"Project Body Love is a fierce, honest, + necessary read for all women ready to transform their relationship with their bodies. Jessie’s honesty moved me + her vision of healing is inspiring.”
- Molly Mahar, Founder of Stratejoy
Loving your body is hard to do.
Project Body Love is the story of my quest to find acceptance, respect, and maybe even love for my body after spending a lifetime counting calories and drops of sweat. What followed was a two-year series of experiments that had me mining the depths of my past, dismantling the effects of Diet Culture on my self-worth, taking up bellydancing, posing for nude photographs, and other daring feats of self-exploration.
Far from being a shiny tale of self-actualization, Project Body Love explores the complexity of being a fat person in a thin-obsessed world, and concludes with an entirely new perspective on the elusive body love – one that was surprising, even to me.
This is my story, and so much of it is also the story of millions of other women.
I wrote this for every woman who has spent too much time trying to make herself small.
I wrote it for every woman who wants to love her body, but can’t figure out how.
I wrote this for a world that needs its women committed to revolution and sovereignty and joy, not eating more salad.
"Jessie decloaks her heart with refreshing honesty, as she guides her reader to an unconditional acceptance of self. Her heartfelt offering here is a genuine invitation to reunite with what matters most.”
Anne Berube, PhD
Author of Be Feel Think Do
"Jessie offers insight we can all use to find peace with ourselves."
Yoga Instructor @nolatrees
"Part confessional and part body acceptance roadmap, Project Body Love is a huge sigh of relief. I caught myself nodding along, laughing, and crying with recognition as I read her words. This book is both a beacon of hope and a reminder that none of us are alone."
Intuitive Coach + host of the Needy podcast
"For those want support around navigating the endless mystery the body is and offers, this book will help you come home to yourself.”
MSOD, CHHC, Insatiable podcast host
“Jessie’s words feel like a homecoming. Having wrestled with the same weight issues and body love challenges all my life, I felt like this book offered a safe place to land in a world that doesn’t always make our bodies feel welcome.”
Teacher, Coach + Holding Space Facilitator
"I want to be able to jump into the lake and swim to the other side. I want to feel the cold water around my body and see the sun sparkling off the waves as I turn my head to breathe. I want my body to be able to feel the joyous embraces and soft little kisses of my two beautiful children, whom, incidentally, my body created, birthed and nourished, all by itself. I want my body to allow me to travel all over the world and experience the tastes, smells, sights and sounds of new cultures. I want to fly down hills on my bicycle, experience deep peace in meditation, and feel the excited terror of a wave barrelling toward me as I prepare to jump to my feet on my surfboard. I want my body to allow me to know the exquisiteness of a perfectly-set creme brulee, to delight in the pleasure of cracking a perfectly caramelized crust of sugar with my spoon. I want to feel my toes curling into dewy grass, and my hands to know when the tomatoes are ripe for picking. I want to use my hands to hold the hands of those I love, and to press firmly on the backs and legs of the labouring women I support; I want my hands to offer comfort. I want to feel wind in my hair, and smell lilacs in the spring. I want my body to know the pleasure of a flowing, floral dress tickling my legs as I walk. I want to know what it is to be held and to feel deeply supported and cared for. I want to hear the peeper frogs on a cool spring night, and my daughter saying “I love you times infinity times a hundred million galaxy universes!” I want my body to help me learn its wisdom, to guide my intuition with the feeling in my gut and to walk me through the forest as I seek clarity."
-excerpt from Project Body Love
"Every single women’s magazine.
Every person who asked when I was due
(when I wasn’t pregnant)
The clothing stores that don’t carry my size
and all of the places and ways in which I never felt a sense of belonging: the clothing swaps, the yoga classes, every time my lived experience as a fat person went unrecognized and unacknowledged.
I forgive you.
The boyfriend who wished my stomach were smaller
All the men who didn’t even consider me worthy of their attention because of the size and shape of my body.
(society, and myself, for the belief that male approval and the “male gaze” is the currency for valuing women’s bodies).
I forgive you, too.
Everyone who has underestimated me
been ashamed of me
I forgive you.
I’ve tried everything to direct your attention to my mind, to my accomplishments, to what I could achieve, physically, despite being fat,
and I’m no longer willing to do those things
which leaves me here
and a whole bunch of other things, too, but also: just as I am. Just what you see, without the distraction of my proving and doing and denying and proving yet again.
I forgive you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you."
- excerpt from Project Body Love
Project Body Love is published by Rebel Poet Press