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Does food still make you a little crazy?

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You’ve probably heard the story of how I ended up hiding in a closet with a bag of Dove Chocolate Promises after my final-failed-juice-cleanse attempt – back in the old dieting days of course.

I will never forget sitting there at work, hiding from my co-workers in shame, completely unable to even think about actually working, because I needed those chocolates like crack-cocaine.

It was such a rock-bottom moment — and not just because my waistline was suffering — but because my sanity had been compromised.

I felt like a total crazy person around food.

Constantly thinking about what I should, shouldn’t, or desperately wanted to eat.
Berating myself over and over again for my “lack of control.”
Sneaking licks of frosting off cakes, but never actually letting myself have a piece.

(And I when I say letting myself, I really mean letting myself —  giving myself full permission to enjoy that cake without shame or judgement.)

It’s sanity around food that we’re often craving far more than weight loss.  My mentee, friend and LIVE FREE Retreat Alum, Isabel Foxen Duke, talks about just this. I asked Isabel to Blog Babysit today for a few reasons:

  1. She is HILARIOUS. Plus every time I read her stuff I think, “I can’t believe she just said that”.  The woman is so bold.
  2. She has a way of explaining food obsession that is very unique, and very clear.
  3. We teach similar things but we are very different. If you don’t love me, you’ll probably love her. We all need to find our people in order to get healing in this area.

Take it away Isabel!

Hot Seat Photo

I love Sarah’s message: Live More, Weigh Less.

Or how I would describe it: Live More, Stop Giving A Sh*t About The Candy Bowl On Your Desk.

There’s a difference between “sitting on your hands trying not to eat” and becoming so involved with more important stuff, that you literally forget there’s Nutella in the cupboard.

It’s the difference between controlling, resisting, forcing, obsessing…and just plain not even caring whether or not it’s dinner time yet.

As an emotional eating coach, one thing I can’t stand about traditional approaches to “emotional eating” is that more often than not, we feel like we’re on the “don’t-eat-emotionally diet,” which creates the same tension in our bodies that traditional diets do.

All that resisting, all that holding yourself back, all the mental negotiating of “I want to eat, but I shouldn’t”, “Am I hungry or am I not?”, “I know I should just write in my journal, but a brownie sounds a hell-of-lot more fun,” can sometimes feel restraining just like the regular diets…and it’s usually only a matter of time before we lose our resolve and “slip” right into a tube of cream cheese frosting. Emotions always win in a fight.

The shame we associate with emotional eating makes our behaviors so much worse… turning what could have just been a “fro-yo when I was bored” into a full-on-grocery-store binge because I’m so mad at myself — so frustrated that I’m not “getting it.”

All this frustration, anger, and confusion over “what we’re doing wrong,” is what makes us lose our minds with food. Have you ever considered what would happen if you didn’t put so much pressure on yourself to “get it right?”

What if you didn’t give a sh*t about whether or not you ate mindfully that day? Or whether or not you took a warm bath instead of having a cookie? What if food was just food — instead of the metric by which you judge your “goodness”?

What would happen then??

Now half of you already totally get this — you’re like, “hell yes, I wish I could stop giving a sh*t. Think about all that space in my brain I could free up. I’m so sick and tired of even thinking about food.”

The other half of you are terrified that if you weren’t trying to control yourself all the time, you would blow up to 300lbs and all hell would break loose.

Ohhhh control.

There is nothing more crazy-making than constantly trying to control something that you are fundamentally unable to control for very long.

If there’s one thing that’s certain when we try to control, it’s that inevitably we’re gonna lose that control. If you pull back a bow and arrow, eventually that bow’s gonna fly in the opposite direction.

Letting go might be scary. But a rubber band doesn’t snap unless you pull it.

Today, I dare you to stop trying so hard with food. Notice what happens. Do you feel relief? Do you at some point get bored with food and go do something else? What if whatever happened with food was just fine? What if you were able to stop fighting food?

For those of you who think I’m onto something (and trust that I’m not completely off my rocker), I’ve created a free video training series that you can check out here.

These videos are about more than your weight — they’re about reclaiming your sanity, so food loses it’s power. Click here if you’re ready to Stop Fighting Food.

xo,

Isabel

How extreme jealousy became my greatest asset

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Happy Monday!

I know we don’t usually have a chance to connect on Mondays, but I just posted today’s challenge (we have another week left of the Live More Weigh Less Fall Challenge, I hope you’ll join us if you haven’t already) and I felt compelled to share something about the woman I used to be insanely jealous of.

I remember when I first met Nisha. It was a super brief meeting at Jivamukti Cafe in New York City when a mutual friend introduced us. She floated over, covered in feathers and gave me her signature squinty smile and breathy “hiiieeee”.  I instantly hated her.

She started popping up everywhere.  On websites I was writing for, posting on my friends Facebook walls. And she was an emotional eating coach too. Kill me. I felt like I couldn’t compete, that she was going to corner the market for sure. I mean, who would want to work with me if they could work with her?

Then she emailed me… and she was NICE. Ugh.  So we got together, planned a tele-class, got together again, and again, and again… and soon my jealousy melted into friendship. Since then Nisha has been my coach, my inspiration, my very dear friend and co-host of LIVE FREE (we still have a few spots left FYI).

I had a particularly low moment two years ago when I was ready to throw it all away.  Running my own business just felt too hard and being a weight loss coach was too much pressure. But she made it clear that it wasn’t WHAT I was doing it was HOW I was doing it.  That conversation changed the way I did everything. I quickly quadrupled my income, worked half as much and was so much happier.

Here’s what she taught me:

When most of us are working to build our careers, we work constantly. With fierce determination and a To Do list longer than the day, the work is never truly done, and we just can’t rest until we know we’ve hustled our hearts out.

But even then, we can’t seem to rest.

The way most people “do” ambition, is to constantly hustle harder until we arrive at our goal. But we are human beings and our goals evolve over time. The reality is, if you’re an ambitious person, you’ll never truly “arrive”. Instead, you’ll raise your glass in celebration, then find a new compelling goal to reach for.

If you never learn to truly enjoy your life and feel deeply satisfied within yourself while reaching towards your goals, you’ll find yourself trapped.  In this place, we feel competitive and jealous of others, we feel disconnected from our deeper calling or message, and we find ourselves feeling exhausted, overworked and overwhelmed.  And we all know what happens when we’re in that space, WE EAT. A lot.

So many of us simply want the same thing – the freedom to enjoy time with our friends and family, the money to travel to places that move our soul, the community support that holds us up when we need it and cheers us on when we’re celebrating, the joy that comes from doing work that feels satisfying and meaningful, and to feel playful, relaxed and free.

After years of figuring out how to create that in her own life, and supporting hundreds of other women to do the same through her masterminds and private coaching, Nisha is finally bringing it to a wider sisterhood.

FIERCE FABULOUS FREE is an 8-week course in living for ambitious women on a mission, just like you. It’s about bringing attention to all the important areas of your life – the areas that you might be neglecting, avoiding, or struggling with because you’ve been too overworked or overwhelmed.

Together, you’ll be doing the deep inner and outer work that it takes to truly feel free. Each week, you’ll focus on one topic, so you have time to integrate it all into your daily life for a more meaningful impact, and a bolder and more joyful life.

Nisha created a gorgeous free video series here, which is where you can get to know her and access everything you need to know about the course:SarahJenks.com/Nisha. If you have no plans on signing up for her program, no problem, this training is still so helpful.

I am so excited to share this with you, because I love Nisha and you deserve to be fully awakened to your true potential, live a bold and joyful life, and feel successful, playful, and free.

I’m so grateful for feeling paralyzed with jealousy so many years ago, so that I can now be an intimate part of this woman’s life. I’ve learned so much from her, and I know you will too.

Lots of love,

Sarah

Are you losing weight so men will like you?

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I had something else entirely planned for today. Then my friend Liz DiAlto, founder of Wild Soul Movement sent out an article to her readers that blew me away.  What she said is such an important differentiation that so many of us miss, that I miss sometimes.

I want to share part of it with you, from Liz:

I did a podcast interview last week with Jessica Kupferman from Lady Business Radio.

During the call she shared that her daughter’s high school has a really strict dress code. OK, that seems like it may be reasonable. But then she dropped this bomb,

That the girls are told they can’t wear certain things because it distracts the boys.

And then she dropped this bomb,

That her daughter’s male principal called her out on not wearing a bra and told her she had to wear one.

Are you kidding me?

The message being communicated here is, “Your body is an object and it is a distraction.”

The other morning I attended a “Power Breakfast” in NYC where a big magazine Editor-in-Chief interviewed a beautiful actress. 

When asked about body image she said, “Men will sleep with you whether you’re fat, skinny, tattooed…” the implication being, the only reason to struggle with our bodies is so we feel worthy of attracting a man.

I cringed.

When I asked what her practices are to stay connected to herself and discern between what’s hers and what isn’t in such a profession, she talked about getting quiet and connecting with how she feels. I was really glad to hear that.

She also spoke beautifully about being a mom, that experience and how ultimately, body image shouldn’t even be a thing, “It’s already done,” she said. Which I interpreted to mean just accept yourself the way you are.

But then she threw in, “There is a reason for our breasts other than to satisfy a man…” And I cringed again at the implication that pleasing a man is a top priority for women. Gah!

For the rest of Liz’s article, click here.

When I was in the throws of my emotional eating, I was absolutely perplexed as to why Jonathan wanted to be with me and never let him see me completely naked, even after being together for years.  Even now I have thoughts of, “what if he isn’t attracted to me anymore?”  But then I catch myself, taking care of my body isn’t about him loving me, he loves me no matter what, it’s about ME loving me.  It’s amazing how engrained this way of thinking is.

This Tuesday, September 23rd at 8pm ET / 5pm PT, Liz and I are hosting a free coaching call to talk about how taking care of your body is for YOUR enjoyment. How sex is for YOUR enjoyment.  How owning your beauty is about YOU feeling confident and powerful.  We’re also going to be covering a bunch of other topics that may make you squirm or scream with happiness.  To join us visit sarahjenks.com/wsm.

Today, I want you to think about how you can reclaim your body and stop making it about everyone else. I’d love for you to leave a comment about how you’re going to make this shift.

And I hope to see you on Tuesday.

Lots of love,

Sarah

The fattest girl in school

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Happy “Back to School” Season! This is my favorite time of year. I love the leaves, the apple picking, the hot cider and the PLAID! Dear lord I can’t wear enough plaid.  

Although going back to school was always exciting for me, every summer I tried my hardest to lose weight before school. Every year was “the year” to show up thin and glowing with my hair blowing in the wind leaving a path of shocked drooling boys behind me.  Never happened.

So when it came time to sign up for nutrition school I thought, “this is my chance!” For a little bit, I thought about postponing enrolling until I got my body handled, I couldn’t imagine showing up 30 pounds overweight.  But something in me was just too excited to get started, so I signed up anyway.

I was not ready. I was not “thin enough”. I did not have all of my ducks in order.

And while most of my friends were losing weight during school, I gained 20 pounds while attempting to be a vegan for 6 weeks which was immediately followed by a 6 week binge. Lovely.

My friends were signing tons of one-on-one clients while in school.  I graduated without signing a single person.  Needless to say, what was happening on the outside didn’t look so hot, but what was happening on the inside was a different story.

Showing up before I was ready sent my soul a message that I could figure anything out.  Learning about the ins and outs of food allowed me to fall in love with something I had spent my whole life thinking was the enemy. Hearing the stories of successful students and alums, inspired me to start my own business and really create my dream life – now.

That’s when I really learned that…

You have to stop waiting on the weight.

Only then will your life finally feel exhilarating, inspiring and FUN.  And when life is so full, you no longer need to fill yourself up with food.

Going to IIN before I was ready, set my life on a path I never thought was possible for me. I am so grateful that I took the leap when I did.

On Wednesday, September 17th at 7pm ET/4pm PT, I’m hosting a “Back to School Night with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition” to discuss dreaming, goal setting, “solopreneurship”, the health world and how to make sh*t happen.  Even if you don’t feel ready to make a change, I want you to be on that call.  What have you got to lose? Everyone on the call will receive an extra special surprise, so you won’t want to miss this.

All the details for the call, and to sign up can be found here.

Can’t wait to talk to you next week!

Love,

Sarah

PS. The Live More Weigh Less Challenge kicks off next Monday!  Have you signed up yet? LMWLChallenge.com