Weight maintenance. It seems so distant and unachievable when we are struggling with weight. That wonderful state of maintaining your ideal weight forever.

For many of us–no matter how close or far away reaching our weight goal is, maintenance is something we think, “I’ll worry about it when I get there–if I ever get there!”

But preparing mentally for maintenance ahead of time is so important–not only because our mind will focus more confidently when it knows where it’s going but also the transition into this new way of being can be a multi-layered mental and physical event that needs steady navigation.

In today’s episode, we’re delving deep into the crucial yet often overlooked aspect of weight management – the art of preparing for maintenance. It’s not merely about shedding pounds; it’s about fostering a mindset that sets the stage for sustained success.

Join me as we unravel the steps to prepare your mind for the journey of maintaining your ideal weight like a master. It’s not just about arriving; it’s about embracing the confidence that you can stay there and truly believing it’s well within your reach.

Tune in, join the conversation and let’s navigate the intricacies of maintaining a healthy weight with a newfound perspective. Your sustainable wellness journey awaits, so come on in!


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Rita Black: Did you ever consider that the path to ideal weight maintenance begins long before you actually reach it? Picture this: you're on a road unsure of where it leads or what awaits you at the end. Sound familiar? Right? But here's the catch. Successful weight loss isn't about shedding pounds. It's about cultivating a mindset that paves the way for sustained success. So in today's episode, we are diving deep into the art of preparing for maintenance. It's not just about getting there, it's about confidently knowing that you can stay there and truly believing it's within your grasp. So join me today as we unravel the steps to prepare your mind to step into maintenance like a master, because as we'll explore, maintenance is more than a destination. It's a mindset. Let's embark upon this journey to weight maintenance 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 everybody. Come on in. Happy February. How are you? And happy birthday to all of you Aquariuses out there. If you are listening to this in the month of February this week is my sister's birthday. My sister, my lovely sister Paula, lives in England. Happy birthday, Paula. Well, she doesn't really listen to this podcast. And my sister, by the way, has been thin her entire life. Yes, she is one of those people. I had the joy of living with a sister who was beautiful from the top of her head down to the tips of her toes, and always has been. And sometimes that was the bane of my existence. But my sister and I are closer than ever now. You know, it's funny, my sister, so she, my father was always naturally thin, and my mother was very overweight, and my mother always wasn't, wasn't always overweight, but she became very, very overweight and was so for a good part of her life.

Rita Black: And I know I've talked about that a lot before, and we are not gonna talk about that right now. But what I did wanna say was I think I inherited more of my genetic propensity for weight from my mother. And my sister got my dad's genes, and she has a different physique than me. She has very long legs, lovely, you know, just everything, arms, chest, all of that, just the perfect package. And not that I, and I love my body and everything, but you know, as I struggled with my weight, it was a little hard to have a sister who could seemingly eat anything she wanted and not gain weight. When I, you know, desperately tried hard to manage my weight, and it seemed like any cookie or anything I ate caused me to gain 10 pounds.

Rita Black: So, some of you know this, maybe all of you know this, but I have a machine in my office in Los Angeles that measures your metabolism. So one time when my sister was visiting was about, it was before she went through menopause, but, it was many years ago. I got her in my office and I measured her metabolism. And sure enough, her metabolism was about five or 600 calories more. She burned about five or 600 calories more than me per day. Now, my sister being kind of ignorant of the whole world of weight management, was like, well, that's not very much. And I said, well, you realize that that's like a glass of wine and a serving a tiramisu, don't you? And she's like, no. So anyway that did, I felt a little vindicated by that. 'cause then, you know, obviously I knew that it was some genetic, you know, it wasn't just luck, it was just her genetic propensity.

Rita Black: And metabolism is, can be, we have a genetic predisposed metabolism among many other things. But just FYI, was personally vindicated. So so happy birthday, my lovely sister, even though you aren't listening to this podcast, but happy birthday to all my lovely, beautiful aquariuses out there. I'm so glad that you are here with me today and all you other horoscope sign people.

Rita Black: All right. So I wanna let you know that we are sponsoring today my Shift Outta Sugar Cravings Hypnosis Session. My free Shift Out of Sugar Cravings Hypnosis Session is sponsoring this episode because it's Valentine's Day coming up. And I love you, and I want you to be healthy this month. So here's my invitation to you. No buying bad chocolate at half price on February 15th, or those horrible candy hearts, which are so addictive, or any of those other Valentine's candies leaving them on the shelves, even though they might be half price or 99 cents or whatever.

Rita Black: And instead, listen to my hypnosis for Shift Outta Sugar Cravings. It's free. That's a deal. And you can find that in the link for that in the show notes. And just feel my love the entire time coursing through you as you listen to that hypnosis session.

Rita Black: Now, I know for many of you, most of you listening to this podcast, it's winter and in some parts, Hey, Australia, hey, New Zealand, it's summer. And, and some of you, my listeners in South America, in the southern parts of the world it is summer, but for us here in the frigid north, it is winter. And for those of you who are even further north than me the ground is frozen and muddy. So even if you are a gardener, you know, right now you can't really go out and plant anything.

Rita Black: But I know for many of my northern gardening friends planting season begins in your mind before you plant the first seed. And right now it's the time. February's the time you get those catalogs for the seeds, and you start fantasizing about your garden and what you're gonna plant in it. And it's so fun. I love getting those. Now, even though I do have a winter garden here, I love just fantasizing about the summer, the spring, because every season here, you're, it's, you're always planting, you're always thinking ahead, and you're always managing the soil because the soil has different demands for the different seeds that you plant. And and so as you as I have gotten better and better at gardening, although I have killed a lot of plants this winter, and ugh, I don't know what it is. Is it the sun or something?

Rita Black: But my beets just aren't growing and it just gets me. But anyway, enough about my beets. The point I'm making is that, you know, sometimes we get these catalogs and don't, they make everything look amazing? The tomatoes are so red and the beets look so amazing, and the flowers look so amazing, and then you plant them in your garden and they don't look so amazing. And it can cause one to compare and despair and give up. And it can be like that with weight maintenance. We lose weight, we hit our goal. And sometimes it doesn't look like what you think it's going to look like. It can feel weird. It can feel scary. It can make you feel really, really insecure. And we often, if we haven't been learning how to feed ourselves in a way that we enjoy and love as we are releasing weight we often don't know how to feed ourselves because we've just been focused on losing weight and some specific type of diet or being good.

Rita Black: And we can even develop what you would consider imposter syndrome. So today, our episode is about prepping for maintenance, because the more you know what's coming up, the more your subconscious mind can wrap around it and prepare you for success. It's just like gardening. Even before you plant the seeds and reap the harvest, you have got to prepare the soil ahead of time. My monthly mastery group right now, a number of people are in maintenance mode and learning that it isn't just something that happens, you know, magically when you hit your goal weight, but it's something that is cultivated. It's, it's a beingness. It's not and it's a mindset. It's not just, well, I got to my goal weight now I'm gonna maintain. It's, it's, it's a transformational process in of itself. So I bet, you know, I'm talking to you, if you're, you know, out there in the world and you're wanting something, thinking, I'm assuming that you've probably at one point in your life, maybe got to goal weight or lost some weight, you know, and maybe you got to hear that goal weight and you were there for a week or a month, or, you know, even a year or, or more.

Rita Black: I know for me, sometimes it was a few minutes or a few hours, you know, hitting ideal weight. We want it so much. We think about it, we work so hard for it, and it's so thrilling to reach our ideal weight, but it can be so confronting, you know, there's a lot of us that get to our ideal weight, and, you know, we thought it's gonna be, life is gonna be so different at my ideal weight. You know, like when I can get in those skinny jeans and I can, you know, go into the club or, you know do some chin-ups at the gym or, or whatever the, our thing is, like why we're getting thin, you know, other than health and for health too, of course. But you know, it can be really like, is that all there is? Like, I thought I was gonna feel different.

Rita Black: I thought I was gonna be different. I thought you know, I'd like myself more. And and, and it can be a place where we are afraid, you know, like, because we, you know, we've worked so hard for this, and we get there and, you know, it's exhilarating. And, and like I said, all these different things come up. Sometimes people get to their ideal weight and then they don't feel different. So they're like, I wanna keep losing weight, because I think if I lost five more pounds, I would feel better. And then that becomes a challenge because, you know, lose five more pounds, or they can't lose those five pounds, and then it's backing up and down and up and down, and then they start gaining weight again. So you know, there always brings up that I am not enough. You know, I'm not enough. When we lose weight from this place of I'm in pain, I'm gonna lose weight, and when I lose weight, I will be enough, right? But, you know, we've gotta be enough as we're releasing weight so that when we get to our ideal weight, we're like, cool, I'm here. And I love myself because I've been loving myself down the scale, right?

Rita Black: So so let's think this all through the thin thinking lens, shall we? So I do wanna talk about weight maintenance, weight maintenance beforehand, like, how do you prepare for creating a, you know, like beforehand, beforehand prep, creating a maintenance mindset. So number one, love yourself down the scale. So it's not about escaping pain, like, I'm fat, I've gotta lose weight, or I've gotta lose weight. I've got to get that to, you know, lose more 20 more pounds so I look fantastic, and I can finally allow myself to feel good about myself. No, we've gotta start where we are, where we're at, and say, I, you know, I appreciate myself. And your journey of weight release is about creating a new and powerful way of communicating with yourself, of self-respect of conferring with yourself, of working through and, and, and creating a way of eating that you love.

Rita Black: Not depriving yourself down the scale, but but truly evolving and transforming yourself and transforming your life. It's, it's a, it's a, it's, you're embarking upon a journey. It's not this quick fix. Get to the weight and then maintain that would, that will never happen. You've got to change your mindset and the way you communicate with yourself first. And that's, you know, really what I hold dear is, you know, this idea of like, you start on your journey from a place of love. Forgive yourself for what you need to. You say, I am where I am. And, and as you love yourself down the scale you emerge, you know, you, you, this new way of communicating with yourself, this new powerful inner coach emerges within you creating trust self-trust, self empathy just a whole new way of being with yourself and confidence so that when you get to your ideal weight, it's like, mm-hmm, that feels pretty good.

Rita Black: And now I'm ready for maintenance. You know, and, and you're, you are ready. Now the second thing, the ideal weight is not the end or a magic number. You know, again, we, you know, we get so fixated on just that number, that magic number, I gotta get to this number. It's got this thing, but that, you know, when you get to your ideal weight, it really isn't a number, but it's a portal into the next phase of your transformation. Because maintenance is about ownership. Maintenance is really about owning your life in this way that you've created. And, and, and really continuing to deepen your skillset that got you to your ideal weight. The skills of weight mastery. And so it is really not just like, oops, I got to this number. I gotta maintain. It's like an, it's an evolutionary, okay, here I am and I'm stepping into this new phase of my weight journey, my weight mastery journey.

Rita Black: 'Cause Maintenance is a phase. You know, and I'm gonna walk through this a little more, but that's what a lot of my new maintainers are. They learn, they're, they're like, you know, they've loved themselves down the scale, but now they're at this place of finding the right balance. We're gonna get into that in a second though. Three, create a life you want before you reach your ideal weight. This is key. You know, a lot of us, again when we struggle with our weight, we're like waiting to date. Or when I get to my ideal weight, I'll go back to school or ask my boss for a raise, or I'll start my own company, or I'll you know, fly to Europe or, you know, like we put it off, we put it off living. And that then makes that ideal weight. So weighted with other things, other fears, you know, if we have fear about getting into a relationship, you know, and we're getting towards our ideal weight, we might sabotage ourselves on a subconscious level because we've made getting to our ideal weight being about getting in a relationship.

Rita Black: You know what I mean? So we wanna take on those things now as we're releasing weight, not waiting until we get to our ideal weight, right? So that we wanna go back to school now, we want to fly to Europe, now we want to start dating now, you know, and really, and if we do have issues around those or challenges, then we're, we can work on them and love ourselves through them so they aren't all weighted to that ideal weight. Develop that inner coach and scientist because you're going to need it for weight release, but you're really gonna need it for maintenance. And again, it's that powerful communication system. And, you know, some of you, not everybody, but some people feel vulnerable when they get smaller. You know, maybe things happen to them earlier in their life where they didn't feel safe or protected, and weight for them was a buffer in the way.

Rita Black: Working through that before you get to your ideal weight, as you're going down the scale, feeling safe. And, and again, I always take this back to self communication, you know, really being the parent, inner parent and letting that inner child within, you know, you know, we're safe. I'm an adult now. I can take care of you. We don't need the buffer anymore. We're safe. You know, I'm here for you. I can say no, I can say back off. I can say I've got words, I've got adult words that I can use. So but yeah, for some people that might be a challenge. And so you can see how getting to your ideal weight might bring up other things or people paying attention to you, oh, you look, look great, or you've lost all that weight, or are you sure you've lost too much weight?

Rita Black: Or, you know how people love to make comments. You know, and you might like some of them, and some of them might really tweak you. You know, you might be, eh, I don't like what they said. And again, when you have a powerful communication system inside of you you know that you aren't going, oh my God, what do they say about me? Are they thinking about me all the time? You know, well, you're like, okay, that's them. And they can think what they want. They can say what they want. But I'm me and I love me, and I'm, you know, cool within my own skin, you know, that's a completely different response. It can take ownership now, you know, acknowledge it, of course. And, and, and, you know, understand that, okay, you know, I'm feeling a little bothered by that. But really being able to be with yourself and show up for yourself, okay, now I'm looking at my notes now.

Rita Black: What happens when you reach your weight goal? So one of the things I think is fun to do, because I'm all about identity, and you know, that if you've been listening to me for any length of time, is you want to create a maintenance identity. And, and the maintenance identity is different than a weight release identity. Because you are now a person who is maintaining and not trying a, you're person who is maintaining their weight you're not trying not to gain weight. But you are a healthy person. I'm a healthy person taking ownership of this, you know, weight I'm at, and this is where I am, you're claiming your stake, right? You know, like how the the pioneers went out to the west and they, you know, got their five acres and they claimed their stake, and they lived in that plot of land for five years before the government said it's yours.

Rita Black: And that's kind of like maintenance. You know, you're, you're owning this place and you're, you're, you're taking ownership. You're saying, this is mine, and you're gonna live here for a while and you'll feel like it's yours. But you know, you gotta claim your stake and say, I'm here. It's not like I'm afraid I'm gonna go back up. It's like, no, I'm here and I'm gonna figure it out. You're gonna believe in yourself, but you can see how important it is to believe in yourself as you're going down the scale. And get some clothes. Get some clothes that said, I'm here, you know, I'm here and I am taking ownership. Just like the, the pioneers had to build a, some kind of you know, a house on the land to kind of own it. A lot of them built those shanties, you know, and then as they stayed that they built a bigger house and a more solid house.

Rita Black: But they have that flimsy shanty in the beginning, but well go get some clothes, and they don't have to be shanty clothes. But I'm just saying, you know, take some ownership now and then as you're feeling more confident, you can buy more expensive clothes or, you know, a bigger wardrobe, but go say, yeah, I'm here and I'm owning this. And then, you know, develop your start, you know, instead of like, well, what am I gonna do? Because, you know, maintenance might feel like, well, I've spent all this energy on losing weight. Now I don't have to lose weight. What am I gonna do? Well, weight maintenance really is a a hybrid of, you know, your weight mastery journey. I mean, it is your weight mastery journey and the skills required to maintain your weight are the same skills as manage, you know, releasing weight, the nine skills of weight mastery that, you know we get into those skill sets in other podcasts.

Rita Black: But, you know, it's really a matter of energy balancing and, and you know, creating that, now you're gonna create a way of eating that allows you to live at your maintenance weight, right? You, you created a way of living that allowed you to release weight. Now you are altering and just, you know, and figuring that out. So again, a lot of my maintainers are, you know, in that figuring out phase. Maybe they, you know, try something. And, and, and I always say keeping your weight, you know, five pounds above or five pounds below that ideal weight line is sort of like the range. Putting a, you know, a line you know, above and below so that, you know, if you go above that weight, then that's when you wanna start to bring back your weight release skills. But your weight maintenance skills are very much like your weight release skills, but, but altered for maintenance.

Rita Black: So that energy balancing and your environment, like now, you can alter your environment skills to get the people in your life supporting you for your maintenance journey. Because a lot of times people forget, they forget, or they'll be like, oh, you lost your weight, now I'm gonna like go buy some donuts for you. You know, like, they don't understand that, you know, you're still the same person, you're still the same healthy person that you cultivated but now you're just a maintenance. So you need to train those people for maintenance. too, you need to let them know, hey you know, things aren't gonna be completely different. They're just gonna be a little different. Maybe you can help me out here altering your you know, making sure you're still keeping your trigger foods out of the house. I think a lot of people feel oh, I reached my ideal weight.

Rita Black: Now I can go eat all those foods that I didn't eat when I was releasing weight. And those trigger, those foods are this, your trigger foods are the, your trigger foods for the rest of your life. So if you eat that food, it's going to light up that neural network in your brain, and you're gonna want more and more and more and then be gaining weight. So, you know, you're still gonna have to practice your environmental skills of stimulus control, keeping the foods outta the house that don't serve you, and keeping the foods in the house that do this is one of the hugest, like, people don't realize that this is such a huge skill of weight management as shown by many, many studies. You know, managing that inner critic and the inner rebel, again, you know, you've cultivated a powerful relationship with your inner cult coach.

Rita Black: And by doing so, that means you've probably also had a wonderful you know, ability to turn down the volume on the critic and turn down the volume on your rebels. So we wanna make sure that that rebel isn't like, Hey, you lost all your weight. Let's go party. Or your critic isn't like, look at that. You gained a pound and you're gonna gain all the way back. You know, you really, that's now your new head game is, you know, managing those voices from this different perspective. And you may need to gain a few pounds. I know this is gonna sound radical, you may need to gain a few pounds to know that you can release them a few times to feel confident, and that's okay. You know, people will gain a couple of pounds and freak out. And I'm like, you know, like, oh my God.

Rita Black: I'm like, no, no, no, this is good. You know, now you use your weight release skills again, and you get your weight back down, and now you own that. You own getting your weight back down. And then, you know, you can do that. And, you know, in the first year of your weight release or weight maintenance, you'll probably gain some few pounds and, and release them. And every time you do, you strengthen that muscle of knowing, oh yeah, I, I can keep homeostasis, I can keep, you know, my weight around the same. And, and you get used to that amount of eating and exercising that allows you to stay at that maintaining weight. But it takes a little inner scientist to figure that all out. It's not all just like magically gonna happen. It's, you've gotta really rigorously love yourself and know that this is a project.

Rita Black: Maintenance is a project for a while until you, you know, kind of develop those skills and, and feel confident in your skin, and you will. But you know, you gotta know what is. It's again, this is a process and, you know, keeping a record and getting clear on these things, that's why record keeping can be so powerful if for maintenance too, is that you're getting really clear on, you're not going into cognitive distortion. Oh my gosh, I ate a, a bag of m and ms, I'm gonna gain all my weight back. No, you just ate a bag of m&ms. You know, and you can manage that, and that worked out okay for you. You still are within your caloric needs for maintenance and you're fine. But your, your ability to, you know, manage and be clear on some of that data, especially in the early days.

Rita Black: Now as you get further into maintenance and you, you have sort of mastered that homeostasis, then, you know, things like tracking aren't as important. Things like you know, it really being on top of things, you know, unless then you gain some weight and then you can bring it back. But you know, again, most research shows that it's, you know, so many people who have achieved their ideal weight and kept it there, you know, use tracking and data as a way to get really clear and cognitively clear on the way down the scale. So maintenance also, it's very helpful for too. And, you know, pat yourself on back on the back, you know, you did this, you, you are doing this, it, you know, and, and you're always self-reinforcing. I want you to think of the first year as training. Like I said, there's, you know, getting clear on things.

Rita Black: You know, going through some all of the holidays, I always say that to my maintainers, okay, you're going through, through your first holiday season, like the end of year holidays, and now you're going through the spring and spring break and tax season, and then the summer, and then summer vacations and all of these things. You know, every time you go through, they're kind of like a rite of passage for maintaining your weight. And then you own it. And then the second year you're really building that confidence 'cause you're going through it all again. But you know, now you've got it the second round, it's kind of like, you know, when you have a second kid, you're like, Ugh, you're not so bothered by everything. You're like, okay, I got this. I can do this. You, you take the ownership, you're not worried, you know, like, you're not all is this gonna work out?

Rita Black: And then the third year really you begin mastery, meaning like, you got this you know, you're powerful leader of this to, you know, for other people, you know, if you release weight and keep it off long term, you know, you're a powerful leader for people. They see you. And even if they don't need to lose weight, they see like who you became in order to be this healthy, lean person. And you know, they want more of what you got, you know, and, and they're looking at, God, how'd they do that? That's so cool. Like, how did they show up for themselves in such a powerful way? You know, because it really does require that, that really requires you being committed to you. And really, like, as you can see, this is a journey that is so fulfilling that you go on. And it isn't just about weight.

Rita Black: It is, it is about creating yourself from the inside out. And it's not, and I don't mean like total change of who you are, absolutely not. But total total ownership of who you are and advocating for yourself and, and respecting yourself and showing up for yourself. So, you know, just, it's a journey of transformation you should be proud of. So I hope this was helpful to know where you're going or if you're already there hopeful, hopefully this was helpful as sort of a way to guide you. And that is it for this week here in the beginning of February, or if you're listening to this later wherever you are, whatever you are, grab my free shift out of Sugar cravings hypnosis session. The link is in the show notes. And while you're there, sign up for my free masterclass. How to stop the start over tomorrow, wait struggle, cycle, and begin releasing weight for good.

Rita Black: This is a perfect masterclass in this month of loving yourself, because it's all about eliminating those roadblocks that keep you struggling and really finding those steps forward to success. And you get to test drive a free hypnosis session for weight management. 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 see you and be here with you next week.

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