In the past two years, Jessica Simpson has gotten married and welcomed two children.
To say those experiences have shaped her would be an understatement, but they have also contributed to a greater sense of self-acceptance.
"Today, I feel truly comfortable in my own skin. Better exercise habits, food choices, and lifestyle changes have contributed to this, but ultimately, my confidence comes from my state of mind," she wrote in an essay for Glamour magazine. "Every step I’ve taken up until this point has taught me something. Every decision I’ve made has brought me here. When I reflect on my life, my beliefs, and my experiences, I gain a perspective that connects me more deeply to myself, my friends, and my family."
Simpson credits her husband, former NFL player Eric Johnson, with helping her achieve a sense of self-confidence. After she gave birth to their daughter Maxwell in 2012, she discovered a few months later that she was pregnant with their son, Ace, now 1. Johnson's "unconditional love has been a reminder of the love I should give myself," she wrote.
"Eric has seen me at every size, and he loves me no matter what," she wrote. "When I got pregnant... I was nervous about starting over again. I had come so far in learning how to balance my career, family life, and hormones, and starting over again felt overwhelming. Eric was so supportive and challenged me to accept my insecurities and focus on what truly matters."
However, maturity has also contributed to her sense of confidence. Now 34, Simpson feels more self-aware than ever before.
"When I was younger and starting out in the music business, I always felt like I was being defined by other people—industry executives, fans, the media, and so on. It took a while, but now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve grown into myself and established my identity on my terms," she wrote. "I embrace my strengths and celebrate even the small victories. I’m certainly not perfect, but when I look in the mirror, I’m proud of the woman I see."
While her close relationships with friends and relatives have helped her through the ups and downs of her life, the Weight Watchers spokeswoman said these days, she's learning to carve out time for herself too.
"That's what building my business has been about for me," she explained. "I sometimes second-guess spending time working—I want to be with my kids as much as possible! Then I remember how satisfying work is for me, and because I am fulfilled, I can offer the best version of myself to my family."