A note to my 16 year old self…

What I wish I could have heard.

Firstly – you will be totally okay. I know right now it feels as if you’re not good at anything. And you often feel like you’re failing at life. Know that you are going to be okay. More than okay. You will be a happy, healthy girl. You will create for yourself a career you’ve always wanted: to be a nutritionist who is able to help people live their own healthy life (PS – that will be the name of one of your books). Yes, you are going to be a health author. But most importantly, you’re going to just LOVE what you do. You will wake up everyday bursting with a passion to help people live a happier and more balanced life. But I know you feel like you’re never going to be good at anything. You watch, my girl!

I know that you’ve started dieting and fearing food and that you’re petrified of gaining weight. I know it’s been torturing you. And that your body image and self-esteem has suffered. But you will work through it.

Remember what your mom told you though – just eat everything with balance. Keep your body moving daily and never deprive yourself – and your body will be at its best. And diets don’t work. It’s true! Don’t fall for the trap of dieting. Trust in your body and eat as you have been brought up to eat: wholefoods!

Being thin doesn’t make you happy – I promise ! In fact, it is going to make you feel so sad and lifeless for a while. But go and see a good doctor and therapist, and you will be fine. I know you’re always feeling guilty about food, but it is a waste of precious time. Such a waste. Focus on things that actually matter. You are just trying to control your pain with food.

You’re feeling a bit down, sad and maybe a little bit depressed. This is very much part of what most teenagers go through.

You are not alone.

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Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s not an easy time. But it gets easier and easier as you get older. I know you wake up anxious and scared. But it passes. You are good enough. You are more than good enough. You have so much to offer the world. Don’t let people at school or your boyfriend make you feel otherwise – you stronger than this. I know you are.

You feel so alone. But know that you are never going to be alone.

You have the most loving family and friends. And you’re going to meet a man that brings you an eternity of love. Even though you don’t feel worthy of such love. You are. And you only deserve to be with a man who loves you from your head to your toes. I know your boyfriend doesn’t make you feel you pretty, clever, sexy or thin enough – don’t believe it. You are. And if anyone makes you feel that way, they shouldn’t be in your life.

You have no confidence right now. It will come back and you will use your confidence to help the world.

Remember this, Jess. Always.

You are not alone.

You are worthy of the most incredible life.

You are deserving of love, and to be loved.

You have the power to help yourself.

You are strong. Stronger than you think.

You have the power to help others.

Have faith in your message.

Thin and pretty doesn’t matter. What matters is that you love yourself from the inside out for a happy body and life.

Diets don’t work, but a whole food balanced way of life does.

Everything will be okay.

You are good enough.

Love, Jess.

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  • Eleni

    Beautiful! I was very much the same at 16. I was brought up to enjoy food and when i turned 16 i thought there was something wrong with me. I started to diet. My relationship with food deteriorated. I become even more moody and had a lot less energy! If only i could go back and speak to my younger self. Lovely post! To good health and to a healthy, joyous relationship with food!

  • Lizzie

    Thanks for sharing Jess. I believe a lot of people will be able to relate to your story – myself included. I have been on a journey of self discovery for many years, especially to understand why certain toxic behaviours had been holding me back in my life. I needed to understand why I binge ate and drank and what was the deeper meaning of it all. It all made sense when I finally came to terms with traumatic events that occurred in my childhood and how I used food and then eventually alcohol to suppress my emotions from what I endured. I really hope you know and understand the underlying reason as to why you felt negative emotions during your past experiences?! It’s inspiring that you have chosen to share and help others on their journey also. Keep living your passion. Lizzie

  • This is a lovely post! I wish I told myself those same words, but similarly to you, I let food control my life which lead me to all sorts of eating disorders and compulsive exercise, which really does ruin my life. I love your posts and books. Thanks for being an inspiration and I will continue to work towards living the healthy life xx

  • Jess

    This is an amazing post, thank you for the continuous inspiration x

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