Friday, June 3, 2011


June 3rd is one of my favorite days of the year.  I am one of those obnoxious people who loves their birthday.  I can't help it.  To me, it's just a day of sheer joy and utter goodness.  And today, on my day of birth, I am turning thirty.  A few months ago this number scared me.  I had a some tears about what it means and where I thought I should be and all of that mumbo jumbo.  But then, a few months went by and now here I stand a 30 year old woman and I couldn't be more excited or proud about it.  

{warning: this is long!}

Something that I have never talked about on my blog is my severe issues with body image and food.  If you know me outside of the blog, you know that this has been a current that runs through my entire life and controls me like a puppet string.  When I started modeling full-time things got a little out of control.  Then I stopped modeling and felt like I had truly lost control because I was eating again.  I have always had meltdowns about my weight and how I look.  Like, sit in the closet balling my eyes out because I can't find anything to wear that looks good on me kind of meltdowns.  

Last November, I had the largest meltdown of my life.  I was hysterical.  I absolutely hated myself and all of the fat that I felt was on my body.  I thought I was disgusting and a disgrace.  It was nasty.  

A few days after  my monster meltdown, I heard about Portia deRossi's book, Unbearable Lightness, and I read it cover to cover in a day.  It touched me in such a deep and profound way that I really thought this book was going to change my life.  I stood in line at a local Borders to get the book signed by the beautiful author and when I got to the table, I simply (and ever so dramatically) thanked her for writing the book because I felt like it really inspired me to make a change.  She looked at me, and said, "Good because life is just too short.  Enjoy it."  

It was about January when I finally decided to take action against the little body image demons that Portia talks about in her book.  I did something unheard of for me.  I hired a personal trainer.  I made a commitment (on paper) to go twice a week to meet this trainer at the gym where I had a membership that I used maybe once a month.  I told no one except my husband.  Mostly because I knew that I would never stick to such a strict work out regimen.  I didn't want people to know that I had failed.  So I kept it very tightly under wraps.  

My goal was to feel better about myself by my 30th birthday.  I'm sure I said that I wanted to "lose ten pounds" or "lose 5 inches around my hips" since I had been measuring myself with a tape measure everyday for at least two years.  Secretly, I knew that this was a pipe dream.  It was only six months away and I hated working out.  How could I ever feel good about myself again?  

Yesterday morning, I left the gym in tears.  Tears for what I have accomplished.  I literally felt overwhelmed with pride and a feeling of success.  I did it.  I stuck to the plan, I met with my trainer at the gym twice a week and for the first time in my life I do not know how much I weigh or what my measurements are.  And that feels great.  I feel liberated and healthy.  I feel stronger and leaner and most importantly I feel empowered.  

I wanted to share this story with you all because it's such a huge part of me.  I have struggling with this for a very long time and while I know it will never go away completely, for now I have found a way to silence it.  And this is the greatest birthday gift of all.  

I am thrilled about turning thirty.  A lot of people get all upset and feel really bad about it.  Not me, I'm excited.  If thirty is doing things that make you happy, knowing who you are, what you believe in and living life accordingly....if it's having a career that you absolutely love and friendships that you can't live without...if it's being in a marriage that is deeply rooted in love and respect...if it's being able to let go, say I'm sorry and have no regrets...if it's pushing yourself to be better and to learn new things...if it's building a family and a home...if it's conquering your fears and calling upon your warrior self...if it's being honest and confidant about who you are and what you need from others...if that is 30, then I'm all in!  That's what 30 seems like it will be, so I plan on hopping on a plane first thing in the morning and flying to Cabo with my one true love to ring in the beginning of what I know will be a remarkable decade.  

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts about this, you are the best.  

P.S. - I want that rainbow cake for my birthday in the worst way!  Isn't it awesome?  


  1. First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Secondly, thank you for being such an honest and beautiful person. Let's get together SOON!

  2. You are so incredibly beautiful inside and out! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. And, congratulations on meeting your goal! I'm so proud of you and I love you. Happy Birthday to one of the most beautiful and amazing people I know.

  3. I am so incredibly proud of you. Have a fabulous trip!

  4. Amazing post. Thank you so much. Happy happy birthday to you!

  5. A big, birthday congratulations! Congrats on accomplishing so much by age 30! On setting and accomplishing such an important goal for both your physical and mental health! On having such a healthy outlook on your life!

    You have always been one of the most beautiful people I know, not just because of your looks, but because you are so sweet, so smart, so funny, so real and down-to-earth. I always (ALWAYS) think you look beautiful, not because of your size or how you fit in your clothes, but because of your poise, your grace, your vibrant fashion sense and aesthetic, your vivacious personality and your beaming smile.

    I hope you have an amazing vacation and a wonderful start to this fabulous new decade. Our 20s are full of hope, but our 30s are full of promise! Be happy, and be healthy - inside and out!

  6. What an inspiring post, Jessi! I'm so happy that you met your goal with the trainer. What a sense of accomplishment!! I don't like weighing or measuring myself either .. I agree that it's the best way to do it!

  7. I love this post. Now, come back. Come back come back!!

  8. What a wonderful achievement. Congratulations! And happy birthday.

  9. Dear Jessi,
    I miss your blog!