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Weight Loss: What’s Forgiveness Got To Do With It?

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Laura Madden
Written by Laura Madden
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Did you know letting go of past hurts can affect your weight loss efforts? Join author Laura Madden as she shares “Weight Loss: What’s Forgiveness Got To Do With It?.


Written by Laura Madden

Learn how forgiveness and letting go of past hurt can affect your weight loss efforts. How is it that every time I turn around, there’s another diet book, infomercial, or workout to fry our fat? If it’s not calories, it’s fat; if it’s not fat, it’s sugar; if it’s not sugar, it’s hot yoga and boot camps, etc., etc. Shouldn’t we have kicked the weight loss thing already??? I mean, if it were just about diet and exercise, we would all be Twiggy, and I wouldn’t have a job! There must be something else… And the good news is, there is!

Here, I explore how failing to forgive can prevent you from releasing unwanted weight and having the body you long for.

Photo Credit: Cansu Bulgu

Photo Credit: Cansu Bulgu

As a personal trainer, for many years struggling to help people reach their weight loss goals for good, I grew frustrated with my lack of results. As I encountered my own array of health issues, I began studying the fascinating connection between emotions, weight, health, and hormones. Huge AHA! We can affect what we see on the outside by working on the inside 1st! Change your mind, change your body. And weight loss is a total hormone game.

Instantly, I knew this was a BIG piece to the whole weight loss struggle we now know as a billion dollar industry in this country. One of the most toxic emotions is withholding forgiveness, or even holding a grudge. Withholding forgiveness, as with holding any negative emotion within, is super stressful on the body. Imagine holding a beach ball under water- just constant pressure, waiting to erupt and break the surface, and all that effort just to keep it down and all under control. This seriously hinders weight loss two ways: creating toxicity and a hormonal roller coaster within.

When we are holding a grudge against anyone or anything, we are activating the stress response, which floods the body with the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and insulin, ultimately making it easy and convenient for the body to store body fat around the middle- yes, that being “belly fat.” Excess cortisol has many toxic effects on the body, such as compromised immunity, increased risk of heart disease & stroke, and decreased metabolism and accumulation of belly fat. Toxicity due to emotions can be just as damaging to the body and our weight as eating junky, dead foods, or chemical exposure, as it can acidify the body, dampening our metabolism and ability to effectively create energy from our food. “The most selfish thing you can do for yourself is to forgive other people.” Dr. Dean Ornish.

Be selfish! Honor yourself and your health. It’s your choice! Decide & be empowered. Having choice alone gives us a sense of control, which also makes us feel good, allowing weight loss with ease. Forgiveness can include deciding to outwardly reconcile with a given offender or situation, or internally deciding to accept and let go of someone or something. Forgiveness is not condoning behavior, but letting go of our own suffering, freeing ourselves, feeling lighter, and capable of anything we desire. We can not change what happens to us, but we can change how we feel, perceive, & react to what happens to us.

For most of us, forgiveness is a process, a way of life. A continual letting go of negative emotions, unhappy memories, betrayal, rejection, jealousy, grudges we hold about anything- especially ourselves! Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, author of “Dare to Forgive,” says forgiveness “goes against a natural human tendency to seek revenge.” So, it makes prefect sense why we we feel fear & resistance to forgiveness.

Who or what do you need to forgive? Forgive, let go, move on and most of all LOVE YOUR SELF! Forgiveness, especially of yourself, may be the highest form of self-love you can give yourself today! And that don’t even cost a thang!

Please share with someone you love deeply and care about. The more we let go, the more we love, the more we share, the happier this place will be!


Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
1 thing I’ve accepted in my life: Myself! My differences are my strength. They make me unique, valuable and unlike any other being walking this planet.

What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate my dedication to continue learning and growing. To stay in motion is to live life on purpose & fully!

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
One of my biggest achievements is being published. This is an area on my life that has just recently blossomed, though I’ve always done a great deal of writing. It is therapeutic and cleansing for me- a great way to purge stuck energy and emotion on a deep level. My work is growing and evolving, and it is extremely vulnerable to put myself out there, express myself to the world, and allow my voice to be heard. I see bigger and better things to come through my self- expression. Books! Lots of books!

What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
I definitely have a tendency to hide out when I am feeling insecure and unsure about myself. This can show up as procrastination, which then leads to fatigue, leaving me without energy to give and share with others.

How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my body. I love what I see in the mirror. It is my vehicle and it allows me to do all these wonderful things I came here to do!

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About the author

Laura Madden

Laura Madden

Laura Madden is a certified holistic health & lifestyle coach, a Chek practitioner, certified yoga instructor, model, & founder of the True Food Detox for beginners. She helps women who have struggled with their weight & relationship to food, find more pleasure, play, and creativity, so they feel empowered to live authentically & lose excess weight for life.

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