Healthy living does not require holding one’s breath. Furthermore, without exhalation death is certain. Yet fear walks me through minefields withholding oxygen, tempting misstep and self-destruction via a potential, processed morsel bypassing my lips. Threats of edible bombshells plague the world around me, located on supermarket shelves, in restaurants, and during holidays, tempting to trip me, catch me off kilter, and infiltrate my body.

Always on alert is an exhaustive, fearful, and tense way to exist. Cortisol, a stress hormone, releases while the body falters, switching to a fight-flight response, and slows metabolism, digests food inefficiently, and utilizes energy poorly. Fear prevents a healthy, sustainable lifestyle free of emotional stress. Needing to munch, numb, and alleviate the distress, food serves an alternate purpose than fuel. An unnecessary feeling of emotional fullness overwhelms me when fear triumphs.

Responding differently for long-term success is crucial. Surrendering, experiencing, and expressing emotions as armor against fear, bearing emotions and conscious awareness are required. Prepared optimal foods, utilized during challenging, emotional times are essential. Life’s unsmooth and rocky terrains need a rational, healthy response to circumvent poor, semi-conscious, impeded choices. Experiencing, voicing, and responding consciously to emotions with proactive actions like leaning into them to enable their strength to dissipate is vital.

Breathing along the journey, pausing to reflect, and proactively leading destiny, contribute to healing a pattern of pain, fear, and numbed feelings, and perpetuate fruitful outcomes. Failure to exhale is not an option. The breath within must inhale emotion, exhale its release, and thwart fear from materializing. Mindful decisions for food intake rather than a reactive response necessitates relaxation versus fear. Inhalation and exhalation enable pathways to live and breathe successfully through the weight loss journey.