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  • 25
    Aug 2016

    Are you dying to get your body back?

    Do you ever look at picture of yourself when you were younger and feel your throat tighten and your stomach fill up with embarrassment because you used be so thin and beautiful?

    I can’t believe how different I look. How did I let this happen?

    Does everyone notice how huge I’ve gotten? Do they talk about it!?

    I need to get a handle on this. I don’t know how I got so out of control.

    And then you hide the picture hoping neither you nor anyone else will ever see it. It’s just too painful.

    In that moment you vow to change everything so you can get back to that body. I know you didn’t even know you were so thin and beautiful when that picture was taken, I bet you remember that exact day and how you spent a lot of it feeling fat and insecure. But, you’re probably thinking, if you could just get back to that weight, then you would enjoy it. Oh my god, it would be amazing. You would feel so gorgeous, energized, sexy and carefree.

    So you make a plan. A plan to cut out gluten, sugar and alcohol, JUST for a few weeks, it will be great.


    But, can I remind you of something? You’ve tried that before. And I know you think that this time will be different, but it won’t. No matter how strict the diet or how badly you want your body back, it will never result in you feeling the way you want to feel. Trust me. I’ve been there myself and have worked with over a thousand women in your exact position.

    Let me walk you through a different way to do things.

    Most women believe they have to weigh less in order to live more. You probably have this very clear vision of how your life will be when you lose weight, so you put all of your attention on your diet. But in the meantime your life is pretty flat because you think that everything is going to change once you lose twenty pounds, so why even worry about it?

    And because you’re so embarrassed by how you look, you’re holding back from putting yourself out there. Even if it’s not completely conscious, when you get real with yourself, yeah, it feels wrong to put on a beautiful dress or plan a hot date with your partner. Maybe without even realizing it, you’re putting a lot of things on hold like going for your dream job or setting up an online dating profile.

    It may seem like just little things here and there that aren’t a big deal, but what if you never get around to having the job you’ve always wanted? Or worse if you never meet your soulmate? Or completely lose the attraction in your relationship? That could be a real loss, all because you thought you were too fat to take a first step.

    You are bombarded with messages all day to lose weight, but I am here today to tell you to stop waiting on the weight. It’s only keeping you in body jail because the more unfulfilling your life is, the more you need food to give you that jolt of happiness or stress relief. And all those extra calories from emotional eating are keeping you stuck in this cycle.

    Ending this struggle means doing things differently. In fact, it means doing the complete opposite of what you’ve been doing. You have to live more in order to weigh less. When your life is so full of joy, meaning, excitement and tiny blessings food becomes something you eat at lunch instead of something you need. You’ll naturally move to your ideal weight for your unique constitution.

    The first step is having the courage to live full out in a body you’re uncomfortable in, which I know can feel really hard. But that’s where I come in. I’ve created a completely free experience that will make you feel like one of those women who has a rich and exciting life in just two weeks. And I know you don’t believe me yet, but this will also help you fall in love with your body and heal your emotional eating.

    It’s called the Live More Challenge and I want you to sign up for it now by clicking on this link.

    Each day for two weeks, I give you one manageable and fun activity that can be done in ten minutes or less. If you do every challenge you’ll be entered to win one of 3 scholarships to my signature program, Live More Weigh Less and a $500 Anthropologie shopping spree. To get started, sign up for the challenge on this page.

    Here’s what one woman wrote to me at the end of the last Live More Challenge:

    Sarah,

    I wish I could knock on your door with a fine bottle of red as a thanks for what the Live More Challenge has done for me in the past 2 weeks.

    I am a wife, a mom of 2 fantastic kids, a nurse and a wandering soul, until 2 weeks ago.

    I jumped in quietly behind the scenes to participate in the challenges. I went out of my way and way out of my comfort zone to do these small deliberate things that you put out there.

    I bought new underwear and new sexy bras, I put flowers in our bathroom, bought and lit candles that smell so good. Wore red lipstick and continue to do so, read confidently alone in a coffee shop….and found myself at the end of week 1 with a job opportunity that is so far out of my comfort zone….but guess what? With the newly acquired swagger and self confidence (red lipstick and grey/pink leopard print will do that to a girl) and a referral from a colleague for this job….I applied and held my breath.

    Today I successfully earned a second face-to-face interview with a multinational pharmaceutical company for a huge promotion from what I am currently doing.

    There are so many things that have come from these small steps, and even if the job goes to someone else….I’ve got my groove back.

    Thank you for pushing us and reminding us of the importance of taking time, not getting stuck in the mundane of being a mom and forgetting that great moms take care of themselves in the midst of the mundane.

    This has been life-altering, and I am forever thankful.

    Much love to you,
    Heather

    I have pages and pages of other emails like this that I have saved from women who have done this challenge. You can join us by clicking on this link and then entering your name and email to get all the details. It’s free, so what do you have to lose?

    Love,

    Sarah

  • 18
    Aug 2016

    Going Through Hell? This woman’s story says it all.

    When I met my friend Nitika Chopra, she was all rainbows and butterfly’s, big love and smiles. So when she told me she that she once couldn’t walk without severe pain and had recently gone through a terrible divorce, I was shocked. How could someone so full of life, had once been so beaten down? Nothing about her story matched the woman I saw in front of me, so I knew she was a total warrior for healing.

    Nitika is fierce about self care (you’ll see why in a minute) and last time she was visiting me in San Francisco from New York she walked into my bathroom and screamed, “SARAH! No no no. this isn’t going to work,” she yells as she’s shaking my cheap face wash at me. “As far I can tell, the only alone time you get is washing your face at night, it need to be luxurious. Washing your face needs to be a devotion to your being.” If you want to cultivate your own devotional practice, Nitika created a beautiful guide to crafting your unique morning ritual. You can download it for free here: http://www.nitikachopra.com/offerings/love-morning-night.

    That’s what’s so magical about Nitika, she knows that the simplest things can be an act of devotion. I asked Nitika to share her powerful story with you so you can see that it’s not always weight that keeps us from living more, and even the most debilitating circumstances aren’t excuses to stop living.

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    From Nitika:

    I was 10 years old when my entire world changed. I remember standing in my bathroom wearing jean shorts and a checkered blue and white button down tied at my waist. When I looked in the mirror, I noticed something dry, white, and flaky on my arm. I had never seen anything like it before so I went into my mom’s room and asked her what she thought it could be. She looked and said, “Oh it’s probably eczema,” which is something her and my father had mildly. So we didn’t think much of it.

    Fast forward to a year later, my entire body was covered from the tip of my feet to the tip of my head with a skin condition called psoriasis. By this time, everything I had known to be normal felt like it had been taken from me. I had to quit the soccer team even though I had just made it to the state championship. I was no longer safe sleeping at a friend’s house because itching my skin would sometimes bleed through the sheets. And my favorite place in the world, the beach, suddenly became my worst nightmare for fear of being made fun of because of the way I looked.

    To make matter worse, the kids at school had taken to calling me “Spot.” And my self esteem, which had already been shaky as the only chubby Indian kid in my Ohio elementary school was now so low I couldn’t even see it anymore. This carried on for the next 15 years. I fought through having my wounds out in the open for everyone to see on a moment to moment basis—all as I was going through puberty, learning how to date, figuring out my truth, and heading off to college without my parents in close proximity for the first time.

    My skin condition became my entire identity for many years because it was all I knew about myself as a kid. By the time I was 19, my psoriasis got worse and I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Before I knew it, opening up a box of cereal in my college dorm or walking down the steps to take the subway had become impossible tasks. I was a newly married woman by the age of 20 (don’t worry, I’ll write about that another time), and instead of coming back from my honeymoon excited about all that laid ahead, I spent the next 5 years of my life primarily in my bed.

    My husband was very supportive, but something people don’t talk about often enough when it comes to dealing with our bodies is that health struggles of any kind can be very isolating. I would go to the depths of despair with my body, how could it betray me like this?, and I felt tremendous anger that I was the only person in my family whose skin looked the way mine did. I would sometimes feel heat radiating off my body because I felt intense rage inside.

    But my loves, there comes a time when even you get sick of your own anger. You get fed up with feeling miserable all of the time and are desperate for another way. That was me about a year into being bedridden. I felt like everything I did would just crumble to pieces and I could never get ahead. It was the most devastating feeling. So much so that I got sick of it. Instead, I decided to believe that what was happening to my body was not a punishment and that my body has actually been the most profound teacher of my life. She’s always been there, chugging away, fighting the good fight, and carrying the burden for all the pain and despair I felt throughout my life.

    So at this breaking point, I had two choices. I could either continue to wallow in my own misery which no one would have blamed me for because, well, my pain was intensely palpable to anyone that laid eyes on me. Or I could choose to love the shit out of myself. I chose the later out of sheer exhaustion from my despair.

    Our girl Sarah talks about not waiting on the weight, and we’ve discussed many times how that’s not only true when it comes to weight. When I was lying in bed unable to walk, I made a decision to not wait on my psoriasis to heal. I started looking through magazines and creating a vision board for the life I was determined to manifest even when I was so unwell. I filled my home with beautiful things to look at so that when I was still forced to be in bed, I was able to raise my internal vibration by seeing things of beauty.

    I also got real about my anger. Oftentimes, I would feel it and then be ashamed that I had it. Which is a double whammy of toxic emotion. When I decided I wanted to live a life of happiness, joy, and love, I knew the only way to get there was to fully honor that I was angry first. I would spend a lot of time talking to myself in the mirror and just yelling about how unfair this all was. I punched and screamed into pillows, and I cried from the depths of my soul out of pure frustration on a daily basis.

    I had rituals throughout my day–like journaling, calling someone I loved multiple times throughout the day just to laugh about something silly, and I started playing around with makeup. I figured if I wasn’t’ going anywhere, I could at least make myself look beautiful just for me. There’s no harm in that, right?

    I would paint my nails bright colors, experiment with fun lipstick shades, and practice my fierce cat eye. All in bed. This doesn’t mean that I woke up one day and because I penciled a cat eye on, I was all of a sudden free of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. That’s not what I’m saying. What did happen was that there was a major shift in my heart and the amount of anger and frustration I felt dissipated so that my body could feel true relief.

    I also found out that there was a lot more to focus on than my suffering. Daily steps towards self-love transformed me because it literally made my entire world brighter. Instead of focusing on my scaley legs or my aching bones, I would make a conscious effort to focus on beauty, laughter, and love. My life has never been the same since. And while my body is constantly on a healing journey, who I am being in the world is a woman who is completely healed. I am experiencing some of the most delightful and simple pleasures in life that were once impossible. Like riding a bike through the streets of Manhattan, wearing dresses on dates instead of hiding myself and even enjoying a day at the beach in a bikini (I know, I was shocked too!) All while achieving dreams I have had in my heart which I thought I would never be able to achieve. I have my own Talk Show called Naturally Beautiful on the holistic lifestyle channel Z LIving, I host events for 200 influencers and bloggers all in celebration of self-love several times a year, I have the honor of working with some of my favorite brands and was even asked to represent one of them as an on-air guest for the home shopping channel QVC.

    I know many of you reading this haven’t gone through this exact same thing, but I promise you we all have our own version. Whether it’s healing your ability to love yourself after a painful divorce (I have one of those under my belt too), or feeling defeated because you just can’t seem to figure out what to do with your life, or you’ve been spending what feels like a lifetime waiting on the weight, we have all been there in our own unique and beautiful way.

    I wanted to share all of this with you because I want this to be the moment where you decide to choose the vibration of love for your life. Choose love. It’s so easy to get stuck in cycle of choosing fear, doubt, and worry, but I’m here to tell you that you are worth so much more than that, my beautiful ones. I promise. Even if you think your body or circumstances are telling you otherwise.

    Here are 3 ways to choose love over despair.

    1. Get real about where you’re at. It’s really easy for people in the self-help world to give you a few bandaids for your pain, but something my soul sister Sarah and I believe in deeply is that we are doing all of you a disservice if we do that. The only way to truly transform and heal is to get real. So take out your favorite journal or write an email to yourself and get it all out. What are you so angry about? Why do you feel betrayed? When did this all start? Whatever comes up for you get real about it. And release it once and for all.
    2. Surround yourself with beauty. This is one of those tips you may be a little skeptical about. But if you’re willing to trust me. I would love for you to give it a try. If we’re committed to raising our vibration towards more love and less despair, then what we look at and what we’re surrounded by is going to be a part of that. You could either look at a blank wall, a piece of art that you don’t love, or a couch that makes you cringe every day. Or you can fill your space with things that bring you insane joy. Go on Etsy and find an inexpensive piece of art, buy yourself a candle that has the most beautiful fragrance, or make a commitment buying yourself fresh flowers every week (I know this is one of Sarah’s favorite things to do). Whatever it is, surround yourself with things that lift you up. It’s not about band aids, it’s about reprogramming your cellular memory towards more happiness and joy over despair. It works if you work it.
    3. Call on your community. This has always been one of my absolute favorite steps towards more happiness. It wasn’t always the easiest one for me. Mostly because I lost most of my friends after my divorce. So to find a group of girlfriends was a true struggle at that time. But being someone who is more committed to my happiness than my suffering, I made it my mission to find a community when I needed it most. If you’re reading this and don’t have a community, I invite you to be bold in your quest for one. For those of you who feel connected to group of people already, I want to remind you that those who love you feel privileged to support you. I mentioned that isolating feeling earlier and it shows up for me the most when it comes to my health. It’s probably the area of my life that I need the most love around. But it’s also the thing I tend to take on by myself. It has become a conscious practice to call a friend or text someone I love when I’m in the thick of my lowest moments. Sometimes these exchanges can be a request to have someone listen to you because you need to get real about your situation. And other times it’s just getting honest about your need for some freaking fun. Either way don’t forget that your community can’t wait to support you.

    I’ve heard from many people that it often helps having certain structures around the beginning and the end of their day. So I’ve created a special guide with daily self-love rituals to set you up for success. You can download that free guide here.

    I mean it when I say it’s such a privilege and honor to share my journey with you. I know how carefully and intentionally Sarah has cultivated her relationship with each of you, and I’m so excited to now be a part of your quest towards more self-love.

    Lots of love,

    Nitika

  • 11
    Aug 2016

    LMWL Mastery Coming Soon + We’re moving!

    When we released another round of my signature program, Live More Weigh Less Mastery in June, we had so many women write in saying that it wasn’t the right time (they had weddings, summer vacations, getting their oldest off the college) or they needed some time to get the money together. We’ve also had a lot of people asking and asking about when I am going to be doing it again.

    Live More Weigh Less Mastery will open again on Thursday September 22nd, 2016. So do what you need to do to get yourself ready to jump in. Maybe it’s saving some money, talking to your partner, or blocking out two hours a week this fall to immerse yourself in this new body of work. Maybe you want to sign up for a carpool or say no to being on that committee that you really don’t like being on anyways. You’ve been warned!!!

    People are always asking me how often and when I do Live More Weigh Less Mastery. The reality is that it’s completely random. I do it when it fits into my life because I have to Live More too! So I only run the program when I am feeling energized, aligned and excited about it. That way I can really show up for you guys. This fall is one of those times, and I am so freaking excited about the fall group.

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    Fall is my favorite season, not just because it’s also my birthday, but because there’s a feeling of renewal. That back to school energy and all that PLAID gets me jazzed about rethinking how I want to live and who I want to be. September really is the new January.

    So if you’re finally ready to make a big change in your life and body, make sure you read all of my emails and sign up for the Live More Challenge, a free program and community designed to motivate you and hold you accountable in creating a life and body you love. At the end of the challenge, I’ll be hosting a free workshop called Get Out of Body Jail, where we’ll be opening the doors to Live More Weigh Less Mastery.

    Now, when am I going to be doing it again, you ask? Good question. The honest answer is I don’t know, maybe not for a while, maybe never. I have a lot of exciting things happening in my life right now, I am 67% sure I’m going to start shopping a book, we are building an epic shop on SarahJenks.com, we are going to start trying for #3 in 2017 and we’re moving!!

    Jonathan got an incredible private practice position in Massachusetts doing Urologic Oncology and Integrative Medicine. In April we looked at a million different towns and found a charming community where we’ll be moving in July. This spring we’ll be looking at houses and getting ready to relocate across the country. I’m from Massachusetts and have been craving being back for quite some time, so I am totally stoked. With all of the change, and the reality that life could be really different when we move, I’m just not sure when or if Mastery will happen again. I just want to be honest with you so if this has been on your bucket list, now is the time.

    Can’t wait to get this party started :).

    Love you,
    Sarah

    P.S. I have discovered that the key to being fulfilled in my life and happy in my body is by doing small things everyday that make me feel loved, beautiful and alive. I also know that we rarely take the time, even just ten minutes, to do this for ourselves. In our Live More Challenge, you’ll take daily steps to creating the life and body you love. You can sign up for the challenge here: LiveMoreChallenge.com

Design: Jane Reaction. Development: Brandi Bernoskie.