• 28
    Aug 2015

    Our new baby girl

    I am overjoyed to introduce you to the newest member of our family, Annabelle Sarah Brajtbord! 

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    She was born on Monday night weighing 7lbs 2 oz.  She is very healthy and nursing up a storm.  Marshall seems thrilled to have a little sister and is pleasantly distracted by having his grandparents around.

    If you follow me on instagram, you may remember reading an abridged version of my labor with Marshall on his first birthday back in March.  Just a few weeks ago, I finally took the time to write out all the details, and I added it to a new guide I created for you (it’s completely free) called Live More Weigh More: A Short Guide to Pregnancy.  I highly suggest you read Marshall’s birth story, by downloading this guide, before you continue.

    Given that I had to go to the hospital with Marshall after planning on having a home birth, and that our experience at the hospital wasn’t the best, you can imagine that I was very excited to have my baby girl at home.

    On Friday, I started getting really high blood pressures, and by Sunday it was clear that I had gestational hypertension (a precursor to pre-eclampsia, a dangerous condition for pregnant mamas).  Although I wasn’t in any real danger at the time, Jonathan and I have always been clear that home births are the best when everything is totally perfect and I am completely healthy.  And given that Marshall was two weeks late, we didn’t think that our baby girl was going to be joining us on her own anytime soon, so we went in on Sunday night to get induced.

    As you can imagine. I was devastated, scared and pretty pissed the whole weekend as I saw my pressures go up and up.  I did everything I could to relax, therapy, massage, herbs, acupuncture… and even in my most zenned out state, the numbers were still high.  I went through the whole list of things that could be holding me back…

    Do I not trust my body?
    Am I scared to be a Mom again?
    Even… did I have a bad birth experience in a past life?

    But what I kept coming back to is that “Birth Plan” is the biggest oxymoron, and I have absolutely no control.  In one of the experiences that means the most to me, I had to let go… again.

    So on Sunday we rolled into UCSF Hospital (where Jonathan works) with six bouquets of flowers, blankets, a cooler of food, 30 electric tea lights, an altar to the Great Mother and a whole lot of love to share with the staff, nurses and physicians

    By Monday afternoon my induction was in full swing and we were off to the races.  With the help of my husband, midwife, doula and the staff at UCSF (they mostly left us alone the whole time) I had just as an amazing labor as I could have imagined having at home.  I mean, it’s still the most painful thing in the world, but I felt empowered, calm and incredibly grounded the entire time.   A true “home birth” at the hospital. 

    As soon as she was born, I felt so connected to her (a feeling I didn’t have with Marshall) and the past few days have been amazing.

    In hindsight, it’s so clear to me that I needed to have that experience in the hospital in order to heal from the last.  I love how life works.

    After the birth my midwife sent me this quote that I think just explains it all…

    “Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still have a calm heart.”  – unknown

    What I learned from this birth is although a perfectly decorated, calm environment (you should have seen the birth suite I had set up in my dining room) makes feeling grounded, spiritually connected and powerful easier, it is certainly not necessary.  And most importantly, we can’t depend on it to find that place.  We need to be able to call on it where ever we are, in whatever situation.  Isn’t that the perfect lesson for motherhood? 

    Sending all of you so much from my growing family.

    Love, 

    Sarah

    P.S. If you are pregnant, wanting to get pregnant or feeling like you want kids someday but are petrified about how you’re going to make it all work, I really hope you’ll download my new guideLive More Weigh More: A Short Guide to Pregnancy. It’s completely free:).  Hope you love it.  xoxo

  • 20
    Aug 2015

    The Gift Every Woman Has But Rarely Uses

    As I mentioned a few weeks ago in honor of summer, slowing down and preparing for my baby girl to arrive in just a few short weeks, I’m excited to share with you four of my most popular (and effective) blog posts of the past year.  Many of you are new and have never seen these, and those of you who have been around for a while will love the reminders. I find that real change happens when we can revisit a topic multiple times.

    I look forward to still connecting with you in comments and supporting you through these juicy topics.  

    ************

    I used to pride myself on being pretty smart.  I could argue my way out of most things, bang out a 10 page paper in college in a night or figure out how to build a website.  I was a talker, a thinker, an executor.

    When I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I started to meet a bunch of “hippies” who wore a lot of hemp, took wheatgrass shots and had their cards read.  I was judgemental to say the least, and felt completely separate from that way of life.

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    But part of me was super jealous.

    They were so relaxed! They were “go with the flow” women and seemed to have life handed to them on a silver platter.  I wanted some of their secret sauce.

    So I started rubbing elbows with the granola girls and studying what made them different.  When they spoke about “divine alignment”, “fate”, “being guided” I was fascinated.  How?  As

    I continued to dig, I realized that all of this “magic” came from one place, their intuition.

    They all swore by following their intuition, that it never let them down.

    I was bummed.  I didn’t have an intuition.  I wasn’t at all psychic and I didn’t receive divine guidance.  I was a thinker.

    But my new friends assured me that every woman has intuition, it’s built into us.  Over the years we’re just taught that ‘reason’ is more reliable than our intuition, and we slowly lose the ability to hear that still, quiet voice.

    So I set out to build my intuition.  Here’s what I learned:

    1. Your intuition lives in your belly.

    This made sense to me.  My reason lived in my head, and my intuition, literally my gut instinct, lives in my belly.  My issue was that I was completely disconnected from my body, so I started a practice of putting my attention in my belly during a meditation, massaging my body with body wash in the shower, and talking to her nicely during the day.  Once I created a relationship with my body and my belly, I could start to hear her (my intuition) a little bit.

    2. Your intuition has a specific way of talking.

    Once I had enough stillness in my life and was connected to my body I could start to hear a small internal voice.  Whenever I was trying to make a decision about something, let’s say whether or not I should take on a client that I was on the fence about this is how it went in my head:

    ‘Reason’ said in a loud, bossy slightly panicky voice, “Of course you should take her on, you need the money, you can handle her, you can handle anything, even if she’s a pain, it’s only a few hours a month. Just do it, don’t be lazy.”

    ‘Intuition’ said in a soft, quiet voice, “It’s not right.”

    That’s it.  Simple, calm.  No back up.

    3. Just because she’s quiet doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her sh*t.

    Even though I could start to identify the voice, it seemed like an idiotic idea to take her advice.  She has no back up, no reasons and was not based in reality.  It seemed so wishy washy, so unreliable.  But I was committed to developing this part of me so I decided to just experiment.

    I decided that for a month I would base all of my decisions off of my intuition, even when it seemed like the worst decision in the world.  I figured even if I made horrible mistakes for a month, nothing in that time frame was unfixable.

    So if my head said “go to the party’”, and my intuition said “stay home” I stayed home.  When my head said “take that job” and my intuition said “don’t take it” I said no.  When my head said “it’s too much money” and my intuition said “it’s worth it” I made the investment.

    Everytime I followed my intuition I wrote down the scenario, the gut instinct and what happened as a result.  I wrote things down like I had a great night at home and my friends said that party sucked anyways, I passed on the job and my dream job popped up two weeks later, I invested in this program and made four times the money this month.

    My intuition was consistently helpful and always lead to more opportunity, even though the decisions I made rarely made sense at the time.  These examples became my proof and my reality.  I could now clearly see a pattern and I was able to trust that quiet voice.

    At the same time I thought back to the times I chose reason and recalled outcomes of exhaustion, disappointment and a feeling like I had wasted my time.

    So if you’re craving more clarity, more magic, more intuition I hope you can see that it’s simple to cultivate and I swear, it is by far the best tool in my box.

    In the comments below, I’d love to know about a time that you’ve followed your intuition and what the outcome was.

    Love,

    Sarah

  • 13
    Aug 2015

    A Vulnerable Post About My Body

    As I mentioned last week in honor of summer, slowing down and preparing for my baby girl to arrive in just a few short weeks, I’m excited to share with you four of my most popular (and effective) blog posts of the past year.  Many of you are new and have never seen these, and those of you who have been around for a while with love the reminders. I find that real change happens when we can revisit a topic multiple times.

    I look forward to still connecting with you in comments and supporting you through these juicy topics.

    ***************

    If you’ve been following me on Instagram and Facebook (if you haven’t, get on it), you’re slightly up to speed on my journey with my body since having Marshall.

    But I haven’t been sharing the whole story… until now.

    I loved being pregnant.  I felt amazing. I looked great. It was just easy. And then the last month I blew up like a balloon. I must’ve gained 40 pounds in 4 weeks. I am not exaggerating. I mean, I have stretch marks on my thighs. Last time I checked I wasn’t carrying a baby in my thighs.

    When I had Marshall I believed all the stories… It’s just water weight, you’ll lose it right away. Breastfeeding burns so many calories. You’ll be way too busy to eat. None of this was true for me.

    Instead I found myself dipping into patterns of overeating and hating my body. I wanted to hide, I wanted to snap my fingers and have it all go away. I REALLY didn’t want be a weight loss coach. Talk about the pressure!

    Of course I considered going on a cleanse, who doesn’t? They can just sound sooo easy sometimes. But I knew from experience that those don’t work for me, and I had the opportunity to really walk my talk and get to work. I knew that it was time to put the Live More Weigh Less principles to the ultimate test, not just for me, but for all women who are feeling stuck and struggling.  Here are the themes and strategies I got reacquainted with on my journey:

    1. You do not need to be skinny to be happy.  I was clear about what I needed to be happy, and went out and did those things. I went shopping, Jonathan and I started going out more to places that required a hot black dress instead of jeans and a t-shirt and I found as many excuses as I could to get in my bathing suit.
    1. Women naturally gain and lose weight and it is unrealistic to think we can lose 30 pounds and stay at our perfect weight forever. Life happens. The key is to roll with it, to not let it hold you back, and continue to take care of yourself so you can move towards your ideal weight again.
    1. You are never cured from emotional eating, you just learn how to use it to your benefit.  When I found myself eating ice cream after dinner every night, I didn’t get caught in the never-ending spiral of self-hatred, I instead asked myself, “what am I getting from the ice cream that I am missing in my life? How can I add more of what I need into my life?”
    1. The only way to lose weight is to ask yourself what you want MORE than being thin. For a good chunk of time I was caught in this trap of telling myself, “I have to lose weight, I have to lose weight, stop eating, work out more, stop eating…” and then I remembered my own core strategy in Live More Weigh Less: what do I want more than losing weight? I want to be calm, present, alive and connected to my intuition.  Eating pastries every day does not help me accomplish that goal.  The habit was just a distraction from really feeling what was happening in my heart and keeping me totally amped on sugar and refined flour. Now when I go to the counter I ask myself, “Do I want a croissant or do I want to feel at ease?” Ease has been winning more and more.
    1. Stop waiting on the weight.  When I went back to work I dove head first into the rebrand of SarahJenks.com and Live More Weigh Less.  I’m going BIG. And I’m the biggest I’ve ever been.  There was a week when I was ready to push pause, for like, a year. Or throw it all out the window and become an interior designer instead. And again I caught myself, stop waiting on the weight, Sarah! So I signed all the contracts and shelled out the cash.  No going back now.

    I knew when I decided to do this work, that it was not going to be easy for me. I am not naturally thin nor do I effortlessly pass on dessert. I chose to do this work because I get how hard it is, and I am very committed to figuring out how to get over the pain, so I can help you do the same. I can’t wait to connect with you.

    Love,

    Sarah

Design: Jane Reaction. Development: Brandi Bernoskie.