I hope that if you are in the US you are looking forward to a nice long weekend to celebrate Independence Day.

While you are at it would you like to declare some independence from 3-day weekend overeating? Because let’s face it–there is something about adding that third day that just makes staying focused so damn hard.

Well light the fireworks and wave your flag, because we have you covered with some Thin Thinking for the upcoming long weekend. Because let’s face it–it’s a skill to stay healthy when everyone around is eating deep-fried apple pie! 

So–join me for the 68th episode of Thin Thinking Podcast, we will walk through the right mindset to approach this 4th of July weekend and any holiday weekend for that matter. 

FINAL WEEK TO GRAB THE DISCOUNT: Need some Thin Thinking tools for your travel? Grab my specialized hypnosis and coaching download from the Shift Store: Traveling Towards Mastery Coaching & Hypnosis. USE COUPON CODE TRAVEL to get $5 off when you check out!

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: Another holiday weekend is coming up. Yippie! We look forward to the extra time off, and time for being with friends, or just relaxing, or getting things done. But the lack of structure, and the added barbecues, and weekend snacking can easily pull things off track and we can end the weekend not so relaxed, but feeling bloated and frustrated with ourselves for letting things get out of hand. This week's thin thinking episode walks through the right mindset to approach any holiday weekend. And I end with a nice meditation visualization to help you create your healthiest and most satisfying three-day weekend ever. So come with me and declare your freedom from fat thinking with this week's episode of thin thinking,

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: Hey everybody, come on in. Now here's a full disclosure. I am still away. I'm just getting back today from my travel. So hopefully, I am not, being held or quarantined in some foreign country, but that I am home and arriving home, but I really did not wanna take the chance with this episode. So I am giving you my best coaching session and visualization for the upcoming 4th of July weekend. But this really is a coaching session for any long weekend, and this is just terrific, you know, tools that you can live by through and through thin thinking mindset. So I hope you're looking forward to a wonderful, safe, and healthy 4th of July. And if you're traveling yourself this week, this is the last week of my special $5 off my travels towards mastery coaching and hypnosis download, which is in the shift store. So the link to the store is in the show notes, and then there's a coupon code. So you just find that travel towards mastery and you will get $5 off that if you dare to do that. So, one of my, somebody who actually went and did that, Tori wrote me and said, I listened to your coaching and hypnosis for my trip to Disneyland and found it so helpful for staying on track. I wasn't even tempted into the fried foods. My family were having, it was easy to make the healthy choices, stay on track and really finish my vacation feeling good about me. Well, thank you for Tori, and I'm really glad you had a nice time at Disneyland and steered clear of all that fried food that they like to throw at you at the happiest place on earth. Oh, that always made me giggle. Okay. So the link to the shift store in the coupon code, like I already said, are in the show notes. All right. So let's hop in to our creating a powerful and fabulous healthy 4th of July, July weekend or any long weekend.

Rita Black: Okay. So three-day weekends. Weekends are challenging enough, right? But three days for weight release, why are these three-day weekends so fricking hard? Well, let's look at it from a thin thinking perspective and look at it from how our minds operate over three-day weekends. So first of all, holiday weekends are long. Our willpower gets ebbed away, meaning that, you know, whatever hope you have of going into the weekend, I'm gonna be good. I'm gonna stay focused. Well, Saturday, maybe you, you do pretty well. And then Sunday, all the excitement of the weekend, the visiting, maybe the parties going out on the boat or going to an outing or a sporting event, more, more stimulation for the brain. Right. And what does all those stimulation, and decision making, and being with other people that stimulation in the brain ebbs away the willpower.

Rita Black: Okay. So, the second reason holiday weekends are reward and celebration driving. Meaning that part of our brain, that our reward center in our brain is on. And we, we are looking for reward. Fun, reward, the dopamine center, pleasure seeking brain thinks food equals letting your hair down and will agitate you to get what it wants. It will bug you. It will bug you, and it will feel like you need it. It's that craving feeling. And that part of your brain is like, it's the weekend. It's a holiday weekend. We deserve it. Let's have it. So that's another reason.

Rita Black: And so the third reason the holiday weekends can be challenging is that we will start off with super good intentions, but our habit brain is used to throwing all of the weight release efforts to the side because only 12% wants to be good. And remember the other 88%, that subconscious part of our mind that wants things to happen just as they always do and stay exactly the same. Yeah. It's, it's going to be in full force. It wants things to stay the same, which usually means reward eating, drinking, partying, and you know, then saying, well, what the hell I already blew it on Saturday? I'll let everything go Sunday and Monday. And I'll start again and be super angelic on Tuesday morning. And we've gotten in the habit of that. And so the brain is also driving us in that direction.

Rita Black: So not to be a Debbie downer about the holiday weekends, because you absolutely can have a healthy and amazing holiday weekend. And I am here to coach you for one and also to create a powerful visualization at the end. So you can just head on into this holiday weekend, but I don't want you to go in, you know, unaware. So the great thing about the holidays is that they are here to give us extra time to relax and unwind and don't we need it. The problem is is that when we are overeating, it really doesn't relax us. It, it makes us feel bad and ends up spoiling the weekend. I can think of so many three-day weekends where I was overeating, overdrinking. And all I could think about was how horrible I felt out of balance, chaotic, and that's all I could think about. And I couldn't really even enjoy the people I was with or whatever I was doing, or I was in such a food, eating frenzy. I didn't even pay attention to the other things that really were relaxing and enjoyable. So ultimately we wanna just have a powerful weekend where we're truly taking care of ourselves, truly relaxing, truly being with those we love or wanna be connected with and really enjoy. So I would like to share seven thin thinking strategies for creating a powerful, healthy, and memorable in a good way weekend with you. Ready? Let's go.

Rita Black: So number one, create the weekend. Don't have it happen to you. This is so important. Create the weekend. Don't have it happen to you. So thin thinking strategy. Number one, create the weekend. Don't have it happen to you. I will say that again because it's so important. Create the weekend. Don't have it happen to you. It's the difference between being offensive and defensive. If you go into the weekend where you have what I call, you know what I'm, I'm gonna quote Steven Covey, the man who wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, right? He said begin with the end in mind. You want to think all the way through to Monday night now and think about how you want to end the weekend feeling. Think about the outcome you wanna create with your weekend, because chances are we head into the holiday weekend thinking we're gonna have a good time hoping we're gonna have a good time. We can't wait to relax, but then all these things start happening to us and our brain isn't prepared to create a healthy weekend. We are just heading into the weekend with the same old habits, the same old behaviors, the same old reactions and responses to people, places, things, and all the stimulus that is gonna be out there this Memorial day weekend. So you wanna just like an athlete, prepares to go into the field with a plan and a strategy and a game. What do they call it? The coaches call it the, you know, the, the play. You wanna go into your weekend creating a healthy weekend to, and have your brain prepared ahead of time. So being offensive, not defensive.

Rita Black: So the first way you do this is you begin with the end in mind. You think about how you wanna feel Monday night, what does this do? This, this engages your reticular activation system in your brain that is gonna filter out the stuff that it, that is not gonna allow you to get to where you want to be. And the brain is gonna focus on, oh yes. I wanna feel light. I wanna feel healthy. I wanna feel like vibrant. And that I had a really good time, but didn't go overboard this weekend that I connected with friends that I, that I sat in the sun that I relaxed, but I didn't over indulge. So if you can really, in your mind what I would say, create a vision, sit down with your inner coach before the weekend, you know, your inner coach, that's your inner, that inner team member that, that powerful part of you, that problem solver, that solution seeker that works really great, maybe in other areas of your life. We wanna bring that part of you to the meeting before the holiday weekend and have you think through what you're gonna create. So, and we're gonna dive into some ideas, but you wanna create a vision of how you wanna feel that Monday night. And you want that vision to be so powerful that it engages the dopamine center in your brain and that, that reward center and saying, oh yeah, getting to Monday night, feeling light and healthy and lean, that is a powerful reward. And so what that will do will it will help your dopamine center bypass all the lower level indulgences or cravings, or stimulation that your brain might get over this weekend with all the food, and all the beverages that are probably gonna be passing your way, especially if you're planning to go out and being social. And then you wanna think through the weekend, what is the weekend about for you? What do you wanna create? Do you wanna create relaxation? Do you wanna be super social? Do you wanna connect with people who do you wanna connect with and focus on the value you wanna create for yourself? Meaning rest, meaning human connection, meaning, having some good times running around or splashing in the water rather than just, you know, what's gonna be on the buffet table. You wanna, you wanna focus on those other things, those other rewards. Okay. So that's number one, begin with the end of mind, create the weekend. Don't have it happen to you.

Rita Black: Number two, I'm gonna say set a specific weight goal, whether it's weight release, meaning you're gonna just stay focused on your weight release this weekend or weight maintenance, which is a perfectly fine option. Even if you are trying to release weight right now, I always say to my clients, I say to people, my students, I say people in my monthly mastery community, I say, you know, it's the holiday weekend. You get to choose. You are always the driver of your weight release. And sometimes we hit the pause button on our weight release because it's more realistic, you know, to go and, eat, you know, lettuce leaves and chicken at a big family reunion might not be realistic for you. And it might be more loving and, you know, ultimately better for your long term weight release. If you give yourself just a, your plan is to, is to maintain your weight over the weekend, to be careful to be mindful, but maybe not be in weight release mode. And, and you probably are a pretty good judge of when you're in weight release mode or when you're in weight maintenance mode, you always wanna stay mindful. You always wanna stay connected to yourself. So I'm not saying throw everything out the window, but, but usually when we go into the weekend, unrealistically, expecting to release weight, then that's when we get into trouble. We say, ah, screw it. I'll start again on Monday because the choice for us is either to lose weight or to go off the deep end, rather than finding that middle ground for ourselves, that mindful middle ground, where we've had just enough, where we start to learn to trust ourselves that we eat till, you know, we've had just enough to eat. We're not too full. And we're, you know, we're staying focused, making healthy choices, realistic choices, but not being in super deprivation mode. I think it, it, and, and if you wanna stay focused on your weight release plan, absolutely fine. But I think it's always valuable to give yourself the option and to trust that you'll stick with it. You know, it's really weight mastery is really about sticking with yourself and believing in yourself. And, you know, even if you get off track over the weekend, forgive yourself, instantly, bring yourself back on track because you will, in the end, save a lot more calories or, you know, have not have to recover so much. And you'll usually learn a lesson. And if you forgive yourself and say, well, what, what didn't go well here? What could I do next weekend, the next three day weekend, or next time I run into this situation, that is where our true weight mastery is. You guys, all right.

Rita Black: Okay. So three, plan self care and exercise each day. So I think that holiday weekends are, you know, I, as a mom, as a wife, as a business owner, as somebody who, you know, is in the field with my, clients all the time, you know, I work pretty much 24/7, but I love what I do. I absolutely thrive on, my life. And because I do feel like I create my life. And I'm very lucky, you know, I, I feel like I can sit down every week and create a powerful week for myself. And, and, and I feel very, very grateful, grateful, grateful for that.

Rita Black: Now. Self care is a huge part of happiness. And I feel like a lot of us go into these three day weekends, especially as moms and we are more worn out by the end of that three day weekend because we're cooking and we're chasing after people and we're doing a zillion activities and we're the one who's picking up after everybody. Or we're the one who's the referee in the sporting event. You know, we just go, go, go, go, go. And that's super cool if you're into, you know, living life to the fullest all for that, but I want you to set yourself up for success because I will tell you something that all that stimulation, what it does is it wears your brain down and it makes you way, way more prone to overeat.

Rita Black: So everyone out there, what I want you to do is, as you think you're weekend through, I want you to think of what I would call brain breaks or self care moments where you retreat from the crowd, retreat from everybody else. And to have some time, downtime for yourself. And what you're doing is in that downtime, you are relaxing your brain. You are letting it sort of decompress so that then you'll have more focus, you'll have more willpower and be able to go to those parties and say no to the things that you wanna say no to, instead of being overwhelmed, oh my God, pour me a drink. and bring me a big old plate of whatever cause I'm just super tired and mama's gotta put her feet up and have a margarita, right. So, um, you know, take your naps. You know, I love three day weekends because I can usually grab one big power nap and I just, so look forward to that. Naps are my best friend. We'll talk about naps more in another episode, how important they are for weight mastery, permission to take naps too. And that's a big thing, permission to take a break, take a bath, take a stroll by yourself or, you know, you can stroll with somebody else, but, but set up your breaks and also set up exercise, make sure you take care of yourself. The great thing about holiday weekends is you do have some time, go out for a walk every morning, plan, a bike ride, you know, think it through, you know, if you don't have a plan, the world has one for you and chances are, if you are a busy mom, especially, or somebody who's a, you know, a social butterfly, lots of people want lots of things from you. And if you don't chisel in that exercise time for yourself, it ain't gonna happen. And I'm not just saying, sitting inside doing a, you know, an exercise on YouTube, I'm saying get outside and do something amazing because the weather is finally nice and we finally can get outside and it's a beautiful thing. So sit down and plan that out before the weekend.

Rita Black: Here's another one, number four, set loving limits with food and drinks. You know, it's, again, we head into the weekend. It's really easy for that reward brain to just drive us towards what it knows. You know, and that, what the hell, it's a holiday weekend. Attitude really comes very easy. It's so easy to just say, it's the holiday, I'll start over again on Monday. But if you go into the weekend setting, loving limits, like, it's not like I'm not gonna drink any alcohol, but you'll say, well, when I go to that Memorial day party, I will have, I will set my limit at two alcoholic beverages, and then I'm gonna drink water. I'll, I'll drink water first. Then maybe I'll have a glass of wine. Then I'll have another glass of water. Then I'll have a glass of wine when you're doing that one thing you're doing with your brain, you you're setting a boundary, but you're also getting creative because you're asking yourself a question like how much alcohol is it that I need in order to relax and have a good time. Now, for some of you, it may be nothing like for some of you, maybe it's Coca-Cola or other sodas, or maybe for some of you beverages, aren't a challenge, but, you know, with whatever beverage it is, you know, we in our brain, food is fun, right? Like that becomes a belief. And so when we start to question like how much do I actually need in order to have a good time when we really start to poke holes in that theory? Because you know, you know, from past experience, the fun part of food is the anticipation and the, the, maybe the first few bites of something, that's where our mouth gets the most, impact our, or the taste buds and everything in the brain get that exciting thing. But after eating five bites of three or four bites of potato salad, or a tried tip barbecue, or of corn on the cob with butter or, chocolate red devil cake or whatever, the, the excitement in the mouth goes down from 90% down to 20%. And now we're just shoveling calories down the hole.

New Speaker: So having that conversation with yourself before the party, having those conversations with yourself, like how much is like, do I really need to eat grandma's Blackberry pie in order to have a good time, then you might say yes, and that's cool. Then you might say how much, because the answer usually is gonna be less than if you just did, if you were on automatic pilot, does that make sense? I hope it does, but I want you to start thinking about things from a perspective of breaking it down, sitting down with yourself and, and planning ahead and thinking through those little moments where we just go into automatic pilot. And because by doing it ahead of time, you're slowing down. And when you get to that point in life, when you actually get to the point where they're serving the Blackberry pie, you'll remember you had that conversation with yourself and you can ask for that smaller piece. Now, you know, if, if you feel like you need more in order to have a good time. Well, that's another question, but my guess is most of my, my clients, my students, my people in my, my groups, you know, we have like this thing called the three bite rule where we will, you know, eat three bites of something, really enjoy it. And, and for most, most of the time, it's okay, that's enough. And we feel like we can move on from there. And it really sets you free. So just consider that three bite rule. Otherwise what will happen is that, reward center in the brain might get engaged by excessive amounts of carbohydrates. And then we engage what I call the carb zombie, and then we just really become that, we get into that binge eating automated eating zone. So, so really set some boundaries for yourself, but think of them as what I call loving boundaries, because you're saving yourself from the pain of overeating feeling gross, and having the weekend end up being something that you regret rather than something you really enjoyed.

Rita Black: Okay. Get support from others. Y'all! Your friends, your family members, engage them in being healthy too. Hey, we're all the same. People don't wanna feel gross and that they ate too much. I mean, how many people do you know who said, gosh, I really am super glad I gorged and ate way too much. Not many people if any really, really love that feeling at the end of a big overeating festival. So do everybody a favor and say, hey, why don't we have a healthy weekend? Why don't we make some healthy choices? You know, really people hate overeating. So be courageous, be the change maker amongst your friends and family, make some suggestions, Hey, let's go for a walk. Let's go for a walk before we have dessert, or let's, um, let's not eat a big old dessert. Let's go and get a single scoop of an ice cream cone, get them to go, maybe for frozen yogurt instead of going to the house of pies, you know, make the healthier choices, go to the healthier restaurant where there are some healthy choices rather than to the bar and grill where there is just fried chicken, hamburgers and French fries available, right? You can, you can be the change maker in your crowd. Or if you're gonna be alone this weekend, enjoy it and plan things, but maybe don't be alone, maybe plan to, even if you are on your own and you're choosing to be on your own, reach out to other people, and so you can feel that connection as well.

Rita Black: So number six, parties. So here's a big suggestion. If you don't do this already, I'm gonna suggest you start doing it is bring your own food and bring your own beverages. So I'm not just saying, bring your whole meal. No, but I am saying, you know, if the hostess doesn't ask you to bring food, bring some, anyway, I'm known as the salad lady, but I make really interesting fun salads. You know, I had a client, well, many clients, but this client wants this really stuck with me. She said, you know, I would go to parties and I would cut up apples, both red and green. And I would arrange them really prettily on a tray. I, you know, she, she drizzled some lemon juice over them and put toothpicks in them with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top. And she said, you know, that was so she would have a healthy dessert to eat, uh, you know, at whatever parties she were, she was going to, and she became known for this, but people loved it. Like that would be the thing that would disappear the first. And I've gone to many, many parties that really ultimately didn't have many healthy food choices, and I would bring a big salad and sure enough, that salad disappeared before all the other food. So people really do appreciate healthy options. So make sure you bring a healthy option for yourself and the same with beverages. You know, if you know, you're going somewhere where it's gonna be a bunch of alcohol and maybe you wanna have a glass of wine, but then maybe you wanna, move over to something else. I bring diet tonic water to parties. I bring, you know, sparkling water that I know that will feel festive and so that I'm not overindulging in alcohol, or sometimes I make this really amazing, um, great recipe of, I, I make iced tea from mint tea and I squeeze some lemon and lime and orange juice in it, just fresh juice, and then put mints Briggs in it. And I put, squeezes of ice slices of lemon and lime in it. And I just let it sit for a while and all those flavors blend together. I add a little Stevia or sweetener just to make it a little more sweet and I will bring that to a party and a jug. And that for sure goes, I mean, it, it tastes like a cocktail has no alcohol in it. And, we all end up drinking it at the end of the night, cuz we're like, okay, it's time for the, the punch, Rita's punch. Gotta, you know, we, we don't wanna overdrink. Okay.

Rita Black: So, and then number seven, da da, da. No starting over you guys. No, starting over this weekend, meaning don't get to Friday night over indulge and go, well, screw it. It's Memorial day weekend. I'm gonna start over on Tuesday. Don't get the Saturday afternoon and have an extra slice of pizza go, I blew it. I'm starting again on Tuesday. No, no starting over. When you promise yourself, you're not gonna start over things, change, stick with yourself, coach yourself through those moments. I assure you, you will move on, forgive yourself. Say let's just make the next meal, a healthy one and you'll feel so much better, so much more empowered and probably my guess more than likely enjoy this weekend so much more.

Rita Black: Okay. So now, I want to just do a little visualization with you for the coming weekend. It's my holiday gift to you. All right. So now I just wanna do a little visualization with you. I hope you'll bear with me. This is for a healthy holiday weekend. If you are driving your car and listening to this, I would suggest you don't listen to this. Right now I'm just gonna say, don't listen to this while driving. But if you're not driving, you can save this for later or you can pull over to the side of the road and do this. It's not gonna take very long. It's very short sweet. And to the point.

Rita Black: So go ahead and let's begin by your allowing your awareness to settle gradually on your breath. Just let your awareness settle gradually on your breath. And if your eyes aren't already closed, go ahead and close them. Okay. So now I wanna do a visualization with you for this holiday weekend. It's my holiday treat for you. And go ahead. Now, if you are driving, please pull to the side of the road to do this, or just hit pause and listen to this later when you get home.

Rita Black: Otherwise go ahead and take a nice deep breath in and as you exhale, close your eyes, and let's just begin by your allowing your awareness to settle gradually on your breath, traveling in and traveling out. You don't need to try to breathe. Your breath just breathes itself naturally for you. And you're probably aware of the fact that there's always more than enough air for you to breathe wherever you are. So take a deep breath now into your body. And notice that any time you can breathe in relaxation and breathe out any tension you don't need now. And with every breath you can just choose yourself. With every breath. With every breath you can choose to allow yourself to be as relaxed as you wanna be. That's right. Just allow yourself to relax as deeply as you want. And as you continue to relax, I want you to just bring to your mind an image of yourself. This coming Monday night, after the three day weekend. Just see yourself in a scenario, having had an amazing holiday weekend and look at you. You've got that smile on your face. You look relaxed, you look like you had a fantastic time. Maybe you've gotten a little sun, but just see yourself with that smile on your face. Looking healthy, looking light. Good. And now just step into that image of yourself and imagining yourself being in your body Monday night, feeling light, feeling lean, healthy, vibrant that you did truly relaxed this weekend and you made healthy choices. You exercised just feel how your body feels toned and lighter because you took good care of yourself on Monday night. Just imagine that now Monday night feeling proud of yourself, feeling confident, ready to head into the week because you enjoyed yourself, but stayed light and kept focused on your health goals.

Rita Black: What are you wearing in the scenario? How did the clothes fit against you? Because you ate lightly and think back over the weekend. How did you exercise? What did you do for yourself? Just think about that now. What were those things that you did that allowed you to move your body and enjoy your body, connecting your body to your mind, and how did you take care of yourself? How did you take those breaks and get away from people and just spend some time from, for yourself, just relaxing. And who did you get to enjoy being healthy with you? How did you get the support you needed from your family or friends or coworkers?

Rita Black: What were some of the healthy meals that you made or ate? Good. And now go back to that feeling of feeling light and lean Monday night, proud, feeling good. Like you really enjoyed those three days and now take a nice deep breath in and lock that feeling deep within you and allow, allow that to be your inner script for this coming weekend.

Rita Black: Well, I hope you found that coaching session very helpful and that visualization useful. You can continue to use it over the weekend if you want, or for any long weekend. And I really hope you have a fantastic one, sending great 4th of July, or if you're, if you're not in the United States, which many of my listeners are not, I hope whatever long weekend you have coming up. I know my daughter had a three day holiday a day in Germany a few weeks before, not the, a couple of months before, like she had it right after Memorial day weekend, she had her German three day weekend. So there are three day weekends happening all over the world at all the time. So I hope you've found this helpful, and I hope you have a, whenever your three day weekend comes up a wonderful three day weekend. 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.