Did you know that the power of group support can significantly boost your success when it comes to releasing weight and achieving your goals?

Research has shown that people who embark on their journeys with the backing of a supportive community can be more than twice as successful as those who go it alone.

In today’s Thin Thinking episode, I am thrilled to share to you a transformative way of building your own personal support pod. I had the privilege to interview the “Shift Sistahs” – a remarkable group of four strong women who have not only conquered their personal weight release journey but have also formed a close-knit support group.

Comprising three sisters and an honorary fourth member, the “Shift Sistahs” have experienced firsthand the remarkable benefits of undertaking their journeys as a united front.

In this episode, you’ll hear about their inspiring success story, uncovering the remarkable role that unity, camaraderie, and mutual encouragement played in their transformation.

They will share invaluable insights into how they navigated their challenges together, celebrated victories as a team, and ultimately achieved their individual and collective goals.

So grab your little black book and come on in.



Join me for my FREE upcoming masterclass called “How to Break Through the Weight Struggle Cycle so You Can Lose Weight Consistently and Permanently”

September 19th 9am PT and 5pm PT

In this 90-minute masterclass you are going to get inside why the mind works against us when losing weight and how to instead use your mind differently for SUCCESS.

-You will learn the easy way to melt subconscious weight loss barriers.

-You will also get to experience a light and easy weight loss hypnosis session.

Sign up today SPACE IS LIMITED!!

Leave feeling super charged, focused and ready to get started and confident in your ability to finally be successful. oxoxRita

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Rita Black: Did you know that research has shown people who release weight with group support can be more than twice as successful as people who are doing it alone? Have you ever considered setting up your own personal support pod? Well today, I interview the Shift Sistahs. That's right. This is what they call themselves! Three sisters and one honorary sister who have gone through the shift process, but also started their own support group and found success does happen in numbers. It's a great story with lots of takeaways, and I hope you will join me to learn not only about the success story of these ladies, but how to start your own support pod. So grab your little black book and come on in.

Mickey: 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, and here we are. It's here again, the end of the summer. Ugh. I feel like it was the end of the summer not that long ago, a year ago. So I know many of you have been away. And it feels like after Labor Day, everyone comes back to Earth and is ready to refocus on themselves. And summer can be a tough time for weight management. And the fall affords us this opportunity to just take a breath, get organized, come back to ourselves after all the running around, and I just love the fall for that.

Rita Black: Since September is an exciting month to begin diving into refocusing on you and your goals, I am happy, happy, happy to announce that I am going to be doing a live free masterclass called How to Break Through the Weight Struggle Cycle so that You can Lose Weight permanently. We are gonna be making a deep dive into fundamental ways that you can start shifting out of the subconscious beliefs that have been keeping you struggling with weight. We're also going to be doing some weight release hypnosis. So I hope you will join us. The links are in the show notes.

Rita Black: Now it is my honor to share with you three out of the four amazing human beings that make up Shift Sistahs! A group of women who have been successfully helping each other with weekly support in their weight release journeys for years. Three are sisters, Mickey Marafino, and Mickey is somebody who came to me many, many years ago. I have to say, in 2006, Mickey came to me for smoking cessation and you'll hear more about how she moved on to weight management. But yes, Mickey, it was the first sister to come my way. Shannon Marrafino, who has released 35 pounds and has been maintaining. And their sister Siobhan, who you may remember from our interview about her weight release over two years back. She could not be on the interview, but the honorary sister Valerie Smith has released over 62 pounds. These four live in different parts of the country and they connect once a week to support each other in their weight journey. And it's wonderful story and I hope you take away the inspiration to begin your own support group.

Rita Black: Well, welcome, Mickey and Valerie and Shannon to the Thin Thinking Podcast. I've been waiting forever to get you guys all together and on here. And believe me, everybody, this was a hard group to get together who supports each other. We'll, we'll find out more about that, but I first want each of you just to introduce yourself to our audience. What your name, where you live, and your history with shifting, just the basics.

Mickey Marrafino: Okay. I'll start it off since I'm the Pioneer Shifter!

Rita Black: You really are.

Mickey Marrafino: This is Mickey Marino and I started shifting in 2008 when Rita first started the program. I think I was in your second class ever. And then I was just so thrilled with the program that I helped you and started working with you on your Shift in a Box Program, which was designed to take shift on the road. And so I actually live in California. I live in Redondo Beach, California, but I'm from Massachusetts originally. So I took Shift on the Box to my sisters and my adopted sister. And we had a Shift in the Box in about 2010, and that's when Valerie and Shannon were introduced to shift also. And my sister Siobhan who wasn't able to join us today. So we've been at this for quite some time.

Rita Black: But now you guys, well I'll hold that question, but thanks Mickey. Who would like, Valerie, how about you? Tell us where you are and you know, what part of Vermont do you live in Valerie?

Valerie Smith: I live in Essex, Vermont, which is right near where the fourth member of this group Siobhan, lives right near me, next town over. And she introduced me to Shift Again and Shift in a Box in 2010. And I did it for a while and was successful and then not as successful and then rejoined in the fall of 2020. I had gained some weight at the beginning of, about 20 pounds, at the beginning of COVID and joined, and I guess Siobhan asked me to be part of this group. And I guess Mickey, were you part of it at that? You were, I think, yeah!

Mickey Marrafino: I was. Siobhan reminded me that we started in spring of 2020, we started, that's when Siobhan started her Shift Again with Rita, with spring of 2020. And then Siobhan and I started doing our check-ins.

Rita Black: Is that when you guys started?

Valerie Smith: I rejoined in the fall of 2020 and have been with this crew ever since. And I'm the adopted sister. Yeah. And it's been really, really good for me, so.

Rita Black: Oh, good. Well, I wanna hear more about that in a minute. Shannon. Hey Shannon, how are you?

Shannon Marrafino: Good. Shannon, I am living just north of Boston in Melrose, Massachusetts. I also did the Shift in the Box back in 2010 and yeah, rejoined I think in October of 2021. So it was probably like a year and a half or so after Michala and Siobhan got restarted. And then started joining our weekly text support group, our little check-in, which has been so wonderful.

Rita Black: So you were a late comer to the check-in group? It had already started.

Shannon Marrafino: Yeah. Well, I didn't start, we start shifting until a year and a half after they did. So I wasn't really participating at that point. So until October, 2021.

Rita Black: So what I would love everybody to talk about or to our audience, this is the value of a group. And I would like to understand who started this. Like, was it you Mickey, or was it all of you? Like, who was the brainchild of this group and do you guys have a name for this group?

Mickey Marrafino: We call it check-in.

Rita Black: Well, that's clever.

Mickey Marrafino: It sure is. You know, Siobhan wasn't able to join us today, but Siobhan and I started together and frankly I completely forgot when we started or how we started. And she reminded me in an email. So but it was, I mean, the spring of 2020 was when like the world collapsed, right? And so, and Rita was having a shift and, I mean, I was touching base with Siobhan about it and I may have been involved with it also, I don't remember. But then we just decided, well, let's hold each other accountable. Let's tell each other how much we weigh once a week and, you know, support each other. And so that's what we did. So we started texting on Friday mornings, which the Vermont and Massachusetts people get their text in a little bit earlier than I do being on the West Coast.

Mickey Marrafino: But I wake up every morning to my phone buzzing with all the chatter of everybody, supporting each other and, you know, giving each other thumbs up, emojis and all that kind of fun stuff when everybody is checking in on Friday morning. And so yeah, so we just said, well, we're just going to, you know, do it, we're gonna report a weight gain or report a weight loss or report just flat or whatever it is. And we all support each other. And honestly, it keeps me accountable 'cause I have to get on the scale every Friday, or people are like, where are you?

Rita Black: So yeah, that was my first question was how consistent has this group been? Have you, has it been pretty much every week? Do you guys take off holidays or anything like that? Or? No.

Valerie Smith: Sometimes if a holiday falls on a Friday, we'll check in on a Thursday.

Rita Black: Okay. That makes sense.

Valerie Smith: But, no, I don't think a week has gone by that we haven't checked in. And even when people are on vacation like I am right now, I will check in. I won't be able to weigh 'cause I didn't bring a scale 'cause anyway. But I'll still check in.

Rita Black: That is amazing.

Valerie Smith: Yeah.

Rita Black: And has, and do you feel Valerie, that that's held you accountable as well? Like Mickey was saying?

Valerie Smith: Absolutely. And I will tell you, I don't know if I ever shared this with the group. I never shared my weight with anybody, even my husband. And this is the only crew that knows what I weigh, but it's like, who cares? You know? It's just -

Rita Black: You become desensitized to it pretty quickly?

Valerie Smith: Yep. And it's holding me accountable is what really makes the difference. Because I think if I wasn't accountable, it would be a lot harder. Because it's easy to get your rebel talking and you know, the coach baits, that if I keep the rebel at bay, by checking in, I'm much better off. So I love my sisters.

Rita Black: How about you Shannon? How has that, how has the group been helpful for you and accountability?

Shannon Marrafino: Yeah, I think exactly that, just knowing on Friday, we're gonna have a weigh in is just, I do pretty much weigh myself every day anyway, so it's been sort of part of my like, skillset that I've been trying to do as, you know, learning the skills for long term just so that it helps me get my head in the game, in the morning, just to get on the scale and then I can sort of be present, you know, for myself and like what I envision for the day. So I've sort of been doing that, you know, anyway, but you know, when you have to report to people, you know, it's different when than when you just look at the number yourself and not, you know, it's, I think, you know, it doesn't actually really matter what the number is. I think it's just sort of coming to a community and saying what you're doing, you know, around a goal that you have, you know, to that we all share, you know, to have this long-term permanent weight release and it, so I think that's what's supportive for me.

Rita Black: Yeah. And does sharing your weight, because Valerie mentioned like she never had shared her weight before, Mickey and Shannon, do you find, and Valerie too, do you find that once you kind of get over the hump of sharing it has to helped you desensitize your relationship with the number because your group is so accepting of whatever number it is that it removes some of your own self shame or whatever that you might've had before with the number. I mean, maybe that wasn't important for you, but it sounds like Valerie, you know, had never shared weight before and that maybe that shifted your sharing, it shifted your relationship for yourself with what was going on on the scale at all.

Valerie Smith: For me, it's absolutely true because I've been part of other groups where you would weigh in and they would announce your weight and go, oh, up a quarter of a pound. And that's not what happens in this group. So it has desensitized me to it is what it's, it's what it's, yeah, it's a long term thing. And if I'm up a half a pound, a pound, whatever, I'm still, yeah, for sure.

Mickey Marrafino: It's also fun because we celebrate, you know, like, oh, you're in a new decade or, you know, any kind of milestones. We all celebrate that together too. And so I think that's great. And you know, just being the scientists like you teach us, Rita, you know, it's a number and it's calories in and calories out and we usually pretty much know the way the scale's going, what's happened in terms of our intake and our exercise and all of that.

Rita Black: So, and with regards to that, how do you guys mind sharing like, what your journeys have been like. Like Valerie and Shannon and Mickey, like your own personal weight journey and how the, you know, and obviously you've been in this group for a couple of years, so how the group has helped with your just weight journey? Because I know Shannon, you've been maintaining for a while and you know, I don't know where you and Mickey and, and Valerie are at. If you don't wanna share, that's totally cool. But if you wanna just share your own personal weight journeys, where you were before and now that you have this group too, what, how that's helped with your own personal journey.

Shannon Marrafino: I can start. Yeah. so yeah, I rejoined in October of 2021 and I think, you know, we did that Shift in a Box a while ago. And I think for me, I've always just, I really want this long-term permanent weight release. Like you know, I know I see people, you know, maybe who come in and do these programs and are just about the quick win, you know, get the weight off. But I think, you know, like after having been through diets before where we lose the weight and then regain the weight, I just personally felt like my focus just really had to be somehow I have to get to this, figure out how I'm gonna maintain this. And so, like this group has been great for that because it's helping me to keep it top of mind. You know, I've been able to release about 40 pounds and I've been, you know, maintaining that, you know, more or less within a few pounds.

Shannon Marrafino: And so I think, you know, that's been sort of my journey so far. I feel like probably, you know, I was thinking about a lot about my vision and, you know, my vision, obviously it changes throughout the journey. And, you know, as you kind of go along, you know, for me right now my vision is, you know, a year from now, like next summer, you know, am I gonna be able to look back and say like, okay, I am, you know, still within the same weight that I was this summer. And those are sort of become like my new goals So it sort of changes, but again, having all the support around it really makes a difference.

Rita Black: Yeah, I could see that. And I could see, because as we have talked about before, you and I, Shannon, maintenance is a vulnerable place to be in, especially when you start and to have support and to have that consistency too of checking in. Because I think one of the things that you said, which is very much something that everybody struggles with is we are so steeped in the diet the diet routine, right? Where we lose the weight, you know, you got, everybody knows how to lose weight, but keeping it off, you get to this place and you kind of have to redefine yourself and having a group that reminds you who you are, but that you're still, and your vision, like you were saying, like people are like, well, I lose my vision once I get to my ideal weight. But really the next vision is the milestone of, like you said, a year from now I will be, have maintained my weight within a range and have gone through all the milestones of a year.

Rita Black: Because I think it takes about a year for you to really feel confident that you can go through each of the seasons and each of the major holidays and you know having maintained your weight. And usually within a year we usually have some sort of stress cycle and some sort of overeating, you know, something that we go to stress food about and then that we're able to pull ourselves back and keep going. And so you get that confidence. But I could see how having a group would also, having this little power group helps you have those more powerful conversations with yourself.

Shannon Marrafino: Yeah, absolutely.

Rita Black: Yeah. Mickey, how about you?

Mickey Marrafino: Well, I have, I was one of the few people that I know that actually lost weight during COVID. I did really well. And you know, I love what you always talk about, you know, learning the lessons of what comes out of that. And what I learned is I love to socialize and I love celebratory eating, which means, you know, every time you go to a restaurant it's a celebration. So I've really slipped once COVID kind of the restrictions were off and I could go out and eat again. I've had some struggles with that. And so it's been really great having the community, my sisters supporting me while I'm going actually in the wrong direction on the scale. But, you know, helping me not beat myself up too much about that, you know? And reminding me of little things like have you been taking a shift breath before you sit down and eat? You know, little things that I kind of forget about because I'm not super happy about myself right now. So, it's, I think, you know, it's really helpful with that too. So that's been really important for me, even though I haven't been going in the right direction. And also you know, the inspiration watching my sisters go, going in the right direction and maintaining, maintaining is, that is, man, that's a challenge. And I've seen what I consider some miracles going on with this group. So it's a good place.

Rita Black: Well, I think what you were talking about, Mickey, it's so powerful, which is your group is reminding you who you are. And it's not like you're not the struggler, but your are just still on your journey. And sometimes we gain weight and we have to learn lessons when we gain the weight. And there's no shame in that. And, you know, I think that's important for our audience to understand is a lot of people who did release weight or get in shape during COVID because they had more time and they had less stress, there were those people, there were either people who comforted and everything fell apart, or there were people who had more time. And then when things became social again really, really struggled and are, you know, still trying to find their footing because the world has gone the opposite direction and now you can't get a seat in a restaurant.

Rita Black: And, you know, it's, everybody's in hyper social, hyper travel mode. And how do you define that and how do you define yourself within it? And maybe, I know Shannon, you're also very social and you know, like, so to have the support of other people finding that way forward is great. And I do wanna say too, I wanna hear about Valerie and then I wanna come back to hearing about how your lives have also changed in this time that you guys have been supporting each other. Because it's like nothing happens in a vacuum. You guys are all releasing weight, but you have lives, and I know Mickey, Shannon, you've semi-retired and Mickey, you've fallen in love. And Valerie, you've gone through a huge life change. And you were, you're a major caregiver and you went through the whole, that whole transition altogether. And so nothing, no weight journey happens in a vacuum. And to be able to hold that as well. So Valerie, I would love to hear a little bit about your journey with weight. I know you said you had dieted somewhat before.

Valerie Smith: Oh, I was absolutely a yo-yo dieter and at one point in my life I was called vanishing Valerie 'cause I was so thin. And then probably as I had children, and the children are now the youngest is 43, so they're not children. But I had gained a lot of weight. And honestly, since I started shifting fall of 2020, I've released almost 60 pounds. And the probably the last year I've maintained within five pounds up and down around. And the major thing that I think is important is if I hadn't had this group, I think I probably would be going way far in the other direction. Because I had, as all of you know, but the podcast folks don't. My husband had Parkinson's and I was a full-time caregiver for probably all of, well, even before COVID started.

Valerie Smith: So all during COVID I was caregiving. And then he passed in December of this past year. So I was under enormous stress. And I think if I hadn't had this group to kind of help me process that, I can't keep going. I don't have, you know, this is just a journey. I'm not sure I would have come out of this in the way of having released weight. I think I could've probably would've gone the other direction and that would've made the whole caregiving thing much more painful and the whole Gary passing more painful. So I credit this group with keeping me afloat. So yeah.

Rita Black: Yeah, I could totally see.

Valerie Smith: And I, you know, I've been pretty much where I was for the last year and I probably would like to lose another 15, 20 pounds. I would like to release another 15, 20 pounds. And when I get there, I get there. Like Shannon said, it's a lifelong journey and yeah, right now I'm just -

Rita Black: I love that.

Valerie Smith: Yeah. I'm plugging along and life's so good.

Rita Black: I think that's amazing that you have pretty much maintained your weight during this last year with all what has been going on, because that is, you were just under so much stress? Mickey, how about for you? I know, like I said, I think you've had a big, a lot of life shifts since 2020, right?

Mickey Marrafino: Yeah. I have job, love, all that kind, moving. Yeah. So, but you know that's what I actually enjoy about the group is that because we do check in once a week, we kind of know what's going on with each other. And if there's been like a bump in the road and a bump in the road can be a happy thing too or a big vacation coming up, you know, we're kind of living through each other's lives too because we're touching base so often and sharing recipes and new things that we're learning and articles and all kinds of stuff like that.

Rita Black: Amazing. And Shannon, how have you found also, 'cause I know you had a major, well, I don't know how about a major transition, but you, you are semi-retired, right?

Shannon Marrafino: Yeah. Unexpectedly retired in 2023. And I think, you know, like I'm a very structured person, so, you know, the shifting I felt like was really working well because I really had that structure of, you know, going to work and preparing my meals. I mean, I think sometimes when I was at work, I was struggling with the environment in the office. But, you know, generally I found I was doing really well with shifting, you know, with my work structure and everything I was doing. And I think, I have to say, I definitely felt nervous. I still do feel nervous because I'm still kind of new coming into having no structure, not no structure, but not the same as, you know, when you're working, you know, full-time. And I'm still kind of finding my way around that, you know, in terms of like having planned meals and things like that. It's not as structured as it used to be. So I think, you know, this is a new part of the journey for me really trying to learn how to navigate that. But that's been, you know, life isn't stagnant, so we all go through these things that are changes and challenges and you know, and I'm sure I'll figure it out. It just, yeah. Being gentle and I'll get there. Yeah. It's kind of my mindset at this point.

Rita Black: Right. And, but having this Friday group has, it sounds like it's anchored all of you in just your self-care and health, you know, do you guys know that? I mean, Mickey, I think you're in the know because the blue whole Blue Zones thing came to the South Bay, but that, you know, groups and support groups are like one of the things that they credit longevity to.

Mickey Marrafino: Well, we have a lot going on. We have the social aspect of it, even though it's via text you know, we've got our little texting fingers going, which, and having a social, you know, conversation about anything really. And then it also, there's this sense of purpose, right? It's like, oh, it's Friday morning. Time to, you know, and you know, having other people depend on you to do that and to chime in when people are making comments. Yeah, I think there's a lot of things that we're doing. Of course, you know, the whole, you know, healthy eating, that's very blue zones too, and sharing tips for things like that. So yeah. Very blue zones.

Rita Black: I know Mickey, can you tell us about, you have had a walking group as well. Can you tell us a little bit about that? This is a more local community group that you had started, right? During the Blue Zones visit to South Bay?

Mickey Marrafino: Yeah, I think we started it in 2011. And one of the community programs that they talk about in Blue Zones is walking moai, which I think is a Japanese term.

Rita Black: It is Japanese.

Mickey Marrafino: Yeah. And in Japan when children are young, they bring these kids together and they become a moai and they kind of go through life together. And then Blue Zones created kind of an artificial moi by putting people together, doing certain things. So there's walking moais, there was cooking moais, a lot of different things that people were doing. So in 2011, we started a group of people who just got together on Wednesday mornings, and we always met at 6:00 AM and we went for our walk and we socialized, which again, that's a whole whole another part of the blue zones, and that's why the walking moai eyes are credited to being healthy and part of a blue zone. So in 2020 when we couldn't get together anymore, I started doing walk and talk with some of my friends, which was, you know, I'll walk in my neighborhood, you walk in your neighborhood, we put on our headphones and we just talk for an hour or however long we walk. And then I realized, well, gosh, I can do that with my friend who lives, you know, 90 miles away from me. So we have a day that we walk together and we talk. So you know, it's a great way to catch up with people and you know, you don't have to get together to do it, which frankly, after the whole covid thing, I was thinking, gosh, this driving all over the place is such a waste of time.

Rita Black: Yeah, that's true. It's brilliant. So how would you guys advise if someone is listening to this and thinking, well, I wanna do this. How would you, you know, what tips would you give them to get started? Anyone wanna offer up their wisdom?

Mickey Marrafino: Well, I think it needs to be somebody that you trust. You know? And that you want to see them successful and that you're okay with being accountable to them, you know? And that's why we're the Sistahs. And three of us are blood related sisters, and one of us isn't. But, you know, we all have the camaraderie of sisters and we care a lot about each other, and we're okay being accountable to each other and you know, getting advice and accepting it and all of that. And I think, I think that's, that's a big part of it. And I could see, you know, in your shift community, I can see people breaking off into having, you know, texting once a week and you just check in. It's, we don't have to do it at any certain time. Like I said, I'm three hours behind them, you know, we all pretty much do it when we wake up in the morning. But that's a different time for all of us. So that's the nice thing about the texting is it doesn't matter what time, because like I said, just scheduling all of us together to talk to you on the podcast, that was kind of challenging because we all have really busy lives.

Rita Black: Yeah. I mean, I could see maybe, and I guess this is a question for you guys. You were all at different parts on your journey when you joined up. So it's not like you have to be at the same place with somebody. You don't have to just be starting or be maintaining. You could be, you know, three months into your weight release journey and starting it with somebody who's just getting started because a lot of people might start shifting and then bring a friend along, get, you know, or releasing weight, and then a friend gets inspired by their weight release. So that, and then bringing other people on board. I definitely see this a lot. I do see that there are definitely people will see each other in my community and start texting or messaging each other. So what you guys do though, just to be clear, is on Friday morning you wake up, you each weigh yourself, you text your weight, and then you might say something else like, you know crazy week, super stressed, or, you know, I'm on vacation and it was, you know, I just ate you know, a big luau dinner last night or whatever. Do you kind of put a little bit about your life in there too? Or you're just like, you know, you just put your weight and go, put smiley face.

Valerie Smith: And I also think one of the keys to this is we're very supportive. We reframe when somebody's going we reframe it for them and it comes naturally. It's not like I'm thinking, oh God, I gotta reframe here. It's comes naturally and I think that's part of what's lovely about this. We, I can't ever remember anybody being critical about anybody else's process. It's just looking for support. And even if someone is going the opposite direction than they want to, we find something to encourage. It just sort of happens. I mean, two of us, Siobhan and I have counseling backgrounds, and so it sort of comes naturally. And the other two are, I mean, they're all related, so they know each other and Siobhan and I friends for a long time. So I think, I think it comes naturally to just encourage each other.

Rita Black: Right.

Valerie Smith: I wouldn't be part of it if people were going, oh wow, you haven't released any weight in a year. I mean, it's been up and down, Valerie, what are you doing? I mean, that'll be long gone.

Rita Black: Is there, are there any, so those are definitely do's. Do be encouraging, do help each other see things powerfully, don't criticize, don't be bossy, I would imagine would be another one. Like try to be the group leader. It sounds like this is very democratic that you, you know, nobody is the group leader. You're just all there to support. It sounds like it's worked out where maybe if one of you is faltering, the other two might be doing, you know, feeling in a better place to, you know, counsel each other. Which I think, do you find that having three to four people, since you have four people in your group, is more helpful than maybe two people where you know what you could become, eh, yeah. You know,, let's go out for a pizza Friday night. You know? That having the four people at different places in their journey might be helpful too.

Shannon Marrafino: I think the four has been nice. I mean, you know, it's nice to have a few people rather than just two. I hadn't done it with just two. So it does seem like it's nice to have a little bit of variety in the group. But one of the things I also wanted to say just about the texting is I think, you know, in terms of things like as you're going along with the shift process and the weight mastery, when things come up, like your challenges that you've offered us, I see it as our text group is sort of a place to even talk about when you give us a challenge. Like you just did the mindful challenge and, you know, it was kind of nice to just say, Hey, this is going on. You know, we don't like account to each other. Did you do it? Did you not do it right? But it's just like, it's just, it's just, Hey, this is happening. Alert!

Shannon Marrafino: If you're interested, you know, maybe this, you know, hypnosis was good. I don't know, it just to me seems like it's another sort of forum to talk about like what is going on, like in the shift master group, you know, like the concepts or whatever, just to kind of mention those or you know, here's some steps that, you know, Rita mentioned to do whatever. I think it's nice because it kinda reiterates some of like the points of these skills. I mean, personally, that's what I feel is really nice about a group as well. Like it's supportive, but also just, you know, helping to refocus on some of those concepts I find helpful.

Rita Black: It's kinda like having a little study group, like within a class, you know, you kind of get together and -

Shannon Marrafino: Yeah.

Rita Black: Well, cool. Well, great. Is there any other thoughts for people who might be considering starting or getting started?

Valerie Smith: You brought up something, Rita, about being at different places. I think that's a huge advantage because we're not all in the same place and we've all had different journeys and yet we can all relate and we can support each other. Yeah. I wouldn't say they wouldn't work with people all just starting together, but I think there's some real advantages to having us all.

Rita Black: I could see that. I could see that definitely, just because when people are first starting out, they, it's kind of nice to have somebody who's been in in it longer to kind of pull you along till you kind of really get in the groove. You know, sometimes it's easy in the beginning of a journey to get discouraged or to feel like you aren't doing it right. And to see that other people, you know, are that the journey isn't about being perfect, it's about life and taking life on. And that's why I think this is so great that what you've created for yourselves is something that it's encompassing everything you are and all that's going on and still being mindful about your weight and your self care. And you know, it isn't just the weight. I know you report your weight, but it really sounds like it's about care and it's about compassion.

Rita Black: And having people who are compassionate with you, I think also helps you be compassionate with yourself when you have that sort of space, safe space to be in. I think that's also the value of a group. So I can't thank you guys enough for coming on and giving us your time. I think it's such a, it's so wonderful to see the power of what you guys have created and I wanna congratulate you, but also just say, you know, how inspiring you are. So thank you and thank you for sharing your time with us today from your busy schedules.

Valerie Smith: You're welcome.

Shannon Marrafino: Thanks, Rita.

Mickey Marrafino: Thanks, Rita.

Rita Black: Thank you ladies. You are so fun and so inspiring. I hope listeners, that that left you motivated to go grab a friend and just get going. It doesn't have to look fancy, it doesn't have to look formal. You can just start texting or start communicating in whatever way works, but really step into that space of being a support for another person. And I swear that will change the way you support yourself. And just a reminder, on September 19th, either at 9:00 AM or 5:00 PM Pacific time, you can join me live for my masterclass for free, How To Break Through the Weight Struggle Cycle so that You Can Lose Weight Permanently. And we will be taking that deep dive into how to melt those subconscious barriers that keep you struggling and move forward to long-term success. And we will be doing some weight loss hypnosis. It's a great masterclass. I love teaching this masterclass. Please join me. The links are in the show notes. Don't miss it. And have a great week. And the key, and maybe the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.

Rita Black: Thanks for listening to the Thin Thinking Podcast. Did that episode go by way too fast for you? If so, and 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.