“Your story is the key to unlock someone else’s prison. Don’t be afraid to share it.”
I’m Jessica Larché, and I’m on a journey to inspire all of us to face our challenges and conquer them one decision at a time.
I am a storyteller at my core, which is what led me to my dream career as a morning news anchor and special projects reporter. Over the last decade, I’ve had the honor of sharing hundreds of inspiring and heartbreaking stories. I’ve learned we all desire joy, and at times we all have an obstacle that seems to get in the way.
The obstacle that was in my path? A rollercoaster ride with food abuse. You know that quote “food is the most abused anxiety drug…”? Well, that’s exactly how I lived. I would binge eat under the self-imposed pressure to be perfect – the perfect reporter, daughter, friend, human being. The more I worried, the more I weighed – up to 267 pounds on my 5’2 frame. And if I’m being honest, the less worthy I felt, too. Not because of my size, but because I knew I was making decisions that would impact my health. To top it all off, my struggles were on full display on the 5 o’clock news. While the weight didn’t interfere with my television news career (thank God for my news directors who never made an issue of my size – everyone isn’t so lucky) I knew my coping mechanism would catch up to me at some point.
In the summer of 2012 when I was 27 years old, I had a blood pressure scare. The most terrible headache of my life sent me to the doctor, where I learned my blood pressure was 148/100. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, given some medication, and sent on my way. Finally, my anxiety worked in my favor when I started feverishly researching the impact of hypertension. I learned it was linked to heart disease, stroke and early death.
That revelation — that my decisions could alter the course of my life for better or worse — changed EVERYTHING.
I finally understood that loosing weight wasn’t about forcing my body into a “perfect” dress size or a “perfect” number on the scale. It was about addressing why I turned to food (thank God for therapists) and working each day to take care of the one and only body God gave me. I also understood why all of my attempts to lose weight over the years failed. You cannot hate your body into wellness (I tried and failed and failed and failed). Only journeys rooted in love have lasting power.
I made God two promises when I started my journey in 2012: I would eat better and exercise more. I leaned on a scripture with the message decide to live.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19
It took me a few years to lose 100 pounds. I took my time to dive deep into the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of my journey. I was no longer interested in a fast and furious race to some imagined finish line. I took a deep breath and did the work to lay a foundation that would change my life, my family’s life, and the lives of everyone around me.
I chose to share my story after getting so many supportive e-mails from our viewers at WTKR News 3. I’ll admit, I was nervous about opening up my life this way. I asked my Mom what I should do, and she said if it helped at least one person, I should go for it.
When I started this blog in 2014, I had no idea the massive impact it would have for people facing all kinds of journeys — weight loss, depression, anxiety, addiction… It showed me that the life lessons I’m learning along my path can be applied to any journey. At the end of the day, many of our mountains are the same, just in a different location. We can conquer them all, one good decision at a time.
You can do this, whatever “this” is in your life. If I can go from eating out of my own trash can (I would throw away food in an effort to stop myself from eating it) to flipping tires and writing blogs and recording podcasts and inspirational videos, I know you can achieve the impossible, too.
Wishing you well along the journey,