255 Hope Street, Providence, Rhode Island
Living Lightly...
           from the inside out.
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7 Powerful Weight-Loss Tools Designed Especially for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
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We’re spiritual beings having a human experience and everything we need is inside. When you connect with that inner guidance you can hear the whispers of your intuition — your Wise Self — guiding you to your best life. I can help you bring peace to your mind and heart and find solutions to the problems you’re facing right now.

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Find Inspiration

Discover new ways to overcome emotional eating, improve body image and release fears that stop you from losing weight. Read my articles for encouragement and inspiration on your self-care and weight loss journey. Learn mind/body and spiritual practices—such as Ho’oponopono and the 90-Second Rule—to help you lose weight with confidence and ease.

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Sexual Abuse & Weight

Were you sexually abused as a child or teenager and struggle with your weight today? When you’re upset, is food your go-to source of comfort? There is a high correlation between early sexual trauma, weight gain, and emotional eating. If this applies to you, join me for a different kind of weight-release journey, one that addresses the impact childhood sexual abuse has had on your body and life.

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work-with-diane

Welcome. I’m Diane Petrella.

I know it’s cliché to say, “wisdom comes through suffering,” but when we don’t allow ourselves to be victims, it’s true. I came to understand that the sudden death of my father when I was a child was the most spiritually important event in my life. It’s no wonder I would later develop a center for traumatized children and adults. I knew what it was like to feel terrified, abandoned and alone.

But more important, I knew how to get to the other side.

And no matter what is happening in your life right now, I can help you get to the other side, too.

Learn more about how I can help >>

Do you want to make weight loss easy and effortless? Let your subconscious do the work for you!

Discover The Inspiration Diet… a visualization program to help you feel confident with your body and release weight with ease and love.

Imagine being thinner forever. Your inner Wise Woman will reveal your true path for success.

If you’re tired of losing weight only to gain it back again then the Wise Woman Weight Release program is for you!

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Recent Articles

23
Jun

Childhood Sexual Abuse & Weight Release: Making the Connection

Were you sexually abused as a child or teenager?

Do you struggle with your weight today?

Is food your go-to source of comfort when upset?

If so, you’re not alone.

There is a high correlation between early sexual trauma, obesity, emotional eating and body image concerns. If you can relate, you may be surprised to learn that your ongoing struggles with weight most likely have little to do with food and exercise, although these are important. The reasons behind your weight and emotional eating challenges are both neurological, rooted in your nervous system’s response to stress, and psychological, rooted in your conscious and subconscious trauma-based beliefs.

If you’re a woman with a past history of sexual abuse who’s struggling to release weight and feel good about your body today, you may have experienced the following:

  • You equate being thin with receiving unwanted sexual advances and feel vulnerable to sexual assault. These fears may be conscious or hidden in your subconscious mind, and, as you release weight and become thinner, they surface. You feel anxiety, experience panic attacks, or simply feel unsettled and don’t know why.
  • You feel uncomfortable being noticed, even in a positive way. After years of protecting yourself behind extra weight—your pounds of protection—you feel uneasy or self-conscious receiving compliments.
  • Because food, in fact, helped you cope, you experience a sense of loss or fear at the thought of no longer eating certain foods that have felt like your friends. Food was a source of comfort when people were either unavailable or dangerous.
  • You spent years detaching from your body to cope with the sexual abuse and have trouble creating a trusting—and loving—connection with your body today. Dissociation is a defense mechanism often used by sexual abuse survivors. They psychologically remove themselves from their bodies during the abuse and “watch” what’s happening from above. If you relate, understand that this helped you survive. But you’re safe now and can learn to reclaim your right to a positive and connected relationship with your body today.
  • When you experience trauma-based feelings such as fear, anger, helplessness, betrayal, shame, or guilt, it triggers emotional binge eating. Even minor stress can feel overwhelming because it brings to the surface those old feelings, causing an overreaction. Once those old feelings and pain are released from your mind and body, handling life’s stress becomes easier because you stop bringing trauma-based feelings from the past into today’s challenges.
  • You’re ever alert for danger. This is because childhood abuse affected your developing nervous system as a form of protection. You were in danger so, as a survival mechanism, your brain responded to help you always be on the lookout. But today it’s hard to easily distinguish manageable from unmanageable situations. Even minor stress can feel destabilizing. For example, you may experience an increased heart rate, a sinking feeling in your gut, or rapid breathing. That’s not easy to deal with, so you turn to food to ground yourself. You’ve probably discovered that certain foods—especially high fat and sugary ones—help ease the uncomfortable fear-based sensations in your body and soothe your overwhelming emotions.

(more…)

12
Dec

This (Food Urge) Too Shall Pass

The 90-second rule is one of my favorite techniques to help my clients cope with stress and stop the urge to impulsively turn to food for comfort.

Here’s how it works:

Once you feel triggered with overwhelming emotion and feel that old urge to eat, it takes just 90 seconds for the stress you feel to leave your body. After that, you’re in charge, whether you keep the stress response going and head for the refrigerator, or clear your mind and allow the urge to pass.

I learned about the 90-second rule in My Stroke of Insight, by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. Dr. Taylor was a brain scientist at Harvard Medical School when she suffered a stroke that left her unable to perform even simple tasks. Through her recovery she gleaned extraordinary insights about the mind/body/spirit connection.

This is what I learned from Dr. Taylor:

Although there are certain limbic system (emotional) programs that can be triggered automatically, it takes less than 90 seconds for one of these programs to be triggered, surge through our body and then be completely flushed out of our bloodstream.”

She writes about the chemicals released in her own anger response:

Within 90 seconds from the initial trigger, the chemical component of my anger has completely dissipated from my blood and my automatic response is over. If, however, I remain angry after those 90 seconds have passed, then it is because I have chosen to let that circuit continue to run.

Powerful stuff.

But how does this help with emotional eating? (more…)

06
Oct

Why Your Weight Needs Your Love


“Aargh… I’m up a pound!”

“Oh, good… I’m down a pound!”

“Ugh… I can’t believe I haven’t even lost a pound.”

Sound familiar?

It’s easy to obsess about the number on your bathroom scale. If that number colors your mood and dictates how you feel about your body, however, your body won’t feel loved—and you won’t get the results you want.

To release weight permanently, it’s important to focus on the relationship you have with your body, not on what you weigh.

So here’s something crucial you need to do (and I bet you aren’t going to like it. At least at first.)

Learn to love your weight.

Yes, you heard me. Learn to love your weight. Here’s why: Your body carries the energy of your inner thoughts and feelings. Especially if you experienced childhood trauma and had no one to support and protect you, that extra weight most likely holds the energy of pain, sadness and loneliness.

Emotional eating may have been—and perhaps still is—your only source of comfort. And that weight can be like a cozy old blanket that helps you (and your inner child) feel safe.

What if you could shift from seeing the extra weight as pounds of fat to hate… to seeing them as pounds of pain that need your love? (more…)

28
Mar

Check on the Children During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Staying home during this pandemic is the right thing to do. But when it started, the first thing I thought was:

What will happen to vulnerable children in abusive homes?

These children aren’t going to day care, school, or after-school programs where astute adults can notice something amiss. The stress in their families, as in all families these days, is heightened. And in emotionally and physically abusive families, children often are the targets of parental stress.

Child sexual abuse isn’t triggered by stress. It’s much more insidious. What perpetuates sexual abuse is that it is a “secret” between the child and offender. Now more than ever, it’s easy to keep things secret when families stay at home and children are isolated.

All of these children are at risk. They’re in greater danger now that staying at home is the norm in most US states. For them, their homes aren’t safe havens with parents giving them fun things to do during school break. Many of these homes resemble prisoner-of-war camps. I wish I were exaggerating but I’m not. I’ve worked with these kids and heard first-hand their truth.

If you have suspected that a child was being abused, now is the time to contact your state child protective agency with your concerns. Or you can call the ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 (1-800-4-A-Child).

You don’t need “proof” and you can call anonymously. A child protective worker hears your concerns and their team makes the decision as to whether there is enough information to investigate. If there isn’t, your report stays in their system. If they get several calls about that child and family, they then take action. While all state laws are different, that’s generally how it works.

If you have contact information about a child you’re concerned about—perhaps the child of a neighbor, friend, or family member—reach out. (more…)

13
Mar

We’re In This Together

When it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re in this together.

Perhaps the good that comes from this illness is a deeper way of connecting with our fellow humans. I read the following online but don’t know who wrote it. (Please let me know if you know.) It’s apparently going viral in Italy right now. Share and spread the love:

“We come to understand that this is a struggle against our habits and not against a virus. This is an opportunity to turn an emergency into an opportunity of solidarity and unity. Let’s change the way we see and think. I will no longer say “I’m afraid of this contagion” or “I don’t care about this contagion”, but it is I who will sacrifice for you.

I worry about you.
I keep a distance for you.
I wash my hands for you.
I give up that trip for you.
I’m not going to the concert for you.
I’m not going to the mall for you.

For you!

For you who are inside an ICU room.
For you who are old and frail, but whose life has value as much as mine.
For you who are struggling with cancer and can’t fight this too.

Please, let’s rise to this challenge!

Come together…nothing else matters.”