Continuous Improvement, Part II
Inside Out Weight Loss
Renee Stephens

Episode 10 - Continuous Improvement, Part II

This episode we briefly review the concepts presented so far on the show, and go even more deeply into the Kaizen of weight loss. Learn how to create a learning mind, and how your screw ups can be your greatest gift. Plus, rediscover the secret to mastery that you knew as a baby.



Renee Stephens: Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I’m your host Renee Stephens, and together we’re accessing the control panel of your mind/body system.

Renee Stephens: Instead of going straight to the candy bowl yourself imagine doing what you wish you had the hutzpah to do or you could do without fear of consequences. Now imagine the quality that you’d like to have that will make it easy for you to be the way you want to be.

Renee Stephens: Ask any creative person, or perhaps you’re creative yourself and you’ve been through a creative process. Do we create things by getting discouraged every time we get it wrong? Well no. In fact the most creative people will build their mistakes and distractions into the creative process.

Renee Stephens: Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I’m your host Renee Stephens, and together we’re accessing the control panel of your mind/body system, teaching you to think like a thin person and bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life. Today on the show we’ll learn more about continuous improvement, or the Japanese concept of kaizen. So go ahead and set your intention for this episode. Drop inside for a moment and become present with you. Realize that this is time that you’re taking for you, and open yourself up to healing and breakthrough. You’ve found this show for a reason. Know that you’re in the right place, that there’s something here for you. You may have a lot of other commitments. You may have children. You may always be giving. Well now it’s time for a moment, for just these few minutes in today’s episode, to take time for you. So go ahead and set that intention, whatever it is; learning, breakthrough, a break from your day to day responsibilities. My intent in this episode, as in all episodes, is to enable you to break through what’s been holding you back and move firmly into living your dream. So many of my clients tell me as we go through the process months after we’ve started, they say, “Oh my goodness Renee, I realize that I’ve become that person that I dreamed of being back when we first met.” I can’t wait for that to happen for you; that person that you dreamed of back in the early episodes, that wonderful you. Notice how you’re already becoming that person. Feel gratitude and thanks. And if you haven’t come far as you would like to by now, no worries. The concept is the concept of kaizen, or continuous improvement. We learn from every experience, we mine every experience that we have for learning and improvement. And that way you can never fail.

Renee Stephens: So far on Inside Out Weight Loss we’ve really set the groundwork for your success. We learned about towards and away from motivation, motivation that will take you not just to the initial enthusiasm phase, but for the long run, and you may want to revisit your motivators. If you’ve written them down, think about them again. It’s time to renew your motivation. We’ve also learned how to resolve internal conflict, how to identify and resolve whatever it is that’s been holding us back by understanding the gift of our own resistance. If we’re in inner conflict we may be feeling run down, depleted, low energy. Those are the signs. And by understanding and acknowledging what the gift of our unwanted behavior or the unwanted, what we thought was an unwanted part of ourselves, we can really take advantage of that situation and turn it around to be in fact one of our greatest strengths. We spent an episode going over the nuts and bolts of what foods that you want to have in your diet, what foods will simply make your journey easier. I’m not talking about should’s and shouldn’ts, I’m talking about what’s going to bring energy to your body and fullness to your life. I’m talking about foods that will make your life easier. Why wouldn’t you choose that? And I know because as crazy as I am I actually spent 16 years without eating any sugar. Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe that any human being can do that, especially one whose favorite lunch in college was an ice cream cone with chocolate covered peanuts. That was my idea of protein. I, yes, I was a sugar addict. And I spent then 16 years because my philosophy borrowed from 12 Steps was that, well, sugar makes me out of control, and so my life is easier without it, and that’s how I was able to do it. It didn’t feel like an effort. So think about foods that you want to eat because they make your life easier, and turn it, tune in to that episode, revisit that episode which talks about what foods will do that fro you. We also learned about the naturally slender, those people that used to drive us nuts because it’s so easy for them, no matter what they do. Maybe they have the metabolism, the golden metabolism we like to think of, the ones that were blessed at birth. Well we uncover some of those myths in an earlier episode. We also talk about doing marathons and Iron Man triathlons and massive endurance events and how they can affect our metabolism and our weight. And also we talked, we walked through the naturally slender eating strategy, so that we trained out minds to become relentless pleasure seekers, so that we can become naturally slender. Remember that Inside Out Weight Loss is about enjoying the journey. It’s about ease and effortlessness in your journey. It’s not about depravation. Because you know deep inside that when you overeat, when you eat junk food, what are you really depriving yourself of? Yeah. That’s right. You’re depriving yourself of health. You’re depriving yourself of looking good in those cute clothes in your closet or the cute clothes in the window of the shop that you love. You’re depriving yourself perhaps of feeling really good in your body. That’s what you’re depriving yourself of. So wake up to that notion, that real depravation is what you do when you don’t treat yourself like a queen or a king and giv yourself the very best.

Renee Stephens: Last episode we talked about the Japanese concept of kaizen, or continuous improvement, and how it allows us to harvest our day to day screw ups to become better and better. We borrowed a technique from champion golfer Jack Nicolas that I call the redo. We create a learning mind. Have you tried the redo yet? I’m interested to know. How’s it working out for you? It’s pretty fun. Especially if you allow yourself to play with it a bit. What do I mean by playing? Here you go; see yourself telling your boss where to go. Instead of going straight to the candy bowl yourself, imagine doing what you wish you had the hutzpah to do or you could do without fear of consequences. And once you’ve got that out of your system, once you’ve had fun imagining telling him where to go or whatever it is you really wanted to do for the short-term pleasure of it, now imagine the quality that you’d like to have that will make it easy for you to be the way you want to be. The quality that you’d like to have will make it easy for you to behave the way that you want to behave. And these qualities are often something like calm, balanced, compassionate, forgiving, centered, strong, whatever it is. Alright? I gave the example last episode of that time I was in Central America and freaked out because my food didn’t arrive on time. It was the ugly Renee syndrome, and how I use this redo technique to heal that context. So I’m really interested to know how it’s working for you, these redo’s. And remember, it’s not about getting it right once or even the next time, perfectly right. It’s not going to happen. All we want, our goal is to learn from previous experiences. We want to be in a state of a learning mind where we are grateful for the experiences that we have.

Renee Stephens: Now it’s time for us to take a short break to support our sponsors. This is Renee Stephens and you’re listening to Inside Out Weight Loss.

Renee Stephens: Welcome back. Before the break we were talking about the importance of creating a learning mind, how to harvest our day to day experiences to become springboards for positive change, because if we do just that it’ll be amazing how fare we come in a very short period of time even though it only appears that we make small incremental improvements. Much in the way that Japanese car quality dramatically exceeded the quality of cars coming out of Detroit, because they had just systematically been improving over the years. I want to give you another example. I want you to think about a baby. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever seen or know a baby learning to walk, if you’ve ever had one in your life and you’ve watched the baby learn how to walk. If not, let me explain to you how it happens. What happens when a baby learns to walk is that they watch other people walking around and they think it’s pretty cool, so before you know it they’re pulling themselves up on the coffee table. That’s right, they pull themselves up and they don’t get too far, do they? They pull themselves off and, plop, right on their often wet or even poopy diaper. That’s right. Plop right back down. Do they say, “Oh no, I’ve blown it. I’ll never learn to walk. I must be a defective baby. Oh no.” No. They pull themselves right back up again, and plop, back down again. And again, and again, and again. That’s right, until finally after ten, twenty, thirty attempts maybe or more… I, certainly I lost track because I was, it just went on and on and on. They get to the top of the coffee table and they hold on there in that wobbly adorable baby kind of way. You know, they’re wobbling away, they’re trying out there round new little feet that have never been walked on before, and plop, down they go again. Do they despair? “I’ve blown it. I’ll start again tomorrow, but for now I’m just going to wallow in my own self-pity. No, they don’t do that. They pull themselves right back up again, ‘cause “Hey, that was cool wobbling up there. I want to do that again.” And they pull themselves up, and pretty soon after a couple hundred more attempts, maybe they can let go from the coffee table and they can stand there wobbling back and forth before they go, you know, plop, right back on that diaper. I’ll spare you the details this time. Again, up they go, undeterred, and back down again, and again and again and again. And before you know it, they’re taking their first tentative step on the coffee table. And then they fall down many, many times again until finally they can put two and three steps together, and before you know it they’re running all over the house and, ahh, it’s time to childproof, quick. Can you tell that I’ve been there? Yes. In any event, that is the way that you learned to walk. That’s the way that I learned to walk. That is the way that all of us learned an incredibly skill, a skill so complex that it has taken researchers huge numbers of hours and dollars and experiments to even attempt to duplicate it, and last update I saw they still hadn’t gotten it right to make robots be able to walk like the human, like a human being can. And yet we do it easily, effortlessly without even thinking about it. And that is the nature of the learning process. Ask any artist. Ask any creative person, or perhaps you’re creative yourself and you’ve been through a creative process. Do we create things by getting discouraged every time we get it wrong? Well no. In fact the most creative people will build their mistakes and distractions into the creative process. You may remember the Disney strategy for creating, where we dream undeterred by the critic. So we want you to put that critic aside, the one that says, “You didn’t get it perfect today, so you’ll never get it right”, we want to put that critic aside for now, say, “Thank you very much. Wait for a moment please. There will be a time and a place for you, and when that time and place comes you will be incredibly valuable. But I don’t want to waste your input. I want to save it for when it’s most necessary. Thank you very much.” Now lets go about learning from our day to day experiences. Yes, the boring day to day office party, hanging out with the kids, whatever it is, social plans, experiences, and I want you to do some redo’s so that you go over in your mind the way that you would rather be. That’s right, on a daily basis.

Renee Stephens: We’re almost out of time today, but before we go I’d like to share one more concept with you, because this whole idea of continuous improvement, of kaizen, is so important. I want you to think about the idea that there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback. This is a concept that’s a guiding principle for nueralinguistic programming, one of the things that’s the basis for my work, one of the things that has inspired my work. And think about it, there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback. Because what I’ve noticed in people who struggle with their weight is that we are inordinately self-critical. We’re always finding fault with ourselves. We’re always not quite good enough, striving to be better. And why do we do this? Why, why do we criticize ourselves so much? What’s the positive intent of it? Remember positive intent? Well often the intent is to make ourselves better. If we say, “No”, we’re not good enough. If we say to ourselves, “No, that’s not acceptable”, then the hope is that we will be better, that we will improve. But it doesn’t always work out that way. In fact quite the opposite is true. We easily find ourselves in a vicious cycle where we feel bad because we haven’t been good enough, we haven’t met our standards, and when we feel bad we really, really want to feel good right away, and what will help us do that? Yes, food. We eat. And so because we eat we again feel bad. And so we want to eat again. And we get caught into this cycle of overeating. If we recognize on the other hand that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback, then all of a sudden these experiences that we have become learning opportunities, and that’s what I’ve been talking about in these last two episodes. And I will talk about it more in future episodes because it is critical. This is the thing that will move you forward. This is the thing that will break that cycle that has been holding you back, that has been stuck in like a hamster in a hamster wheel. This is the thing, the learning mind, the willingness, the conviction, the understanding that it is learning from out experience that makes us better, that the gift of our mistakes is the ability to learn from them. And that is what will guide us on our way and allow us to evolve and improve as human beings, to improving happiness. So I don’t care how badly you screwed up. In fact the more you screwed up, the better, because it’s a richer learning opportunity. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Feedback into the system that tells you how to navigate an airplane that flies from San Francisco to New York is never on course. Did you know that? An airplane that flies from San Francisco to New York is never on course, it never flies in a single straight line, it cannot. Because what the navigation system does is continuously make adjustments, continuously make corrections. Which leads me to the intriguing topic that we’ll be covering in a couple of episodes, the concept of self-correcting. I can’t wait to share that with you. And I’ve got a whole bunch of goodies for you along the way.

Renee Stephens: That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present. And thanks for all of your comments to the blog. If you haven’t visited yet go to, and check out the other postings on the blog. Leave your comments and questions on my voicemail at 206-350-5333, that’s the Inside Out Weight Loss voicemail, 206-350-5333. I may play your question or comment on the air. I’d love to have your voice with me for the show. For other shows on the Personal Life Media network, please visit our website at There’s loads of intriguing content to feed your mind, body and spirit. This is 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, one day at a time, because world peace begins with inner peace. Take good care.