Questions to Self Correct
Inside Out Weight Loss
Renee Stephens

Episode 222 - Questions to Self Correct

Today’s episode presents a series of powerful questions to ask yourself that will add that gray scale to your black and white thinking, which surprisingly, will open up a world of Technicolor to your life. Learn how a client self corrected after an Tuscan vacation and integrated airport food into her Naturally Slender lifestyle, and when a mid-western fish fry blow out is a good thing.



Renee Stephens: Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I’m your host Renee Stephens, and together we’re accessing the control panel of your body/mind system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life. Today on the show we’ll be discussing great questions to ask yourself to add that gray scale to black and white thinking. In other words, great questions that will allow you to self-correct, to mine your experiences whatever they are, no matter how much that you think that you’ve screwed up or messed up, and turn those situations around, to become a naturally slender person.

Renee Stephens: What about this situation triggered me? Maybe this is a trigger situation, a type of situation that you hadn’t yet realized. Maybe it’s up for healing, it’s being served up by your sub-conscious mind, saying, “Hey, I realize a lot of great stuff is going on here, let me offer up this one ‘cause it needs a little attention, needs a few resources.”

Renee Stephens: We’ll go to the extreme, we’ll go from our extreme of being toxic in our daily lives, to the extreme of detoxing. I’ve heard the same kind of syndrome when it comes to the idea of the detox. “Oh my goodness, I need a detox. I need to clear out my system. I need to clear it all out. I need a Roto Rooter to get everything gone. I need a detox.” And the concept is great, especially when it’s done with a spiritual practice in mind.

Renee Stephen: And the better you are at self-correcting, the more competency that you develop at bringing yourself back into balance, ideally before you’ve even overeaten. Now that’s nirvana, isn’t it?

Renee Stephens: So go ahead and drop inside. Set your intent for this episode. Spend a moment centering and becoming present with you. Notice any sensations in your body, any feelings, any images that come to your mind. Relax. Take a deep breath. And as you let go, let go of any tension or tightness in your mind/body system, knowing that you’ve come to this place for a reason. There’s something here for you. Set your intent to discover what it is. It’s time to spend some time with you, renewing, relaxing and revitalizing. What is your intent for today? Inspiration? Motivation? Information? Perhaps it’s to learn one more thing to take you that much further. Perhaps it’s support. Whatever it is, go ahead and set your intent now. My intent with this show is to end the weight struggle and free as many people as possible to live their best lives. My intent in this episode is to enable you to dissolve what’s been holding you back, to allow your problems to evaporate like shallow puddles in the sun. My intent is to allow you to move clearly and easily into living your dream, because I know that it’s possible. I know that you deserve it. And I know that you can.

Renee Stephens: So far on Inside Out Weight Loss we’ve learned about towards and away from motivation, positive intent and meta outcomes. We learned about resolving our internal conflicts, to create inner alignment, and that perhaps is one of the most important steps that you’ll take, resolving inner conflict, understanding what the gift is from the part of you that’s been causing you to overeat, that’s been causing you to behave in ways that you may not be in alignment with. Understanding those gifts can create a beautiful foundation for lasting positive change. We even spent an episode going over what foods to eat, and as you know, I think food is about ten percent of the recipe that’s going to make you successful. It really is a very small piece of the puzzle and one that gets an inordinate amount of attention. Whenever I’m at a party or a social event and people ask me what I do and they want to talk about weight loss, whenever I find that conversation gravitating to what foods to eat, I know that we’re on the wrong track. I know that it really isn’t about what you eat, but rather how you eat it, what your intent is and what you want. So we spent a couple of episodes going over the naturally slender eating strategy, training our minds to become relentless pleasure seekers so that we can be naturally slender. Hey, I’m a poet and I didn’t know it. We also discussed the concept of continuous improvement, how to be like a baby learning to walk and enjoying every experience that we have because it allows us to learn just like every weight loss attempt that you have ever made. It’s contributing to the probability of your success now with Inside Out Weight Loss. Why? Because you’ve learned an awful lot about what doesn’t work, and now it’s time to learn what does. We also went in depth to understand self-correcting, another core concept of how you bring yourself back into balance whenever you get thrown off. Because the truth is that life will throw you for a loop, and the better you are at self-correcting, the more competency that you develop at bringing yourself back into balance, ideally before you’ve even overeaten. Now that’s nirvana, isn’t it? Self-correcting before, when you’re emotionally out of balance and your foods okay. But really the goal is to reduce, this is what we learned last episode, to reduce the duration, intensity and frequency of your overeating episodes. Overeating by the way is defined by eating more than your body needs to be the weight that you want to be. Eating past the point of being hungry. Eating when, I’m sorry, eating when you’re not hungry and eating past the point of when you’re satisfied, that’s what overeating is. And so it’s all about how quickly and easily you bring yourself back into balance. If you overate a little then you correct a little the next time you think about food, perhaps you eat a little bit less. If you overate a lot, then you’ll be even less hungry the next time. So we spent a lot of time discussing first, second, third lines of defense. First line of defense, self-correcting, how you correct on your own. Second line of defense, how you correct in community with others. And third line of defense, when to seek professional help, and who those professionals are. You want to have a short list of people that you go to that you know can help you rebalance when you really need it, because as they say, “a stitch in time saves nine.” You also listed your trigger situations, the types of situations, just like my client Sally did, that could possibly throw you off. That’s what you want to learn and be confident about self-correcting from, those types of situations that occur again and again in your life that throw you off, ‘cause when you really think about it, I bet you there aren’t that many, I bet you there are just a few.

Renee Stephens: So, we were talking about, last episode about adding a gray scale to black and white thinking, adding color to black and white thinking. Did I mention to you the spa syndrome? You know, the spa syndrome. Maybe you’ve never been to a spa before or maybe you have. But the spa syndrome is what I have heard many times from my clients, it’s the idea that, “I’m going to go away. I’m going to go away to this intensive program where we eat nothing but, I don’t know, lemon rinds and cayenne pepper for a week, meditating fourteen hours a day, everything will be taken care of, the weight will melt off me”, and it does indeed. You go to the spa, the more you pay the less you eat, I think that’s the way it works. Don’t get me wrong, I love the spa experience. In fact, I have a dream of running a workshop at a spa. I’d love to do that, and hopefully that’ll happen in the near future. But it’s the idea that we’re going to go away and in a blitzcry week of overall, all our problems will melt away. We’ll go to the extreme, we’ll go from our extreme of being toxic in our daily lives to the extreme of detoxing. I’ve heard the same kind of syndrome when it comes to the idea of the detox. “Oh my goodness, I need a detox. I need to clear out my system. I need to clear it all out. I need a Roto Rooter to get everything gone. I need a detox.” And the concept is great, especially when it’s done with a spiritual practice in mind. But really the detox, what I’ve seen used in our culture is more the detox as just a politically correct or more palatable way of saying that I’m going to go on an extreme weight loss regime so that I can atone for the sins of my overeating. Now that’s all well and good, but the problem is how do you reintegrate into your life? How do you deal with those trigger situations? Remember Sally and her four types of trigger situations? How do you deal with your types of situations that throw you off? Because going to the fasting spa isn’t going to do it. You need to figure out how you’re going to deal with the situations that occur in your daily life.

Renee Stephens: We’re going to take a break now to support our sponsors, because our sponsors make Inside Out Weight Loss possible. And when we return I’ll tell you the surprising story of how a client of mine self-corrected from her healthy Tuscan vacation.

Renee Stephens: We’re back now. This is Renee Stephens and you’re listening to Inside Out Weight Loss on Before the break we were talking about spa syndrome, detox syndrome, and how we can use those types of programs simply to go to another extreme, the swing the pendulum back to the opposite extreme, which keeps the cycle going. And I was promising to tell you the story of my client, who went on a fabulous vacation in Tuscany. Well she goes there every year with her family, they go to Italy and have a wonderful time. And when she’s there it’s idealic. She eats fresh food all the time, she shops every day, she’s out in the clean air, or not so clean if everybody’s smoking, but… You get the idea. And she really has a wonderful time with her family in Italy on this vacation that she takes. Well when she came back after one of these trips, she said to me, “Oh my goodness Renee, it was fabulous. I’ve resolved. I’m never going to eat processed food again. Never, ever. I’ve seen the light. I feel so great when I eat this way.” And I thought, “Well this is wonderful. This is a really fantastic reference experience for her to have.” And yet, I was a little bit concerned, maybe more than a little bit, because I know that this client of mine has a very demanding sales job. She has built a very successful career out of nothing and become and extremely successful sales person. And so she travels a lot, she’s really busy, always on the go, managing many different things, she’s a single mother, and she’s got a very demanding lifestyle. And I knew that the idea of shopping everyday and cooking fresh food everyday was probably not too realistic for her. So we started talking about how she would self-correct, how she would make the most of her life. And sure enough, it was only a couple of days after her return to work that she had to go on a quick trip, quick air trip, I believe it was from San Francisco to LA for the day. Well of course she had no time to shop, she had no time to cook, she had to eat in the airport. She had another trip after that, I think cross-country in the same kind of situation. And because we had already brainstormed about how she would handle this type of situation before she went on these trips, she realized that, you know, she’s not going to be eating beautiful fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market, freshly prepared everyday. Sometimes it’s the peanut pack on the, the discount airline, that’s all you get. But she was able to do that and make the most of the situation that she had. No, it wasn’t ideal. But she made the most of it. And she was very proud of herself for eating a pack of peanuts when she was hungry and passing on the, the overstuffed sub and choosing a salad, which wasn’t the best salad she’d ever seen, but it was the best that was available. And she came back feeling like, you know, it wasn’t great, but it was good that she could manage that way. And so that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about. I’m talking about integrating this into your lifestyle. It’s, you’re not going to make the extreme overhaul and expect it to last. We want things that will address those situations that used to be triggers for you. How do you self-correct from those situations?

Renee Stephens: I remember another client of mine, we were walking through the naturally slender eating strategy, and she announced to me that she was, she’s, we were, one of the situations she came up with was the movie theatre and the big trigger for her to overeat. I think they do that on purpose with all those popcorn smells that they seem to fan out to everywhere in the theatre. And she said, “I am not going to give up my milk duds and popcorn. No way.” And we started walking through the eating strategy, I, you know, whatever, she can have her milk duds and popcorn if that’s going to work for her. And we got through it, and I said, “Well how is it going to make you feel to eat the big box of milk duds and the tub of popcorn while sitting through a movie?”, and she said, “Well actually, it’s not so good. It’s kind of heavy now that I notice it, but I guess I never really notice it ‘cause I’m so busy watching the movie.” “Wow! Is it worth it then if you’re not even going to notice it, ‘cause boy that’s, milk duds and popcorn, that’s going to set you back from your weight loss goal quite a bit.” She said, “You know, it doesn’t, it’ s not all that good”, and thought, “Well I’ll have nothing.” Notice what I’m saying here? Black and white thinking, from eating the milk duds and popcorn to having nothing, she said, “Well that’s no good. I like to eat something in the movie theatre.” And then she had this epiphany. She said, “Oh, maybe I could have a small milk duds. Or maybe I could have just a popcorn.” And she got a big smile on her face, she was so excited about this concept of having something that was between the two extremes, that was livable for her. And so sure enough, the next time or times she went to the movie theatre, she didn’t even care, she forgot, I love that, she forgot to have the milk duds and popcorn. And I think maybe she had popcorn once and maybe milk duds another time, and then she kind of lost interest in all that eating, that mindless eating in the movie theatre that she wouldn’t even enjoy. So maybe occasionally she has it, but she found that gray scale, she found that world in between the extremes. And that’s what we’re doing here. We’re finding the world in between the extremes. I had another client, and she was known for going on extreme programs and being extremely on and extremely off, and I gave her, I gave her a homework assignment, which was to be radically and excessively moderate. That’s right. Her homework assignment was to be excessively moderate. Boy, now that was an interesting challenge for her, and it opened up a whole new world of possibilities

Renee Stephens: So now what I want to do is share with you some questions that will allow you to open up that gray scale of thinking for you, that place where if you can’t do the fresh, organic, raw, goodness knows what food, then, and you’re in an airport, how you going to survive? How are you going to make this a lifestyle? So here’s a great question; I’ll have clients who say, “Oh well, you know”, I remember one client, she said, I said, “Well what have you noticed this last session?” She said, “Oh my goodness. We went to a, a big fish fry”, I think she, she lives somewhere in the Midwest and that was the thing they did on Friday nights, and, “Oh my gosh, I overeat, ate, and the fish fry was, there was just so much food, and da, da, da, da.” And it had been two weeks since we had spoken, she was a telephone client, and I said to her, “Oh well yeah, I understand. The fish fry, that was tough”, I said, “Well what about the other 13 days and 22 hours?” She said, “Oh, well they were great. I was moderate, I was sleeping well, I was eating well.” I said, “Oh, well that’s fantastic. So for 13 days and 22 hours all was well. And for 2 hours, not so good.” And she said, “Yeah.” I said, “That sound pretty darn good to me.” We want to add that gray scale, we want to focus on the positive. So here’s a great question for you; how was this overeating episode different from past episodes? What was different? How was it a sign of progress? Was it less intense? Remember duration, intensity and frequency, the difference? Was it less enjoyable? Did you realize that, “Hey, this really makes me feel bad?” Maybe you had to test it out one more time just to prove to yourself that it really didn’t work for you. So ask yourself, how was this episode different from past episodes? What progress have I made?

Renee Stephens: Here’s another great question; what about this situation triggered me? Maybe this is a trigger situation, a type of situation that you hadn’t yet realized. Maybe it’s up for healing, it’s being served up by your subconscious mind, saying, “Hey, I realize a lot of great stuff is going on here, let me offer up this one ‘cause it needs a little attention, needs a few resources.” So what about this situation triggered me? And then you can do a redo. Remember the running the mental movie that we discussed in an earlier episode of Inside Out Weight Loss? You can do a redo. How could I behave better next time? How could I behave differently next time? Do your redo. Ask yourself, “How can I easily self-correct from this situation?” Notice how that question is phrased, “How can I easily self-correct from this situation?” We’re almost out of time, but before we go I want to offer this final question that echoes what we’ve learned in an earlier episode, that echoes the whole idea of a learning mind, of continuous improvement. And this question is a question you could ask in any trying situation in your life that would yield wonderful benefits it you simply made a habit of asking it. The question is, “What is there for me to learn here? What is there for me to learn here?” You know, I believe that life offers up to us the same situation over and over and over again, until we figure out how to deal with it. It’s as if we get infinite practice opportunities until we get it right, and then we move on. And so ask yourself, “What is there to learn here? How would I like it to be next time?” These types of questions… Notice that I didn’t even, nowhere do I ask the question, “Why? Why not?” What if you ask yourself, “Why did I overeat?” Go ahead, why did you overeat the last time that you overate?” Okay, because your mother spoke meanly to you when you were five? Because of that teacher? Because it rained on the day of your graduation? Why? Where does that get you? It’s a fascinating question if you want to psycho analyze yourself, but it’s not really going to get you very far. So we don’t as “Why” questions on Inside Out Weight Loss, we ask “What?” We ask “How? How can I easily self-correct? What is there to learn here? How was this episode different from past episodes? What triggered me?” These are the questions that we want to be answering ourselves.

Renee Stephens: That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. If you’d like to leave a question or a comment for me to answer on the show, leave a message at 206-350-5333. I may play your question or comment on the air. For other shows on the Personal Life Media network, please visit our website at There’s loads of great content out there to feed your mind, body and spirit. And there’s an Inside Out Weight Loss Yahoo group moderated by a listener. This is a great way to support and be supported, because remember, you’ll get double or more out of this program of what you put in, but you must put in to get out. So join the Yahoo group, there’s a link on my blog,, r-e-n-e-e, on the right hand side of the screen under blog roll, along with a bunch of links to other resources and sites that I recommend. 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. 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 gathering, event 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.