This is the most sacred season of the Jewish year, and one of the most meaningful and important traditions during this holiday season is to ask forgiveness: from God, from our family and friends, from anyone we may have harmed throughout the year. We ask for forgiveness for the things we know we’ve done and for the transgressions for which we were unaware. As I approach the season – I realize that it doesn’t matter what religion you are – or if you even believe – the concept of “forgiveness” is very present. But why is it so important? Does the person who cut you off in traffic need your forgiveness? They don’t even know you, as a person, exist. You’re just the silver Sonata. Does your child’s roommate need forgiveness for deserting her in her time of need? Does your son’s big boss need forgiveness for being discriminatory?
Forgiveness isn’t about them. Forgiveness is about you.
Forgiveness is a removal of something heavy from inside and in a weight loss journey, it’s crucial for success. What if I told you that you’d lose 5 pounds if you forgave yourself? (Disclaimer: I’m not. But I will tell you that it’s easier to do.) The person most important to forgive – is yourself. Unless you’re stealing it, food isn’t moral. And yet we constantly beat ourselves up over eating. Too much chocolate? Bacon? (I don’t understand that one.) Meat? Beer? Pizza? We’ll eat or drink and then the guilt comes inside and we go in to a spiral. We feel heavy and become heavier.
We feel guilty over eating.
We feel guilty over drinking.
We feel guilty over not keeping track.
We feel guilty over not exercising.
We feel guilty over quitting.
Well, think about a life without the guilt over all of that. The diet cliché of “don’t do something to lose weight that you’re not willing to do for life” rings true. Be happy, or at least accepting, of your choices. Choose so that you don’t feel guilt.
Focus on your successes for your day. Thank yourself for doing at least one good thing. “I helped a child today.” “I took care of me today.” “I paid for someone’s coffee today.” “I paid it forward today.”
Treat yourself like you’d treat a friend. Forgive.