I struggled with eating disorders all throughout high school and college. During that time I couldn’t go a solid minute without body checking or putting myself down. I quickly learned when you feel like shit about yourself, not only do you act in a way that allows people to know you feel like shit, but you attract what you think you deserve.
I was a magnet for toxic people. At the peak of it all, I slept basically until noon every day and cancelled almost all plans that would take me out of my apartment. I just didn’t want to be seen. I was a drama major at the time, and that industry is hard enough to break into, even if you’re as self-assured as they come. I however, had a constant voice inside my head absolutely destroying me with self-doubt. Instead of using the criticism from teachers as fuel to grow, I used it as gas to light my self-hate fire. Talent aside, I was NEVER going to make it because there wasn’t a chance in hell I was going to let myself SUCCEED. I self-sabotaged every opportunity that came my way. I blocked any good from my life because deep down I didn’t think I deserved to feel good in any form.
By my junior year of college, I had pretty much stopped going to class altogether. I was on academic probation for the third semester in a row and was told if I didn’t make a change, I’d be dropped. Finally one day, the head of my acting studio sat me down and asked, “Jacqueline, do you even want to be here anymore?” And I remember thinking, no, I really fucking don’t.
But I wasn’t just talking about being at NYU or acting school, I was talking about living life in general. I was sick and tired of it. I was exhausted from hating myself.
My self-worth was an actual zero. I’ll never forget the exact moment I realized it either. If I close my eyes, I can picture it perfectly.
I left the meeting with my teacher and got back into bed, sobbing, broken, feeling completely alone. I knew I wasn’t living the way I was meant to be living – I had officially become a bystander in my own life.
And I really do remember finally thinking, “I’m done.” If I wanted a life at all, I’d need to take it back.
My roommate at the time was actually in recovery herself, and when I cried to her, begging for help, she looked at me and said ‘I’ve been waiting 4 years for you to ask me this. I know exactly where you need to go.”
I ended up at The Beacon Program in New York, and started treatment for food addiction. I had access to some top-of-the-line clinical help, phenomenal therapists who patiently (and I stress patiently because I was a handful and a half) taught me, helped me, and gave me the tools to get better. I still think about it today, but not one single thing I did within that program changed my life per se, but the experience as a whole most definitely gave me my life back. I graduated from NYU and I was finally unstuck.
I felt ready for something NEW, so I uprooted myself from New York and came to Chicago. By this point I had been healthy for years, but because of everything I’d been through during college, I had somewhat lost my passion for performance. I started searching for something deeper to fulfill me.
It took me a while to realize this, but deep down I still felt alone. I kept thinking back to my treatment and despite how amazing the therapists had been, something was missing. Professionals like that aren’t accessible 24/7, and they often don’t know exactly how it feels to battle with yourself every single day. I didn’t believe that they could truly relate to the neverending war that is recovery.
I reveled in being HEALTHY, but I couldn’t shake the loneliness I had felt during treatment or the feeling of just needing someone there by my side who gets it. I realized I wanted to be that person for other girls going through it. I knew there was a need and I knew that I was the one who was meant to meet it.
That’s when I got certified as a Mentality Coach and started Your Inner Babe, where I coach women on their own personal journey from self-hate to self-love.
It’s been 6 years since I started prioritizing myself, since I found my inner BABE, and set her free. I genuinely believe we all have an inner BABE inside of us and I’m on a mission to help women of all ages find theirs. You can find her, ignite her, and set that bitch free.
KNOW YOUR WORTH.
It runs so much deeper than how you look. I spent years trying to find my worth in my appearance. I thought my appearance was linked to everything—if I could just be skinnier, prettier, I would get everything I wanted.
Yet it was never enough. I know you’ve heard this story before. No matter how much weight I lost, I still looked in the mirror and hated myself, which is why I would always end up gaining it right back. The worst part was, I would have never talked to anyone I LOVE, the way I talked to myself back then. Just like my roommate so easily recognized that I needed help, sometimes the only person you can’t see clearly is yourself.
KNOW YOUR WORTH.
Your appearance doesn’t define you. Your mind, your spirit, your talent, your heart make you who you are. And shit, you’re simply worth it.
When you know how much you’re worth, you shine. It’s as simple as that. That’s when good people come into your life and when good experiences come to fruition. There’s nothing more POWERFUL you can do for yourself than owning exactly who you are. The good, the bad and especially the ugly.
KNOW YOUR WORTH.
Knowing your worth starts with knowing you. Just as you are when you wake up every morning, you are enough. And that if you WANT more, know you deserve it. It doesn’t just pay to say it out loud, you must actually BELIEVE you’re worth it so you can make the choices every day that reflect that.
Sometimes all you need is a fresh set of eyes.
I hear you, and not only that, I see you. I got to the other side. I got unstuck, and if I can, you can too.
So let’s fucking do this.