Thursday, July 9, 2015


Earlier this week I posted this picture on Instagram:

Underneath it I wrote, "as I look at this picture from a 5k a few weeks ago, I see someone who is 'too big.' I focus on all the parts I wish looked different. I'm trying so hard to accept my body as it is based on the daily decisions I make...because I am happy. Perfection doesn't equal happiness. But some days it's just so difficult to see past the flaws. #keepingitreal

Throughout the day I received notification after notification of people leaving the most encouraging comments about that photo and about me specifically. My heart expanded with gratitude and while I didn't respond to them individually, I read each and every one and thought a lot about the words being said. Strength, beauty, determination, and inspiring were common words in many of the comments. Many also shared similar thoughts and criticism of their own bodies...all of whom I see in the same words they used to describe my body. Why is it that we can see others as strong, beautiful, determined, inspiring...and maybe even wish our own bodies looked more like theirs. Yet, those same people have a hard time seeing that in themselves. Just as I have a hard time seeing those qualities when I look at that picture. I am fairly certain if the face on that body was someone else's, I would see the picture very differently. I certainly would not be critical of it and instead I would also celebrate its beauty, strength, and determination. 

That's f*cked up.

When I say I am trying hard to accept my body as it is based on the daily decisions I make, it's because I am well aware if I change the way I eat, count calories, and worked out even more, I could shed a few unwanted pounds. But I enjoy eating healthy 90% of time, and I enjoy relaxing with a glass of wine or staying up late on the weekends having a few drinks followed by a late night snack of whatever I can find in the apartment... unless I fall asleep on the couch first. I'm not sorry or ashamed to admit that. Going out to my favorite restaurant and enjoying wings at the bar with some cider makes me happy. Running 5 days a week so I don't feel guilty having said wings and cider makes me happy. Counting calories and overthinking every thing I eat or drink does not make me happy. I spent too many days of my life in the past doing those things and being a slave to the scale, to know it would not change my opinion of myself. Even at my thinnest, weighing 30lbs less then I do now, I never felt thin enough, and I most definitely was not happy. I was a slave to scale and the voices in my head telling me what I could and could not eat. It's not a path I ever want to find myself going down again.

So where does all this leave me? I'd say it leaves me on a much better path of continuing to work towards and find acceptance in myself for who I am, what my body looks like, and the things that make me happy. I really believe being open and transparent about my thoughts and this journey is important not only for myself but for all women who may be on a similar path. It's not an easy one to navigate, but it gets a hell of a lot easier knowing you have support and believing you're not alone.


**Keeping it real was started by total badass, sister hero and amazing Oiselle teammate, Lauren Fleshman. You can read more about it here It's worth it, I promise.** 


  1. Being someone that has known you your entire life, from the time you were a little nugget, I will tell you that you've ALWAYS inspired me! You are a strong, smart, beautiful, kind, loving, and fearless person, and that is more important than anything else. You are loving and have a big heart for your family and friends. I know that as girls who grew up in the sport of gymnastics where we always strived for perfection and was compared to the next gymnast that performed, it's part of why I've always been so critical of myself. I used to cry in the bathroom or in the shower about how my body looked, because I wasn't that petite gymnast....however even then there wasn't an ounce of fat on my body. We are always harder on ourselves than we are on others. We see all the imperfections in our self. Like you said, if our body had someone else's head, we'd not be so critical. as women we all pick our bodies apart..I can think of a million reasons why. I think one of the hardest things in life is growing up to love ourselves and see ourselves the way others do. It's something over the past few years since hitting my 30's that I've started doing. I've started seeing all the amazing things that I've done in my life and that my body has done to accept and love it for what it is. This body has grown and bared 2 children. It has run two half marathons. It's strong. It is healthy. The more I take care of it the better it feels. It's loved by my husband. It helps keep my boys happy and warm when snuggling....all these things it does. A big part of what I love about my body is because of you Jess. You inspired me to believe in myself to get back into running. You inspired me to believe in myself to run my first half marathon. You've inspired me through your posts to accept the struggles I have with running but to keep going and keep trying again and again. You've inspired me to work towards running my first marathon. Through you're blog you've inspired my Mom to believe in herself and to run. You might not know it, but you have changed the lives of many people. Loving ourselves is always a work in progress, something that as time goes on we learn to love ourselves in different ways. Know that you are beautiful and amazing. Know that through your words, stories, and accomplishments have inspired others to reach for their goals and dreams. I love you, and want you to know that you are already Amazing and a very beautiful woman <3

  2. Jess, I LOVE that you mentioned, " I am fairly certain if the face on that body was someone else's, I would see the picture very differently." This is such a true statement; I've never thought of it this way, but you make such a great point. I'm pretty sure that I look at pictures of other women who are similar in size to me and I think they look incredible and strong and fierce; and when I look at myself, I think fat, failure, and weak. I can promise you that you are not alone on this journey, as I'm sure you realized after posting your pic; I wasn't happy 30 pounds ago and I'm not happy today, either, but I'm trying to get there! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.