Most people who finally achieve weight mastery, weight off did not just do it overnight. Most of them struggled for years – or even decades – of gaining and losing on average over 250 pounds.

For the 80th episode of Thin Thinking, let’s dive in and hear the story of life coach Steve Dinga, who joined the Shift Weight Mastery Program in April of this year, and how he was able to release 25lbs.

In this episode, Steve, who was a weight struggler for a good part of his life, will also share when and how he realized he needed to finally shift.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: Most people who are finally successful at releasing weight actually struggled for years gaining and losing on average over 250 pounds over the course of their life. Steve, was a weight struggler a good part of his life, but he came to that place where he made a deeper decision that this just wasn't about weight, this was about his life. Hearing his inspiring story and how he found a vision and his inner coach and his ideal weight from that inner place of weight mastery is what today's episode is all about. 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, bestselling 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 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 two will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need, not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long-term and live your best life.

Rita Black: Well, hello. Hello. Hello. Come on in and sit down and get cozy. I have a great and inspiring interview with Steve who went through the Shift Weight Mastery process this last spring. Steve is a really inspiring guy. You are going to love him. He's got an amazing voice. It's so cozy, and he was at a kind of fork in the road that we all get to, but he really dug deep and made the decision to really commit to himself and to his weight journey. I think you're going to really find our conversation very motivational. Steve is very generous with himself and what he talks about, how he talks about his journey. And speaking of motivation, if you're ready to get aligned with yourself and head into the autumn aligned with your own weight journey, please, please join me on Wednesday, the 28th of September, 2022, because I am hosting my free master class How To Break Through The Weight Struggle Cycle So That You Can Lose Weight Consistently And Permanently. We're going to do some hypnosis. We're going to cover a lot of points and these classes are really powerful. I give you 110%. I love, love talking about this stuff. And really, the main thrust of it is creating three mental shifts that are going to get you really focused and going forward on your journey because really, ultimately, these are the three major roadblocks on a subconscious level that I see people having that are keeping them in that start over, I'm going to start over again tomorrow and struggling with their weight and getting off track really easily. And that self sabotage that we do to ourselves when we know what to do, why aren't we not doing it? Well come and come with me and let's figure it all out together. And it's free, so why the hell not it? The link is in the show notes. Please, please join me.

Rita Black: Okay, so now let me dive into my interview with Steve. Well, hello, Steve. Thank you. And welcome to the Thin Thinking podcast. It's really nice to have you here.

Steve: Thank you so much, Rita.

Rita Black: I know you came in with the last Shift Weight Mastery process and you came in with such an amazing energy. Like I could just tell you were one, going to be successful because you were, your mind was just in the right place, but you, you were like a ray of sunshine. You just cast sunshine upon all of your posts, you were just such a positive energy. So I want to first of all, thank you for that and thank you for just being you. But I want to hear more about, because I don't know, and I'm really curious, like, what was your journey like before this shift and you know, I am interested just in you and as a human being, but also as a man, you know, we were talking, chatting about that a little ahead of time, and I'll ask you more about that later, but just like your journey in your life, through managing your weight, did you a always struggle with weight or is this something that happened along the way? Like tell me a little bit about your inital struggle.

Steve: I've struggled with weight pretty much my whole life. I blame my grandmother for that when I grew up.

Rita Black: Why what'd she do?

Steve: She always had cupcakes and she had Charlie chips, potato chips, and salt. So I had sweet and salt after school, pretty much every day of my life, up to college. And that just, I don't know, and being Italian too with pasta. I think it all added up for me that I was on a path where weight was going to be a problem.

Rita Black: Did your family like come around? I mean, if you're Italian, was part culturally, like food is love, you know, the typical stereotypical Italian grandmother eat, eat, you know, food is less.

Steve: There is. Yeah. Everybody sits around the table. It's kind of family style on Sundays with pasta and different kinds of things. Yep. That's why I grew up.

Rita Black: Yeah. So I'm sure you have fond memories of that, but then, then there's the challenges with the, what it caused for you in struggling with weight. Did anyone in your family struggle? Parents, grandparents, anybody very much.

Steve: Not really. I think I've just had this problem where I would be kind of like a yoyo. I'd be up and then I'd be down, then I'd be back up. And I had a corporate job where I was working all the time and sometimes couldn't get to the gym. So there were just a lot of factors where I always struggled, trying to be at my ideal weight.

Rita Black: Yeah. And did you find that before the shift, did you go on a number of regimes throughout, you know, your life? Like when, how old were you when you went on your first diet?

Steve: Oh gosh. I laugh at this was, it was probably, I was 26 years old and I think I weighed 185 pounds. And for whatever reason, I thought that was a lot. And I went on, I don't know what it was, where all you do is eat cheese and meat. And that was it and nothing else. And I think 30 pounds later when I was 155 and look jaundice and yellow, that wasn't working for me. So I think that's the first time I did. But then more recently, I would say in the last 10 years when I was really looking at my weight as I've aged, I tried different things like weight watchers. I went to groups and things like that. And then I did nutrisystem and then I did things on my own. I tried different kind of diets that I saw online and I did have success. I would lose, I've lost 50 pounds, 40 pounds and 30 pounds respectively. But every time I put it back on, so I think I started about 230, 240 pounds, got down to 190 and then got back up to 230. Got it back to 200. So...

Rita Black: And, and you struggle with type two diabetes, is that correct?

Steve: I do. I do. Yeah. It happened about six, seven years ago. My blood sugar was over 500. I was having all kinds of problems. And I've been trying to treat that for the last six, seven years and over the past six months. I just wasn't able to control it six, seven months. It was averaging between 250, 300 almost on a daily basis, even with one and the metformin and other things that I took. And my weight was up.

Rita Black: So when you wanted to, you know, like what was different, what was, well, what was important for you in this journey for weight loss this time? Like you know, what made this, this time different for you as far as your own, before we get into the shift and stuff, like for you? What was important about this for you?

Steve: Yeah. Thanks for asking about that. I'll tell you, I got to the point where I was really frustrated. I kept going to the doctor saying in six months, when you see me, I'm gonna be in shape. And, you know, I I'm able to achieve it. I don't know Rita what happened, but I had my 69th birthday on March 29th of this year, and I was just, I was out of sorts. My health was not good at that point. I felt lethargic. My spiritual life wasn't, you know, where I wanted it to be and, you know, emotionally, I just, it was, I kind of woke up that day and said, wait a second. This is my birthday, you know, and as if you're 69 years old, you say, you look at the quality of your life and the time you have left.

Steve: And then I said to myself, what can I do to really leave a legacy in my life? And what I realized is that if I was going to make any change health was the number one thing. Mm. I didn't have anything else in my life if I couldn't control my diabetes. So it was wake up call for me. I really wanted to have quality in my life. I felt drained. I felt exhausted. I felt like I was stuck and feeling I was kind of always fighting and losing battle, especially around weight. And in that moment, it's just, and sometimes it happens with people. It was just like, call it flashlight or something. I just said, this time it's gonna be different. I've got a hundred percent commitment and I'm really gonna make this work. And I'll tell you, ever since that day I've given it a hundred percent and just-

Rita Black: Well, I think something you're saying is really important for our listeners to, to get, and, and I'm sure those of you listening have maybe had these moments where it's, you know, on a psychological level, there's the internal locus of control and external, some control. And a lot of times, like what you were saying is you would go on these diets and you could lose weight, but it was kind of like the diet was the external control like that you were giving the power to the diet. And what I hear the shift was for you, even before coming into the shift, you were like, I'm gonna take a hundred percent responsibility. I'm creating this rather than going on this. Do you follow what? And I think that that is, you know, for anyone to have long term success, I think that first step is taking a hundred percent responsibility in committing, like you said, not from like, oh, I'm gonna try this or, you know, let me go on this thing because we're so thrown to go like, look for that external force outside of us, oh, let me go on weight Watchers. Let me go on Jenny Craig. It's just like, I mean, there's a lot of choices out there now, but it used to be like, you know, news came around and you were like, okay, is it Jenny? Craig? Is it weight Watchers? Is it Atkins? You know? But I hear from, from you, it was like, that was the click that you needed was your own. Okay. This, Steve is doing this for Steve. And this is like, you're all in

Steve: Yeah. A couple things on that Rita too is. Yeah. I held myself accountable. And I'm sorry, there was a phone call that was coming in.

Rita Black: Oh, no problem. That happens. Bet you held yourself accountable

Steve: Yeah. I held myself accountable, but I said, this time, it's gonna be different for me. I'm going to do it with support. And it was really bigger than just the way, the health side of it. I'm a big advocate of mind, body and spirit balance. And when I found myself, Hey, I'm outta sorts here. I really took it. That this was gonna be, you know, including my health, my mind, my body, my, you know, spiritually, I wanted to put it all together, but I wanted to also not do it by myself. I wanted support. So when I looked at it, you know, from, you know, call it the mind, I've got a best friend that's a therapist. And, you know, he just kind of sat down with me to help me kind of move to a more positive mindset and I've got friends that, you know, I kind of reached out to, you know, spiritually, I found this great app. It was called insight timer.

Rita Black: Oh yeah. I know that app.

Steve: Oh, it's beautiful. And I took this 30-day and 40-day journey of meditation, and I just found myself wow. You know? Talking to other people as well on this. But, and then when it came to, Hey, what am I gonna do for my body? I was fortunate enough to find you it was - I was turned on by the podcast that I went to, but somebody had sent me a link before and said, Hey, why don't you try this? This is something that, you know, has worked for others. And I certainly found that, Hey, you know, maybe with Rita's program, this is something that might work for me in hypnosis. And so for me, I just felt this was an opportunity for an overall makeover, you know, get my health together, you know, spiritually and, you know, emotionally and just kind shift out of that. I don't know, almost feeling like a victim to taking charge and just saying, I'm in control here. And I'm really gonna make the most outta my life.

Rita Black: Right. I like what you're saying too. I think so many people right now, I mean, you said this happened around March and I know 69 is a big year, like a real turning point year, a real evolution point in your life. But I also think a lot of us at that time, the spring of this year, the spring of 2022, was a hard year for a lot of people because of, we were coming out of COVID or we were in COVID and just so much going on out in the world, the war, you know, the recession, inflation, all that stuff. Well, I won't call it recession, but the inflation and just a general sense of apathy for a lot of people in anxiety, like a real time of soul searching, like what you were saying, like, what am I doing?

Rita Black: Where am I going? Because we were all hit pause for two years, in a way, we went into survival mode and we were coming out and going. The world is different. I'm different. I've got all these choices, but I feel overwhelmed by them and I don't know where to get started. And it sounds like you kind of were able to kind of dig deeper and go, okay, we're gonna, I'm gonna start, you know, like with the most important first steps, me, my, you know, connecting with spirit, connecting with myself, connecting with my body. I'm kind of curious deep. What about hypnosis was interesting to you and had you ever done any sort of hypnosis before?

Steve: I had not. I had heard, I think there was a sample of the hypnosis that you - there was also the meditation, so I kind of listened to that. And I guess when I think of hypnosis, it's the old school where, you know, I'm gonna fall asleep here and tell us what's gonna happen. But I found that it was very similar to the guided meditations I did. And what it was, even from the very first one I did, I found that it was really instilling something in me that I consciously was remembering, you know? I'm sure it's planted subconsciously, but you know, I could tell that, Hey, there's something sticking here. And I think that was the start of it and I got into the program, which we can talk about. I was just extremely faithful to hypnosis and all the work.

Rita Black: The structure of the program. Yeah. And, but the inner work that you were doing made a difference. Now, this is interesting because, and I know I'll tell our listener, Steve and I have a bit of a chat beforehand, is that, you know, you obviously are a man. And you know, I think I am seeing more and more men come to me. And I'm interested by that because I think men ironically have the same challenges, struggles as women emotionally around weight. But I don't think culturally they're allowed to, in many ways, you know, because most of the weight loss for guys out there is really dude, weight loss, you know, like eat a bunch of meat, rip, you know, get the six pack abs, but it's really not addressing the human being underneath the dude, you know? It's like the guy the real true you. Now here you are, you seem very connected to yourself and very soulful, but like what was your experience like being out in the world, you know, struggling with your weight for a number of years, did you feel shut out? Did you feel like not connected to, I mean like I'm just kind of curious from a man walking through the world of weight loss in the last, you know, decades, like what was that like?

Steve: Yeah, that's kind of interesting. I can tell you when I was going to say like my weight Watchers groups, there would be, say 30 people in the room and 27 women and three guys, you know. I was, I always felt the outsider and I, I Googled things online and a lot of the things were kind of geared towards women.

Steve: You kinda talked about, you know, the cultural side of this. I think first of all, I don't know, maybe God created men with bigger egos.

Rita Black: True. I might say that you're right there, Steve.

Steve: That's the case because you know, a lot of it, especially I go to the gym a lot and you know, there's this two or three different camps for men and one of them is that hole, I gotta look my best, you know, and I've got, and I've gotta do all this. And then there's this other group, that's the tone group, the runners and things like that. And then there's the others that, you know, I'm okay the way I am, you know, but I think you brought up a good point, you know, the emotional side. Guys d on't really talk about their emotions a lot. I think, you know, we live in a culture where men are supposed to be seen as being strong, especially they're seen as providers, if they have a problem, you know, like I remember my father just basically saying, suck it up, figure it out yourself, you know?

Steve: And I think men, the first thing they try to do is solve their own problems. And if they have challenges and if they have something with weight, they're not gonna go public with it. They're gonna try to do it themselves first. And I think that's, you know, condition part of the culture. And I think it's just the way, you know, men have been groomed in our society and you know, we're supposed to be strong and tough and we're not supposed to cry and we're not supposed to show, you know, us to the world.

Rita Black: Yeah. I mean, I think what you're hitting upon is I guess the cultural difference, like in the sixties, when the dieting, fifties and sixties, when the dieting culture really kind of started, like took off, women were measured by their looks and their attractiveness. Like, so, you know, we were, I mean, in many ways, we weren't supposed to be out there succeeding in the world. Like you were saying, your dad said, you know, just go out in the world, look good. You mean, you know, be successful, suck it up. Don't show your - and women were, you know, here we are, your weight became part of your value and your ability to look good in a dress or in a bathing suit was like part of your, am I enough? Am I worthy? And I don't know that that was so true for men, but I think it's become more so that, especially with social media, especially with images everywhere, but I think all along, the need for men has been the same, but it just culturally, like you said, guys were not supposed to show. Guys were not supposed to have a problem with their weight, you know, or if, and if they did, they didn't share that. They just tried to figure it out.

Steve: Yeah. It's seen as maybe a sign of weakness maybe, or at least that's my experience, you know, if a man asks for help, maybe they're, they're not showing they're strong enough.

Rita Black: Yeah. Yeah.

Steve: I think people have reservation around that. Maybe, you know, it's just the men that I've come in contact with, but you know, maybe that's not the norm, but -

Rita Black: Yeah. I don't know. It is fascinating. So, you know, with regards to this process or this time as you have already said, you kind of dove into this with a hundred percent commitment. How was your journey through the shift weight mastery process? Like why was it different this time for you?

Steve: Well, that's a good question. Let's just say I was a very good student.

Rita Black: You were.

Steve: Everything I was supposed to do, anything I was asked to do. I read materials, I watched the videos. I did the meditations each day. I would reinforce the hypnosis a couple times a day when I started and then made sure I did it daily after I understood it a little bit. I loved the support network with the Facebook support group that we all had as group. Through the process where, you know, I could post things and I could get support from people, or I saw somebody that might be struggling and I could offer them something. So, and then just the commitment that you had Rita, I mean, your daily emails and the huddles and the meetings that we had, I just made sure that I was participating. I took it very seriously and I think one of the biggest things for me, which I really hadn't been doing faithfully before was I committed to start counting my calories each day. I knew what my calorie budget was and I knew to lose weight. I had to be under my budget. I just made sure that I supplemented it with walking three miles a day and then working out as well, maybe up to five times a week. You would've never seen me doing that before March 29th, but I don't know what it was. Maybe it was the hypnosis, but I just had a jumpstart and I've been, you know, recording my calorie intake now. Today's day 104 consecutively being under my calorie budget and my weight shows the difference.

Rita Black: Yeah. I mean, I think sometimes people hear like tracking you know, tracking your food, tracking what you're eating as like oh, that sounds scary. I don't wanna do that. That a lot of people have, because it comes from this very old and maybe because you haven't been immersed in the world of, well, I know you have been, but I, I think one thing that I wanna point out what Steve's talking about, that we, I, in the Shift Weight Mastery process, we use tracking more as data to get clear rather than this idea of like counting calories to be good, like, to like, oh, I can, I'm only, but more to stay cognitively correct. Because that's something that a lot of people are challenged by as they get into very much and a habitual mindset, which is called good or bad on or awful or nothing.

Rita Black: And the why of the tracking is to really get black and white and very clear about where you are. And it's interesting, because people get very stressed out about this idea. It's like, that's gonna take more time and it's gonna, it's gonna make me feel like I'm deprived, but it actually opens doors. And I was curious about your experience with that. Like how it helped you stay out of that sort of emotional place and get what I call the inner scientist. We're able to get clear and rational with yourself, because that's the way you break the habit of, you know, I'll start again tomorrow, is you get rational in those moments where, you know, maybe you would say, oh, I blew it. I'll start over tomorrow.

Steve: Yeah. And I wasn't gonna start over tomorrow. And I learned, you know, I'm fortunate, Rita. Maybe it's just because of my commitment. I don't know. I would say I'm a little bit of an exception possibly because most people, I would say have some setbacks, they fall back, they may, you know, be over their calorie budget or they may have stopped walking for three or four days. For me, I was just in the rhythm and sink now. Once a week or two weeks past I was on it. As I look back, I was a smoker outta college and high school, college. And in 1982, I took my last cigarette. I just said, I cannot do this anymore. I just, it felt awful. And I quit cold Turkey and it's been 40 years without a cigarette.

Rita Black: Good for you.

Steve: On March 29th of 1992, same thing with alcohol. I just said, I can't do this anymore. And I'm just one of these fortunate guys that have never had a drink since. And I'm thinking this is different for me because I don't see this as a diet. I just saw this and see it now as a total change of lifestyle, it's, you know, I have to do this as a priority to maintain my health and you know, the success that I've had I think kind of proves to me that, you know, this isn't a stop-start kind of thing. And I think I'm just fortunate that, and maybe it's a hypnosis, but there's something ingrained in me that says, keep on going, you're in the rhythm and let's just make this work.

Rita Black: Right. Well, I think once you, you know, I think what hypnosis helps is to break the old patterns and beliefs. And then once you create, and I, this idea of creating something new and what I hear is you created a new identity, which is important. And then you created a path forward, which wasn't about deprivation, but transformation. Like you were really transforming your path ahead, seeing yourself different as somebody who got up and exercised as somebody who made different food choices. How did you change your environment? Like, I'm kind of curious about that. I know you talked to us about your support system and your, like, I know you have people in your life who are supporting you as well, but like, did you change your environment at all? You know.

Steve: My husband is a great supporter and my best friend. We do a lot together and we share a lot of meals and the friends I have, we do a lot. I guess I'm a pretty social person. So they really supported me, and my friends - in making sure when it was time to eat, that we had healthy choices. Oh. And there was gonna be some kind of a dessert, you know, there was always, it was almost like having to sit at the kids' table. You know, the kids got, the adults got the cheesecake and I got my 90 calorie something, you know, and I got to participate. But I knew I was doing it for me. And with a lot of support when I went out to restaurants I was very conscious of, you know, what the menu was, the choices that I wanted to make for foods. And I'll tell you, the shift wave release community on Facebook has been so supportive any time that, you know, I I've had a couple down days where I posted some things online and boy, the support that I got and the encouragement to kinda go on.

Rita Black: Yeah. I have to agree with you there. I think that people in that community are just special and I like to think of them as extraordinary human beings, all of them. And there is people in there are incredibly supportive. So, so now Steve, you have almost, or are you at your maintenance weight? Like, what is the, like ongoing now that you are like, how much have you released, like maybe share with us, like, you know, out now that you're through the process, you've released it. Talk to us about that part of the journey and like...

Steve: Yeah. Let me tell you first a few, just a few of my goals that I had. What success looks like. When I started, I'm the scientist here, so I had an exact weight of 213.8 pounds, and I had this vision that I wanted to get to 190 pounds by August 1st. So that was 23.8 pounds is what my goal was. I talked to you a little bit about my sugar numbers were 250 a day, and I turn them into a normal range. I had an A1C for those of you who don't know, my number was extremely high. It was 12.6. And even at that time I was experiencing some, you know, heart fibrillations and things. So I knew that I really had to do something here. So with that said, I kind of broke my weight release goal into three phases. One was okay, within the first 30 days, there was a seven day prep to get start to 30. So I call it the 37 day period. I wanted to get from 213.8 down to 200. Then in the next phase, by July 1st, I wanted to get to 195 and then 190 by August 1st. And, you know, I can tell you I met each of those goals.

Steve: Amazing.

Steve: Yeah. And I was, did my blood panel and all, and right now I'm, I think I told you this the other day in an email, I weighed in at 189.8 and it was just, it seemed so foreign to me because I've never seen a number in the ones for a long time, my body. And I look in the mirror, I'm, I'm really looking good. I'm building some mmuscle. Now I can tell you my A1C number, which was 12.6 dropped in the 90 days down to 6.5.

Rita Black: Amazing.

Steve: Unheard of even my cholesterol down, was down from 188 to 128. So it was just a lot of changes and realizing the goal. I had a, another fun goal that I had. I was just tired of trying to get into size 38 shorts for the summer. And I said, at the end of this period, I'm gonna be in size 34 short.

Steve: I love it.

Steve: And I can tell you I'm wearing size 34 shorts and they're a little loose on me, so that's really -

Rita Black: You go, Steve! That's awesome. That is really, you know, I think sometimes having those more visceral kinesthetic things like that, feeling like that you wanna be in those 34s and that feeling that you wanna have. So I think the brain really responds to that sometimes more than a number on the scale.

Steve: I think so. And I don't know what it was, but I know it came from hypnosis because there, you would say things like I love eating vegetables or, and it was just like, are you kidding me now? Who are you talking to? And I've eaten more vegetables in my daily life than, you know, we talk about, you know, the first thing that I do when I wake up is I can't do anything unless I'm outside doing my three mile walk, you know. It's just like get up at 6:30 in the morning before I was sleeping in. And, you know, I've got just this beautiful environment. I live in Palm Springs and every other weekend, I'm on the beach in San Diego. So I've got this, this beautiful scenery where I can do my walks each morning and it's just really inspiring. And I don't know. I think it's just that it, it's not, it's not like work anymore. It's just something that I do and -

Rita Black: Well, and so speaking of that, it's something that you do. You know, in the shift we talk about, we cultivate that inner coach. So, and I know you're a coach professionally, Steve. So tell me a little bit about how you cultivated that inner coach around your journey, like, or, you know, just talk to me a little bit about that part of it.

Steve: Yeah. I think part of the program was that a big part is what we call our inner coach and it's, called it the voice of how we talk to ourselves. It's how we're guided maybe. It's like being the parent in the room when you're a kid and you wanna goof off and you wanna do it in a loving and compassionate way to honor. Hey, you know, I hear you today. You're having a day where it's kind of challenging for you and rather, you know, getting the finger point and, you know, and, you know, get back on track or else, you know?

Rita Black: Right.

Steve: For me, it's just this reassuring guidance. It's just, Hey, you know, you're on the track, keep it up. You know, you're doing this for yourself, you're doing it for your health. You're doing it for the people that you love. You're doing it for quality of life. And I think I have those conversations kinda with myself. I do talk to myself when there's not people around in a very positive way. You mentioned my, my work, I'm a life coach. I'm a certified life coach. I worked 35 years in the corporate environment with Wells Fargo and Bank of America. And then I did stints working in recovery as this director of operations for treatment center.

Rita Black: Oh, wow. Cool.

Steve: Yeah. And I just found it's really time to retire, but my focus is really gonna be on life coaching. And what I did is kind of, you know, as I look at how I work with clients, how do I work with myself? And it is that kind, those conversations I have with myself. I do accept the guidance of the peers, you know, in the Facebook group. You always have a lot of great insight, whether it's coming from the meditation or hypnosis or whatever. And then I find it's up for me to integrate that. I just can't leave it there. I've got to kinda integrate it into my spiritual practice. They talked about before, when this started mind, body spirit balance, and for me, you know, this, isn't just one part of the stool. They all have to work kind of together.

Steve: So this is actually part of my spiritual kind of connection. So, yeah. And when I need a pep talk, what I do is it's quiet time, I've got this incredible thing called liquid mind. It's beautiful music you can get on YouTube or iTunes. I'm a big supporter of that. Just calming quiet music, and I'll just turn the music on and just kind of sit still and just kind of listen to however I'm guided or whatever. I, and then I just kind of intuitively know what corrections I may need to make. And if it's related to, you know, the weight release or any other area of my life, or I kind of feel out of balance. And I, you know, it's a voice that I have, like I said, an internal voice that's kind of filled with encouragement, acceptance, and most importantly, gratitude. I'm really thankful for where I'm at.

Rita Black: Well, you've, you've really, like you said, made a commitment, immersed yourself in the world and you know, learned a lot of lessons along the way. And I think you're pointing out something that's very important is being open to coaching or other ideas, you know, it's - I think something that people don't, I think the diet industry has given us a very linear idea of what weight loss is and weight loss, like you said, isn't just about the, you know, it's not about the food, it's so much of it. It's about what you're talking about, that inner communication system. And, and it really does become without going into the woo woo California speak, but, I mean, it, from a very practical standpoint, I mean that our, our ability to be compassionate towards ourself, our ability to see the lessons instead of criticizing ourselves and, and being willing to maybe not have to look perfect, but just have to just stay on the path is so important.

Rita Black: And I think the dieting industry kind of takes our power away in that way. Not that we're victims of the dieting industry, but I think that it's important to understand that we've been culturally thrown towards that those ideas. It's very hard. Many people get addicted to being perfect, but unfortunately none of us are gonna be perfect. As you said, you know, you had off days, but you just, you self corrected, got back on, had some compassion for yourself, learned the lesson. And in order for us to get past those, to learn from, you know, in order to improve and move on, we need to learn those lessons. And sometimes others might have feedback for you that, you know, whether it's in a group or the ones that are around you, like your friends Steve, you work with people, you mentioned you're a coach and I wanted, I know Steve has a coaching program. I'm going to put his link in the in our show notes. Tell us a little bit about how you work with people.

Steve: Great, great. Well as I was looking into retirement, my last position that I retired, three times, I got out of the corporate world and volunteered at the hospital and then kind of got immersed in patient relations and said, okay, this feels like work to me, so I'm gonna quit again. And then I wanted to just kind of help out with my 30 years of sobriety and the recovery area. So I just took like an administrative position, which turned out to be director of operations for -

Rita Black: Oh My God.

Steve: Three of our facilities of a company that I worked with. And in that role, I worked with those that were going through the treatment process and in recovery, detox recovery, I worked with men primarily and that's where I really found that men really, you know, have their own unique struggles as I was doing life coaching. I got my certification a couple years back and knew that I was gonna do this in retirement. So as of January of this year, I did retire from all of my past corporate jobs. And I'm focusing on life coaching. I do try to focus with men. I work with women as well, but I know men have, like we said, a harder time asking for help. Yeah. And I, if I can kind of break through you know, life coaching really is about, you know, how do we improve our lives?

Steve: What vision do we have for our life? It's very much like this process of weight release, you know, what's the vision. What do you wanna look like? What's your goal. And when you look at say, if I'm trying to help someone, you know, what's the vision that you have for your life? How do you wanna mature? How do you wanna grow? What are things that are important to you? And if there's goals, how can I help you to achieve some of those goals? And then just like myself holding myself accountable, I try to hold my clients accountable as well. Here are some action steps. Can you commit to doing one or two things before we meet next week? And I've just had tremendous success with, you know, the people that have come to me where they started their journey and kind of where they end up. It's just, I don't know. It's extremely rewarding.

Rita Black: Yeah. It must be very gratifying to help people in that way. And it is interesting, like with weight so often, you know, because I work with people in other ways that often people know what they don't want, but they're not quite sure what they do want, if you wanna ask them, like what do you really wanna create in your life? It's a hard question for a lot of us to answer. It's very confronting in many ways. And I don't think our brain often goes there naturally. We're in survival mode.

Steve: Yeah. We don't take the time to reflect and in life coaching, it's all about, you know, I'm not gonna give you the answers, but I'm going to give you some questions that you can just start, you know, it's kinda

Rita Black: Opening doors

Steve: Planning questions and it's like, oh yeah, this is what I want. Or, I didn't think about that. You know? So kinds of things.

Rita Black: Well that's so cool. Any last, any last insights or for somebody who's just, you know, thinking about taking that first step?

Steve: Yeah. I, I do want to put a caveat in you know, when I talk about success because this is really important for me and I share this anytime on the, when I'm on the social Facebook groups with the Shift Weight Release Program you know, for me, my journey has been one where I really just hit my goals and the times that I want it. And I'm now in a maintenance phase right now, which is a little different for me. I don't like it because I have more calories that I gotta eat. Where, what am I gonna eat more?

Steve: I don't wanna lose anymore weight. I don't wanna steak outta where I'm at. But for me, I know that the process can be relatively easy as I had it for now, not to say that it can't be challenging down the road and others find that, you know, like my past temps that this is hard and you know, I'm giving it my best shot, but my best shot isn't making it and I keep falling back and I'm getting discouraged and it's things like that and kind of what I always try to, you know, kind of communicate to people is, you know, as long as you're kind of focused and you're staying on track, no matter if you take a few steps back, you're on the right path, that is success, you know? It's success that you're continuing the journey. It may take you a little longer, you know, the vision that we have for ourselves, doesn't always manifest in life coaching. You have a place where you wanna go, but a lot of factors happen and you may end up in a totally different place with weight release, you know. The vision that you might have might take a little longer, but you know, I try to encourage people that, you know, success is an individual measure and you know, you can be very successful even if you've only lost a few pounds, but you're committed and staying on the journey.

Rita Black: Absolutely. Couldn't agree with you more Steve, what wise words? Well, thank you. It's been so amazing to have you on Thin Thinking and I think there's probably a, a lot of women, but guys out there who are appreciative, what you've had to share today. So thank you for coming and casting your sunshine on us. Appreciate it.

Steve: Thanks. Appreciate it. Okay.

Rita Black: Thank you so much.

Steve: Thanks Steve. And if you are interested in perhaps learning more about Steve's life coaching sessions, I have left his contact info in the show notes and Steve is also generously given me a playlist of his oldies that he works out to. So go ahead and grab that playlist as well. It's in the show notes and one last call to sign up for that free master class. The link is in the show notes called How To Break Through the Weight Circle Cycle So That You Xan Lose Weight Consistently and Permanently. You'll have one more week to sign up, but sign up now. There's a little audio to listen to just, you know, you wanna prepare and if for whatever reason you are listening to this after the date of the masterclass, check the show notes anyway, because I always leave you a little love in the show notes, a little free something, whether it's a masterclass or a video series or a free hypnosis session, go check it out. I don't want you to leave empty handed. All right. So 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.

Steve: Do you wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long term weight release, head on over to www.shiftweight That's www shift weight 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 Thinking, Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss.