I’m Jessica Sepel; a nutritionist, health blogger and author.
At the age of 14, which is already a vulnerable time for growing girls, my family moved to Australia. I was insecure about puberty and my changing body, and I discovered dieting. Food started ruling my life in an unhealthy way. I had low self-esteem and a truly negative body image, and this triggered me to restrict my food. Dangerously. I lost a lot of weight in a short period of time, and I was on the verge of a SERIOUS eating disorder. I thought being thin meant I would be more loveable. How wrong I was. It didn’t make me feel any happier, or any more loved – but that didn’t stop me.
This rollercoaster of change was the catalyst of years and years of dieting. And weight obsession. And food control. It was stressful and exhausting.
Here’s a snapshot of my teenage life at the time:
- I never felt good enough. I wanted to be prettier, thinner, smarter and more ambitious.
- I was stressed to the max.
- I was living on nervous energy – kind of like overdosing on adrenaline.
- I was very weight conscious. I couldn’t think of anything else but my weight, yet I couldn’t control it, either.
- My relationships were falling apart.
- I only ate ‘diet’ foods, not wholefoods.
- I was completely fatigued. I had no energy, and I just didn’t care about anything. Everything was so damn
- I felt sad and alone – can anyone say ‘victim mentality’?
- I lost sight of the blessings in my life, and totally forgot about what my family had told me about living with balance.
Basically, I had lost touch with my body, and I was drowning in insecurities. Fad diets dominated my life. I had zero mind-body connection and I compared myself to everyone. It was torturing me.
So, what changed?
After school, I decided to study health and nutrition to better understand how the body works. It wasn’t long before I realised I had the knowledge (and power!) to heal my mind, heal my body, and ultimately, change my life.
I was sitting in class, blown away by what I was learning. I found that zest for life again. I began experimenting in the kitchen, and slowly but surely, I started healing my broken relationship with food.
It wasn’t long before I needed an outlet for my learning. I needed to share my experiences and journey with others, and that’s when I launched my blog. I wrote honestly and candidly about fighting diets and finding balance, and people responded in a BIG way.
The start of JSHealth….
Fast forward to now, and the JSHealth community is one I feel so close to, and so incredibly proud of. They motivate and inspire me to the best version of myself – someone who is wholly dedicated to and passionate about health. I really do live and breathe health. I believe in journeys, not just outcomes. And I wear my heart on my sleeve.
We all struggle sometimes, myself included. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable and speak my truth, and encourage others to do the same. There’s no reason why we should be ashamed. We’re all figuring things out as we go – and finding answers is one of the most beautiful parts of life!
In my opinion, support is key to success. I want to support my community to be real and honest with themselves, because that, in turn, leads to a healed, happy and healthy life.
In 2015, I released my first book, The Healthy Life. In this book, I highlight the steps I took to overhaul my life and bring it back into balance.
Since the book has come out, I’ve noticed a few things. People are really starting to embrace the healthy life. They’re excited about health, and that makes me smile. They’re realising that healthy food can be delicious.
But they’re also feeling overwhelmed – the health world is absolutely buzzing right now, and it can be information overload. People are confused, and I get it! The key is to tune into your body and figure out what it needs. While weight, guilt and exhaustion are still big battles, especially for women, new ones are popping up. Some people have taken health too far, thanks to a phenomenon called orthorexia. Young teenagers are obsessed with their food and weight. Professionals are working long, long hours, leaving next to no time for cooking healthy food and being active.
We live in a fast-paced, go-go-go world, and the reality is that time management and stress are going to be part of our lives. The question is, how badly do you want to minimise it? How badly do you want to find balance? And how badly do you want to make health a lifestyle, not a chore?
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and guess what? You’ve taken the first massive step by picking up this book. You obviously care about your health, and want to make improvements. I’m already so proud of you.
While The Healthy Life is a bible for health and nutrition questions, now we’re going deeper. This book is about resetting your body and finding the solutions to health challenges you are still facing – even though you have all the information. This book will help you to understand the body in a new way. It’s about connecting the dots. As always, it will address the mind-body link, because I believe health is nothing if not holistic.
We’ll be delving into the issues that are affecting so many women today: sky-high stress levels, food addiction, bingeing and emotional eating, and uncontrollable sugar cravings. We’ll discuss why you may be holding on to weight despite dieting, exercising and “doing everything right”. This book also shines the spotlight on dieting, and how it affects everything from your hormones and thyroid function to your self-esteem. Because enough is enough. Guilt is out, balance is in.
So, let’s find out what’s ‘broken’ – whether it’s your relationship with food, weight gain, immunity, or a mind that doesn’t switch off. Then, let’s fix it!
Since we’re a community who’s here to support each other, I’ll also be revealing the health issue I’ve been battling with recently. It’s been an incredibly difficult time for me, but now that I’m out of the woods, I feel I can speak about it openly – and hopefully you will learn something from my experience.
I learned to heal my body and my life. And you can do the same.
Are you ready to feel better than ever?
I am here holding your hand to living the healthy life