I'm Jeni Starr
I’ve been a health educator for over 15 years. I’ve worked in public health and as a teacher, but now I've turned my focus to working with women on improving their confidence, health, and wellness regardless of their size.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences from Mount Holyoke College and a Master of Education in health education from the University of Texas at Austin as well as certification as a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).
I'm also a plus size woman who's had to learn how to love myself and feel confident when my body doesn’t fit the cultural ideal. It's my goal to help women learn to love and respect their bodies, become as healthy as they can be, and live a plus size life!
If you've ever felt like you don't fit in with the cultural ideal, you are not alone! From a young age I compared myself to everyone around me and I was either obsessed with weight loss or avoiding even looking at myself.
My senior year of high school my parents and I decided to go on a diet together. We lost weight together and then we promptly gained it back. And that was the beginning of the “eat-repent-repeat” cycle for me.
In college and graduate school I also became interested in the idea of healthy body image and healthy eating versus eating disorders. I read everything I could get my hands on to help me understand my feelings. I was starting to learn the benefits of accepting my body, but I wasn’t ready to abandon the dream of being an “ideal weight”.
My first career was in public health. As you can imagine, there’s a big emphasis on nutrition, exercise, and weight in this field. I always felt that my weight was impeding my career and potential for advancement – even though I was competent at my job.
This was when the diet cycle intensity increased. I tried several different diets and lost the same 40 pounds a few times. But nothing ever stuck for me. Even though I knew intellectually this wasn’t going to work, I couldn’t reconcile what I knew with what I felt.
A few years ago I discovered the concept of “mindful eating” and while I believed all the research I read supporting this way of living, I had a hard time letting go of my diet mentality. It made sense on an intellectual level, but I didn’t know how to do it.
The Am I Hungry?® Program has allowed me to learn the “how to” piece that makes all the difference. I have been able to heal my relationship with food and learn to enjoy activity again. I will never go on another diet – and I don’t need to!
I am thrilled to be offering Am I Hungry?® workshops so that I can share with others what I have learned. I love that this program doesn’t focus on weight but instead focuses on wellness. As a health educator, I'm committed to practicing the principles of Health At Every Size (HAES). Please join me as you get off of the diet roller coaster and start living a healthy, vibrant, and plus size life!