Seems just about everyone’s on some sort of health/weight loss kick – juicing, Crossfit, Paleo (Google ‘caveman diet’ if you don’t know what it is). Goodbye, Krispy Kremes; hello, kale.
Even with all the tools, rules and resources available to us, the weight loss battle isn’t won in the gym, it’s won in our hearts. Heal the emotions, begin to heal the body.
The number on the scale isn’t the real issue. Most of us – stats say up to 95% – will regain any weight we do lose.
So forget quick external fixes. Resolve to be gentle with yourself. Let go of condemnation and guilt. Give yourself grace.
These are three keys to begin detoxing emotions that may be keeping you unhealthy:
1. Be gentle with yourself.
Being gentle with yourself happens when you can stop laying blame and instead take responsibility for your health.
Our culture tells us fat is not our fault. Blame genetics. Stress. Metabolism. Hormones. TV. Medications…
After gaining nearly 50 pounds, I blamed a family obesity curse and a demanding job.
But truthfully, I needed to admit that I was a food addict who would choose Red Velvet cupcakes over lifting weights any day.
Saying “It’s my fault that I’m overweight” is very different from saying, “I am responsible for doing something about my weight.” The former causes you to look back; the latter faces you forward toward healing.
2. Let go of condemnation and guilt.
Science has proven that forgiving others and ourselves can help fight off diseases like depression, stroke and high blood pressure.
We just don’t hear much about it largely because the multi-billion dollar weight-loss industry doesn’t make money off of forgiveness – and we’re too busy chasing empty promises.
One day as I was watching people run up a hill, the thought came to me, ‘Who told you that you would always be fat?’
…the saleswoman who bluntly told my mother no one sells size 14 dresses for little girls…TV viewers who said I was too fat…a co-worker who put my face on a pig roast invitation…
I’d been teased and bullied about my body for so long that I believed the lie that I could never. run. up a hill. Sobbing, my heart was finally released from the prison of self-hatred and guilt.
It’s hard to look at yourself and hate what you see. To get free, you have to forgive – and that may include the person looking back at you in the mirror.
(Do not be ashamed if you need a therapist’s help at this point.)
3. Give yourself grace.
“The number one reason people regain weight,” says Dr. Jennifer Landa, “is the diet mentality. If we live in a state of constantly feeling deprived, we will eventually rebel.”
Giving yourself grace is the opposite – a way to adopt a mindset of abundance and plenty.
I grew up afraid of starving. To escape that poverty mindset, I took a radical approach: I let myself eat anything I wanted for a week. ANYTHING.
Instead of spiraling out of control, you know what happened? Grace. I didn’t have to fear starving anymore – not for food or love or forgiveness.
You’ll find your new mindset spills over into wanting to rid yourself of destructive habits, excess stuff and even toxic relationships that don’t support the best version of you.
As your spirit heals, you’ll find that your body begins to tell you the healthy things that it wants; you may be hearing it speak for the first time.
You really can ditch the scale and lose weight from the inside out. Detox your emotions and you’re well on the way to a life rich in health.
And that hill that left me in tears? I run up it all the time now.
Shay Holland is a Los Angeles journalist and TV host who has also been the face of brands like Gap, KGO-TV and Cost Plus. Shay contributes to ‘Feel Rich’ and is the author of, ‘Throw Away Your Scale to Lose Weight for Life.’ Find Shay at
Feel Rich introduced it’s first community hero, Liana Simms, before the summer. Here is another entry from Liana about her journey and how YOU can overcome whatever it is that is holding you back from being wealthy in health. MORE >>
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