Eating/Food, Inspiration, Owning It!, Self Image

If You Are Looking For Hope, You Must Read This.

June 14, 2012

How honest are you willing to be with yourself?

I am going to share some stuff with you from my upcoming book.

Some deeply personal stuff.

The reason I am going to share this deeply personal stuff is because I have become an Inspirational Speaker, a force of Positivity, a Mentor, and someone who loves themselves. I lead sold out Manifestation Yoga® Retreats and workshops around the world! And, I want you all to understand just how dark my life was, just how much I overcame to be exactly where I am right now, just how far I have traversed through very muddy terrain.

And where am I?

I am at a place called Happy.

It’s unsettling to look through these old journal entries and not be able to recognize any part of me, but it is also extremely exciting not to recognize any part of me. This looking through my past business is firming up my knowing that I am exactly where I am meant to be.

I hope it inspires you.

It certainly inspires me to see how far I have come.

I will be damned if I cannot provide hope for anyone suffering RIGHT NOW.

If I made it to the other side, which I indeed have, YOU can too.

I was severely anorexic and depressed for years on end. Please read this earlier post to understand more.

I hope that you read the journal entries I am about to show you from years ago and feel a surge of Hope. 

How can you not feel hopeful?

I want you to know how sad and unhappy and anorexic I truly was so you can really appreciate where I am in my life right now. How I got so un-stuck. 

You will, of course, have to buy my book…..

It’s hard for me to look at these old posts but I want to share them with you. There are pages and pages and books upon books of saying the same things over and over and over….

Look at me now.

I made it, guys.

I made it.

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  • Reply Diana Riley June 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Anorexia is such an evil disease. You were ( and still are) such a beautiful girl. I too remember thinking how fat I was as a young girl of 17 and I was only 55kgs – ridiculous.I did not experience anorexia but suffered chronic depression for many years. I am now 47 years old and only just beginning to understand and accept myself. Thanks for sharing your journal entries. Hopefully they may open someones eyes to the lies they are telling themselves.

    • Reply ManifestYogaJen June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Love to you.

  • Reply melkrellMelody June 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I never had a clue about this dark period. You were always so beautiful and cool and talented, and I was insecure and depressed and weak and looked at you like you had it all. I am so grateful you shared this. I remember meeting you in Ryan Weiss’ basement, you were this adorable actress from California with long beautiful hair and Vans on-I saw all of your specialness and envied it from that day. I was so blown away with your humility and strength when we met up again in Los Angeles, sorry I was in my disease and NYU and have barely any memory of being with you at that time, but our paths have crossed so many times you are like my Guardian Angel…what a ride. I remember the first time you showed me a poem and I cried…I could not fathom you wrote it…you had such depth and insight-even you didn’t know the extent back then. You have been an inspiration to me from day one, and now more then ever–but truth is I always knew you would become who you are and achieve so much t would blow people’s minds. The only way out is through, and you have come through with grace and beauty and compassion and love. Your book will change lives, give hope, inspire and be a timeless gift to all who are blessed to find it! LOVE YOU MORE EVERY DAY, EVERY YEAR, FOREVER! What a beautiful evolution, I am honored to have been around for the last 20, and hope to be in it forever. xoxo Go Jenny Jen P, Go!

  • Reply Sasha Mitchell June 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing Jen … you have so much courage. Truly inspirational. I can’t wait to buy your book!

  • Reply Amber June 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Bless your beautiful and open hearted soul for allowing the world into your past. I know that your past words, combined with the knowing that you have come out on the other side happy with yourself, will inspire many others to see that there is an opportunity to transform their personal perception of themselves to something positive. Thank you for opening your heart.

  • Reply Dottie Wagner June 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Wow, I can only imagine the courage it took to bare your soul like that. You inspire me to be authentic and genuine, my true self. What an amazing journey you have had. Thank you for sharing it with us!! Sending love.

  • Reply cloudy with a chance of sarai June 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply jamesvincentknowles June 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    all these symptoms of pain & fear & trauma … that pain? it comes from not our head or heart. it’s core deep. we’ve all been told so many ways, it doesn’t matter, the story of it, that is. but that’s gotta be healed, man. it’s gotta get out. not by visiting it over and over though, as you say. I’ve been groovin’ on how you do it, Jennifer. i dig your style. You’re a very cool chick.

    “When the tears dropped, it was because some kinda big pain hit me in the gut like a boomba bomb. I don’t know how much of it burst forth, time didn’t matter right then, in that now. I was in no hurry then and I’m in no hurry now. It doesn’t matter that much where it comes from, but when something big hurts, it hurts big. The healing of it takes some kinda zulu time, i guess.” jvk

  • Reply arielle dudley June 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Jen, all of your entries touch me. And I always feel as though I can relate on a deep level. However, this one is especially poignant because I struggled with anorexia and bulimia for 13 years and went through the same mind trapping, control hungry disease. Actually, it’s really negative thoughts spreading in your mind, trapping your body, and squelching your inner light. I have pages and pages in my old journal of negative, self destructive words that I believed. I thought everyone was out to get me when they told me I looked too thin. I thought they were lying and that really the only path to happiness was thin. A path which seemed impossible to obtain but endlessly necessary to try to achieve. I went through four doctors, two hospitalizations, a heart monitor I had to wear to school, and pretty much put my parents through hell. Years later, I look back at that old self and the pages of dark obsessive loathing, and I thank every ounce of my being for finding what has really been there all along…a positive, healthy, happy, strong, beautiful person that has so much to offer the world. It took a long time but I am finally at a place where I want to love myself and I do believe its possible and I am working on my love path every day. I have to say that of course yoga has helped because more than anything it provides a safe place for me to confront my inner demons without fear, learn to accept without judgement, and open myself up to new possibilities with the belief I can create positive change. Beyond that, I am thankful for a person like you, Jen, who can inspire so many people like me to love myself and reach for my greatest potential. Knowing that you went through something so similar and seeing where you are at now is an amazing and powerful motivator. Thank you for being so brave to lay your darkness out- the honest confrontation of fear is the best way to move past it and to- like you said- give hope to others who may have been or are in the same place now. Its so rare to have people who are willing to be so vulnerable with their past and the things they have struggled with and yet it is the most beautiful and healing gift you could give to others. Can’t wait to read your book girl.

    Love you,
    AD

    • Reply barbarapotter June 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Arielle, Love your words. It reminds me during this period that all I had to say to Jen was that she looked good or healthy and that was like dropping a bomb. It was terrible. She associated that with fat and a spiral nightmare would begin again. Its amazing how the mind can play tricks like that when you are going through this. So happy for you that you came through this on the other side.

    • Reply ManifestYogaJen June 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

      I love you too. Thank you so much.

  • Reply Sara June 14, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us. So glad you made it so that you can.
    xo

  • Reply barbarapotter June 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    For anyone who has lived with or is living with an eating disorder you have to read these personal things that Jen has written about. Believe me, being her mother, I lived through this and it was so heartbreaking. It was so bad I could not even look at her unless she was all covered up. You feel so helpless there are no words. There is nothing you can say or do to get someone to stop this. Only they can do it. I am so proud of my daughter that she has come so far and so proud that she is sharing her story to help others. I remember at the time I was told this was one of the worst things to overcome and the doctors who treat this thought it was usually impossible to do so, Please know this is a miracle for her and her family and she worked hard doing this.

    I had to be careful of anything I spoke. One word and she took it as “I am fat” (no matter what you said it was taken that way), always trying to trap me, while you could see through her ribs. There is never a more helpless feeling as being a parent and seeing your child go through this.

    Love you Jen.

    • Reply Linds June 15, 2012 at 5:41 am

      Thank you for sharing, Barbara and Jen. How purely beautiful of you both to share your experiences and how much you love your daughter 🙂

  • Reply barbarapotter June 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I also wanted to say that after Jen’s dad died when she was 8 I took her to a wonderful female doctor for therapy. Jen had refused to cry and was being way too stoic for an 8 year old….for any age actually. Especially because she was deeply attached to her father. The doctor told me in private that Jen was doing OK “now” but watch out when she becomes a teenager that something would most definitely happen. To keep a close watch. Well it did. In 11th grade Jen thought a part of her body was too large which most women would probably not have a problem with and actually it was not too large…just in her mind. She was absolutely beautiful and very shapely. Turning heads. She went to a doctor to see what could be done and he told her to lose 5 lbs and that would take care of it. Innocent enough advice. Just 5 lbs. Well she lost the five and she looked terrific like before….except that it never stopped. The beginning of a nightmare that was never expected. The prophesy from the psychiatrist came true and I was blindsided and truly helpless. No matter how terribly thin she was the only words that came out of her mouth were I have to lose 30 lbs. A very painful time for all and a painful thing to hear.

    Love , love, love how you have overcome Jen.

  • Reply Rachelle Smith June 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    You are so brave and really kind to share your journal entries. I haven’t even managed to read mine back! I am, I think I am scared to. There are good times, but there are some really sad, depressing and mentally confused times as well. I’m not perfect, I still have my struggles. Reading blogs and articles like yours, Yoga, meeting wonderful people are really helping me to become who I really am and Breaking out of this shell of doubt, fear and insecurity. Thanks again! And I am happy you are on the other side. Here I come.

  • Reply Lea June 14, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    You are so beautiful. Congrats on being HAPPY!! We all deserve it. Thank you for sharing. I have weight and depression issues, I can understand the struggle. I am still looking for my constantly happy place. I am mostly happy and positive though. Again-congrats, and thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Katherine L. Garcia June 15, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Wow! Thank you for sharing this. Love you.

  • Reply Jinny June 15, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Hi Jen
    I’m full of respect and admiration for you sharing this for others. As I read this I expected to see a true representation of your words in your photos and was shocked to see the skinny you. I sometimes have these thoughts but I do actually have extra fat round my middle – someone thought I was pregnant recently but I didn’t mind too much which I guess is the difference. I recognise some of this thinking because at lot of people do if they’re honest like you’ve been – I recognise the anorexic thinking though which reached a crisis point for me a few years ago. I was just as hard on myself but not specifically about food. I could not bear to write down how I felt or share my pain with those closest to me which I’m sure many will identify with. Giving people a way to share their struggles with others who they know will understand and support them is an amazing life-saving, life-changing gift to bring to the world.
    You have truly inspired me today; thank you xxx
    Jinny, Yoga Instructor, UK

  • Reply Laura Badger June 15, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Jen-how wonderful you are! I have gone through the spiral of anorexia, as well. I understand the deep level of self-hatred and evil this disease can bring! My first time was when I was getting a divorce.That was about 23 years ago. I wouldn’t eat for 2 days straight! I kept telling myself I didn’t need to eat because I had three children I had to feed. I ate, only as a mechanical purpose-not because I enjoyed food. Finally, after 7 years of this, I made myself eat, slowly feeding my poor body as I went along. I knew something was terribly wrong; just didn’t know what it was (stress?), but I found my goodness through good friends and a supportive church.

    I find, now, that I have lost weight again at 56. A lot of weight, but now, things are different. I am in between jobs, or a life course, if you will, and I must eat! I do, because my body has been my willing slave, my “good horse” that runs when I ask it to. I now thank my body for being so awesome! As Isaiah says, “we are fearfully and wonderfully made,” And that’s my mantra, and anyone else who needs a loving reminder that we are part of a universe that connects us all. I will accept my body and feed it as well as I can. If it gains weight, no problem. If it wants to be lean and mean, so be it! I will thank it for being so awesome, (no drugs, prescription, or otherwise is needed). I am grateful for you, for your energy, which I feel on a deep level. Whatever comes my way, I will deal with as a stand-up warrior, thanks to people like you!

  • Reply Walking 4 Air June 15, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Wow, so beautiful when some opens up and shares so much of themselves with others and we can celebrate with you in how far you have come. So awesome! Wonderful, power amazing sharing, thank you!

  • Reply Nadine Kijner June 15, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Thank you for sharing such personal material, it helps the world by doing that. This reminds me of some of my journal entries as a high school senior, though I wasn’t ‘anorexic’ – your jounral writings reminded me of mine, I would write what I ate and that I felt fat so often. So sad really, I was just a late bloomer. My high school boyfriend would tell me I was so beautiful, but I would sulk. (maybe it’s just those hormones! :)) It seemed the trend for our circle of 8 ‘ popular it’ girls to starve ourselves into our bikinis, we lived in Florida and were always at the beach. My best friend actually was anorexic-bulimic…suffered from this for years and years, and since her parents locked up their kitchen cabinets at night, padlocks hanging off the pantry, I would let her come to my house and eat all our food. Then throw it up in my bathroom. So she wouldn’t get in trouble.

    I am glad you wrote this and thank you for your forthcoming-ness and courage. Thank god for yoga for all of us in so many different ways….Thank you,
    Nadine

  • Reply Frank Gjata June 15, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Wow. That’s all I can say. Thank you for sharing yourself so freely and frankly, Jennifer. So so inspiring!

  • Reply Judy Velasco June 15, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your heart felt journal entries. I am looking forward to reading your book!

  • Reply Diane Astourian June 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

    This is why I adored you from the moment I met you: your openness and willingness to be seen are beautiful. Everything about you is real. I hope someday I’ll have that kind of strength and comfort with myself.

  • Reply Caroline June 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Wow…inspiring soulful stuff…I embrace you …it is an honor to know you
    Shine Bright…

  • Reply rachyrachp June 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I am so proud of you for sharing those journal entries. That was such an intense time in our lives. I absolutely love where you are now. I remember wanting so much to be skinny like you, and trying to follow in your footsteps. I remember even into my early twenties living the misery of worrying all day about what I ate and how my body looked. In reality it wasn’t until just about 2 months ago that I let it all go. You are such a force in my life. You inspire me and help lift me to greatness. Yes, Hope is definitely a possibility in life. I love you so much. So blessed to have you blazing the path for me.

  • Reply Tina June 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing these, and for being such a part of my own healing process. I am so grateful to you for sharing your journey and for being part of mine.

  • Reply Justine June 16, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Jen,

    You are truly amazing! I have always thought of you as an incredibly beautiful, smart and talented woman with a tremendous amount of depth and compassion…I admired you from day one (and still do)! While I knew you were battling depression, I had no idea that you were also battling with your self image. Those days were incredibly difficult for me as well. Crippling insecurities, virtually no sense of self…I was so lost! It took years of trying to “find myself” anywhere and everywhere to finally realize that I had self-worth! I am still trying to accept myself as I am…which, as you know can be quite a difficult task. But, in choosing social work as my career I now feel that all of my pain and suffering was worth it. Like you, my journey has served the purpose of being able to empathize with and instill hope in people who are suffering. I am in awe that you have been able to share your pain and suffering on such a grand scale…I think you are so right…your courage and ability to overcome adversity will be an inspiration to the many that you touch! I am so happy for you and most of all am so glad that you have found the happiness you so deserve!!!

    Love,
    Justine

  • Reply Alanna August 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I have never suffered from an eating disorder but I do have lots of negative thoughts about myself in general. This defiantly gives me hope that I can one day be as truly happy! I am really looking forward to your book 🙂

    Thank you 🙂
    Alanna

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