The secret to losing weight and keeping it off, according to me, the former Jananda (family nickname for being overweight) and professional emotional eater, is to let go of your baggage.
What baggage you ask?
Maybe it’s the baggage you carry in your home. The things you have but don’t need.
Maybe it’s in the back of your cupboard – clothes you’re waiting to wear, clutter you couldn’t bear to throw out, outdated bags, old shoes – all needing to go, yet hidden from sight.
Maybe your baggage is stuck in your body – old wounds, devastating grief and hurt words.
Maybe it’s still in your head and heart – critical eyes and fingers pointing at you, picking on the scab of your scars and pressing on the bruise of your insecurities.
Maybe your baggage is woven through your social media feeds – old lovers you don’t need to keep up with but haven’t had the guts to let go, friends who bully you or jokes that make you feel less instead of making you laugh.
No matter where it exists, you probably know if you have emotional baggage.
You know because you are easily triggered. You know because the same series of behaviours crop up all the time. You know because you can sense it.
Something from your past is holding you back.
My baggage was stuck in my body and in my head and heart.
My body was carrying grief that I hadn’t yet acknowledged – an ectopic pregnancy many years ago that caused a mountain of physical pain and at the time no emotional pain. The pregnancy was discovered and in 24 hours it was surgically eradicated.
And I use that word because it was like it was there and then it wasn’t. It felt like in a second, it was gone. My boyfriend and I had no idea what we were supposed to do – cry, communicate it to others, grieve, be sad or angry?
We chose silence
We never spoke of it and therefore it didn’t exist.
The only thing was it did.
And only once I acknowledged that I had lost a life, a life that could have been a son or a daughter and only once I allowed myself to accept it and grieve it, was I able to let it go.
In letting that, and echoes of critical words, statements of unworthiness and projections of not-good-enoughness, all go, was I able to drop the physical weight.
And, keep it off.
In life we are taught to hold on
We are taught that perseverance is the ultimate feat of character and will. We are taught to never let go of our dreams, our ambitions and our hopes for our lives.
We are taught to stay in failing relationships in the hope that something will change. We are taught to stick to dead-end careers because it pays the bills. We are taught to sacrifice ourselves because it will benefit others.
The sentiment of holding on is often helpful but it is not always the entire picture.
Sometimes, letting go is the bravest, and most important thing you can do.
You will be summoned to regularly let go throughout the course of your life.
You will have to let go of past experiences and past identities – the ones that have molded your surroundings and your environment, all the pieces of who you became, that are not pieces of who you really are.
You will have to let go of old belongings, the ones that were owned by those old identities, that defined them, expressed them and created them.
You will have to let go of old relationships, people who understood and connected with the person you used to be.
You will have to let go of old emotions and traumas, those things that have kept you stuck and have held you back.
The releasing and re-growth process is inevitable.
We can try to continue to hold on but eventually we will have to let go.
Emotional baggage is stored in our bodies but it is also scattered throughout our lives.
It is in the things that hold memories in our homes. It is in the old clothes we have stuffed at the back of our cupboards and it is in the expired friendships that we keep.
We can acknowledge and accept our pain. We can also let it go.
We can thank our old clothes, old memories and old belongings and we can also let them go.
We can start to build a new life
We can start to build a new life around the person we want to be by slowly letting go of the person we were.
One day we’ll find that the emotions that were keeping us stuck and holding us back have started to neutralize. Not because we forced them away but because we acknowledged them, thanked them and let them go.
We start making choices that support our new lives.
We eat and exercise to nourish our bodies. We create spaces that make us feel calm and cocooned. We dress in a way that elevates our style and speak in a way that supports our wellbeing.
Each time we choose a better future, we let go of the past.
We don’t let go of love when someone leaves, we let go when we learn to love again.
We don’t let go of our past identities when we start disliking them, we let go when we wake up and find ourselves surrounded by a new environment, one that matches the person we are becoming.
We don’t let go of our fears once we know we have them, we let go once we show up – nervous, sweating, shaking and unsure but willing to move through them anyway.
Letting go is an important part of our wellbeing
We know what to do and we need to find the courage to do it.
I’d love to know your thoughts? Drop me a line below.
Please hit the share button and send to a friend who might need to hear this.
As always, I’m here for you and rooting for you x