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.

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.

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.

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.


[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.


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.

Here is the link to sign up for JJ’s FREE MANIFESTATION CHALLENGE that she mentions—it’s coming up in August:

LINK TO JJ’S Next Big Step Retreat

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.


Book Cover From Fat to Thin Thinking by Rita Black

Choose your podcast platform 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

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?


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.


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.


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 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!



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: Go there and test drive some hypnosis today!

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

Effective Praise


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.


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.

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!

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?”

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!!!


ox Rita Black
Director, Shift Weight Mastery

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!


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.


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.








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



I said 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.


-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

BACK TO REHAB or Take Back Your Power From Sugar (with FREE HYPNOSIS)



Good news!  Checking into rehab these days is no longer seen as a sign of weakness.  In fact,  it is the “in thing” to do!  So, let’s take this opportunity to RE-HABITUALIZE your relationship with sugar, one of the most addictive substances around.  Back in 16th century France, when sugar became a rare and coveted delicacy, it was call “Crack”!  And in the last 25 years, the consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup has risen 10705%!!

As we finish out the summer and head into Fall, with all it’s sugar tempting holidays, there is no better time to break our addiction to sugar and carbs. That’s why I’m adding a special treat this month, with a free “Curb Your Sugar Cravings” hypnosis session that will help you detox, rehab and stay sugar sober. The benefits are numerous– the long list includes weight maintenance, lowering diabetes risk to full body wellness and even anti-aging!!  So, let’s quit this drug now!


When we consume too many refined sugars and carbohydrates, it throws both our mind and body out of whack.  Our bodies are not built to eat high levels of carbohydrates so over time consuming to many can throw off hormonal function, exhaust our adrenal glands, over tax the pancreas and liver, and make us prone to insulin resistance.  It also just makes us lose our power and become what I call a CARB EATING ZOMBIE.

So, why are carbs and sugar so addictive?

Body Addiction: Our blood sugar levels spike and drop with excess sugar consumption.  When we experience a blood sugar drop, we then feel tired or hungry or light headed or all three.  What is our impulse to do to fix this unpleasant state?  Eat more sugar of course and the process starts all over again.

Mind Addiction: Our mind also becomes imbalanced with excess sugar and carbohydrate consumption because our pleasure/reward centers are tickled when we eat too much.  The mind says “oooh that feels good– let’s keep doing that—let me get some more”.  We continue to eat the sugar overriding our signals of homeostasis (stop eating I have had enough calories) and eat too much.

Over time, our mind’s amino acid balance is thrown out of whack and this also causes us to feel “addicted” as we seek more carbs to restore the balance.  What we should be doing is restoring balance with the amino acids in protein.


How can our Inner Coach use certain strategies to keep us out of that addiction cycle? Here are some weight master’s CARB RE-HABITING strategies to put into place today.  Remember,it’s consistency, not perfection, that is going to keep you on your journey to long term permanent weight release.

1-Eat more fiber, whole foods and protein: In order to physically “unhook” addictive eating, it will serve you to make sure you are getting enough high fiber fruits and vegetables (5-10 servings) and lean protein( 50 grams)

2-Know your refined sugar and starchy carbohydrate “ceiling”:  Ever heard of the glass ceiling—well there is a daily carb ceiling too.  Every “body” is different and can tolerate a certain level of starchy or refined sugars and carbohydrates on average on a daily basis.  If you are consistently consuming more than your limit, you start feeling “hooked”. It will be your mission to discover what your ceiling is and to make sure that you stay under that ceiling on a daily basis. A good place to start is 2-3 servings or less than 150 grams of carbohydrates a day.

3-Tune into your body after eating refined foods and sugar:  Some foods have a worse impact than others and for many, the rule of thumb is to avoid eating sugar on an empty stomach because that sets off raised blood sugar levels and also creates a bigger impact on the brain, which starts looking around for more sugar.  It is best to eat sugar (if, and when you do) with other food.
4-Think of refined starches and sugar like cocktails—only to be had after 5pm!  The earlier in the day we eat refined food, the earlier we begin wanting more!!!

5-Learn trigger times and emotional triggers for compulsive eating.  Use your Inner Coach to come up with ways of comforting yourself other than food. Find healthier alternatives for those times when you have gotten used to reaching for the more “addictive” foods.

-Sit and grant yourself permission just to close your eyes for 5 minutes.
-Listen to the Curb Your Sugar Craving hypnosis session.
-Take a walk.
-Call a friend.
-Sit down and write your feelings or just sit with them and let them move through you—they won’t eat you alive (and you won’t be eating them!)


If you find yourself eating too many carbohydrates and getting “hooked” do not fear—you can bounce back quickly and escape the grip of “addiction”.  Learn the lesson and move on.  Take action as quickly as possible and engage in the following strategies and you will become unhooked in no time:

1-Forgive yourself:  Hey, life happens and this world is full of sugar and junk. The idea isn’t to be perfect, the idea is to learn the lesson and move on.  If you beat yourself up—you lose the lesson. If you learn the lesson now, next time you don’t have to fall prey to the same old useless habit—this is what re-hab is all about.

2-First, take a break from all starchy and refined carbohydrates for three days.

3-Next, up your protein intake. This will stabilize your blood sugar and stunt the false hunger that is being caused by your out of whack blood sugar levels. Up your intake to at least 70 grams of protein for the next 3 days.

4-And up your intake of vegetables and whole food.  The more healthfully you eat,the less your body craves the junk.

5-Drink water which flushes it all from your system.

6-Try supplementing with L-Glutamine—a natural occurring amino acid (you can get it at Whole Foods inexpensively) that will help cut carb cravings.

7-Move your body and exercise.  In fact, take action on this step as soon as you can.  It immediately makes you feel better about yourself.  Even if you only walk around your block—just do it!!!

Note:  Starchy Carbohydrates can range from whole grain bread to the most refined sugary candy and alcohol.  Even though starchy carbohydrates from whole foods give you more nourishment than candy and donuts and more refined carbs, some people have such a low tolerance level and can overeat even these “healthier” foods. Part of what we learn at Shift about being a “loving scientist” with ourselves is finding out what amount is right for you.

Remember, long term permanent weight release is not about being perfect.  It is about embracing imperfection and consistently finding solves and strategies that allow us to stay connected to ourselves and moving forward.  It’s important to “show up for ourselves” rather than hitting the “eject” button on ourselves and our weight release when we get off course.