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Are you too old and fat?

Darling,

I spent a few intense hours last Sunday with my daughter, trying on clothes, making sure she had the perfect thing to wear on her first day of school.  The big question, as she tried on each different thing in her closet?  “Mom, do I look fat?”

She is not fat.

And this is a girl who actually has a lot of confidence and a lot of style and was raised by a mother who loves her own body, who teaches women how to love their bodies.

I was concerned about this question, wondering how she got to feeling this way, until I was trying on clothes for the launch of Creation Course.  I love clothes, and I change outfits a lot when I teach.  And as I tried on each outfit, and then showed the outfit to my team for review, the big question I found myself asking was “Does this make me look fat?”

My apple, seems she did not fall far from the tree.

And I thought back to the video series we just completed, and all the Q’s I have received that I answered on Facebook. And I notice we are all apples falling from the great tree called DOUBT—doubt about our bodies, our beauty, our weight. It is epidemic amongst women to question our bodies, rather than enjoy or celebrate them.  

How can I love my body, even though I’m 20 pounds overweight?
Am I too old and fat to find love?
Do men prefer women who are thin?
Do I have to lose 30 pounds before I can start dating?

Many of you also asked me who I know and trust in this area.  Could I recommend someone for you?

Well, you asked and I’ve delivered.  I am so proud to introduce you today to Sarah Jenks, the founder of Live More Weigh Less.  She has just unveiled a free video training series and if you’re anything like me, you’re going to love it.

This week, I’ve invited her to guest blog for us because, in a sea of weight loss articles, shiny magazines and empty promises, she is a needed breath of fresh air.

She truly stands out to me as someone who has real, sane solutions for loving your body and creating your ideal weight naturally.

Enjoy!

Mama Gena

Sarah Jenks, of Live More Weigh Less

Sister Goddesses,

It feels so good to be here, to be in my tribe.  Let me start out by telling you a bit about my story…

I’ve spent my whole life wondering, up until recently, why is it that I want to lose weight so badly, and I know that eating vegetables and not eating ice cream is key, but I still can’t stay away from the frickin’ candy bowl at work?

This question has haunted me for most of my life.  I’ve watched friends, celebrities, and perfect strangers breeze through a 4-week stint of the South Beach Diet, or give up sugar without breaking a sweat and emerge 15 pounds lighter.  But no matter how psyched I got to start a diet, or how much I desired to fit into my old jeans, I could barely make it through three days without polishing off an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

I believed there was something wrong and different about me, like God had forgotten to give me willpower when I was created. This pissed me off and made me feel really defeated.  How could I, of all people, be the world’s worst dieter?

It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom, inhaling an entire bag of Dove Chocolate Promises while hiding in the supply closet of my ad agency on the third day of my seven-day juice cleanse, that I finally realized that if this diet thing was gonna work, it would’ve worked by now.

Without all my energy and attention being taken up by mastering the latest diet, I looked around and realized, my life totally sucks!  I had no concrete plans for the future, no hobbies, no fun dates coming up, no trips planned, no dreams to fulfill.  Could I be any more boring?

You see, I was waiting for my life to begin when I was thin.  I was convinced that if I could just lose twenty pounds I would have the courage to start my own business, my relationship would finally feel passionate again, and I would stop hating myself for being so weak and ugly.

In the meantime, food was my only source of excitement, fun, connection, and relaxation.  No wonder I could never stick to a diet; sugar was my lifeline.

These are the three key steps I took to get out of body hell, and now teach thousands of women worldwide to help them create the life and body they are meant to have.

1. Fun needs to be your number one priority.

I don’t remember when it happened, but at some point in the transition from childhood to adulthood, fun became synonymous with selfish. Fun was something I would do later, when I deserved it, after making six-figures or being a size six.  So, food became my only source of fun.  Sneaking ice cream in the middle of the night was an adventure.  Buying a chocolate bar in the middle of day was my stress-reliever. Drinking till I was dizzy on a Saturday was my release.  You see, as women, fun, desire, pleasure—whatever you want to call it—is built into our DNA.  It’s as critical as air and shelter, and our bodies are hardwired to get our fix of fun, no matter what.  Getting it in the form of food is fast, cheap and easy.  Pretty smart when you think about it.

I knew I needed to start having real fun in order to kick my dependence on food.  I started going to dance classes, taking voice lessons, going for long walks in the park, packing picnics with my boyfriend, flirting with strangers (thank you, Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts), going skinny dipping and taking weekend adventures.  In just a few short weeks I felt alive, sexy, strong and happy—all the things I thought I needed to be a size 6 to feel, and I had only lost 3 pounds.  Fun is now my elixir, my lifeline, my love.  I actually have an amazing video that walks you through an entire day in my life, so you can get even more ideas for how you can bring more fun into yours.  You can get access here, it’s totally free.

2. Get clear with what it looks like to take care of yourself.

Most women come to me because they are embarrassed by how they look.  They hate showing up to a party because they fear everyone is going to gossip about how much weight they have gained.  They don’t want to go home for Thanksgiving because they are worried their mother is going to lecture them (again) about how she’ll never find a man if she looks like this.  Sigh.  But here’s what I’ve discovered: even though it feels as if we are embarrassed by how we look, we are actually embarrassed that we’re not taking care of ourselves.  We may be freaking out that our friend is trying to calculate how many sizes we’ve gone up, but what we’re feeling deep inside is embarrassment that we haven’t been moving our bodies this month, or that we’ve chosen to order take-out every night instead of cooking ourselves a beautiful dinner.  And when we get real with ourselves, lamenting over our too-tight jeans is easier than confronting the very vulnerable and painful fact that we’re not loving and taking care of ourselves the way we deserve.

Instead of focusing all of your energy on how you wished you looked different, I want you to take some time to think about what it looks like to take incredible care of yourself.  And I want you to think about it from the perspective that you are already at your ideal weight.  Here’s why: I want you to create a repertoire that is sustainable and can last you a lifetime.  When we say “Eat no sugar or dairy ever,” we inevitably get sick of the pressure and gain back any weight we’ve lost.  When I treat myself as if I am already at my ideal weight, I drink wine a few nights a week, move my body every day but only in ways I love, eat chocolate, make sex a priority, eat lots of veggies, go on adventures, take time to cook beautiful meals, only eat when I’m hungry (if you struggle with this, you’ll love this short video) and take time to look my best every day, my body naturally settles to a place where I feel uniquely myself.  There may be times when I show up to a party a little heavier than I was when I last saw some people, but because I know I am in alignment with how I am taking care of myself; I never feel self-conscious.

3. It has to be about how you feel, not how you look.

If all we needed was “the desire to be thin” to lose weight, then we would all be beanpoles. However, every time we go to a restaurant, even though we are fully aware we want to lose fifteen pounds by Christmas, we still choose the pasta alfredo and chocolate lava cake!  What gives?  In those moments, the drive to be relaxed, to fit in, to feel connection, to get a jolt of excitement, to have a taste of pleasure are so much stronger than your desire to be thin.

Here’s what I want you to do next time: I want you to think more about how you want to feel during, right after and an hour after your meal.  When we’re only focused on losing fifteen pounds by Christmas it’s so easy to think, “Oh, it’s ok, I’ll start my diet tomorrow, I need this tonight,” and then we leave the meal feeling full, sick and watch our friends go off to the club without us because we need to roll into bed.

Imagine instead being focused on how you want to feel, not how you want to look.  You want to feel alive, engaged and beautiful, so you opt for some meatballs over polenta, and eat just enough until you’re satisfied.  After a bite of your friend’s dessert you feel ready to dance the night away.  You’re the first to hit the dance floor and barely notice the three men watching you in awe.  When one of them asks you if he can buy you a drink, you’re shocked because it’s usually your friends that get all the attention, and you were convinced that no man could be attracted to you like this. But because you’re dedicated to feeling alive, engaged and beautiful, you accept and have a fabulous evening.

Do you see how different your life can be when you focus more on how you want to feel in 45 minutes, and less on how you want to look in three months?

Here are your marching orders, my dear:

1. Write down three things you are going to do for fun this week and when you are going to do them.

2. Create a long and clear list of what it means to take care of yourself. Include what your body loves to eat, what you need for love, moving your body, friendship, nature and pleasure.

3. Define how you want to feel before, during and after a meal.  Write it down and stick it in your wallet so you can connect with it before you eat.  Think nothing about how you want to look months from now.

I’d love to hear what you’re most excited about or your questions in the comments below.

A tenet I live my life by is: the future is made up of the actions we take today.  Don’t waste any time creating the life you desire, my dear. Go out and get it, because no one else is going to do it for you.

Love,

Sarah Jenks
Live More. Weigh Less.

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  • Jen December 22, 2014, 2:37 pm

    WOW ! I found this site while googling weight loss. I am a bit confused about this Live More Weigh Less program. Looking at Sarah Jenks new site it appears that she has abandoned the Weigh Less portion of her program since she was unable to lose the weight herself. What is that all about? aaaaaalooks like she is into loving your self . Sure I like the message that one should take care of oneself but if I am looking for some weight loss programs I would feel cheated that this program doesnt work . I am afraid Sarah Jenks and her programs have lost credibilty in my eyes .

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  • Shannon Lagasse October 23, 2013, 10:37 am

    YES YES YES!

    I love this!

    I also loved your video training series, Miss Sarah. Incredible, as always.

    Thank you for sharing your guidance, insights, and action steps. <3

  • clint September 17, 2013, 12:05 am
  • Carole September 11, 2013, 8:15 am

    After reading others , turned 60 this year and after 4 children, 2 adopted ones , 5 amazing grand babes, and another on the way: finally have realized it is high time I took my life and weight seriously . Now , on to having a pleasurable life!!! I am worth it after all! Thank you. P. S. I see what a great inspiration you are to my third daughter, I want to feel it too!

  • Donna September 11, 2013, 12:10 am

    Sarah,
    You so hit the nail on the head when you shared that it’s not the weight we’re ashamed of, it’s the fact that we’re not taking care of ourselves that we’re embarrassed about.
    It’s time to get back on the fun train. My lesson is making time for it. NOW despite to do’s, to go’s, to completes, to pick up, to entertains (my 5 year old)…I MUST MAKE TIME.
    I will brag that I’ve gotten more compliments this year and had more men want me this year than ever before. AND it’s time to release this weight.
    Thanks for this conversation 🙂
    With pleasure
    Donna

  • Karen Holmes September 10, 2013, 7:01 pm

    This email jumped out for me today. My Biff is my weight – need/want to lose 50 pounds. And now I’m getting older – turning 65 this December and am getting all this junk mail about senior health insurance. The magazines do their look better and re-makes for women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s – what happened to the women in their 60’s and 70’s and 80’s???
    I come home from work and crave a muffin – not veggies!
    Help!

  • Andie September 10, 2013, 3:56 pm

    Sarah, Your message is a huge step in the right direction. I threw away my scale and eschewed diets (and my ED) in my late 20’s. But I wish you hadn’t stigmatized being a size 12 in your video. I’m a size 12, and I feel great about myself. In fact, the only way I’ve ever managed to be smaller than a size 12 is to continually starve myself on juice fasts and weekly colonics. A size 12 is what’s appropriate for my body when I’m taking care of myself well. I feel like your message would be a lot more powerful if you left the “before and after” pictures and size out of it completely. Being a size 2-6 is not right or feasible for everyone. And that’s okay.

    • Sarah Jenks September 10, 2013, 5:09 pm

      Hi Andie, I completely agree! My intention was just to tell my story, and what is real for me, not to give a rule. I hope you’ll watch my first video in the training, you’ll see what I mean. Everyone has a different ideal weight.

  • Shayna September 10, 2013, 3:13 pm

    beautiful sarah, thank you.

  • Sandra September 10, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    Again…I find so much sense in what you say! I’m already thinking about the 3 things I’ll do (I see how FUN is lacking in my life!), also…about ways to take care of myself…well!!! I know there are many…I’ll jot them together and start working on them too!!! And about the how I want to feel before, during and after I eat…I’m sure I have a bunch of positive ideas ther I could put into practice…for starters I’d love to just be able to RELAX around food and trust that I can have a taste of dessert and move on feeling happy and light! Ready to go for the next exciting thing with my energy, good mood and enthusiasm coming along!

    • Sarah Jenks September 10, 2013, 5:08 pm

      YES! All of that sounds perfect. And I can feel your excitement. The key to feeling relaxed around dessert is to have things in your life that are even sweeter than ice cream. Like I get massages every other week. Such a luxury and sooooo much better than ice cream.

  • Debra September 10, 2013, 11:02 am

    I have put so much of my live on hold because of my weight. I have years of missed opportunities for pleasure and success that I did not participate in because I am so embarrassed by my obesity. I never feel sexy. I only feel beautiful when the mirror reflects only my face. I have grown old waiting for a nice body. I use to just be fat. Now I am fat and old.

    Yet, in my mind, when I can not see my physical container, I am a bundle of fabulous WOW. Then I look down and see a belly that hides my lap and thighs that can hardly fit into a chair. Back to reality.

    • Sarah Jenks September 10, 2013, 11:47 am

      Debra, I can feel your disappointment. I want you so badly to see that you can be so much more than your body. My invitation to you is to write a list of all the things you would do or be different if you were at your ideal weight, then I want you to start doing those things TODAY. I know it will be uncomfortable and scary, but it will be better than where you are right now, yes? It’s not about changing your mind, it’s about acting differently, that’s how you create change. I’m cheering you on!

  • SG Quiksilver Sizzle Lara September 10, 2013, 10:39 am

    Sarah, I truly appreciate what you say about needing fun. I just realized recently that comfort and relaxation is not necessarily, or primarily about pizza and tv. When I get that “itchy” feeling and I want to eat, or go shop, I realize now that all I need to do is go do some self-care. A pleasurable walk, a massage, take myself to a nice meal, a pedicure, a bath in the morning (total extravagance to me!). That could deter my compulsive behavior when I am really just seeking some comfort in a way that fills me and most of all grounds me and addresses my actual needs instead of adding more crap to an already uncomfortable place. Thanks so much for your words.

    • Sarah Jenks September 10, 2013, 11:44 am

      Sizzle, you are dead on. So excited that you are on this path, keep going! Make sure to check out the videos for solidarity and to meet some like minded ladies. Excited to hang with you.

    • little jo September 11, 2013, 3:22 pm

      yea, I use the same trick… it works marvels! I stop my will for food and swap for some self-pleasuring 🙂

  • Alaina September 10, 2013, 9:39 am

    I have lost 65 lbs in the last 2 and a half years. The first 30 lbs was easy. I had just gotten out of an emotionally abusive marriage. I just left and bought healthy food and I lost 30 lbs without trying much. The remaining 35 lbs taught me a lot. I’m still learning about myself, my struggle with food and fibromyalgia. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I love so many things that are healthy. I just have to choose those healthy things more often and have the less healthy things less often and FUN needs to be a central part of it all! I’m going out salsa dancing, hiking, swimming, doing Meet Up group events!
    Enjoy yourself, healthfully!

    • Ellen Levin September 10, 2013, 9:55 am

      Mama G

      I appreciate this post. At first I thought, “Oh, who cares…. I am sick of all this shit,” but then made myself read the blog.

      I guess I always felt “good” about my looks/body because my dad always told me “I WAS A BEAUTY” as a child. Getting that message as a child and into my teens was marvelous. He died when I was 17 but the message stuck for YEARS and YEARS. And then I received my MFA and BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. This was helpful in that as artists the focus was on THE ART. I always had paint all over my clothes and body and took GREAT PRIDE in it as I would walk through the museum to go to my classes and studio. I FELT PROUD.

      I never wore make up then and never have of any kind since.

      I also always had boyfriends and a husband who thought I was a “beauty.” This helped quite a bit.

      HOWEVER, as I am currently single I am MUCH more conscious of my “wrinkles” etc ………..now that I am in my 50s…….. You see, I don’t even reveal my EXACT AGE.

      So, like Annie, I am interested in comments about AGING and how to do it with GRACE and BEAUTY……. I still feel HOT but feel more intermittently so!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????????????????

      I also had some serious eye surgery which no one can SEE, but I’ve gone through ALOT ALOT with it and continuing…………… I think THAT changed my self perception a bit……….

      I look forward to hearing your responses………..and yes………HAVING FUN IS KEY!

      THANKS and WITH GRATITUDE

      • Sarah Jenks September 10, 2013, 11:43 am

        Ellen, thanks so much for being here! Check out my response to Annie above. Attraction is so much more about how it feels to be around you than how you look. Many women “look” beautiful but feel jagged, cold or sad. How do you want to feel to others? I was to feel warm, like a sparkler and alive. So I DO things to feel that way, not just shape my body a certain way, does that make sense?

        • Ellen Levin September 10, 2013, 12:35 pm

          Sarah

          You make perfect sense. I read all of your responses to our posts. Thank you! I got so much from all of them and from all of the posts! Every day I begin my day and continue it doing all the things I love to do……..cycling, my art, playing music, yoga and much more………and YES! this is the key to an ecstatic life……living vibrantly…….BEST and thanks again, Ellen

  • lisabeth September 10, 2013, 9:27 am

    perfect timing, as always dear mama G.
    climbed on the scale at the gym this morning and went “ugh, back to the diet app”.
    and then I had the thought as I climbed in the car, “there’s got to be another way to what I want.”
    and there – on my phone – was your email!
    super excited to connect with what you’re all about, Sarah.

    • Sarah Jenks September 10, 2013, 11:39 am

      I love how serendipitous life can be! I want you to start with not weighing yourself:) Just tune into how you feel. Excited to hear how you like the videos!

  • Laurie Irwin September 10, 2013, 9:08 am

    It seems that at the age of 64 my last and hardest fought battle is my relationship with food. It seems to be the great comforter for me and I know, after spending time in the school of womanly arts , that this is not going to work – I will not be truly comforted by eating.

    Is it too late for me to begin to retrain my brain and my desires so that food is not the first thing I reach for or the first thing I deprive myself of in all good and bad times in my life.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my question – it is of extreme importance for me to come to terms with why and how I use food as reward and as punishment – in good times and bad.

    • Mallory September 10, 2013, 10:47 am

      Laurie! You are not alone, and no it is SO not too late to retrain your brain. Food has been my long standing relationship in good and bad times too, but there are some beautiful clearing techniques out there that changed it all for me. I had to reprogram some things in my noggin’ before I could slow down and eat mindfully or go do something fun instead of eating all my feelings. Good news…it shifted fast, and now I can fill up on life..so all my very best wishes to you!!

      • Sarah Jenks September 10, 2013, 11:38 am

        Mallory, so excited for you! What a beautiful transformation.

      • little jo September 11, 2013, 3:09 pm

        ‘eating all my feelings’ that is a powerful formula! Glad you’re outta there Sister

    • Sarah Jenks September 10, 2013, 11:37 am

      Laurie, thank you so much for posting this. It is not too late! I want to invite you to, next time you reach for food to ask yourself, “what am I feeling right now?” If it’s comfort, like you mentioned, imagine I swooped in and locked up all of your food and gave you $100, what could you go do that would help you feel comfortable right then? I would grab my favorite blanket, cuddle on the couch and watch TV, or walk down the street and get a short foot rub from my local manicure place.

      I also want you to ask yourself, what are you missing in your life? Close relationships? Fun? Purpose? What are small steps you can take to start building those things in your life? I know it can feel a little scary, but you have a long life ahead of you and you might as well put in the effort to make it fabulous!

    • Johana September 10, 2013, 2:49 pm

      Same here Laurie
      I ‘m now drinking low sugar protein drinks with green powder and flaxseed oil in the am and pm with a meal of veggies and protien in the afternoon…only a salad at night if I need more food…makes a big difference. Remember “nothing tastes as good as looking good feels”

      It alll gets back to pleasuring yourself in other ways. Pray there is always help…and you are going to FEEL great

    • little jo September 11, 2013, 3:18 pm

      It’s never too late to reprogram your thoughts and your relation to the Universe that is conspiring for our success… yes, it is!

      We just are not aware we can be at the driver’s seat Mama describes so well, because we’ve been under centuries of male brainwashing that makes us believe we’re not worth happiness and self-care -cf the global depreciation women suffer from, well all this size thingy is coming from it so back off!

  • Annie September 10, 2013, 9:08 am

    I’d like to hear more about how I can get over thinking about my age being a detriment in dating. I’m 63 years old and most guys my age seem to want younger women. I take pretty good care of my body, eat well, exercise– but I’m not having a lot of fun. I feel old.
    Help!

    • Ellen Levin September 10, 2013, 9:47 am

      Annie. This is a great question as I almost never had issues about what I ate or didn’t eat, etc….nor still have issues; HOWEVER, as I am single and thinking about dating again my age DOES feel like an issue (50s) so THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sarah Jenks September 10, 2013, 11:32 am

      Annie, you hit the nail on the head, FUN! It’s all about life force, and that doesn’t just come from how you look, it’s how it feels to be around you. I’d love for you to make fun a commitment. Check out my videos and you can also join our Live More Weigh Less Challenge: http://lmwlchallenge.com, it’s all about having fun.

      I just spent the weekend with a 76 year old woman who just started dating a 55 year old man. Her secret? She had a blast every day.

      • Johana September 10, 2013, 2:44 pm

        I am also 63 and I understand the issue at this age.
        I am practicing QiGong and yoga both of which make me FEEL young … Selfpampering, luxurating in being a woman and dressing feminely are also helpful. Do fun things
        ….have fun and be fun and if a guy show up Cool !f not you are having a good time. You have to be serious about this. I understand…I really do

    • little jo September 11, 2013, 3:07 pm

      You’re not old at 63 Annie! You should listen to Jane Fonda’s empowering speech for TEDx (check on youtube) about how to live the FOURTH AGE…