We're getting really real today and talking about self love—it can be hard. Sometimes even really hard, right? But it doesn't have to be that way. We sat down with Wellness Coach and all-around badass babe Jacqueline Gould of Your Inner Babe to learn how to be our own biggest fan.
First up, some rapid fire questions! We’re kind of obsessed with emojis... Which is your most-used one?
Favorite emoji would have been a really tough question because I am an avid emoji user, but as far as most-used, would definitely have to be the hand-to-face or the kiss mark emoji.
Where do you call home?
Chicago, but I lived in NYC for almost 7.5 (prime) years, so that city will always feel like a very close second in my heart.
Favorite way to get a workout in?
Live for a good HIIT session! Nothing gets me more fired up.
If you had to pick just one, which is your favorite Terez print?
I think I would have to go with the Starry Eyed Crystal Skull print. I live in those leggings!!
#1 song you’re jamming to right now?
Feel Good (Feat. Daya) by Gryffin & Illenium ON REPEAT.
It’s Friday night. Where are you?
Honestly, sometimes I feel like I am 25 going on 95… I would realistically be at home with my boyfriend Daniel/maybe a few of my best friends (and soon our puppy Mercer!!) making Simple Mills Pizza’s and catching up (shamelessly) on reality TV (insert hand to face emoji here).
Now, down to business. First up: tell us about your day job!
I am a Wellness Coach (but recently started referring to myself as a "mentality" coach—I take pride in shifting the way that someone thinks about themselves), proud curve model and founder of the company, Your Inner Babe. I work with young girls & young women who are struggling with confidence, inner self-worth and low self-esteem. We find the habits that are stopping them or slowing them down from feeling like their "best babe" and together we break those habits and transform their lives!
What were some of the biggest contributors in leading you to where you are today—both positive and negative?
I personally struggled horribly with eating disorders as a high school/college girl and I truly believe that if I had had someone back then who really understood me, someone who could look me in the eye and just tell me,
"I hear you. I was there, but I got to the other side, now let's do this together,"
I know I wouldn't have struggled as badly or for as long. That is why I do what I do!
My ultimate goal is to reach as many girls as I can and help change the way they feel about themselves inside and out. I love how empowered I feel every single day knowing that my life is beautiFULL, and I believe the only way to feel transformed is to pick yourself up and do something about it. Plus I deeply believe that everyone just straight up deserves to feel as amazing as they possibly can about themselves.
We try our best to always be nice to ourselves & our body… But are there any behaviors you see women engaging in that, unbeknownst to them, are detrimental to their mental health?
Most of us have spent YEARS criticizing ourselves. What never ceases to amaze me, is this insane super power that we as women have, where we CANNOT accept a simple compliment. I like to describe it as having this shield of armor around us that repels any form of flattery. Women are truly afraid of what might happen if we were to just say, “Thanks!” in response and actually retain the compliment. Like most things in life, being able to actually hear praise starts with YOU. Accepting yourself and truly loving your uniqueness comes from within. Every girl’s self-worth is made up of her physical and emotional well-being. BE KIND TO YOURSELF. We should really try using our super powers to shift the negativity and start approving of ourselves. The benefits would be insane!
What is one of the biggest issues you see modern day women struggling with? And what’s your recommended solution for beginning to overcome said issue?
I truly believe it’s a lack of connection to the inner self, or what I like to call “The Inner Babe.” There is this intelligence in your gut, otherwise known as INTUITION. Every single person has it, we just have been taught by society not to trust it, or to outsource it and doubt our own. The truth is though - we are all our own best “self expert.” If we learned to trust that “Inner Babe” or if we “listened to our gut” it would become much, MUCH stronger (and so will YOU!).
We’ve all been there: whether it’s at work, or with a relationship, there are always times where a stressful situation arises out of nowhere. What tools or steps do you use to help yourself immediately begin to deal with a stressful situation in the moment?
The best advice I can give when dealing with a stressful situation is to try and reconnect and focus on your breath. I have found that the 5-5-7 technique works amazing to level me out. I tend to get stressed out on a really busy workday, so if I am able (and by able I mean alone), in a comfortable position with my eyes closed, I inhale in for 5, hold for 5, and exhale for 7. I repeat this 10x (about 2-3 minutes of work ONLY!) and immediately feel like I am more tuned into a heightened awareness. I call it the, “2 Minutes to Relaxation” and the best part about it is you can do it anywhere at anytime without anyone even knowing!
#1 way to unwind from a stressful day?
Piece of dark chocolate and either a long bubble bath or a good infrared sauna sweat sesh.
Body positivity and overall confidence are issues that women of all ages deal with on a daily basis. What can we as women do to help point the body positivity movement in the right direction, on both a personal level and a group level?
Your thoughts create your life. They set the ambiance for what you experience. What you put out comes right back to you and when you think only negative things, you manifest them.
If we could all just free ourselves from our own self-judgment and allowed ourselves to appreciate what makes US uniquely individual, it would be much easier to admire someone else’s beauty without questioning our own.
Has physical health played a role in your mental health? How do you see the two as being connected, if at all?
Fitness is a massive part of my life and was a HUGE part of my personal transformation. Sweating, as weird as it may sound, has become an outlet for me. When I was struggling with my eating disorder, I used to isolate myself and turn to food or other negative behaviors to cope. I NEVER would have considered myself an athlete back then. I couldn’t really even get myself to work out, because I was ashamed and disconnected. I honestly just never gave my body a chance to prove that it was capable of being an athlete because “I didn’t think I looked the part.”
Once I got healthy though, the gym became my medicine. I realized that if I supported my body with healthy behaviors and if I transformed my mind along with it, I could prove to myself that I was capable of anything. That my body, no matter what I looked like, was in fact capable of being athletic.
You become what you believe.
So I turned my self-doubt into self-love and started allowing my body to achieve everything it was physically meant to achieve.
What is one of the biggest takeaways that your journey has taught you?
I used to define myself by the size I wore or the number on the scale. I genuinely used to think that the universe made a giant mistake when creating me and that being tall & curvy absolutely sucked. But once I started to get healthy, someone really special suggested something that will forever stick with me. She suggested that maybe there are no accidents. That the “higher power” whomever he or she may be, doesn’t really make mistakes. I had this actual light bulb moment and realized that if I were to believe there is actually something greater than myself, (call it Universe, God, Cosmos, Spirits, The Pizza Man, WHATEVER!) then is it possible that that “power” didn’t make a mistake when my body as created? That I look exactly the way I look for a reason, and that my 6/8 curvy figure was meant to serve as my life purpose, not destroy it?
Since then I have wanted nothing more than to change the way girls feel about themselves, inside and out. EVERYONE has a “desired state” that we wish to be in or a dream life we have created in our minds. But if you take a step back and get honest about WHY you want what you want and find out what will motivate the crap out of you each and every day, then you too can find your purpose. You too can feel beautiFULL and empowered each and every single day just simply being YOU, knowing that it is enough.
How will you put these ideas into practice in your own life? Let us know in the comments below!
Keep up with Jacqueline on Instagram.