A Head to Toe Detox

spring forest

Longer days, sunshine, blossoms, fresh smells, headlines and inquiries about detoxing. These are all signs of spring to me. It seems we wish to match our environment—to feel as weightless as the returning robins and the newly budding blossoms. We desire to feel as clean as the uniquely fresh spring air and dew.

In my years as a holistic nutritionist, I have seen further parallels between the spring rebirth of nature and my client’s rebirth of their health and bodies. Spring changes so visible on the earth’s surface are queued by different signals coming from upstairs— more specifically how our piece of the earth relates to the sun and where it is situated amongst water and land masses.

Likewise changes in my clients’ bodies always reflect changes coming from above in their mind. Through successfully identifying and changing often unconscious thought patterns (that are usually not directly related to food or weight) they make changes in their lives that transform their bodies and relationships with food. Their beliefs, bodies, and how they change are also a product of their unique situation and the landscape of their past and present life.  Most detoxes promoted in magazines and on the web—while in the short term may be like a cleansing rain or a warm front in late winter—will not queue a new season for your body and life because they do not change the overall orientation between your mind and body nor do they account for your unique location in life.

I’ve never seen anyone feel at peace in her body or around food without some serious belief detox. The mind must be cleansed and renewed to help the body do the same. Here’s an abbreviated, straightforward version of an exercise that I walk clients through to begin this process:

  1. Pick a situation in your everyday life, other than weight, that causes stress.
  2. What is the belief underneath the situation causing this stress?
  3. Next, what would you have to believe for this situation to dissolve?
  4. Start looking for proof that this alternative belief could exist.
  5. Expect fear to come up. This is where most people stop. But, if you want to be a part of the 5% of us who permanently keep weight off, you have to do the thing 95% of people won’t do. Be with your fear. Working through it will become your biggest sense of security.
  6. Take baby steps. It’s about experimenting with where your healthy medium lies before resentment kicks in.

For example, Molly came to me with the classic belief of “I’m out of control because I’ve gained 30 pounds…back.” We discovered that what was actually “wild” was how Molly perceived her own needs—mostly as “selfish” and “non-deserving.” Through her effort to be a “good wife,” after three intense years in her marriage, she had buried the genuine Molly. After defining her role as a partner with her values, the padding that had covered Molly’s core also began to slip away. A few months later, Molly’s eating and relationship are more stable than ever. Her relationship, sense of self, and clothes now fit.

To queue your own spring rebirth, think about one non-weight related element of your life that seems bleak and how you can change it.  I’ll be posting later today what I’m working on for spring.

I’ve regularly seen women break through a lifelong hard and dark winter caused by food and weight obsessions by studying beliefs that seemed an astronomical unit away from their thighs or the scale. She is shocked by how suddenly her life is warm and bright. Her extra body weight, previously needed for insulation, was gradually peeled off as her life warmed up and she acclimated to this new season.

To a fresh and bright spring,


* names have been changed

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