March 31, 2017

Bodies… Our New BFF’s

I am so grateful for parents. I’ve been reflecting on how my life has shaped and morphed over the years but one thing has always remained constant… the love and support from my parents, even though I am definitely “that” child for them. 🙂 I’m that kid in the family that had to be different. Always had to do things my way and just had my own agenda. I’m quite positive my parents had NO idea what to do with me and why I was so difficult. Looking back, I feel terrible!! I mean, I laugh a lot about what a little brat I was and how stubborn I turned out to be but I guess its shaped me into the independent driven young women I am today!! Sorry Mom and Dad 🙂 Anyways, my parents, I won’t get overly mushy gushy about them (all though I could write pages and pages about them… I’m an Aries and insanely emotional) but I truly couldn’t live without their very cheesy text messages that make my day, their Facetime calls in the morning to check up on me, and occasionally I will receive emails from my Dad. If I ever see my Dad’s name in my Inbox, I know I’m about to read something very important or really profound.

Now, quick throwback story. I’m sure many of you know but my cute Dad’s name is Curt. Curtis if we’re being proper! Well… going back to my very odd teenage years….. I had this phase of saying everything backwards. I know, I know, I am one weird person. But I thought it was hilarious. I would look at words and spent hours trying to see how fast I could say them backwards. So one day I was talking to my Dad and I burst out laughing and I said, “Oh my goodness!! Your name is TURC!!” I had a laughing attack because i thought it sounded very extravagant for my put together father. He waited for a minute and said, “Sweetie. My name backwards is Truc.. like a truck you drive.” I have never felt more embarrassed. If there’s one person you don’t want to be wrong in front of, it’s my Dad! He’s practically the smartest person I know, so all my “smart credit” went down the drain. LONG STORY SHORT.. I changed Turc to Turk and it has stuck after all these years. It’s our little daddy-daughter thing. I’ve stitched “Turk” into the back of some of his work ties, I’ve had artwork done with “Turk” written at the bottom of it, and he responds to it without even hesitating… it’s my favorite thing ever!

Back to what this blog is really about…. I received this email from my Turk yesterday with this article attached written by Paige Smathers.

SALT LAKE CITY — Imagine what the world would be like if women stopped hating their bodies. What if women spent less time obsessing about food and body image and used that time and energy instead to solve the world’s problems?
The way we feel about our bodies directly affects the way we take care of them, so it’s worth making an effort to cultivate self-love.
Hearing someone say “just love your body” can feel a bit condescending and maybe even impossible for some. Well-intentioned comments like that often seem fluffy and lack substance.
Many people struggle to put this advice into action because they mistake loving their bodies with being perfectly content and never having a negative thought about body image. You don’t have to be completely free of negative thoughts to start loving yourself. You can make that choice today.
The truth is this: No matter how much work you do to learn how to love and appreciate your body, you will likely have to continually make a conscious effort to not dwell on the negative thoughts that are natural and part of the human condition.
Learning to love and appreciate your body is a choice you make each day to remain positive and not dwell on things you cannot control and things that don’t lead you where you want to go.
The great news is learning to love (or at least learning to be neutral about) your body can lead to improved mental and physical health. We take great care of the things we love, while we usually don’t take good care of the things we hate. So if health and well-being are the goal, don’t you think it’s a waste of time and energy to hate your body?

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”
Mumford & Sons says it well. These bodies we have are the only ones we will ever get. If we invest our love in ourselves, we are investing in our life. We can create something truly beautiful when we invest some time and effort in loving and appreciating our bodies.
So why should women, in particular, work to move away from body hate? Here are six reasons.

1. These are the only bodies we get.
We don’t get a replacement body at any point in life, so it’s just a plain old waste of time to hate yourself.

2. Hating our bodies has never really led to anything good.
Hating your body has likely never gotten you where you want to go in life. Usually that sentiment really only leads to more self-destructive behaviors and eating patterns that don’t produce lasting peace or health.

3. Regardless of ability, shape or size, our bodies do incredible things for us every single day.
Take some time to appreciate what your body does for you, rather than putting such a focus on what it doesn’t look like or what you wish it looked like. Developing gratitude for your body is a powerful way to create a healthier relationship with food and your body.

4. Self-love is a lot more powerful than self-hatred.
Cultivating a sense of self-love actually makes it easier to make balanced nutrition choices that are in the best interest of your body and your mind. When you are stuck in the cycle of self-hatred, it’s all too easy to turn to food to numb the pain of feeling like a failure, which, in the end, only exacerbates the eating struggles.

5. All bodies come in different shapes and sizes; there’s no wrong way to have a body.
Learn to celebrate differences rather than trying to be the same as someone else. Comparing is draining your time and energy. Use that energy instead to do something in the world you truly care about.

6. Don’t put your life on hold waiting until the day you have the “right” body to start living.
Life is happening now! Enjoying the beautiful moments of life is so much easier when you’re not constantly stressing about your body. Learning to love yourself right now is an important step toward really living.
If developing love for your body seems a bit out of the realm of your ability right now, start by aiming for neutrality about your body. When you catch yourself saying something negative to yourself in your own head, make an effort to turn the self-talk toward more positivity or neutrality. It’s amazing how practicing a more neutral or positive approach to yourself can actually make healthier behaviors much easier and more sustainable. It’s worth the effort!
We were meant for so much more than self-hate. Women hating their bodies keeps women small. It keeps women from accomplishing all that we are capable of in this world. So get out there and learn to be a bit kinder to yourself and see how your life gets fuller.


I’m grateful that my Dad thought this was important for me to read. Isn’t it SO true?! I think sometimes we need to see ourselves from someone else’s eyes. I know without a doubt my Dad loves and adores me… what if I was able to look at myself and my body with that same love and admiration?? Last night my Mom called me and she was saying that she had been going through old photos for my brother’s wedding coming up. She told me that she was shocked at how much I had fluctuated over the years. I went from no tone definition, to really thin, to gaining a bit of weight, to really bulky, and then finally finding my own skin and managing a healthy balance. I still have days where I get discouraged with my body because I feel like I don’t look a certain way.. I think those subconscious thoughts will remain until we eliminate mirrors (and delicious chocolate) out of our world!! But I have also never been so proud and caring towards my body. Even when I was my skinniest, I still hated the way I felt and looked. And not to mention it hurt like crazy to try to maintain that very unhealthy lifestyle. But now, I love my bumps and curves!! It’s mine, it’s mine to keep, and it’s mine to maintain! Let’s all be a bit more loving to ourselves. It feels good to sit down, look at yourself, and appreciate what you do have. I hope you ALL have a wonderful day!!!!!!!


Here are some new shots I took with the incredible, Jenna Maslechko. She’s a senior at NYU and has more talent and artistry than I could ever dream of! We thought it would be really fun to pour acrylic paint down my face and see what happened next…. 🙂 Go check out her work!! @jaynaphotgraphy

Paint Shoot 17

Paint Shoot 1

Paint Shoot 15


Paint Shoot 16

Paint Shoot 13

Paint Shoot 14

Paint Shoot 8

Paint Shoot 12

Paint Shoot 11

Paint Shoot 19

Paint Shoot 10

Paint Shoot 3

Paint Shoot 9

Paint Shoot 7

Paint Shoot 18

Paint Shoot 5

Paint Shoot 4

Paint Shoot 6




10 thoughts on “Bodies… Our New BFF’s

  1. Thank you for all your inspiring articles, Jenna. I’m sure you are saving many girls with your pieces of advice. And lovely photos!

  2. Oh, wow!! I can’t believe that muddy stuff was actually acrylic paint! My goodness. The pictures are truly awesome.

    Your article was super cool to read, and I loved the part about your dad. He sounds like he’s all that, and more.

    Boy…can I ever relate to you being “that kid” who marched to her own drummer! I am the same way. People still don’t understand me, and very few try, actually. I call myself a Black Sheep, the one who is misunderstood off and on…We Black Sheep can think on our feet with very few instructions, and sometimes, that method drives everyone else batty.

    I tell my students of varying ages that they must love themselves first before they can love someone else. Loving yourself makes everything that much easier, and they all look at me funny. But, you hit the nail on the head with your article, and with the one your dad gave you to read. It all really does matter. You have an incredible drive to succeed, and you are so good at what you do, too. I can’t wait to see YOU live, too!

  3. You are such a beautiful young lady, inside and out. I am missing you on DWTS. I think that your dances with James and Sharna are my favorites of all the seasons. Enjoy your time away but please come back!👍🏼😄

  4. I have to say, that i do struggle with my body and it`s that kind oft posts, that make me overthink my reactions when it comes to my body. I am so grateful that i found your blog, i loved watching you dance and it makes me work harder. Although it is just a hobby for me. I want to let you know, that i am from Austria (Europe). So you reach people all over the world with your posts and it has been a pleasure for me to read about your struggles, because it made me realize, that i am not alone and i am able to do what i want when i fight for it. Kisses

  5. My granddaughter is “that kid”. She’s only 12. As she matures, if she develops half the self awareness that you have, she will be just fine.

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