Sharon S.

Reflections on the path to a healthier life.
My goal is to feel light and free—today, tomorrow, and into the future.

I’ve lost weight many times, but I’ve never been able to keep it off. But last summer, I was at a point where I knew I had to get in better shape, so I enrolled in The Kripalu Approach to Diet: An Integrative Weight-Loss Program.

I had no idea what to expect, but I felt completely welcomed and accepted. I approached the program as a class, and our homework was to practice what we were learning. Aruni suggested we consider yoga, meditation, and journaling, among other things. She encouraged us to try new and different things, so I meditated and wrote in my journal—and I continue to practice both every day. They have made a huge difference for me, and I’m grateful that I was willing to try something new.

I knew that when I got home after the five days at Kripalu, I’d have to deal with life’s challenges differently. The six weeks of online support, and especially the weekly phone calls with faculty and students, were enormously helpful in reinforcing the need to practice.

My most eye-opening discovery that came from the program was that it isn’t really a weight thing for me. What I learned was that I’ve never let myself feel my feelings—I used food to suppress them. Through the program, I learned that “the best way out is always through,” and that sums it up for me. Before Kripalu, I didn’t know there was a way out. When I got upset, I would eat. Now, I take a deep breath and look at what’s happening and acknowledge my feelings. When I choose to have food that I know I need to limit, I practice enjoying what I have and not judging myself for having it. My goal is to feel light and free—today, tomorrow, and into the future.

In order to make serious changes in my life, I had to invest in myself, and give myself the opportunity to get some new tools and, most importantly, to use them. I soaked it all in like a sponge. “Practice” is the word that encapsulates my Kripalu experience. You take a deep breath, ease into it, and do that over and over, and, eventually, change occurs.

—Sharon S., Ellicott, Maryland