Kripalu Guest Stories: Marsha Lawson
I came to the Integrative Weight Loss program in January of 2008 and it has led to very important changes in my life. In a very short time, I’ve turned my health around and lost 20 pounds (so far).
I’m 53 years old, and before coming to the weight loss program at Kripalu my health had gradually been getting worse. I think it was the effects of menopause, the lack of really good self-care, and the stresses of life. Plus, I’d recently moved from Connecticut to Maine and started my own law practice. My cholesterol and blood pressure were creeping up. I also had microscopic colitis and was taking antacids five days a week for heartburn. I ate fairly well, not horrible, but not great. I exercised a bit, although I couldn’t ski anymore. At one point last winter, I finally realized that I couldn’t lie to myself anymore about my health—I had to do something!
That was before. Now, my blood pressure is down, I’m not snoring anymore, and I’ve only used antacids twice since January! But most importantly, I feel marvelous. Healthier. I have much more energy, and I’m dealing with stress better. I let go of a lot of expectations around work, places I was pushing myself too hard. And guess what? Clients are coming anyway! Eating well and exercising are definitely helping with the stress.
The week of healthy eating at Kripalu set me up for success. I was able to eat whole foods—really good, delicious foods—and not feel deprived. (Before Kripalu, I’d never had quinoa. And I learned how to cook kale and chard, which I never ate before because I didn’t know what to do with them.) I’ve made big food changes—no potato chips and no soda! When I came home, I cleaned out the house of all processed foods. I also bought a summer share at a CSA farm.
What I really like is that the basis of the program is: how can you be healthier? The program and its amazing faculty provide the tools. It’s basically if you eat better, move more, and practice self-acceptance, you’ll feel great, and guess what, you’ll lose weight too! Plus the science underlying it all makes so much sense.
I plan to return to Kripalu to stay connected with these changes—for boosters and to support more new habits that I can sustain. I came back for a healthy cooking program and have been doing yoga every day since.
—Marsha Lawson, attorney, Arundel, Maine