Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My "Why"

Since we're still getting acquainted here I have to admit that I feel a little silly wanting to tell you my life story. You know I'm 20-something, you know I dig working out and you know that I'm a fan of sweaty selfies. While those things are great, entertaining and blog-worthy - there's much more to the girl behind the blog and her "why". 

If you don't know what I mean, the 'why' is the driving factor behind why one does anything. The reason you are who you are, why certain parts of your life are priorities over others and the difference between goal setting and blowing your own damn mind over and over.

There's three main points of focus to this blog - Fitness, Nutrition and Personal Balance, all of which are my top priorities in my life right now and I'd like to tell you why.

Why Fitness?

As an athlete* (if you have a body, you are an athlete according to Nike), competition and sport have always been critical pieces of my life. From idolizing strong female role models as a child to trying to become a strong female role model in my adulthood - there's been so much value in the opportunities I've earned through sport. 

Sport has given me confidence, sport has given me a voice, sport has made me outgoing and sport has allowed me to form my own identity. It's given me the tools of organization, goal setting, time-management, focus, determination and tenacity. It's formed me, shaped me, given me countless opportunities to improve and grow - both personally and professionally. 

And while I don't consider my fitness in today's world to be "sport" anymore, the principals and foundation are the same. I still gain discipline, organization, confidence, focus and triumph. I still challenge the boundaries that I (and only I) have put up for myself. 

I've seen what sport has done for me and I want to see it change your life too. 

Why Nutrition?

It saddens me to admit that I've never had a comfortable relationship with food - that is until the past six months. Food has always meant calories and calories always meant weight and weight always meant having to find a way to hide myself behind my clothes. I've always loved winter, because to me layers meant a shield that I could hide behind. You have no idea how thrilled I was to see maxi dresses/skirts become a trend because I finally had something to wear to summer bbq's and on 4th of July. It was difficult to come up with a new excuse for why I was wearing pants and a cardigan when it was 90 degrees out and I was clearly sweating. 

I think it's safe to admit here that I am not once, not twice - but a three time recovering anorexic. 

The first time I was the new girl at a preppy high school trying to fit in. The second time I was coping with a softball career-altering injury and struggled with the idea of not being able to work out. The third time was me trying to cope with debilitating insecurity and loss of my personal identity my Junior year of college.

There will be no fourth time. 

I've always known since coming out of the third time that I wouldn't go back to starvation. What really changed the maybe-never into absolutely-never was seeing the way that Paleo has changed my life. I put more food on my plate than ever before in my life and I'm losing weight. Why? Because I'm eating good food, healthy food, the right food that my body has been craving all of my life. 

If I had the chance, I'd go smack 15, 17 and 20 year old me in the face three times over just to get her to understand that her relationship with food doesn't have to be a bad one. If she would have understood this earlier in her life, I think that her world would have been so much different. The beautiful thing is that the world she could have had is still out there. It's a bright world and there's so much more.

Did you notice how the body image piece is addressed in the nutrition section rather than the fitness section? Yeah - that's because that's where it belongs. Eat well and your body will thank you. 

Why Balance?

This last one is easy. I've never been very patient, I've never been good at handling all of the pressure (that only I have put on myself) and I'm always out 'chasing' after something. Whether it was trying to be the smartest student, the best pitcher, the most clever or the wittiest & prettiest - I've never found satisfaction in the things that I've already accomplished. 

I've never found great ways to build success on top of success because each new goal I try to pursue I feel like I'm starting over. 

The word 'balance' means many things to me. It means being able to fall asleep at night in the dark silence and be beaming with peace and happiness. It means having a 'someday' vision of being present for my children and my family to be the best mother I could ever hope to be. It means setting myself up with attainable and realistic goals - goals that push me closer to my passions, not just what society's goals are for me.

Balance is bliss.

Thanks for letting me share, it's important that you know the girl behind the blog if you're going to take this journey with me. 

 photo JessiFitPdxmesig.png


  1. J, thanks for opening up and sharing your story. i had no idea you were a recovering anorexic and you're so incredibly strong and amazing to 1) overcome this terrible disease and 2) share your story with others to help those in need and 3) become an annoying fitness wangface like the rest of us and spread the word of fitness jesus. HALLELUJAH to fitness jesus!!

    people forget that fitness teaches you a lot of things aside from giving you a kickass body...they don't realize that they're building self confidence with every hard workout completed, they're increasing their life span exponentially with every healthy/clean morsel of food and they're creating a happy life for themselves because fitness is an incredible and natural stress reliever!! who has time for stress? NOT ME.

    so thank you for sharing your story, for this blog and your commitment to the fitness jesus. all hail fitness jesus!! :D


    Vodka and Soda

  2. love it. balance. so important and beautiful :)

  3. I love this post :) It is seriously so inspiring! I am still trying to find that balance & have better self control but it is coming slowly but surely!!

    Also, sweaty selfies, duh :)
    happy tuesday girlfriend!

  4. You are such a brave woman!! Great post!! I love the quote by Nike - we are all athletes and we need to treat these bodies that we were given as the only one we've got - so we have to be really good to it!!

  5. Wow just wow! What a strong and honest and raw post. Thank you for sharing your story, I look forward to reading and watching your journey :)!

  6. It's absolutely insane how we can become consumed by insecurities. I loved this post - thank you for being such an inspiration!

  7. I had no idea about your struggle with anorexia. I'm so glad that you were brave enough to put your story out there. You never know who you may be helping... especially by showing what amazing healthy alternatives there are out there. You're a true role model! :)
    I completely agree about WHAT we eat making all the difference in how MUCH we can eat. 100 calories of chocolate isn't going to fill you up nearly as much as 100 calories of broccoli, or give you any health benefits.
    I love you. :)

  8. Love it! I had an awful relationship with food too, I still struggle with sweets a little but I'm working on it. Balance is so important!

  9. you such a brave women for sharing you story.

  10. you just tugged my heart strings girl. i had no idea about some of this. you are such a strong woman! im so proud of you.

  11. smart goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely + balance = happy jessi :)

  12. you are inspirational, that's why you're going to succeed. so proud of you!

  13. Thank you for sharing your story! It was really touching and inspirational!

  14. Clicking the bicep actually did take me to this post! Thanks for being so open with your readers. I really was inspired by your story.

  15. Girl you are so badass for sharing your story. I agree there will be no fourth time especially with all the support around you and people that would fly from FL to smack you in the face as well ;-) Love those guns btw

  16. what an amazing post. I'm so glad I "found" you and I can follow along on your journey! I might actually do a post too saying why I want to do this.
    Also, hats off to you for beating aneroxia... it's def a mental thing. <3 Hugs!

  17. LOVED reading this friend :)
    YOU are an inspiration!!

  18. YOU are a role model!

    You go girl!

  19. You are awesome, Jessi! Thank you so much for sharing!

  20. This is wonderful and I look forward to reading more about your journey. I have always felt the same way about winter, and though I'm happy it's starting to warm up around here, I'm already scared of people seeing my thighs. That said, I've struggled with weight my whole life but this year has been revolutionary for me as I have begun to let go of calories and fat talk and focus more on eating real food and working out and feeling grateful and proud of my body. My only recommendation from you (and take this with a grain of salt since I have absolutely no professional experience) is to just let go of the idea of weight/losing weight all together and focus on all the other wonderful, positive things you wrote about. <3

  21. Yay for sweaty selfies! This was such a great post and thank you for being brave enough to share your story. I had an ED when I was a teenager and luckily it never spiraled too badly and I was able to overcome it. I still have a lot of issues with body image and not relying on food to feel good while not letting it make me feel bad either. It's a slippery slope! BALANCE truly is bliss!!

  22. Thank you for sharing your story - I know it couldn't have been easy opening up like that. You rock for being able to overcome it!! ♥

  23. wow Jess. I had no idea - thank you for sharing.
    I want to share my story on my blog as well, but I am too scared - I am not a good writer like you and I don't want to come across like I am asking for pity. But, if you can't tell from my last comment - I have struggled all of my life with EDs, on and off since I was 14 both anorexia and bulimia. sometimes i think i am okay, and other times i know i am not.
    you're such an inspiration - i wish i could be more like you! xo


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