Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical procedure used to help individuals with severe obesity lose weight by altering their digestive system. It is one of the most common types of bariatric surgery.

In today’s insightful episode, we are joined by Marilyn Thayer, who shares her incredible story of how she embarked on a life-changing path through gastric bypass surgery. Marilyn’s journey begins here, where she successfully lost over a hundred pounds, gaining a new lease on life.

However, life is an ever-evolving journey, and unforeseen challenges can arise. 

Marilyn’s story takes a unique turn as she candidly discusses how, over time, her life circumstances shifted, and the global pandemic further impacted her health and well-being. She found herself gradually regaining the weight she had worked so hard to release. 

This realization prompted her to embark on a new chapter, one that extended beyond just altering the size of her stomach – it involved reshaping her thoughts and habits, particularly at the subconscious level.

In this episode, Marilyn shares the fascinating and motivational journey of not only opting for gastric bypass surgery but also using the power of hypnosis to achieve long-term, permanent weight release. 

Whether you’re personally interested in this topic or know someone who may benefit from hearing Marilyn’s story, this episode promises to be a source of motivation and empowerment.

So, come on in to the Thin Thinking Podcast. 



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Rita Black: Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical procedure used to help individuals with severe obesity lose weight by altering their digestive system. It is one of the most common types of bariatric surgery. Today's guest, Marilyn Thayer, opted for the surgery and had successful results releasing over a hundred pounds and keeping them off for a few years. But as time crept on and her life changed and the pandemic hit, Marilyn found herself slowly regaining the weight that she had worked so hard to release. That is when she realized that she needed to change not only the size of her stomach, but also the thoughts and habits in her mind, especially her subconscious. Today's podcast explores Marilyn's fascinating journey of opting for the gastric bypass surgery and then shifting her weight further with the help of hypnosis into long-term permanent weight release. So join us today for this motivating story.

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: Hi everyone. If you are listening to this, it is a special Sunday episode, so happy Sunday. I hope you are relaxing and taking this beautiful September day and doing something special with it, like maybe listening to the special story about a very cool lady who has been on an incredible weight release journey.

Rita Black: And if you do something special for numero uno, please, please sign up for my live masterclass. It's coming up September 19th, 2023. I'm hosting it. It's on Tuesday, either at 9:00 AM or 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, and it's called How to Break Through the Weight Struggle Cycle So That You Can Lose Weight Permanently. And we are going to take a deep dive into ways that you can melt those subconscious barriers that may be blocking your progress. We're also gonna do some weight loss hypnosis. People love these live masterclasses, so please join us if you've never been to a live masterclass with me. We have an amazing time and lots of fun. The links are in the show notes and seats are limited, and we only have those two times available. So get in there and sign up now.

Rita Black: Now, today's guest, Marilyn Thayer, began shifting last Autumn 2022, but has had a life of struggling prior to her gastric bypass surgery off and on for a long time. And I think you're gonna really love Marilyn and her thoughtful, very thoughtful approach to finding answers after starting to regain the weight she released. So grab some inspiration and motivation to start making a change in your own life.

Rita Black: Well, welcome Marilyn Thayer to The Thin Thinking Podcast. I'm really excited to have you here today to share with our listeners your story.

Marilyn Thayer : Thanks, Rita. Glad to be here.

Rita Black: Yeah. I know your story is so compelling because you've had many parts of your journey of weight mastery, you know, many legs of your journey. So, but maybe you can just start at the beginning, you know, back when you first started struggling with weight, because I think that's always interesting for people to know where things started for you.

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah. Okay. So, I mean, I was a chubby child, and I was, you know, overweight in high school too. But of course, you know, looking back, if I had just stayed right there and not worried about it, I would've been absolutely fine, you know? But it's that kind of, that warped perception a little bit. Yeah, I think that was always kind of in the background.

Rita Black: Yeah. Oh, no, I was just saying a lot of people have that warped perception and look back at photos and say, gosh, if I could have just stayed there. And I thought that.

Marilyn Thayer : Exactly. Yeah. And I realized early on that dieting was not really a way to go. So I maybe did a couple of things, but I can remember when I was at university, so maybe 20 years old, I did some sessions in behavior modification and I knew, you know, that's really what you need to do. And those were helpful at the time I think, and probably I lost some weight through that and adapted some of those habits. And some of them I let go by the wayside as time went on. Yeah. And just sort of just throughout adulthood gained and gained a little bit more. And then I can, one summer I went to Japan, I forget how old I was at that time, so I did a few trips to Japan, but it might've been, I think I was around 30 maybe. And I gained, I was there for like six or seven weeks and I gained a kilo a week. And it was, I was so desperate to eat the food because I couldn't get that back at home, you know? So I thought, oh, I better eat this now while I can. And that was, you know, so it was jammed up. Yeah.

Rita Black: So interesting, that Japan, I wanted to say this because my sister lived in Japan and my sister was always naturally thin. When she lived in Japan, she gained a lot of weight. And I was like, I would not think because the Japanese are thin by nature and the food is barely healthy. But she was saying there's this bread there that was like this, maybe you didn't try the bread, but there was this very white gooey type of bread that she just got very addicted to and she couldn't stop eating, I don't know. But for you it was just the cuisine itself, because you grew up in the country in Canada, right? Like in what province?

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah, in Ontario, in a town called Halliburton. Two and a half hours north of Toronto. And yeah, we were kind of a meat and potatoes kind of family, meat and potatoes and ice cream kind of family. Very definitely that there's like there's ice cream. Yeah, Japan, I don't know. I mean, once you get a taste for it, but I think it was you know, it wasn't necessarily about the food as much as it was people offering you and you wanna take it and that, but it was also my propensity to, you know, when something special is there, and this is still something that I fight, you know, something special is there, it's not that I'm hungry, but this is my chance to eat it and it's, you know, it's being offered and that sort of thing. So that was, you know, that was a type of habit that you know, accounts for I'm sure a lot, a lot of my weight gain through the years. And in some cases it would come up with traveling, but it also came up, you know, at the job or different, you know, any kind of special, special thing like that. So, yeah.

Rita Black: And so then at certain point you reached a peak and tell us about that, like that where you kind of made some major decisions.

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah. So I had, I had weight loss surgery 11 years ago, so I would've been 53, I think I was 52 at the time, a little over 11 years ago, 52. And so actually some colleagues had had it. And I had, I think in before that I had kind of thought that, you know, it was really for, almost for somebody who was wheelchair bound because of their weight, but, and, I was not that but I saw colleagues who were, you know, they were also, they were heavy and they had it. And I thought, well, I'm kind of in that ballpark. I should ask about it, because I tried, you know, had tried a lot of things and it just, you could just see it creeping up. And I think for me, part of the motivation was, it wasn't that where I was exactly at that moment was incredibly intolerable, but it's just that I could see my life trajectory was that 10 years from now, I'm gonna be at least another 10, if not another 20.

Marilyn Thayer : And then where do you go? So I was 52 at that time. I'm five four, and at that time I weighed about 220. I went to my doctor. So I was probably 50, 49 or 50 when I went. And I asked about that. And according to the way the qualifications to get the surgery in Ontario, at that time, I did not meet the medications at my weight. I would've had to have had another comorbidity, like heart trouble or breathing asthma or something like that. I didn't meet it. And I can remember at that meeting, taking note of what the weight was. I think you had to be 250 or 245 or something like that to get it with no comorbidities. So I kind of jokingly said to myself, okay, well that's where I'm gonna have to get in order to get the surgery.

Marilyn Thayer : And I didn't consciously do this, but I think subconsciously that's exactly what I did, was I worked my way up over the next couple of years, gained another 20 or 25, whatever it took. And so I was about 250, 255 when I actually went for the surgery. So I qualified it and went for the surgery. And I will say in Ontario at that time, they had a great process because they prepped you, you had to go for, at the time it was all fit, you know, you had to actually go to the place. So I would drive to Toronto and go for lessons and classes on nutrition. Like, first of all, what the surgery involved, what technically, and those sorts of things, how you would have to modify your eating in the immediate days before, the days after, and then what you would look at lifelong.

Marilyn Thayer : They taught us to read labels and it was really a very good education. And I can remember Rita, I can remember them saying to us, you know, we do the surgery on your body, but keep in mind, you know, that's not the big problem. That's not what's causing the weight loss. We're addressing only the symptoms, you need to address your mind. You need to do that. We can't do the surgery on your mind. So they were well aware of that. And they also had coaching available after, which I did take advantage of, and this was phone coaching at the time. So, you know, I could call up and I'd have six sessions with somebody and we'd talk about mostly strategies and habits. You know? What can you do that maybe, you know, if you're snacking at 4:00 PM what can you do at 4:00 PM to kind of stave that off or just look at little strategies. Lots of the same things that we do when we have our discussions in shift. So I feel like it was a really good process. I did drop, I went down to, 138, was my lowest, which is exactly what I am now, by the way.

Rita Black: Oh fantastic.

Marilyn Thayer : And I picked my goal weight as one pound lower, and I'm not quite to that yet. I really wanna be in this five pound range between 135 and 140 is kind of my goal. So I'm there. But so I got there, but they also taught us, and I was just reading online about the surgery. It still says that expect a 10 to 15% bounce back. And I got that a little bit more, I was probably at eventually a 20% bounce back. I mean, I settled in about four years after the surgery. I was settled in at 170, which after having been in the two hundreds, like that was very acceptable to me. I felt thin. I felt healthy. It was, it was all good. I was very settled there. I didn't have -

Rita Black: Can I ask you before you go into the next thing, I just wanted to ask you, because I think our listeners who are out there who either have had, now this was gastric bypass, it wasn't gastric sleeve, correct?

Marilyn Thayer : Correct. It was Roux-en-Y.

Rita Black: Yeah. Okay. And for you, was that, I just kind of wanted to go like that process from a psychological standpoint. Was it scary for you to do the surgery, or did you feel like, I'm ready and I just really want this, and, you know, how was it coming out of that surgery too and going into this new life with this new stomach? I mean, 'cause for so many people, I do hear it's an adjustment.

Marilyn Thayer : Okay. So, I mean, this is what my doctor recommended was the Roux-en-Y, and when I went down to the clinic, I mean, we knew there were options of the sleeve or there was the lap band as well. And one of the sessions that I talked to you about, I mean, they talked about the chances of complications and there were some mortalities arising from that. And I asked about that because yeah, that's scary. What I did find was that someone at my weight was high, what was not really part of that, that section of people who would be, I forget what it was with 2% or something like that, that people, but these people would be, the people who were, had the risk of mortality were more likely 400 to 500 pounds.

Marilyn Thayer : So there was so little risk for me. And that's, I read they're calling it the gold standard even today when I was reading on it. And so that's really why I went that route. It seemed like, why go partway? This was a good one for me. So that's why I made that, and I know that there, we were also, you know, there are side effects for some people, but generally speaking, those side effects, like the I think some people, I've never had like diarrhea, but I think that's it. And also there can be that lightheadedness, that kind of weak need sort of thing. But these are brought on when you're not following the rules. It's that simple. And I do get that lightheadedness where I just, I'm just, I can feel I'm so weak and I sit down and I'll just say to my husband, I need some protein.

Marilyn Thayer : And he'll grab me something. Or I'll have a protein bar and I can always trace back to what I ate three hours before. You know? Like a sleeve of cookies or 26 crackers or something like that. I always, like, there's always something, three bowls of cereal with milk. You know? I've always, I've always broken the rules. And that's what the surgery is there to physically stop your, stop you, help you stop yourself. And it does, it does its job. But as if I am eating normally regularly or just, or I have something like a square or a piece of cake or something like that after dinner, like, that's not, that doesn't, that's not an issue for me. But I do know that everybody's different, right? Everybody who has a surgery reacts slightly differently to it. But for me, that worked well.

Marilyn Thayer : And after the process, I can remember eating actually cottage cheese out of, it was one of those spoons, like a measuring spoon. I don't know if it was a quarter cup or if it was less than that, but that was, I was just eating cotton. I mean, that was how tiny my stomach was just to eat that. And I mean, I was off work for probably, and they did it laparoscopically, but I was off work for, I think it was six weeks, six to eight weeks after. I think it was supposed to be four to six weeks. And I'm not sure where I felt like around six, but I mean, I spent the time working that out, looking at the calories, working out what I was eating and eating minuscule at first. And then gradually you could, you could increase that.

Marilyn Thayer : There are certain things that I still adhere to very much today. And that's, I don't drink while I'm eating. And I don't, I'm not talking about alcohol, but I don't drink anything while I'm eating. I separate eating and drinking. That was something that they advised for probably eight years. I didn't do anything carbonated. Nothing carbonated because that bloat. So I stayed away from that. I do occasionally have that now, a sip of my husband's coke or sometimes I'll have my own, but very rarely. But yeah. So that's, it was very, I I'd say like three to four years after, I mean, here was another thing was really if I ate probably even four years after, if I ate half a piece of bread like that was pushing it. 'cause It would just fill me up. But the further we get from the surgery, the more you're able to take on and probably the more times I've transgressed. And every time you eat more, you know, you're expanding that, your stomach a little bit, so it's easier to eat more. But I still get those what I've overdone the sugar or the carbs, like that I'll pay for that. I still get that diziness.

Rita Black: Interesting. So, so you found that over that four year period you released weight, got down to 138 and then -

Rita Black: Yeah, I was down to 138 within two years.

Rita Black: Okay.

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah, it was probably, it might've been a year and a half. I was at 138 by then. Yeah. It was, it was pretty rapid. And I will say, probably the listeners would like to know, so two years after the gastric bypass, I had adominoplasty almost exactly two years after. And so that got rid of all, so much of the extra skin in my stomach area, my tummy area, my abdomen area. And that was, was great. And I'm, you know, that was a, for me that was a great choice to do that very -

Rita Black: Yeah. Okay. I've heard other people tell me about that surgery and then, that two years, you were kind of stabilized and then the scale started to creep up to 170, but you felt okay there? You were like -

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah. Yeah. I think probably over the next two or three years that I went up to the 170. But, and I just seemed to kind of hit there and just stabilize there. I didn't, you know, I think I had a different lifestyle. I was not eating the same amount that I used to. And while I wasn't working any longer, so there's a certain amount of activity and working that I didn't have, but I did more sort of conscious exercise, like going for a walk, going to the pool. I was more about that. And yeah. So my lifestyle kind of sustained that 170. But you know, then the pandemic came along and yeah.

Rita Black: So tell us about your pandemic story, Marilyn. Everybody has their own pandemic story.

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah, for sure. So, I mean, we, we sold our house and we were planning to travel the world. Our house sale closed four days before the pandemic sort of was declared a pandemic in North America. It closed on March the 10th. And so we actually came home from our worldwide adventure after two days. And then we were -

Rita Black: Oh no! Where were you? Where have you gone to?

Marilyn Thayer : At that point we were just in Dominican Republic 'cause that we were away for the winter anyway. And my husband had stayed down there. I came home to close the sale of the house. And then when I went back, it was pretty clear to me when I actually flew back there to meet up with him, that that wasn't the plan we had was not gonna happen. We had all these Airbnbs booked. We had a house sitting, we were North America. We were in heading to France in the fall. We had all kinds of things. And we were basically gonna live on the back of our van 'cause we had sold everything. And so, yes, we did end up living outta the back of our van, but just not very far from home. Yeah. So I was very conscious about, oh boy, okay, so not doing anything. So I don't wanna gain a bunch of weight. And so, you know, I think I did well, really for the first nine months, but the January to March of 2021, I, and I was not weighing myself regularly. Like that wasn't a thing that I felt I needed to do. But for some, I got on the scales in March of 2021, and I could see, oh, now I was 180.

Marilyn Thayer : And that I did not, I could see that that was not really a good thing,obviously, because there I was on my way up again and I wrote myself a letter at that time, begging myself not to undo what I had done in 2012. Don't undo that surgery and all the good and the good moments and the lifestyle and everything. Don't do that, Marilyn. And I stayed, then I watched the scale a bit and I was staying at 180. I still wanted to figure out how to get down, but I couldn't really convince myself. I started a lot of movement. I started a Pilates class. I tried to make sure I got out walking a bit more. But right then my mind was, was only I was willing to add some activity, but I wasn't willing to deal with the food yet.

Marilyn Thayer : And I knew I didn't wanna do a diet. I knew that wasn't the answer. And then, did I weigh myself in March of 22? And there I was at 190. So again, I was just kind of begging myself not to do that because I could see this, I thought, oh my gosh, could I potentially make my way right back to where I was, you know, hit the 240, 250, something like that. Of course, without question, I knew that that was possible. And so then I had to figure out what I was going to do. And again, I knew a diet wasn't the answer. I knew what I knew. It had to be like a very conscious lifestyle change.

Marilyn Thayer : So, and I, but I think that I was taking that on at the same time as a whole kind of snapping myself out of the pandemic because it's so easy to stay home. That was kind of I mean, there were things that were not nice about it, not seeing the people that you loved for sure, but there was a certain simplicity to it where you just didn't have to think about things. And I wanted to snap myself outta that, where I would get excited about doing things again. Not that I had to be going every minute of the day, but, you know, as a retiree or semi-retired person, but I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to snap myself outta that inertia. It was kind of an inertia, you know?

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah. And so, you know, when I started, Tony Robbins was doing something, he and Dean Graziosi were doing something for five days. It was really, it was actually very business oriented, but it was a five day thing for about four or five hours a day in August of 2022. And I think, I dunno what it was called, Ignite the Fire or something like that.

Rita Black: I remember that. I remember seeing advertisements for that. It was a big event.

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah, I had done a Tony Robbins event in person, probably a little more than a decade before that. Maybe in 2010, 2011, something like that. And so I, and I generally speaking like that, so I thought I would try that. As you said, it was very business oriented, but that didn't, I wasn't concerned about that because I just kind of took the messages. I could apply them to myself and my situation in many, many cases. And so that was kind of how I decided to get into it. And I basically, I knew that I wanted to, the question that I had for myself was, how can I want this so much like to be thin and fit so much? And I consider myself to be a very capable person, and I'm very confident, and I was always good at my job, but why could I not? Why had this eluded me basically my whole life, or for most of my life. And then here it was beginning to allude me again. And I decided that I would treat this getting back to where I wanted to be as my, as a job. Like, this is gonna be my job.

Marilyn Thayer : So starting with that Tony Robbins things, I basically came to my office, my second bedroom, my studio for five to six hours a day I doing that. But reflecting, figuring out what was I gonna do? What were the steps I was gonna take? How was I gonna get myself? And I wasn't gonna start modifying my eating or doing something until I was ready to do it and committed to doing it. Not that I couldn't do it without mistakes, that wasn't the issue. And so I did that. So that was part of what I did. And I just looked for something everywhere. I explored tapping EFT. I explored that if there was a link on social media, I followed it to see was is this for me. I knew the big thing was habits.

Marilyn Thayer : Like I wanted to get my habits in order because I knew, to me, that was the key to success. If I get my habits where I needed them, the rest would follow. 'cause that's what I needed to do, was establish or reestablish the positive habits that I had and get rid of those, the ones that were not taking me to where I wanted to be. So one of the things I got was a, I signed up for a podcast. It's a very short series, maybe 10 by an Australian woman called Breakthrough. And it was all about habits. And that was very useful, identifying the habits, what happens when this one happens. This was not specifically about eating at all but I applied it to, to eating and in my case and how to recognize them.

Marilyn Thayer : And then how to replace the habits that weren't serving you with habits that did serve you. And I started on that, but I would follow any trail on the internet and get inspiration or whatever. And one of the things that I had done in the early 2000's was I had myself hypnotized to drink water. I was not a water drinker. And I knew that drinking water was great for your health, your digestion, and that it could aid in maintaining a weight or keeping a healthy weight or even losing weight. And I had myself hypnotized to drink, and that was very successful. In fact, I just remembered I was a teacher and at school we had a kids dressed, like the teacher day, a spirit day. And I remember these, a bunch of kids dressed like me. And it kind of was so shocking to me, but they were all carrying water bottles.

Marilyn Thayer : And I guess I love that. That's what I had looked like for the last year, you know, so that was very successful. But again, it was something that over the period of a few years, I let slide, I didn't keep it up. And so I didn't have that, but I knew that that hypnosis was successful. So I was searching for something to do with hypnosis. I mean, I should say before I found you, I had made the decision that I was going to start tracking my eating, because this was with the Roux-en-Y surgery. This is something that they said, track what you eat. And they said, the most successful people from this surgery are still tracking years and years later what they're eating. Right? Even if they're not, it's not that they're trying to hit a certain mark, they're even just the act of writing it down is, makes you conscious of -

Rita Black: It allows your brain to make connections that it would not normally do. And we forget what we eat 15 minutes after we eat it, oftentimes. So a lot of people get on the scale and are like, why am I gaining weight? I'm not eating anything. But they're subconsciously eating a lot more. So tracking is really helpful with that mind connection.

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah. So by the middle of September, I was drinking water. I had started drinking water again that I had implemented it at the end of August. That was one small thing I was able to do. Matthew McConaughey was a guest speaker, and he said, just do something. So the action I took then was drinking water. And then eventually, like I knew I was going to track, and I knew I was going to have to modify my eating. And then middle of September, I did that. And of course then the weight just started, I wasn't even aiming, I was aiming to eat less basically than I had been. And the weight just started falling off. But I mean, bits of it were hard because I wanted to eat, and it was, I was kind of white knuckling it, you know, knowing that I shouldn't, and I was using the habits, reforming my habits using that.

Marilyn Thayer : But I was looking for hypnosis that would maybe say to me, make me think I didn't want those chips, or I didn't want those cookies or that ice cream. And so I came across Shift Hypnosis and like many of the other places, there was a free session. I think it was an hour long. So I signed up for that. And then at the end of that free session, I knew enough to think, okay, that seemed like something that it was worth spending the money on to make that investment. So I did, and I did the self-study starting I think it was near the end of October, mid to end of October that I started. So I finished up around the 25th of November, somewhere around there was, when I finished the shift, well finished the shift. It's really the start. finished that 30 day process.

Rita Black: And how was that 30 days? Like what happened internally for you during that time?

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah. So that was great for me because a lot of the things were, I was able to say, okay, I'm doing that already. I'm on the right track. Some things I was like, Hmm, I'm not like the weighing yourself every day. That was not something I had been a fan of in the past because of that pressure. But I could actually see when I traced back and I looked, well, why was it such a surprise to me that suddenly I had gained 10 pounds? That's because I hadn't weighed myself for three months. Right?

Rita Black: Right.

Marilyn Thayer : So I thought, and I thought that if I chose to weigh every day, that's how to make a habit.

Rita Black: Yes.

Marilyn Thayer : Even weighing every week, it's harder because you only get to practice that once a week. So I thought, I'm gonna join up with the once a day club and do that. And I mean, that has had its frustration. So much so that at one point, I mean, I did stop. I did not weigh myself completely for a full month, but now I, you know, I'm back to continuing. So that was one of the processes.

Rita Black: I wanna mention this to the listeners regarding weighing every day, just with regards to studies and correlation with long-term success and people weighing everyday. What Marilyn is saying is what weighing every day, I think a lot of times we see, when we struggle with weight, the scale is punitive. People are like, I don't weigh myself. And I understand that because I struggled with my weight and I went through years where I didn't own a scale, but I spent a lot of time obsessing, you know, was I fat? Was I thin? Could I, you know, like how did my pants fit me? Like the amount of a mental obsession I had about my weight never ceased to exist because I wasn't weighing myself. In fact, getting on the scale everyday, what happens, and I don't know, correct me if I'm wrong, Marilyn, but you become desensitized to a certain degree because you just get on, you get the number, you get off, and you start to have a different relationship with it.

Rita Black: It's not, the skill isn't there to prove you wrong or right, or good or bad, but it's just data that you collect to, you know, make decisions. And, you know, it helps you make decisions not just about what you're going to eat, but just like how things are going. And the scale's never going to the, scale goes up and down because we're made of water and there's variation. So it can be frustrating. I agree with you. But what happens is we see trends, and for maintenance, it becomes a very powerful tool because of what you're talking about, Marilyn, like you maintained your weight for a while, but then it starts to get, your brain starts to normalize things. And it can normalize overeating, like, oh, I'm eating exactly what I was before, but you're not. And the scale will let you know that as a, like, just a fact, you know, like, Hey, there are no, no, you know, nothing against you, Marilyn, but you know, those, you have actually gained three pounds.

Rita Black: So, so let's look at the behaviors. Let's dial back and look at behaviors. Right. But I think what happens is when we struggle with our weight, we make the scale means so much more than what it is. And it is such a small part of weight management ultimately, but it is a tool, and it is a tool that we can use and use our minds around that tool, either powerfully or we can use it to our own, you know pain and add to our struggles. So that, I just wanted to throw that in there for our listeners. So I hear that yes, it can be frustrating at times, and yes, and you know, fair enough, you took a break from it. But you know, the value of our journey isn't about being good or being bad, but it's about learning.

Rita Black: And sometimes when you take a break from something and you're like, oh, actually that tool actually really helps me, and you come back to it with a different appreciation of it, then you know, like tracking, you know, it's like a lot of people hate the idea of tracking because it seems very punitive and deprivational, but when you actually are using it to say, well, you know, this is what my body burns and if I stay within this range, I can release weight at a rate I decide. And that's taking total ownership of who you are and what your body does. I mean, and that's very self-affirming. But things like weighing and tracking live in this diet or trauma part of our brain, where anytime we hear that our brain responds in a, like almost a PTSD sort of way, like, I can't do that. I won't do that. It's, you know, it's too painful because it brings back the pain of the struggle. But really those things in and of themselves are just tools that can be used in a very powerful way if you allow 'em to Okay, enough said, I'm moving on. I'm gonna shut up and let you keep talking, but I get it. So the skill became a powerful tool for you. But, you know -

Marilyn Thayer : In the process, yeah. I don't know, it's kind of like many of the things that I was doing and then many of the new things that you introduced in the whole process, people should know it's way more than just hypnosis. It's a whole, it's a whole barrage of skills. And to me, the shift process took the things that I'd been doing as well as the new things and put it in a nice little package, wrapped it up with a bow, and it was now sort of, it's thing, that whole thing there that worked together.

Rita Black: Together. Lifestyle. Yeah, lifestyle.

Marilyn Thayer : That's what it's, that's what I was going for. And yeah. And that's it. And now, I mean, of course the shift community, the Facebook group and the meetings that you hold with regularity, like those are all great places of encouragement, positive spaces no matter where you are. So I really enjoy that as well, I think. And some of the things I was big on mantras. Like mantras were very helpful for me right from the beginning. Some of them I picked up from that Tony Robbins thing, some, that I kind of developed. And you had some great ones. A couple, like one that was really big for me was freedom from the struggle is more important than the weight release. And that was the huge thing because if you ask me what was the most difficult thing about being overweight?

Marilyn Thayer : And for me it was this veil or cloud of fatness, not the physicality of it, but in the back of my mind that, oh yeah, I've gotta lose this weight kind of thing. That weighing on that was the most difficult thing actually. And I would wake up, that would be, one of the first conscious thoughts I had every morning. I didn't think about it constantly all day consciously, but I believe it was, it was there. And I think that was one of the most difficult things. So that was a great mantra for me to hang onto. Another one was one of the ones that you say in session four or five of the pre-session before the 30 day shift starts was about you know, when you think about, you know, oh, this diet is hard. That's not hard.

Marilyn Thayer : You know? And then, you talk about things that are hard. And so I took that and when I go, you think this is hard? That's not hard. Waking up in your every morning disappointed in yourself, that's hard. Not being able to find something in your size that you like on your body, that's hard, you know? Not being able to walk two kilometers without pain, that's hard. You know, start thinking of those things. Something along the way was, you know, being able to distinguish between what you want now and what you want most. That was a big one as well. And getting used to having being uncomfortable in the struggle. Like, you know, wanting to eat something and not eating it. Going through that discomfort at the moment for joy and freedom and confidence down the road, like for a future reward, really thinking about that. But it was just like, hard now for easy later is what I boiled that one down to.

Rita Black: I used the term leveraging dopamine because the impulsive part of our brain wants that thing now, but the higher level part of us wants that vision or that goal later of being free from the struggle. But, you know, many people like yourself wanna travel. They want to engage with their children, their grandchildren, like those really, those things that make life rich and powerful and you your best self, really. Ultimately, those are the things that we want. And struggling with weight, it's not just the weight that keeps us from them, but it's the way we keep ourselves in this box and, you know, beat ourselves up and limiting beliefs and, you know, I'll travel when I've lost the weight and then we don't travel, and then we don't take risks in our life, and it's all that we lose out on.

Rita Black: And so I love that idea of the, you know, leveraging, you know, that impulsive and, you know, I'm learning more about dopamine. The difference between dopamine and the dopamine is really the reward push, the impulse comes from a desire push, not, I really like this thing push. So when you think about there's a difference between desire and liking something. Like we say, oh, I like cookies. But often we'll eat the first bite of the cookie and enjoy the taste, but the rest of it we don't even experience. And so when you can start to separate out how dopamine drives so much of our behavior with eating and hypnosis and meditation, all that helps the brain manage that impulsiveness. But also just having that conscious knowledge as well. And, you know, we worked, when what you're talking about Marilyn is like having a powerful vision.

Rita Black: And that vision also leverages our mindset so that the brain, oh yes, that is more powerful to me than this momentary, this momentary even. It's not even a, the need to have it or the taste for it, but it's more the relief from the desire that agitation that we go for it for, you know what I mean? It's just like, oh God, I just stop. I wanna stop liking, you know, like, I'm just going to eat it. Or we'll finish the bag because It's like, ugh, I just don't wanna have it in the house anymore. I don't wanna be thinking about it anymore. But then of course we go and buy another bag. So it's so crazy how are brain (inaudible) But when you can understand your brain and understand all those driving factors, then you can start to have some power.

Rita Black: And especially when you start. And I think what you've done too, and I think what I really love about your process, Marilyn, is you, you know, you do, you do dive deep like you're, 'cause you're an educator and you really love the learning process. You journal and you really thoughtful. You really think about this as a process for you and developing yourself, which I really appreciate. So Marilyn brings a lot of stuff, you know, ideas and thoughtfulness to the process, which I really do appreciate. And you've had such a great journey. I mean, your journey has been that of, you know, I think when you lose weight or you release weight like you did with the surgery, and I know for so many people, I used to lecture for people who had had gastric bypass at UCLA, you know, I was coming and doing mindset stuff with them a number of years ago when I first you know, probably in like 2008 when bariatric surgery was really huge and they were like big auditoriums full of people who, and I learned from them.

Rita Black: Then it was like, there's this two year grace period from the eating like that you kind of, whatever the surgery does with your satiety hormones and you know, where you kind of, you know, and you're releasing weight and it's easy. And it's kind of like, they call it the honeymoon phase, I guess, or it was like, or they would call it a honeymoon phase. But then after that point that there's did for a lot of people start to have somewhat of a struggle and some people, like you said, do gain a lot of the weight back, but some, you know, are able to keep it off. So it, everybody has their different journey. But for you to have gone through that journey of such an extensive weight release and then to see it slowly coming back in that horror of like, I cannot go back there. And just like also being an intelligent person and being highly functioning, going, what's the disconnect here? Because I clearly don't wanna do this. Like, I clearly don't. But, you know, then really making that commitment, making that shift and starting to what you've done was gradually get mindful and change your behaviors and in a very loving, self-loving way, that's what I'm hearing. It wasn't hating yourself down the scale. It was loving yourself down the scale. Yeah.

Marilyn Thayer : Absolutely.

Rita Black: And I would say, don't let me make assumptions, but I would say that you've been okay with the rate of weight release. I mean, you've had a fairly quick weight release. 'cause like you said, you went from, what did you, when you started the shift? Like how much have you released within the shift process, and you've released some weight before.

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah, yeah. So just about say six weeks or so before I started shift was when I started to actually lose weight, although I'd been in the process before that. But, so right now I am, let's see, one, it must be, I'm 50 pounds down, 52 pounds down, something like that. So since about the middle of September, so that's 10 months. And I mean, most of that came off in the first bit of, I mean, now the last few months, very slow, right? And, but I've increased, I've really increased what I've been eating. I've been trying to, I think in the beginning it was important to make quick progress because success breeds success, right? Like you wanna see results, but also when you've got more to lose, you're using more calories per day. Every time you go for a walk, you're burning more, more calories.

Marilyn Thayer : So it's easier to lose in the beginning it goes faster. So I was losing about I think the first couple of months were 10 pounds a month and then eight pounds a month, and then six. And now I'm not sure what I'm at right now, but I've increased probably by, almost by 30% the amount that I eat each day. But I'm also, the part of that is I'm very confident that, you know, as Jeff says, when I get into that ditch, I can get back on the road, you know? I'm not in, I'm not four towns over. So if I get off track, I can get myself back on track. And so I just don't panic about the fact that I binge ate something or whatever. I just get back on track and that's the end of it.

Marilyn Thayer : Whereas Itsy, in the beginning, I was not confident in myself about that at all. Like prior to shift. And in the beginning bit of shift, I didn't see, I wasn't sure that I had that skill. And so I was much more strict with myself in a certain sense. But now I just wanted to be part of my, and I feel this will be part of my everyday, my life with shift is sort of my whole lifestyle going on is, yeah. There's not perfection there. There is, you know, getting, you know, swerving from side to side, getting off track and just okay, getting back on track, period. And I'm just not gonna panic about that.

Rita Black: But what you've created is a structure, an internal structure that does give you some, like you, it gives you the road, you know, like it does give you the guidelines you may swerve off onto to the ditch, but you have on a day-to-day basis, you've created those habits. And those habits aren't something you do. It's kind of who you are. And that's the important thing to know is that after repetition, it's not like you're not even conscious about, like, you either can unconsciously do bad behaviors or you can unconsciously do behaviors that allow you to live at your life at your ideal weight. And it's about like cultivating those, and then they do, it doesn't become like, everybody thinks like, well, I have to do this for the right. It becomes very much who you are. It's not so much an effort.

Marilyn Thayer : Many of the things are very natural. One of my friends asked me recently, does it get easier? I said, actually, it does get easier because it's just something, yeah. I'm just, I'm not a person who buys treats in the checkout line, and I know I phrased that in the negative, but, you know, and that's just, it's just not something that I do.. That's not who I am.

Rita Black: You've re-identified yourself.

Marilyn Thayer : Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So that's for sure.

Rita Black: That's amazing.

Marilyn Thayer : And I think for people who are struggling wherever they are, whether it's being that they went through the weight loss surgery or for other reasons, I wonder if taking a break from concentrating on the weight loss for a moment and doing something that really helps you connect with yourself, whether, I know I've mentioned Tony Robbins, but that may not be your thing, but there's many people out there who are very helpful. I know you did something recently with a woman who talks about the joy of kind of finding the joy and being a joyful person. I just think that a lot of those things I think doing that first for me, underpinned my success this time and have really made it feel like it's really made it attached to be me, the person as opposed to something external or something I'm trying to do.

Rita Black: And so, I think taking a moment and gratefulness, I have to say, that's been a real thing that I tried to institute at the beginning as well. But taking a moment, just setting the weight loss frenzy aside for a moment and just getting into thinking about yourself, become crystal clear about maybe about why you want the weight loss, but about what's going on in your life, the things that you have control over, and making that connection and then coming back around to the weight loss. I think that that could be something that may be helpful for some people if they're struggling in a, at a certain point in their weight loss, in their weight release.

Rita Black: That is great. 'cause I was gonna ask you like, what would be the first step that you would have? What would be your advice to somebody just who's kind of feeling a little lost or not quite sure about what to do? What would they do first? So you're saying, well, maybe it's just about getting connected to yourself, doing something that you enjoy or something you appreciate yourself for already or getting inspired.

Marilyn Thayer : Yeah. And getting inspired. And for me, a big thing was becoming crystal clear about why, what was my motivation for wanting this? Because, so if, you know, I move 30 pounds down the scale or whatever it is, and I'm thinner, like how has my life automatically changed or is there something else in my life? Is it just the weight or really is there, are there other things there that are foundational to that? You know? So being crystal clear about what it is that I want to solve, you know, what it is that's bothering me and see if you can find causes behind it as well. You know, what are the root causes that I can address? Or is it just that I've developed bad habits over the years and then identifying those and or dealing with things that maybe aren't weight related, that are having an effect on how you eat, kind of dealing with those things. Yeah. That would be kind of, I think, yeah, for inspiration, motivation, connection to self, I think that's an important step. That was really important I think for me to have done before I could really latch on to some of these other things.

Rita Black: Cool. Well that's great advice. Well, Marilyn, thank you so much for coming on. This has been so great, first of all, just to see you and talk to you. But I think a lot of what you had to say is very insightful and helpful for anybody going on a journey.

Marilyn Thayer : I hope so.

Rita Black: A weight mastery or journey of self-mastery. So thank you very much and we'll look forward to having you back sometime soon.

Rita Black: Okay. Bye Rita.

Rita Black: Wow. Thank you Marilyn, for sharing that, that was so generous of you and what I hope you really enjoyed what Marilyn had to say. And a reminder that this Tuesday is our live masterclass, Tuesday the 19th of September, 2022. So get in there and sign up in the links in the show notes. And if you're listening to this, after the September of 20 I'm sorry, not 20 22, 2023, but if you are listening after the September 19th, 2023, check out the show notes. Anyway, there's a link in there for you too. So have a great week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it. I will be with you here next week.

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.