Jess is a health and wellness advocate who is inspiring others to take back their life and well-being through a healing ketogenic lifestyle focusing on real, whole foods. Jess shares her experience of weight loss and recovery for pushing past food disorders on her Instagram page @realfoodwithjess. She is passionate about helping others overcome their eating disorders and obesity by helping to identify their attitude toward food and empower themselves to see their true worth, and take back control of their life and health.
What do I do best?
I identify and tear down barriers – for myself and others. This relates to all aspects of life. We all have “stuff”, and we all have barriers that keep us from getting where we want to be – whether that be fear, lack of access, or anything else. Identifying barriers and how to jump over them to get to the next stage is key for success in weightloss, career, relationships, etc. To be successful in business or life, perseverance trumps all else. You can’t play the victim. This is what I help others see in themselves: they are not a victim of their circumstance, but rather the warrior of their own lives, and how to put that into action to take their own lives back.
What makes me the best version of myself?
My perseverance and inability to take “no” as a final answer. When I set my mind to something, I will do everything it takes to accomplish that while crushing every barrier in the way. I am full of tenacity, and this helps me keep going.
On another level, eating real food and a high fat, low carb diet is my other secret weapon. I am able to be the best version of myself when I am fueling my body with the foods that I know make it feel good, and provide proper fuel and nutrition to my gut and brain. I am clear, focused, and able to utilize my abilities to my fullest when I feel at my best.
What are my aspirations?
To love myself with every fiber of my being, regardless of my outward appearance, and to teach others to do the same. My biggest goal is to empower others, especially women, to be the leading character of their own lives, and to help others learn that they are worthy of lifting their own crowns onto their heads – no one else needs to give them permission to be the ruler of their own life.
I will own a business doing health and life coaching – helping others identify their barriers and helping them crush through them with grace. I plan to educate others on food and long term nutrition and health. I want to have a practical, hands on cooking class series, where I teach others about the importance of real food and how to eat to help them become their optimal self. I have so many long term ambitions, all centered around heading a philanthropic foundation that empowers others be the best version of themselves.
My Biggest Success?
Losing 106 pounds and counting, and beginning the process of overcoming disordered eating, over eating and binge eating disorders. The emotional and psychological work that I have done to overcome these issues has changed my life more than I could ever imagine. I have learned to take back my own life and be my own biggest supporter.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Leaving my social service background to take care of myself and allow myself the ability to heal physically and emotionally was the hardest thing I ever did. I have such a heart and compassion for the communities I was serving, and felt very guilty for a long time leaving the industry. However, I was experiencing textbook burn out at the time, having panic attacks on my bathroom floor in the middle of the night from anxiety about my clients and the next challenge that would come their way. I had to leave that environment to deal with my own healing and learn to take care of myself instead of only taking care of others. The guilt quickly subsided once I realized that the more care I took of myself, the more I was able to help empower others to do the same, and was better able to give people the care they deserved from me.
“Let all you do be done in love”. I strive every day to leave a positive impact on every living being I come across.
“You were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed, or unworthy. You were created to be VICTORIOUS.”
“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”
Alis volat propriis – “She flies with her own wings.” This is one is so close to my heart, because it symbolizes everything I’ve gone through, and the decision to lead my own life, instead of relying on others to rescue me out of tough situations. While I have an amazing support system, I was the one who had to do the work that got me to where I am. It is also the Oregon state motto, and I am a native Oregonian, so even extra special!
Favorite People/Role Models?
I am so incredibly blessed to have a tribe of truly magnificent people surrounding me who support, love, and encourage me, no matter if I’m at my best or worst, as I do the same for them. They keep me engaged, inspire me, and make me laugh, reminding me daily of the amazing blessings in life. Personally, my mother has been one of my biggest role models in how to overcome adversity, and how to always move forward. I have watched her navigate more than most ever deal with in one lifetime, and always with grace and a warrior mindset. She has always encouraged me to be the leader of my own life and circumstance, and I credit my own mindset to her. My mother’s best friend has also been an inspiration of mine, overcoming so much in her own life, while always taking care of others, and always showing love and empathy in every interaction, on top of being a total boss babe navigating through a predominantly male industry and being part of the top. I have learned so much from observing how she interacts with the community around her, and how she has built her life. Both her and my mother exemplify the warrior mindset.
Professionally, my friend Mary Setchell Ruddick has been one of my biggest inspirations in the health industry. I have watched her start and grow her business, and how she helps others with her story, incredible knowledge of the human body and experience, and her skills in connecting at the deepest level with others. She is the one who introduced me to a ketogenic diet, and I hope to someday emulate the value she brings to so many people’s lives.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
The Oregon coast, specifically Rockaway Beach, is my favorite place on this earth. I love Eugene, OR and all of it quirkiness. It feels like home whenever I visit.
Anywhere in the middle of nature is my favorite. I love exploring this beautiful earth, and am most grounded when my bare feet are touching the bare earth, and I can fully disconnect from all the other noise of life.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My Camera, hands down is my favorite object in my life. My camera captures all of life’s moments, emotions, ups, downs, and everything in between. Honestly, I could live my life with no other possessions, as long as I had my camera.
My Current Passions?
Empowering and encouraging others to eat a real food diet and feel their absolute best. Photography. Skydiving! I went for the first time earlier this year, and cannot WAIT to do it again! Being near the water, spending time with my man, music, and nature.