Sarah Jenks might not be a household name, but she is well on her way. As a leader in the body confidence movement and founder of Live More Weigh Less, her online program is teaching women of all ages to live life to the fullest and to love the skin they’re in – no matter their size. Sarah teachers her audience to stop ‘waiting on the weight’ and start living the life they desire. When Sarah stopped waiting on the weight, she finally did all the things she had put on hold: going for her ideal job, flirting with her dream guy, going out dancing. She believes you have to learn to embrace the life you want, right now!
Was there a specific moment or event that caused your epiphany about diets and why they don’t usually work?
When I worked in advertising after college I started yet another diet (I had been attempting to diet for fifteen years at that point with very little success) and on the third day of my seven day juice cleanse I ate an entire bag of Dove Chocolate Promises, while hiding in the supply closet. I finally got that if willpower did in fact exist, I definitely do not have it. So I gave up dieting, and without that obsession taking over my life, I looked around and realized my life totally sucked. I decided to do a full life upgrade, address my emotional eating and start doing all the things I thought I needed to be thin to do. As a result I lost thirty pounds.
One of my favorite quotes on your website is “Know that hating our bodies doesn’t motivate us to take care of them.” How do you go about incorporating self love on a daily basis?
When we are feeling down, frustrated, unsexy or flat, it’s really easy to blame our bodies. Especially after having two kids (my daughter is now three months) my body has gone through a lot of changes and is not nearly as tight and young looking as it used to be. It’s easy to assume that my life would be better if I could just lose the baby weight. But the reality is that it’s my LIFE that is the cause of my discomfort, not my body. I have a daily practice of going right to the source and tending to my needs like seeing my friends, going on dates with my husband, getting regular massages, taking naps, being outside and doing something creative every week like going to a museum, re-styling my living room or doing a craft.
Everyone has their own journey, but what inspired you to share yours and help other women on theirs?
I just had NO IDEA that there was any other option besides dieting. I seriously thought I was doomed to hate myself forever because I couldn’t stick to a diet. I just really wanted women to know there is another way. A way that is kind, real and will actually have a positive effect on your life. I see so many women putting their lives, great ideas and biggest dreams on hold until they lose weight and it never happens! This is no way to live a life and it honestly just pisses me off.
I love what you wrote recently about service.
“Service is how we express ourselves in the world and what we give to others. I have never seen one person serve in the exact way as another, but can include mothering, marriage, traditional community service, art, fighting for others (like being a lawyer), supporting others (like financial services), helping people make money (like marketing), making people’s lives easier or more enjoyable (like creating an app or being a chef). Every career is set up to serve others.”
I think a lot of people can feel unfulfilled when they compare themselves to others and think their careers aren’t “important enough” or really making a difference. What are your tips for feeling comfortable with where you are in life?
In my new program the Live More Method we explore this exact thing. Jealousy is just a hint that there is something in you that is unrealized, that you haven’t hit your soul’s highest potential. Many of us make career decisions for the wrong reasons. We feel like we have to do something “useful” with our degree, make a certain amount of money or do what our parents want us to do. But we all have an opportunity to tune into our soul and listen for what we really want. When we do that thing and are on our unique path, we feel deeply satisfied.
Who are your personal heroes and why?
Like many women, I think Oprah is incredible. She is a shining example that you can be hugely successful for being kind, vulnerable and loving and without being a size two or having rich parents. She never played by the rules and that is so inspiring.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being a recovering perfectionist. I used to be so appearance oriented in my physicality, home, relationship, everything. When one thing was off it meant everything sucked and I was losing at life. It was exhausting. I did so much personal work to undo that pattern and I’m now committed to being a mediocre human, and it’s incredibly liberating.
What do you hope each person that takes part in your Live More Method can achieve?
I just really want them to know they can do whatever they want. You don’t have to spend your whole life making other people happy. I think many of us underestimate the ability of our partners, friends and children to take care of themselves and the incredible impact it has on them to just see US happy because we are tending to our own desires.
What is something you personally want to accomplish short term and long term?
Short term, I am committed to simplifying my business and slowing waaaay down. I have one mode: rapid growth, and it’s very hard for me to stop pushing, pushing, pushing but right now growth means creating space for me and my family. I’m in no way shutting things down, but the name of the game is sustain.
Long term, my goals are to write a book, do more public speaking and write for more media outlets, so I can really change the culture of dieting and women not making themselves a priority.
Do you have a mantra or quote that encourages you on a regular basis?
“Sarah, just be human.”
If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?
Stop being so hard on yourself. You’re smart, beautiful and lovable just as you are. You are enough.