Sep 2014

A vulnerable post about my body

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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.

2. 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.

3. 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?”

4. 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.

5. 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 expanding my team and hiring a hot shot publicist.  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.

6. No hiding. I had this idea to do a challenge, and then I realized I had to post pictures of myself on the internet. Hmmmm.  But as you heard last week, the challenge is happening, and I am psyched for it.  I want to show you that your body does not have to hold you back from having the life you want. We all deserve to be seen, we all deserve to have an amazing life, regardless of our weight. This is exactly what this Fall’s challenge is about, and I hope you’ll join me.

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.  



P.S. I don’t want you to miss out, to sign up for the Live More Weigh Less Fall Challenge, visit LMWLChallenge.com.

We would love to hear from you, leave a comment.

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  • Such a beautiful post, Sarah! This is why I love you! You’re so honest and you do still look beautiful! I tend to hide a lot and try to put it under the blanket of morals or values or being classy when really I’m just scared of showing my body. I’ve been getting better at it though and just posting pics of me on Facebook & Instagram. Thanks for all the tips to keep loving my body, no matter what size! xo

    • Sarah Jenks

      I’m so proud of you, Awo! The community of women who’ll support you during the LMWL Challenge will warm your heart. Thank you for being so honest. xo

  • Kari

    Breastfeeding also affects your hormones and your mood. I exclusively breastfeeding both of my kids for a year , as recommended by the AAP, and didn’t recognize until I had finished breastfeeding my first child (a year later) that I just didn’t entirely feel like me. I was just a little more negative, a little more quick to give in or give up than my usual positive minded self. It was too subtle to call postpartum depression, because I wasn’t depressed…so I just thought it was me reacting to the changes and pressure that having a baby to take care of all the time brings to life. It wasn’t until I stopped breastfeeding, and I felt like myself again, that I realized it was the hormones making me feel that way.

    So give yourself a little grace, and realize there are a lot of things, hormones included, that are still going on in your body and in your life that are different than before you had your baby. You’ll settle in to your new normal, but it takes time. In my case, it was a full year after having each of my babies!

    • Sarah Jenks

      Thank you for sharing your story, Kari. A woman’s body is an amazing machine and I’m so grateful to have the honor of experiencing this journey. xo

  • Sarah, thank you for this post. As a health coach, I still struggle with my weight and you inspire me to continue on even though I am not at my optimum weight. As women we have a lot of pressure to look perfect and sometimes we forget what is most important in our lives. Thank you for all your inspiration and wisdom. You have helped me be more confident about myself and my business.

    Thank you

    • Sarah Jenks

      Aww Sarah, thank you! I’m so proud of you. xo

  • Such a beautiful post. Thank you so much for being vulnerable and real about the constant ups and downs and struggles with weight. You’re right, emotional eating never goes away — it’s all about how we can learn to be gentle and loving with ourselves throughout the moments when the emotional eating shows up again, because it will. And learn from it, step by step. I signed up for your challenge. I am both excited and feeling scared and vulnerable about the visibility because I am also at one of my heaviest now, but am trying to love and accept myself as I am, knowing the weight will come off when my body is ready to let go of it. It will also be a great exercise in walking my talk! 🙂 Thanks for all the inspiration, Sarah! xoxo

    • Sarah Jenks

      Good for you, Nadia! The first step in making a transition in our lives is being vulnerable. I’m so happy you’ve signed up for the Challenge. We’re honored to support and encourage you on your journey! xo

  • Ah, Sarah.

    Thank you for sharing this post with us today. When you “figure things out” and take on that coaching role it sure can turn up the pressure… but as you remind us today.. we are all human. We are in this together and we figure this out, together.
    You sure helped me while I was on my journey and some days are easier than others. I love to support and help everyone, but also know that I will have days and I must keep the kindness and love in my self-talk to keep doing this work.
    You help me. We all help each other.
    You are beautiful!

    Thank you, thank you! xx Elyse’

    • Sarah Jenks

      You rock, Elyse! Some days are easier than others and it’s the love and respect we have for ourselves that’ll carry us through those tough days. xo

  • I knew that you becoming a mother would be a blessing to mom’s everywhere. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and reminding us there is much more to life than being thin. Like rocking babies to sleep, as I am doing now. I could lay her down and do a few sit ups. But right now in this moment I am so happy. And that means more to me than a flat tummy.

    • Sarah Jenks

      How beautiful, Lindsay. I couldn’t agree with you more. Those happy moments in our lives take our breath away! xo

  • Michelle

    Wow! You are awesome! Thank you!
    You did not have to be so honest with us but
    I am so glad you were. I have loved everything
    I ever read here but nothing as much as this. Thanks
    For keeping it real. Can’t wait for the challenge!

    • Sarah Jenks

      It was hard to be vulnerable Michelle, but I knew I had a solid group supporting me! I’m so happy today’s message really resonated with you. Can’t wait for the LMWL Challenge! xo

  • April

    Yes! Thank you SO much for this post. I completely feel this way too. I didn’t have a baby but I was a health/fitness coach for a couple of years. And then I met my boyfriend and kinda threw it all out the window. I was in love and wanted to focus all my energy on that. And I did. And we ate a lot of nachos. 30 pounds later I realized that I was only focusing on my relationship and not on me at all. But the road back to being healthy has been hard. I still want to eat nachos. But this post has reminded me that I need to get back in touch with me. And I’m TOTALLY joining you for the September challenge. Thank you for your honesty. People that pretend to be perfect always make me feel crappy about myself. Thank you for being real – it’s vulnerable and honestly makes me accept me more. 🙂

    • Sarah Jenks

      It sounds like you’ve fallen back in love with yourself, April! Thank you for sharing your story. We’re honored to support you on your journey too! xo

  • Carla

    Bravo, Sarah. You are an inspiration in your honesty and authenticity. THAT is why you are an amazing coach, NOT because you look a certain way.

    • Sarah Jenks

      Thank you, Carla! I’m reminded daily through people like you, why I love what I do. xo

      • Carla

        PS I attended an event earlier this year and someone came up to me to ask if I was “THE” Sarah Jenks and then proceeded to tell me I look just like you. I took that as a great compliment. 🙂

  • Hey Sarah, I just wanted to say thank you for this. As someone who has struggled with food and weight and eating for so much of my life and found so much relief by connecting to a more authentic/non-dieting way of eating, I also just felt so called to doing coaching.

    But when my own demons surface, I just want to THROW IT ALL OUT THE WINDOW! “How can I possibly be qualified to help others with this, when I’m still struggling?”, I think to myself. Also, “You are a friggin’ idiot for thinking you can do this.” (So I totally relate to your desire to be an interior designer in those moments)

    But it’s so interesting, when I read your article, I thought, “Oh of course she’s struggling. That’s so normal – she just had a baby! Baby weight is the WORST.” I love hearing about what you are up to because you have this glamorous yet authentic way of being in the world (though I’m sure it doesn’t always feel that way).

    I’ve resisted posting on your blog too much, partially because it’s something I’m not used to doing a lot, and partially because I’m trying to do some coaching too. But I decided that I admire you so much, and I just wanted to connect! So anyway, I am sending you such good vibes. Your journey seems so normal, and also inspiring at the same time.

    • Sarah Jenks

      Katie, I’m SO glad you’re here sharing your voice on the blog! Supporting, encouraging and motivating each other is the key to success. Have you considered joining us for the Live Free Retreat in Sonoma this October? LiveFreeRetreat.com xo

  • Laura

    Such a great post! I’m excited for the challenge–this will be my first time doing it!

    • Sarah Jenks

      Yay! You’ll love it, Laura. It’s my favorite time of the year! xo

  • Sarah,
    I LOVE that you shared this with us. These are such solid reminders that life is a process, nothing is permanent, and aren’t you blessed to have such a great network of women around you! I especially love that you bravely touched on being in a leader role and the shame of wanting it all to go away. But as (evidently in the comments) the more authentically you share, the more real the challenge and learning is for all of us. I wish more leaders in the health/fitness/nutrition world would get more real about their own process… because we all know that stories don’t just end. We aren’t just suddenly “cured” forever. We ride the wave of life and are prone to the same challenges over again. Personally, I have found there is beauty and so much purpose in re-learning those lessons. Thanks!

    • Sarah Jenks

      Your encouragement is so touching, Megan. Thank you for your support and being part of the blessed network of women around us! Sending you love now, and always. xo

  • Lizzy

    Dear Sarah,
    Thank you for your bravery and for your incredibly honest post.
    I am from the school of I can’t shoot this video, can’t do the photoshoot if I’m not the perfect weight, have a flat stomach etc. I also worry that as a health and fitness coach I should be totally free from struggling with food and my body yet these issues still rear their head again from time to time. So it was incredibly comforting to hear your story and know that I shouldn’t let anything like this hold me back from the work I want to do and the life I want to live. Thanks again. Love Lizzy

    • Sarah Jenks

      We live in a very challenging world, Lizzy. Women need to support, encourage and motivate each other. I’m SO glad you’re part of our community of women! xo

  • Kylie

    Oh Sarah it’s so good to hear you are back in the swing of things. I’m really looking forward to the LMWL Challenge, and it’s good to know that you are human as well. I’ve been feeling so bad about my set backs.

    Thank you!

    • Sarah Jenks

      Today is a new day, Kylie! Thank you for your kind and loving message. I’m excited you’ll join us for the LMWL Challenge…it’s coming soon! xo

  • Sarah,
    I love this post with all my heart. I’m so happy to read real words from someone a few steps ahead of me (I’m currently 34 weeks pregnant.)
    I’ll be on board — and still pregnant — with the LMWL Fall Challenge. And the course for Spring ’15 has been on my mind so much lately…praying that it works out for me to join in.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration! Love following along with you.

    • Sarah Jenks

      Congratulations, Laken! Thank you for your love. So glad you’re joining us for the challenge and I can’t wait to have you joining us this spring. xo

  • Fantastic Sarah!!!! THIS is what women and mamas need to hear. For some the weight does just disappear and for others it is here to stay.

    Physically I am the heaviest I have ever been, but the lightest I have ever been in my heart. And that is freedom. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    • Sarah Jenks

      So heartwarming, Maria. I applaud you for recognizing how light your heart is. You’re amazing! xo

  • Courtney

    Thank you for being so vulnerable with us, Sarah! We are grateful you are continuing with LMWL, you are an inspiration! I needed to read this today! It’s time for me to choose ease over those pastries too.

    • Sarah Jenks

      I’m grateful you, and so many others, are joining us for the LMWL Challenge. We all need to lift and support each other through our journey! xo

  • Ana Flores

    This post is exactly why I LOVE U!!! Life’s journey is not easy, but when we take time to care for ourselves and do the things that make us feel beautiful it makes it more enjoyable. We only get one chance to live this life and what better way to do that then to LOVE ourselves and be kind. THANK YOU for not giving up on your dream and helping us figure this out. I truly APPRECIATE your realness.♡

    • Sarah Jenks

      And I appreciate your love and support, Ana. Thank you for being here as part of our community! xo

  • Jasmine


    You inspire me more then you’ll ever know. Never did I think someone I’ve never met could have such a significant impact on my life.

    Thank you for your bravery, honesty and for sharing your light with all of us. I am grateful.

  • Sarah Jenks

    You are beautiful, Jasmine. I’m so grateful for your support and kindness. It’s an honor to be here helping to guide you on your journey. xo

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