My Journey to Body Positivity

my journey to body positivity

On my journey toward living a happier, healthier life, I can’t help but to think back on how far I’ve come in the past 12 years. I would be lying if I said I’ve always had it together and been focused on my health, because that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although it’s a bit scary to open up about, I know it’s time to share my journey with you and get it all out there...

Outdoor Voices workout set
Outdoor Voices high-waisted leggings and bra top

My issues with food started early on in high school. Not only was I a dancer and staring at my reflection in a leotard every day, but I also became obsessed with high fashion and the modeling industry around this time. Next thing I knew I was 15-years-old and obsessed with being bone skinny. I remember starting a secret food journal where I wrote down every calorie I ate. I remember eating a half sandwich for lunch (no cheese or mayo! Just mustard for a condiment) with an apple or orange and then counting out 5-6 Wheat Thins for my “treat.” I was dancing hours and hours every day, yet was restricting my calories like crazy. 

I fluctuated between eating habits and body sizes throughout high school and college--sometimes restricting my calories like crazy, sometimes binge-eating junk food and drinking too. I would go through periods where I would workout like crazy on the elliptical and periods where I wouldn’t workout at all. My weight fluctuated over the years, but how I felt did not; No matter what size I was, I wasn’t happy with how I looked or felt. I had zero energy or motivation, my stomach hurt all the time, and my extreme perfectionism was making me feel crazy and anxious.

It sucked.   

After college and into my first few years of being married I stopped caring about my weight and we ate out lots and didn’t work out much at all. It was a much-needed break from obsessing over my body, but I still wasn’t feeling good or living a healthy lifestyle. The pendulum had swung the opposite direction and I was letting myself go. It was only last summer that my interests in nutrition and wellness finally caught fire. 

So what changed?

Outdoor Voices 7/8 springs leggings and Athena crop

I started listening to podcasts and reading books about nutrition and fitness and all-around wellness and self-care. I found that the more I learned about the human body and how to take care of it, the more I wanted to care for myself! Education was and is key! I gradually started to think of food as fuel, rather than something that made me “skinny” or “fat.” I stopped weighing myself because it was a trigger for me. I began to workout to strengthen my body, lengthen my life and relieve stress, rather than to “get skinny.” I realized that I needed to care for myself (including my mind) to achieve a truly healthy life. 

Today I’m grateful to report that I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been! I strive for a balanced approach toward food and fitness, and it’s been such a weight off of my shoulders to find that balance. It hasn’t been a smooth road over the years, but now I’m thankful for the experiences I had because they make me fully appreciate where I’m at today. Those experiences fuel my passion for wellness, and help me relate to girls who have gone through similar experiences. 

Outdoor Voices bra top & leggings

I do want to say that I couldn’t have done it alone. From my friend Haley who always made sure I was eating in high school, to my ballet teacher Val who pulled me aside after class one night to talk….my husband Trey who has always encouraged me and loved me regardless, my friend Jo who is my daily accountability buddy, and my little sister Tess who has always been a healthy mentor to me…I couldn’t have done it without them! If you’re struggling with an eating disorder or something related, please don’t do it alone. Let someone in. I know how hard that is because you want to keep it a secret and control the situation, but telling someone is the best thing you can do.  

I don’t love every part of my body or love myself fully every hour of every day, but I’m getting there. I’m learning to accept myself for who I am, while also continually striving to be better and healthier. Overall, I have newfound self confidence and work every day to view myself in a positive light. 

Thank you for giving me this safe and supportive platform to share, and thank you for reading about my journey. If you ever need to talk, please let me know. Much love! xx 

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xo, Jacy