Did you know that ideal weight maintenance is a mindset that you begin cultivating waaaaaaaay before you reach it?

Say what?

Yes, siree. Preparing for maintenance: knowing you will get there, being  confident that you can stay there, believing it is possible with all of your being is part of what helps you stay on your weight release trajectory.

Otherwise, any attempt at weight loss is like getting on a road, not knowing where it leads, and not knowing what you are going to find when you get there. Chances are at some point you run out of gas or just lose focus and turn around.

In episode 55 of our Thin Thinking Podcast, I share with you the steps to prepare your mind to step into maintenance like a master, because maintenance is a mindset more than anything else.


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  1. Write a review of the Thin Thinking Podcast

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Rita Black: Weight maintenance. Is it possible? Too many people reach their weight goals and then quickly or eventually just begin gaining the weight back. Well, friends, weight maintenance is a mindset more than anything else. In today's Thin Thinking episode, we are gonna look at not only how to prepare your mind for when you reach maintenance, but how to step into maintenance like a master. So stay tuned.

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: Come on in everybody and don't be shy. Sit down and relax. You are with friends. You know, I talk about gardening sometimes and because this is a hobby that I love, that gives me great peace of mind, great therapy for me, love to get in the dirt. And, you know, I really kind of equate it with weight mastery because it is definitely a mastery journey. I, you know, this year we have been growing, this, our winter garden, which is now transforming because it's the end of March and we're gonna be digging up a lot of the stuff that we planted and planting our summer crop of tomatoes and peppers and all those things. But we grew broccoli, rapini. Do you guys know that, rapini the Italian, you know, it's got greens with little broccoli sprouty things on it. So delicious sautéed with some garlic. It's, it's bitter a little bitter. It's lovely with the little lemon. It's so good. And I was so proud of myself. I was able to grow it. I used to work at a restaurant in Greenwich village back in the eighties, and was a surly rest surly, waitress. And they served rapini and, you know, I see it in the grocery store and I've bought it in the grocery store, but I was like, one day I'm gonna grow rapini in my garden, like a real authentic Italian. And I did this year. It made me feel really proud. But are lots of things I killed. So though I was triumphant with my rapini and my turnips and my beats. and, but my cabbage and my cauliflower and my broccoli, not so good. I'm still working on that. You know, I'm working on, you know, you never think when you go to garden, it, it seems kind of glamorous, but it's, there's so much unglamorous stuff about it's, it's a lot of it is maintenance. It's a lot. And, and it's the same with weight, right? A lot of it seems glamorous and fun losing weight, but, you know, a lot of is just like putting bat guano in the dirt and hoping that your vegetables grow better, you know? And my husband was like, what's bat guano? I was like, is bat poo. Because that poo has amazing amounts of nitrogen. And so does chicken manure. And those are, you know, what you work with when you want your vegetables to grow. Very glamorous, very glamorous stuff.

Rita Black: So, that is, you know, so many of us want goal weight and, you know, to get to our goal, weight and maintain, and really it's kind of like bat guano. You gotta prepare the soil ahead of time. And, and, and my monthly mastery group, right now a number of people are in maintenance mode and learning that it isn't just something that happens, you know, magically when you hit your goal weight, but it's something that is cultivated. It's, it's a beingness. It's not, and it's a mindset. It's not just, well, I got to my goal weight. Now I'm gonna maintain it's, it's, it's a transformational process in it in of itself.

Rita Black: So I bet, you know, I'm talking to you if you're, you know, out there in the world and you're wanting some thin thinking, I'm assuming that you've probably at one point in your life, maybe got to goal weight or lost some weight, you know, and maybe you got your, that goal weight and you were there for a week or a month, or, you know, even a year or, or more. I know for me, sometimes it was a few minutes or a few hours, you know, hitting ideal weight. We want it so much. We think about it. We work so hard for it, and it's so thrilling to reach our ideal weight, but it can be so confronting. You know, there's a lot of us that get to our ideal weight and, you know, we thought it's going to be, life is gonna be so different at my ideal weight. You know, like when I can get those skinny jeans and I can, you know, go into the club or, you know, do some chin-ups at the gym or, or whatever the, our thing is like, why we're getting thin, you know, other than health and for health too, of course. But, you know, it can be really like, is that all there is like, I thought I was gonna feel different. I thought I was gonna be different. I thought, you know, I'd like myself more. And, and, and it can be a place where we are afraid, you know, like, because we, you know, we've worked so hard for this and we get there and, you know, it's exhilarating, and, and like I said, all these different things come up. Sometimes people get to their ideal weight and then they don't feel different. So they're like, I wanna keep losing weight because I think if I lost five more pounds, I would feel better. And then that becomes a challenge because, you know, they lose five more pounds or they can't lose those five pounds. And then it's backing up and down and up and down, and then they start gaining weight again.

Rita Black: So, you know, there always brings up that I am not enough, you know, I am not enough. When we lose weight from this place of I'm in pain, I'm gonna lose weight. And when I lose weight, I will be enough. Right. But, you know, we've gotta be enough as we're releasing weight so that when we get to our ideal weight, we're like, cool. I'm here. And I love myself because I've been loving myself down the scale. Right.

Rita Black: So, so let's think this all through the thin thinking lens, shall we? So I do wanna talk about weight maintenance, weight maintenance beforehand. Like, how do you prepare for creating, you know, like beforehand, beforehand prep creating a maintenance mindset. So number one, love yourself down the scale. So it's not about escaping pain, like I'm fat, I've gotta lose weight, or I've gotta lose weight. I've got to get that to, you know, lose more 20 more pounds so I look fantastic and I can finally allow myself to feel good about myself. No. We've gotta start where we are, where we're at and say, I, you know, I appreciate myself. And your journey of weight release is about creating a new and powerful way of communicating with yourself, of self respect, of conferring with yourself, of working through and, and, and creating a way of eating that you love, not depriving yourself down the scale, but, but truly evolving and transforming yourself and transforming your life. It's a, it's a, it's, you're embarking upon a journey. It's not this quick fix, get to the weight and then maintain; that would, that will never happen. You've got to change your mindset and the way you communicate with yourself first. And that's, you know, really what I hold dear is, you know, this idea of like you and start on your journey from a place of love, forgive yourself for what you need to. You say, I am where I am. And, and as you love yourself down the scale, you emerge, you know, you, you, this new way of communicating with yourself, this new powerful inner coach emerges within you creating trust, self trust, self empathy, just a whole new way of being with yourself and confidence. So that when you get to your eye ideal weight, it's like, mm-hmm, that feels pretty good. And now I'm ready for maintenance, you know, and, and you're, you are ready.

Rita Black: Now the second thing, the ideal weight is not the end or a magic number. You know, again, we, you know, we get so fixated on just that number, that magic number. I gotta get to this number. It's got, it's this thing. But that, you know, when you get to your ideal weight, it really isn't a number, but it's a portal into the next phase of your transformation. Because maintenance is about ownership. Maintenance is really about owning your life in this way that you've created and, and, and, really continuing to deepen your skill set that got you to your ideal weight, the skills of weight mastery. And, so it is really not just like, oops, I got to this number, I gotta maintain. It's like, it's an evolutionary. Okay, here I am. And now I'm stepping into this new phase of my weight journey, my weight mastery journey, cause maintenance is a phase. You know, and I'm gonna walk through this a little more, but that's what a lot of my new maintainers are, they learn. They're, they're like, you know, they've loved themselves down the scale, but now they're at this place of finding the right balance. We're gonna get into that in a second though.

Rita Black: Three, create a life you want before you reach your ideal weight. This is key, you know. A lot of us again, when we struggle with our weight, we're like waiting to date, or when I get to my ideal weight, I will go back to school or ask my boss for a raise or I'll start my own company, or I'll, you know, fly to Europe or, you know, like we put it off, we put it off living. And, that then makes that ideal weight so weighted with other things, other fears, you know, if we have fear about getting into a relationship, you know, and we're getting towards our ideal weight, we might sabotage ourselves on a subconscious level because we've made getting to our ideal weight, being about getting in a relationship. You know what I mean? So we wanna take on those things now, as we're releasing weight, not waiting until we get to our ideal weight, right? So that we wanna go back to school now. We want to fly to Europe now. We wanna start dating now, you know. And really, and if we do have issues around those or challenges, then we can work on them and love ourselves through them. So they aren't all weighted to that ideal weight.

Rita Black: Develop that inner coach and scientist, because you're going to need it for weight release, but you're really gonna need it for maintenance. And again, it's that powerful communication system. And you know, some of you, not everybody, but some people feel vulnerable when they get smaller. You know, maybe things happen to them earlier in their life where they didn't feel safe or protected and weight for them was a buffer in the way. Working through that before you get to your ideal weight, as you're going down the scale, feeling safe. And again, always take this back to self communication, you know, really being the parent inner parent and letting that inner child within, you know, you know, we're safe, I'm an adult now. I can take care of you. We don't need the buffer anymore. We're safe. You know, I'm here for you. I can say, no. I can say back off. I can say, I've got words, I've got adult words that I can use. So, but yeah, for some people that might be a challenge. And, so you can see how getting to your ideal weight might bring up other things or people paying attention to you. Oh, you look, look great, or you've lost all that weight or are you sure you've lost too much weight? Or, you know, how people love to make comments? You know, and you might like some of them, and some of them might really tweak you, you know, you might be, eh, I don't like what they said. And again, when you have a powerful communication system inside of you, you know, that you aren't going, oh my God, what did they say about me? Are they thinking about me all the time? You know, where you're like, okay, that's them. And they can think what they want. They can say what they want. But I'm me. And I love me and I'm, you know, cool within my own skin, you know, that's a completely different response. It can take ownership. Now, you know, acknowledge it, of course, and, and, and, you know, understand that, okay. You know, I'm feeling a little bothered by that, but really being able to be with yourself and show up for yourself.

Rita Black: Okay. Now I'm looking at my notes. Now, what happens when you reach your weight goal? So one of the things I think is fun to do, because I'm all about identity. And you know that if you've been listening to me for any length of time is you wanna create a maintenance identity. And, and the maintenance identity is different than a weight release identity. Because you are now a person who is maintaining and not trying, you are a person who is maintaining their weight. You're not trying not to gain weight but you are a healthy person. I'm a healthy person taking ownership of this, you know, weight I'm at. And this is where I am. You're claiming your stake. Right. You know, like how the, the pioneers went out to the west and they, you know, got their five acres and they claimed their stake. And they lived in that plot of land for five years before the government said, it's yours. And that's kind of like maintenance, you know, you're, you're owning this place and you're, you're, you're taking ownership. You're saying this is mine. And you're gonna live here for a while and you'll feel like it's yours. But you know, you gotta claim your stake and say, I'm here. It's not, I'm afraid I'm gonna go back up. It's like, no, I'm here. And I'm gonna figure it out. You're gonna believe in yourself, but you can see how important it is to believe in yourself as you're going down the scale.

Rita Black: And get some clothes, get some clothes that said, I'm here, you know, I'm here. And I am taking ownership just like the, the pioneers had to build a, some kind of, you know, a house on the land to kind of own it. A lot of them built those Shanty's, you know, and then as they stayed, they built a bigger house and a more solid house, but they had that flimsy shanty in the beginning, but well, go get some clothes and they don't have to be shanty clothes, but, I'm just saying, you know, take some ownership now. And then as you're feeling more confident, you can buy more expensive clothes or, you know, a bigger wardrobe, but go say, yeah, I'm here and I'm owning this.

Rita Black: \And then, you know, develop your start, you know, instead of like, well, what am I gonna do? Because, you know, maintenance might feel like, well, I've spent all this energy on losing weight. Now I don't have to lose weight. What am I gonna do? Well, weight maintenance really is a hybrid of, you know, your weight mastery journey. I mean, it is your weight mastery journey and the skills required to maintain your weight are the same skills as manage, you know, releasing weight, the nine skills of weight mastery but, you know, we get into those skill sets in other podcasts, but, you know, it's really a of energy balancing and, and you know, creating that. Now you're gonna create a way of eating that allows you to live at your maintenance weight, right? You, you created a way of living that allowed you to release weight. Now you're altering and just, you know, and figuring that out. So again, a lot of my maintainers are, you know, in that figuring out phase, maybe they, you know, try something and, and, and I always say, keeping your weight, you know, five pounds above or five pounds below that ideal weight line is sort of like the range, putting a, you know, a line, you know, above and below so that, you know, if you go above that weight, then that's when you wanna start to bring back your weight release skills. But your weight maintenance skills are very much like your weight release skills, but, but altered for maintenance. So that energy balancing and your environment, like now you can alter your environment skills to get the people in your life, supporting you for your maintenance journey. Because a lot of times people forget, they forget, or they'll be like, oh, you lost your weight. Now I'm gonna like, go buy some donuts for you. You know, like they don't understand that, you know, you're still the same person. You're still the same healthy person that you cultivated. But now you're just in maintenance. So you need to train those people for maintenance. Two, you need to let them know, Hey, uh, you know, things aren't gonna be completely different. They're just gonna be a little different. Maybe you can help me out here. Altering your, you know, making sure you're still keeping your trigger foods out of the house.

Rita Black: I think a lot of people feel, I reached my ideal way. Now I can go eat all those foods that I didn't eat when I was releasing weight. And those trigger, those foods are this, your trigger foods are the, your trigger foods for the rest of your life. So if you eat that food, it's going to light up that neural network in your brain, and you're gonna want more and more and more, and then be gaining weight. So, you know, you're still gonna have to practice your environmental skills of stimulus control, keeping the foods out of the house that don't serve you and keeping the foods in the house that do. This is one of the hugest, like people don't realize that this is such a huge skill of weight management as shown by many, many studies.

Rita Black: You know, managing that inner critic and the inner rebel. Again, you know, you've cultivated a powerful relationship with your inner coach and by doing so that means you've probably also had a wonderful, you know, ability to turn down the volume on the critic and turn down the volume on your rebels. So, we wanna make sure that that rebel isn't like, Hey, you lost all your way. Let's go party. Or your critic isn't like, look at that. You gained a pound and you're gonna gain all the way back. You know, you really that's now your new head game is, you know, managing those voices from this different perspective.

Rita Black: And you may need to gain a few pounds. I know this is gonna sound radical. You may need to gain a few pounds to know that you can release them a few times to feel confident and that's okay. You know, people will gain a couple of pounds and freak out and I'm like, you know, like, oh my God, I'm like, no, no, no, this is good. You know, now you use your weight release skills again, and you get your weight back down, and now you own that. You own getting your weight back down, and then, you know, you can do that. And, you know, in the first year of your weight release or weight maintenance, you'll probably gain some few pounds and, and release them and every time you do, you strengthen that muscle of knowing, oh yeah, I, I can keep homeostasis. I can keep, you know, my weight around the same. And, and you get used to that amount of eating and exercising that allows you to stay at that maintaining weight. But it takes a little inner scientists to figure that all out. It's not all just like magically gonna happen. It's, you've gotta really rigorously love yourself and know that this is a project. Maintenance is a project for a while until you, you know, kind of develop those skills and, and feel confident in your skin and you will, but, you know, you gotta, what is it's again, this is a process. And, you know, keeping a record and getting clear on these things that's why record keeping can be so powerful for maintenance too, is that you're getting really clearer on, you're not going into cognitive distortion. Oh my gosh, I ate a, a bag of an of, and M&Ms. I'm gonna gain all my weight back. No, you just ate a bag of M&Ms, you know, and you can manage that. And that worked out okay for you. You still are within your caloric needs for maintenance, and you're fine. But, your, your ability to, you know, manage and be clear on some of that data, especially in the early days.

Rita Black: Now, as you get further into maintenance and you, you have sort of mastered that homeostasis, then, you know, things like tracking aren't as important. Things like, you know, it really being on top of things, you know, unless then you gain some weight and then you can bring it back. But, you know, again, most research shows that, you know, so many people who have achieved their ideal weight and kept it there, you know, use tracking and data as a way to get really clear and cognitively clear on the way down the scale. So maintenance also, it's very helpful for too. And you know, pat yourself on, back on the back, you know, you did this, you, you are doing this. It, you know, and, and you're always self reinforcing. I want you to think of the first year as training. Like I said, there's, you know, getting clear on things, um, you know, going through some, all of the holidays. I always say that to my maintainers. Okay. You're going through, through your first holiday season, like the end of your holidays. And now you're going through the spring and spring break and tax season, and then the summer, and then summer vacations and all of these things, you know, every time you go through, they're kind of like Aite of passage for maintaining your weight and then you own it.

Rita Black: And then the second year you're really building that confidence, cuz you're going through it all again. But you know, now you've got it. The second round is kinda like, you know, when you have a second kid, you're like, Ugh, you're not so bothered by everything. You're like, okay, I got this, I can do this. You take the ownership. You're not worried. You know, like you're not all, is this gonna work out? And then the third year, really you begin mastery, meaning like you got this, you know, you're powerful leader of this to, you know, for other people, you know. If you release weight and keep it off long term, you know, you're a powerful leader for people, they see you and you, even if they don't need to lose weight, they see like who you became in order to be this healthy lean person. And you know, they want more of what you got, you know, and, and they're looking at God how they do that. That's so cool. Like how did they show up for themselves in such a powerful way, you know, because it really does require that. That really requires you being committed to you. And, really like, as you can see, this is a journey that is so fulfilling that you go on and it isn't just about weight. It is, it is about creating yourself from the inside out and it's not. And I don't mean like total change of who you are are. Absolutely not. But total, total ownership of who you are and advocating for yourself and, and respecting yourself and showing up for yourself. So, you know, just, it's a journey of transformation you should be proud of. So I hope this was helpful to know where you're going, or if you're already there hopeful, hopefully this was helpful as sort of a way to guide you.

Rita Black: The Thin Thinking Podcast Review and Prize Drawing is finishing up this week. So if, if you are here in the March of 2022. It is finishing on more March, 30, 31st really that's the last day I said the drawing's gonna be on the 31st. It isn't, it will be on the 1st of April, just because, you know, I want everybody to get their reviews in. There's three runner runner up prizes of a hundred dollars worth of downloads from the shift weight mastery hypnosis download store and a grand prize winner who will win a free place in our upcoming online shift, live weight mastery program. That's a hypnosis based weight loss program that will be led by me and it will be beginning at the beginning of may. But we are enrolling starting, um, April in the middle of April. And this is a, a wonderful, awesome prize worth several hundred dollars. So please share your reviews and have an amazing week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door, of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.

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.