The road to weight mastery is paved with decisions. Ultimately, your successful journey is about making the best aligned decisions at the right time for you.

It’s all about those pivotal moments when we choose what’s best for ourselves, setting the course for success. 

As we gear up for the launch of the Live 30-day Spring 2024 Shift Weight Mastery Process, in today’s episode, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Kelly Simmons, whose journey embodies the power of believing in oneself.

Kelly’s story is nothing short of inspiring. She made the courageous decision to trust in her abilities and embarked on a transformative weight release journey, shedding over 140 pounds and rediscovering her true self along the way. 

All the way from Anchorage, Alaska, Kelly shares her insights on weight release and even gives us a glimpse into the unique experience of kick sledding!

So, grab your snow shovel and join us for an engaging conversation that’s sure to leave you feeling motivated and empowered. 

Together, let’s explore the decisions that shape our paths to wellness.

Come on in!


NEW!!! LIVE Upcoming FREE Masterclass with Rita Black

BREAKING FREE: Mastering Your Mindset for Lasting Weight Release

***With a light weight release hypnosis session.***

You’ll learn how to override subconscious self-sabotage wiring, avoid common weight loss mistakes, make crucial mental shifts, and embrace a proven 4-Part SHIFT PROCESS for long-term success. 

Let this spring mark the turning point in your weight loss journey—a moment of change and renewed dedication. 

Click here to sign-up now. 

Due to demand, we have multiple time options to choose from! 

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: The road to weight mastery is paved with decisions. Ultimately, your successful journey is about making the best aligned decisions at the right time for you. This month of April, we are exploring those types of decisions as we approach the launch of the Live 30-day Spring 2024 Shift Weight Mastery Process. Today I speak with Kelly Simmons, who has been on an incredible journey. She made the profound decision to believe in herself and her ability to be successful on a long-term weight journey. She has gone on to release and maintain a weight release of over 140 pounds, but more importantly, she has become more of the Kelly she has always wanted to be. Join me up north in Anchorage, Alaska as I talk weight release, and kick sledding with Kelly Simmons. Grab your snow shovel 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, and come on in to this week's episode. Get cozy and comfy. We're up here in Alaska for this episode, so sit by the fire and get warm. We are making decisions here in this powerful month of April. It's a big decision time. A lot of people are making decisions like, where should we go for our summer holiday? Or what are we gonna wear to upcoming weddings and graduations and or what are we gonna plant in the garden? And that's me. I'm trying to decide what I'm planning in my garden out and back in my back vegetable garden every year. I just try to do it better. So I am, and now under a dilemma of, you know, how many tomatoes and do I dare grow cucumbers, they've never turned out for me. So I've got lots of decisions about that, and it's amazing.

Rita Black: Something as simple as planting a tomato turns into a multi decision making process. What kind of dirt? What kind of nutrients does the soil need? How much sun can I get away with because I have a rather partial shady garden? So all of these decisions do have to be made, and I always hope I make the best decision at the best time for the best outcome. And that's really what we are looking for this coming April. With regards to weight mastery, I'm really lifting the lid up on the decision making process. There's so many decisions that we have to make on a weight release journey.

Rita Black: And we are right now also getting ready for our biggest Live Shift Spring 2024 Shift. A 30-day Weight Mastery Process that is led by me. And I have been talking with a lot of successful maintainers and looking at the deep decisions that we are having to make and looking at what were those pivotal decisions that they made that really anchored them into their journey.

Rita Black: And I'm not talking about the kind of, you know, decision like what kind of salad dressing, but no, really that decision you make deep within yourself, that decision that aligns you, with that ability to move forward and stick with it and keep on going, those deep, powerful, aligned decisions that we have to make in life. So I'm really excited about this exploration of the all these different profound decisions that these people have made who have mastered their weight.

Rita Black: And I'm gonna be sharing some stories with you, starting with today with Kelly Simmons, who has released over 140 pounds overall. She released her last 68 with the Shift Weight Mastery process, and now has been maintaining her ideal weight and feels confident and ready to go. As you'll see in our interview we are going to be discussing her decision that changed everything for her today.

Rita Black: But one super easy decision, if you're thinking like, ah, I've gotta make a decision. Well, I've got the right decision for you right now, is that you can come make the decision to come to my free upcoming live masterclass called Breaking Free, Mastering Your Mindset for Permanent Weight Release. I love teaching these live master classes that are online, so it's totally accessible to everybody. And we're gonna be exploring not only the subconscious roadblocks that keep us struggling, but doing a great weight release hypnosis session. And also we're looking at getting your mind primed and ready to expand into a more clear and powerful goal of the you at your ideal weight. That, that vision, that alignment that I'm talking about. 'cause when we struggle, we cut ourselves off from that expanding our mind piece. We really tend to just cut ourselves off from really manifesting our future slimmer selves because it seems too hard or painful or unattainable.

Rita Black: But I'm here to tell you, with the confidence of thousands of successful students, that you absolutely can attain your weight vision, but you need to use your mind in the right way. So come and join me for this masterclass and find out how. The links are in the show notes. Seating is limited, so make sure to do it today.

Rita Black: And now without further ado, onto my powerful guest today, Kelly Simmons is going to be a coach in the upcoming Live April 2024 Shift Weight Mastery process. And in my conversation with her, you are going to hear her story of how she shifted mentally to create a healthier and way more active lifestyle for herself. It's a real joy to hear Kelly's story of inspiration, and you can literally hear how excited and turned on by her life. She is, just by hearing her speak. It's just really addictive, her joy. So let's go to Alaska and get going.

Rita Black: Hello Kelly. Welcome to the Thin Thinking Podcast. I'm really excited to have you. Come on and tell us all your story you've been going through just this, this amazing weight release journey over, well, is it more than a year now, right?

Kelly Simmons: Yes. Yep. About 14 months.

Rita Black: Yeah. You just told me something, so I'm just still sitting here thinking about it. About because you interact with people a lot on a daily basis and in your tagline is, how can I make your day better? I think that's such, it just uses the brain so beautifully. I, I don't know. I'm sorry. I'm just getting off on a little tangent. I wanna ask you to tell everybody about yourself. You live in a very amazing part of the world. Tell us what our listeners where you live and what, what the temperature is today here on March something or rather 2024.

Kelly Simmons: So I live in Anchorage, Alaska. I've been up here 25 years. I moved from Michigan, which is not so much different, but we have mountains here. It's about 37 degrees, so we're getting closer to forties on some days. But bendle drop down to the below freezing. But we just have too much snow this year. We've had record breaking snow this year.

Rita Black: Really? Up in Alaska? 'cause I always think of Alaska as snowy all the time. Is that not true?

Kelly Simmons: It depends on where you're at. Fairbanks in the wintertime. Barrow, they're always got it. But Anchorage is just an average. But we've had record, record breaking early, record breaking snow.

Rita Black: And why are they saying that that happened? Was it just different weather fronts? Is it ocean currents? Is it -

Kelly Simmons: I don't know. I don't look, I don't look at the weatherman. It just happens when it happens. And I deal with as it goes.

Rita Black: And you, you post a lot of, of the photos 'cause Kelly walks down on at lunchtime to feed these horses, right? You feed them?

Kelly Simmons: No, I just talk to them.

Rita Black: Oh you just talk to them. Oh, even better.

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. And they have a special diet, so I just go in and talk and tell 'em, you know, make how they're doing. And there's two of 'em. And then I tell 'em I'll be back the next day. Or I'll be back on Monday just so that I give myself accountability and, you know, they look for me now.

Rita Black: I bet they do.

Kelly Simmons: And wait for me. Yeah. So it's fun.

Rita Black: Oh, that's so cool. Well, tell us a little bit about your weight history. Like how you started struggling with weight. Like what, when was this in your life?

Kelly Simmons: I always felt like I was always overweight. Looking back on pictures, I don't think I was, but I was always the heavy,one of the family always being told, you know, you don't eat that. Or, you know, learning how to hide food because, you know, it wasn't kosher to eat that. But, you know, it just, I've always been heavy, you know? Active, stocky. Loved to be outside. But yeah, just was always ashamed of my weight. I, you know, my mom, she gave me my, I think she gave me my first diet pill when I was in high school, you know.

Rita Black: Oh, and did, now did your mom struggle with her weight at all?

Kelly Simmons: She had, all she had was just a stomach, but not really, just, you know, she had just more around her stomach. But I always told her she had chicken legs. She was skinny down on her legs, but, you know, had a stomach, but not really. It was just more me. But I, I try, I've tried the whole gambit. I've tried the quick fixes. I've tried, you know, the exercise. You know, I, I wasn't bad up until I moved, you know, until I got in high school. I exercised and lost a lot of weight. I got down to 140, size 12 before my graduation. I was so proud of it. Then I went to college, gained it, gained some back, and then but I was always very shy, very, very timid. I didn't like to look at people in the face. I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I was always worried what people thought of me.

Kelly Simmons: So it, it was hard. And I lived next door to my parents. I helped them. I worked full time. I had my own, I had a cake decorating business as I mowed lawns. I was always busy. But they decided to move south. And I took a look. This was my changing point of who I was. I took, I decided if I go move with them, 'cause everybody thought I'd move south and continue doing what I did. And I said, no, I want a life outside of my folks. So they moved south. I stayed in Michigan for a couple years, and then my dad used to always tease me that I would be either I would go live on the moon or live in Alaska because of my allergies. So one day I picked up the phone and said, guess what, dad? I'm moving to Alaska. Didn't really know anybody, but I decided now was the time to make a change. And that -

Rita Black: Can I ask you how old were you at this point in your life?

Kelly Simmons: Almost 30. So I was very, you know, I didn't have a lot of relationships. I, you know, I was, I was, yeah. I didn't have any relationships.

Rita Black: That were keeping you in Michigan and your cake decorating business now. That's fascinating. 'cause I used to be a cake decorator, and of course I struggled with my weight. So did, did, how'd you get into cake decorating? I'm just really curious about that.

Kelly Simmons: I'm a creative person, so I just, I saw it and I said, I can do that. So I started buying the stuff and taught myself and started. But it was, I was very critical. Very perfectionist, and people loved the stuff I made, but I was, I didn't like selling it. So yeah, it just wasn't good enough for me.

Rita Black: Your perfectionism got in the way of your business model?

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. So when I moved to Alaska, you know, I'm thinking, okay, do I really want to continue with that or let's just leave it. So I left all the cake stuff and decided not to do that when I came off here. But it was my journey started my journey of becoming more independent. Because like I said, when I first when I got outta high school, I couldn't look at people. I was very shy. Didn't like anybody coming up here. You have to change who you are. And so, with my jobs and everything, I got more confidence and more confidence, and I started learning new things. And I met my, my ex-husband, and I had my son, and then I got remarried, I got married, remarried to my current husband. We've been together, let's see, we, we've been married almost 12 years, but we've been together 20. So he met me when my son was four.

Rita Black: Oh, wow.

Kelly Simmons: And so we've had a long journey. But that's what I consider this is a journey. I'm not, I wouldn't be who I am today with all the stuff that I learned.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Kelly Simmons: But I've, but you know, diet wise, I've done the hg, the hormones and the liquid diets and the, you know, and the medication and the finfin and all of that.

Rita Black: Did living in Alaska, can I just ask, did living in Alaska when you moved up there, did that change your weight at all? Like, was it harder to manage your weight in Alaska the same? Or was it -

Kelly Simmons: I think it was a little bit harder. You know? I wanted to go out skiing and stuff, and I wasn't active like that. And with the people that I knew, they weren't active. They weren't active people out in the snow. I wanted to learn how to ski. I never, I still have not learned how to ski. But, you know, with my, you know, having a son, I still was heavy. I mean, I lost some weight after he was born, but I gained it back. I got up to my all time high, which was 280 pounds. That's twice of what I am right now. I lost some. And then when I started with the shift I lost another 64 pounds in this past year. So I've taught, lost a total of 140, about 145 pounds.

Rita Black: That's amazing, Kelly.

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. And I'm only five one, so I'm not, you know.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Kelly Simmons: I was big.

Rita Black: Yeah. It's, it's hard to imagine looking at you now, 'cause you Yeah. You know, you're not big no, you're perfect. You're, you're, you're, how do you feel in your body now that you are at your good place?

Kelly Simmons: I, I feel great. I'm, I'm active and I'm bubbly, and I have the confidence. I don't know. People, people wanna know, you know, how I do it. And it's like, it's, it's that journey. You know?

Rita Black: Well, how, how did you start your journey? So you were 280 pounds and what,what made you, like what day, what moment, what was it that you said, okay, enough, I'm not, you know, I'm going in a different direction. Like what, what was the transformational point for you?

Kelly Simmons: Well, I've always, I've always lost, you know, I know how to lose. I can lose a little bit, then I'll gain it back. One thing I had to learn with my husband tell him is, I can't eat what you eat. And I still have to work with him on that. You know, you may want 12 ounces of steak, I need three. Right? But just sort of slowly learning that journey and trying to lose weight. But you needed it back. So I, you know, you lose confidence in yourself. But 2014, I got, I met this chiropractor who did clean eating, whole food supplements and all that stuff. So we learned, I started learning how to eat that way. And then the job, I went to school full-time with a teenager and went for medical coding and billing, got my degree, and then hated the job.

Rita Black: Oh, no.

Kelly Simmons: So, but I, I went to work for a chiropractic office. And so in 2014 was where I really learned more about nutrition. And, and his part of him really taught me how to eat. But he's a man. Your body knows what to, if you feed it healthy, your body will know what it needs to eat. And you will eat. You don't need to count calories, you don't have to do that. I finally told him, I said, you know what? I'm a fat woman. You can't tell me that I can eat as much as I want in a healthy food because it doesn't work.

Kelly Simmons: It doesn't. And so I said, you know, you're, I have to do something different. So learning, I started plateauing. I had lost weight. I had started plateauing. I gained a little bit back. I had some tragedies in my family that I thought I was dealing with but wasn't. But I started getting dissatisfied with the job. And I got where I was, felt like I was being taken advantage of. I said, you know what? I need to find a different job. And so that's where I started a new journey that was about a year and a half ago. Found this new job. I've been telling everybody, you know, my hair was down to my butt. I'm gonna, I am. and when I lose the weight, when I lose the weight, I'm gonna cut my hair off. Well, you know what? I finally said, you know what, we're not gonna wait till we lose the weight. So I finally got a new job. I cut my hair and I was talking to my one friend. 'cause She kept saying, you know, you need to do affirmations. You need to do affirmations and meditate. I didn't know what that meant. I'm going, yeah. I, I'm not ready. That's not part of my journey yet, but it opened my mind. I, I said, you know what? I know how to lose weight. Why, why can't I keep it off? And so that started me down on another journey. Back in my twenties, I had actually done hypnosis, but it was different than what you do. It was a literally a guy that he used to hypnotize people for surgery so they could not have anesthesia. Well, he was a friend of my folks. He goes, I can do that. And so I did. But back in 30, 40 years ago, they didn't have the internet, so you had to drive. And it, so it didn't really work. So I sort of bypassed that.

Kelly Simmons: But it started coming back. You know, it's, it's, in my mind, there's something, why can't I believe in myself? And so I started searching online and I saw some of these other places and I was looking at the reviews and they're going, Nope, nope, nope. And then I found yours, and I decided to take the chance. And it's the best thing I ever did.

Rita Black: Aw. Well, well, I'm interested in, because, because I, I know before we turned on the record and thank you for that kind comment. But you said there was something, you made that decision like, I'm committing, you know, 'cause 'cause I, I get it. You know, I'm glad you found the program and I'm glad that you know, that our program, you know, and, and we can talk about hypnosis more. 'cause I'd like to hear more about this guy who helps people prepare for surgery. That's so fascinating. But I think you did something that, something you, you doubled down on something, you know, when you started the process or when you kind of went on, because I get that you've already, you had already lost weight. You were plateauing, but you had lost a significant amount of weight by, you know, changing your diet, changing, you know, which was great. But what was there this time for you that, you know, what was going on? It sounds like you had changed your job, changed your hair, and, and it's so funny to hear that you had long hair. 'cause I just think of you as somebody that has short hair, is kind of interesting to imagine you with long hair. You'll have to send me a picture. But yeah. What was that, what was that, you know, moment or that decision? Where did that come from and what, you know?

Kelly Simmons: So it's, it, it's just, it's really all part of the journey. I think learning that I know I, I know what you're talking about and I gotta get it in my head. I needed to find the confidence in myself that there is no quick fix. I had to do it within, I had to believe in myself. When I started, I, you know, like I said, I believed that I could lose the weight. I knew I could lose the weight. When I hit my 20 pound mark, 'cause I never look in the mirror. I, that's something that I didn't do, you know? And if I did, I didn't see myself. When I lost that first 20 pounds, I looked in the mirror and I freaked out. My critic rebel, whatever. They're going, whoa, you know, this isn't right. I hit something that told me you're on the right track. Something is, you've shifted something, something's changing. You're looking, you're seeing it. You're not going, oh, I've lost 20 pounds now. I can eat more. And I can, I, it's okay if I go back because I've been there before. And that, that point there really made a difference to me. And that's when I think that my co inner coach really started talking to me more internally conversation because they're going, it's okay. But yeah, it freaked me out seeing the change.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Kelly Simmons: And but it, it made me, okay, you know what? I think we've got this. And some of the things that you taught us about talking to yourself or my biggest one is if, well what? Go back. I never say never to food. Mine is, how can I make that food that I want healthier so that I can eat it? I've learned that. Never tell yourself no, because your, like you say, your body doesn't hear no. So you just crave something more. So I learned that I don't tell myself no, how can I make it healthier? So then I shifted more, a little bit more and go, okay, if I decide to eat that extra calories, how am I gonna own that up? I decide I chose to eat the more calories. Now am I banking, you know, going to use my exercise calories that I banked? Or am I going to readjust my week? And I think that way all the time now. It's not, you know -

Rita Black: It's not obsessive or anything. It's just kind of part of how you measure everything in your life. Yeah. No, I mean, I was having a conversation about that with somebody else about how tracking actually gives you choice because you, you can choose whatever you like. It's just, and then you start to weigh things against each other in this different sort of perspective. It's not good or bad. It's like, I could choose to have that, but then I don't know if that's the right choice for this moment. 'cause maybe I'd rather have this. And, you know, you start making different choices 'cause you're showing up for yourself.

Rita Black: And what I'm hearing is you just started to really, and this is the really profound part of this journey, and, and even watching you over this last year and three months, you know, 'cause I remember when you came in and I remember your pictures as you would post them as you'd released more weight, but more important than the before and afters are just like the change in your, not just your commitment to yourself, but how you're showing up. Right? You know, and I think when you, it's so profound to hear you talking about just that mirror incident where you just kind of looked in the mirror and you just saw something different. That, and it's kind of like, we call it in NLP, it's like a reframe. You re-see yourself from a different perspective, just in an instant. And it just opens up a whole other door of being this, it's kinda like you enter a new world, it's like, oh, I'm not there anymore. I'm here and this is who I am.

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. No, one of the things I loved was, you know, getting a vision. I've never had a vision. I never had a plan. So I really like that. Now people, I've heard people say that they don't, they can't vision. I don't see things in my mind. I, it's more like writing them down on a piece of paper. I'm not a big visual. I'm getting there. But when I first started, weight loss was not my visual. My visual is my new job had 26 steps. A huge stairs. I had arthritis in my right knee, which was so bad. I could barely go up those stairs.

Rita Black: Oh my goodness.

Kelly Simmons: So my vision was to be able to, and it was like this little puppet with the arms and the legs moving. But being so excited that I could go up and down those stairs without holding onto the railings. And over a year I can. I don't have the pain anymore. You know, I, I do my kick sledding. I went snow tubing the other day. I just, I love it. I'm waiting for my kayaks now. So I'm out there active. I love it.

Rita Black: That is so cool. I know you do your sledding, which is now how many, you do it with dogs, right? And so you hook them up?

Kelly Simmons: Uhhuh!

Rita Black: And is that, what does everybody on Alaska kick sled and have dogs that pull them along? It seems like call the wild.

Kelly Simmons: Not not in town. The, it's getting bigger. I, I, I probably on Facebook now because I went out on Sunday and my neighbors are all videoing me. But I love it because it makes me happy, but it makes people happy. People see me and they're cheering me on and love it. And it just, it's just uplifting for everybody. And I just love it.

Rita Black: It's so cool. And your dogs love it, I'm assuming they just love to. Yeah. Oh gosh. I'd do that now. That's on my bucket list. Kelly. I wanna come to Alaska and kick sled. I'll come and say hi and you can show me how to kick sled. So, so when, so tell us about the hypnosis. So, so what, so you didn't think of hypnosis as weird. I always ask that. 'cause you know, I think a lot of people see it as weird. But you had had that exposure to hypnosis before. And and it was interesting to you, but it just wasn't, you couldn't do it consistently enough to make an impact.

Kelly Simmons: Right.

Rita Black: Yeah. I think that's the thing with a lot of people is they might have had a hypnosis session or a couple of hypnosis sessions for weight and they're like, well, hypnosis didn't work for me. But I mean, I think the interesting thing about a hypnosis, it isn't the wave of the wand. You need consistent. You need that consistency. And, and that's why and, and you need to work on many different layers of things. It's not just, you know, I don't wanna eat bread. You know, it's, you've gotta start from the inside out. What so now, what would you say your, your relationship, so you are at your weight, your ideal weight? Like, what is your relationship like with your inner coach now? Like, and, and how are you using your inner coach for this maintenance phase for you?

Kelly Simmons: So I don't, I mean, I don't, I don't journal every day. I mean, in the, to a point I do. I weigh myself every day and I give myself a, I have a little window of what I do. And so, but I do weigh my food. I don't journal it, but I know how much my breakfast are.

Rita Black: You know, what's in what you're eating. So that's, that's changed as you've evolved your own journey. I mean, you know, you're taking ownership over what you're doing, which is great. I mean, what Kelly's talking about, a lot of what we do in this shift is just the nine skills of weight mastery, which are based on the behaviors of people who have long-term success. So a lot of it is just like being mindful about how much and what you're eating has correlated with long-term success and consistency.

Rita Black: Well you mentioned being in relationship with your husband. How did you manage, 'cause a lot of people out there have those husbands, have a spouse and that is a challenge for their weight management journey. So how did you manage things with your husband? Was he supportive of you as you were on this journey? How did your lives together change as far as, you know, like eating and all of that stuff?

Kelly Simmons: Well, he, he had already changed the way he eats. So we we're more, we were clean. We didn't go out to restaurants anymore just because spices will set off my asthma. So I have to be very careful how I eat. But we've already changed the kind of food. What was hard with me and my husband was he likes to eat large quantities of food. Men can. He wanted to make my food. So he was trying to be supportive, but I can't eat that. Well, I don't need to eat it. I just say thank you and take what I want. So it was a learning curve for me to say no because I grew up, finish your plate, give it to you, finish it. So I've loved to learn how not to do that. But for my husband to support me was hard. He, even to this day, he still thinks I'm gonna fall back and gain my weight back. So he doesn't acknowledge my weight loss as much unless I ask him. And so -

Rita Black: Interesting. So is is, is it just in the sense of he's seen it before and he doesn't want you to be disappointed. Like if he like [inaudible] all over you and then. Okay. So, so he's just a little protective. He's a little like, I don't wanna say anything 'cause I don't wanna jinx it or I don't wanna.

Kelly Simmons: He loved me at 280. He loves me now. He is worried that, you know. So he is supportive. I mean, he's changed a lot. He never ate vegetables. He eats a lot of vegetables now.

Rita Black: What made him start to get healthy? Was it when you started eating clean? He started eating clean? Or, or did he go through his own transformation?

Kelly Simmons: He saw me and he was having back spasms. And so I told him, I said, you know what, I'm not asking you to change anything. I'm asking you to go to see this doctor and just see what he has to say. And then you get to make your own decisions. And so he's slowly changed what he has done. And, you know, we've slowly added, I've slowly added veggies. I got him to eat veggies by giving him food in the dark. How'd you like that? Oh, it's great. Well, guess what? You just had a pea1

Rita Black: So you're sneaky. I love it. Yeah.

Kelly Simmons: So but yeah, he's, he, he chose to, I never made him change. But seeing how well I did, I mean, I was able to control my asthma. I'm controlling my blood pressure, my arthritis, you know, I am really, really healthy now and can do so much. And so it, it gives me a lot of motivation to keep eating clean.

Rita Black: Oh, that is so, I mean, like, and I think our listeners would be very inspired to hear how, it's not just about the weight. It's, you feel better, you perform better. You, your life is a higher quality life because you don't have those aches and pains. You can walk up and down those stairs, you can kick sled. And, and interact with the horses and go on for your walks at like, 'cause Kelly goes for these walks at lunch. And you go and visit these horses, you talk to them.

Kelly Simmons: Yes.

Rita Black: So that's part of your active lifestyle, which probably at 280 you would've never dream about.

Kelly Simmons: No, I, I had trouble getting down on the floor and playing with my son. And over the COD he gained the weight. I lost the weight. And so now I'm trying to help him and he's not really motivated. And I said, you know, what I really miss is when we used to take the dog for a walk and you would run and I couldn't keep up with you. I said, I challenge you to, you need to now keep up with me because I am running. And, you know, he didn't say no, he got this grin on his face. And so that's our goal for this summer, is to get my son back out and being active.

Rita Black: Yeah. What an amazing role model you are for him and your husband too.

Kelly Simmons: Yep.

Rita Black: I think it's amazing when people like yourself go on these journeys. You think, oh, well I'm doing this for myself. But you don't realize that you're creating such an impact for other people around you. You know, you're a leader.

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. My one friend, she told me, she goes, I, she had a vision that I came into the doctor's office and that people didn't recognize me. And I'm telling her, you know, you're crazy. Literally, people do not know who I am anymore because I've changed that much.

Rita Black: I believe it. I, so, so she had a vision. You mean she had one, like an apparition, like, she like saw something into the future. She said, oh, I see that. And you're like, eh. Never in a million years. And then it happened. That's so wild. Love that. I love that. So if somebody was struggling, listening to you and they're, you know, in the place that you used to be, what, what would be your, your words of advice for them as far as like just taking those first steps to get going? You know?

Kelly Simmons: You know, the biggest thing is, is, you know, everybody wants that quick fix. It's not a quick fix. This is a journey. It's a new way of life. But you've gotta believe in you. You've gotta believe that you wanna do it and that you can do it. Like I said with that, with my picture in the mirror, I figured out that I never believed that I could be a thin person. Now when I talk to people, I am a thin person. It's how I think about myself. I am thin. And so believing in what you are, because I always believed that I would gain the weight back. So why did I gain the weight back? Because that's what I believed.

Rita Black: Right.

Kelly Simmons: So believing in what you want and, and you know, it, it can be done. I mean, I am a history Yo-Yo dieter.

Rita Black: Yeah. Well, I, I wanna just explore that a little more. Just the, that's great advice. But as you, so, you know, we started with your beginning of this, this journey of this year at least. And, you know, going through the shift program, but also just going through a lot of things in your life. 'cause you had a crazy year. It wasn't an easy year. It wasn't a year where you could just sit and focus on exercise and eating. You life, you know, the zazzle hit the fan. Right. You had a lot of life stuff that erupted. And so how did you use your mindset to stay committed to yourself and also go through this added stress and added, you know, interruptions of life? Because that usually throws people off track.

Kelly Simmons: Writing it down. Using, you know, I did, I did the workbook a couple times, I think writing a log, so like your food log. But I didn't just log my food. I logged my exercise, I logged my hypnosis. I'm gonna do hypnosis in the morning. I put an alarm on my phone so that I knew when I had to do these things. You know, with my family issues that we had. And I started, you know, I started the new job and I started a craft business. And a lot of, I do, you know, I do my own taxes and I do, you know, taking care of dogs and yeah, it, it is busy. But just making sure that I took time for me and I journaled or I made a log of what I needed to do for me that day. And then put the rest of it in. So like you have your, your to-do list daily list. I did that as well. And made sure because -

Rita Black: And your self-care was just all part of your to-do list your making. That, that's fantastic. I know I have my to-do list and I do the same. I, you know, my exercise baked in and we talk a lot about in the shift, like thinking your whole week through, just so that you have that perspective of knowing too, oh, this is gonna be challenging here, so let me take care of myself ahead of time. 'cause I don't think we, you know, nobody's teaching us how to take care of ourselves in life. Especially women. You know, they're take take care of everybody else, but don't take care of yourself. So, you know, and you had a year where you were really, this year was a very much where you did have to take care of a lot of people, places and things. But I'm glad to hear that you made yourself within that a priority.

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. And, and there are some days when you forget or a week, you know what, I'm gonna do it on Monday and then Monday gets busy and you don't. And then we get crazy. But it's okay. You just need to you know, either midweek or on the next week and go forward. You don't beat yourself up. You know what I did the best I could with what I had. You know, it's that positive thinking, you know, I can do this. You know? What it last week was last week. What did I learn from it? I need to plan. So yeah, just -

Rita Black: Keep on keeping on. It sounds like you've set up a real good system of selfcare. And that's why I think you're so confident that you're a thin person because I think it's when you have that system down, it's not just something you're doing that's outside of you, but it's just kind of a part of who you are. That's where I think you really embody that confidence.

Kelly Simmons: Yep. So if I have a piece of chocolate, I don't say, oh my gosh, you know what? I'm gonna start over on Monday. I say, okay, we get this, what are we gonna do? It's okay.

Rita Black: Yeah. And, and I hope I enjoy, I hope you enjoyed the chocolate.

Kelly Simmons: My, my chocolate is is baker's chocolate with no sugar in it.

Rita Black: Oh my goodness. Wow. You're, you're -

Kelly Simmons: My husband, I have to put sugar in my husband's, but 'cause I make his his own candy. We don't buy a lot of store bought stuff, but -

Rita Black: Oh cecause of your allergies and such.

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. So I do a lot of baking and homemade stuff and, you know, it's, it's okay to eat a little bit, but I'll put, I'll cut a, I, you know, instead of cookies, we make cookie bars and I cut 'em up, I baggy 'em and I put 'em in the freezer for him. He takes 'em to work. We just keep 'em, keep 'em outta sight. 'cause If they're there I'll eat 'em.

Rita Black: Right. That's, that's interesting. No more cake decorating, I take it. You've left that far behind you. I know. I think it's one of those things where, I mean, it's such an art form. It really is very creative. I remember when I did it, it was very fun and creative. But, and when I was done I was like, yeah, that's good. I never have to do that again. Yeah. And yeah, no, my kids, my poor kids, you know, because I was a cake decorator many, many years before I had children. And, but you know, their birthday cakes were the saddest looking things I makes me like, I was like, you know, dropped a few things on them. But well, I think this has been really helpful and, and it's really inspiring to hear your story. What are you looking forward to Kelly this coming year? You know, now that you're healthy and at your ideal weight. You mentioned kayaking. Is that something new for you or is that something that you used to do?

Kelly Simmons: No, we've been doing it for the last couple years. Last year I didn't, we didn't get to go out because of the, it was too rainy and I couldn't get him on top of my car 'cause I got a new car and they took him eight months to get my brass.

Rita Black: Oh wow.

Kelly Simmons: But yeah, we, we like to go out. My husband, that's the one thing my husband will do with me is kayak. He doesn't kick sled, he doesn't like to go out for walks and stuff. So he, he will go kayaking with me. And so that's cool. One of the things we do together, but I've learned not to wait on other people. When I wanna do something, I go do it. And so I take my dogs out by myself. I go active. You know what, I try and invite people, but I don't wait for somebody else. I'm gonna go out there and do it myself.

Rita Black: That's a great attitude. So this summer your son might be running with you. You might be kayaking with your husband. Look at you and how active, did you ever think when you were 280 pounds that this would be your life?

Kelly Simmons: No. And now I've got a leash that I put around my waist and my dogs and I go running. And even with arthritis in my knee, I can run now.

Rita Black: That is fantastic. Your dogs don't get in front of you.

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. They, they run in front.

Rita Black: They do run in front. They pull, they, they don't pull you, but they're just running in front of you.

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. Bungee type leash. And I tried to do the bike that didn't work 'cause they wanted to go in front of the bike and the other one was trying to pull the bike over. But I found these leashes and they work perfect now. And so I can run with the dogs and -

Rita Black: It's kind of like the sled situation. Right? So you're they're pulling you and you're training them. I love it. Well, Kelly, thank you so much for coming on. Is there any last thing that you would like to impart or a piece of advice for anybody venturing out trying to take care of themselves that something that you learned along the way?

Kelly Simmons: Just keep, you know, refocus, keep, keep going. You can't, you know, you can do this, you know. You just, you gotta believe take pride in yourself.

Rita Black: Yeah. I think that's the, that is the central message of our conversation is believe, you know, it starts with that belief in yourself and then just keep going and keep, keep. And I think you've developed a beautiful, amazing inner coach within you that's keeping you going. It sounds like you've got, you know, we never lose our critic or rebel, but your coach sounds like you and your coach sound like you've got things all handled.

Kelly Simmons: Yeah. One of the things I thought about too is, you know, a lot of people, they always find an excuse, I can't do this because of this, this, don't, don't let that get to you. Make yourself a priority and work around it. You know, I mean, you know, I could get into a lot of different things that, you know, happened to me. You know the one that is my biggest one is my brother committed suicide on my birthday, and I had to learn how to deal with that. I'm a controller. I couldn't control it.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Kelly Simmons: But I learned how to work with that. And I mean, I did get this therapy and stuff, but any situation, no matter how little or how big, you still gotta take care of yourself before you can take care of others. And you've got, and you can get through this, you can lose weight when there's things that are catastrophic, you know? You still have to take care of yourself before you can take care of them.

Rita Black: I that's, I am so sorry about your brother Kelly, and my heart goes out to you and your family, but you're, I and your absolutely right. I mean, things happen to us and we still have to take care of ourselves. And that idea of you kind of al almost start to, I think when you stop making excuses and then you start and you hear yourself making an excuse, you, it becomes, it, it sticks out a lot more when you hear it and you're like, oh, I'm making an excuse. When, when I remember when I struggled with my weight, I made excuses all the time, and it was just the water I swam in. I didn't know what, how not to make an excuse, but I, I agree with you that, you know, starting to be excuse averse and starting to just really stick with your guns and show up for yourself and believe in yourself is so fantastic.

Rita Black: Well, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing everything with us. And it's, it is such a great story and I, and very inspirational. I, I, I love, oh, I can't wait to go Kick sledding. The kick sledding, that's what you call it.?

Kelly Simmons: Yep.

Rita Black: Okay. Yeah, that is just, okay. That's on my bucket list. Thank you very much, Kelly for coming in, inspiring us. I hope you have a great and fantastic rest of your day.

Kelly Simmons: Thank you. You too. Thank you, Rita.

Rita Black: Thank you so much, Kelly. And gosh, doesn't she make Alaska feel like the most fun and adventurous place to be? I mean, you know, I think of Alaska, I think of cold, but man, she made it sound like the place to be. And I love that. What a powerful and profound journey.

Rita Black: Kelly, I'm just so inspired by you. Thank you. Now remember coming up, like go to those show notes now and sign up because literally we can only have a hundred people in each of these classes and they're already filling up. So go, go, go to the show notes, click on and come to my free upcoming live masterclass, Breaking Free, Mastering Your Mindset for Permanent Weight Release. It's free, it's online, and I'm gonna be there and we're gonna have fun and we're gonna have a really good time. So I would love to see you there. Please come and join me and like I said, the show notes. Okay. Have an amazing 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. Have an amazing week. See 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.