Jess is not only someone who inspires me personally, but is someone who I have worked alongside at various events, and someone who I am proud to now call a close friend. I chose Jess for my first podcast as her story is one that I believe everyone should listen to -- her experiences, challenges and growth continues to astound me and I am so proud of her accomplishments to date.
There have been many stories written about the lovely Jessica Smith; that of a child born without a left arm, a teenager who went on to represent Australia for swimming in the 2004 Paralympic Games, and a young adult who broke free from an eating disorder. But perhaps the most important story there is to tell when it comes to Jessica, is that of the inspiring woman she is today; an internationally recognised advocate for positive body image, a loving wife & mother, and an author & storyteller.
Jess has stood on many platforms; throughout schools, universities, businesses, and communities as a sought after motivational & public speaker. She created the award winning social media campaign 'Join The Revolution' and is an ambassador for Layne Beachley’s 'Aim For The Stars Foundation'.
She was recently awarded 'Emerging Leader' by the Australian Government at the Positive Body Image Awards and was recently awarded a 'Pride of Australia Medal' in Western Australia. In 2015, Jessica was also a state finalist for 'Young Australian of the Year'.
With all these accolades aside, Jessica's most proudest life moment is recently becoming a mother for the first time. This new path to motherhood inspired Jess to create a series of books that celebrates children's differences, and encourages self confidence, no matter their physical appearance.
The first book is titled 'Little Miss Jessica Goes To School'.
Join us in this first podcast where we delve into Jess's story as well as her insights into 'balance', managing an eating disorder, understanding her body, creating a business and a becoming an author, and embarking on motherhood, as well as her tips on how to goal set, the importance of self-love and how to manage expectations.
Jess's Top 5:
1. What is one piece of advice that you would give to your 20 year old self and why?
"I would say manage your expetctaions, and by that, I mean manage the expectations of the people in your life or the situations in your life. For me, I expected too much from everyone and because of that I was left feeling deflated and empty, and as though the world owed me something..."
2. What is your favourite quote or favourite words to live by?
"I would say 'never say never' - the reason I say that is because we have no idea where life is going to take us... and there has been many times where I've said to myself 'no that's not what I want to do' and I've ended up doing it you know..."
3. Do you have a favourite book or podcast that you refer others to?
"There is a book that I believe changed my life, and it is called 'A New Earth' by Eckhart Tolle. I read it at a time in my life when I needed to - when everything just made so much sense and it gave me the courage to make some really important changes and decisions."
4. If you woke up tomorrow and had obtained any skill in the world, what job would you be doing other than what you are doing now?
"I would love to be a doctor".
5. Top 3 Favourite Foods?
Coffee, Bananas and Eggplants (at the moment...)