Hello and welcome to 2022!

Are you excited for your journey this new year? Because I definitely am!

As we all start embarking in this new season, both in our personal life and in our weight mastery journey, we will be facing many phases along the way – some are exciting while some will require great mental shifts on our end.

Many people often know how to start losing weight but fail to keep pressing on not because they are bad or they are at fault but because they just don’t know what to expect along the way.

In our first episode of Thin Thinking podcast this 2022 (episode 43), I want to share with you my interview with Shelley Cotten who has now released 112 pounds over the last few years. We will be looking inside the mental journey, the many phases of a successful weight release journey according to Shelley’s two years of shift experience.

I hope that you will get to learn and be inspired with Shelley’s amazing weight mastery journey that will make you look forward and hopeful this 2022.

Also, I want to invite you to sign-up for my free 3-part video series called “The 3 Mental Shifts to End the Weight Struggle Once and for All”. The sign-up will only be available from January 6th to 10th so hurry and get your slot now. If you are seeing this on January 5th you get a one day head start!

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: Did you know that there are many phases to a long-term weight loss journey? Many people know how to start losing weight, but so often we don't keep going. Today, I wanna share with you my interview with Shelly Cotten who has now released 112 pounds over the last few years. Join us today where we really look inside the mental journey, the many phases of a successful weight release journey that spans more than two years. Shelly's story is truly inspirational and educational. So, come on into the podcast and let's get going.

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. Sound good. Let's get started.

Rita Black: Hello. Hello. Hello and happy official new year. I hope you all had a happy and healthy beginning to the year 2022. I have a very exciting announcement. Tomorrow is January 6th, and this is the official start date to the sign up for my three part brand new free, free, free video series called 'The 3 Mental Shifts to End the Weight Struggle Once and for All'. And that I'm making this available only for a few days - from the sixth to the 10th. So if you do wanna sign up, please make sure you get on my email list, which is located in the show notes below this podcast.

Rita Black: I am excited because in this series, I'm gonna walk you through how to finally break through the subconscious roadblocks that keep you in the same frustrating gain some weight, lose some weight, gain some weight back over and over again. Oh God, it's so frustrating. And it's so frustrating to think, you know, 2022 it's, you know, like where were we, 2021. We really wanna break through. I've included some hypnosis in this series and some really great coaching for you. And in my way is just my way to welcome the new year with you and to open it up to you in a really powerful way. So you can begin to really release the weight from the inside out, or if you're already on your journey to inspire and motivate you to refocus or stay focused in the new year. So please sign up.

Rita Black: Now, my family and I are actually away this week in Utah skiing and looking at colleges for my son who is a junior. And we only ski once a year it's way too expensive otherwise. But, it's gotten so expensive. And can I say crowded too? But wow. It seems like every took up skiing in COVID and so once a year we go skiing usually around the holidays. So not, my kids and I are not the best. My husband's pretty good. But, but Utah is a 12-hour car ride from Los Angeles and we love that because it really allows us to be together as a family but let's face it. It's a 12-hour car ride with four people and four big personalities, you know. Maybe I have a big personality. I'm like kind of the quiet one in the family. So you can imagine what that car ride is like. And, at first it's fun, you know, how a car ride is when you're on a road trip. And in the beginning you've got like all that energy and it's like, Yahoo, we're on a road trip, we're hitting the road and we're taking it easy. And you know, it's all exciting. And then like cut to five hours in. It's like, oh my God, we're looking at the same landscape over and over again because this very long stretch of road going up. I, what road is it? Is it 60? I don't even know what highway it is cause we haven't been to Utah a few years and oh my gosh, it, you know, your eyes begin to cross. If you're driving, you know, you're just like, oh my gosh, it's, you know, but anyway, you can get bored and then you go through many phases, right? Then you get hungry and it's time for lunch. And then you, you know, it's the next thing and you play the road trip games, like, you know, naming cars or, ice spy or you know, 20 questions or whatever we, we get, you know, we get to those places, we're on a 12-hour car trip. We really do. We get so bored that my kids get so bored that they're willing to talk to us or play games with us. So that's how bored they get.

Rita Black: So anyway, but this long car trip does remind me of a true weight mastery journey, cause it's a long ride, especially when you have a significant amount of weight to release. And here's the thing, the diet industry focuses you on the diet, you know, like go on the diet, do the diet well, get off the diet. So we have these illusions of going on a diet and releasing weight, but the truth is, like a long road trip, there are definite phases and it's really an inner journey. Definite phases, some exciting and some require real shifts in your thinking to get through. And that's why so many people do not make it. It's not that they're lazy or unable to but they just don't know what to expect. And often our thinking, you know, we think we're bad or we're wrong or it shouldn't be happening like this and therefore I'm doing it wrong and I should stop. You know, because nobody's told you, yeah, that's actually what you go through. Yeah. You are actually in the right place because so much of a weight mastery journey is mastering yourself and that's hard work and it is stepping up to the plate and owning who you are and loving yourself and being aware of yourself and learning lessons about your self. And I think so many of us think I'm wounded, I'm broken. The diet is the answer. The diet will fix me. That then when you know the diet doesn't go as we planned or we get off the diet, it's over.

Rita Black: But really a true weight release journey is, as you can see in my conversation with Shelly and why I'm so grateful to her, is we really sat down and looked at the phases of a long-term weight release journey. And Shelly has been at this for a few years and she's almost there. She's released 112 pounds. She's six pounds away from her ideal weight and she's has so many incredible insights to share. Now, Shelly is an amazing human being. Like you'll hear her. She has the most lovely accent. You know, she's got that Southern, kind of Southern soft accent. She's from Waco, Texas. She's a mom and she's a grandmother. She looks way too young to be a grandmother, but she, she is a great grandma, I mean, not a great grandmother, but she's like, you know, such a loving person. She's also super smart. She's a college administrator. She works in the non-profit section of the college like fundraising. And she's been a part of the shift community for about three years. So, please join me for our conversation, where Shelly's going to talk about her powerful journey

Rita Black: And welcome Shelly to the show. Thank you so much for being here today.

Shelley Cotten: Thank you for having me.

Rita Black: I know your journey has been, how long has your, have you been on this journey? It's two years plus right. Almost three.

Shelley Cotten: Almost three, January of 19.

Rita Black: That is amazing. And, Shelly, as you know, because I said this prior to our interview is I, you know, you've to date, you've released how much?

Shelley Cotten: 112 pounds.

Rita Black: Wow. How does it feel to say that?

Shelley Cotten: It feels great.

Rita Black: Does it feel weird to say that ever like, does it feel like, wow, I've really done that?

Shelley Cotten: Not really. I mean, sometimes I think about, you know, like, well that's a whole person,

Rita Black: Yes. I was gonna say that's like a five-foot tall woman with no weight issues.

Shelley Cotten: Yes.

Rita Black: That's huge. That's amazing. But we wanna talk about your journey because I think the listeners who, you know, cause I think what we're starting to dive into now and what I wanna get into more into 2022 is the journey of weight mastery, the mental journey of weight mastery, you know, isn't just the initial honeymoon phase of weight loss, but it's, you know, it's really a journey of transformation and there are many phases to that. And I think especially for those people who have more weight to release, I think, you know, having, knowing that there's phases and having that ability to understand and not, not feel bad that they're in a place, you know, is definitely, you know, helpful. So let me ask you Shelly, prior to, you know, going on the shift weight mastery process, and I know you came through my book originally and then became more involved in other programs, but what, what was your dieting history? Like? What kind of, how many diets had you been on? Had you been dieting your whole life? Like, you know, tell us a little bit more about like what your relationship with diets had been.

Shelley Cotten: I've been dieting pretty much since I was in junior high, off and on, you know, lots of different things, tops and weight watchers and even did the thin and fin and that kind of thing as I was older.

Rita Black: Right.

Shelley Cotten: So it's always been a struggle for me. It's a family history of weight struggles, so

Rita Black: Right. So you have a genetic propensity for weight struggle, which a lot of people do. Yeah. And for you, you know, you, when you started your weight release journey of over a hundred pounds, did you know when you started your shift weight mastery journey, did you know that you wanted to release more than a hundred pounds or were you shooting for something different? Like what, when you began your journey, what were your thoughts about the journey itself and beginning it?

Shelley Cotten: Well, I, I knew that I needed to lose more than a hundred pounds, but you know, it was just one day at a time type thing in the beginning. Now I was just gonna see, you know, what I could do with it. And ...

Rita Black: So when you, when you began your journey of weight mastery, you really were starting from a place of, let me just start where I am and get started and you weren't thinking I've got to release a hundred pounds. Was that too overwhelming to think about? Or did it feel like that, that you just were like, I, I can't go there. I mean

Shelley Cotten: Yeah, it was just, you know, the, you, I have to break the things down into chunks and it took years to put on the, that much weight and I'm, you know, I know that it would never come off or it shouldn't come off fast anyway, you know, it should be a slow process. So that's where I started with knowing that and saying, you know, well, I've got myself to this and it's just gonna take some time to get rid of it.

Rita Black: Okay. Well good. And, and when you began the process itself, like the shift weight mastery process, did you know that it was like where you were putting weight release in your mind was different than the diets before? Like what was different about this journey that you were embarking upon than like, you know, going to weight Watchers or, and I'm not saying what's different about this process so much is like, what was different about you? Like, what was different about like your decision to really, because it really is a decision to like, Hey, I'm really gonna do this for myself. I'm really, it's not like I'm going on this diet out of like, I feel overweight, let me go on this diet because I feel bad about myself. It was like, okay, I'm really gonna make a change in my life. Right?

Shelley Cotten: Yeah. It was really for health purposes. I mean, I didn't have a lot of health issues, you know, other than being obese and I had high blood pressure, but, that's pretty much it, as far as those types of health concerns. I have had a hip replacement in 2016 and had grandchildren that were born in, you know, 14 and 15. And so that was the main part of it for me was that I just wanted to be healthy and to be able to, you know, go out and jump on the trampoline with the grandkids and enjoy just being with them, walking the zoo, doing that kind of thing, you know, and I just realized that I had to do something different.

Rita Black: Right. Okay. So, what would you say, like, you know, you, what I was to talking about, a little earlier is like, in my mind, because, you know, with weight management and working with people in weight management, I see that there are real phases to the weight release journey. And, you know, I, I consider the first phase, you know, an educational phase, like, especially with the shift weight mastery process, because we get into the nine skills of weight mastery, and we are doing hypnosis and we're doing a lot of things to help people's mindsets change from the inside out, you know, but I also consider it sort of the honeymoon phase because people are, you know, it's new and it's exciting and people are releasing weight at a rate they decide. And it's very like exciting. How long was that phase for you? Like what was that first phase like for you? Do you even remember cause that was three years ago. I know it's hard to think about it too much.

Shelley Cotten: I do. I was, probably I started in January, so I would say it probably through August of that year was the, my learning, the shift phase, you know, really getting comfortable with the skills and the hypnosis and getting a routine into those kinds of things. One of my high points during that time, well, first of all, I didn't gain any from January to April, which was huge for me, you know, usually the consistency had been an issue in previous diets and that kind of thing. So that was exciting for me. And then that summer we went on a three-week vacation and when I came back, I had only gained a pound that I was,

Rita Black: And that's what you guys had gone to Europe, right?

Shelley Cotten: Yes. So that's when I really knew that I kind of was understanding the process.

Rita Black: Yeah. And at that point, how much weight had you released?

Shelley Cotten: About 40 pounds.

Rita Black: Okay. Yeah. So that's a substantial amount of weight. So for, to release between January and August, that's a steady weight release. So, and what was different for you was consistency. And in that time, you know, how were you communicating differently with yourself, with regards to your weight management? Because, you know, in the shift we really get into different communication with ourselves. Like what, you know, like you mentioned, like in the first four months you were consistently releasing weight where you weren't before, like, you know, we talk about the inner coach. Do you feel like developing that inner coach voice was critical in that piece of the, you know, well, obviously it's been a critical piece in your entire journey, but did you find that that was helpful for you?

Shelley Cotten: Yes. It was very helpful. And, something you say is loving yourself down the scale. That was the first time that I had learned how to do that. And I not to, you know, berate myself or, oh well, you messed up today. And, and that kind of thing. And it's, I started treating myself, like I would treat a friend or a family member instead of being so harsh. And so that was huge.

Rita Black: That is huge. I mean, we can't really learn anything until we remove the judgment or the blame. And I do find that when people start, like what you say, like treating themselves, like they were their best friend or a family member that we really truly then start to be able to look at our behaviors in a loving way and start to make true change versus, you know, just trying to be good or perfect, which is where a trap that a lot of us fall into. So tell us, Shelly, so you said that the first, you think the first phase was probably it, it started to end in August. And then what would you say the next phase of your weight release? Because especially for people listening who are, you know, on a long-term journey where they're releasing a hundred pounds or more like, what was that next phase? And were you surprised that you transitioned into it? Because I think a lot of people are surprised like, oh, the honeymoon was over, you know, and now, now, you know, there's this like next thing. So what was that next thing for you?

Shelley Cotten: I called it the learning or the first one was learning the shift. And then the second phase for me was living the shift. And it was basically from, I think, August of 19 to December of last year, during that time...

Rita Black: That was like over a year, right?

Shelley Cotten: Yeah. And that, during that time I lost another 40 to 50 pounds, but for me that was just, I had, I known the skills, but it was really digging deeper with them and, and getting into the mindset and a whole new routine of living, you know, and that was, during that time I had two holiday sessions, you know, two holiday seasons to go through. And, that was very interesting to see even the difference from the first one to the second one. And, so it was just the process of, like I said, just getting in deeper and doing it, just learning more and

Rita Black: Mastering the skills. And was the weight released pretty steady in that time? Cause I know you've been through a few plateau eras, like, was that weight release pretty steady in that year plus? Or was it, did you encounter a plateau in that year plus?

Shelley Cotten: I had several plateaus, and that for me is where the consistency came in. Because, you know, during the first phase I learned the skills, but then the second phase I stuck with those skills, even when it didn't appear that they were, you know, like the scale, wasn't.

Rita Black: The scale wasn't to love back

Shelley Cotten: Exactly. And, through that and the inner scientist, you know, I've been able to, I, I know my body. And so, you know, in previous diets when I would've go three weeks and not lose anything and, you know, thought I was being so good, I would've just chucked it and given up and started eating what I wanted to. But during this process, I learned that no, I'm just gonna stick with it and do it cause I know that my body's doing some weird things, but I'm doing what I need to do and it's gonna show at some point.

Rita Black: Right.

Shelley Cotten: And so I've learned like, probably every two to three months I have a plateau and I may go three to four weeks and not lose anything, but then having done it several times now it's like, okay, this is just part of the process and it'll catch up eventually.

Rita Black: Yeah. And can you see, like I can hear in your speaking that such a difference in the way that you communicate with yourself. I, again, I think it's come, it all comes back to inner communication. You talk about inner scientist, which is something that we do like a concept we use in the shift where we're really not reacting from an emotional place. Like you said, like, oh, I'm not losing weight and it's been three weeks and my body's broken, but we are very rational with ourselves. And we look at the data, we look at the facts, and you were able to see like a scientist would like trends. Oh, I see every couple of months my body does this. My body's not broken. It's just, you know, how weight release occurs for me. And I wanna point out to our listeners that, you know, I feel like we're, what Shelly's describing is a couple of different phases, even though for her, it was like a distinct one phase, is that I think that we go through an initial excitement phase where we're learning and releasing weight. And it's, it feels easy or it's maybe not easy, but it's exciting cuz it's all new. And then we get to a phase that Shelly was definitely describing, which is like what I would call, deepening your mastery and you know, really honing the skills because it, you know, our focus isn't on, you know, adhering to a diet, but really cultivating the skills of long-term permanent weight mastery, which are mindset, weight release and then your environment. So those are the focuses. If you aren't familiar with the nine skills of weight mastery. And, and when you are, your brain is focusing on developing skills versus like being good on a diet, then you don't get into that emotional piece of or nothing good or bad, but you're, you're just focusing like on anything you've mastered in your life, getting better at it. But then I think Shelly, and then maybe this is maybe this is the phase that you're gonna about to describe because obviously you said this phase went from August until the January of this year?

Shelley Cotten: December of last year.

Rita Black: Oh December of last year. I think you're about to describe maybe what I would consider the next phase, which is the, you know, deeper phase, like really, you know, like after we kind of release a certain amount of weight, we, there's a deeper phase where we have to kind of in order to progress, really solve those deeper issues that come up, like what I call our struggle points, where, you know, and maybe, but maybe this wasn't for you. So, so tell us what your next phase for you was like, what you really felt was going on.

Shelley Cotten: That makes sense to me, I call this in the taking charge of my shift phase.

Rita Black: Oh, I love that. Okay.

Shelley Cotten: And that probably started in January of this year where, you know, I had been through several plateaus and, and realized that, that this was just kind of a normal way of life for me and that it actually feels like I'm in control and I'm empowered. I know how it's gonna of work, you know, even, you know, with the history. So I, I was, I say, I guess I'm not as afraid of losing control of eating patterns or binges or that kind of thing. And I know that even if that should happen, that I can, I know how to get back on track. Okay. So that's been the focus and I've had lots of ups and downs and plateaus and stinky days. Just, I think it's a whole mind shift of, okay, well I did that and I'm not gonna wait till Monday. I'm not gonna start over. I'm gonna, this in the bud right now and move on.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Shelley Cotten: And, you know, feel guilty too. to let it go.

Rita Black: Well, I think that, yeah, I, I think what you're describing, like, and, and sometimes this happens for people who are not on as long of a weight release journey, as you like, excuse me, where you get, you get to this place where you are, are taking charge where, you know, like maybe you've had, and like you were saying, you've had the experience of maybe gaining 2, 3, 5 pounds, and then you know, that you can take a hold of it and, and go, oh, I got off track. Now let me get back on track and continue my weight release journey. And when you do that enough, you, you get a deeper confidence that we're so afraid. Like, I, I have many people who get to their ideal weight and they're in that maintenance phase, but they haven't had that experience of gaining five pounds and then having to release it again and gaining five pounds and having to release it again, like, and knowing they can like knowing they've got the tools to do that, that they aren't going to go back to their old history of gaining all the way back that they have the mental mindset piece in place. They have their environment, they have the skillset to really just, you know, and I think it is, it's like when you develop a skill, you don't necessarily, you don't have that. You might be developing a skill, like a, like playing tennis and you don't know that you've improved until you go and play with a different level player or something like that. Like, oh, I'm actually at this next level. So I think where for you, when did you know, like, I'm really gonna be able to release that hundred pounds? Like when, when was that for you? Like, what was like, where were you in your journey there?

Shelley Cotten: I think probably maybe the second time I went through the shift process. There's a hypnosis session that you have us envision like a volume knob, I guess, of, you know, our percentage of belief and how, what if we gonna be successful or not. And I think it, the first one, I was probably like at 75%. And then probably, I guess that October, maybe I did a second shift process. And at that point I remember that hypnosis session. It was at a hundred.

Rita Black: Right. Wow.

Shelley Cotten: The first one was a hundred and I was like, okay, I, I can do this. It's not easy. And it's, it's gonna be hard, but it's also empowering and fun. And because I'm in charge.

Rita Black: Wow. That's amazing. I love that. I love that. Yeah. So you definitely got that progression of belief in yourself over time. And again, it's, you, you've, you've really created this. You can hear this and what Shelly's saying, everyone, you know, you can hear this from the inside out. This woman is confident. She knows she's got this. So what would you say, you've had to give up for your like, beliefs that you've had to surrender on this process? Like, is there anything you feel like you've, and I don't mean like giving up chocolate. I mean, like giving up old ideas about yourself, maybe that, you know, like that you were happy to get rid of. And, and then other things that you were surprised you had to get rid of in order to get, as far as you have.

Shelley Cotten: I, well, I know a couple of things that I like surrendered, is that something outside of me could do it. You know, I, I have to get rid of that belief and that go because during the process I realized that it is me, you know, I'm in charge and nobody can, or no pill or anything can take care of that for me. I, I had to, so I had to let that go. And that was, that was big for me. And then also I think, you know, like I said, all my life, everyone that I've been around had had weight issues and that kind of thing, everybody in my family. And so I think I've probably played the victim for a large part of my life. You know, I'm a, oh, it's because of my genes or my metabolism, or, you know, the history. So I had to let that go too. And that felt great.

Rita Black: Yeah, that is amazing. Yeah, cause just because we have a genetic predisposition towards weight gain does not necessarily mean you can't achieve your ideal weight. And, and, and it is, we do develop a real victim mentality when we have other people like kind of, you know, we collect a lot of evidence on a subconscious level that it's hard for us. We can't do it. Our genetics play a role against us and I'm not denying that genetics might play some role in our metabolism or genetic propensity for sugar and carbs. They actually do. But that doesn't matter if you make a decision that you're gonna take charge of your destiny, you, you know, you develop those skills, you can make that change and that's, Shelly's living proof that you can. Shelly, how has your family supported you in this and how have they maybe not supported you in this? Like, were you surprised about the level of support people? Like how did you get them to support you? Like one of the skills is getting people to support you. Like, so how have you done that? And, and you know, how has your family reacted to such a substantial weight release?

Shelley Cotten: Overall everybody's been very supportive, friends and family. My husband does most of the cooking, so it was a, they're they've always been used to me doing diets and you know, counting calories and that kind of thing. So it was in the, in the beginning it was just like, okay, well that's what we're doing this week. And, but he has been wonderful about getting on board. He's even lost 60 pounds now. We're so, and, and we shared meals when we go out to eat. So it's been right and it's good to see him losing weight as well. I forgot what I was saying.

Rita Black: Well, I was just saying like, you know, along the way, like do have people cause you know, I definitely have had other clients who said, people will say, oh you've lost enough weight or stop releasing weight or you know like, or have you felt vulnerable about your weight? You know, like when you've let go of a substantial amount of weight, you know, some people feel vulnerable being a smaller size. Has that been a challenge for you or not?

Shelley Cotten: It has in past experiences, but it has not with the shift.

Rita Black: Okay.

Shelley Cotten: And I'm not sure why, if it's the nine skills, but ...

Rita Black: Yeah. I mean, I think you've got, you know, I think the vulnerability often comes from fear that we're not gonna be able to keep it off, fear that people are paying attention to us. And I think when we have a strong inner coach, you know, communicating with us that that stuff maybe falls to the wayside. I mean maybe, I don't know. I don't wanna put words in your mouth, but

Shelley Cotten: That makes sense.

Rita Black: But your kids were, I mean your daughter, I, I know you have a daughter, I know you have grandkids, like has anybody, I is, so it sounds like your husband's been just consistently supportive. Nobody's ever like tried to sabotage you or gotten in your way, you know?

Shelley Cotten: Well, you know, of course there have been like maybe social events or things where people there's our food pushers.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Shelley Cotten: But overall it's been, that experience has been great. People, you know, nobody said, you know, oh, you've lost enough. Or, or you think they just all say, oh, you look great. You know, what are you doing? And several people have come to the shift process because of that. So it's great to also have that mentoring capability.

Rita Black: Right. Yes. And you've been a coach in a couple of the shifts or all, a lot of them recently and yes, you have, it is also awesome to have people in your life who are shifting because then it makes it easier for you.

Shelley Cotten: Yes.

Rita Black: Well, is there, what do you think about the maintenance phase? You're almost at your ideal weight, you're almost there few pounds away. What, what do you think about the maintenance phase? Like are you apprehensive about it or are you excited about it?

Shelley Cotten: I'm looking forward to it. I think, you know, with my plateaus and my ups and downs, one thing that I started telling myself is that I was, excuse me, that I was practicing maintenance. So, and I'm, you know, at the point now where I'm almost there like six pounds away and I'm trying to figure out what my window will be, you know, from my goal. So things like that, but again, it's, it's interesting to me and, keeping that inner scientist in check, you know, involved with that process. And so I'm looking forward to it.

Rita Black: Yeah. And, and maintenance is a phase in and of itself. I think a lot of people don't realize that. I think we also think, you know, we get to our ideal weight. Okay. You know, and the butterflies are let out of the cage and you know, the doves, you know, fly off and, and then, but you know, it's a real mental phase as well. And I agree with you because you've been on this journey for so long that you are already at that place. I think mentally where you do trust and you know, the science enough to figure it out. Some people get to their ideal way more quickly because they have maybe less weight to release and it's a little harder. They have to kind of earn that belief in themselves, you know, once they get to their ideal weight. But I think you've already earned your belief in yourself. You've got that mastery already from the inside out. So, yeah. I agree with you like that. Probably looking forward to it, is a good idea because I think you're gonna be able to figure it out pretty easily and quickly. So one last question, Shelly. Do you have any pointers for people who have a hundred pounds or more to release, like if they are just thinking about embarking upon a journey or just starting to embark upon a journey? Like, do you have any pointers or words of wisdom or motivation?

Shelley Cotten: Well I think, you know, as, since I did have so much weight to lose, I think it's important just to know going in that it will be a slow process and it should be a slow process because that allows you to learn as you go and to lose weight safely and you know, to be healthy about it. So to be patient, and it's a lot of those skills and that you can do it. There's great support. You know, if you're join this process or if you don't, I mean, it's great support from you, you personally, as well as the Facebook group, and that you just have to commit to it and do it, but you can do it.

Rita Black: Right. And, and as you can see, like it you're saying do it, but you are being it. And I think that's the most powerful thing is like, you've really trained yourself from the inside out, by over these three years, you've really, you know, where you were when you started and where you are today, you've completely changed the way you speak to yourself, the way you think of yourself, the way you hold your, what priorities you have, would you say, you know, you've changed your life?

Shelley Cotten: Definitely. Yes. My whole attitude with myself, you know, being kind and loving and understanding, that's been huge in that process.

Rita Black: I know you had just been telling me before we turned on the recording that, you know, you're off, you're going off on a holiday with your husband and you're gonna be kayaking and doing things like, did you ever think you would be doing those things when you weighed 112 pounds more?

Shelley Cotten: I was hopeful especially after I had my hip replacement in 2016. Prior to that, I was pretty immobile. You know, all I could do was swim for exercise, but, I can't say that I envisioned it, but I can say that I was hopeful for it. And so now it's, it's come to fruition and it's awesome.

Rita Black: Right. Well, good. Yeah. I know you, you do. You're very active now. You exercise every day. I, and you're, you know, you've completely changed your idea about movement. Would, would you say?

Shelley Cotten: That's true. And, that's another thing I would say to someone that has a lot of weight to lose. When I first started, I did 12 minutes a day.

Rita Black: Oh, of exercise.

Shelley Cotten: Yeah. You know, and it was, it's a process, but now I do at least 30 minutes a day, every day when I get up, that's the first thing I do, whether it's walking or dancing or boxing or anything just to stay active and get that done.

Rita Black: Yeah. That's powerful. That's amazing. Well, thank you so much, Shelly. I appreciate your time and coming on and giving us your wisdom and your journey. Have a time on your, your journey, your trip with your husband. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Shelley Cotten: Thank you.

Rita Black: Thank you so much.

Rita Black: Well, I hope you found my talk with Shelly helpful and insightful and inspirational. Isn't she amazing. So just to remind you that there are so many phases to a weight mastery journey, and I want you to know that because you're gonna get to places in your weight release journey where it's not gonna feel right. It's gonna feel like this is wrong. It shouldn't, this shouldn't be happening. This plateau shouldn't be happening. Or, I shouldn't be feeling super bored. If I was a better person, I wouldn't be bored on this. And that's simply not true. You are actually in the right place and feeling the right things. And when you accept it and take ownership of it, something happens different, you know, and you own yourself. So you are not the problem, my friend. You are the solution. And always remember that.

Rita Black: So just a reminder to join me for my three-part free video series called "The 3 Mental Shifts to End the Weight Struggle Once and for All". And I am making that available only for a few days in January 2022, starting tomorrow, the sixth. So hop on the band again, if you're listening to this at any point between January 6th and 10th. And, so, and if you wanna sign up, just make sure you get on my email list that's located in the show notes below this podcast. All right, everybody have an amazing week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door, the weight struggle is inside you. So, keep listening and find it.

Rita Black: Thanks for listening to the thin thinking podcast. Did that episode go by way too fast for you? If so, and do you want to dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release, tips, strategies, and more, and be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking: Unlock Your Mind For Permanent Weight Loss and to learn how to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode.