Over the past couple of years, I’ve realised that the connection between food and weight is the filter through which many of my dear readers and clients view their health. This is a mindset that needs to change. Believe me when I say that health is so much more than the number on the scales.
My passion in life is helping women to heal their relationship with food. Because it wasn’t so long ago that my own relationship with food was broken and complicated. I stopped dieting and won my life back. You can do the same!
My second book, Living The Healthy Life and online program (coming on the 12th of Feb!) really hones in on this notion of having a wholesome relationship with food and your body. I believe it is as important, if not more important than just making healthy food choices.
I spent too many years hating on my body and allowed food to govern my thoughts in a very unhealthy and obsessive way.
I know so many of you can relate and that’s why I was so passionate about writing my second book– because I believe when you heal this – you heal your body – for life.
My personal story:
There’s a moment I remember so vividly.
I was just 18 years old, and standing in the kitchen one afternoon after my weekly visit to the dietician.
She had told me I’d put on 400g. Not kilos or pounds, but grams.
She wasn’t impressed and the interrogation that followed made me feel like a total failure. She’d put me on a strict diet, which I’d followed to the letter (thank you, A-type personality), but I’d gained weight instead of losing it. “Didn’t you stick to what I told you to do?!”
I wasn’t particularly overweight, but I was trying to be ‘perfect’. Losing those last three kilos meant the world to me. Oh, and seeing a dietician was a trend – a cool luxury – amongst my friends.
It became a game of sorts. If I lost weight, I was ‘succeeding’; if I gained it, I wasn’t good enough. It was a toxic cycle.
I came home feeling betrayed by my own body. I was so disappointed with myself. I was studying health and experimenting with different fad diets, yet I couldn’t even ‘fix’ myself.
To manage my weight (and if I’m honest, punish myself), I’d restrict my eating even further to the point of obsession – like so many teenagers today. But the more I deprived myself, the harder my weight was to control.
I was so focused on that stupid number that I’d completely lost sight of the importance of how I was feeling in my own body. I felt terrible. I had low energy, low moods, and shattered self-esteem.
Because back then, being thin meant being healthy to me. It gave me a sense of identity – I was part of something, the dieting movement – but I’d never felt more lost. And when I broke my ‘diet’, I felt like a total failure.
Why couldn’t I just lose that weight?
It was all I thought about.
And of course, this had an incredibly negative impact on my relationship with food.
Then, while I was standing in my kitchen, I had a lightbulb moment. I jolted myself out of this state for a second – and it felt as though I’d had the wind knocked out of me. It scared me to my core just how ridiculous it was that a few hundred grams (which could have been PMS fluid) affected my life so much.
I realised I’d rather be overweight than keep torturing myself like this.
It was also the moment I decided to heal my broken relationship with good. The moment I decided to start jotting down my thoughts and feelings in a blog, to show people how I wanted to fight this desire to be perfect. The moment I decided to kick off my journey to a healthy mind and body.
And slowly, food became my friend.
I began to heal my body and shift my attitude.
Now, it’s your turn. I’m here for you!
My book contains all the tools I used to take me from A DIETER TO A MINDFUL EATER.
It is all about finding freedom with food… and giving up dieting for life!
Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time. My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.
With kindest regards Samantha
I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.
When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.
I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.
Hey Jessica! I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again
I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.
Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!
I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).
I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud
My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.
I want to empower you to make good choices, every day. I want you to enhance your understanding of health and nutrition. I'm committed to making sure you live the best life. Because you deserve it. Are you ready to start feeling great?
Let me know your email address so I can send you an eBook '7 Days on my plate' - a little gift from me to you!