“Your body is the baggage you must carry through life. The more excess the baggage, the shorter the trip.”

~Arnold H Glasgow

I have struggled with weight issues since I was a young teenager.

Not only weight, but depression, anger, anxiety, loneliness, and a whole host of other issues. My parents are both overweight and both struggle with other medical and emotional challenges.

My mom tried so very hard to help me see the horrible path I was walking with my food choices (all the while having a bag of cookies hidden in her room). Very confusing when I was young if you ask me. She resorted to unkind means to get me to change my life, physically.

Those tactics didn’t work.

I remember, at 13 years old, I begged in prayer for God to make me skinny.

To make me beautiful. To make someone love me. In my 13-year-old mind, that prayer was never answered.

As an adult, I resorted to some of those same unkind methods to “make myself” be healthy. Telling myself that I will be fat and ugly, and no one will love me if I don’t stop, or that I’m not worth anything if I’m not healthy. Punishing myself for giving in and eating something unhealthy, usually also hating myself and then stuffing down more food. And I continued to gain weight. At 21 years old, I was 250 pounds. At that time, I went to work for a health company that researched what was genuinely healthy. We created whole-food supplements and taught people how to eat healthy, exercise, use supplementation, and stay focused on their goal.

I lost quite a bit of weight while working there; 100 pounds to be exact. But I was one massive ball of depression and anxiety on the inside. And when I was filled to the brim with negative emotion, my body tried to match the size. I had no idea what to do with all this emotion. I still hated myself.

Funny thing, I discovered that whether you’re fat or thin, you’re still the same person on the inside. You still have the same life experiences, the same beliefs about yourself, life, and others. It doesn’t just magically go away. Crazy right?!?! Yes, I believed that if I made myself super thin; I would literally become a different person.

I approached my boss several times with the thought that perhaps emotions had something to do with someone’s physical health. He brushed me off and reminded me to stay focused. “Focus on your goals, and you can accomplish anything,” he would say.

I was determined. Motivated through anger and self-loathing, with a side of pleasing others. That focus turned into an addiction. I discovered how much I love the feeling I have when I exercise. I still love that feeling, by the way. But at 22 years old, that feeling became an escape for me. I could forget about all the static and yucky feelings going on inside of me and could feel the burn, strength, and energy I got from exercising.

I exercised morning, noon, and night. I was a trainer for a short time. Becoming an exercise coach myself, I found that helping other people was just as fun as doing it myself! Though sometimes, I had to fight the urge to shove my client over and hop on the machine myself. Weights were my favorite. But I loved aerobic classes, dance classes, the treadmill, the elliptical machine; I could do it all.

I clung to exercise too tightly. Eventually, my body won. It always does.

One of the beautiful gifts of our bodies is that it genuinely wants healing. It is always working towards healing.

I have found that when there are emotions that need to be discovered, processed, learned from and released, our bodies will give us multiple signals. They are trying to tell us that there is healing that needs to happen. These signals can be weight, aches, pains, headaches, anxiety, depression, hunger, cravings, etc. I believe our bodies want to live in a state of joy. True joy. It is where we are happiest.

Years later, I eventually learned to celebrate these signals. Gaining a few pounds? Excellent, what is my body trying to tell me. A headache? A backache? Anxiety or overwhelm? OK! What do I need to learn? What belief do I get to change or give my body? What do I need to look at emotionally? It indeed is a beautiful system.

At 22 years old, I snapped. As hard as I tried, the exercise was no longer working. Eventually, the pull to ice cream, popcorn, pastries, and other junk food crept in. There were all kinds of excuses. I deserve it. I’m all grown up, living on my own, and can do what I want. I’m sad and need to feel better. This food will make me feel loved. Loving myself means giving my body what it is craving. Watching a movie? Where’re the treats! So. Many. Excuses.

That 100 pounds I lost slowly started to come back. Then, 13 years ago, I had a realization. If I don’t let go of my addiction to exercise, I will never heal in the way I need to and have TRUE joy. Something clicked for me, and I KNEW I had to face my emotions to truly heal.

I let go of exercise. But really, I was letting go of my prideof.

I foolishly thought that I was fine. Because I exercise! And yet, here was this other addiction to sugar, other junk foods, and food in general that were being ignored because, hey, I’m an exerciser. That means something special, right?

I started emotional processing with my life coach; wow, was that a rough road. I imagine it happens a lot faster for some, but I didn’t want to let go of my precious comfort food. The happier I felt, the more I ate. The sadder I felt, the more I ate in secret. I was a whopping 300 pounds. How on earth did I let that happen? And yet, I honestly felt like I had no choice and no control.

Nevertheless, I was consistent. I continued to work through my emotions. I kept the practice of looking at my stories, my beliefs, my shadows, and working through them.

Two years ago, I started using the philosophies we have in Live by Heart™. Everyone always asks me what I’ve done to lose so much weight. How it is that less than six months after an ugly divorce, starting a new business, a move across the country with two small children, school, and many other changes, I’m still losing weight AND I am so incredibly happy! How is that? What am I eating? What am I smoking, haha!

What is it exactly?

I could tell you exactly what my diet is. But here’s the thing. I’ve done more diets than you can imagine. Don’t believe me? I’ve done the protein diets, the fat diets, all raw, no sugar, low fat, the lemonade diet, the vegetarian diet, the Mediterranean diet, the HCG diet, diet pills, the pineapple pills diet, the forget-it-I’m-going-to-eat-whatever-I-want diet. I’ve also tried hypnotism, meditating, focusing on what I want, and even the ‘force yourself just to walk away’ method. I’ve done them all.

So, I could tell you what my eating lifestyle is like; but it’s not the point. I could not have done it, had I not started practicing the Live by Heart™ way. At Live by Heart™, we teach people how to find the underlying issues that cause issues with weight, addiction, depression, and anxiety. We offer tools, training, and supplements that help you regain the power to choose and have joy.

Do I ever have a treat? Heavens yes. The difference is, I have a choice. I can choose to eat it, and there is no part of me on the inside that is incongruent with that choice. Or I can take one bite and be done. Or choose something healthier. I even find myself still eating emotionally from time to time. That makes me giggle.

It is a miracle. I don’t know about you, but I spent too much of my life beating myself up for any choice I made that was not perfect.

Now? I observe the experience of the meal, snack, or treat I just ate. I learn from it. I lovingly accept where I am. And I move on.

Thank you for letting me tell you my story! Please click here to learn more about our programs! Also, comment below and tell me what emotions you feel when you eat.