The Only Diet that Works – The Forgiveness Diet

640_salter-bathroom-scaleIt’s January and most people set about making resolutions.  The most common resolution is to lose weight.  Well I just finished reading two amazing books by Geneen Roth.  Women, Food, and God and When Food is Love.  I’ve also ordered her workbook Why Weight? and cannot wait to start revealing my  thinner inner self, especially after eating ‘too many to count’ holiday cookies.  The main premise of Geneen’s books are that when we allow ourselves to feel our feelings and not use food as a way to numb ourselves from the pain of our childhoods; then we will naturally make healthier choices, stop eating compulsively, and revert to our ideal weight. 

There are many more revelations I experienced in the books and I highly recommend any woman with any kind of eating issue (which is most of us) to read them, however the main revelation the book brought to me was the reminder that part of releasing childhood trauma, pain, and/or dysfunctions is to forgive our parents (or any other adult from our childhood) for whatever actions they performed that felt damaging to us.  Forgiveness does not make their actions acceptable, but it frees us from the mental prison we have ourselves locked up in, since we haven’t wanted to let go of our stories.

I recalled a powerful process I experienced when I attended a workshop held by spiritual leader Sondra Ray about six years ago.  The Forgiveness Diet originated from one of my favorite spiritual texts – A Course In Miracles.  The concept centers around writing statements of forgiveness every morning and every night for seven days to elicit healing in your heart toward those you feel have wronged you.  In some instances the person we need to forgive is ourselves.  I have included the exercise as a downloadable .pdf document for you to use. Commit to this simple, seven day process and notice how subtle, yet significantly powerful changes begin to unfold.

My associate, Brenda Adelman, was involved in one of the most profound experiences of forgiveness of anyone I have ever met.  Her father murdered her mother and moved in with Brenda’s Aunt – her mother’s sister just one month later.  I cannot even begin to imagine what she must have been feeling at that time in her life, but one unfortunate result was Brenda gained 20 pounds in a month.

Brenda found a cathartic way of dealing with her pain and created a dramatic one woman show, My Brooklyn Hamlet, as one of the ways she found to forgive her father.  She formulated her own forgiveness home study course titled Opening to Love Weekend after stepped through her own forgiveness process, lost her extra weight, and ultimately fell in love with the woman of her dreams.

Brenda’s article is our feature this month and she graciously shares three of her forgiveness for weight loss tips in addition to part of her tragic story.  Read on to find out how you too can release your weight along with your childhood pain and forgive those who’ve hurt you most.

Big Hugs and Lots of Love,


Brenda Adelman

Forgiveness and Losing Weight

by Brenda Adelman

Can you lose weight by letting go of a past betrayal?

Okay, I actually know the answer to this.

Yes, you can!

But will you? That depends.

Are you willing to truly let go of a past hurt and take new actions based on your new commitment?

If so, you can lose weight now and literally and figuratively lighten up.

The more you hold on to how right you are for being angry, not trusting and the belief that nothing works out for you in this arena (let’s say love) the more your body holds onto the fat.

You’ve surely heard that we unconsciously hold onto extra weight to protect ourselves. Let me explain how this works. We think we are protecting ourselves but we’re really distancing ourselves from having intimate relationships either because

  • we are ashamed of our bodies so we are embarrassed to get close to a love partner or
  • we are distancing ourselves from the intimacy of friendship because of our shame. This might look like isolating yourself or not sharing authentically.

In my experience I ‘held’ onto the extra weight emotionally so I could use it as an excuse to punish myself with negative self-talk -you know the things we say silently to ourselves about our bodies when no one is around. I also used it to prove to myself why I wasn’t attractive enough or good enough or lovable enough to have the relationship I wanted.

I thought I wanted to be in love. But guess what? Real love entails real intimacy and I unconsciously didn’t want that! That was scary to me at the time.

How could I open up to someone about myself when I believed I was unworthy?

Why would they want me?

How could I listen to someone else’s true desires, needs, wants, and dreams?

I was much too self-centered during the time that I was steeped in self-loathing to really listen to the needs of anyone else.

Take a moment to look below the surface to find out if you are really afraid of intimacy. You may find out that you have been unconsciously sabotaging yourself by overeating and not-working out because you believe you are unlovable.

In my case, it had only been a few years since my father killed my mother (after a tumultuous 30 year marriage). I certainly had a reason to feel not speaking to my father was right and I had lots of people agree about how wrong what my father did was. And from one-perspective it was. Murder! That was a dramatic ending to years of righteousness and inaction and blame and closed-down hearts and the inability of either of my parents to make choices from a loving place. They didn’t get the help they needed and that was available. Truth is, there is a lot more help available now.

My righteous belief that my father was wrong and I was right about not only cutting him out of my life but closing my heart down to him only hurt me.

At first cutting him of my life was important because I couldn’t speak up for myself around him, he never answered the questions I had for him and I couldn’t be myself.

When he got out of prison he called me and as I could no longer keep my heart closed, I took his call. My inner child was ‘happy’ and wanted her dad back. Problem was that ‘that’ Dad was gone the day he murdered my mother years before. I pleaded with him to find out what led up to him shooting my mother and not calling the police for eight hours. He wouldn’t talk about it. I wanted some substance to our convo-but nothing.

I became a shell of the bold woman I had defined myself as.  I gained twenty pounds in one month. I was heavier than I was at my highest weight fifteen years earlier.  And I hated myself for ever trusting him.

Boy, was this a chance for me to beat myself up emotionally.  This is the thing–because I spent every conscious moment beating myself up for gaining weight I didn’t have a chance to deal with the real feelings and anger I had for my father. I didn’t know how to tap into anger toward him because I had been brainwashed as a little girl to always defer to my father-the leader of our house. The key to releasing my weight was practicing some exercises that I’m going to give you right now.

At the time I gained the weight, I was in the middle of receiving a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology. I learned these techniques while there. In addition to using them myself to heal the burden of unforgiveness, (which included symptoms such as weight gain and lack of intimacy in relationships),

I list 24 of these exercises in my in-depth home-study program called Opening to Love Weekend Find all the details at http:/

First, I had to acknowledge that I was searing with anger toward my father. That acceptance was important to my healing. I had to face it head on because I hadn’t. I danced around it up until then. I was ‘mental’ about it, meaning I acknowledged I was angry but I didn’t do anything about it. That’s like knowing you are overweight and want to lose weight, but not committing to any action to lose it. That’s a very disempowering choice. Real change happens when you commit to let go of the excess baggage emotionally and with grace. It helps if you put a time on it. Write what you’ll do into your calendar.

1.    Healthy Anger Work – Free form writing:  Every day for thirty days carve out 15 minutes to two hours and go at it. Write without thinking, curse if you feel like it, express your rage, your sadness, your grief. Whatever comes up is okay. At the end of each session give thanks and close the session formally so you don’t bring that energy into the rest of the day. DO NOT REREAD. Shred your pages or light them on fire. Take it to the trash outside of your house. The next day start again.

This exercise releases the toxic energy buildup you’ve been carrying. It moves the negativity out of your mind and onto the pages of your journal. *If you need personal support with this process I recommend going to a local therapist or talk to a friend to help you through.

2.    Forgiveness of Judgments of Yourself: Combined with your anger work, you want to make sure to allow your judgments of yourself to come up so they can come out. It’s important not to suppress or deny your judgments of yourself anymore. Healing is the application of loving to the parts inside that hurt.  You can include and release these judgments during your free-form writing sessions.

If you’d like to learn the way that I forgave myself for judging myself as stupid for ever trusting my father or out of control for gaining that twenty pounds sign-up for my free e-course,The Five Top Reasons to Never Forgive and Why You Must at

3. Forgiveness of Others: You’ll want to also identify all the judgments you have been holding against others or the situation where you experienced betrayal in the past or currently. Bring it all up and out of you. Never use this work as a reason to beat yourself up. This inner working that you’re doing is courageous and it is the starting point of freedom for you.  Know that you are on a journey and where you are is perfect. In the bigger picture everything happens at the right time.

Okay, so what’s your goal? Are you ready to use the process of forgiveness that I’ve introduced here for you to reach a new weight loss goal? You’ve probably tried all the diets and that’s fine. It’s always healthy to eat well. This inner process will not only help you lose extra weight but help you be happier, have a better self-image, experience more inner peace and get more attractive while you’re doing it.

As you ‘lighten up’ on the outside by losing weight, you’ll also ‘lighten up’ on the inside attracting a life with more positive people and more love.

What happened to me?

•  I did the 30 day process of self-forgiveness of judgments against myself and my father.

•  I released my anger and my need to be right

•  within a couple of months,

•  I started loving myself again

•  I tapped into the love I had for my father in a healthy way

•  I released the extra twenty pounds

•  I met the love of my life, and

•  we’ve had an amazing relationship for the last twelve years.

•  I forgave my father.

What is possible for you?