Adding a Gray Scale to Black and White Thinking
Inside Out Weight Loss
Renee Stephens

Episode 221 - Adding a Gray Scale to Black and White Thinking

How is your self-correcting going? Have you written you list of first, second and third lines of defense? Listen to today’s episode and learn the real answer to why you can’t lose weight (you may not like this one), as well as how you can turn that around quickly and easily by simply shifting your focus. Renee share how to make the DIF that makes the difference to your ongoing, unbounded success.



Renee Stephens: Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I’m your host Renee Stephens. Together we’re accessing the control panel of you body’s mind/body system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life. Today on the show we’re going to be talking about black and white thinking, and how you can add a gray scale to discover the entire Technicolor world, the land of Oz that lives between those two extremes.

Renee Stephens: Three quarters of a banana, a little bit of peanut butter to it, some oat bran for fiber, and whir it away in the blender and I feel great after drinking that. So protein rich breakfast might be a great way for you to start your day.

Renee Stephens: Plan out your meals. When I lost my weight I used to plan my meals the night before because that set me up for success, because guess what, when you plan you’re running a mental movie… sound familiar here…of the way that you’d like to be. Remember the reading from a few episodes ago? Planning out your day. Do you need to pack a lunch for the next day? Where are you going to get at food that makes you feel good? How are you going to set yourself up for success?

Renee Stephens: The dif, the d-i-f. This is where you want to focus. The dif means you want to be focusing on reducing the duration, the intensity and the frequency of your overeating episodes.

Renee Stephens: So go ahead and set your intention for this episode. You know how to do this by now. Drop inside for a moment and become present with you. Take a deep breath, and allow yourself to simply let go of any tension or stresses from the day. And drop inside, becoming present with you. Aware of your inner experience, aware of sensations in your body, feelings, thoughts. And with each breath that you take as you listen to this show, you can allow any tension or tightness or cares of the world just simply melt away, as you open up, open up to positive and lasting change. So what is your intention for today? You know that you’ve come to this show for a reason. It’s not accident. There’s something here for you. And perhaps you’d like your intention to be to find it. What is it that you want to get out of today’s show? To springboard you forward into living the life of your dreams? Would you like to be inspired? Would you like to have an “ah ha” moment? Or perhaps you’d like to learn a practical step that will make the difference for you. Whatever it is, go ahead and set your intention now. My intent with this show it end the weight struggle and free as many people as I possibly can to live their best lives. My intent with this episode is to enable you to dissolve what’s been holding and move clearly into living your dreams, because I know that it’s possible. I know that you deserve it. And I know that you can. So far on Inside Out Weight Loss we spend a long time talking about towards and away from motivation, how to really shore up your motivation for the long haul. You might want to even check back in with those motivators and update them to really make sure that you are ready to go and motivated to continue pursuing your dream and getting better and better with each new thing that you learn each new day. We’ve learned how to up our energy levels, how I overcame chronic fatigue by creating inner alignment and resolving internal conflict. We even spent an episode going over what foods in your diet will make your journey easier. We also learned about metabolism matching, that in many ways it really doesn’t matter what your metabolism is. What matters is your ability to tune into your body and match your intake with your energy burn rate. We walked through the naturally slender eating strategy and trained our minds to become relentless pleasure seekers so that we are naturally slender. We then discussed the concept of kaizen, continuous improvement and learned how to have an ever-learning mind by doing a simple daily technique at the end of our day called the redo. To redo and learn from all of those experiences that we might do differently the next time that they come up in our lives. We also have been talking over the last two episodes about a really important incredibly valuable concept, a concept that is missing from most of the other weight loss programs that I’ve seen on the market. They all talk about how to, what to eat and how to get yourself pumped up and motivated, and yet what makes the difference for the long haul. Because we know that that rah-rah type of motivation can’t last a lifetime. At some point we want to relax, we want to rest. And at some point we’re all going to screw up because that’s the way that we learn. That’s the nature of being the imperfect human beings that we are. It’s the way that we all learned to walk, by falling down on our little bottoms again and again and again, until finally we took those first excited steps and fell again and then we took more exciting wonderful steps. And before you know it, we were exploring everything that we could find. All because of the joy of screwing up and learning from our mistakes. You listed the kinds of situations that have been trigger situations for you. And last week we talked about the first, second and third lines of defense for self-correcting. What do I mean by this? I mean how is it that you bring yourself back to center? How is it that you renew when you get depleted, when you become out of balance? It happens to all of us. It’s not just modern life, it’s any kind of life. It’s the nature of the human experience, unless perhaps you’re the Dalai Lama and in his case maybe he’s renewing all the time through all that mediation he does. I know he’s on to something, because he’s always laughing, that guy. Anyway, so first, second and third lines of defense. Did you have a chance to think about those? Maybe you’re thinking about them again now as we talk about it. Maybe you’ve written them down in your journal. Maybe you shared them on the Inside Out Weight Loss Yahoo group that I hope you’re a member of. What are your first, second and third lines of defense?

Renee Stephens: I’d like to share with you a few other types of first line, first lines of defense. For example, last time we talked about a lot of different types of exercise that people do to get a natural high. Another way of self-correcting, or a first line of defense that you can do on your own, first line are things that you can do by yourself, is eating a healthy breakfast. Especially a protein rich breakfast. Because protein is digested more slowly than carbohydrates, so a protein rich breakfast will give you a stable supply of energy for the morning and set you up for success throughout the rest of the day. You remember Sally, the one who wrote me after two years to tell me it’d been two years since she had a binge and she was off of her antidepressant medication that she’d been taking for seven years? Well for her, one of her most important self-correcting mechanisms was to start her day with a substantial protein rich breakfast. Personally I love to make protein shakes. How do you make protein shakes? You go out and buy some protein, I use whey protein, I add three quarters of a banana, a little bit of peanut butter to it, some oat bran for fiber and whir it away in the blender, and I feel great after drinking that. So protein rich breakfast might be a great way for you to start your day. What’s another way to self-correct? Well thinking about the naturally slender eating strategy, what could it be? Mm, where do you put your hands when you’re thinking about food? On your stomach. Remember, your stomach, that bit just below your rib cage, above your gut? That’s where the stomach is. And you check in. For me, when I feel hunger, I love to feel hungry. Why do I love to feel hungry? Because it tells me that I’m on track. It tells me, “Ah, good, I’ve eaten about the right amount and I’m really going to enjoy the food I eat the next time I decide to eat.” I love to feel hungry for that reason because if I eat when I’m not hungry, I’m really depriving myself of an awful lot of enjoyment. So when I feel hungry, and I like to feel that way multiple times a day, certainly between meals, it tells me yes, I’m on track. I can become comfortable with that. I also feel like I’m more alert when I’m a little bit hungry. So hunger, which is just a physical feeling by the way… You know that, it’s really just a sensation, kind of like having to go to the bathroom, it’s just a sensation that gives you information, hunger is a good thing and a great way to self-correct. Wait until you’re hungry again. That’s what the naturally slender eating strategy has built into it. What else? Meditation. We mentioned that one last time. Here’s one I really love; make a gratitude list. List all of the things that you’re grateful for in your life. Compare yourself to people who are less fortunate, and I’m willing to be that there are a whole heck of a lot of them that you can compare yourself to. Are you one of those people who likes to compare yourself to all those magazine models and rich and famous people that we see on the media all the time? How does that make you feel? I know the effect it has, had on me for a long time. I never feel like I measure up. So compare yourself to the majority of the population, rather than the results of what the best of computer technology and photo editing can do, compare yourself to the real world. Turn on Jerry Springer to feel grateful. Just kidding. What’s another way, another first line? Take time off to do something restorative. Anything from a manicure to a Yoga class. Planning, that’s another great one for first line. Plan out your meals. When I lost my weight I used to plan my meals the night before because that set me up for success, because guess what, when you plan you’re running a mental movie…sound familiar here…of the way that you’d like to be. Remember the redo from a few episodes ago? Planning out your day. Do you need to pack a lunch for the next day? Where are you going to get food that makes you feel good? How are you going to set your self up for success?. Music and affirmations are other great ways to self-correct in that first line of defense.

Renee Stephens: Ooh, I got carried away again. Guess what, it’s time that we take a break now to support our sponsors who make Inside Out Weight Loss possible. This is Renee Stephens, and you’re listening to Inside Out Weight Loss on We’ll be right back.

Renee Stephens: We’re back now. This is Renee Stephens, and before the break we were talking about all sorts of great ways to set up your first line of defense, your first line of self-correcting to bring yourself back into balance, ideally before things have really barely gotten out of hand. The sooner you do it, the better. So set yourself a challenge. Set yourself a challenge to be, “Well I know I’m going to overeat from time to time or I’m going to get emotionally out of balance, and my challenge is to figure out how quickly I can bring myself back into balance.” That’s right. How quickly can I bring myself back into balance? That’s where I want your attention focused. You know that black and white thinking that we are all so vulnerable to? “Oh my god, I overeat. I’ve blown it now. I had three extra bites of cheesecake and since I’ve blown it I might as well go for it.” And you proceed to eat the rest of the pie. Right? That’s black and white thinking. And it really doesn’t do us any favors. Because you may be eating appropriately for your body all week long and consume enough extra calories in one episode to neutralize all of that, and then I tell you what’s going to happen; two days later when you forget that you overeat or that you overate or that you over drank you’re going to say, “Oh, I can never lose weight. I can never do it. I just have the metabolism of a bird and it, you know, it’s not fair, it never comes off of me”, because you forget about that one blowout. You’re conveniently amnesiastic…is that a word… about how much you overdid it in that one episode. And so you lose motivation. You say, “Oh gosh, it’ll never work for me because I’m so good all the time and it, just nothing works for me.” That’s the pattern that I’ve seen over and over again. And so really what we want to do is focus in on how quickly can you bring yourself back into balance, how quickly can you make the dif. What did I just say? The dif? What’s the dif? I mean difference, is that what I’m saying? The dif, the d-i-f. This is where you want to focus. The dif means you want to be focusing on reducing the duration, the intensity and the frequency of your overeating episodes. If you’re a binge eater, then the intensity might be a really important thing for you to reduce. If you are a grazer, then you want to reduce the frequency of your overeating episodes. So to reduce the frequency the first thing that you want to do, of course, think about this for a minute, what’s the first thing you want to do? Da, da, da, da, da, da, I’m waiting. Okay, the first thing that you want to do to reduce the duration, intensity and/or frequency of your overeating is figure out what the heck that it is before you begin. You want to document. Remember we did all that? I went on and on about it in the first episode and the second episode. So you want to think about how often do you binge if you’re a binger. Is it five times a week? Is it once a week? Is it five times a day? How big are your overeating episodes? Are you eating the whole cake? Are you eating an extra half a sandwich? What are you doing? What’s, what is it? And you want to put this down in your Inside Out Weight Loss Journal, your documentation journal where you got all that good information. Document where you are now, so that you can appreciate the magnificent progress that you make over time. Okay, so now you can think about, “Okay, well what is the duration of my usual overeating episodes?” Is it, does it last for two minutes? Two hours? Two days? What’s the duration? And it doesn’t really matter as long as your consistent in describing the duration, it doesn’t matter how you describe it. And then what’s the intensity? How much am I overeating? Are we talking about, you know, a couple bites of a sandwich or are we talking about a grocery bag or two? What is the intensity? How many extra calories are we talking about here? And then finally, what’s the frequency? How often are you overeating? Is it many times a day because you’re grazing and taking just a handful here and there, a mindless handful? Or is it once a day you have a blowout, or once a week or once a month? What is it? So document that, and then you want to focus, maybe even you want to set your intent. Hey, what an idea that is, set your intent for reducing one or more of those metrics.

Renee Stephens: And remember we’re talking about adding a gray scale or Technicolor to black and white thinking, so lets not go for everything at once, ‘cause I know that’s where our minds love to go, alright. So what we want to do is think about one reasonable objective, one reasonable goal that we’d like to reduce in one of those trigger types of situations, okay. And that’s what you want to be tracking. You want to know this, you want to focus on, “Okay, well I overate. And how do I bring myself back into balance?” And now you’ve got a list. In fact you’ve got three lists. You’ve got your first line of defense, those things that you do on your own. You’ve got your second line of defense, those things that you do in community with others, from the Inside Out Weight Loss Yahoo group and may even by the time you hear this episode be a Face Book group, if there isn’t there will be soon. Perhaps it’s by connecting with your friends, your support buddies, people that you enjoy. Perhaps it’s simply being in a dance class. Be around other people. Doing a meditation with other people, whatever it might be. Something that you do with others. Or your third line of defense, which is going to seek professional help from a coach, a hypnotherapist, a counselor, maybe even a massage therapist. Ooh, that feels so good. Facialist, yum. Wonderful. All those great things. That’s the great thing about self-correcting is it feels so good. That’s the whole point of it, isn’t it? To put on your own oxygen mask first, to get your own massage first. Oh, I’m sorry. I mean to enjoy yourself, to take care of yourself. And maybe it is that. Maybe it is getting your own massage before you buy that gift certificate for someone else. Take care of yourself.

Renee Stephens: We’re almost out of time for today, but before we go I want to remind you to make the dif, to make your journey easier. Reduce the intensity, duration and frequency of your overeating episodes. And increase, we want to state this in the positive, don’t we, increase the duration, the intensity and the frequency of your eating and exercising in ways that make you feel great about being alive, that make you live your best life. That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. For other shows on the Personal Life Media network, please visit our website at There is lots of wonderful content out there, from shows like Living Dialogues with Duncan Campbell, a personal favorite of mine, to Evolutionary Sales with Jason McClain. Or Beauty Now where you learn the latest beauty secrets. And by the way, remember that Inside Out Weight Loss Yahoo group moderated by a listener. You’ll get double or more what you put into this journey out, but you must put in to get out. So if you haven’t bought your journal yet, if you haven’t connected with others yet in support and community, now is the time. Also, I’d love to hear your voice. Leave a message at 206-350-5333. I may play your question or comment on the air. Or leave a comment on the blog, I love hearing what you have to say. This is your host Renee Stephens, and I am on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves one step at a time, because world peace begins with inner peace. Take good care. One final note, if you’d like to help me end the weight struggle and free as many people as possible to live their best lives and you have a corporate event, gathering or conference that you’d be interested in having me speak at, please send an email to [email protected]. That’s Renee, r-e-n-e-e, I look forward to connecting