Many people can lose weight, but the second life takes a turn – we get sick or stressed or something happens either good or bad – we typically go back to our old ways and find it hard to get back.

We might get frustrated, disappointed, or feel down because of the difficulty to get back on track with our weight mastery journey.

I am thrilled to share with you, in this 29th episode of Thin Thinking Podcast, the story and journey of Jeffrey Carignan who released 70 pounds with the SHIFT WEIGHT MASTERY PROCESS.

In this interview, we will be able to learn from his experience the key component of his successful weight release. More importantly we will learn how he was able to get himself back on track after a 3-month illness took him off course. Long-term weight loss is all about learning how to do this!

Also, I want to remind you that tomorrow, September 28th, will be the last day to sign up for the new version of my self-study Fall 2021 Shift Weight Mastery Process. Join us and let’s shift together.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: Many people can lose weight, but the second life takes a turn - we get sick or stressed or something happens either good or bad - we typically go back to our old ways and find it hard to get back. Today my guest, Jeffrey Carignan, who released 70 pounds with the shift weight mastery process and a year into his mastery got sick for three months, was able to get himself back on track, learn the key component of his successful weight release, maintenance and recovery. What was it for him that made the difference to get back on track?

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, best-selling author, and the creator of the Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long-term weight mastery, I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict, and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need. Not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long-term and live your best life.

Rita Black: Hi everyone. Welcome. Welcome. Come on in. And I hope this finds you in the middle of a very wonderful, happy and healthy week. I am so thrilled, I guess the word is today, to share my interview with weight master Jeffrey, with you. Jeffrey and I sat down over the summer and discussed his 70-pound weight release and how he found a key component to his success was creating a new way of communicating with himself. What I like to call the inner coach or cultivating your inner coach and this relationship with his inner coach not only helped him take off 70 pounds and maintain, but also helped him get back on track after an illness took him out of the game for almost three months. So this is a really great story of a weight release story, but getting off track and getting back on track, what does it take because often we lose the weight, but then we get thrown off, we lose, we lose focus and then, you know, we're back to square one. Jeffrey was able to get refocused and I really believe it was this relationship with his inner coach. So, stay tuned to listen to his powerful journey. He's so insightful and he really walks us through it in a very insightful way. So you're going to really get it. And if you are listening before the September 29th, 2021 tomorrow, September 29th, 2021 is the last day to sign up for the upcoming version two, the V2 version of the shift weight mastery process. It's a new incarnation. That's on an online platform, says self study, but I am going to be guiding, you know, as a grand opening, a lot of people through the process online. So we're going to do it as a community as we have always done the shift weight mastery process, but now we're doing it on this new platform with bonuses and a big discount. So if you are at all interested check the link in the show notes and you will see more about that and, get a lot more details. So, but I'm excited to be starting a new group on October 2nd. So please check the show notes and now let's get on with my interview with the amazing Jeffrey Carignan.

Rita Black: Hello, Jeffrey, thank you so much for being here today. Cause I think what you have, your story is going to be very compelling for a lot of people because your story is the you're, you're kind of like the comeback kid, you know, you had a journey of weight release and then you, I hope you'll tell us a little bit about your getting sick, but then getting off track and then getting back on track. And I think that's where a lot of people get hung up is the, you know, something happens in life that takes us off, but then it's, then we go away. And I think the value of what you have is this new way of communicating with yourself that you created on your journey of weight mastery. So welcome everybody, Jeffrey. Jeffrey, tell us how, just tell me a little bit about your struggle with weight prior to the shift weight mastery process.

Jeffrey Carignan: Well, I, you know, I'm someone who I think have really struggled with my weight, my whole life. I've sort of, you know, it, wasn't a sort of active kid, but I'm very tall. So, you know, I grew a lot, so I be able to sort of grow at a fast pace growing up. I think I ate a lot. I kind of got into that habit of just like eating a lot and then growing a lot and then eating a lot and then growing a lot, you guys, brought that patterning that brain patterning into my adult life and when I stopped growing. So the interesting thing is that, you know, I definitely struggled in difficult diet fashion and my twenties, you know, a bit when I was in my late teens and in college, I think. And then once I started working, post-college in a professional desk job, I began to notice that, you know, I was just packing on pounds and I was still eating like I was in college, but I wasn't really aware of the expenditure of calories or what that meant or how much I actually really needed to eat. I was very sort of unsure about all of that. So, you know, I think I've tried every diet in the book. I think, you know, during my twenties, it was a lot of weight watchers. It was a lot of points and counting and, then it was a lot of exercise and a lot of, you know, so I think, you know, by the time I found the shift process, which was about two and a half years ago, I had gone up and down the scale about 60 to 80 pounds, 10 times in my life.

Rita Black: Wow.

Jeffrey Carignan: So, when I found you and when I found this, you know, I was not sure if it will work, I was not sure if it, you know, what was going to be different about it, but I was feeling guided to hypnosis for some reason, that's kind of how I found you, a friend of mine had gone to I'm from Los Angeles where you're from. So a friend of mine had shared on Facebook that you helped her quit smoking. And I was like, oh, that's interesting. But she didn't really say that in her share. She was like, thank you, Rita Black for, you know, I'm, you know, two months free. And I was like, oh, what's that? And I just clicked on you. And then I saw that you helped people quit smoking, but that your main focus, it seemed from what I saw was helping people manage their weight. And I was like, oh, that's interesting that I could use that. What is this about? And, so I saw that at that time, I think you had just released your book. So I was like, oh, well, you know, I'll just buy it. And I went to Amazon, bought it and then began to listen to the hypnosis sessions that come with the book and through that process. I read the book, and sort of do my own shift learning by sort of doing the book. And I think that during that time I think I took off maybe 40 pounds and it was like, oh, there's something to this. And this is great. And, but I found that I was not someone who at that time who could just like stick with it.

Rita Black: Right.

Jeffrey Carignan: And so, I ended up putting some weight back on, but I started to follow you on social media and, was on your mailing list. And so you had emailed about, you know, a 30-day shift weight mastery process to sort of do with a group of people that you are going to lead. And so I was like, oh, you know what, I'm going to do it. I'm going to try this and see, because I did have some success. And, but there were still aspects of, you know, of a shift or of weight mastery that I just was resistant to. I was, I'm someone who's very, who has been very resistant to tracking. That was a big hurdle for me. And so, when I was sort of going through the book on my own, I thought, oh, you know, she wants us to track, oh, this is just another tracking thing. And I'm just, I don't want to do that. I was really hoping that somehow hypnosis was going to somehow exercise from me the need to keep track of what I ate. And that is not what I found, but, you know, the hypnosis really did help and continues to help me kind of be more confident in tracking. So, I signed up for the 30 days during that, I think it was the spring time shift.

Rita Black: Yeah. The spring of 2020 during COVID. I think that was it. You came during COVID right?

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah. I think during the beginning of COVID thinking like, oh, this will be something to sort of keep my attention and, you know, you know, over a year later I was like, oh, we're still in lockdown. No one expected that. But, but, you know, having the 30-day process was really great for me to kind of learn, you know, how to sort of apply the shift to me, sort of helped me get through the roadblocks and the resistance that I had sort of built up over my dieting history in my life. And, and I think that the group aspect is really helpful for me. I'm someone who's, you know, by nature kind of a shy person. And in groups there's always people that are, you know, much more outgoing and really care. And I, I think during the shift, I was not very, I was still very nervous and I was still like, I felt very vulnerable and it was strange a little bit for me to kind of be with all these people that I, I didn't know anyone, and here we are talking about eating and I wasn't used to that, but, I did, I did participate to some degree. But not as much as other people I kind of was someone who absorbed a lot practice on my own. And then after the 30-day shift I had lost, you know, I think it was close to 20 pounds.

Rita Black: During the shift?

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah. During that shift and I was like, okay, like this is working. I want to continue. And, so then I joined the monthly mastery program, which helped me to kind of stay focused because I wanted to, I knew that this wasn't a typical diet. It didn't feel like a typical diet for me, but I also knew that my tendency to fall off and fall into old patterns was, you know, this, I don't know if that's for everyone where other people feel that way too.

Rita Black: Yeah. I think that's the hardest thing is people get in a good place, but then, you know, it's the law of atrophy, right? Your brain kind of fold might go back to that old place. But, you know, while we're paused here for a second, I want to ask you about some of the things that you learned during the process. I know, I know you were tracking and, but, you know, hopefully I know you had got a better relationship with tracking. And those, for those of you listening to this, the why we use tracking is, uh, because it, I mean for many reasons, but it helps our brains stay out of cognitive distortion. It helps us communicate more powerfully with ourselves actually, because data helps us be more like an inner scientist where we're really, really owning. And, and what I think you owned Jeffrey was like a way of eating that allowed you to, you know, ultimately live your life at your ideal way, like to get to your ideal weight, your way, not some way of a diet that you had some ownership over that, would you say true?

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah, absolutely. I think that, you know, tracking really helps me to kind of break through and feel more in control of like knowing where I was in the process. You know, I think I wanted a quick fix of like, oh, this part of me that I don't want to be conscious of. I want, I want to not feel like connecting to what I want to feel like, you know, how I sort of expected other people dealt with their weight management. I'm like, oh, it seems easy for this person. Or it seems easy, but it's, I think anyone who struggles with their weight, even people who don't struggle with their weight, I've found like they still have to still pay attention in different ways. You know? And I think that

Rita Black: Absolutely. That's such a great point. I mean, I, I work with people who don't struggle with their weight and I'm always asking them, Hey, you know, what do you do to manage your weight? And they have a way they manage their weight. It's not like they're not, oh, I, oh, I don't think about it. They're thinking about it. You know, I think that's an illusion that everybody thinks everybody's got it together. And even with, in the world of weight management, you look at them, people you're like, oh, they're lucky. They don't have to think about it. They're thinking about it. They're, that even if they never struggled, they're like, I, I I'm, you know, they all have, we all have a system. We live in a world full of food and we need to internally manage our brain around that. So, I mean, and so what would you say about like your relationship, your, the way you communicated yourself, how that evolved, like, you know, developing your inner coach like that, because that's something in the shifts that we really get into is the inner communication.

Jeffrey Carignan: I think I became more conscious of when like emotional triggers were causing me to earn the food. I never really was aware that overeating or eating certain types of food, you know, I'm like a sugar person. So I never really realized that, like, it like my cravings for a symptom of other things. So, I think that my inner coach really helped me to cultivate this sort of experience where I would start to feel like I was wanting something sweet or I was starting to feel like going on a binge or whatever. And, but I would be able to stop and go, what's this about, you know, is this MIG, you know, and I could look, look back on my tracking for the day and like, oh, you forgot to eat a significant amount of protein at breakfast and at lunch, no wonder your hungry or no wonder you're, you know, just stop sort of, you know, wanting to pro food in your fast face at seven o'clock and even the, you know, cause, um, and I think I just started to realize like, it's it wasn't all about emotions for me. I think it was realizing that like feeding myself required ,a sense of like mindfulness that I had never been conscious of before. And I think that my inner coach helped me to realize that that was a process and it was an active process. It was one that, you know, once I got down the foundations of like, you know, I realized like through the process also that like I eat a lot of the same things, you know, when I get, when I go to restaurants, I eat a lot of the same stuff, you know? And so it was, I was able to sort of get through the 30 days and kind of challenged myself, but then like find the ways that I could kind of coast and feel. Okay. And then, you know, I would challenge myself in other ways, like going on a trip or, you know, going away for the weekend or going to someone's house for dinner where I wasn't involved in the food preparation and how to manage that. I think that your 30-day process really encourages us to kind of, to make mistakes and no diet. I had ever been on encouraged me to make a mistake.

Rita Black: Right.

Jeffrey Carignan: Through making the mistakes or kind of trusting myself that like I could take a piece of cake on my birthday and see how it goes, you know, and kind of, and know that it wasn't going to take me so far off track, you know, because for me like my life, you know, when I had eaten cake or when I wasn't, you know, it would start this process of craving within me, seems like it would drive my behavior for a long time after. It was like, there would be an event that had, you know, I would have that, you know, sugar rush and then it would like take control of me for weeks. And I was the first, you know, did the shift that like, oh, why avoided these foods for a while? Because I've chosen to, but I'm worried that if I, if I try them that I'm not going to be able to handle it. And I think that you really encouraged us. And I think that's part of what you do is like that and why it's worked for me is that made me feel like I could, I could have some say some control over experimentation. And I think that that was a by-product of developing an inner coach. Like, you can handle this. And I got to tell you, like, I've had, you know, some success with sweets in the past. I've had some, you know, failures, but like, I never have felt since I did the shift, like I couldn't get back on track or that if I had had, you know, a binge or kind of went too far, that I couldn't like that I couldn't get myself back to a place of being able last again.

Rita Black: Right. And I know that you had had, like, so you did the spring shift and I think you had almost a year of going, you know, how, how much did you release in that, that you're like 60.

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah. In that year I released about almost 70 pounds.

Rita Black: 70 pounds. Okay.

Jeffrey Carignan: So I went from like 285 to like, you know, 195.

Rita Black: That's amazing.

Jeffrey Carignan: I'm sorry, go ahead.

Rita Black: Oh, no, no. And I know in that time, too, that things came up for you, like feeling more vulnerable because you were thinner, you know, like things that were, you know, that we, cause I think a lot of people don't realize that you, you know, what you want initially sometimes, you know, I, I did a podcast a couple of weeks ago about like, the mental set points. And, and I think we go through mental set points as we go down the scale, you know, we have hurdles that we have to overcome. And what I'm hearing for you is I call them struggle points as well. Like where, where in the past you get to a place where you typically struggle. And usually for most people, instead of working through it, as you said, you challenged yourself and then you worked through it and you found answers and you found solutions. We typically will just go, oh, well, and then go back. And one of those, I feel like struggle points for your or challenge mental set points was you were feeling, you know, like, like you said, you were a shy person and sometimes people are paying more, you know, saying things like, oh, you've lost so much weight and all of that stuff. And that started to bring up stuff for you.

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah. That, I mean, that definitely happened. I think also because we were so isolated, during COVID like, and that's when I had the majority of my weight release. So when I saw people again, it was shocking to them. And I think that, you know, you made me help me walk better about this process because you explained it to me in a way that I've understood that, that it wasn't about me. It was about them. Like their brain was for some reason telling them that I was sick or something, that makes sense to me. Like if I saw someone in they'd lost a significant amount of weight in the time that I'd seen that you'd seen them last, I think I would be concerned too. And it helped me to go, okay, like that's just a normal, you know, part of our brain, the way it's wired, recognize differences in people. And, in terms of like how you remember them and you know, you, my brain, I think my brain to adjust it to myself, we're over time. And I wasn't able to sort of say, okay, but other people don't have that same experience because I'm not seeing people at the office every day. And I'm not seeing people in person because I'm feeling isolated because we're all isolated during that. It helps me to kind of go, okay, like, rather than get defensive like, I think there's a part of us that we're at least when someone calls me out for whatever reason, oh, you've lost so much weight, there's a defensive part of myself. Like, like I feel like I have to hold on to it. Sacred thing. Like you don't get to say something about it because I worked really hard to get there. You know, I think I became a little defensive of that. Like, but I learned to kind of go easy on other people and to say, you know what, like that person is just updating their brains.

Rita Black: Oh, that's a good idea. I like that. Updating your brain.

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah. Like I had and I, and I have to sort of allow people to feel that and know that I don't know if other people have this experience, but like, it was very surprising to me, like when I was overweight, no one said anything about like, you know, you can put on a lot of weight. Like no one ever said that to me, but the minute I lost weight, everybody had something to say. So it was like, this is strange. Like it allowed me to realize that like, no, when you know, it's not always, like, someone's not always started commenting for the sake of like, you know, making, try to feel a certain way, instead of like, they're just noticing the difference that they notice in you and you can choose how to respond to that. And I think that, but it was definitely some, it brought something up in me that I wasn't anticipating of, like, thinking about like, why am I so concerned about people commenting? Like I know I'm proud of myself, like, and so began to reframe it with people like, yes, I I've actually lost about 60 pounds. You know, I did this program, I would tell them about it. And you know, it opened a door for me to share something, a success with them rather than, you know, just sort of shutting down and feeling uncomfortable. You know, it was a growth opportunity for me, I think to feel a little bit more comfortable in my own skin. And I think that, you know, I think there's part of us when we, when we do the, when we engage in the weight struggle for a long time, there's a part of us. There was a definitely a part of me that felt vulnerable that I wasn't going to be able to attain this long term in that if, you know, I would somehow lose it, you know, and ...

Rita Black: Well, and I think that, um, it takes a while to really feel comfortable in that. And I know like speaking of which you were probably about almost a year into it when you got sick and, and that was a big interruption, was it not?

Jeffrey Carignan: Yes, it certainly was, you know, about almost a year. Right. But I remember, you know, we were starting to start talking about coaches for the next spring shift and it was funny a year and I was like, I was already to do that. And I was, you know, at that time I had, you know, I had gone up a little bit in my weight because I think that in the weight release process, you know, we all have to find that comfort zone of sort of what does work for us. And I was in the process of sort of finding out where that was when, you know, I got, you know, what was food poisoning or, an intestinal infection and, you know, it wasn't awful, but it was like not great. And so I went to the doctor and ended up, you know, got taking a course of antibiotics and, you know, to make a long story short, the antibiotic that I was prescribed didn't agree with me. And, it was, it caused the crisis within my body and mind that I was not anticipating. And, it sidelined me for about three months.

Rita Black: Devastating.

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah. And I think that the first week for it was, it was sort of like a bomb had kind of gone off in my body. That's kind of the best way I can describe it. I mean, I went from riding my Peloton bike an hour every day, really being at the top of my physical fitness and health that I've ever been in my life to literally not being able to walk down the block without having to sit down. Like I don't, you know, it was very, very shocking to me how this medication affected my physical body and my mind as well. And I think that it was a hard experience, but it taught me a lot about myself, about my body, about how I speak to myself. I mean, that's something with the shift like that I began to learn, like how we talk to ourselves, how we really, the things that when you struggle with your weight and I'm sure that you feel that you felt this way in your life and other people that you work with have felt this way, but like the things, the way that we talk to ourselves and the habit that we become entrenched in, in talking to ourselves in really harsh ways, like, I wasn't really aware of that or just, I was like, I thought it had to be hard on myself in order to attain my weight goals. And, you know, what I found through the shift that was that that was, it was completely opposite that my body, in order to respond the way I want it to, I had to come from a loving and supportive place.

Jeffrey Carignan: And that was something that I began to learn how to do in the shift. And then when I got sick, I really had to dig deep and, and find that love and appreciation for the knowing that my body was doing that maybe I just, like when I was losing, when I was losing weight, you know, I was always often unhappy with the rate at which I was losing weight. And so I was hard on me like, oh, it was only a pound this week. I've really worked hard this week. But then when I got sick and, you know, I certain everything's sort of grinded to a halt and my, my biochemistry, you know, it was sort of like, okay, well, we're not, we're not talking about weight release here, but we are talking about like, oh, you know, I'm starting to, I was able to eat today. Or I was able to sort of walk a little bit further today, or I noticed that I felt a little bit better today, you know, and to start to notice and appreciate my body for all of the things that it does, that I was not aware that I think that, you know, there's a gift in everything. And, and when I was in the midst of my health issue, it was a real climb to sort of find those moments. But I think that I learned how to do that in the shift to see it from a different perspective, like, you know, what, like my body like it in a lot of pain and it's showing me that like, I'm, you know, but I am still alive and I am still, you know, getting through this day and I woke up today and I'm, I'm, I hate today. And I, you know, took my dog for a small walk today and, and that's better than, you know, I did last week. So that's, so that's an improvement I'm getting better. And, I think, you know, when I think that, you know, weight release and you know, my, my sort of weight release sort of stopped during that time, I actually lost a ton of weight just by virtue of being sick. So I, I lost about 15 pounds of muscle. So my, my muscles kind of atrophied really fast. And, that was shocking and really devastating because I had worked so hard to really get to the place of being in a, you know, the strongest physical, you know, place that I'd ever been in my life. So ...

Rita Black: Yeah, it's amazing how quickly our muscles atrophy.

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah. And I think that you know, I think I was having a hard time being patient with the process being, but what I learned is that like our bodies are always coming into balance or my body knew how to heal and I didn't need to manage that. I just had to sort of support my body in a way that, you know, you know, what I, and so every night I would go to bed and I think you like to, you mentioned this in, you know, the morning meditation, that's part of the shift. Like I'm probably not going to do it justice, but more like when you lay in bed at night, like being, feeling balanced and good in your body. And so every night I would go to bed and I would, I would thank my body for a day and for, you know, for healing. And I would, and I would say I would congratulate myself for, you know, the progress that I was seeing and making. And I think that, you know, I, I learned how to start doing that through the shift. And, so I think, you know, it's important to kind of communicate to the people that are listening to this, that, you know, this process isn't just about losing weight. And I utilize what I learned from my inner coach and how to cope through a really hard thing in my life, you know, during that, you know, and I'm just sort of getting to the place now where this happened in the end of March and it's now, you know, July. And so I've just started in the last, you know, month to kind of start exercising again. And, and it's been really humbling to go, okay, I'm a beginner again. And allowing my ego to kind of just step aside and go, you know what, like I was a beginner, you know, in terms of fitness at one point. And, and I, and I'm okay to be there again because I know that if I just focus on each day and I just focus on, you know, strengthening a little bit more every day and taking care of myself and being conscious of that, that those days stack together and we are sort of made whole again. And I think that that's been my experience and, but don't get me wrong. Like I'm human and I haven't done any of this perfectly. You know, it was really hard when I was sick. Like when I was sick, I was trying to survive. So trying to release weight, I was trying to be healthy. And so I think that, you know, I began to, you know, eat a little bit more. I stopped tracking. During that, you know, and I sort of said to myself, you know, I'm going to sort of an eye on my weight and I'm still gonna weigh myself as I see it how I do, but I need to sort of get to a better place physically and mentally before I, you know, delve back into sort of where I am in terms of my weight mascularly.

Jeffrey Carignan: So, over that time, I started to put on a little bit of weight. I stay away from my trigger foods. It's not like I, you know, I didn't start eating cake or ice cream or cookies or any of that, but I started to, you know, my trigger foods are, they're like, shape-shifters so, so I would sort of move into like, you know, that gray area of dried fruit, then, you know, those hierarchical things, right. That's just where my brain, my brain is wired. I think like a lot of us are to those sugary highways.

Rita Black: For sure. It's like, yeah. I mean, dried fruit can be like eating candy. I mean, it really is. It stimulates your brain in that way. But, so the interesting, so, yeah, but so how did that evolve for you then? How did you, so it sounds like you were very patient with yourself, very loving and mindful, which is, is so great. And, and believe me, what you went through and what you are still going through, you know, loving yourself down the scale or loving yourself along this scale. It's it's, I think people don't realize that self-love, and it's a relationship, you know, it's, it's like any relationship you have with your, in that matters to in your life, it's always evolving. It's you always have to stay present. You always have to, you know, I, my husband and I did couples therapy, numbers of times, but one of the times, we had a really awesome therapist who was like, there's you, there's your husband. And then there's your relationship in between you. And it's a separate entity. It says separate being. And I think of our, you know, our relationship with our body and our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with our inner coach. It's like a, it really is like a, it's an ever evolving relationship. And, I've, you're young Jeffrey, but I, I mean, young anybody under 40 is young to me. Even anybody under 50 now, still young to me, but, you know, as I've gotten into my fifties, my body is evolving, you know, it's becoming older and, you know, and I'm, and I'm in shape and I say tone, but you know, things happen during COVID. I broke my shoulder. I, I atrophied and, and I, and you have to be in the, you have to be in it with yourself every day. And, and you, you, you have a choice. You can either have a very negative and cut a disconnected relationship with yourself, or you can be in it. And what I see, that's so beautiful. And what you're describing is that you really did shift your attitude and are coming at this from a such a loving place. And, and, and so many discoveries about your relationship to your sickness, even in and willing to let your body just do what it does. It's so great,

Jeffrey Carignan: But it showed me that life is always going to happen. You know, it's like with your shoulder or with, you know, any injury or any sickness or any illness or anything that happens, like I could use it as an excuse to go off the rails and slip back into what is easy. And that's putting whatever into my mouth I want, and it's easy in the moment, but like, I knew that I done that so many times that it never got me where I want it to be like, I want to be healthy. I want to be strong. I want to be, you know, I want to live my life fully. I want to, you know, feel comfortable in my body. And I know that, you know, sure I can eat pizza from time to time. I actually have pizza over the weekend, but I know that, like, it can't be every day. It can't, I can't get takeout every night of the week. Like a lot of people during COVID like really went, you know, crazy with the takeout. And I was kind of like, no, that doesn't make me feel good, you know? And so I'm going to go to the grocery store once a week and I'm gonna, you know, make most of my food for myself. And it allowed me to get more focused. And, but I think that knowing that life is always going to happen and, you know, things, things happen, you know, my, the illness, I was not expecting to happen to me. I've taken antibiotics in my life, never had an issue like this, so, but it happened. And so I had this sort of, you know, take from it, what I could to bring with me, the good, the good parts of it that it's showing me about myself and my journey that I want to take with me on my journey.

Jeffrey Carignan: And I think that in terms of, you know, something that, you know, that I realized that I've always been a very cardio, heavy person. I have a Peloton, I love it. You know, that that was a big part of weight release. Like I wasn't able to release a lot of weight by using exercise to help, to get to a place where like I could, you know, feel comfortable with the calories I was deficiting and, you know, release weight and kind of, but not feel super deprived, but I was sidelined by the illness. I couldn't exercise. And so I realized, oh, I'm used to eating a lot more because I'm exercising a lot. And so I had to start to become more conscious of like, how much do I really need to sustain this, you know, this healing crisis. And also, you know, just, and also all the emotions that came up with the experience. So, and I found that, you know, my brain is wired to eat a bit more than what I need and, you know, but I knew that if I was to be restored to health, which I was hoping and moving in that direction, that I was never going to take, I sort of made this proclamation to myself. And I think it was really like an inner coach moment that like, I was never going to take my health for granted again.

Jeffrey Carignan: My body for granted to get to perfect, to grant for granted ever again. And I was never going to like this. I think that I use exercise to kind of punish myself in the past. And this allowed me to realize like, oh, no, like I want to use exercise and build my strength as a way to serve myself and my purpose, I think, and to honor my body and to sort of listen to myself. And, and I think that, you know, so when I was in the, in the throws of that, I sort of said, okay, like, I've always been like this cardio person, but I realized that actual physical strength it's super important. And you don't really learn that unless you have experienced that feeling super weak. There were moments when I was like unwell and I was lying on the couch and I struggled to get myself up off the couch.

Rita Black: Wow.

Jeffrey Carignan: And I'm, you know, I'm not as young as you think I am in my forties, but I'd never experienced where, where that has happened before, where I felt physically yeah weak. So I learned through this, that like my health was important and physical strength was important that I was going to, if I was, if I was going to get to the other side of this, that I was going to make frank training more of a priority in my overall health and wellness practices, which I had, I've never been able to do before. I'm not a yoga person. I can, like I get on the bike or I like go for a run or I'd go down a treadmill. And I just, if there's something to do with like the endorphins that are created within me from cardio, that works for me. And I think that I'm gonna, I will probably always be that way. But I think that I'm allowing myself the opportunity to say, okay, that's part of my health. But I realized through this experience that I need to also prioritize this other part, that I've not prioritized in the past. So I'm working to do that now. Kind of start working out in a new way and, you know, it feels uncomfortable, but I think any time we feel a little uncomfortable in anything, it means that we're just expanding ourselves in a new way. And it's a good sign. It means that, you know, I'm, you know, I'm pushing myself in a, in a way that feels manageable rather than terrifying. You know, it's not like I'm starting a, you know, a bootcamp program tomorrow. It's like, I'm, you know, I'm just going to start using some weights a little bit more and see how that goes and, and challenging myself. I think something that you also encouraged us to do in the shift was to sort of have a weekly planner where we planned out our exercises and planned out our, our trips to the, to the grocery store. And we kind of thought of in a way that I've never really done sort of, you know, and so I'm, I'm, I am doing that now. And building in time to say, I'm going to do these two spring training classes this week. Let's start there and see how I, how it goes. And that's sort of where I kind of netted out from all of this. But,... Yeah. I don't know if that...

Rita Black: Yeah, no. I mean, I think that, it sounds like you, again, it's been an evolution and coming back for you, doesn't it. I know, I remember we had a conversation when you were feeling better and just starting, like you were just on the cusp of getting back into things. And I think you were struggling a little bit with the exercise. And I think we had that conversation of like, it's probably not going to look like you expect it to, you know, because you had these big expectations where you were physically prior to being, getting sick was a really high level of cardio and high level of fitness. And I see this again and again, and people, I, you know, I've even worked with Olympic athletes who then, you know, became an Olympic athletes and be gained weight and, you know, then came to see me. And they're always, the human tendency is to measure us against where we were and to say, well, I was there and I should be able to like, in that inner critic, and this was like, well, I should be able to be there. I shouldn't be able to start there. No, you can't. And so I love that your evolution with your inner coach, your inner coach has, you know, gets very pragmatic. And like, you know, we can't start where we were. Let's just start at the beginning. And I agree with you, Jeffrey, that a lot of weight mastery is very humbling. You know, it, it humbles you because it's, the whole concept of like the whole diet industry and the whole weight loss industry is very much like, you know, go on a diet, be perfect on a diet, ride off into the sunset, you know, the, and you'll be that lucky who, and it's not, it's like, it's a very human process, which requires you to really appreciate your body or appreciate yourself, cheerlead yourself. And it doesn't always look good. And I think that's why having long term permanent weight mastery is so elusive to a lot of people is that we, you know, we're so fed this other idea of how it should be rather than what it really is, which is looking good some days. And it doesn't always look so good. Like you said, you know, sometimes it looks, but you like, kind of forgive yourself and move on. So how are you feeling now where you're at? You know, like you, it sounds like you're sort of just, evolving back into things with exercise, which is great. And you have a new take on it. It has, it sounds like your, how's the food and everything like you feeling like you're finding a new pace back into your weight management?

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah. I mean, I think that now that, you know, COVID, you know, we're sort of being re-emerged back into our former lives after being in lockdown for so long. That's posing challenges for me that I didn't have to confront during you know, much of weight release period. So, you know, after I got sick, I put back on about, I've gone up about 20 pounds, so I'm 6'6", so 20 pounds on me is probably not as severe as on someone who's five. But I did find in that, in the experience with like, oh, well, this is the very top of where I want to be, where I am now is kind of like, things are like, my clothes are a little tight. I'm like, okay, well, let's just sort of try to rein it back in and find out, let's start to try to release again and get to a place where you feel like. Part of weight release process for me has been, to fight that diet or mindset of like, lose as much as possible and then be really hard on yourself to stay there. You know, I, I've sort of gotten to look at my body as sort of like, you know what this is, you know, I overate in some ways my body was healing. But now I know that I can take that off. And this, the process that worked for me before, that's something, those skills are not something that I'm going to forget how to ..

Rita Black: Right.

Jeffrey Carignan: It's just becoming like, okay, how do I start to incorporate this? You know, in a way that works for me. So I set my weight release goal and my lose it app too, for the first couple of weeks at like a half a pound. And then I just went to like a pound I'm like, okay, a pound a week. I can deal with that. And I can kind of feel it out and kind of go, okay, like, let's just see how this goes. But I think that I'm being, I'm being challenged. I think in a lot of ways that we all are, and that like restaurants are open again and friendly. We want to see friends and there are more social opportunities than there have been in the past. So I think that I'm being challenged in new ways. And I'm trying to sort of look at that as opportunities to grow and to feel more and more confident in living life. Because I really think that that's what I was never able to do on a diet I could never live. Um, and I want to be able to live my life and to feel like my weight mastery is, is my responsibility. And it's, it's a relationship I have with myself, but also that, you know, that it's not this elusive thing that is like, I'm never going to figure out like the shift process allowed me to see it in a very objective way of like, oh, this is really just science. And I have to learn about like the, the, the, how much calories and energy is in food and how much of the exercise I do, how much I actually burn. And that's been a process of learning and kind of going okay. Like, I think I've figured this out a little bit and I feel more confident in that. And, you know, but I think that we're always learning and even myself the opportunity to be like, you know what, like you just look at it and say, I'm always gonna be a apprentice of weight mastery. I'm never, but, you know, but I think that, and I think that you talk about yourself that way, that you're,

Rita Black: I'm always an apprentice and yeah, you can't, I mean, mastery, I mean, like, I think those guys who, you know, have five black belts in karate, they still see themselves as an apprentice. I mean, doctors continue to get educated as part of their, like getting licensed, you know, every year they have to go back and do some sort of course and learn something. I mean, we always in any mastery have to keep learning. And I think it's great that, you know, I think a lot of people who got to a certain level of fitness and a certain level of, uh, during COVID like that, COVID for some people was helpful in that they weren't, if you, especially, if you're a very social going out all the time, it gave you the opportunity to learn skills and to get masterful at certain things. And now it's like, yeah, it's like, there's now there's this new, new level is kind of like the black belt, but then getting the next black belt. It's like, oh, okay, now I'm going to bring in socializing to this. And the good news is you have enough education about yourself and your body to know, oh, okay, well, if I'm consuming this much and that I can maintain, or if I'm consuming this much, I can release. And as you said, like when you plan out your day, your week, and, and that's something that I always say to people is like planning out your week, gives you the chance to create your life instead of your life, sort of like happening to you. And, and that goes with social life as well. Like, oh, I'm going to go out this weekend. So how can I make that work? So I can go out and have fun and, you know, feel like I'm eating and being in the real world, but still either mean, you know, maintain my weight or, um, release weight if that's my goal. That's anything is figure if you put your attention on it. But, you know, I think we, we go out and we think, well, we hope we're going to be good. It doesn't it, and that doesn't, we can't, if I think that's the thing is like, I, I think we, you know, a lot of people lose weight and then they're like, okay, well, I've got this and we, we go into these situations, okay, I've got this, I'm going to be good. And then it all falls apart because it's an old pattern that they haven't sort of re-established their mastery in. Right. So I think with socializing, that is, that is an opportunity for your inner coach to like, really, I know for me, when I really learned to be social and maintain my weight, it, I had asked myself a lot of questions, like how much, you know, like if, if we're going to go out to a particular place, like how much do I need to eat of that pizza in order to feel like I'm having a good time, you know? Like, and how much is enough? Like, you know, after how many pieces of pizza does the return on investment of the calories go down, you know, like, diminish, you know, like at it, because I, I had to go out and eat too many pieces of pizza and come home and go, Ugh. Yeah, that doesn't feel so good. So the next time I'll eat fewer pieces of pizza, because I don't need that many. I mean, I really enjoyed that first one, but the second one, eh, not so much. So same thing with alcohol, if people drink alcohol, I mean, some people don't, but you know, like how many glasses of wine do you need in order to have a good time when you go out with your friends? And there's an answer to that. And I think we, you know, we, we get lost in this good or bad thing where we're like, well, I'm going to be good that which means drinking a diet Coke and ordering a salad, or I'm going to be bad. And I'm going to, you know, drink a bottle of wine and have everything on the plate, but there's this middle ground that you can own that you can go out and have a good time and, and manage your weight. But that does take like you, you know, that mindfulness, that you're talking about, that conversation with your inner coach to figuring it out. And it probably takes, like you said, making a few mistakes and going out and eating too much and going, oh, that didn't work well. Let's how can we do it better the next time? I mean, that's how any mastery process happens, you know?

Rita Black: So I think I it's exciting for me that you're embarking upon this new level of mastery, because I think it will. I, and, and, and, you know, Jeffrey, I think the first couple of years of weight mastery, you, you feel confident sometimes. And then you feel like you don't feel confident and it takes that muscle of sticking with it and bouncing back as stronger and stronger than, you know, you take two steps back, you take a few steps forward and it gets stronger and stronger. And then, you know, you reach a time where you, you know, you got this and I think you feel like in some areas that, that you got this, but maybe there's other areas you're still, but the good news, what I'm hearing in all of your journey is you have an awesome inner coach.

Jeffrey Carignan: Yeah, I think so. So, you know, I think it's been, you know, it's been a process of discovering that part of myself because, you know, I think I'm like a lot of people who struggle with their weight that are inner, my inner critic has been so much louder throughout my life that I just sort of allowed that to be all I heard. But I think that realizing that my inner coach was always there and kind of ready for me to kind of focus my attention towards my inner coach, when I was ready to do that, you know, and I think that it's been a journey for me. And I think that I've just had to sort of know that I'm, it's always going to be a journey and that, you know, I can sort of look at my, you know, some weeks I can't look at my whole week and there's too many unknowns, but you know, if I'm looking at my day, I get the very least, I can look at my day and go, okay, like, when am I going to exercise today? Or what do I have, where can I wedge in, you know, some walk around the block, like, you know, and then making that a priority. Like I do every other meeting that I put on my calendar and kind of allowing my self-care to being a priority. I think that that's been, that's been a struggle for me to kind of allow myself the opportunity to do that for myself. And I think that a lot of people I've found like through this program, that a lot of people struggle with a lot of the same things. And I think that it's been really comforting to me to be part of this group that, you know, because I think when you struggle with your weight, you feel it's like, you can feel really isolated. And, it's allowed me to kind of realize like, oh, like other people feel this way too. And other people struggle with these things and other people, you know, a lot of other people don't want to track.

Rita Black: Yeah for sure. A lot of people.

Jeffrey Carignan: So many people don't want that, you know,

Rita Black: But these other people are super cool, amazing human beings. It's not like, it's you think, oh, well the only people who struggle are like losers or something like that, they're just like highly functioning, amazing human beings who this is, you know, their soft spot. This is their challenge, but it allows, you know, like I think our challenge and our weight mastery journey allows us to have learn tools that allows us to have the life that we love to reinvent ourselves and to create. And I think that you're on a very powerful journey. So I want to thank you for coming on and being so vulnerable and sharing your, your journey of not just weight release, but, but your sickness and coming back from that. And I think you've really demonstrated, you know, the journey of finding an inner coach and, and developing that. So thank you for sharing that with everybody.

Jeffrey Carignan: Thank you.

Rita Black: And I hope you continue to feel better and better. And, I'm, and I hope you will be participating, fingers crossed, in our next shift weight mastery process.

Jeffrey Carignan: Yes. I hope so. I'm planning on it at this time, so yeah.

Rita Black: Well, good. Good, good, good. Well, thank you so much for being with us and I will be speaking with you soon.

Rita Black: Thank you so much, Jeffrey. That was so insightful. And if you are inspired to join us for the upcoming 30-day shift weight mastery process online, it's going to be starting October 2nd. This is my new V2 version of the process guided by me, with an amazing discount and lots of bonuses. So check it out in the show notes. That is, the last day to sign up is September 29th, 2021. If you have any questions, email me at [email protected] or check out the link, and it should have all the info. You need to make a decision if you're going to join us. And that's it. I hope you have an amazing rest of your week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it. I will see you here next week.

Rita Black: Do you want to dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to 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.