Getting sick is such a bummer. Not only can it disrupt your life plans, but it can also throw a wrench into your weight loss consistency.

  • We stop exercising.

  • We start eating carby comfort foods.

  • We stop paying attention to our goals.

Then as we get better we really don’t feel as focused as we did before we got sick.

Am I right?

This episode of Thin Thinking was inspired by listeners begging me for some strategies to stay consistent during a time of illness. 

I get into simple and doable strategies to stay consistent with your weight release through your illness or health setback. Come get equipped to keep on staying healthy with your weight release even when you are not feeling 100%.

Grab your hand sanitizer and come on in!


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Enroll in the hypnosis-based weight release program now and get access to the LIVE Online Shift Weight Process in Spring or Autumn led by Rita Black for no additional fee.

PLUS FREE BONUS PROGRAM: Weight Mastery Express–Hypnosis for Exercise, Portions, Mindless eating, Drinking and more!  When you enroll now–

Learn more here.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black (00:00): Achoo! Have you ever noticed how getting sick can cause challenges with our weight management? In this week's Thin Thinking episode, we diagnose the problems and give some prescriptions of some great Thin Think Thinking tools for self-care when you are sick. So grab that bedside manner and come on in.

Rita Black (00:22): 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's 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 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.

Rita Black (01:36): Well, hello everyone. Welcome, welcome, welcome. We have new members joining us from all over the globe, India, Peru, the Philippines, and much, much more. Thank you everyone for enrolling and or signing up or whatever you do when you subscribe to a podcast. I guess you're just subscribing or downloading, you aren't enrolling, right? Oh my goodness. This brain of mine.

Rita Black (02:11): So, today's episode is brought to you all from my self-study Shift Weight Mastery Process. Right now, we are running a special for January. Two for the price of one bonus, meaning when you enroll in the self-study shift, you also get to participate in the next live Shift Weight Mastery Process or the Shift Weight Mastery Process in the autumn that I lead. And yes. So you would get to not only go through the self-study, which you can start anytime, you could start tomorrow, you can start next week, next month. You have the program for over a year or a year, but you also can participate in the next live shift for the same price. So this is going on only from the 18th to the 25th. So check out the link in the show notes, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out and ask me anything.

Rita Black (03:14): So speaking of worldwide in the globe, we are in the middle of the winter here in the United States and are seeing an uptick yet again in Coronavirus and also the flu, and then that respiratory, RSV, we're seeing a lot of that. My son has been sick twice. I, knock wood, I've been doing pretty good. I do drink my immunity drink, which has lots of antioxidants in it, but you know, you never know, right? So I have had a number of you reach out to me for an episode on how to manage your weight when you're sick. So let's do some research, you know.

Rita Black (04:01): I've had a number of you reach out to me for an episode on how to manage your weight when you're sick. So let's dive into this. You know, when I lived in England, you never said sick, right? If British people use the word ill, not sick, or unwell. Unwell. Are you unwell? Are you ill? They never said, they laughed at me when I said sick. They would also say, hospital. You go to hospital, you don't go to the hospital. Oh, he's in hospital, they would say, right? I never quite understood why they removed the the, but whatever. It sounds good, you know? The British are very precise. He's in hospital, right? Who needs that extra word? They would also say medicine. Medicine, not medicine, but medicine. Oh, that's the medicine you would have. Oh, give him some medicine, give her some medicine. I just thought I would throw that in there just in case you are ever in England and feeling unwell, don't say you're sick. They'll laugh at you and you'll never hear the end of it.

Rita Black (05:13): Oh, and getting better is on the mend. You're on the mend, not getting better. Oh, you're on the mend. Are you delightful? Okay. So it may seem like getting sick is great for our weight, right? We often lose our appetite and we also lose weight up front because we get dehydrated and we get on the scale, and the scale oftentimes is down and yippy. But often that weight comes right back and even more because here are some of the challenges that getting sick or being unwell poses to our weight release.

Rita Black (05:51): One, it interrupts the flow of the structure that we had created, you know, our healthy lifestyle structure. It takes us out of our exercise routine, and it can be hard to get back in. It gives us the false illusion. We are releasing weight, and then when we gain some back, we give up, we get upset, oh my gosh, I've gained the weight back. And we give up. We undereat while we're sick, and then begin eating more carby and refined food on an empty stomach, which spikes our blood sugar, can make us feel hungrier. And then we start thinking about those carbs again, and it becomes harder and harder to go back to our healthy eating habits because let's face it, when you're sick, a salad just doesn't feel like fun. We also start comfort eating our stress and feeling sorry for ourselves. And lastly, we find it hard to get back into the healthy habits that were there before, as we're, you know, once we're, well we find it hard to get back into that structure that we had before. Okay?

Rita Black (07:02): So Thin Thinking around being sick, here are the mind tools. When you become unwell or sick, you wanna start with identity. Remember, all behavioral change really starts with identity. And often, you know, when we're in weight release mode, we'll just be like, well, I'm losing weight, and then we'll get sick. And when we're like, well, I'm sick, so I'm gonna stop trying to release weight and just be sick, which is all fine and good, but what that does is it kind of puts you back in just to business as usual mode. And so whatever your brain is used to doing when you were sick in the past, it's just going to wanna do that again, especially since you're sick and your brain doesn't wanna work that hard. So your subconscious mind is just gonna kick into business as usual gear. And so if it's, you know, loading up on a bunch of saltines and you know, drinking lots of sugary, 7 up or something, that's probably gonna be what you're gonna be drawn to.

Rita Black (08:08): So right now, even before you're unwell or sick and hope God forbid, I hope you stay well, you know, for the next a, hundred years. But if you are unwell, I want you to know now that you are a weight master being unwell rather than somebody who is an, you know, who is an apprentice of weight mastery or a weight master on your mastery journey of weight release. And so you, even when you're ill, okay, the diet isn't over and you know, and you can pick up when you're better. You're always a weight master. What this does is it opens up your mind to see you differently and to problem solve rather than to devolve into victimhood, I'm sick, and, you know, just falling back into our old patterns.

Rita Black (09:14): Okay, so let's tackle each of the challenges that I brought up. Shall we, one by one, I'll just go through them. So the first challenge is being unwell interrupts the flow of the structure we had created. So, building upon what I just said about us being a weight master that we aren't, it isn't business as usual, but we're now seeing ourselves from a different perspective. We're now coming at this internally. We're taking a hundred percent responsibility for ourselves, which then removes that victim mindset, right? That we're a hundred percent responsible. You're internally driven to the extent that, you know, being sick is now plan B, meaning that yes, you aren't gonna be probably eating the same that you were when you were well, but that you're gonna be mindful about it.

Rita Black (10:02): You're gonna make still healthy choices for your being sick. And what that does is it still, it continues the structure, right? We want to keep a continuum of how we see ourselves so that there isn't a disconnect. Does this make sense? I hope it does. So we wanna continue the continuum of being healthy, seeing ourselves in that more powerful 100% responsible place. You're gonna now learn, you're gonna be a weight learner and learn how to be unwell as a healthy person. And this actually eating healthfully helps you mend a bit faster because a lot of those foods that we eat when we're sick creates inflammation in our body, which slows down the healing process, especially the carby sugary foods.

Rita Black (11:00): So the second interrupter is it takes us out of our exercise routine, and it can be hard to get back on. So the mind is a weird thing. As we are establishing, I've been establishing for the last couple of years since the beginning of this Thin Thinking Podcast. You know? I can't exercise because I'm sick. That may or may not be true, but here is my Thin Thinking advice. Like, if you have a mild cold, you can probably continue to do some sort of workout. Yes, if you have a fever, yes, if you are really, you know, put into bed and meant to rest, you cannot do your normal exercise routine, of course, but you can tell your brain that you are on your sickness exercise routine, and still move your body every day. This may be as minimal as wiggling your toes for five minutes or moving your fingers. But we're gonna call that physical activity because again, it allows your brain to have continuity.

Rita Black (12:05): And as you are on the mend, then you can slowly build up to what you did before. Because often what happens is we just stop everything and then we try to get back. And that, there's usually some sort of resistance to that. But if, if we are keeping ourselves in exercise mode, you know, and what I would, depending on how secure are, of course, but if you're in a coma, obviously this doesn't apply. But, you know, even I've had clients in Covid and I say, just wiggle your toes in bed, you know, if you are bedridden. And, you know, they continued their exercise routine, and then as they got better, they walked around the block once, called that exercise as they got better, they would you know, just get on the treadmill for five minutes a day. But what that did was continue that continuity of I exercise every day, or I exercise consistently in their mind.

Rita Black (13:08): So if you're somebody who works out five days a week or walks four days a week, you still work out on those days, quote unquote, even though it might just be wiggling your toes in bed. I hope that makes sense too, as well. But it just keeps your brain in the world that, you know, in the mindset that you are still exercising. And then you don't have to do all that heavy lifting of getting back into exercise, which frankly, for a lot of people, it's kind of a deal breaker. They just give up. And then often after they're ill, they'll have a really hard time getting back into the swing of things.

Rita Black (13:47): So the next one, the next interrupter is it gives us the false illusion. We're releasing weight, and then we gained some back and we get upset and we give up. So when we become sick again, we get dehydrated. You know, we are, a large percentage of our body, 60, 70%, 75% of our body is water, right? So when we're ill, our body is using water. We're sweating out water. We're, if you have a fever, we're often sweating. We're not drinking enough fluids often, and even if we are, maybe we're not retaining them. So you're gonna see a major fluctuation in water weight. And also the fact that you may not be eating, maybe you're throwing up or maybe you are just too sick to, if you don't feel like eating food and you don't eat for a few days, and the scale may go down significantly, five, 10 pounds sometimes. And we get on the scale, and of course, as somebody who is a scale watcher, we're like, yippie, that's amazing. I've lost all this weight even though, you know, we're sick.

Rita Black (14:55): So there's that part of our mind that wants to believe that. And yet the reality of it is once you are well, that weight will come back because it's water weight. It's really not fat loss for the most part. There's 3,500 calories in a pound of fat and, you know, so in order for you to release that pound, so maybe you have released a pound or two pounds over the course of being ill, that could be true, but the, you wanna kind of really think of it from that perspective so that you can calm yourself down on the scale. One, to set realistic expectations. Because what happens is you gain the weight back then you feel bad about yourself, and there is nothing for you to feel bad about. You have been unwell, and you know, poor thing and, and you're depleted and your mind's not in the right place.

Rita Black (15:49): And then you see that scale go up and it makes you feel even worse about yourself. But if you can look at the scale or just not, you know, don't get on the scale when you're sick or get on the scale, just get the number and go, okay, that number is not real. Whatever I weighed before, I'll probably go back to you need to, you know, again, long-term permanent weight mastery is all about how you communicate with yourself in a realistic fashion. And so really being clear with yourself about, you know, you might be aware that, oh, well, I probably have under eaten and I have released maybe one or two actual physical pounds, but the rest of that is water. You can then when it, the weight comes back, the water weight comes back, you're not so disappointed. You are clear. Being able to have that conversation with yourself on the scale is very empowering because it stops making you a victim of you know, haphazard get on the scale it's down, it's up, and we don't know why. So having a rational conversation with yourself on the scale, if you are weighing yourself, you know, while you're ill, maybe just take a break from the scale because whatever those numbers are are not gonna be wholly accurate or weigh yourself once or twice a week rather than every day with that expectation that most of that weight probably will come back. And that's okay. You can continue your weight release, but you know, it's water weight. It's just water weight. Anyway, so I hope that makes sense as well.

Rita Black (17:30): So another challenge is we undereat and then begin eating more carby and refined foods, which then spikes our blood sugar, makes us feel hungrier, and then we start thinking about those carby foods again, it becomes harder to go back to our healthy habits when we're feeling better. You know? If you're eating the chicken and broccoli and you know when you're well, and then you become unwell, you become sick and you start eating the crackers and the toast, it's going to start to tickle what I like to call your carb zombie. The carb zombie is the pleasure center in your brain that gets triggered from an over abundance of carbs. And what happens when that happens when your carb zombie gets woken up is like, if you've been eating healthy and you might not be thinking too much about food, and you've stabilized your hunger and your blood sugar, and then all of a sudden you're eating more carby food, that part of the brain gets engaged and you start thinking about food more, you start feeling hungrier. Now, this isn't your fault, but when you're overeating carbs, this is what happens, right?

Rita Black (18:39): So the problem is though, that when we think about then eating the chicken and the broccoli when we're, well, again, our brain doesn't wanna do it because once the carb zombie is awake, it doesn't want to eat chicken and broccoli. It wants to continue to eating toast and crackers. So in order to avoid this, here are some things that you want to do. You want to not reach for really refined foods when you are ill. Like, I know you want to eat maybe something a little more comforting, which is fine, but bear this in mind. First of all, drink water and stay hydrated because that could also mess with your hunger levels. Stay away from the super refined white carbs, right? The white flour, so the saltine crackers, the white toast, the white rice, the white things that may stimulate you, especially naked carbs, meaning eating them on an empty stomach without any protein.

Rita Black (19:42): Opt for proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. If you need something comforting, make yourself a smoothie or some vegetable chicken soup or vegetable tofu soup, cooked vegetables, cooked fruit. Slice up an apple and put it in the microwave for two minutes. It makes a lovely, put a little cinnamon on it. It makes it a lovely comforting dish. You could add it on some, a little bit of oatmeal, wholesome oatmeal, not the really refined oatmeal that comes in the envelopes that has sugar in it, but the apple sweetens, the oatmeal, brown rice, eggs, yogurt, these are all stabilizing foods that can help you be soothing, but also not stimulate your carb zombie. Eating smaller portions more often probably is gonna be more helpful than eating big meals, because your body probably isn't going to be able to digest as well since you are sick. So bearing these in mind, I think can help you a lot, not get off track.

Rita Black (20:56): So another challenge is we start comfort eating our stress and feeling sorry for ourselves. So instead of feeling sorry for yourself, I am sick and I need to eat to feel better, think of yourself as a powerful nurturing healer and start giving yourself some healing love ways other than food. You can give yourself love and nurturing, even if no one else is there. You can say to yourself, I'm sorry you're sick. Be your own loving, nurturing mama, right? Oh, I'm so sorry. You're sick, baby. I feel bad. That's, it's too bad that we're not well, right? Like, give yourself a little lovings, but you don't wanna be the victim and you don't wanna have to feel like you have to fill the, fill that victimhood with food.

Rita Black (21:51): You know? Oh, you're not well, I'm gonna take care of you. Give yourself hot baths. Or you can do this really great meditation where you just envision your white blood cells multiplying and eating up all the bad disease cells. You can give yourself a mantra, I am on the path of healing. My body is a healing miracle. Say it again. I am on the path of healing. My body is a healing miracle. Or you can come up with your own give yourself massages with lotion or have a loved one give you a nice massage with lotion. Make yourself a cup of hot tea. Get a hot pad out and sit on it or put it where it hurts. Read a great book or trashy magazines. I love, you know, US Magazine, People magazine. When I'm sick, I can just sit there and consume a whole bunch of them, or listen to an audible while you're laying in bed, or go sit in the sun and listen to a book or go, just sit in the sun. The sun is so healing. Or watch or listen to a comedy show.

Rita Black (23:09): And then the last one, you can create a gratitude list that might be a little hard if you're sick, but you can at least create a gratitude list in your mind when you start to feel better, think of slowly coming back. It's not all or nothing. You know? If you've stayed away from the refined carbs, you should find it easy to get back into the healthier choices. And if you've moved your body, you can ease back into exercise. Seeing your sickness not as separate from your weight journey, but a part of your weight journey gives you the power back.

Rita Black (23:43): So I hope this helps and I hope you stay well and don't need to use any of this advice ever, ever, ever. So as a reminder, again, you have until the 25th, January 25th, 2022, to get the two shifts for the price of one with that bonus of the live shift, either in late April, early May, when I lead group through. I only do this twice a year, or you can do it in the autumn. So you can do yourself study. Now you have, when you enroll, you have a year to actually use it, and you can use it as many times as you want during that year. So you can go through a 30-day process, 1, 2, 5 times or more. But you can enroll now. The link is in the show notes and you can read through all about it. And if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. All right, everyone, have an amazing week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it. I will look forward to seeing you and being with you next week.

Rita Black (25:00): Do you wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to www shift weight 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 Thin Thinking. Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss.