eating disorder prevention

Today we prevented eating disorders and rewrote beautiful with over 120 girls and staff at Girls Inc. of Orange County! A new perspectives can change a life, a community and eventually the world! 

Posted: Jul 12, 2015
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Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

Jenn is Beautiful! Jenn is an amazing woman I know from eating disorder recovery. Since Day 1, Jenn has always tilted her head, showing the utmost imporance of listening to me, given me words of wisdom and avalanched me in the ultimate bear hug before she sent me back into the world. I knew that I respected and loved her, but what blew me away with our interview was realizing how much I didn’t know about her. This woman is even more multi-dimensional, passionate and loving than I knew. It made me think about how many other people out there I might not be “seeing” all of? Check out our interview below. I’ll be shocked if you leave uninspired.

Irvina: Hey lover face! So tell me about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Jenn: Well it’s hard to say that I am just working on one project in particular. I really enjoyed making all my Christmas presents over the past holiday with a lot of inspiration from Pintrest.com. I didn’t realize how much I truly loved making gifts for people and using my artistic ability to create presents I was truly proud of and really got to put myself into them.

A great project i was working on at Apple (where I work) was iPads for soldiers who have been deployed for multiple tours of duty. I have been given a great opportunity being an intern on the Business Team at Apple. I truly get to enrich the lives of so many diverse and unique people in the world all through technology. I have an amazing job that allows and encourages me to use all of my talents from my love of photography and art to my experiences I have had growing up as a child of a Solider. Each day is fun and exciting and filled with so many challenges and successes. It’s humbling to know all of this is possible because my eating disorder is not the center of my life anymore.

Irvina: Wow, you’re a creative girl! And you’re right, I don’t see how you could do all of that amazing work while in your eating disorder. I have been amazed myself at the things I have been able to accomplish once I’ve had that monster off my back. I can only imagine the things you’ll do in the years ahead! Can you tell our readers something you’re passionate about?

Jenn: I am passionate about loving people, especially the wonderful people I have in my life. I am the proud “Auntie Jiff” of two beautiful little girls that are MacKenzie Grace, 5 years old and Charlotte “Charlie” Joy, 1 month old. They seriously make my heart feel all aglow! Recently, I got to do a whole photo shoot with both of them for the holidays and a birth announcement for Charlie. My photography has given me a creative and healthy outlet for so much that I use to keep inside. I also love playing music and painting. I have gone through some tough and beautiful parts of my life which I can translate into music. I love seeing that my struggle with an eating disorder and alcoholism was not in vain, but was so that I could get closer to a God that loves me more than I will ever be able to understand. I’ve also seen the good nature of people in recovery from addictions. These people invested in me when I literally had nothing to give in return. I have been afforded the lesson of grace in action without which I would not be here today, plain and simple.

Irvina: Jeez girl! What a parallel between the things you love to do now and the struggle it took to get there. Thank you for sharing that. It really reminds me of the priceless gift of LIVING without an addiction. So, what do you do for fun?

Jenn: For fun I love getting to hang out with family, my handsome husband and our little pound puppy Teagan Marie Charles! She’s a 1 year old, half Lab, half PitBull, Terrier Mix who can steal your heart and your shoes with those beautiful blue eyes of hers! I love going to museums and concerts with friends as much as I love having a great cup of coffee and a chat with a friend at Portola Coffee Lab. Quality time with people I love is what I love getting to do for fun. And occasionally I like to go on photographic adventures in search of the shot of the day, which will proudly hang on my bulletin board in my art room at my home. I also love going to a great farmers market and getting great fresh foods for the week, I think even though I am Scotch/ Irish (hence the red hair and blue eye) there just might be a little Italiano in this girl. Due to the fact that I am truly inspired by many Italian chef’s and their take on food, life and love!

Irvina: Awe! I love all of that! I want a puppy soooooooo bad! I’m jealous…in a good way! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I can’t really say that I have done something crazy that I can remember standing out. But in thinking about it I have never been normal in any sense of the word, let’s face it who really is? I can remember a couple of things…

1. Being that kid in school who asked for more homework because I loved learning so much.

2. Having mini art painting sessions with my grandmother on her back veranda then having a private showing of what I had painted in the garage.  My grandfather framed and hung all of the paintings on the walls just for us to enjoy.

3. I built my first computer at age 7 because I was jealous that Doogie Howser (the kid doctor) got to use one to journal in and I didn’t.

4. I grew up loving art, soccer, hockey, running, read high school and college level science course books at age 9. I knew more about the construction and function of any army tank then most kid should ever know.

5. I also dreamed of becoming a part of the peace corp, because I wanted to travel the world helping people.

I have lead a creative and inspiring life and that is the craziest thing I have ever done. I refuse to let the world put me into a confined roll just because I am a girl and expected to act a certain way. I am a crazy one that believes I will make a difference in this world because I don’t see the world as it is, I see as I wish it will be.

Irvina: Um…Sorry, I think I lost my thought. You kind of just blew me away! I thought I knew you, but I now realize that I don’t. There is so much more to you and your story than I even know. Thank you for being so brave to be true to yourself. Thank you for being crazy-cool Jen! The world is better for it! I’m better for it! So back to the questions! Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Jenn: Hard to say what exactly I contribute but I try to be kind and passionate about everything and everyone that comes my way. I am truly proud of the fact that I am described as a loyal friend. At one time I was not loyal or reliable. Now I take comfort in knowing that I have the ability to love my family and friends with my whole heart and I hold nothing back.

Irvina: Beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and why?

Jenn: My creativity comes through in my community as looking at the world through a kids eyes, I rarely act my age and absolutely cherish that about myself. I love being able to put people at ease and make them laugh because nothing in life is so serious that you can’t find time to play with a slinky or be so consumed with how a rain drop falls off a spider web after a wonderful rain shower.

I have been told that I have a kind spirit, I like to think that comes from my Grandparents on my father’s side they were great role models and are the main reason I thrive in life today. They were never unkind to anyone about anything. They loved completely and fully and I can only wish that after I am gone I will have exuded that kindness among the world I lived in.

My strength comes from my knowing that I have weaknesses and not being afraid to face them one at a time. I was never aware of my strength until I looked back after being in recovery for almost 6 years. I realized I was never supposed to live past 10 years old ( because of a heart defect I have) and here I am at 30 years of age, healthy, happy and always moving forward. I didn’t let one person determine my destiny and I didn’t give up because I may only be around a certain amount of time. I spent my time being a kid, climbing trees, surfing in Hawaii, traveling to Ireland working for a wonderful company. I have never limited myself.

Irvina: That’s incredible Jen. You are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Jenn: The most beautiful woman I knew was my grandmother Betty, she was a knock out with red hair, blue eyes and a heart of gold. She was my first best friend, art teacher, and all around super hero. She had great passion for everything she did from picking out table covers for the next church social to creating and sustaining the first arts education programs in the Glendora Unified school district and later the state of California. She always had time for everyone and could make you feel like you were the only person in the room. She had an amazing drive and confidence that stemmed from self-worth.  She helped me write a letter of concern to President Bush about the first Desert Storm War, because she and I always read the newspaper together. She reminded me constantly that I had a voice and no matter how young or old I was it should be heard. She always wore a fashionable pleated skirt and blouse with a sweater and always had her hair done and finger nails painted a blush pink, she was Pink way before Victoria Secrets ever was. She loved God her family and her civic duties to her community. I can only hope I make as much of an impact as she did on this world.

Irvina: Holy Shiz-Nick! She sounds incredible! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Jenn: My wish for women is that they understand true authentic beauty is that it simply comes from a place inside of your heart that allows you to love unconditionally. Not only others but yourself most of all. I do my best to tell my two little nieces all the time that they are absolutely precious and loved. I want them to grow up knowing that they are so loved and completely precious to their Auntie Jiff and so many others in their lives.

Irvina: I think with you around Jenn they will. Thank you for speaking with us. Your life has touched me deeply. Thank you. 

Posted: Mar 23, 2012

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Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

Judie is the kind of woman I consider a Guardian Angel. She seems to pop up at the exact moment you need to fall in someone’s arms for a hug, a prayer,  a word of wisdom, a meal or a celebratory hug.  I know that I am always in her thoughts and prayers even if I go weeks without seeing her. Similar to the feeling many have about their own mothers. I am comforted to know that Judie is in my corner. Judie is a mother to many. It comes naturally to her. It’s her gifting. One of my favorite things about Judie is watching her with her grandchildren or “Grands” as she calls them. When I see the care, love and methodical planning out of activities and fun I remember what a GINORMOUS job it is being a parent. That raising children truly is sculpting the direction of our world. All of us who have been touched by Judie can agree that our time with her has sculpted us into more BEAUTIFUL human beings. I hope you enjoy my interview with her.  

Irvina: Judie! Thank you for talking the time to speak with us today love! So tell us, what is a fun project you’re currently working on?

Judie: Being a Grandmother - a Nana - is my Number 1 project.  I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to love on them as they grow and develop into their own little beings. Their ages range from 3 to 18, and I have been fortunate enough to be around them at every stage.

Irvina: I have been lucky enough to meet your beautiful, Grands and they are a privilege to be with, as are you! Tell us Judie, what are you passionate about?

Judie: Being there for others is the gift that God has given me, whether they are family, friends, acquaintances or the homeless.  I have a heart for those in need and delight in being a good listener, hand holder, meal provider and giver of my time.

Irvina: You are an AMAZING hand holder! Tell us, what do you do for fun?

Judie: Laugh and play with my Grands, work in my garden, walk and talk with my friends and my husband.  And, I love to read good books, biographies and history.

Irvina: You live a very charmed life! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Judie: Learn to roller blade when I was in my late 40's and continue into my 50's.  I would roller blade up to 80 miles on my days off from work at the Concierge at the Hyatt Newporter, from Hermosa Beach to the end of the path in Venice, and back to Hermosa.

Irvina: 80 Miles! Jeez! Talk about drive! That’s awesome! I’m sure the beach by your side wasn’t too bad either! So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Judie: I hope that Kindness would be the answer, in that I consistently share my time on Wednesdays and on Saturdays with the homeless, being a part of a community that prepares home-cooked meals and provides showers and laundry trailers for their use.

Irvina: Excellent! I have been able to see you work with the homeless and (this may sound weird but,) you totally fit right in! You’re like their forever friend Judie. It’s truly beautiful. Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Judie: Dorothy Ruff - a 90 year old women who is avid about her Father God, and has given me a path I hope to follow.

Irvina: Awesome. What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Judie: That only inward beauty lasts, no matter how hard you work on the outward facade.

Irvina: Love it! And you! You’re BEAUTIFUL! Xoxo 

Posted: Mar 2, 2012

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