How To Start Fresh + Let Go

By Jessica Bernstein

Nearly eighteen months ago, I became a Certified Holistic Health Counselor because of the intense need I felt to gain expertise and knowledge in an area that has plagued me for the past decade of my life.

Born and raised in the outer-boroughs of New York City, I had grown comfortably in a family of five. Having attended one of Manhattan’s elite private schools, I went to college with the belief that life was easy from here: I would have fun in college and come home with a great job.

However, shortly before graduating from high school, my mother passed away from cancer.

While college was a wonderful escape from the realities and turmoil that ensued at home, the tragic death of my mother was only the beginning of a continuous onslaught of loss that has recently culminated with my being alone, without any family, in a great and intimidating city. Life has become more serious then easy, which, unfortunately, sets the overlying undertone for how I feel both about myself and about my body.

I mention these circumstances not to differentiate my life from yours, but as a way for you to gain insight into my story: a life where I appear from the outside to have it all together, but feel nothing short of out of control. A life, I am sure, many of you relate to. And, like many of you, the greatest comfort I find is on the plate in front of me.

While it may seem silly that in grave times food is my greatest support system, for many women it becomes our lone source of reliability for moments of peace and goodness or for times when we would like to feel whole again after moments of heartbreak. But, like with any external fix, we are left with only that: a fix, which is fleeting until we go back for more. We are left with angst, poor self-image, and exhaustion not only from the weight we have put on our bodies but also the weight we have put on our minds from the blame and guilt associated with our choices. I have been down this path many times but what’s different at this point is that now I know that in times of need I can stop the cycle of abuse long before it begins again – and so can you.

How To Begin To Start Fresh + Let Go

So, how can you regain control of the one element in your life that you can control: yourself? How do you find love internally so that when you feel empty you do not have to look any further than to what you have been naturally given? To start, you have to find love within your body and, to do that, you have to treat both your body and yourself with love.

Over the course of the next few months, I will be writing about the simple things we can do to show our lives and our bodies love, regardless of the external turmoil that might be bogging us down. To start fresh, we can being with confronting ourselves and examining the types of behavior that further exacerbate our own sense of worry – whether they be overeating, lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, or something else. Take an inventory of what you do and how that action makes you feel. Write it down. Slowly begin to recognize and repeat the positive elements while eliminating the negative ones. At the end of the day, the goal is to feel lighter and freer and to start loving ourselves and our lives again. I want us both to start on that path today.

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