Sinners, Negative Thoughts and Other Musings

This week’s newsletter draws on some of my cultural upbringing, but for those of you who are here for the health and wellness or even the weight loss spin, I promise you I’m gonna get there. So stay with me!

As some of you know, we are in a holiday heavy time in the Jewish calendar and just ended the High Holy Days, a 10 day period that started with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and ended with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

As someone who considers myself traditional but not religious, these holidays are filled with words and prayers that don’t resonate. During Rosh Hashanah we talk much about our enemies and then there are sins and atonement. I am far from perfect but I certainly don’t feel like a sinner  and Who are these enemies anyway?

And then I got to thinking, maybe the enemies are the thoughts in our own heads. As in you are your own worst enemy.

When have you engaged in a few rounds of:

I’m not pretty enough

I am not thin enough

I am not successful enough

I am not X,Y or Z enough.

Or in comparison, self-judgment, catastrophizing, self-deprecation.

As humans, we are constantly being inundated with negative thoughts and this is universal, so if you can relate, know that you’re not alone.This negativity may even have doubled as a survival mechanism. Scanning for danger allowed our predecessors to detect threats to their survival.

But in today’s world, the negativity bias is not protective and in fact it is harmful.

As I share in “Hungry for More,” emotional stress, that can be a result of the negative noise in our head, causes our hunger hormones to surge.

“negative thoughts and emotions literally hijack our hunger hormones”

And make us more likely to use food to soothe and to seek hyperpalatable food – high fat, high sugar, high carb, yup it’s not broccoli we are hungry for!

We know that negativity and negative thoughts have concrete physical side effects as well and have been associated with symptoms like headaches, chest pain, fatigue, palpitations, indigestion, and other stomach issues. Negative thinking is, not surprisingly, also associated with depressed mood, anxiety, social withdrawal and isolation and has been linked to chronic medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, hypertension and even degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

So given this, I guess it is a sin to give way to the enemy in our head, to not intervene in the thing that can do us much harm, mind and body. But labeling our thoughts this way is not helpful or constructive. What is helpful is awareness, non-judgement and self-compassion.

  • Notice the negative thoughts when they arise.

  • Instead of hopping into bed 🛌 with this thought or wrestling 🤼‍♀️ with it, create distance, some space between you and it.

  • Don’t judge the thoughts or yourself, acknowledge that this “enemy” is actually not an enemy but a misguided friend trying to help. (We all have those don’t we? 😜)

  • Remember that we all have these “friends,” it is normal and part of being human

  • Be understanding and compassionate towards yourself in these moments.

And finally, remember that navigating our negative thoughts is an ongoing practice. We can never rid ourselves of this tendency, but we can through practice, awareness, acknowledgement, and a true intention do better.

If you want to hear my entire musings on this topic, listen to this week’s podcast. And as always, if you love what you see, share this newsletter with someone you love!

Wishing you a happy and healthy week!




My mission is to educate, empower and inspire my patients to achieve health and wellness by drawing on best medical practices and a holistic mind-body approach while integrating my personal value system grounded in empathy, integrity and authenticity

Now Trending:

Hungry for something new?

Checkout my new book, Hungry For More: Stories and Science To Inspire Weight Loss From The Inside Out


hey there!

I'm Dr Adrienne Youdim.

It’s time for a better way, one that acknowledges that quick and easy is unrealistic and untrue, judgement results in sabotage and will only impede our weight loss goals.

I’m here to tell you that you know what you need and you can trust it.

Dr. Adrienne Personal Brand Photos
Hungry For More:Stories and Science To Inspire Weight Loss From The Inside Out

Download The First Chapter!

You can download the first chapter of my new book Hungry For More: Stories and Science to Inspire Weight Loss From The Inside Out. Drop your information below and the digital ebook will come straight to your inbox. 

Subscribe to our Newsletter

And download for FREE copy of REDEFINING NUTRITION - An Integrated Approach to Nourishing Yourself Mind and Body as a thank you!