There may be no finer example of a Williams alum creating her own path than Sarah Jenks. Less than ten years removed from her college graduation, Jenks is the founder and CEO of Live More Weigh Less, an online lifestyle program that helps women who struggle with weight anxiety live healthier, happier lives. In addition to one-on-one coaching, Jenks works with thousands of women online, writes weekly blog posts, speaks regularly on issues of women’s health, and is contemplating writing a book.
Jenks’ ultimate goal is simple: to become as big as Weight Watchers. But her approach is unique. As someone who has dealt with body image issues her entire life, Jenks challenges the conventional notion that the key to happiness is looking good in a bikini. Instead of focusing exclusively on losing weight, Jenks takes a holistic approach, striving to identify the root causes of unhappiness. “If you can live a great life and find your happiness through your career, relationships, and friends, you don’t need food for entertainment. A lot of women feel like you need to lose weight first and then you can date and buy clothes and feel good, but then you’re miserable waiting for that to happen… It’s not about people being like, ‘I lost 20 pounds and now I can fit in a bathing suit!’ It’s people saying, ‘I got my shit together and now I can be happy for the first time in a while.’”
Looking at Jenks now, it’s easy to see her life as perfect. She makes good money, dictates her own hours, and is able to help thousands of women overcome the same challenges she deals with. But Jenks’ journey was filled with struggle and doubt. Far from a fairy tale path that current students can only dream of following, Jenks’ story provides deep insight into the difficulty and promise of forging your own professional identity.