Are you navigating the challenging role of a caregiver? Whether it’s for a child, family member, or spouse, caregiving can be overwhelming, often leaving us neglecting our own well-being. 

In today’s episode, we dive deep into this very inspiring story of caregiving, with a remarkable guest, Debbie Weiss, an author, entrepreneur, and lifelong caregiver.

Debbie’s journey began at the age of 17, caring for her family, a responsibility she is still doing at the age of 59. In this episode, she candidly shares her transformative story—from battling resentment and guilt to a powerful moment of reclaiming her life. 

Debbie discovered the balance between self-care and inspired caregiving, shedding 90 pounds, and finding renewed strength within herself.

Debbie, who is also the author of the Highly Anticipated memoir, On Second Thought, Maybe I Can, and a contributing author in the collaborative book, Heart Whispers, shares her insights into prioritizing self-care without compromising caregiving duties.

She also shares strategies for rejuvenation, recharging, and rediscovering your inner resilience.

Debbie’s inspiring journey serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the importance of nurturing ourselves to provide the best care for our loved ones.

Prepare to be inspired, uplifted, and empowered. Tune in to this episode brimming with valuable insights, heartfelt inspiration, and a sprinkle of self-love. 

So, snuggle up with your coziest blanket, and come on in.

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Rita Black: Do you find yourself in the position of caring for someone? Maybe it's a child or a family member or a spouse, maybe it's more than one person. Caregiving can take a huge toll on our mental and physical health if we do not learn to put ourselves first. In today's episode, I sit down with Debbie Weiss, author, entrepreneur, and lifelong caregiver who started caregiving for her family at the age of 17 and continue to do so through the age of 59. She shares her secrets for turning her life around from that of resentment and guilt to a pivotal moment in her life when she took her power back, released 90 pounds, and found the balance between the right amount of self-care, and inspired caregiving. Join us as we unravel the secrets to rejuvenate, recharge, and rediscover the strength within. Because when you take care of yourself, you can take better care of others. Get ready for insights, inspiration, and a dash of self-love with this truly remarkable and inspiring woman. So grab your best self-care blankie, and come on in.

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, everyone. Please come in and join me. You know, I just adore, adore, adore our Thin Thinking audience. And I just wanna thank you all for being here and being in our community during this month of gratitude, being grateful for all we have. Here we are. This is our 140th episode for Thin Thinking. I cannot believe it! We're almost three years in there. Were about over two and a half years into our first episode, which was in the March of 2021. It just, that seems like a lifetime ago. I was just saying to my husband, can you believe this is episode 140? So please subscribe. And I have an amazing, lots of great content coming up, not only during the holiday season, but a surprise change to our podcast in the new year with some special episodes. So please subscribe so you can make sure to get all the good, rich stuff that is coming your way.

Rita Black: Now, when students sign up for the Shift Weight Mastery Process, one thing that I make them do is fill out a questionnaire. And the questionnaire is really for them to get them thinking about this new way of thinking and mindset around weight management. But I also read every single questionnaire, and it sometimes just is so moving because people really pour out their hearts and tell me so many things about themselves and their lives. And it's just such a, one of the things I just love about what I do. I feel very grateful, very, very grateful to be serving this community and my students and the people because I just get to work and be around and immersed in this world of people who are truly inspired human beings who are out there taking care of others, doing amazing things in the world, but are just stuck in the weight struggle.

Rita Black: So when I read these stories, many of them include people who are really, truly struggling with caregiving. You know? They're caring for a parent or two. They're caring for their parents and their spouse's parents. They're caring for their spouse, they're caring for their children. So many different caregiving situations. They're caregiving for young children or their grandchildren. So we all know that caregiving does take a toll on us. And not just our weight, but our mental health and our physical health. We often neglect ourselves, women, especially in the pursuit of caring for others. It's almost a biological imperative. It seems that. It says, please pay attention to others and don't pay attention to yourself. So, it is my honor to introduce to you Debbie Weiss, who was just like a gem. I, you know, it's like how you walk along the beach and you just find the most amazing stone.

Rita Black: Well, I feel like I was walking along and somebody reached out to me who represents Debbie, who has written a book, and she said, you know, I have this amazing author who I think you might be really interested in. And I said, well, tell me more about her. And then I started to read about Debbie and I was just hooked. I was just like, this woman has to be on our podcast. And so I brought her on today because she has so many great lessons to teach us about the art of caregiving from, you know, the inside out and how to truly take care of yourself. Because hers is such an amazing story. I can't wait for you to hear it.

New Speaker: So, Debbie is a seasoned life strategist with over five decades of experience and has faced some of life's most daunting challenges head on, and emerged as a beacon of hope and inspiration for others. As the author of the Highly Anticipated memoir, On Second Thought, Maybe I Can, and a contributing author in the collaborative book, Heart Whispers, Debbie's words have the power to uplift and motivate a tenacious entrepreneur. Debbie manages both a thriving insurance agency and her charming online store, A Sprinkle of Hearts. As a host of Maybe I Can Podcast, an inspired speaker, she generously shares her wisdom and insights on overcoming limiting beliefs and fears as a dedicated family caregiver and Mother Debbie's resilience shines through in every aspect of her life. So, it is my honor to introduce Debbie Weiss.

New Speaker: Welcome Debbie, to the Thin Thinking Podcast. It's really, I'm very excited about our interview today.

Debbie Weiss: Oh, me too. Rita, thank you so much for having me.

Rita Black: Maybe you can start by just telling our audience a little bit about you and your story, because this is very compelling.

Debbie Weiss: Well, thank you. So I have been a caregiver for family members for over 40 years, maybe 45 years now. It started when my dad had a massive stroke at the age of 45. The day after I graduated from high school. I was 17, and my parents were divorced, and my dad became my responsibility. Luckily, he survived, but he was permanently disabled and he lived for another 30 years. He never lived with me, but he was my responsibility. So finding him places to live on a limited income and taking care of everything for him. So really rough to become a caregiver when you're not really an adult yet yourself. And then when I had my oldest son at the age of two, he was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and then later added mental illness diagnoses along with a slew of other diagnoses. And, you know, as a parent, you're always a caregiver, but when you have a child with special needs, it just takes it to a whole other level. And then more recently, in the last five years or so, my husband became disabled also due to mental illness as well as physical illness. And then in June of 2020, out of the blue, unrelated to any of his other illnesses, he was diagnosed with MDS, which for him was a form of terminal blood cancer. And he passed away December 30th, 2022.

Rita Black: Oh, I'm so sorry. It, that's just what you've gone through your life is unfathomable. I mean, it's, it's truly extraordinary. So within all of this, I mean, caring for all your father, then your son, then your husband, how did you find a path forward to prioritize yourself? I mean, like, how did you work that out in your mind? Like how, you know, because I, so many of our listeners are caring for somebody or have been caring for somebody, and we all know putting ourselves at the bottom of the totem pole is especially a female thing. But like, how did you, as a 17 year old, and this wasn't your fault, like, how did you, just walk us through all that, how you found your path to making yourself and your needs a priority.

Debbie Weiss: So I didn't for too long. I would say I didn't, and I'll tell you the story in a minute, until around the age of 50 and I suffered, I internally, you know, I would have a lot of anger and resentment towards, you know, initially my father, not really my son, but my father, even though, you know, I knew that it wasn't his fault. And, you know, I, of course knew all those things, but I would have moments of really kind of rage where I would just explode because I was not doing anything to take care of myself. And like you said, as women, you know, besides the fact of, you know, our normal caregiving, I had this on top of it and working and money and household, like all of the other things. And as more things just got piled on top, on top on top, I couldn't take it.

Debbie Weiss: But I didn't understand what was really happening. I just really felt like I was dealt a raw deal, quite frankly, and that I was a victim of my life and my circumstances. And then when I turned 50, my friends insisted that we go away for a couple of days, and I thought, how can I leave everyone and what's gonna happen while I'm gone? And I'll be worried the whole time. And the minute that the four of us met at the airport, I practically forgot my family member's names, you know, the laughing started the fun. And it was just an amazing feeling to go away and have someone say, well, Debbie, where, what do you wanna do today? Where do you want to eat? I was stumped when they asked me. And one night at dinner, we were having a conversation and something popped into my head and I asked them, you know, did I used to have a reputation or be known for my laugh? Because I kind of had this can be a loud kind of cackle. And they looked at me dumbfounded, like, how could you even ask that? And I really wasn't sure. And they said, of course. And in that moment, I realized I had lost myself. I had lost my laugh for the last 30 years.

Debbie Weiss: And in that moment, and I think the age of 50 had something to do with it, you know, all of a sudden now really starting to think about your own mortality and how much time do I have left? And am I going to continue to sacrifice my life for everyone else? And that didn't mean that I was unhappy that I cared for everyone, and that I wasn't going to continue to do that. But things had to change because otherwise, I had lost myself and I was no longer willing to allow that to happen.

Rita Black: Wow. What, that's amazing that that all came to the forefront in that. And isn't it amazing when you get away from it all? 'cause we get so stuck in our day-to-day, and our mindset is just survive, do the next thing on the list, get through it. And it really does take that interruption like, oh, we're taking you away and to expand your mind. And it's amazing. That's truly wonderful. What great friends you have. So you came back from this trip and you had this epiphany and how did you start to put the pieces of the puzzle together for yourself? How did you start a break out of that sort of, I don't know, habit trail or the hamster wheel that you had of self-care to start to put you first?

Debbie Weiss: So it actually started with my weight. I have been heavy my entire life. I've struggled with my weight. It's a huge part of my story and my life. And if I had to think of a few things that define me, my weight is on the top of the list, as I'm sure many of your listeners, you know, I've gained a thousand, lost a thousand up, down all around for me, the times that I've been most successful had been with Weight Watchers. So I thought to myself, at that point, I was not at my heaviest, but I was, I was, I needed to lose over a hundred pounds, let's just say that. Okay. So once again, I took myself back to Weight Watchers, but this time I did it differently.

Debbie Weiss: In the past, I would go and I'd say, okay, today is, you know, whatever, October 15th, by January 1st I need to lose 20 pounds. And, you know, have all these ideas with numbers and timeframes. And then if I didn't meet them or I was on the diet, off the diet, you know, that was the end. And back to the way it was before I said, I'm gonna go and the only thing that I am going to focus on is attending a meeting every single week. I'm not going to, you know, count points and track and exercise, like none of those things. I'm gonna start small. And that's all I did. I made sure that was my commitment to myself. I'm going to that meeting every week. And I didn't, I gained two, lost one, you know, basically stayed the same. But once I was comfortable and consistent with showing up every week, I added another little piece. Now I'm gonna track my food not a hundred percent of the time, just 50%. And I continued that way. I never lost the whole a hundred yet. But I lost 90 and -

Rita Black: Wow. Good for you.

Debbie Weiss: Thank you. And that was, well, that was probably almost 10 years ago because I just turned 60. And what I've found since then, and even though, like I said, you know, I don't know what my goal weight is. I had this number in my head. I wasn't even born at my goal weight, you know, so I don't know what it is, but I, it doesn't matter because I saw that how that small or really big mindset shift changed everything. And now when I approach my eating, my weight, all of that, it's not that perfectionist mindset. You know? Oh, well, look at this. I really enjoyed myself. Now it's time to pull it back for a couple of days. And so when I kind of learned that and I saw the success that I had with the weight, then I said, let me apply it to other things. I mean, the weight has been my biggest struggle for my entire life. Now, if I could do that with the little mindset shift, why can't I try it somewhere else? And I've been doing that ever since.

Rita Black: Good for you. So with other people, obviously, I'm sure you struck a chord with a lot of our listeners. And many of them, like I said, are balancing duties with their family caregiving. What advice would you give them to start? I, it sounds like maybe start small

Debbie Weiss: Yep.

Rita Black: Start with one thing and then work out from there.

Debbie Weiss: Exactly. Exactly. And the other thing is, for me it was setting boundaries. Because -

Rita Black: That's so huge.

New Speaker: If they called, I was there, I jumped, at my own expense, it couldn't, I'm not talking about something terrible like, you know, oh my goodness, they're taking to the hospital. But if somebody needs something, somebody wants something, I would put that before me and it might not be something that they need, like I said, nothing that they need urgently. I had to tell, I had to tell my family, I'm going to this Weight Watchers meeting every Sunday morning. This is my time. I'm going to, for me, I like to dance. So I would go to Jazzercise and Zumba, you know, this is what I'm doing. Here are the nights I will help you with something else, but it won't be during these times.

Rita Black: So you started to create powerful boundaries. That's amazing. Did you have to when doing that, you know, because I think a lot of people struggle with asking and making requests of those people in their lives. Right? Because I think a lot of, you know, we talk here in the Thin Thinking podcast a lot about identity and self identity. Right? And so when we see ourselves as a caregiver, there's a certain way that we see ourselves, which is a good thing. You know? Like, I'm a good person. I'm taking care of everybody in my life, you know, and society and media and everybody focus on like, aren't you good? You're a good person. You're taking care of everybody in your life. That makes you good. Which, you know, of course you are. But then we struggle when we need to create, you know, time for ourselves with being seen, seen as selfish, self-centered, not helpful you know, the opposite of what we obviously are, you know, 99.9% of the time.

Rita Black: So when, how do you, how did you, because I'm sure you went through this and negotiate this with yourself, you know, it sounds like that turning 50 has something's like, I don't care anymore. I don't care what people think or what. But I'm curious because that is something I think that would be very helpful for our listeners, is like that negotiation of how you see yourself. Like, I don't wanna be seen as selfish. I don't want to be seen as somebody who's you know, like with regards to diet, people don't want to tell others that they're taking care of themselves because they've, you know, dieted so many times before tried to take care of themselves. Like, oh, that again, oh, you're doing this again. You know, like, and dealing with all of that when you sincerely really do want to take a new path forward.

Debbie Weiss: So it isn't easy. And everything that you said, I a thousand percent felt that doing anything for myself is selfish. I think what happened was I realized, I saw the correlation between what happened when I didn't take care of myself. I saw how I was resentful towards my father, how I would snap at everybody in my family, how I would have like these, you know, once a year, it seemed like I would just have this explosion over something that was, you know, ridiculous because it had just put me over the edge. And was that the way I wanted to show up? No. You know? I wasn't really being that helpful, showing up all the time, feeling a little bit resentful. And I saw that when I did a little bit for myself, how did I show up for my family a lot better? I was a lot happier. I was calmer. I was able to handle more of the issues that were going on. And so then when you actually start to look, if you just look up the statistics, and I don't have them in front of me about the percentage of caregivers that physically get sick, because they're not taking care of their own health, they're worried about going to everybody else's doctor's appointments and not going to their own, you know, not watching, you know, what they eat, what they, whatever, whatever their you know, issues are because it's everybody else. What, what happens if something happens to you? You know? If you could prevent that by doing a little something for yourself every day, isn't that worth it? You know, you're saving both of you, you or however you know, you and, and everybody else.

Rita Black: Yeah. I love that. It's so true. And, and I do think resentment is one of the most fattening. Resentment and guilt. Resentment. So yeah. Absolutely. And I couldn't, I couldn't, there's a saying like, resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You know? And I love that so much. And, and in my own life and my own weight mastery path, I, you know, had a saying to myself, I said, am I going to eat over this? Because If I am, then I'm gonna say something, or ask for something or make a request, you know, of somebody. So you do, I love what you're saying. It's, it's, you really do have to start with you. And the more that you are advocating for yourself, bringing that magic circle around yourself, you, the resentment can go because you are truly taking steps forward now. Great advice. You mentioned the loss of your spouse. And again, I'm, I'm truly sorry. How has this loss impacted your journey and perspectives? Because I know this was in the last year. It was very recent.

Debbie Weiss: Yes. Oh, boy. That's a, that's a hard question, you know? Yeah.

Rita Black: Debbie, And I asked this because many of our listeners have experienced a loss in the last couple of years.

Debbie Weiss: Yeah.

Rita Black: Either of a spouse or a close family member.

Debbie Weiss: Yeah. There's something about, you know, I've lost a parent. It's very different losing your spouse. Very, very different. And even though, at least for the last five years, he wasn't really my partner. You know, he wasn't the same person that I married. I was still kind of going it alone, plus taking care of him. And so, I'm not gonna lie, it was a relief on the one hand, because he was so mentally and physically miserable. And it was awful. And what was happening to all of us in my house was truly, it was just extremely difficult. But the second that he died, I, you know, even though I felt that sense of relief, you know, it's just, you want them right back. And it's been a struggle because I, you know, I have two children. I had my children later in life. They're 22 and 20, like I said earlier, my older one struggles with mental illness. It's an ongoing challenge. And so now that is mine to bear on my own. And it's lonely. It's lonely. However, I had been on a path of taking some life-changing steps that started with the weight loss. And really being able to focus on that. It's kind of the same thing. It, you know, that's a form of self-care, because mentally, I don't wanna say I forget, but I change my focus and I focus on things that excite me.

Debbie Weiss: And kind of, you know, I don't, it doesn't take the pain away, believe me. It doesn't take the pain away. But it helps to have something that's really just mine that was never ours together. You know? This path that I've kind of created. And I'm lucky that I was, had started that path just coincidentally prior to him dying. But, you know, I would say that tapping in to something that maybe you used to love to do that you haven't been able to do, or something you've always wanted to do, it could be learning to play the piano. It could, you know, it could be really anything just to give something new and exciting and fresh to your life.

Debbie Weiss: I, it's, but it's hard. And it's hard and, and it hits you. It hit me this morning out of the blue, no reason, nothing, was, you know, and then the next thing you know, I'm crying.

Rita Black: Yeah. No, the grieving process is so mysterious.

Debbie Weiss: Yes.

Rita Black: How it unfolds. It's an unfolding. I think there's a cultural thing too. I don't know if you came up against it, you know, that Oh, it's a self thing too. Like, we're talking a lot about our own self interpretation, but it's like, I should have gotten past this fight.

Debbie Weiss: Oh, gosh. I don't think I feel that way. You know? I think I'm lucky the people around me, you know, right now I was just actually with my friends in Italy for my 60th birthday. I just got back. And while we were there, you know, they pulled their money together and they said, you know, we wanna buy you something nice from Italy. And I, I thought to myself, you know, I would love a ring, but I'm not ready to stop wearing my wedding ring. And only I can decide when I'm ready for that. And they, all of them, I did wind up buying a ring. I haven't worn it yet, 'cause I have to have it sized, but I, I will wear it, but I'm gonna wear it along with my wedding ring. And like, I was talking about this with a friend beforehand, like, how am I gonna have it sized? Which finger am I gonna wear it on? Da da da. And she said, you know what, you size it the way you wanna wear it now, and whenever that time comes that you decide you're no longer gonna wear your wedding ring, you'll have the thing resized.

Rita Black: Oh, fantastic.

Debbie Weiss: Yeah. So I forgot what the question was.

Rita Black: Me too. You mentioned though -

Debbie Weiss: See -

New Speaker: Oh, go ahead, please.

Debbie Weiss: I was gonna say, hopefully I answered it. Sorry, go ahead.

Rita Black: Yeah, I think you did.

New Speaker: Okay. Good.

New Speaker: I feel complete if you feel complete about that question.

Debbie Weiss: I do.

Rita Black: So let's talk about being a victim, you know? That victim mentality, right? Because that's fattening too.

Debbie Weiss: Oh yeah. That may be fat.

Rita Black: So how have you stopped viewing yourself as a victim? Because again, it just seems like you turn a corner and then something else happens, and you turn a corner and something else happens. It takes a lot of mental resilience to step outside that circle of victimhood, because, you know, you could point to a lot of evidence that it's like, woe is me. This is not fair universe. Thank you very much. Like, what the heck? And yeah. So, you know, how has that evolution happened within you? Because like you said, I know earlier in your life you really felt like a victim. And then it sounds like once you started to take care of yourself, this, but, you know, walk us through, like, if, if somebody was really feeling victimized by their life how do you, how do you let go of that and start embracing a more powerful story?

Debbie Weiss: So weight and being a victim, two stories of my life, and I didn't realize that I was doing it, you know, it, and it, it was exactly what you said. It was one thing after another, and I would always compare myself to other people, but more specifically, you know, my friends and family around me. And I felt like their lives seemed so much easier. They didn't have, you know, all of these things that kept happening to me all the time. Honestly, it wasn't until probably about five years ago as I had started this mindset journey, and I became aware of this principle from Jack Canfield. And the success principles, that is E plus R equals O event plus response equals outcome. So you have an event, right? Let's just say my father having a stroke, I'm not happy with the outcome. Me being resentful for my whole life. I didn't know there was an R in the equation. I didn't realize that how I responded to that event affected the outcome.

Debbie Weiss: And I realized I was taking all of the responsibility and putting it on something else, which was either the person, the circumstance, like I had no part of it. But that's so not true, because if you think about just other people who've overcome such things, you know how nobody has the same exact life or circumstances. But in general, how could one person, let's just take Oprah, right, with that life. We all know that she had, as a child, I'm sure that there's many millions of people who had a similar experience, who never made it out of, you know, places where she grew up. And look where she is. And why is that? It's because of how she viewed it, how she viewed herself. And so it was really starting to become aware of how I was thinking. And every time I would, and this is not easy, it's easy to explain, it is not easy to do. But when I noticed, when I was able to stop and notice how my thoughts were going down that victim mentality, that woe is me, poor me, why me? I had to stop myself, pull it back and say, okay, how can I view this differently to move forward for a different outcome? And in the end, the outcome is what's gonna make me happier. Right. Because you know, so it is, it is a struggle. And I still, you know, obviously things are still happening days now where something happens with my son, and then I can get all, you know, oh my goodness, I'm alone. You know? Everybody can go down that pity party rabbit hole. We all have our moments. And I think that's just being human, but it, it's being able to catch ourselves, stop ourselves, and not let it carry on and infiltrate our lives.

Rita Black: Absolutely. Well said. So now you've written a memoir and I'm gonna have you talk about that in a moment. But what inspired you to write this memoir? And were there any hesitations in taking on such an undertaking of writing a memoir?

Debbie Weiss: Oh boy. Yes. Yes. And yes. I never wanted to write a memoir. I never wanted to write, I was an MA numbers girl, and no desire. And kind of, I think I was in situations where people would hear about my life and say, oh, you should write a book, but don't you say that to a lot of people. You know? Oh, you should write a book. And I would say, oh, yeah, someday. But in my head, I was shaking my head no, I'm never writing a book. I don't know how to write. But it kept coming up. And one of the things that I've really been trying to do recently is really tune into my intuition a little bit. Notice when things just kept, like repeating themselves. And one day I was listening to a podcast, and it's a podcast I'm not a regular listener of, I just happened, you know, upon it that afternoon.

Debbie Weiss: And the host was interviewing a woman who helped first time authors get their story out there into the world. And I really liked her, you know, from listening to her. And I thought, well, if I'm ever going to do this, maybe that's why I tuned into this today. Let me just talk to her. And I did. And I loved her. And she told me that she was launching a course or, you know, a group. And I said, okay. And at that same time, that's when my husband was diagnosed and I was seeing a therapist, and I said to my therapist, okay, I'm gonna tell you something. You're gonna tell me I'm, I'm crazy and I know I shouldn't do it. And I, you know, rambling all the reasons. And I tell her about this, and I say, how could I possibly embark on something that I've really never wanted to do?

Debbie Weiss: I have no ability as far as I'm concerned, and I'm going to do this now as I don't know what the future holds for my husband. And I knew that he, you know, was dying. And she said, I think this is exactly what you need. And I said, what? And she said, you need something of your own separate from what's going on with your husband to help you. And boy was she right. And I actually wrote the memoir. I had it two chapters shy of being complete the day that he died. I wrote it during that time. I took the course. She was absolutely right. The only way that I was able to do it is every day kind of that boundary thing. Right? Either I would set aside, you know, six in the morning if I didn't think he was gonna be up, or I would say to him, you know, you're laying down now, I'm going to go upstairs for an hour unless something's really bad, don't bother me. You know?

Rita Black: Yeah.

Debbie Weiss: Until I come down and I stuck to it and I did it.

Rita Black: Wow. That's amazing. Very inspiring.

Debbie Weiss: Thank you.

Rita Black: Who are your, so, you know, obviously inspiring and inspirational for others. Who were your main sources of inspiration in your life? You know, it sounds like in these tough times, like what, where did you gather your strength from outside of yourself?

Debbie Weiss: I think from, honestly, I'm very lucky. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful friends and family, to always be able to, you know, they're always there for me. They're always there for me to listen. And to just, you know, give me a hug and stuff when I need it. But unfortunately, nobody is in my, you know, local area. The closest is about an hour away, but that's okay. It's still, you know, just the phone call, just that hug through the phone. And now FaceTime is enough. And you know, I don't really know if you knew me as a child. I had no self-esteem. I never wanted to be seen or heard because of my weight always being judged. And I was always afraid, not very resilient, pushed into things. You know? My mom would kind of forced me to jump outta my comfort zone, but I still always wanted to jump back in, which I still do today. But I just have learned to push myself. And other than I don't, I don't know where it came from. I think it's just constantly working on myself. And I think as we get older, we do get wiser and it's, if we're honest with ourselves, we can look back and see the lessons that we've learned along the way and see how far we've come and maybe pat ourselves on the back for a change. Because we don't do that enough.

Rita Black: Absolutely. so for those in my audience, feeling, you know, trapped by their circumstances, defined by their struggles, any last words of like, wisdom, encouragement that you can give?

Debbie Weiss: So when I was starting to write the book, the first chapter, I think, or the second one, is about the fact that when I was growing up, when you had a yearbook, they would come up to you, like even in like middle school, well, junior high school, and say, what's your quote? What's the quote that you live by? And I never had a quote like, you're telling me that these 13 year olds had a quote that they lived by? And so I write this whole chapter saying, how could that be yada yada? And one day something popped into my head as I was, you know, thinking about something I was writing in the book. And I thought to myself, oh, that's good. I better get that down. I wonder if I really came up with something that good or someone else said it. And I googled, and it wasn't me. It was Glinda the good witch from the Wizard of Oz who said, you've always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself. And I'd seen that, and I'd watched that darn movie, even though it scared me a million times. And I never ever really realized what that meant until that day.

Rita Black: Wow. That's powerful.

Debbie Weiss: It is. It is. And, and all this time, all I thought it meant was, Dorothy, all you had to do was, you know, click your heels three times. But it's not. Each of us, each of us has the power within us. We make the choice of what we wanna do moving forward, regardless of our circumstances. We all have circumstances. You just don't realize it. But you have the power to decide how you wanna respond and how you want to live your life. Because this is your one shot. So make the most of it.

Rita Black: Yeah. As a wise mentor said, it is not a practice life. So please tell us, this has been so wonderful and you have such a great spirit about you. You're, and you can tell you've been through a lot. You have a very soul, you're very soulful, very wise. Tell us about your book. Tell us how we can get our hands on it and what is it about, like what if I'm gonna read your book, your memoir, it's what am I gonna walk away with?

Debbie Weiss: So the name of the memoir is on Second Thought, Maybe I Can, because how many times did I say, oh, I can't do that, or I can't do, you know, I can't do that. And then if you just stop for a second and go, well wait a second. Why can't I? I've done this, but maybe I could do that. So it is about 30 stories that start with my childhood. The first part how I got some limiting beliefs about myself. Many of the stories actually do have to do with my weight and are tied to my weight. And then the middle part of the book is, you know, a lot of things that happened to me that kind of made me who I am today, but tough trying circumstances. And then the third part are stories that start with the 50th birthday and what I've done since then. And you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and or on my website,

Rita Black: Amazing. we will put a link to your, the Amazon link in the show notes. So anybody who wants to find out more about Debbie's story and be inspired by her turnaround and self-care shift, I think that would be a great way to head into now the holiday season and the new year. Because holiday, this is so perfectly timed because, you know, when do, does our self-care go out the window right before the holidays when we're like thinking about everybody else? Right.

Debbie Weiss: Absolutely.

New Speaker: Debbie, I can't thank you enough for coming on and speaking with us and sharing your story. Thank you so much and we'll look forward to having you back on another episode of the Thin Thinking podcast.

Debbie Weiss: I would love that. Thank you so much, Rita.

Rita Black: Thank you Debbie, so much for sharing your amazing story with us. And please, if you were inspired, like I was, go check out all the links that I have in show notes of all the ways that you can interact with Debbie and her TikTok and also her book. Go get inspired by her book. What a great holiday read. And don't forget to subscribe to the Thin Thinking Podcast and remember the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the wait struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.

Rita Black: You wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to That's, where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release tips, strategies, and more. And be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking. Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss.