Behind The Selfie Intro: THE REALITY OF WHAT IS.

A selfie is a controlled environment. You hold the power to look your absolute best when taking a selfie. You can manipulate the camera to only see the very best parts of you, while the parts that you’ve labeled as unworthy to be seen are hidden from the world, hidden from yourself and in that, you don’t have to live in the reality that is your body. 

This post is going to be much longer than the ones that will follow it for this series. This is the introduction post, so i apologize for it’s length and appreciate those who read it all the way through. But no fears, they won’t be this lengthy and in the future will be filled with videos, photos, and more…

And with a giant sigh and tears in my eyes…we begin the journey.

I think I’m getting emotional just starting this post because this is SO emotional for me. I am ashamed in a lot of ways, embarrassed, and it’s pushing me to be brave. I have talked about my weight before but this feels so different. It’s not just about raising my fist in the air and declaring BODY POSITIVITY, this is me letting you in…deep within my heart and my life, my insecurities, my weaknesses…and it’s scary.

But I believe God has lovingly and with His Fatherly hands pushed me forward on this road of talking about this journey openly. I want to be bold and I am MORE THAN TIRED of letting my emotional and physical weight be a hinderance in my life. I cannot walk in true freedom until I tackle this and shed the chains of my past, my mistakes, my bad habits, etc.

Before we start, let me say that this series is NOT about changing the way I take photos. The camera loves me, it’s true, and I enjoy taking photos showcasing fashion, make-up, etc. That’s not going to change. It’s what goes on behind the selfies that we’re talking about. The heart issues. It’s NOT going to be all about weight loss. I have 80 lbs. I want to lose but that’s not going to be the primary focus. I want this to be a journey to freedom and that’s going to encompass a lot of things.

I am in a REALLY good place in my life. As a wife, mom, and career woman…I am thriving. I’m truly happier than I’ve been in a so long BUT there’s this weight I carry, emotionally and physically and it’s time to do something about it….

Here I am in my comfort.

…and here is my beautiful reality.

I was at school with my daughter, in her drama class, and my sweet friend Mandy captured a precious moment where I was helping my little 5 year old do a little performance for her classmates.

I saw this photo and cringed. All my Mc.Donalds belly showing for the world to see and it took away from me appreciating this lovely moment between my baby girl and I. I couldn’t see past my fat. Seeing this photo, I felt ashamed.

I still feel ashamed that thats the first thing I noticed and thought about when I saw this photo. I focused in on me and all my flaws: My huge arms (I carry SO much weight there), my stomach, my thighs…ugh. ALL things I never want anyone to see. Thank goodness you can’t see my chins. 😉


Even though I want to live in a selfie world, where you don’t see my chunky arms and where the camera angle hides my fat cheeks and face, I can never heal if I don’t truly look at myself and accept where I’m starting from.

I weighed in this morning at 230 lbs. (229.4)

I am 5’4. I have ALWAYS been curvy and so my goal is to be 150 lbs. That’s a realistic and good weight for my body type. In 10 years, the smallest I’ve been is 184 lbs.

I put on 30+ lbs. this past year…the year coming out of my husbands and my separation. I want to smack myself around a little for that. WHY do I do this yo-yo weight thing? Instead of dealing with my emotions, I eat them.

There’s a good handful of things I can’t open up about here that I carry with me, painful things. But I do want to acknowledge a few things that I know have contributed to my recent weight gain and weight issues.

2015 + 2016 were terrible years for us (terrible doesn’t even describe it)…Amongst other hardships, my husband and I went through a horrible separation (just a court date away from a divorce). We then decided to surrender our marriage back to God, we moved to a new state, started over, went through long months of me struggling to let go of my past, and just when things start getting so much better this summer, I got pregnant and we lost that baby. My 3rd miscarriage. This one after 4 years of trying to get pregnant with no luck. It was more than heartbreaking.

…and I eat.

I was talking to my best friend last week and she knows how severely I do not deal with pain and we’re on Facetime and I just start crying to her and I remember saying “I don’t know how to truly feel the loses in my life.” and it’s true. I’m still grieving in ways over my parents divorce, really tough things that happened in 2015-2016, my oldest daughters multiple misdiagnosis’s and her surgeries, mommy guilt, marriage guilt, sin guilt…there’s so much there and so much I haven’t dealt with. I just push the pain and the frustrations down deep.

…and I eat.

SO WE LOOK IN THE MIRROR, not just at our reflection but look into the inside of ourselves and get truthful.

I struggle in this area.

But I don’t have to keep struggling.

I am starting this journey, coming out as a fatty and admitting that I am a woman who has some really bad habits.

One of the first things we have to do before we start the journey, after we come face to face with our reality, is we must forgive ourselves.

If you’re taking the journey with me:

1. Accept What Is.

2. Forgive Yourself. 

Taking these first two steps frees you from the fears of facing your reality. You live in the body of TODAY. We need to accept our bodies because we can’t snap* and change them, it takes time…So, accept yourself. Secondly, Forgive yourself for your past. The bad choices, the way you’ve treated your body, the way you haven’t taken care of your precious heart, the bad habits you’ve created…

Ask God to forgive you if you need to. Forgiveness is the key to freedom. God does not hold you to your past once He has forgiven it. You can’t live in regret and guilt. It’ll destroy you. We must practice living in grace and in God’s truth. He loves you and wants you to experience an abundant life. (JN10:10) I’m going through this right now…it’s not easy. I am so mad at myself for different things but I have given it all to God and it’s time to let go of my fears, regret, guilt, and shame.


  • RAW HONESTY AND DIGGING DEEP : I hope to keep this series fun and something you look forward to reading on Sundays or during the week. I am going to be transparent with the process and talk about things like confidence, insecurities, fear of people’s opinions, body image, etc. I don’t know what this whole adventure is going to look like for me but I promise to share the good and bad parts with you. 🙂
  • FUN : I’m a bubbly person and plan to treat this journey as I treat most things, I am going to find the fun in it. It’s actually kind of exciting really.
  • CONVERSATIONS : I am committing to start having conversations with God and a few trusted people about these things. I don’t like to feel out of control and when I have opened up to Jesus or family/friends about my pain and struggles, I come unglued and it feels overwhelming, so I don’t. But that needs to change. I need to talk to God about my feelings, the journey, and ask Him to work with me in the healing. Same with my trusted people.
  • FOOD/EXERCISE : My hubby and I made an entire new schedule for me so that I can incorporate exercise time into my schedule. So, I’m committing to doing the workout thing and eating better. I’m going to cut back to one coffee a day (ahh, lol) and start making better food choices. I will post about these things in upcoming posts. My goal of losing 80 lbs. is one Im ready to take very seriously.
  • HAVING MY PHOTO BE TAKEN: ahh. I’m literally dreading this. lol. But my husband has committed to help me with this series and we’re going to be sharing photos and videos of me IN them, not me controlling what is being seen…ah. lol. This is where a different kind of bravery comes in because I usually avoid seeing what the world sees when they look at me. But I want to overcome this fear of having my photo be taken and start enjoying the moments of what is being captured, not focusing on my insecurities.
  • BEING ADVENTUROUS: This is not just a journey of healing and losing weight. This is about LIVING. I want to live the abundant life Jesus died for me to have. (John 10:10) And I am NOT waiting til I’m at my goal weight to start living. No thank you, I want to live that way now. I’ll be sharing all this with you as well.
  • RECORDING THE JOURNEY: Like I said, my husband and I are both committing to showing the highs and lows of this. Every post should have a short video/photos of my week showing how it’s all going. That way you get an inside look and it’s a way to keep it fun. 🙂

I think this is going to be healing for a lot of people. Sometimes you just need someone to take a few steps in front of you to feel brave enough to start your own journey. I hope this is encouraging and inspiring to others. Not even just about weight loss and gaining freedom + confidence, but about making bold leaps to live the life that God wants for you…growing into the person you dream of being.

See y’all next Sunday for the first post of the series.

Just wanted to say thank you to this amazing man for loving me so hard and fighting for me. I truly do love you Jacob.





  1. Leslie Turner | 15th Oct 17

    I, too, struggle with these same insecurities. I’ll be cheering you on as I join you in this life changing season. I have 42 lbs. of guilt and shame that I need to shed. Can’t wait to read your blog each week! Good luck!! 🙂

  2. Jennifer Smusz | 15th Oct 17

    I would like to follow your journey and pray that your words and journey can help my journey. This sounds immediately selfish to me. However, I of course hope that along the way maybe my comments can help someone too, maybe you even. “Behind the selfie”, sigh. I knew exactly what you meant. I’ve even said to friends, “well, I don’t take a bad picture because I only post the good ones”. And of course they are from the head up. I am ashamed. I am embarrassed. I am hard on myself. I feel like a failure. I feel disgusting. I feel like the viscous cylce of self sabotage itself. Oh, and don’t worry…I am not some 110 pound woman saying,”yeah me too. I need to lose weight”. No. I am now considered obese by a doctor’s scale. I need to lose about 35-40 pounds to be at my healthy weight. I too am 5’4″ -5’5″ depending on the day. So, my story may not fit on this comment section. I will honestly say that I deal with crappy immune system diseases that make me exhausted, have joint pain, and extremely hard to lose (Fibromyalgia and Hashimotos Thyroid disease). I also feel that on top of these (but also a result of) I get really depressed and feel very defeated, disgusting, and like a constant failure). I also do turn to food I think in times of feelings – especially stress. So, what to do? Well, I try again. And here I am. I honestly JUST wrote on a friend’s post this morning that I don’t know if I will go to our 30th class reunion unless I lose weight (I don’t want the shame, embarrassment, ect). I do not and will not believe people (including my husband) who says I am beautiful. Nope. Can’t be. I’m obese, remember? Ugh. So, here I am. I am being honest here. Will me following your journey and “talking” with you help? Don’t know. But here I am…again. Sincerely, Jennifer Smusz. PS Where can I friend you?

  3. Ilene | 15th Oct 17

    Jillian, I know we are just getting to know each other on Thursday’s and FB, but I feel like your writing about my life. It’s funny you have that photo from drama and I’m half in it. All your thoughts are my thoughts and when I see a Mama in the drama room with a camera I am screaming inside. I have told my friends not to post pics of me in FB and I stopped taking family pics. I’m terrified of the camera . I too have lost so much in the last 3 1/2 years and just ate and ate my feelings. My friend sent me a picture of us at Apple Annie’s about 8 years ago and I was mortified at how much weight I’ve gained . I was big before but managed to lose 90 lbs in 2007 and have put it all back on plus more. I will take this journey with you and looking forward to getting to know you better following your inspirational journey.

  4. Stephanie Barreca | 16th Oct 17

    Oh Jillian, I was legit in tears reading this.
    1. Because I love raw and honesty
    2. I am so proud of you and
    3. Because I could feel your emotional pain through your reading and that is SO brave!

    I loved every part of this, it’s so powerful for you and if there is one piece of advice I can give you is that being vulnerable is the biggest step to self recovery no matter what you are dealing with. The fact that you can and have put yourself out there like this means you are already so much more ahead than you realise. My father always tells me that in order to move on from our pain that we carry we must let it overcome us and run its course. That’s the exact step you took when you posted this and I can feel it in your words.

    I am so excited for this journey and can’t wait to read more!

  5. Stacey Berube | 16th Oct 17

    What a beautiful and enlightening post! We all must battle every day not to let those insecurities get the best of us.

  6. Stacey Berube | 16th Oct 17

    What a beautiful post! We must all work so hard every day not to let those nagging insecurities get the best of us!

  7. Megan Dennis | 16th Oct 17

    What an inspirational post! I look forward to reading all of the posts in this series and thank you for your bravery to share your story!

  8. Megan Dennis | 16th Oct 17

    What an inspirational post! I look forward to reading all the posts in this series and thank you for your bravery to share your story!

  9. Andy | 16th Oct 17

    I have literally gained and lost the same 40 to 50 pounds too many times to count, beginning at the early age of 30. And now at 55, I’m focusing on my health, and trying not to think about all the time wasted worrying about my looks. I’ve been able to keep my 50 pound weight loss for over a year now, and I’m not going to lie, it’s a scary thing. Sometimes I think I might wake up tomorrow and I’ll be fat again. I look forward to following you in your brave, scary, crazy, fun journey. God be with you!

  10. Bekah S | 17th Oct 17

    You are truly amazing!! I LOVED reading your article and remembering that women all struggle with our appearance, and there’s no reason. We are all beautiful!! You inspire me!!

  11. Rheagan | 17th Oct 17

    I think we all struggle with insecurity and self-worth in one way or another. For me, it’s my health, which is more of an invisible problem to those looking on from the outside. Thank you for being so real.

  12. LeeAnn | 17th Oct 17

    I love your energy and this is going to a journey for you and many other women! So inspired and girl YOU GOT THIS!

  13. Adrianna Rae Stevens | 17th Oct 17

    Oh I adore you!! What a transparent and beautiful testimony and post. You are a precious woman!! You got this!!❤️❤️❤️

  14. Amanda | 17th Oct 17

    It’s so true how we all put on our best clothes, face and angle ourselves to look perfect on social media. When in reality, we know what we look like, and so does everyone else. You’re doing great Mama!! This is really an inspirational post! Good luck on your journey

  15. Beata | 19th Oct 17

    That’s a very powerful post !!! Well
    Done you and good luck on your journey !

  16. Kristen | 22nd Oct 17

    Was just crying to my hubby last night over these and other issues that seriously make me wonder if I’m totally screwed up… thank you for being brave. Maybe I’ll record my journey simultaneously and actually post it if I feel comfortable when I’m getting somewhere…

  17. Morgan | 24th Oct 17

    Jillian, this is such a beautiful and raw piece. In your picture with your daughter, you don’t see it, but you ARE beautiful. I struggle with all of those same emotions. Each picture, I zoom in to see my flaws. Thank you for pouring yourself into this series, it shows and it’s beautiful!

    • Jillian | 24th Oct 17

      what a sweet comment, Thank you so much Morgan. You’re a doll and I’m grateful for your kind words.

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