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January 19, 2017

Ten years ago, I was a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and in the best shape of my life. I had never looked better on the outside, but I had no idea who I was on the inside. I fell in love (or so I thought) with a personal trainer and a few months later it ended in violence.

He stripped me of every ounce of power I had and left me full of shame on the bathroom floor of a fitness center. It left me broken, traumatized and alone. Every cell in my body was full of shame. The thoughts in my mind all turned toward self-blame and a feeling of unworthiness. How did I let this happen? Did I make him so mad that he had to do this to me? I made a vow to never date again and cut myself off from the outside world. You can read more about the decade I took off from dating here. I also experienced denial for years and didn’t want to let myself believe this even happened.

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I stopped teaching group fitness, isolated myself from the world, and gained 40-plus pounds. I threw myself into my business and detached from my body completely. My body was no longer a safe place for me to be. I was violated in the worst way a woman can be by someone I had thought I loved. I spent the next five years working on myself on the inside while still completely abusing myself on the outside. Food became my best friend and the medication I used to numb the pain from the world. My weight became the shield that I used to keep myself from true connection with men and kept me isolated from pain.

I knew exactly what to do to get the weight off. I had dozens of fitness certifications, but being in shape and looking good became scary for my subconscious brain. Every time I would start to do well and exercise, the fear-based voices in my mind became louder and louder. Less than two years ago, I worked really hard to get to my goal weight; however, when I got there, I became consumed with fear. Within 90 days, all the weight I had lost was back on my body.

Looking back, these are the kinds of subconscious conversations my ego-mind would create to keep me from being healthy:

Eating unhealthy food is a great idea. I love pizza. Here, my subconscious mind truly believed I should gain weight. The heavier I am, the more safety I have.

I look too stupid or out-of-shape to go to the gym. In other words, getting in shape felt very unsafe for me.

I will never look good, so what's the point? The reason I was starting anew 100 times and fail every new regime or weight-loss plan because being sexy equaled danger in my subconscious vocabulary.

I deserve awful experiences because I abuse my body. I look and feel terrible. I was filling my life with distractions and addictions because I don't deserve to come out on the other side after all of this.

As I write this article, I actually I have nothing but love for all that I have been through. I may have lost my power that day on the floor of that fitness center, but today I have found a power far greater than that within my own soul. The healthier I eat and the more I take care of myself, the more I am connected to a power within me.

This power keeps me safe from danger and pain. I truly have nothing but love for the man that stripped me of my dignity and my soul because he helped me to find a part of myself that loves me unconditionally.

Although I have a ton of work to do, here are the things I am doing daily to help myself take back my power and say goodbye to the negative stories in my own mind that keep me isolated and alone. I pray that they help you take back yours as well.

1. I wake up every morning and surrender my day to the divine.

2. I spend at least 20 minutes in meditation before I ever get out of bed in the morning to allow a power far greater than myself to take over my life.

3. I try to be as mindful as possible so that I am not making decisions based on past traumas or future fears.

4. I tell my body "I love you" repeatedly.

5. I ask God and angels to help me to see things differently when my ego tries to get the best of me.

6. I find as many workout buddies as possible so I have someone to meet me at the gym when my ego tries to talk me out of going.

7. I keep only healthy things in my house and invite friends over to cook.I make cooking fun!

8. I blast my favorite empowering music while I'm cooking so that cooking has truly become fun for me.

9. I journal as much as possible, so I am in constant dialogue with what is really going on inside my mind and soul.

I tune in to my body to make food choices versus following any specific set of rules. This creates so much freedom!

The more we put healthy things in our bodies, the more healthy and happy experiences we attract into our life. The cleaner we eat and the more we take care of our divine temple, the more we can connect to the unconditional love within our own bodies. This leads to us feeling safer in this world. My shield of weight has carried me through the darkest days of my life, but as I say my final goodbye to it today, I will remember the most important lesson that it has taught me: No amount of love on the outside will ever compare to the amount of love we have on the inside.

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Kerissa Kuis, MBA
Kerissa Kuis, MBA

Kerissa Kuis, MBA, is an international business consultant, inspirational speaker, spoken word artist and spiritual teacher. She is a certified wellness practitioner, intuitive energy healer, angel therapist, EFT practitioner and holds a masters degree in business from West Virginia University. She is the Founder of the University of Wellness, an education company dedicated to creating cutting-edge education, certifications and services in nine elements of wellness. She is also a business consultant for spiritual entrepreneurs and has clients all over the world. She is the creator of the spiritual brand “Straight Up Fearless.” Her book with the same title will be released in 2016. Kerissa is a spiritual teacher and leads private workshops all over the country and online.