Leadership Spotlight: Jessica Procini
If you can’t find the help you need, sometimes you need to make that help for yourself. Jessica Procini, founder of Escape From Emotional Eating, has spent the past 8 years building her business and helping women around the world break their emotional eating habit. Before founding her company, Jessica had spent over a decade trying to work through her own emotional eating. Nothing was working the way she thought it should, and Escape From Emotional Eating came to be.
In her Leadership Spotlight below, Jessica shares the ups and downs of her emotional eating recovery journey and how that fueled her passion to becoming an entrepreneur.
How would you describe your biggest accomplishments in your current role?
I never set out to have my own business, be self-employed or be an entrepreneur. I just wanted to help people. Share with them what I knew in hoping it would bring them relief from their fight with food. Escape From Emotional Eating just turned 8 years old so I have to say these past 8 years, have been a wild ride and one of my biggest accomplishments. And I feel like this is all just getting started J
What has made you so passionate about this cause?
I was an emotional eater and didn’t know it. I spent over a decade trying mis-matched solutions for my overeating because I didn’t know what I was doing was actually emotional eating! I thought emotional eating meant you had to eat 10 bags of potato chips. I didn’t realize that using food to numb my nerves and take the edge off how stressful and overwhelming I found my life to be was also a version of emotional eating. Then, when I tried to get help there were very few places and methods that resonated with me. I spent over 936 hours in therapy, which never touched the deep roots on my relationship with food. And Overeaters Anonymous never resonated with me. With nowhere to turn, I dedicated myself to first healing myself and then helping others who were like me with nowhere to turn. Having walked my own healing journey with emotional eating is what I bring to my work today and fuels my passion for this work.
What key strength serves you best in your business?
I’m not the type of coach that screams at the top of her lungs to pump you up. I don’t think I could be a loud person if I tried. My delicate yet strong nature is what allows my clients to access the deep roots of their emotional eating in a safe sacred way. I used to wonder why I wasn’t loud or flashy like other coaches in the self-development industry. Now I know that my peaceful energy is exactly what is needed to support others in creating their peace with food.
Is there one moment or experience that has was transformative about helping you find your path and that eventually led to this business?
Discovering I was an emotional eater changed everything for me. I was shocked and very resistant to it at first, but it made sense. This discovery gave me the permission to approach food, my body, my mind and therefore my life differently. Everything has changed from that point forward.
Has it been a challenge to balance your career aspirations with your personal and family needs? How have you managed to do this? Suggestions or tips?
Marry a man who likes to cook – Just kidding!
But honestly, having help is the only way for things to get done. Just because things need to get done doesn’t mean YOU have to do them. I’m sure you’re like me where we love to be independent and want to prove that we can do it all – but that can often come at a high cost to our health.
Being open to receive help from family, team, mentors and friends is a necessity. So when you feel like you’re drowning in your day, pause and ask yourself:
- What absolutely needs to get done right now?
- What can be done by someone else (even though I’m telling myself it’ll just be faster if I do it)?
- Then Hand It Over!
What advice would you give to your younger self at the start of your career?
Slow down. Don’t worry. Don’t hurry. Trust the process. You’re doing great.
What is the biggest challenge in your field at the moment?
We’ve come a long way in the health & wellness world where it’s common culture to eat health and exercise – yay! Yet, it’s not a cure for anxiety or stress. Anxiety and stress are different animals that have nothing to do with the gym or the kitchen and have everything to do with the beliefs about ourselves and how we cope with challenging situations. It’s a major missing piece of the conversation in the health and wellness world – and if we don’t address the roots of stress and anxiety it won’t matter how healthy we eat or how much we exercise, we’ll never truly be healthy or at peace.
What has helped you get to where you are in your business and what advice would you have for others who want to set off in a similar direction?
Relationships. Relationships are everything in business. Every job, client, speaking engagement, mentor, opportunity, team member, etc. I’ve ever received or worked with was because of a connection I had with someone. Treasure and nurture the relationships you have with people in your life and be willing to develop new ones.
What advice would you share with other women about food?
While emotional eating and overeating are common and often glorified in our society today, it’s not healthy and it’s not normal. If you sense there’s something “not right” in your relationship with food, don’t ignore it. Because you just don’t know how long you can treat your body with disrespect until it gives out.
Learn more about the dangers of emotional eating and how to get help with Jessica’s webinar “3 Steps to Stop Stress Eating.”
Founder of Escape From Emotional Eating®
Jessica Procini is an Emotional Eating Healer and the founder of Escape From Emotional Eating®. She is on a mission to help others use food as fuel rather than a way to cope, soothe or escape their busy, stressful life.
She consciously created and specifically designed Escape From Emotional Eating from her own emotional eating journey because Overeaters Anonymous didn’t resonate and therapy wasn’t enough when it came to getting help to fully end her fight with food.
Now being 100% free from her compulsions with food, she helps others do the same through all her levels of support, such as her retreats, called The ESCAPE, her year-long transformational programs and through her various public talks and workshops.
Jessica has been awarded the “Top Health Coach Award” by the Institute of Psychology of Eating three years in a row and has been featured on various media outlets. Learn more here.