The Biggest Loser's Tanya Winfield Dishes on Week 3 and Letting Go of Emotional Baggage

In her exclusive blog for iVillage, Tanya Winfield talks about how forgiveness is part of a healthier lifestyle

Tanya's mother was heavily addicted to drugs and physically abused Tanya throughout her childhood. Even though Tanya told her family about the abuse, she wasn't removed from the home.

Dolvett’s heartwarming counsel made me realize I was holding my heart in bondage and my mind in prison by fostering a spirit that was unforgiving over the years. I couldn’t understand why no one from my family would save me from the physical and emotional abuse I suffered as a child, and I was allowing that anger toward my mother and my family to secretly lie dormant in my heart.

As I sat writing the letters of forgiveness to my mother and family, I felt God gently unwrap the layers of wire covering my heart and open the prison cell doors trapping my mind. At that moment, I experienced genuine compassion and love for my mother. But surprisingly, I felt an overwhelming feeling of freedom, peace and “weightlessness.” These feelings not only allowed me to forgive my mother and my family, but most importantly, myself. I’ve forgiven myself for self-defeating behaviors, unhealthy lifestyle choices and for not loving myself unconditionally. I realized forgiveness wasn’t for my mother and family, the act of forgiveness was for me. It gave me the inner strength to free myself from the hurt and pain of a dark past to ensure a brighter future.

Although the scale didn’t reflect my physical hard work, nor my feelings of weightlessness that had been released emotionally, I celebrated. I celebrated because I shed the heaviest weight of all, the weight of years of emotional baggage that will prevent me from ever going back to the bondage and prison of my past -- emotional baggage that will no longer prevent me from loving myself unconditionally.

And finally, that little girl that used to cry out every night for someone to save her received the ultimate “Save” from Dolvett at the end of the night. In an instant, my “crush” turned into love for Dolvett at a very pure level -- a level of love and care that made him a part of my family -- and I found that unconditional love for myself. I no longer feel like a victim, I am now victorious! I no longer feel defeated, I am now a champion! The pain of my past has turned into power for my purpose! I’m free to be me.

Read more from Tanya's blog
The Biggest Loser's Tanya Winfield on Week 1 and Her Crush on Dolvett

The Biggest Loser's Tanya Winfield Dishes on Week 2 and Losing Her Roommate

The Biggest Loser airs Tuesdays at 8 ET/7 central on NBC

Fernanda Abarca is off The Biggest Loser, but down 70 pounds at home!

Dolvett has a new book! The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss -- Up to 10 pounds in 21 Days

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