Meet Jessica Janzen Olstad (@jsjanzen). Calgary-based and Winnipeg bred, Jessica is an entrepreneur, fitness and lifestyle blogger, and a #swimsuitmodel.
Why did you choose this career path?
Four days before my 30th birthday I quit my big, corporate job and walked out on security, benefits, and all that I knew with nothing to go to. Over the last three years I have had the opportunity to really discover and own what lights me up and gets me excited! I truly believe that my purpose is to be a light for those in the darkness. I have been able to share my story and live my life with boldness. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life hating getting out of bed and dragging my feet to get to a job that I didn’t love. This isn’t your practice life, so why not do what you love
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love to travel and eat my way through new cities, exploring new places is a favourite. I love working out and sweating. In the summer I love to do stand-up paddle boarding and wake surfing – when I’m around water is when I am the happiest.
How would describe yourself?
I am bold, and full of energy and big dreams. Nothing will hold me back.
What are three personality traits you identify with?
Courageous, Brave/BOLD, Determined.
What are three words your best friend or partner would use to describe you?
BOLD, JOYFUL, UNSTOPPABLE (I asked my bestie).
What do you want people to know about you?
I am living my best life yet. It has taken me losing my son to get to this point. What a wakeup call. I have found my voice, my purpose, and my reason to do all of my crazy. I hope it doesn’t take others loosing something so precious to wake them up and say – HEY! HEY YOU! GO AFTER IT. GO GET IT! You’re going to fall, you’re going to fail. Just get back up and keep going. If there is a nudge in your heart, follow it. It will be worth it, that I can promise – it’s not always easy but worth it.
What are you hoping to achieve with your social media following and with your relationships to your followers?
That there is light, there is joy, and there is goodness. Some days you get to choose it, some days it comes easy, but on the days it doesn’t, don’t sit or suffer in silence. The sun will shine again, stay the course. I have learned this isn’t your practice life, go live it, dream big, go anywhere, do anything. I am living proof you can breathe again, that time heals, and not to give up.
How do you hope to connect with, touch or inspire the people that follow you?
I know that by sharing my story it can help or touch someone. There is power in being vulnerable. It is sometimes hard to share as it is so easy to worry about what other people will say or think. But I know that even if it helps just one person it is worth it to be open and honest. I pray that by sharing my story, my faith, and my journey others will relate and keep pressing on towards the fullest boldest life. I hope that those who see my profile will be inspired to do and to see a new path for our family.
We selected you for this campaign because we believe your life is aspirational. What do you feel makes your life aspirational? Why did you decide to participate in this campaign?
I decided to participate in this campaign because I truly want ladies to stop sitting on the sidelines covered up and missing out the memories and the opportunities to have fun and feel confident. Life is meant to be lived, not to be tucked into the corner. I have lost 50 lbs, had two babies, had my boobs swallowed up and shrink like crazy from breast feeding my sweet babes, and then worked my butt of to get back into good shape after sitting in a hospital for three months while I was fighting for my son’s life, only to have him pass away in a hospice. If I can do it, anyone can. I have a big butt and thick thighs and loved that Swimco didn’t see a Sports Illustrated model, but they but saw a healthy, strong body who wants to be a light for other women around her. My life is aspirational because I choose joy, because I choose to live a big, bold life. It’s not easy, but it is worth it.
Did you discover anything about yourself?
I learned to keep my eyes on my own paper. I got to meet one of the other models and found myself getting super jealous – like us girls do. My Hubby reminded me to keep my eyes on my own paper – that model and I met up later for dinner and beach time, and I shared with her that I was envious of her body, and her cool locations, and fun suits and she laughed and said that same thing about me. It was a great reminder to enjoy what you have. Not compare and just soak in the moments – I was about to let my jealousy rob me of my joy. How silly.
If you could say one thing to someone who may not be confident with their body, what would it be?
Change it. Confidence will come with being strong and feeling good about you. It doesn’t mean you have to be stick thin, but I can tell you that feeling strong and healthy makes me confident. Get moving, your body was made for movement, take care of yourself! You only get one body to do life in. My son died from a disease that robbed him of movement, eventually he didn’t have the muscle strength to breathe and swallow. Don’t waste what is able to do so much.
The Swimco team was amazing. They really cared about how we felt and went the extra mile to ensure our experience was incredible. I am honoured to be a part of this change and movement!