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Can LOVE Make Change Easier?

By Jill Jacobs

A Little Background – My Story

Growing up, I didn’t think too much about fitness, proper nutrition, or anything concerning my health for that matter. I was a little “Tom Girl” who loved to run and play, make mud pies, ride my bike, and get dirty. I stayed at an ideal body weight despite the fact that my diet consisted of quite a bit of junk and processed foods. Most afternoons after school, I’d come home starving- not because I didn’t have a lunch, it was because I ate very little of the lunch that my mom packed for me. At most I ate part of a sandwich that consisted of one piece of cheese on white bread with the crust cut off and maybe a few chips. Anyway, I was hungry by 3:00 so I’d binge on several bowls of cereal like Fruity Pebbles, an oatmeal cream pie, a star crunch, and a nutty buddy bar to top off the eating marathon. Yes, my family loved Little Debbie snacks! It makes my belly ache to think of that now, but that’s what I did nearly EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

Fast forward to age 15… My dad suffered from his 1st of 3 heart attacks at age 42. When he came home from the hospital with a new diet in hand, food and how it affects health came on my radar for the first time. I really didn’t pay that much attention because I was fine and nowhere near age 42. Health problems seemed in my distant future- if ever. I was an invincible teen! I still enjoyed my afternoon sugar-fest but my lunch changed from a sandwich and chips to a Milky Way and Coke out of my high school’s vending machines. I don’t think my parents knew that I was eating candy and soda for lunch!

Fast forward a little more than 5 years later. I found myself a newlywed, slowly putting on unwanted weight. My way of eating was catching up with me! YIKES! Honestly, I thought the weight gain was normal and that I should just accept it as such. I didn’t know any women in my life that were super fit (at least not that I recall). It seemed to be the societal norm for women to add weight each year. The problem was that I didn’t feel great in my skin…. AT ALL.

Continuing on, I watched many family members have health issues (heart attacks, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and not to mention all the physical problems that present when weight becomes an issue). In the meantime, I was having my own children and the scale was creeping up. I played around with exercise but nothing “stuck.” I even attempted to eat healthily but didn’t realize my healthy way of eating caused me to gain even more weight! (Hint: You can’t eat unlimited pasta just because it’s whole wheat!) That’s a story for another day…

After my 2nd and last son was born in 2007, I literally made a decision to make my health a priority. I didn’t recognize myself physically anymore. I knew I was not having more children, so in my mind, my “excuses” were gone. Being a new mom helped me justify why I didn’t exercise or take care of myself. Thinking I may have more children made me feel like my efforts would be wasted, and I’d have to start over once my future baby was born. I was wrong about that by the way, but that was the story I told myself. 😉

In 2009, this regular mom who felt frumpy and had no energy found herself with no excuse not to make changes. Feeling like I had no valid excuse was actually a significant turning point in my life. I decided that I wanted to LOVE on myself a little, reclaim my body, and treat my body the way I knew it should be treated- the way God intended for me to care for my temple and in a way that would supply me energy to raise two precious boys!

I couldn’t expect a different result without changing something. I knew that. Change is necessary to get a different outcome. Doing the same things over and over expecting change is the definition of insanity, right? So change I did. It started with walking and jogging (just a little – I was way out of shape!) a few days a week and went from there. The thing is that you’ve gotta start somewhere and then you will reap the benefits!

The Positive Effects of My Story on My Boys

Now, I see my boys picking up on healthy habits at a tender age which energizes my efforts. My “big WHY” for making health a priority has switched from a focus entirely on me to a focus on how this is affecting my family as a whole. It’s amazing how my lifestyle trickles down into their lives and the habits they are creating. I imagine that the benefits will continue for generations to come which is an amazing opportunity and responsibility. It excites me!

My oldest son can quickly recognize when something he ate makes him feel bad. This teaches him moderation without me saying a word. He self-regulates his moderate approach to eating at age 11. I find that pretty incredible considering my eating habits at that age!

Your turn

We all have moments that *could* be our turning point. You know, the point at which we DECIDE to change what we’re doing for the better. It may not anything big but rather the sight of an unflattering picture of yourself (that’s what did if for my husband) or just a tugging from the inside urging you to just start making some changes for the better.

Do you have a significant event that you can look to as a turning point to make health a priority?

If not, I offer you some reasons below, on this day of LOVE, to use this blog post as a catalyst for change. It really can be that simple! Love yourself enough. Learn to view yourself through the eyes of LOVE. 🙂



Lasting change. It all starts with LOVE. Love yourself enough…
  • Love yourself enough to feed yourself with proper nutrition
  • Love yourself enough to take care of your body by exercising
  • Love yourself enough to take time to rest and recover

Leisure Walking.blog

  • Love yourself enough to fit in restorative activities that are good for the soul
  • Love yourself enough to make your loved ones a priority
  • Love yourself enough to be forgiving and compassionate towards yourself
  • Love yourself enough to prioritize health so you can feel good and live life to the fullest
  • Love your family enough to be an example of healthy ways (I promise, your kids are watching!)
  • Love yourself enough to set goals and stick to them -TAKE ACTION on those goals!

“It is important that you get clear for yourself that your only access to impacting life is ACTION. The world does not care what you intend, how committed you are, how you feel, or what you think, and certainly it has no interest in what you want and don’t want. Take a look at your life as it is lived and see for yourself that the world only moves for you when you act.” –Werner Erhard

Please share with me if you have a “turning point” story! You just read mine and I can tell you my husband’s turning point as well – For him, it was as simple seeing himself in an unflattering picture.

Comment below, on facebook, or email me at jill@jilljacobs.me with your story. 🙂

Let’s stay in touch! Be sure to sign up for my free e-newsletter below. As a thank you for your support, I’ll send you a really cool guide I created called The Lean Lifestyle Formula for Busy Moms and my top 9 protein shakes (think HEALTHY milkshakes- yummm!). I look forward to connecting!


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