Why Your “To Do” List May Be Fattening

Why Your _To Do_ List May Be Fattening


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!


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?”


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.

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


Forget Resolution and Try a Deeper “Evolution” Instead


Happy New Year!  I hope that you are planning to bring in the infant 2016 with a healthy BANG!!!  As you are trying to wrap your mind around writing 2016 on everything instead of 2015, I thought I would just remind you not to get too caught up in starting the New Year with a resolution to be perfect on a diet now that 2016 has rolled around.

It always puts an ironic smile on my face when I shop at Trader Joes over the holiday season. They put the most tempting and decadent foods  in your eye line up until January 1: peppermint stuffed Oreos, caramel and truffle filled chocolates, chips and dips.  But by New Year’s, all the hedonistic holiday foods have been miraculously replaced by angelically pure and healthy mountains of protein drinks, bags of organic kale and nutrition bars in order to cash in on the health conscious New Year’s Resolutioners.

Of course by the end of the month of January, most new health club memberships and cans of protein powder are collecting “resolution dust” in the back of a closet as life goes back to “normal”.

Have you ever wondered why New Year’s resolutions sadly go the way of the fad diet–gone and forgotten within a few weeks???  Because resolutions only engage the conscious 12% of our brain–the analytic willpower “I want” part of us.
Here are some common resolutions–

I will quit smoking
I want to stop eating crap
I will start exercising
I will yell at my kids less
I will cut down on my drinking
I will stop spending so much money!

Unfortunately the subconscious mind, the other 88%, is the beliefs and habits part of the mind. This part of the mind hasn’t heard any of your resolutions. The unconscious mind is wired to keep everything going on in the same old way—failed resolution year after failed resolution year.


When we create a vision of who we want to be, and really feel how becoming that vision would feel and step into that vision with 100% belief, it changes how we see ourselves. Instead of forcing change from our willpower mind (12%), we can use both our conscious and subconscious 100% brain to commit to evolving into the person we want to become in 2016 instead.

Why does a vision impact out our subsconscious?

-It uses our imagination-
-It engages our emotions
-It changes our beliefs of ourselves

Our beliefs, emotions and imagination all exist in our subconscious and therefore creating a heartfelt vision of who you want to evolve into for 2016 engages all of you and not just the measly 12% willpower brain. Take that resolutions!


 I am going to use myself as an example. The last two years I have been writing the book version of my hypnosis based weight management program called The Shift Weight Mastery Process.

This year I am evolving into the author who launches that book to the world!

Just “publishing” the book in my mind does not excite me too much. In fact, the idea of publishing can be quite intimidating and overwhelming. But, by visualizing myself with the book in my hand, giving it to people that I know will be served by this process that is the culmination of my life’s work, and being able to serve so many more people in this way —this vision excites me and inspires me to want to:

-Wake up at 4 every morning to work on it

-Push past old ideas of myself “I can’t write”

-Push past real life challenges “I don’t have time”

-Stay focused! (for instance I have avoided watching things like “Madmen” because it would be too distracting away from my evolution. After the book launch is when I get to binge watch Madmen and not am moment before!)

I want to offer you walk these key steps that I have been using to create my evolution:


1–Be specific.  This may be a “by when?” or “how many?” For me, I have September 20th, 2016 as the exact date that I become the author who launches The Shift Weight Mastery Process out to the world.

When we set vague goals, our mind stays unengaged– “trying to lose weight” or “hoping to exercise” will not cut it—I assure you. Engage your evolution vision by getting specific—

Who are you evolving into? (A published author)

What is your evolution about? (Bringing “the Shift” to more people who need it).

When is to going to come to fruition? (September 20th 2016)

Where is the evolution happening? (Starts here in Los Angeles and moves out from there—the moon?  Mars?)

Why is this evolution important to your and how will it evolve you?? (This evolution is part of my mission to help people out of the weight struggle and into weight mastery. It evolves me because I have to take a bigger stand, be more committed and more exposed and out there with my teachings, hypnosis and my mission)

2–Be real with yourself.  Set goals that resonate with all parts of you. Forget the “should”—this word is banned from the evolution process.

I “should have been published by now” only causes me distress and rains on my creativity. I have taken a while to write the book because I needed it to take this long.  I have been focused for almost 3 years but have never felt overwhelmed—it has been a life changing process.

I find when people set unrealistic expectations about weight loss or goals in general, it usually overwhelms and scares the unconscious and we “shut down” instead of getting inspired.

Be kind to yourself and smart about what is really possible. Slow and steady usually wins the race—think about the process of human evolution—it’s pretty darn slow!

3–Create adventure–make your vision sexy!

Creating a bland and boring vision of evolution just isn’t going to cut it—you need to excite yourself, scare yourself, inspire yourself to become MORE OF YOU! I think when we strive to become more of who we feel we were put on this planet to be, it is usually the most motivating starting point for creating an evolution and will endure.

For me, my book has been and will continue to force me to express myself and my work and to communicate to weight strugglers everywhere.  That is something that gets me up every morning.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? That is usually a good starting question.

Yeah baby—I feel an evolution coming on!!!


Here are some sexy EVOLUTIONS to try on rather than the sad resolutions stated above

-I will quit smoking EVOLVES INTO I am becoming a non-smoker.
VISION: I am finding more healthy and productive ways of self-soothing–which will give me more confidence–a feeling that I can do anything!!!

-I want to stop eating crap EVOLVES INTO I am becoming more health conscious.

VISION: The more alive and whole foods I put into my body the more alive and whole it will feel!!!

-I will yell at my kids less EVOLVES INTO I will become a more patient parent

VISION: I imagine communicating effectively with my children and truly having a family based on the word team.  I desire to be a model for them. I will respect myself and them so that they can do the same.

So, as you are making those 2016 resolution lists, do yourself a favor and “Shift” from resolution to EVOLUTION!!

May all of your evolutions create amazing Shifts in your lives, the community, our nation and the world at large!!  Start with yourself and make a Shift and see how the world changes because of it.

Alone we diet—together we SHIFT!

Happy New Year 2016!!!



What Do I Want? Ask, Don’t Tell!


Do you ever tell yourself to do something like, “I am going to get up and exercise tomorrow morning!” and you really, really mean it and your intentions are so good, and boy!  oh boy! tomorrow is really going to be the start of a new life of exercise and then your alarm goes off and …you hit the snooze and go back to sleep?

And so the next night you say, “Tomorrow morning I am not going to be lazy!  I am going to do it.  I soooooooo mean it!  I am so getting up and exercising!” and tomorrow morning comes and your alarm goes off and …you hit the snooze and go back to sleep..AGAIN???

Ever wonder why that happens?

Do you remember the cartoon Charlie Brown where the teacher speaks in the classroom and all you hear is “Wah, Wah Wah”?

Or the FAR SIDE comics with the hilarious drawing of the dog and its owner saying, “Go get the ball SPOT, go on SPOT get it!” to the dog and all the dog hears is “blablahblahblah SPOT blahblahSPOTblah!!!

That’s kind of how your unconscious mind hears you when you tell it to do something that it is not used to doing.  It really doesn’t hear you because it is way too busy keeping things just the way they have been, exactly the same.


Employing a tool I call THINK OVERS is a way to activate your unconscious mind more effectively to make a change.

THINK OVERS are simply thinking through a challenging food or exercise situation in your imagination before you actually are in the situation—imagining the specifics of the outcome you want to create instead and asking your mind, “how do I create this new outcome I want instead of the old outcome that does not serve me?”

What this does is it  helps your conscious willpower mind and your unconscious habit mind to work together to create a new behavioral map ahead of time.  This is particularly helpful for situations where we find ourselves in Inner Rebel reaction mode—acting out unconsciously with behaviors that cause us to struggle with our weight–situations like parties or restaurants.  Even thinking though getting out of bed in the morning to exercise are great places to use THINK OVERS ahead of time.


Let’s look at the example:  “I am going to wake up tomorrow and exercise for an hour!”  When we say “I am going to exercise tomorrow!”  nothing at all happens in the unconscious neural pathways—nothing is engaged because what you are commanding is change and our unconscious resists change!

The Inner Rebel in your unconscious mind raises his or her head and says, “What?  I don’t think so!” and goes back to sleep.  There has been nothing to seduce the Inner Rebel to be on your team– to take the contrary action of hopping out of bed and getting physical instead of hitting the snooze button which is what usually happens.


Let’s look at using a THINK OVER in the same situation:

1.  As I head off to bed with the intention of waking up to exercise,  I start with a question—“How am I going to make exercise happen tomorrow morning?”

2.  Next, I visualize myself in bed in the morning—I imagine the alarm rings –and ask myself the question—“What am I going to do when the alarm rings?”  Answer:  “I will stop it and put my feet on the floor”.

3.  I visualize myself actually taking the actions that I want to occur. I put my feet on the floor, “What am I going to wear?”—I see myself getting my walking outfit on.

4.  Next I get more specific with myself, I want to know everything I expect to happen,“How long am I going to exercise for?”  Answer: “An hour”-What if my unconscious retorts, “An hour doesn’t feel doable” I can negotiate with my unconscious to make something that might not seem so overwhelming at first. Revised answer, “How about 45 minutes?” My unconscious agreement: “Okay, we can do that”

5.  Lastly, I market to myself how fabulous it is going to feel when my vision of exercise comes to life—I really want to focus on this as the feeling of excitement will really engage my unconscious to want to do this.”

6.  I visualize myself heading out of the house and listening to music and greeting the morning feeling good, vibrant and in tune with myself as I feet hit the pavement.

My THINK THROUGH is over and I am ready to go wake up tomorrow and really engage in some exercise.

THINK THROUGHS are very effective ways to  syndromes. Try one today. I mean, when are you going to try one today?

What will that look like when you try a think through today? You catch my drift.

So, next time you want to create a new behavior and haven’t been able to get compliance with yourself—ASK don’t TELL and engage a THINK THROUGH—you will feel the SHIFT right away.

Have a great month…I mean how will you have a great Shifted May?

Oxox Rita

Why Should I Respect Me? 3 Steps To Start

3 Steps to Start

Do any of the following negative self-talk statements ring familiar?

“Why should I trust myself when all I do is fail?”
“I am an out of control addict and need to be fixed.”
“If I let that wild overeating part of me go I would never stop eating.”

Have your New Year’s Resolutions to start a new diet, detox or cleanse started to unravel?  If they have, you are not alone. Research shows that by January 19th, most people’s healthy New Year’s Resolutions have hit the dust and all that remains are the protein powders, the pre-prepared foods or the dust collecting exercise contraption that was purchased in the hope of the early days of the New Year.
I remember when I struggled with my weight 40 pounds up and down the scale, I had what I called my “CUPBOARD OF SHAME”. It was a place that I put all the of unfinished diet and health regime products that I had bought in the hope of finally finding the miracle cure for my weight “problem”.
Every time I opened the cupboard to put in the latest diet failure remnant, I felt a great sense of distrust about myself—the cupboard seemed to laugh mockingly at me, “see no matter how hard you try, you will never be thin, hahahaha!”

I had no trust that I could lose the weight myself. I spent a lot of money and time looking around for a miracle cure outside myself. When I found that “NEW WEIGHT MIRACLE THING” I gave it all of my power and let it try and work its magic on me.

But when the magic never happened or the magic went away and I went back to my old ways, I took my failure to mean that I couldn’t be trusted–I was a failure and there just must be something inherently wrong with me.

Sound familiar? Have your past weight loss efforts left you feeling bitter, busted and broken about the whole weight thing?  Has it left you with a distrustful relationship with yourself, food and exercise AND your body?

I am not surprised.  When we struggle with our weight, it leads us to have feelings of failure that lead to low-self and a deep distrust of ourselves in the weight management area of our lives.

What a pity.  You do not deserve to have such a broken down relationship with the most important person in your life— yourself!


It really isn’t your fault.  You see, our diet focused, quick fix, culture has made weight loss and management seem like you wake up one day and are either perfect at or you’re not.  It has messed with our deep expectations of what it takes to create long term success.

Long term success is about changing from the inside out. Learning to work powerfully with yourself and gradually building trust, skills and confidence over time.  It definitely isn’t about waking up one Monday morning and being good on a diet for the rest of your life.

How many people do you know who in November said, “Wow, I am still really going strong with that resolution I made January 1st!” My guess is few to none, right?


So, what would it be like to begin trusting yourself this year, right now?  What would it be like to SHIFT your thinking and actually use your mind powerfully to build long term ways of taking care of yourself and your body and allow you not only to release weight but to create a powerful new relationship with yourself in this area of your life?

I would like to offer you 3 new ways of breaking through old distrustful ways of thinking and SHIFT them into new ways of thinking that can move your forward on your journey to a slimmer more empowered year.


1) STOP STARTING OVER TOMORROW OR MONDAY:  Most people don’t realize that they have built a habit of “starting over” when they go off their healthy eating plan. “I ate pasta, I blew it, I will start again Monday”.

Every time we “start over” we are adding to our internal distrust bank account and building the habit of “starting over”.  Instead, when that old impulse arises, get present, and commit to moving forward with your healthy eating plan the very next meal or snack. By committing to keeping on moving forward, no matter what, you are breaking yourself our of the cognitive error habit of “all or nothing“ thinking and staying present to reality.
Once your mind has a new opportunity to learn why you made the choice you did, learn from it, and move on. When we learn we build confidence and also, you guessed it, TRUST.


Our negative self talk is so sneaky we don’t even see it as negative, or self-talk. We see it as THE TRUTH!!

We have 80,000 thoughts that flow through our mind per day and a lot of them revolve around the “fact” that we are the problem–that somehow we are flawed and that we need to be fixed–therefore, we need to look outside of ourselves for the solution to our weight struggle.

Never for a million years do we think that we might hold the solution. No, we are the freak and we need to fix ourselves as fast as possible so that we can get back to “normal” and accept ourselves and others can accept us too.

Wow! Who wouldn’t want to go bury themselves in chocolate rather than listen to a 24-7 Debbie Downer recording of how incompetent and horrible we are?

Let’s hack into the file and delete the distrustful spew and replace it with some more powerful programming.

a. When you hear that negative self take, take a breath:that brings your mind into the present rather then the negative thought pattern habit.

b. Label the negative thought as a negative thought:  What this does is start to break up the energy that the negative thought holds over you. “Oh there is that NEGATIVE THOUGHT that I am a failure because I ate those potato chips instead of a salad.

c. SHIFT the Negative thought into a learning thought and move on now seeing yourself as a learner of new skills rather than a failure.

Example:“ I am not a failure, I am committed to weight release and maybe that wasn’t the best choice but I can learn from what happened.

d. Think through a new solution (if the situation calls for it).  “Next time BEFORE I come into the restaurant, I need to remind myself to order the salad on the side, otherwise once I am in the restaurant sitting with my friends and chatting, I might forget and then be tempted when the potato chips arrive on my plate.”

  3) MAKE DO-ABLE PROMISES AND KEEP THEM:  One way we shoot ourselves and our self-trust in the foot is by making huge commitments that are un-realistic.

EXAMPLE: I will work out for an hour and a half a day (said by someone who hasn’t exercised in 5 years)
EXAMPLE: I will never eat sugar again as long as I live!!

Start by making much more realistic goals that you know without a doubt you can keep. This way you will begin building trust with yourself that you are someone who keeps their word
EXAMPLE: I will walk at least 20 minutes after dinner 4 days this week.
EXAMPLE: I will cut my refined sugar intake during the week, substituting fruit instead. On weekends I will allow myself one treat per day.

By using these powerful thinking techniques you will not only be moving yourself forward towards weight release but investing in a much higher quality and more trusting relationship with yourself.  Enjoy your new  self R-E-S-P-E-C-T and enjoy moving forward into the new year!

ox Rita