“Release weight” vs “lose weight”

Why I (often) use the phrase, “release weight” rather than “lose weight”

The terms “weight loss” and “losing weight” long have been associated with shedding those extra pounds. Because people search for information using these terms, I often use them, too.

But I’d like you to consider another way to think about letting go of your extra weight.

Words are powerful beyond measure. They inform our thoughts, beliefs, and actions. When I work with clients, I’m vigilant about the words they use. I teach them to change their mindset simply by changing the words they use.

So when it comes to creating a lighter body, think about this:

“LOSS” means “the state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value.” That definition doesn’t make you very happy, does it?

“RELEASE” means “allow (something) to move, act, or flow freely.” Sounds more uplifting, right?

The thing is, emotional eating and long-term weight issues are often symptoms of something deeper. It’s not really about food and “losing” the weight. It’s about those painful feelings you’ve been holding in your mind, heart, and nervous system and learned to numb with food. As you allow the pain you’re holding onto to release—little by little—you lighten your mind and body. As you do so, your lessen the urge to use food for comfort and begin to gain confidence with your body, no matter the number on your scale.

Here’s a simple exercise so you can see what I mean.

  • Get quiet. Close your eyes. Take a few breaths to relax.

  • Then, say to yourself three times: “I want to lose weight.”
  • Notice the sensations in your body. 

  • Clear that away and then repeat to yourself: “I want to release weight.”
  • Notice the sensations in your body. 

  • Open your eyes.

What do you notice?

How does your body feel?

Does your spirit feel light or heavy?

Several years ago I posted this exercise to my Facebook page. Here’s what people experienced:

“Saying ‘losing weight’ caused me to tighten up. ‘Release’ was a much softer request allowing me to let go.”

“Freeing and pleasant versus yucky.”

“’Lose weight caused me to feel anxious. Release weight left me feeling calm, determined and optimistic.”

“Lose weight immediately made me feel tight and release weight felt light.”

“It felt like to release something is to own my freedom to really love me and my body. No stress attached to saying release weight.”

You still may decide to say “lose weight” depending on who you’re talking with. But when you talk to yourself or like-minded people, practice using the term “release.”

It just may help lighten your journey.

And your body, too.