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Hi, I'm Jenna Free, Intuitive Eating Counsellor and Body Image Coach at You Ain't Your Weight and co-founder of THE BODY LOVE SOCIETY. I help women ditch the diet, stop obsessing over food and learn to love their bodies once and for all.

I was an extreme dieter and over exerciser for an entire decade. I spent all this time hating my body and trying endlessly to change it. I wanted that body that was finally going to make me good enough, pretty enough, sexy enough, worthy enough. Eventually I got "the body" but these feelings of enough-ness never came. I was left with a seriously messed up metabolism, a hideous relationship with food and insecurities galore. It took a long time for me to realize that I didn't want to be skinny, I just wanted to be happy but once I did my world opened up. Read on for my whole story.

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It all started when I was 16.

When I was in grade 11 I decided that I was going to lose weight. I had started gaining weight when I was about 13 and a few years later I decided enough was enough. I was going to lose weight and be the "chubby girl" no more!

It all started innocently enough. I began moving more, just 20 minutes a day, and started thinking more about the food I was eating. This soon turned into tracking meals and calories, a gym membership and the loss of 25 pounds. 

The attention I got was amazing. Boys started noticing me, I got compliments and comments left right and center. I felt like a million bucks!

 

Then diet culture took over.

When I was 19 my preoccupation with my body took over. All I thought about was calories, diets and workouts. I stopped going out to dinner with friends, going to parties and I was bringing my own food everywhere I went. This is when I got into modelling. At 20 years old I traveled to South Africa where I modelled for 3 months. It looked like a movie, I lived in a model house with 8 other people, I went to castings at day and model parties at night. Even though life looked amazing on the outside, I was miserable on the inside. No matter what I weighed I was so insecure, all I saw were my (perceived) flaws and I truly believed the only valuable thing I had to offer this world was my looks so I needed to be perfect.

I returned from this trip, finished my university degree (still dieting like a crazy woman) and went back to South Africa for another modelling trip. This was when things started to change. I was being picked apart by agents, other models and even the cleaning lady at the model house. Everyone was commenting on my body and I was sick of it! I knew this wasn't how I wanted to live my life. When I returned from this trip I decided to go back to school to be a teacher. 

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Then things turned around.

When I began working with and serving children I started to feel relief, it finally wasn't all about me and I was offering something other than my looks. I was still dieting and exercising excessively but my self hate was diminishing.

One year later I was lacing up my shoes to do my workout and I realized it was the last thing I wanted to be doing at that moment. I had set so many rules for myself that I felt like a little kid. I couldn't eat this, couldn't eat that, had to do this workout at this time... and ALL of these limitations were created by me! I was an adult damn it!

It took a while but I finally freed myself of the insane food rules I has created for myself and began to actually live my life. 

 

My Life Now.

These days I am living a life of freedom. I discovered Intuitive Eating and self love and these things turned my world upside down. I now eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm full, eat what I want, exercise when I'm feeling the need. I am now the creator of my life. Since I escaped the dieting cycle (in only three years) I bought my first home, met the right guy, started a business, and got married. Dieting takes so many hours from your day. I have so much more time now to actually live this amazing life I've been given and now I spend most of my time teaching other women how to achieve this life of freedom, joy and inner peace! Interested in getting started? Learn more.