No, I can’t do that.
I shouldn’t do that.
That will never happen.
Have you ever noticed how many times we shut our ideas and inspirations down before they even have a chance to live?
What would life be like if we believed in ourselves enough to say, “yes”–to dare to dream big and then take action on them??
This week, I had a wonderful conversation with the business and life coach who created a program that could help you to have a positive attitude that could help not only with your weight shifting journey but also with your daily life.
In episode 70 of The Thin Thinking Podcast, Cathy Alessandra, also known as the “Yes, I Can” coach, will share with us her story on how she completely changed her life that will surely encourage every woman to do the same.
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That’s right, my Achieving Mastery Over Portions hypnosis session is deeply discounted when you use the coupon code PORTIONS40, just for this summer special that ends July 31st at midnight PT.
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Rita Black: Wouldn't it be amazing to dive into life with a yes, I can attitude every day. In this episode of thin thinking, I have a conversation with business and life coach, Cathy Alessandra who created a Yes, I can attitude with regards to weight release a number of years ago, but also completely changed her life. She discusses what it took to shift a life that wasn't the life of her dreams to one that was and give some tips on how you can too. So come on in.
Rita Black: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right, the key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi there, I'm Rita Black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist, weight loss expert, 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, y'all it's the last week of July come on in. This is when things really begin to heat up here in Los Angeles. I don't know where you are in the world. If you're in Australia or New Zealand, I think it's, you know, getting colder, but here we are definitely feeling, the heat. And also weirdly enough with Los Angeles, I believe in some of the schools around the country, public schools, at least, kids are heading back to school in a couple of weeks. And it's my son's senior year this year. So I it's with misty eyes. I prepare for his final school year. And I don't know about you if you are a parent or if you've guided kids through the life process. But definitely this is a year I wanna savor and try to take advantage of. But I also know at the same time, with a senior in that senioritis,
Rita Black: So my guest today, speaking of life is someone I cannot wait to introduce you to. She is a real go-getter and someone who really had the courage to turn her life around and she helps other women do the same as well as really elevate their businesses. Cathy Alessandra known as the, yes, I can coach is a dynamic innovative woman who inspires her international clients and audiences into action. An entrepreneur for over 23 plus years, Cathy has owned and published two magazines and has two bestselling books on Amazon with her third book dare to be you. You were born to be brave, bold, and fabulous released in the fall of 2019. She coaches entrepreneurs around the world using her signature yes method and success system. Her energetic style provides an interactive experience for business owners who want to take their businesses and life to the next level. She shares her experience on topics ranging from marketing and networking to leadership and work life balance. Let's introduce Cathy.
Rita Black: Well, welcome, Cathy. It's so great to have you on thank you for being on the thin thinking podcast.
Cathy Alessandra: Oh, thank you so much for the invitation. I'm excited to be here.
Rita Black: I know I'm trying to remember how long it's been, because when I met you, you've, you've really transformed your life and evolved in so many ways. Like, you know, from where we had our initial conversation, probably over 10 years ago to where you are today.
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah. Well, it's, it's really, you know, it's interesting, you know, you were the catalyst of that, right?
Rita Black: Well, I don't, I don't wanna, I don't wanna take full responsibility.
Cathy Alessandra: Well, okay. Well, you, you dropped the, so, so let, so let's back up, let's back up to whenever it was that I, that I took that it was a, it was a full day workshop that you had done and you had us visualize ourselves. And you had us visualize, you know, ourselves in three months and in six months. And I, I couldn't see it. I, There, there was just nothing there. And then you had to visualize ourselves in a, in a year and a year. From that time, I knew I was going to be on a stage in front of about 250 women hosting my own event. And, I pictured myself on that stage in a pink sparkly dress. I'm all about the sparkle. Anything that sparkle.
Rita Black: You are, I've been to a lot of your events and they are very sparkly,
Cathy Alessandra: Very sparkly. And that's really what the catalyst was. And it was just, starting small and, you know, one step, one foot in front of the other. And...
Rita Black: Can I ask you when you had that vision, when you said you knew you were gonna stand in front of 250 women, was that new in the vision or was that something you knew was gonna happen? And...
Cathy Alessandra: I knew it was gonna happen.
Rita Black: Okay.
Cathy Alessandra: I knew it was gonna happen. So when you said, see yourself in 12 months,
Rita Black: Okay. okay.
Cathy Alessandra: I actually pictured myself on that stage that I had been on before. This was an event that I did, you know, for a number of years. So I knew what it felt like to stand on that stage and look at it, those women. And so I had, I actually visualized the audience. Right. I would do was visualizing myself right. In that dress, looking out at the audience/
Rita Black: And how that would feel.
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. And that happened, I mean, I'll, I'll get to that point, but that, that did happen. So about two weeks after your workshop that day.
Rita Black: It, yeah, that was a shift. I think that you came to.
Cathy Alessandra: Oh, It was a huge shift. It was a huge shift. And I started, I started just eating better. I started moving. I was in the gym, a couple weeks later. It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So there was like nobody else there in the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving
Rita Black: That was a considerable amount of weight.
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah. It was A, yeah, it was, I mean, I, I had bought a dress and I actually, you know, the pink sparkly dress and I actually had it hanging. So during the year I could see it. Well, then I had to go return that and buy another one because it went down another size. So by the time a year came from that I was on that stage. And I will never forget that feeling. In fact, it, I had the song play, I got a feeling and I came out and, in my blinged out pink dress.
Rita Black: I was at that event, it was magical.
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah. It was, it was definitely a moment in time. For me, it felt like it was, it was huge, you know, and at that same time, there was, there was a lot of stuff going on. You know, my, my marriage was kind of hitting the skids. My son was having some issues. You know, my business was doing okay. But, but my own mindset around the business and my success because of, you know, just my history and I mean, I've been doing the magazines for gosh, almost probably 18, 19 years by that point. So, so anyway, that's, that's kind of how yes I can started and
Rita Black: Yeah. That's amazing. And so now how has it evolved? So if, you know, if you were gonna say to like, you've started this movement of yes I can. You coach from yes I can. Right? You, you coach women, women business owners, particularly, is that correct?
Cathy Alessandra: Yep. Yes.
Rita Black: What would you say, like from a cuz you've also mastered your weight? What would you say the, yes, I can mindset is about like, is it about moving through negativity? Like when you're working with people, like what, what, how are you pulling them forward? Or how are you presenting Yes, I can for them.
Cathy Alessandra: Right. So yes I can is really all about, I mean, it starts with stepping through your fears and getting uncomfortable. It's looking at not living to everybody else's expectations of you. But really stepping into what your expectations are of yourself. What do you want for your life? And I think, you know, when, when I started on my weight loss journey, which was my first yes, I can conquered thing. Right?
Rita Black: Right.
Cathy Alessandra: You know, it was what happened was in that, in that moment, in, in that timeframe there of that couple of weeks between you and that was, I realized I needed to work on me. Right.
Rita Black: Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: I needed to quit trying to take care of everybody else and try trying to worry about everything else and control everything else. The only thing I could really control in my life was me and how I reacted and how I responded to things. And, and that is really what, yes, I can is all about. It's about taking responsibility for yourself. You know, what's most important to you, where are your priorities? Where are your values? Getting outta your own head and stepping getting comfortable, being uncomfortable, stepping through those fears, you know, and helping people realize what some of those fears are, because, you know, I tell you there's things there's from, I mean, I don't want you don't. I mean, we do bring up some of the stuff from be from earlier on, but there's so much from our younger days that gets, we don't even realize it. Right.
Rita Black: Right.
Cathy Alessandra: It gets pulled into our current existence.
Rita Black: Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: And we can't figure out why we're resisting something. And in reality, we're stepping into that fear because of something that was said to us years ago, or, a way somebody behaved towards us, right? And so how do you work through that in letting that go? And it stops us in our, you know, health, it stops us in making money in our finances. It stops us in successful relationships. And so, and then of course business. And so I work with women, particularly women, some men too. But to really help pull them out of that and see that bigger picture from themselves and, you know, really learn to come from a place of self care and self love, and be able to say, yeah, I can do this. Yes, I can.
Rita Black: Good. I, I, you know, you mentioned two big things that I think are really, important to maybe just dig into a little more, which. is willing to be uncomfortable because I think that, so much of mindfulness is being in the moment and often the moment cannot feel awesome. You know, the often the moment is feeling small or vulnerable or, touching base and like that ability to separate your, self, you know, your ego self from like, well, I shouldn't feel like this to that part of us that is like, but this is that, you know what you're talking about, the resistance that, you know, I shouldn't be feeling this, or I can't be feeling this and, but I am feeling this. And I mean, there's so much of that around weight, there's so much around food. You know, I think for a lot of people, and I don't know if you experienced this when you release 60 pounds, because that was a considerable amount of weight to release is a lot of times people get smaller and they start to feel very vulnerable. They start to feel, less powerful or less buffered from the world and a lot more exposed and those feelings can then drive either people back to eating more or to have like an imposter syndrome, you know, like that, that's not me. I don't know. Did you come up against that in your weight release journey?
Cathy Alessandra: I didn't on the way down. It actually, you know, it boosted my self confidence. In a lot of the things I was going through. And, you know, there were some really dark times as I was going through all that. I mean, my marriage did come to an end and I did, I, I mean, I made the conscious choice to sell my magazines and step into the life and business coaching full time. But, but I have worked with clients who have felt that, right. They they're worried about getting the extra attention or.
Rita Black: Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: They're not sure how to, to face that and to deal with all that. You know, for me, the reason I put on all the weight is I was stuffing my feelings.
Rita Black: Right.
Cathy Alessandra: You know, my feelings of inadequacy, my feelings of a, a failed marriage, my feelings of, you know, a business, all those things I had stuffed, I had taken literally all those things and stuffed it down my throat in the form of food. Right. And so by working at the same time of losing the weight, but also working on some of that inner stuff, right. The four agreements, the four agreements about the form agreements was a, you know, I was reading that at the same time. That was a huge turning point for me, you know, understanding that, I needed, you know, being impeccable with your word, I needed to be nice to myself, all this self talk of, you're not good enough. You're not a smart enough looking in the mirror and saying, wow, you know, like, how big are you? Right. I mean, that kind of stuff. No, no, no, no, no. We've gotta come back in that self love in that space, not taking things personally, never making assumptions, you know, those are all things that help me to, to get to that, that better place. So I didn't personally experience that. I do know that there are many that that do. And, you know, it just kind of depends, I think, partly too upon some of the reasons why maybe the weight was put on in the first place, and then working through and, you know, where you're gonna be at? As that way happens off, you know?
Rita Black: Well, when people that you, when you're working with people initially like with life coaching or business coaching or both, what are their, what do you see right now? People are most uncomfortable with like, what are the feelings that people sit with that they're the most uncomfortable about? Is it, is it communication to other people? Is it expectations like there two big expectations?
Cathy Alessandra: Right. Right now
Rita Black: Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: With the COVID and all of that, people are starting to come back from that and, and trying to work through with women and help them understand that, you know, it's, it's really up to us at this point. Are you ready to step back into your life and not use all this as excuse? Right. And yes, I understand there's depression and there's anxiety and there's fear, and there's all that that is going on. And I'm, I'm seeing that first hand. But, but if you're willing to kinda step in and kind of take your life back, take some control over your reactions, your responses, how you wanna see the world right. And live in it and be in it. Then you're able to move through some of that fear and that concern and, and look at the bigger picture,
Rita Black: Right. Because you're engaging your brain differently. You know, you're creating a vision you're, you can start to use your creative brain instead of your fear-based brain. Right. I see that that's like, kind of what you're helping people do is get to that creative side of themselves where they can see things again. And
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah, it's all about dreaming big. I mean, I have four, three pillars and four principles, and the first principle is to be big and that's all about dreaming. We've gotta get back to, you know, it's like visualizing, right. I mean, I take this
Rita Black: Right. For sure
Cathy Alessandra: I talk about this story with you. Right. Because it's, if you see that vision for yourself.
Rita Black: Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: Whether it's a year from now, whether it's five years from now and really, truly visualize that. I mean, I, that was so key Rita.
Rita Black: Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: Really visualizing and putting yourself in that. And then why is it important to you and then what are you gonna do to move forward? And when you're not moving forward, what's that costing you?
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: You know, mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally.
Rita Black: Well, I love that dreaming big. What, what about expectations? So that was another thing you mentioned, like discomfort and expectations. Cuz I see this a lot, a lot, a lot in weight management too, because I see, right now I'm leading a shift and most people come in with diet expectations. They feel like they have to be perfect. They have to be good on a diet. And it's very hard to break people of perfectionism and I'm sure you're very much entrenched in that, in your work as well. I see. And I'm wondering when you say expectations that, you know, most of our expectations on a subconscious level aren't even ours, like you said, they're everybody, else's. Parents, friends,
Cathy Alessandra: Right.
Rita Black: Culture, media,
Cathy Alessandra: Right. Oh, that's a big one.
Rita Black: And, and we hold that, those, those ourselves to these standards or, you know, often I'll say when people are feeling what I would call below the line feelings, I'll say to ask yourself, what is my expectation right now? And to get, start to train your brain, to be able to say, well, I expect that I should be the perfect mom in this situation.
Cathy Alessandra: Right. Right.
Rita Black: And then go, really? Cause that seems like a really big expectation. Like how can we lower this expectation so that we feel not by lowering our standards, but just lowering that like whose expectation is that, is that your mother's expectation is that right? You know? Right.
Cathy Alessandra: And that takes some deep work to, to figure out where those expectations are coming from. You know, is it a spouse who's putting it on you and saying, you know, I'm not gonna make love to you because until you lose, you know, 50 pounds.
Rita Black: Yeah. That's a lot that's very big.
Cathy Alessandra: Right. Is it, you know, is it, is it a mother, you know, I've had that right. Is it a mother who's saying, you know, you need to lose weight because you're, you know what, whatever it is. Right. Other people or those things that have been said to us in the past. Right. And so how do we come to a place of, you know, living to our own expectations, right. And it not being about society or other people.
Rita Black: Right.
Cathy Alessandra: You know, none of the should shame, you know, the should shame. It's just the, ah, the should shame is horrible. You know, I, I, in all honesty, you know, I put on 15 pounds over the last couple of years. Right. And I made a goal to get that back off. I know that, you know, health wise and, and I want to, I mean, I held it off for, I kept this, well, I kept 75 pounds off for, uh, about five years. And with COVID
Speaker 2: Good for you.
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah. It was awesome. So, um, so the beginning of the year
Rita Black: 15 pounds is nothing, 15 pounds is nothing. Right?
Cathy Alessandra: It's not. Right? Exactly. But I had to even get back in that right. Mindset because
Rita Black: Of course
Cathy Alessandra: Should shaming myself all over the place. Well, cuz I had lost it, you know, I'd gone dairy sugar, gluten free. I was, that's how I lost it. The first time I gotta be exercising. Right. And so I had cut out everything, I'd cut out alcohol, I'd cut out all those things. Right. And was on this, you know, super clean eating. And then if I would fall off at all, it was, you know, should shaming myself all over the place. And then when I went to Italy, I was in recently in Italy. And, you know, walking a ton and eating pasta. Like I hadn't eaten pasta in, you know, I don't know, 10 years
Rita Black: Right.
Cathy Alessandra: Carbs and everything. Right? Certainly not indulged. And the weight started coming off.
Rita Black: Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: Go figure. Now there is some difference. I think in some of the foods in Italy.
Rita Black: Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: Every much steps we were walking, we were walking, you know, 17, 20,000 steps a day. And we joined the gym over there. But I think, you know, I realized I had, was holding myself to such an standard because the expectation I had put on myself, from outside expectations was man, I'd put 15 pounds back on and who are you to do that? And right. And so getting outta my own way, getting outta my own head. And since I've been back the way it's coming off with ease, right. Because I'm no longer in that place of shame and vulnerability, I realize I'm human, right. Watching what I'm eating, making, you know, empowered choices, you know, and feeling good about it. So, so you know, we all go up and down on the, on the scale, but also on the, you know, in,
Rita Black: And, and, and, and we're always, unpeeling the next layer of the onion, you know.
Cathy Alessandra: Absolutely.
Rita Black: Whatever is up for us next. And, and I think what, you know, we're learning is we're always gonna have to peel back expectations and we're always gonna have to sit with uncomfortable feelings, but I think there's this idea that we shouldn't be that everything should be perfect. So.
Cathy Alessandra: Right, right. Unfortunately.
Rita Black: Yeah. But I love that you were just in Italy and that you released weight in Italy. I'm heading to Italy so soon and England. So you're inspiring me. Now, probably as this is coming out, I'm probably away. Hopefully I'm, I'm walking 17,000 steps a day too. So what is the most like if you have to look back, I know you explained one of your most amazing ex, yes. I can experience that. That very first, like bling pink dress, you know, pivotal moment in your life. Right. What is like, like in the past few years, what would you say another big? Yes, I can, you know, something that you moved through that was very, maybe you had fear around and then you had to move through that and get to that bigger vision that you wanted for yourself. Cause like I said, I think you've moved through number of things
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah.
Rita Black: In the past 10 years
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the weight was just the first thing.
Rita Black: Exactly.
Cathy Alessandra: You know, one, one of the big things was a divorce after 29 years of marriage and three children.
Rita Black: Right.
Cathy Alessandra: And, you know, that was, that was certainly, you know, it was thank goodness it was amicable and it was, you know, it was a decision that we made jointly, but that doesn't take away the pain. Oh yeah. It's still a lot of pain and things that you gotta work through. And that, that took some time and it took some tender, loving care of myself, to be able to move that. And, and no, in fact, at one point in one of my dark moments, my mother says to me, Cathy, yes, I can.
Rita Black: Yes, absolutely. Well maybe if like somebody was just starting out on a yes, I can, venture, what would be the first steps forward that you would have them do? Like what would you, what's a few, the first, like first couple baby steps. Yes, I can.
Cathy Alessandra: You know, the couple, the couple first baby steps. I always start everybody out with my three pillars. And the three pillars are self care, sacred space and get support. So, self...
Rita Black: What sacred space? Oh, well you go, go into each one a little bit.
Cathy Alessandra: So yeah, absolutely. So selfcare, it's not just the, it's not just the Manny petty or the lunch with girlfriends, right. I mean, those are needed too, but it's also time of solitude and silence. It may be time of, you know, really putting in, I, I highly recommend people putting in some sort of a morning ritual or routine where they're taking some time to meditate, pray, read what, journal, yoga, whatever it is for them, right. To really get grounded and focused on the day and set those intentions of where do you wanna be and what are you trying to hold? Or listen to one of your meditations. I listen to those when I go to bed.
Rita Black: Oh, thank you.
Cathy Alessandra: I have some of those. Sacred space is all about setting boundaries. It's about commitments versus obligations, you know, what are you feeling obligated to? That's holding you back? What are the things that you're saying yes to that you really wanna be saying no to, and therefore it's holding you back in the things that you really wanna do. Does that make sense?
Rita Black: Yeah, absolutely. I love this Cathy. So, and you call that sacred space. I love that. I love that's a great,
Cathy Alessandra: Yes, it is. We've got, I mean, it's nothing, it doesn't have to be spiritual. It's just, it's, you know, that space around you, whether it's, you know, mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally, whatever it is, you've gotta hold that, that space. And then that last piece of support, you know, we are not meant to do this alone and whether it's coaching with me or working with you or being in a support group of some sort or getting your girlfriend or whatever it is, you've got to get some support around some of those things that, that are most important to you where you're struggling.
Rita Black: Yeah. Yeah.
Cathy Alessandra: I went to you. I, you know, that was where my support started.
Rita Black: Right. But, but, and you have a huge support group. You, you live in a wonderful community right down in where you are. Yeah. It's and it's great. I think it's so important. So tell us more about like what you're up to business wise and how people can, I know you're, making a little offer if people wanna get to know you and get and get, the yes I can, woman, within themselves.
Cathy Alessandra: Yes.
Rita Black: You can go into show notes. Now what's gonna be in show notes, Kathy. It's gonna be the, tell me, tell us about it.
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah. Yeah. There'll be a URL. So I have written the Yes Manifesto. Right. It's it's all about living your yes. Who are you? What are you gonna do? And how can you show up for it? Right. And so, it's, it's, it's a one sheet document that, you know, really talks about what being a yes, I can woman is and how that can impact you and what you can do to, to accomplish that. So, so yes, I'm happy to, to give that to you and, you know, hopefully
Rita Black: That sounds amazing.
Cathy Alessandra: Yeah. I'm printed out. I, I have it on a bulletin board. I do quotes on it every once in a while, on social, but it's, you know, it's important to, you know, kind of embody that. Who are you, what do you wanna do? Who do you wanna be when you grow up and how do you wanna show up?
Rita Black: And, and you're working with people, one on one and you do groups, retreats all that as well. Right?
Cathy Alessandra: I do. I do. Yeah. Workshops, retreats. Yeah. I'm back doing in person retreats, small intimate retreats. So I'm very excited about that, group coaching and then yes, absolutely, my private one on one coaching, so, yeah.
Rita Black: Okay. Well, cool. Well, great. Well, I will put all of your information in the show notes. It's been really inspirational speaking with you. Thank you for coming on thin thinking, and we'll have you back again to talk about. Yes, I can. Part two.
Cathy Alessandra: Awesome. Thank you so much for invitation. A pleasure to be here.
Rita Black: Okay, great. Thank you, Cathy.
Rita Black: Thanks, Cathy. And don't forget to grab, Cathy's free offer in the show notes of this episode. All right, everyone at let's finish July with a bang, 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.
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