In today’s Thin Thinking episode, we’re going to explore a story of success that began in the most challenging places.

Today’s episode features the incredible journey of Maria Santa Lucia. Maria found herself at a low point in life, feeling sick and scared about her future. 

But in this place of physical and mental pain, she discovered a turning point. She tapped into a part of herself that had the courage to change, and this inner coach grew into a powerful voice guiding her transformation.

Now, 100 pounds lighter, Maria is the epitome of health and happiness, running a beautiful bed and breakfast in Homer, Alaska. Her story is one of incredible resilience and self-love, and it’s sure to inspire and motivate you.

So, grab your favorite warm sweater, because we’re heading to Homer, Alaska. 

Come on in!



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Rita Black: Stories of success often start from a place of pain. My guest on the Thin Thinking podcast today, Maria Santa Lucia was stuck in her life feeling sick, like her body wasn't working anymore, and scared about what would happen if it got worse. In this place of both physical and mental pain, Maria found a turning point and a place within herself that had the courage to change that part within her began to grow into a powerful voice of her inner coach. 100 pounds lighter. Now Maria is the picture of health, happily running around her bed and breakfast in Homer, Alaska, and full of energy and self-love. Come hear Maria's amazing weight story that is both inspirational and motivational. So put your warm sweater on because we are going to Homer Alaska 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, friends. Hello. Hello. We are coming to you from the crispy and chilly northern part of the world, Alaska, at least in the summer though it's nice and warm and I hope you're well today. I'm excited to share Maria Santa Lucia with you. Maria is quite a woman. She built her own seven unit bed and breakfast in Homer, Alaska, and raised four boys there. And she told me stories about raking the snow off the roof in the winter time. Can you imagine that? But as capable as she was, Maria struggled desperately with her weight most of her life and used food for comfort and stress and really didn't know how to stop doing that. But she made an incredible pivot and has now released a hundred pounds. So I can't wait to share her story with you.

Rita Black: Now, if you are interested in making your own transformation. This coming week, I am offering today is actually today and tomorrow, the last days that we are offering the self-study version of the shift with over $800 worth of bonuses, including my shift weight express, which is a program with five of my top hypnosis downloads of all times, including exercise, drinking less for weight release. So check that out and just the links are in the show notes and see how this hypnosis based 30 day transformational process can change your life and your weight. The link is in the show notes, like I said.

Rita Black: Now let's talk to Maria. Welcome, Maria. I am really, really excited to have you on the Thin Thinking Podcast here today.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah, well well, thank you. I'm, I'm privileged to be here!

Rita Black: As Maria and I are talking, we've been talking a little bit. I see Maria's got this beautiful glow on her face, but also behind her. She lives all the way up in Alaska. And tell our listeners about what you've been up to, because I just, I've been asking you all these questions 'cause it's so fascinating.

Maria Santa Lucia: Okay. Well, I live in Homer, Alaska, and this is a little town. It's 220 miles south of Anchorage. And my town, it's a fishing town, but it also caters to tourists. And so I own a bed and breakfast here in Alaska. I have a bed and breakfast lodge, and I love to host people. That's one of my favorite things. And, and one of the things that I'm up to now that it's spring and our guests are due to start arriving, usually the season is, you know, Memorial Day is the big one, big beginning. And we last through this summer. And so I went up to get some of my workers and that kind of intrigued to read it here, like, get, get pick up your workers and it's like, yeah. So I, I try to get some workers from different places. They come, they live with me and I help me through the season, which is pretty special for me and for them both. And I also have to shop in Anchorage. Most of my shopping is done there because I really like high quality food and my high quality food costs a lot of money down here in Homer. But if I make my way up the road, I can get it for like almost 25% less money. So I take trips up there.

Rita Black: That's so amazing. And it's so, it's so fascinating to think of you up there in Alaska and just that busy season and just having guests every single day. And we're gonna get into that in a moment. 'cause I wanna hear about like how you take care of them through like managing, mastering your weight around this. But I know that you, you know, you had a struggle with weight, a good part of your life. And maybe just talk to our viewers about that. Like, take us back to when did you first start struggling with weight? Was it before or after you moved to Alaska? Because you said you moved to Alaska when you were quite young, right?

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah, yeah, when I was quite young. I have to say that my struggle with my weight really happened when puberty hit. I didn't wanna feel fatter. Oh no, I'm getting heavier, you know? So I can, I can have, I, my first recollections are in the teen years and I have early recollections of, of trying strange diets as a high schooler with girlfriends. It seemed to be a thing. I knew that there were even girlfriends that had problems where they were like doing the binge eating and throwing up in the bathrooms. I knew there were stuff like that going on, which I wasn't. But I was a very good eater and always have been. I was raised in a wonderful Italian family with very, very high skilled cooking skills. Plus I came from Buffalo, New York, if you guys know about Buffalo, New York, that's the land where chicken wings were created. And so I was raised on some foods. I didn't -

Rita Black: There's a huge Italian American community in Buffalo as well, right?

Maria Santa Lucia: Correct. Yeah.

Rita Black: My, my friend who is a, a writer wrote Cabrini, which is the film about Mother Cabrini and they shot it in Buffalo. They were shooting for early New York City, and he's had such, he said all these Buffalo Italians were making him all this food and taking it to his hotel room. I mean, it was crazy. So, anyway, sorry, sidetrack over there, but I was just wondering if your family was like part of that Italian American part of Buffalo?

Maria Santa Lucia: Yes, yes. It was. It is.

Rita Black: That's so cool.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah . There's nine in my family. And, and to go on a little bit, you know, the pizza and wings things, that, that was just the tip of the iceberg. I mean, if I think back, and my mother, God bless her, was working hard to try to feed a big family. And so there were other things like in Buffalo, New York. We used to drink, like we, my parents, it was tradition to have a glass of wine, but for us it was Hawaiian Punch. We didn't have the wine in it, but we had Hawaiian punches. And I look back on it now, I'm like, that's pure sugar. What was I drinking? You know, like okay. And I don't, my parents didn't know that they might be setting me up for, you know, future insulin resistance or metabolic issues. They didn't know when I was a kid drinking Kool-Aid, you know? But it, but I look back now and I'm like, wow, what a, what a lifestyle. I did late live and I enjoyed the food. I enjoyed it. But today it's not food that I try to have in my life. My inner coach catches me and stops me right away when I go to those places of trying to find comfort in those areas because it's not the place, and that's what I used to do as a child. So, yeah.

Rita Black: So, so as a child, you started, and then, and then I know you said that you moved to Alaska when you were around 18. Was that a time that you were struggling as well? Or did you, did you go on diets and were you successful, like with keeping it off for some time? Because I know you got married.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah. Yeah. So I guess I could go back to, to saying all growing up, I came from a very athletic family and did a lot of athletic activities and I think that always kind of kept me in check. But yeah, Alaska definitely. Okay. I was came out here when I was 18. I got married when I was 20 and had my first or I got, came out here, 18, married, had my first baby when I was 20. And, and to be honest with you, I really feel like as I kinda described before, comfort with food was a thing for me. So feeling uncomfortable. I feel like stress was a big issue for me and my way of helping myself with stress was food. And so when people don't gain weight during pregnancy, I'm like, wow, that's amazing. Because I feel like pregnancy was a stress for me and I felt like eating was a comfort while I was pregnant. So I did gain weight when I was pregnant. I had four sons. I have four sons. And and so the opportunity to overeat was really there for comforting myself. And yeah, it was hard to get that weight off once I started having my babies. So, yeah.

Rita Black: How close together are your sons?

Maria Santa Lucia: They're 2, 2, 2 and a half years apart. I did have a break between the second and the third there. 'cause I did have a miscarriage again, another stress that happened. But it, I always felt like, you know being in a fishing family, my husband was a fisherman which is a stressful occupation. And then raising children a lot by myself for periods of time. Again, there was that whole stress thing and trying to find, you know, we all wanna be at peace with how we're living. And I didn't know that I was doing a disservice to myself by looking for the comfort. Like even the, the New York food, I was like, can you send me right now some of those cannolis or cream horn in the mail, just so that I get a package, you know, I, I really wanted that, you know? And my sister Angela, she, she would send it to me. She'd be like, I'm sending Maria care package. Look here. I get the beautiful salmon and you know the best you can eat. And I'm, I'm still calling for home for the wrong thing because I didn't know the shift program back then. I didn't know how important it was to work on my mindset instead of, I, I did what I found I could, which was I found comfort with the food, you know?

Rita Black: Yeah. So, so years went by, like after your boys were small, was it, were you still, was it still turning to the food or were you trying to diet at all? Like, did you get onto the Yo-yo diet cycle thing, or what, tell us a little bit about that.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah, man, I was an expert. I feel like there, there are so many diets in my past. I probably could tell you how they worked and what the, what didn't work and the different names of the different types. And I right now can still pull off like, recipes for the cabbage Soup. That was, I mean, I, I love that stuff. I mean, I just felt like it was such a help. And, you know, during my younger years, I would bounce right back with extra exercise. I could just overdo an extra exercise. And I feel like it hurt me in my later years, especially in menopause. It really hurt me because I, I, I feel like without the hormones, I, I turned into developing my conditions that were just causing more and more weight gain. I couldn't understand why I had to become wise within myself. 'cause I live in an area where I don't, well, first of all, I have to mention I don't have insurance. I own my business and I, I don't have insurance, so I want to take care of myself. So I'm always researching what do I need to do next? But I was not doing so well when menopause hit. And so, yeah, I don't know. I'm probably jumping all over the board here. I don't know.

Rita Black: Oh, you're not, you're being cohesive. I get it. Like, you could do it, you could pull it together, you could lose the weight, you could exercise, you could get off. And I think a lot of our listeners could resonate with that. I think, you know, I joke like everybody could write their own New York Times bestselling book. It sounds like you got the recipes, it got, you got the, the gumption, but so then menopause hit, and it sounds like you, you hit some medical, like, or some physical roadblocks.

Maria Santa Lucia: Right, right. I really feel like, well, Alaska, there's some challenges just from living in Alaska that the average person doesn't have. And I think I mentioned it for you, like the snow shoveling for one. You know, like, so I even snow shoveled when I was pregnant, I had issues. I, I gave birth alone. 'cause My husband went out crab fishing and not back. So there were a lot of extra things that -

Rita Black: Were, were Well, you gave birth alone, like you were on your own giving birth to a baby.

Maria Santa Lucia: I was not, not on purpose. I mean, I got to the hospital, I had my girlfriend.

Rita Black: Oh, you okay, okay. Okay. So you had some help at the hospital, but it was like he wasn't there by your side helping. Oh, okay. Thank goodness. I had this vision of you, like snow shoveling. Oh, by you myself at the same time.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah. Anyways, that it's, you know, I, there's so much to it. Like I was a crab fisherman wife. So, I mean, there was one time where I took the kids out, you know, I took one son, actually, not two, but one son out crab fishing, helping with cooking with the crab. And I remember it was awful. It was very stressful and depleting. And so I came back and, you know, I started to feel worse. I'm sure it was my adrenal glands being depleted because I had extra things happening, but I felt like I could just keep going. 'cause I was young and this is what I did. So eventually there was a, a painful part where the weight wasn't coming off. So I was like, okay, I need to exercise more. And I started to do instructing. Like I became a Zumba instructor, and I work out all morning till the afternoon.

Maria Santa Lucia: I'd teach different classes thinking this is what's gonna help me. I just kept doing more and more. But what I was doing was setting myself up for a fall. And and the over exercising was not a good thing. It, it actually was worse. And it started, it went from adrenals to my thyroid, which I, oh my goodness. Didn't really recognize it until I was, I was 60 pounds overweight and hitting pre perimenopause and trying to figure myself out. Again, going to doctors, but not wanting to spend so much money that it was out of pocket and it was expensive for me. So yeah, so 2020 was an interesting time period. I, in the middle there, I our, my marriage did break up and that was very stressful. And coming to a place of, of 2012 or 13, there was a man that came into my life and I felt like, oh, this is gonna be wonderful.

Maria Santa Lucia: I'm gonna have extra support. And it seemed to fit. And he seemed to be a good Christian man, and I just really felt like it was gonna work. And it did not work. In 2020 2022, he decided to leave too. And that's when I was at my very worst. I was a hundred pounds overweight, afraid to step on the scale. I would not even wanna go near it. Because I had gotten so big, everything was hurting, hurting, hurting. And I had some encouragement. And I'll tell you what it was. I had I was doing essential oils and helping people with essential oils. And and there was this topic that said, oh, we have these supplements and they're gonna really help you, and it's gonna really be a changer for you. And to be honest with you, I feel like it has been a great base for me to get these supplements.

Maria Santa Lucia: But the thing about it is everyone who took them, and it started for me, they started in September, but I started in October. I was so hurt. My feet were hurt, my, everything was not, I couldn't move. Well back then, I was just really, I was went declined. And I, my son, I'm gonna go all over the place. Oh gosh, okay. My son is a Special Forces Green Beret, and he's been doing it for a long time. And he's in Okinawa, Japan, and he is due to retire this year. But in 2021, 2022, I said to myself, I have to get there before he won't. He'll say, mom, I'm too busy. You can't come now. So I'm like, I gotta get there. Well, I was a hundred pounds heavier. And for me to make a flight to Okinawa, Japan was a very big deal.

Maria Santa Lucia: I mean, my feet swelled. It was many, many hours on a plane. And when I got there, I get to see the disappointment in his face. Like, what has happened to you mother? You know, I could, I just knew I did not look healthy and I did not feel healthy, and I felt like it was too hot and everything about being there, but I was with him, you know, and he's like, let's do this. And then I'd, we'd be like, but you can't walk. I'm like I want to, I wanna do it. So he ended up getting me a little electric scooter thing, and it was just so humbling and so not where I wanted to be. And and I'm so grateful today for that experience because it really said to me, Maria, everything you did with over exercising and giving yourself the treats, the when, even when, you know, you shouldn't.

Maria Santa Lucia: All those things that I know, I'm like, you gotta make a change. Something big has to happen for you for a change. So here I am, I decide I'm gonna take these supplements as my base of nutrition. I'm so grateful. I mean, collagen and berberine, um-huh? Were in them. And they were very big helpers for me. But I will tell you that from October to Dec January's very depressing time. I did not meet shift until February. So, December to January, January, I decided this isn't happening as fast as I want it to be. I'm gonna go to the doctors. So I'm go to the doctors and I say, please help me. I don't know what to do. I'm on these supplements and I'm still like, I lose a little. And then I gain, and we're talking about half a pound and a pound and a pound, and then finally it adds up to 10 pounds.

Maria Santa Lucia: And then I'll eat for two days at Christmas and comes six pounds back on. And it's just very discouraging. So I'm like, I need some help. And she's like, well, I could put you on this thousand dollars weight loss medication. I'm like, no, can't do it. And she's like, I have something that's free you could be doing. I'm like, what? And she said, I want you to start listening to some podcasts. And so I didn't find you yet. Remember it was January. Okay. So I started, I started to listen to podcasts, but it opened up my world of researching differently for weight loss at that time, which was wonderful. I listened to Andrew Huberman, Jason Fong, things about intermittent fasting and giving my di digestion a break. And then I saw Rita's Facebook and it said, have you ever thought about it being in your mind that you need to have that other food, or you need to have it at a, at the, this you, you'll start on Monday.

Maria Santa Lucia: Those kind of topics. And I'm like, oh my goodness, that's totally me. That's what I do. You know, I I I feel like, well, I'll just exercise it off. You know, I use something justification in my head and and those are all my rebel is big. My, my critic is big too, but my rebel is pretty big. And, but I have a big coach. I've lost a lot of pounds through the years, like hundreds of pounds through the years. I, my coach is there. It just was like cowing in the corner, you know, like, I don't know what to do. She's so big.

Rita Black: Your critic and rebel through your coach in the closet. Shut the door and locked it.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So it was interesting time period for me. And February, I found, end of January, beginning of February, I found that they were going to be doing a shift and starting this pre-shift. And so I'm like, I wanna join this free page. And I remember just feeling like there were other people just like me that didn't understand this mindset thing, but felt like that might be the key to the change. At this point, I don't even really know the word. What was wrong with me, I have to mention this 'cause this is a big thing. In 2020, I was married to this wonderful man who didn't, hadn't left me yet, but he was very, very ill. And I'm like, I am going to save the day and help him be healthier and help everybody else. I'm, I am quite the caregiver of other people. I actually do that for work a lot on the off time. I'm a death doula certified and have owned and operated, yeah, an assisted living for 15 years where I helped the elderly.

Maria Santa Lucia: So I, that's what I, I have a passion for, for helping other people. But in the midst of it all, I, it's real easy for me to not look at myself because I'm helping other people. So there's a, it's a, it's a, what do you call that? A double edges sword or whatever, where it's just not, it can be good, but it's, I have to pay attention to me in order to be able to do that work. So in 2020, I went to school to become a nutritionist. I went to Functional Nutrition Alliance with Andrea Yami, and I did that for a two year degree to get this functional nutrition. I did not do it so that I would go out and be a functional nutritionist. I did it because my husband was very ill. He was so ill that I felt like I wanted to dive deeper.

Maria Santa Lucia: And I also knew I was ill. I'm, I, I, I was really hurting, so I really wanted to help myself too. So I thought if I learn all this stuff, I'll be able to help myself. I look at it now and it was this like another step in my journey of good education to get me to the place of where I am today. But yeah, it was very, very helpful. So back to the shift. So in February, here I am, I open this page and I see all these people that are, have similar things, and then I print off the workbook and this workbook and going through these things we're all so spot on at like, yes, this is the best of this, this is the best. Rita must have known, she must have been, you must have really been your dieting in the past too, because you've took the best of all these topics and you've put it together.

Maria Santa Lucia: And I'm like, wow, I just learned in functional nutrition about this. And look at Rita's bringing up right here for these people. They don't even know they're getting such good information. Like, this is, this is a great education. So anyways, I just was impressed right away. I think the thing that really got me was the hypnosis meditation part, because I am a woman that I've been a Christian. I was raised Catholic, and then I became a non-denominational Christian in the midst of it all. So I, I feel like I have a very strong foundation of who I am in, in my faith and my beliefs. And I thought, I don't understand hypnosis. I thought that was something that they did on cruise ships in the people who like a cow. You know? I mean, I did not realize that this was me.

Maria Santa Lucia: This was about me looking at me, going into myself and what I want for myself. And it was like super freeing. Like it changed my prayer world. It changed my way. I look at myself and my communication with who I believe my creator is, I, it's really has been a super help. I feel like that was the biggest mind blowing help for me. Making good friends with myself and who I am and, and recognizing that I need to cherish me, like right where I'm at, metabolic syndrome, Maria, you know, insulin resistant, Maria, just love, just love yourself. It's okay. And wow, that was huge. Especially when my husband said, I don't want you anymore. And he never said it was 'cause I was too big. I'm sure it wasn't, I'm sure it was all about what was in his, his head, what he was, what yeah.

Maria Santa Lucia: What was going on with him. But for me, I'm like, it, I I, this gives me the opportunity no longer to sit there and focus on him and to say, look at myself. And this program came at the most opportune time and I'm so grateful. I'm so grateful for this a hundred pounds of loss. 'cause really in October when before I started the shift, that's when I did weigh myself. And I have all the measurements. The measurements are huge, like way different. And I, I was 247 pounds. I am right now 147 pounds. And so I'm at the mark. Yeah. And I, my goal is 145. So I'm still three pounds from that goal. But I'm so feel right there. I'm right there. It's just a matter of time.

Rita Black: You are there. That is so fantastic. And you look, you look amazing. You look healthy and vibrant. What a story. But, but so I have some questions for you within all of that because I know, 'cause I said I'm gonna ask you these questions, Maria. So, because I wanna get into this journey of a hundred pounds and you said you're inner coach and and you also run this business because I think this is important for our listeners to know because our listeners are busy people who do busy things. And it's really easy for our mindset to go, like, I don't have the time to take care of myself. Maria, you do a lot of baking with your world, you know? So I know baking is a big change and challenge. I mean, not a change, but a challenge for some of our listeners who, I know some of our listeners don't cook at all, but some of our listeners are like very into cooking and baking, and Maria has to do this for a living. Tell us a little bit, I, I know you, you built this era, this BMB in the middle of Homer Alaska, and, and you've, it's, you've had it for now for I wanna say 30 years. My, my math is really bad, but it was somewhere around 30 years.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah. So pretty close. I, 1997 was the first year.

Rita Black: Oh okay. Mm-Hmm. Amazing.

Maria Santa Lucia: Thank you.

Rita Black: And soo, and, and so what happens, tell our listeners, like every summer, it's, it is a summer seasonal business, right? So people come up every summer and you're cooking for them, like you're, yes. I mean, you're doing amazing pastries and baking and stuff. Tell, tell us about that.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah. And I even have a cookbook that's a breakfast cookbook. So I do. I do yeah. So I have a lot of visitors that come through my door. I have seven units. One of them's a two bedroom apartment. So we can, you know, do about 15 to 20 people in a day and we feed them breakfast. And so I like to cook and I like to be authentic in who I am being Alaskan. So most of what I cook and bake and make comes from the area. Like I pick the blueberries for the blueberry jams and the raspberries for the raspberry sauces, and I make a special spruce chip syrup for the sourdough pancakes. But so, so when I cook the, that's to me vacation food. Now I have made a decision in my mind.

Maria Santa Lucia: And this was new since the shift. I made a, a decision in my mind that I was cooking for other people. This was not for me to be partaking in. I already know I could do these recipes in my sleep. I do 'em so often that it's, it's fine for me to tell myself that I don't need to eat it, but I can enjoy them having their meal. And I make some really nice, you know, fresh fruit type dishes too, which really help help me feel like I'm not just giving them carbohydrates. But to be honest with you, the average American on vacation really wants to have what they consider a special breakfast. And so I, I do cater toward the baking of some really nice baked goods. And and you know, I, I decided early on with the shift if I am hypothyroid and I do have this issue where I'm trying to not eat gluten myself, which again, I'm not, I'm not celiac, but there are some guests that come through, but that I would be able to partake in, in making things happen. So I actually have three sourdoughs right now. Three sourdough. So starters in my kitchen, one is a rye sourdough starter, and I make a wonderful sour kraut rye hardy buckwheat, but it's not buckwheat, it's sourdough rye, which is very low gluten with sauerkraut. And it's delicious.

Rita Black: Is that a savory?

Maria Santa Lucia: You would never guess it. It's really good. Yeah. And then I have rice sourdough soder with made with rice flour. And I also have my regular sourdough. So I do cater in my, I do not let someone who's trying to be gluten-free go, they get to have gluten-free products. They get, they get to have some nice yummy things that I've been creating since I've been learning shift. And yeah.

Rita Black: That's very cool.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah. Thank you.

Rita Black: We're gonna have to put the, we're gonna have to put the link to your, your BnB in the show notes because everybody's gonna wanna come visit you now. I definitely do. Yeah. 'cause sourdough can be low glycemic, right? It's a, it's a low glycemic food if you're it doesn't spike your blood sugar if, and it sounds like you're, especially if you're using like rye or buck buckwheat, and I know buckwheat is, can be very healthy, so, well good for you. I know people do expect the big carb festival in the morning. When you got AB and B. So what Maria said is very interesting though, just from a cognitive perspective, because what she did, and I just wanna point this out to our listeners, is she kind of made peace. She said, this isn't an option. And it wasn't like, I can't have it, it's just like, I can't have it right now.

Rita Black: This is like not an option right now. And what that does in the brain is it kind of shuts off that dopamine. Like I could have it or trying not to have it when we're trying not to have it, the brain's still gonna bug you for it. But like you were saying, when you were trying before, like prior to shift and making this piece with yourself, it, you would still be tasting and doing some tasting here and there. But when you said, this is a, this is just not an option for me unless I'm on, you know, you have some like, loving boundaries. Like unless I'm on vacation or unless I'm, you know, a special occasion or a holiday, it's just not an option for me. So your brain has kind of gone dormant in that like, opportunity to eat sort of area would I mean, just Yeah, yeah.

Maria Santa Lucia: I speak to that. Yeah. It's a closed door. It's a closed door for me. Yeah. I don't, I don't go past it now, which is super helpful. 'cause Then I can continue to shift because I'm, I'm making food and I'm enjoying the people who are eating the food. I just, it's not for me to be eating it. And I, I, I did the same thing in the evenings, Rita, I didn't mention to you that before, but that's how I stopped with my eating window at a certain time and just saying, well, I'm, I'm gonna eat again. It's just not now I'm going to eat when I, it starts again. So I did that a lot in the evening for myself and that was a huge help for my brain too. And I think it heals my body too. You know, it's just good for your digestion to have a break at night.

Rita Black: How long do you fast for? So like, when do you fast from to and, and like, when do you cut food off in the evening and fast to the morning?

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah. So usually seven o'clock is the latest that I'll, I'll allow myself. And most of the time it's six 30 'cause I'm done eating my dinner by six 30. But I I, in the morning with the bed and breakfast I give myself hot tea that I, so I've never been a big coffee drinker. I know some people are coffee drinker. And so, and I, I wish sometimes that I was, 'cause some of the things I read are really good. Coffee's really good. It's for certain things. But I am more of a tea drinker. So in the morning I cook and I have my cup of tea and people are always like, aren't you going to eat now? Aren't you going to? And what I say is I eat with my staff when my staff eats and it's after you guys are done. So I always eat about 9, 9 30, and that's my eating time. 9, 9 30.

Rita Black: Oh, well that's great. And that's, and again, that's like kind of not an option to eat time anyway, so that's amazing. How early do you have to wake up to start cooking in the morning?

Maria Santa Lucia: I usually wake up at 5:45. And then I'm my first breakfast for people is, is at seven.

Rita Black: Okay. So that gives you time to get everything going in the kitchen and get, make sure your staff's cooking and stuff. That's so cool. And so what about movement and exercise? I know before you were coming in Maria was like, I'm just coming in from my Zumba class and, and you know, before we had our interview. And so how has, how in your journey of releasing a hundred pounds, how did movement come back into your life? I mean, I'm assuming when you were at a hundred pounds and you had swollen feet, you were not doing any sort of formal exercise, or at least not too much.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah. So what started happening, I used to teach regular Zumba and then I started to, to gain weight. And I have periods of time where I lose some and gain some. So I moved to Zumba Gold when I, as I got bigger and I said, this is low impact and I have a hurt knee, so we're gonna do this now. And so I still kept one class going just one class. And I used to do like five, six classes in a week, but I kept one. And I felt like the reason I was holding on is I felt like, I felt like it was my, it was my lifeline. Like, you're really gonna be giving up on all activity if you give that up. And so I was holding tight to it. And my people, I mean, I, I have a small town, so we're very, they're so supportive of me.

Maria Santa Lucia: They all were like, come on, Maria. You know, like I am. Yeah. So I am teaching three classes a week now. I, when I was really hurting at a hundred pounds, I wanna just mention this 'cause I really feel like it super helped me. And I don't even know how I came up with this idea, but it was so helpful. I got myself a mini trampoline is what I did. And I didn't even have the strength to be able to like, walk on it. I really had bad situation going on, but I bounced my feet on there and I had a have a bar here and I'd be like, bouncing a little bit upward. And I just it was a super encouraging mind boost. So if you can find one garage sale or Amazon, they're not that expensive. It was a super help if, if you're at that a hundred pounds or more, do not underestimate a little mini tramp as being a beginning step too.

Rita Black: That's a great idea! And it's good for your adrenals, right? Like when you hop up and down on that.

Maria Santa Lucia: It's so good for you. I didn't realize what a good thing I was doing until I started doing it. I could feel myself improving with just using my feet and not my core, just my feet bouncing. I could feel the difference. Of, I of course quickly did try to add more. And then the next step after that for me was a recumbent bike, which I, I got a very cheap gym membership, like the cheapest gym I could find and which is still expensive in home Alaska. But it was good. And I, and I started with the recumbent bite too. So, and I kept again my one class and then I decide, everybody was asking me, why don't we add a second class again? Why aren't we doing two classes like we used to? And so I'm like, okay, COVID is over time to start to add that second class.

Maria Santa Lucia: So it started to add up again. I will never, ever over exercise again. I've learned my lesson that it's really not healthy for my body to say I'm just gonna do more. But for those of you who aren't doing anything, please start to do something and find yourself a moderate amount instead of over exercising. So yeah, that's what I've done anyway. And it seems to have really been a balance. Now. I feel like the whole thing is about balance. You know, didn't realize how, how important balance is, like how much food, you know, weighing stuff really helps you realize a balance. Like, oh, this, I was very unbalanced, my eyes were very unbalanced. I wanted to eat way more on a plate than I should.

Rita Black: Yeah. Well I think our eyes adjust and we lose sight of what reality is. And I mean, even as Americans, 'cause you must observe this was seeing so many people eat, you know, you've served them food. Like I remember being a waiter and, and a caterer and I was, you know, very much in the food industry for many years and seeing, you know, different people's approaches to portion control and, you know, and, and the different psychology of different people leaving food on their plate and not leaving food on their plate. And you know, I was very much a clean the plate club, you know, I was brought up that way. And you know, and I think a lot of our listeners probably are clean the plate club people too. But you know, different people have different relationships to leaving food on their plate or how much is enough. And I think as Americans we get very entitled to, because American portions are so big when, you know, you sit down and eat something. When I lived in Europe, the portions were way tinier and I got much more used to smaller portions. And when I came back to America, I just couldn't believe how big the portions were.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah, yeah. And they are huge. I mean, I just went out last night and I brought, like, I only ate a, a quarter of my nice Mexican, whatever burrito thing, because it was all that I needed. I could see that. Whereas in the past a hundred pounds ago, I would've probably tried to finish it. Yeah. I mean that's what my, so I've just, it's, I've come so full circle. I'm so, yeah, it's been really nice. It's, you know, I look back then I could eat all that and not be concerned, but yet I was really afraid deep inside myself. I was so afraid of being so immobile I wouldn't be able to travel of being, I was so immobile I wouldn't be able to do things. I loved to do the kayaking and the horseback riding. I, I did not wanna be that person that couldn't do those things.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah. But yet, but yet I felt like I was going to eat my whole plate. You know? It's like, it was such a disconnect, you know, I'm so glad to be balanced, which I think the shift program the hypnosis was the key. Some of you don't know, but I will tell you, like if I had trouble sleeping, it was Rita Black. Most of the night I put out, I'm trouble, I'm gonna get my hypnosis on. You have one that's that's for if you're having trouble sleeping, you have that one. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I'll get back to sleep. I'll put that on. Yeah. Get how to get back to sleep. It really works. This is wonderful.

Rita Black: Did you find, because you did come from like a, like you said, sort of a, you know, a religious and Christian background. That idea of hypnosis was, were you afraid of the idea of hypnosis? You know, 'cause sometimes people do have fear about hypnosis and I completely understand that fear. Because you do see the shows where people seem to be under the control of somebody else.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yes. Yes. Okay. So that for sure was in the background. But that has to do more with, I think, scary movies than, than what you were offering. So I, yeah. So having the wrong perception of what hypnosis, I really felt like hypnosis wasn't really, really true. I mean, I felt like it really was like kind of a showman thing. I didn't really recognize the, that my brain was gonna be able to go to these places. I mean, I can't tell you, I get excited now. Like I look forward to my hypnosis. 'cause I love my shift place. I want, it's my vacation place. I look forward to going into my shift place I am. And I was trying to bring that joy out of my shift place to the, to the Facebook group when we, when I did a post recently. Because I, I feel like it's, it's, it is people will start to get busy and think that maybe I won't do my meditation or my hypnosis or whatever.

Maria Santa Lucia: And I, that's my priority. It's a, it's a priority.. That's great. My, I've had so many years of the, of my brain saying, letting the critic in, letting the rebel come up and say the things, all the things that made me get to a hundred pounds. That I, I need to really, I mean, my, my coach is pretty fortified now and I feel good about it, but I wanna always make sure that that's the case. 'cause I, I feel like just like the a hundred pounds, it's not instant. You were gonna go back to these old patterns and yeah. I really feel like that's a refuge and a, a place where you, even when you don't know it, say I'm falling asleep and I still have those words going, but they're still going into my brain. Yeah. I, yeah. Feel like it's important.

Rita Black: Well this has been so great. I want, like, if you had one piece of advice, like for somebody who is out there struggling, like what would be that first step forward? Like obviously you took a lot of different steps forward, you know, to get on your journey. What would be that first step that you would advise them or, you know, say, yeah, maybe start here.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yeah. I would say I would say, gosh, I, there there's too many types of people out there for me to just really pinpoint. 'cause I would have a different message for different types of people. But I would say that the thing that I would say about the shift program is if you are thinking about doing it or you are, you know, dabbling in the free group or whatever, I would say Do it. Don't dabble anymore. Just go for it. Because I really recognize that a lot of those things that I learned from many years of dieting are all concentrated in this beautiful form in this program. So I really do really like it. You know, your very first things would be to be, to make good, good friends with yourself. And to, to tell yourself that it's okay.

Maria Santa Lucia: Like, I, I used to always feel like I was blowing it. Like, even when I ate a salad, maybe I ate too much salad. I mean, I always felt like there was, there, there was a way I was blowing it and it's like, you know, just be a good friend to yourself. It's okay. You're, you're not blowing it. You don't need to judge yourself. You don't need to feel bad about right where you are at right now. That's not the point. Just love yourself. So I guess my first tidbit would be to love yourself and to do it, do the program. Do it.

Rita Black: Well, I, I think that's a great piece of advice. The part where you're just saying love yourself and whatever decision you make from there, you're gonna make a more powerful decision than from a place of not loving yourself. So, and, and I think what was really great about your journey was you really heard all the places you started making the connections to yourself, not just with our program, but, but you know, just starting with, you know, getting to that place of such pain. Like when you went to see your son and just starting to make, like, I would say that was the beginning of your turning point to start to say, I've, there's, I gotta make a change and I gotta, you know, I just, let's just start with one thing and you started looking and kind of finding that rounding in yourself because obviously for somebody like yourself who's, who's gone through how many Alaskan winters, who's -

Maria Santa Lucia: Yes.

Rita Black: Some dark nights of the soul just from being, you know, in the deep darkness of the Alaskan winter running a business, you know, every summer and having sons and husbands go out to sea with, you know, boats that you don't know are gonna come back. I mean, you know, you've got a lot of resilience and a lot of chutzpah and a lot of you know, goods within you. But when it came to your health, that was the disconnect. And I, and I think so many of our listeners are like powerful people out there in the world doing things, making difference, probably serving other people, loving other people, but not themselves. And I think you are kind of turning the tides and saying, wait, I gotta take care of me here. That was the turning point for you. And I think that was really articulated very well, Maria. So thank you for doing that and, and sharing your amazing story with us. And I know Maria's got like workers who are downstairs and guests arriving. So thank you for sharing yourself and your story with us and being so inspiring. And I'm so proud of you and your journey and and I wish you the, I think this is gonna be an amazing summer.

Maria Santa Lucia: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I, I am hoping for that as well. And I'm, I'm pretty confident that we're gonna have a beautiful one because already the green and the beauty of Alaska is just absolutely amazing. I it's a little overcast out there. I other, would you like to see what it looks like, Rita?

Rita Black: Out my door? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. go ahead and flip it around. Let me see. I can't wait to go up to Alaska. And for those of you who've been listening to our podcast, oh my goodness, look at this. Okay. Wow, that is gorgeous. Wow. You are really in a beautiful place. Yes. And what a beautiful, I'm seeing part of her lodge now as a beautiful place. Alright, we're gonna put the link, link to your lodge, the show notes.

Rita Black: You can come in, have Maria's amazing coffee sourdough. Yes. Alright, Maria, you go and take, and it's probably light there until 10 o'clock at night, right? In the winter, or 11 or 12.

Maria Santa Lucia: Yes. Yes. Yeah.

Rita Black: That's amazing. That's fantastic. Thank you so much. And we will look forward to, we'll, we'll have you back sometime soon, maybe in the dead of winter, so we can talk about winter in Alaska.

Maria Santa Lucia: Oh, that would be fine. I'd love to do that. Thank you very much, Rita. You're, you are an inspiration to so many people, but as you can see, a hundred pounds lighter, you, what you've done and what you've put together, it influences so many people. I'm just so grateful. Can't tell you.

Rita Black: Wow. Thank you, Maria, thank you so much.

Rita Black: Maria. Thank you so much for sharing that powerful story and all of your insights and your inspiration. You are such a powerful lady, and I wish you the best summer ahead with regards to your bed and breakfast, but also your continuing weight mastery journey. And again, if you are interested in making your own transformation this coming week, I am offering the self-study version of the shift over $800 worth of bonuses. So get into that. The links, they're in the show notes. And so is Maria Santa Lucia's bed and breakfast link to Homer Alaska, her bed and breakfast there. I hope to get there sometime soon. Maybe you'll check it out. It, she showed me as you know, the, the view from outside the windows and oh my gosh, it is gorgeous. So 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, and I will see you here next week.

Rita Black: Do 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.