Well, I guess that I'm okay, that I'm not disappointing anyone, she said. So the expectation is that you have to ignore your own needs and take care of everyone else's in order to make them happy with you. I don't know. Well, what would happen if it didn't all get done? Well, I guess I would feel like I failed, that I wasn't a good mom or daughter, that I let everyone down and that I wasn't in control. So really the expectation is I have to get it all done in order to be a good mom and daughter, I guess. So is that really true? If you look at it, would the earth end if it didn't all get done? If you toned down the expectations on yourself in order to make your morning a little more loving for you, a little more self appreciative.

Rita Black: So is that expectation really true? If you really look at it? I mean, would the earth end if it didn't all get done? If you toned down the expectations on yourself in order to make your morning a little more loving and healthy for you? I mean, who made up that expectation that you had to do it all? Did you or did someone else? I don't know. I think I did. But you see all these moms making healthy breakfasts for their kids. Where? Well, on TV, I guess, I don't even know. She started to laugh. You know, there have been many times that I thought to ask my kids to make their own lunches and feed themselves in the morning as well as the dog, but then, I felt guilty. I don't wanna rock the boat. It's so weird. I mean, in a way it just seems easier to do it myself, but I guess it's not. Because if you did that, you wouldn't be living up to this invisible and unreasonable expectation that you have to do it all. And that expectation wasn't even made up by you, but by a waffle commercial that you saw on TV , yet you are willing to run yourself ragged before you even leave the house. Not even stopping for a healthy breakfast for yourself or a moment to think through something healthy you can bring for your own lunch. Okay, well, when you say it like that, it sounds crazy, that's for sure.

Rita Black: So Jeannie, let me ask you a question that you might start asking yourself. When you uncover an unreasonable and distorted expectation, how do I shift the old expectation into an expectation that is more loving and respectful for me? Jeannie thought for a moment. Well, maybe the expectation is that I can create a morning that is a win win for me, my kids and my mom. Well, what would that look like? Well, maybe I asked my daughter to make the lunches for herself and for her brother, and maybe her brother could feed the dog. Could they get their own breakfast too? I ask. I guess she thought, I mean, they eat cereal. They can get it out. I'm not sure why we have it set up this way now that we're talking about it. It seems so obvious. If they did that, that would give me about 20 to 30 minutes more in the morning to get myself set up for success, to make sure my mom was good to go. I might even get a chance to have a chat with her rather than just feel guilty because I literally throw her coffee and medications at her as I dash out the door without even asking her how she is or asking yourself how you are too. I ask that time, those 20 to 30 minutes would be good for that too, right? Right. What would be a new and more loving expectation for your morning Jeannie? Thought, mm, that I have time in the mornings to take care of myself and to get myself and my mom organized and the kids can manage themselves, which is probably better for them in the long run.

Rita Black: Well, how does that new expectation feel? You know, it feels kind of good. Like I can own that good. I tell Jeannie, so when you think of your morning, your new more loving expectations morning, how does that feel? Just take a moment, take a breath in and close your eyes and imagine that morning. Just picture it in your mind. How does it feel? Jeannie closed her eyes and took a breath. It feels slower, kinder, and I don't feel like I have a whip at my back. She smiled that afternoon. Jeanie talked to her kids. They actually were able to take on the new chores and were happy because it made them feel grown up. Jeanie noticed now with her morning check-in and her new routine. She was actually much more relaxed. She got a healthy start to the day. So her eating for the rest of her workday cleaned up too now that she was eating regularly and more healthfully.

Rita Black: Okay, so can you now begin to see that we have many hidden expectations that keep us in stressful ways of thinking and behaving, and it's so unconscious we don't even see it until we start asking. The great thing is that when we do, it becomes easier and easier to notice these hidden and unrealistic expectations. We might not always be able to shift down the expectations right away, but keep looking for ways to make your expectations your own and the answers will come. Your subconscious mind is a powerful problem solver, and it'll come up with new ideas. But you need to ask the questions first. You need to input the questions into the computer of your mind. So when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious or during one of your check-ins, if you're feeling emotional or overwhelmed, these are the questions you wanna ask yourself. What is my expectation or belief right now? And again, be patient. It might not come right away, but keep asking, you'll get better and better at this next question. Is this expectation realistic? Does it give me power or does it take my power away?

Rita Black: Question number three. Who does this expectation really belong to? Really take a look. Often it isn't you. It might be your parents, it might be your family, your culture, or even the media. Just remember Jeannie got her ideas about breakfast from a TV commercial. And finally, question number four, what would be a more respectful and realistic expectation that I can own? Or can I just let this expectation go? Hopefully now you can see that maybe it's not that you have to be better or more disciplined in order to curb emotional eating, but that you actually would be better off to take a breath and look under the surface at the old expectations and beliefs and begin to shift them into more practical and loving ones for yourself.

Rita Black: Okay, now let's recap. We have looked at three clear ways to prevent emotional eating: check-ins, shift negative self-talk and managing expectations. And now we will look at one more tool, which is catching feelings as they are starting and using comforting words and practices.

Rita Black: Jeannie was making a lot of progress. Her life had become more manageable as she began setting herself up for more success in her days. This meant not only check-ins, but managing self-talk and expectations. I feel like I'm respecting myself more and I'm noticing not only am I releasing weight, but my life just feels a bit easier and I feel better, like there's a lightness in my step. But she said yesterday my husband and I got in a fight on the phone during the day and we were really yelling at each other. We eventually made up, but it triggered me. I felt horrible and uneasy after I got off the phone and all I wanted to do was eat. I went through the drive through after work and I got an order of fries and an ice cream cone and just sat in the parking lot and ate them before I picked up the kids.

Rita Black: I didn't know what else to do. I felt like that was the only thing that was going to soothe me. Did it? Well, yes, for a few minutes, but then I felt gross and bad, like I had abandoned myself. And then Jeanie went on to say that growing up her mom wasn't the most nurturing of parents. She and her dad had provided for the kids. But when she was feeling sad or mad, they didn't have much patience for her feelings. She usually just hid her feelings from them and then began burying them with comfort foods. Sometimes when we haven't had our caregivers comforting us or modeling self-soothing, we have to begin to learn to do it ourselves as adults. That inner ability to soothe and comfort ourselves didn't get created when we were young. So now we have to use our own inner nurture to help us learn to comfort and calm ourselves down.

Rita Black: I asked Jeannie if your daughter came to you and said she had been in a fight with her best friend, would you offer her a cookie and say, here, this will make you feel better? No, she said, definitely not. Okay. Then what would you do for your daughter? Jeanie thought about it. Well, I might hug her and say, that's too bad, honey. I might tell her that she's a good person and so is her friend. And sometimes we disagree on things. I probably would've said I understood what she's feeling and that I could see that she was feeling sad. Well, that sounds pretty compassionate, I guess so. Well, what if you did that with yourself yesterday when you were feeling amped up after that fight with your husband? Do you think those words and a little self hug might've been a little more soothing than fried potatoes and ice cream?

Rita Black: I don't know. I mean that makes sense, but how would I do that? Self comforting is a way to reregulate our emotions when we get upset or distressed. It is a inner resource system that you begin to provide for yourself with your own inner emotional nurturer. It starts usually with an inner conversation, with your inner nurturer, usually starting with a breath to ground us and bring us inside. So I had Jeannie take a breath and imagine her inner nurturing coach to help her. I had her imagine a time when she was comforting one of her children and imagine what that looked like and felt like. And then I said, imagine that you are now nurturing you with that same loving energy and soothing voice. Imagine this, you touching your own face with compassion. Take a breath and allow this feeling of being understood and comforted to flow through you.

Rita Black: Feelings may come up and that's okay. It feels weird, but it feels nice. Jeannie said, when we begin to comfort ourselves with self-compassion, it may feel weird or intense and feelings may come up, but you are creating this new safe inner space and you can start to practice this loving relationship with yourself when you aren't feeling upset, so that you will have it as more of a resource center. When you do. We will be practicing in your emotional eating prevention hypnosis session, and we will be practicing comforting phrases in your cognitive coaching session. But here are some phrases that you can use with yourself or you can create some of your own as well. It's okay to feel this feeling it is real and valid. I am so sorry you feel this way.

Rita Black: I am here to help. This is tough, but we're gonna get through it. You don't have to be perfect. I accept you as you are. You are enough when you are emotionally charged, oftentimes you can find ways to retreat to comfort yourself as well with practices. These practices can be used in tandem when you are comforting yourself with the self-soothing phrases. You could lay on your bed or in a comfortable chair and hug a pillow. I personally love this one. You can take a warm and soothing bath. You could take a nap. You could close your eyes and wrap your arms around yourself in a hug. You can listen to comforting music. You can sit outside with the sun on your face. You can go for a walk in nature. You can sing a song, maybe your favorite upbeat song, or you can listen to an inspirational speaker on YouTube or you can watch some comedy.

Rita Black: I like to watch a few minutes of a comedian or a Saturday night live on YouTube. Jeannie started practicing little by little these comforting phrases that she liked. I am here for you. We can get through this. You don't have to do anything, but just breathe right now. You are okay. She began using a hot bath and a book at the end of the day instead of her TV and ice cream. And as she practiced her tools of preventing emotional eating, that inner emotional eating mastery muscle got stronger and stronger. She felt more alive, more in tune with her body and her mind and her needs all through her day. It wasn't always perfect and she still overate at times, but she was setting her life up for success with kinder expectations and with her inner nurturer, she was able to tune in and take care of her needs. These emotional eating episodes became further and further apart, and when they happened, she learned from them and moved on further and further along her journey of emotional eating mastery.

Rita Black: Okay, now it is time for you to begin your journey. So let's review the steps to get started and the tools for preventing emotional eating. Number one, get on the journey. It's a process that you are committing to and you don't forget are the hero. Number two, shift that identity of you from an emotional eater to an apprentice of emotional mastery. Three, create that vision of you as that emotional mastery apprentice and create that image of your inner emotional coach slash nurturer who will be your guide for start checking in. Take a breath and ask yourself, what am I feeling in my body? What am I thinking? What do I need right now? What do I need later? Five, start shifting out of those negative thinking patterns with your new shifting phrases. I have a choice and I choose to. I am moving in the direction of stop. I don't say that anymore. I say and begin downshifting those expectations. Checking in when you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed and asking yourself the question, what is my expectation or belief right now? Is this expectation realistic? Does it give me my power or take my power away? Who does this expectation belong to?

Rita Black: What would be a more respectful and realistic expectation that I can own or can I just let it go? And last but not least, begin using that inner nurture to be your inner resource for self-soothing feelings with loving, soothing phrases and comforting behaviors. Okay, you have begun preventing emotional eating and this is a powerful leap forward on your mastery journey. Congratulations. Now you can move forward and use the cognitive coaching session and the hypnosis session provided and begin to take what we have discussed here to a deeper level.

Rita Black: Okay, well I hope that this part two session helped and gave you some ways to build your emotional eating resilience and definitely, definitely lift. Listen to part one if you haven't. And if you wanna dive into all of the emotional eating toolkit it is in the show notes. The link, use the word comfort to get it at half price. It really makes it incredibly affordable and it's a wonderful thing to take with you. Like I said, into the autumn, when we get busy, busy, busy, or when you go on your family vacation, that could be a little more stressful than you might think it might be, like I was saying, I think last week me going away with my family, it's usually you think, oh, vacation. No, it's even more hard work. So have a great week and remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the doors of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it. Have a fantastic week. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful week, and I will see you soon.

Rita Black: Thanks for listening to The Thin Thinking Podcast. Did that episode go by way too fast for you? If so, and do you wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com. That's www.shiftweightmastery.com, where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release tips, strategies, and more. And be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book from Fat To Thin Thinking, Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss and to learn how to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode.