Is Your Story Making Your Butt Bigger?

Big Story Big Butt
As humans, we all tell ourselves stories.  We can’t stop–it’s just part of our brain trying to make sense of our world.

IS YOUR STORY FATTENING?
But, we can learn to recognize our stories.  This is part of distinguishing what I call Fat Thinking from Thin Thinking.  In fact, the bigger your story about why you did not follow through on something healthy (like exercise) or why you ended up doing something unhealthy (like eating the entire large pizza), the bigger your chances are that you are about to gain weight.  Yes, Big Story = Big Butt.

Over the years as I have coached people through many weight release journeys, I have witnessed what I call “story-eye-tis” happen to many a sincere person intent on losing weight.   In the beginning, things usually are really clear. We are on track, sticking to a plan, and the weight is starting to come off.  And if we fail to follow through or we engage in something less healthy, we immediately acknowledge it and make an adjustment to stay on track. We are engaged in Thin Thinking.

BEWARE!  YOUR INNER REBEL LOVES SPINNING A YARN….
I usually know when a client is starting to veer from this focused uncluttered thinking and behaving when their stories about their behavior start to get longer.  We all have a part of our brain that is just looking to spin some story.  I call this the Inner Rebel.  Your Inner Rebel is up for an Emmy Award for best story about why you can’t show up for yourself and follow through on your goals. Your Inner Rebel wants to take you back on the path to where things are predictably the same.  This is a familiar story and oh-so convincing, but it does not end in happily ever after!

All those rationalizations and excuses about why you didn’t or couldn’t follow through on healthy behaviors followed by even more story about how it will be better to focus next week and how you’ll “try” to “get back” to “being good” tomorrow or next week–this is Fat Thinking.

The path to weight release typically looks like this: Clear and honest Thin Thinking ==> following through with healthy behaviors ==> Weight Release

The path to weight gain is typically: Story spinning Fat Thinking ==> not following through on behaviors ==> weight gain.

BIG STORY=BIG BUTT BOTTOM LINE
Stories can be great, but if you want to lose weight and keep it off, it’s time to become a loving scientist and stick with facts.

1) Cut the story aka Fat Thinking. Focus on your vision and the behaviors that will get you there. When that little voice in your head wants to start some story (see below) about why exercising today is impossible, take a breath, thank yourself for noticing the story.

Example: I can’t exercise because I don’t have the right work-out clothes that are clean and that if I wear my other work-out clothes I might offend someone at the gym. Besides, it’s raining out and even though I am going to the gym which is indoors and dry, I do have to get from the parking lot to the gym and I would get wet and I absolutely cannot get a cold because next week I have to give that presentation which is another good reason that I must just avoid any exertion and just build up my strength.

2) Create an alternate solution aka Thin Thinking.  Note what happened and ask yourself what is the strategy for moving forward with an altered plan?  Then follow through on that altered plan.

Example: I can’t exercise after work today and since I won’t be burning that 300 calories, I can walk today and tomorrow at lunch and make up for that.

3) End of story
Will you have a story at the end of the summer as to why you did not reach your summer weight release goals?  I hope not!  If you want to spend your summer powerfully rooted in Thin Thinking and weight release, committed to your health and showing up for yourself day by day all summer long, it’s time to learn to stop telling yourself the fairy tales and learn how to catch yourself in these.  You may want to start with a copy of my bestselling book, From Fat To Thin Thinking: Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss. It’s an easy read filled with clear facts and resources along with humor and inspiration.

Of course, you may have some story that comes up like: I don’t have the time, the resources, I’ll start in the Fall.  If so, please consider the alternative if your story just keeps getting bigger (along with a few other things…..)

Here’s to a Story Free Summer!

xoxo Rita

book shadow

I am excited to announce my new best-selling book, From Fat To Thin Thinking: Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss, is now available in print and on Kindle.

This is a book version of my successful Shift Weight Mastery Process seminar and is designed to free your mind from the struggle with weight so that you can lose weight permanently.  The book includes online access to free hypnosis, meditation and coaching to support you through the 30-day process.

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[Video] How Do I Stay Consistent with Exercise?


Greetings from the Desk of Rita Black,

I have just started going to Jazz dance class at my local YMCA with my daughter. We laugh at ourselves a lot because there are really good dancers in the class and we are obviously beginners. We stick with it though and have fun. It’s joyful to move to music – even if my version of the teacher’s dance steps is way off!

I took dance many years ago when I struggled with my weight but never stuck with it. I would get half way through the class and come up with some excuse why I had to leave. That was the way I was with most of my attempts at exercise.  I would give up before I got going or I would start something for a bit but then I would get distracted by something and fall off my routine and find it hard to get back.

WHY IS STAYING CONSISTENT WITH EXERCISE SUCH A CHALLENGE??

Have you been struggling with staying consistent with exercise? You are not alone!  This is one of the many complaints that I hear from prospective weight management clients: “Why do I get going with exercise but then fall off?  It’s so hard to get back on track again!”

You are in for a treat. I recently interviewed Health and Fitness Expert JJ Flizanes about this.

Listen to this interview with JJ and:

  • Understand what may be keeping you from consistency with exercise.
  • Get inspired to create a more powerful relationship with exercise.
  • Look at exercise in a whole new and motivational way!

Exercise Consistency with Health Expert J.J. Flizanes from Rita Black on Vimeo.

LINK FOR JJ’s FREE CHALLENGE
Here is the link to sign up for JJ’s FREE MANIFESTATION CHALLENGE that she mentions—it’s coming up in August: http://jjflizanes.com/free-tools-resources/

LINK TO JJ’S Next Big Step Retreat
http://jjflizanes.com/nextbigstep/

Have a great weekend! Get out there and move…and maybe I will see you in my Jazz Class??

Alone we Diet—Together we Shift!

ox Rita Black

[PODCAST] Strategies to Overcome Mindless Night Eating

Greetings from the Desk of Rita Black,

“If we all went to bed at 5pm we would be thin!” Well, at least that is what I joked with J.J. Flizanes when she interviewed me for her podcast last week.

It seems to be true. Rarely do weight management clients tell me that they struggle with breakfast and lunch—things seem to unravel after 4pm when our will power fades and our impulse control is sapped.

THERE ARE SIMPLE YET POWERFUL WAYS TO SHIFT OUT OF THE NIGHT EATING HABIT

Book Cover From Fat to Thin Thinking by Rita Black

Choose your podcast platform here.

LISTEN ON ITUNES HERE.

I am sharing with you the links to my podcast conversation with fitness expert J.J. Flizanes as we discuss the topic of shifting out of mindless eating at night—there are some great tips and strategies there if your consistency with weight loss is being challenged by this.

Enjoy the program and the enjoy the benefits of mastering night time mindless eating. Have a great week!

Alone we Diet—Together we Shift!

ox Rita Black

How Hypnosis Creates Long-Term Effectiveness

Long Term Effectiveness
BEFORE I WAS A HYPNOTHERAPIST, I WAS A CLIENT…

I remember being in a stuffy office in Venice, California on a spring day well over two decades ago. I was in a trance state that felt like I was floating between being asleep and awake. I was listening to a 70-year-old British hypnotherapist, Burt, guiding me to let go of my pack-and-a-half a day cigarette habit.

Then, all of a, sudden I was awake and out walking on the street, passing by smokers and thinking to myself, “I used to do that but I don’t do that anymore…what a relief!” I was finally, with one hypnosis session, a non-smoker!

What just happened?  Was that a magic trick? Why in one session was I able to let go of a very addictive habit that had plagued me for over twelve years?

WHEN I STRUGGLED WITH WEIGHT…

Later, when I decided to finally take charge of my weight, I found myself making self-hypnosis tapes (the beginning of my career before my formal training) and guiding myself into letting go of my need for the big portions of food, the sugary treats.

The sessions felt similar. I was relaxed yet awake but I could feel a deeper part of my mind listening and responding, letting go of the old and accepting my new reality of weight mastery.

IS HYPNOSIS MAGIC?  NO, BUT OUR MINDS ARE…

I spend a lot of time as a hypnotherapist dispelling the mythology of hypnosis. No, it’s not voodoo. No, it’s not mind control. Yes, it’s a very powerful tool to make deeper change.

I have helped thousands of people, from all over the world and from all walks of life – CEOS and celebrities, teachers and lawyers, students and surfers and yes, even a homeless person (he brought in $23.13 worth of change) break themselves free from the smoking struggle and the weight struggle.

It is my great joy to watch someone in a deep trance state let go of the shackles of their weight or smoking struggle. Sometimes I can see the moment that it happens…a sort of little smile creeps across their face.

It seems like magic. Often, they think that I am a magician, but I am not. Our minds are magic, when we learn to use them in the right way.

RESEARCH ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF HYPNOSIS FOR WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

Here is some interesting research that backs up the impact of hypnosis for weight loss and maintenance.

1. Hypnotherapy helped people correct faulty thinking and associations around food and helped them get control over non-hunger-related eating. Barabasz, M., and D. Spiegel. 1999. Hypnosis and weight loss. The International Journal of Eating Disorders.

2. In studies comparing a control group to a hypnotherapy group, the group exposed to hypnotherapy lost more weight (up to 30% more over an 8-week study) and kept the weight off longer (At follow-ups at eight months and again at two years).Cochrane, G. and J. Friesen. 2005. Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

3. Hypnotherapy can be administered by a hypnotherapist or via hypnosis downloads or self-hypnosis; all three methods proved effective. Farrington, G. Effects of pre-recorded self-hypnosis on weight loss: Dissertation Abstracts International

I hope this has been intriguing. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit my website http://www.shiftweightmastery.com and pick up some free hypnosis or check out my weight loss book,  From Fat to Thin Thinking available on Amazon in print and kindle.

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have. Use it wisely and lovingly!

Alone we Diet—Together we Shift!

oxoxRita

HERE IS A VIDEO I MADE ABOUT HOW HYPNOSIS WORKS

For your easy viewing pleasure, here is a short video (2+ min) I made about hypnosis and how it helps us remove the mental blocks that prevent us from being successful with keeping weight off in the long-term. I mention free hypnosis on the video – it can be found at: www.shiftweightmastery.com. Go there and test drive some hypnosis today!

Effective Praise (Delete the “I Never Will Be Thin” File From Your Brain)

Effective Praise

Greetings!

I just did my taxes. Big sigh of relief.  I dread this time of year like I dread doing laundry after vacation. Every year I get out my big box of the previous year’s paperwork and invoices and sort through them. I put all the various pieces, receipts, papers into piles and folders in their own little informational universes where utility bills never meet trip expenses.

My son helped me this year, for pay of course – grrr. What 12-year-old helps with something so mundane for free out the kindness of his heart? No such luck, however, he was very helpful in exchange for some cold, hard cash. And he got into it – the sorting, that is – helping me file away, the art of putting things into little neat folders, creating order and consistency of the chaotic universe of bills and invoices.

OUR BRAIN’S “I WILL NEVER BE THIN” FOLDER

Doing all of this sorting and filing got me thinking about the inner files that we keep in our minds. Did you ever notice that when it comes to our weight, our brain tends to have this one very thick and heavy folder called “I WILL NEVER BE THIN”? It likes to collect evidence for this folder and it keeps getting bigger and bigger.

In this thick and heavy folder,  you will find such beliefs as, “I have a slow metabolism”, “I get bored with healthy food”, “I need food to cope”, ” I am a sugar addict!” and many other beliefs that we keep filed away.  Unfortunately, we usually have very little evidence collected that we will succeed at long-term permanent weight release.  In fact, where in the heck is that file folder marked “I CAN LIVE MY LIFE AT MY IDEAL WEIGHT”?  It’s kind of hard to find at all, huh?

Just like my son and I with my taxes, our brain needs to file things away in mental folders in order to make order of the chaos of life. Unfortunately, once it gets in the groove of filing things into one folder like “I WILL NEVER BE THIN” it’s hard to get it to change course and file things into a different one called “I CAN LIVE CONFIDENTLY AND PEACEFULLY AT MY IDEAL WEIGHT.” This makes it very hard for us to believe that we can ever be successful.

START SHIFTING FILES WITH EFFECTIVE PRAISE
Let me teach you a powerful cognitive tool called EFFECTIVE PRAISE Effective praise can help you move the evidence from the “I WILL NEVER BE THIN” folder, to the “I CAN LIVE CONFIDENTLY AND PEACEFULLY AT MY IDEAL WEIGHT” folder.

Effective praise is simply the act of observing all the behaviors that you are implementing that take you closer to weight mastery (no matter how small and insignificant they may seem).

Effective Praise: I noticed I took the stairs this morning – that was a healthy choice.

Note that I said observing your behaviors and not evaluating them?? Evaluative praise is a whole different thing, and actually sabotages our attempts at changing our beliefs about ourselves.

Evaluative Praise: I was good because I took the stairs!

OUR MIND REJECTS “I WAS GOOD” AND VOIDS IT OUT
Evaluative praise is when we make what we are doing “good” or “great” – rating ourselves for doing the behavior.

Evaluative Praise: “I was soooo good because I pushed the plate away!”

Evaluative Praise: “I was “soooo awesome because I exercised!!!”

While it’s nice to acknowledge ourselves positively, what happens when we label our behavior as “good”, or any other evaluative type of praise on an unconscious level we just do not buy into that we have been “good” because we have a whole file of evidence that says the opposite – so our subconscious mind tends to reject the sing-songy “I was good” praise as white noise and nothing gets stored in the positive evidence folder. REJECTED!  says our unconscious – you aren’t “good” says our Inner Critic, “who are you trying to kid?”

EFFECTIVE PRAISE GETS PUT IN THE IDEAL WEIGHT FOLDER
However, if we instead just take notice of the behavior itself without the “good” then things begin to sink into the murky depths where those evidence files are stored:

Effective Praise: “Hmm…I am noticing that I pushed the plate away and there was food left on it, maybe I don’t need as much food as I thought before – I am noticing I don’t need to eat everything to feel full”.

Our unconscious then perks up its ears and takes note, “That’s interesting – you actually left food on the plate – that is different and moving in the direction of being healthy.  Let me store that in my file folder “I CAN LIVE CONFIDENTLY AND PEACEFULLY AT MY IDEAL WEIGHT “.

Effective Praise: “Hmmm I am noticing that if I just get up and put my feet right into some sneakers and stand up, I can get out of bed in the morning and go out for a walk first thing and it feels wonderful!”.

“Aha!” the unconscious mind says, “things are changing a bit, we can follow through on exercise – let me go take that “I hate exercise” belief out of the I WILL NEVER BE THIN file folder and put “I enjoy exercise into that “I CAN LIVE CONFIDENTLY AND PEACEFULLY AT MY IDEAL WEIGHT” folder.

Try effectively praising yourself 10 times a day this week when it comes to behaviors around your weight management. It’s easy.

1)    Observe the positive weight management related behavior
2)    Resist thinking “I was good!” with evaluative praise
3)    Instead try out acknowledging the healthy behavior and how your engaging in the behavior allows you to capably move the needle on your weight mastery

This way the brain doesn’t reject GOOD but starts to accept seeing you in a more capable light and shifts some of those papers in the I WILL NEVER BE THIN evidence folder into the I CAN AND WILL LIVE MY LIFE AT MY IDEAL WEIGHT.

So, even though taxes will still be a burden next year you can lift the weight burden this year from the I WILL NEVER BE THIN file in your mind with effective praise and find that it translates not only into a lighter mind but a lighter you with a much lighter heart!!!

HAPPY FILING!!!

ox Rita Black
Director, Shift Weight Mastery

Why Your “To Do” List May Be Fattening

Why Your _To Do_ List May Be Fattening

Greetings!

How is your New Year’s resolution to get healthy going?

Did you know that most New Year’s resolutions are broken by as early as January 18th?

As a clinical hypnotherapist who helps people in the areas of stopping smoking and weight management, it has always been interesting to me that the busiest time of the year isn’t the first few weeks – right after resolutions to change have been made – but the last few weeks of January when the resolutions have been broken (yet again) and the idea that maybe something deeper needs to shift begins to become apparent.

I want to introduce to you one of the biggest buzz killers of our annual get healthy resolve – YOUR TO-DO LIST – and where you put your healthy new goals on it. If you can shift your mind around this one thing, you can get back going with your healthy New Year – I promise!

THE DREAM OF HEALTHY CHANGE DIES FAST IN THE FACE OF JANUARY’S REALITY

One reason our “get healthy” promises are vulnerable to die an early-in-the-year death is that we make our starry-eyed resolutions during the holiday season when we have been out of our overwhelming day-to-day life and duties. Our brain has had some down time and we can think BIG.

We imagine how good it will feel to exercise 5 days a week. We muse how much slimmer we will be when we shop every week and have healthy food at home to reach for. We know how much saner we would be if we took 10 minutes a day to meditate! We make the promise to ourselves to make that happen.

Then we get back into our day-to-day life. Our to-do list starts getting longer and all of those wonderful dreams of being slim and healthy are put to the bottom of the list—basically tossed to the curb along with the holiday wrapping paper and dried-out pine tree.

  • “I’m too busy to exercise this week!”
  • “I didn’t have time to shop for healthy food so I went thru the drive-thru!”
  • “How can I meditate when I have to walk the dog, feed the kids and get ready for work?”

LIFE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST 

Chances are if you have been struggling to get healthy you may have the deep unconscious belief that “I have got to do everything on my list and take care of everyone and then I will have time to take care of myself.”

So, if we are truly to achieve our health goals—it would then go to figure we need to:

  • Start to challenge the belief that our health comes behind everything else on the list.
  • Adjust our to-do list accordingly

1) CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION OF YOUR HEALTH AND ITS IMPORTANCE ON YOUR LIST: I invite you to see that your health is the thing that you experience all of your life through. Your health is what others also depend upon to be in place in order for you to be of service to them. Your health allows you to bring your best “you” to all you do and all the people in your life. Your health makes everything else on your to-do list possible…get the drift?  YOUR HEALTH SHOULD BE #1 ON YOUR LIST – ALWAYS.

2) OBSERVE YOUR TO-DO LIST WITH NEW EYES: Consider that the overly ambitious inner list maker in your head is not run by you, but by old beliefs and myths that do not even belong to you. Often the beliefs that write our to-do list come from our parents, our culture and society at large, that’s right – your to-do list doesn’t even belong to you!

So start to challenge that darn list. Ask, : “Why is washing the dishes more important than going for a walk after dinner?”

Is that item on your list really that important to do now, or does it just seem that way? What would happen if you shopped for healthy meals before posting your vacay pics on social media? Would the world end?

Ask of everything on your list, “Why do I think doing this is more important than my taking care of myself?”.

Maybe in a new light, as you go through your list, all of those seemingly urgent items now become less pertinent compared to your feeling good in your body because you are making healthy choices and exercising.

By challenging those old beliefs you start to break them up in your deeper mind so that your new and healthy beliefs can start to grow.

3) PUT YOURSELF AND YOUR HEALTH GOALS AT THE TOP OF THAT TO-DO LIST 
I am going to ask you to do something really uncomfortable to your subconscious mind: put your health goals at the top of the list and take some of the other things off your list and put them on the list some other time.

The more you start to look at your to-do list as an advocate for yourself and your health the more some of those other “to-dos” will start to fall away as you see them as way less important that your being your best you.

Once you start creating to-do lists that truly support you won’t even need to put health on your New Year’s Resolution list next year—because “Get healthy and release weight” will be crossed off your list.

So just to review:

  1. Challenge where your health goals are currently on your to-do list.
  2. Take a hard look at your current to-do list and challenge the things on there and their importance in relationship to your health and well-being.
  3. Adjust accordingly.

Have a great and healthy 2018 – where you actually achieve those healthy resolutions!!

xoxo Rita

A Simple Mind Hack to Empower You Over Holiday Sugar

How to Keep Hungry Away All Day

Halloween is over and it’s the official beginning of the holiday season–the season of sweets, parties and comfort eats.  My treat to you today is sharing with you the POWER OF NO. No? Yes, NO!

THE HOLIDAY EATING SPELL

It must be the candy corn (which many of you know is a major trigger food for me), the nostalgia of childhood, or all the Pumpkin Spice everything; as soon as Halloween and those bite size candies come around, so does this mental phenomena called “it’s the holidays”.  We find ourselves much more vulnerable to all our trigger foods, eating more calories, exercising less,and believing we have no choice but to surrender to the spell.

We emerge sometime after January 1  when the bell chimes and the spell of “it’s the holiday’s” recedes. We are left in the wake of the aftermath with weight gain, more struggle, and the disappointment of “how did I let it all go?”.

But, in this season of YES, we can start using the POWER OF NO.

FANTASY OR REALITY??In case you have not realized it, the mind can’t really separate fantasy from reality.

Have you ever found yourself watching a James Bond film where James is being chased by the bad guy and realize that your heart is beating faster, your breathing is elevated, and your stomach is tensed up — just as if you were being chased right alongside 007?

Have you ever watched someone watching an intense sporting on TV stand up and begin yelling at the players on the screen as if they believed the players could really hear them?  We can tap into this very phenomenon and the power of self hypnosis to help you resist trigger foods.

SIMPLE MIND HACK TOOL TO AVOID THE SUGAR SPELL

I am going to give you a subtle but easy and effective cognitive technique that you can use in a relaxed (self-hypnotic) state to help change your relationship to a particular trigger food (usually sweets or starches) that you have a vulnerability to over eat or binge on.

I have used this with some of my trigger foods (frosting, Wine Gums, and candy corn) in the past and it works well.  You will want to practice this exercise a number of times for it to have a real impact.

-Find a place to get comfortable and close your eyes.

 

-Now imagine your trigger food in front of you.

 

-Now practice saying “No” to that trigger food in many different ways and times.

 

(IMPORTANT:  Not “No” as in, “You can’t have it.”  I mean “No” as in “I choose not to have it.”  Making this distinction between –you can’t have and I choose NOT to have is huge.  The former engages the Inner Critic and the latter engages the Inner Coach.)

 

-Practice saying “no” to your trigger food politely—Pause and take a deep breath between each time you imagine yourself saying “no” to your trigger food.

Thank you, but no.

No thanks.

 

No.

 

No.

 

No.

 

-Now imagine saying no to the trigger food firmly the same way.

 

No!

I said no!

No!

 

No!

 

No!

Repeat this polite no and firm no with the trigger food in the circumstances that you might encounter it; at the grocery store, at the party, in the office, in your kid’s goody bag, in a restaurant, in your cupboard (hey, what’s it doing there?), at a drive through etc.

NO, NO THANK YOU, NO….HELL NO!!

-Now imagine someone else is eating your trigger food and telling you how delicious it is and offering it to you.

 

-Imagine many different ways of saying no politely and then firmly to them.

You can even yell at them if you wish( in your imagination that is!).

Now, still in the relaxed position run this exercise again but now add your voice.  Practice really saying no politely at first and working your way up to a resounding firm “No!”.  Make sure you take a breath in between each “NO!” and align yourself with that feeling that you are saying “No” because you choose to and not because you have to. You can do this part while you are driving in the car—just say no!!

I recommend that you start with the food that is your strongest trigger and repeating down the list of trigger foods.  And repeat a few days or before you go to a party or event where you know you’ll be tested.

Please let me know how this works for you.

xo Rita