Amy S.

Each morning at Kripalu, I was welcomed and held as a soul, not just a body.

One year ago, I completed my first triathlon—100 lbs overweight! I’ve had a lifelong dysfunctional relationship with food and thought that if I just exercised enough, I wouldn’t have to examine or fix that relationship. Then I read about the Kripalu Approach to Diet program in the Kripalu catalog, and I enrolled in the next available session.

The staff at Kripalu met me right where I was. No one treated me like an “obese woman,” and there was no shame or guilt. That is rare and so different from any weight loss experience I have ever had. Each morning at Kripalu, I was welcomed and held as a soul, not just a body. I got to begin anew each day. I was the first one downstairs for the morning walks, and I took a yoga class every day. Taking Kripalu YogaDance® was pivotal for shifting me into a person who lived inside my body.

The food at Kripalu was fantastic. I was introduced to new foods—like beans—and began to understand that this new way with food was going to be a practice rather than an instant fix. I eat so many more flavors now, and having the guidelines for healthy eating makes it easy to improvise and branch out on my own. I do not feel deprived in the least. My family has taken to my new lifestyle in ways I find breathtaking. My eight-year-old daughter now claims a brussels sprouts and tofu dish as her favorite food, and my six-year-old son loves hummus.

Since Kripalu, I’ve lost 70 pounds. I have a whole new wardrobe, and I can bike 20 miles and it doesn’t hurt! I’m training for three more triathlons, and yoga is keeping me limber for the training season. I swim, run, and bike twice a week for 45 minutes to an hour each day. I now know what is going to satisfy me, rather than stuff me. My body and I have found the nutrition that pleases both my stomach and my soul.

I now meditate and journal every morning. I believe these are as important to my progression and maintenance plan as everything else. It helps me to be more present and make better choices throughout the day. I’ll also re-read quotes from the faculty, like “To get radical results, you need to make radical changes.”

More important, though, is that I don’t go to bed at night feeling guilty about what I’ve eaten during the day. This lack of guilt is the biggest change—and it’s priceless.

—Amy S., web communications manager, Adams, Massachusetts