Friday, November 15, 2013


So I was a little hesitant to share this info yet, but hopefully it'll continue so here goes-This is week four that I have been doing a beta testing program for Jeremy Reid Fitness. The workouts have absolutely been the most physically challenging thing I've ever done in my life, and I have been losing weight consistently (about 7+lbs in 3 weeks) but the biggest and most important change is the fact that this is literally the first time in my entire life that I have felt free of my food addiction. Take a few minutes to process that. It's crazy. Even when I changed my lifestyle in 2009, I struggled DAILY to not overeat, with cravings, honestly in the past 4 years just thinking about food all the time, trying not to emotional eat, failing not quite as much as I started succeeding at not turning to food but just honestly a constant, epic, all-consuming battle. However since starting this nutritional program (no supplements, just a different way of eating than I have ever done, much more strict etc), after about the first week, I have had ZERO cravings. NONE. I got over my frapp withdrawal (seriously, when was the last time I whined about starbucks?!?!?!) and even though this week we were allowed to add in a "free" meal (anything we wanted for one meal!!), I didn't even want to do it!!!! Didn't want a frapp, to go off plan, nothing!! I am not hungry, I am not consumed with thinking about/wanting to eat my next thing on my plan, I don't go to bed at night just so I can get up in the morning and eat again b/c I am out of calories... I am, for the first time in over 4 years, NOT EVEN COUNTING CALORIES!!! I am not obsessively calorie counting, logging food, micro managing my intake...omg there is such freedom and I am listening to my body and I feel absolutely freaking fantastically amazing. The same is true for Keith, who is doing the same thing with me. This makes me want to cry, honestly, b/c I thought to maintain this new lifestyle, I would have to just battle this so hard every day for the rest of my life and that can get overwhelming if you look at the "forever" picture and don't take it day by day. I don't know how things will change after the 8 weeks are over, if I will stay this strict forever, or try to balance back out with what I was doing vs this, but honestly, at this point, I want to continue to see if this is maintainable for the long term for me b/c O.M.G. It's just absolutely stunning, to not feel like food is lurking in my thoughts 24/7. Somehow this combo of macronutrients has done something magically and I don't really get it, but I will research it more to find out why LOL because it's crazy. CRAZY!!! The end.

Friday, November 8, 2013

12 years

12 years ago on Sunday I married Keith. We had been dating for 13 months and known each other 17 months. Friends boycotted our wedding, family told us we were ruining each others lives. He wasn’t christian enough, I wasn’t christian enough. Or maybe we both weren't Christian enough. We were too young. We hadn’t dated long enough. He was my only boyfriend. The list of why we shouldn’t take this step was shared with us over and over and over.

We ignored everyone, listened to our hearts, put our hands together, and jumped forward together into life. I was 21, and he was 23. We were so young. Statistics said we’d be divorced far longer than we’d remain married. I grew up with no father figure, his parents divorced after 30 years of marriage. We had no examples to follow of a healthy relationship. We fought. We got counseling. We battled 3 years of infertility. We had a beautiful baby girl and I almost died. I laid in the ICU, in severe heart failure, and he held our newborn daughter to my breast so she could nurse. They slept in the lobby and never left my side. I got a blood clot and was in bed for months recovering. He worked and took care of us.

Doctors told us to never have more children or I would surely die. They told me to tie my tubes at 24. We believed God had a different plan, and stepped out in faith, and got pregnant again. Only I didn’t die, our baby did. But I did relapse back into heart failure.

We weathered the loss of our beloved daughter together and grieved and felt pain like no person ever should. Together.

They told us again-no more children. Again we knew God had a different plan, and that Mairi’s prayer for 2 years for a baby brother named Eli would be granted. We walked through post loss pregnancy-hope tainted with fear and desperation-together. We heard Eli cry, and saw him alive, and our hearts began to heal in a way they hadn’t before. Together.

We decided we weren’t the role models we wanted to be for our children, we wanted more for them and for our family. So we embarked on a lifelong journey to change our outsides so that we could begin to fix our broken insides. We lost almost 300lbs in a year together-sweating, crying, and realizing how much work we needed but we did it together.

We became professional hula hoopers. We appeared on multiple national and local media and print. We started traveling the world. We stepped out in faith again and walked the still harrowing journey of post loss pregnancy together again, and welcomed our 2nd sweet rainbow into our family.

Together. Always together. There is no Keith without Jen and no Jen without Keith.

To everyone that never believed in us, we made it anyway-against every single adversity that should ruin a relationship, we have never wavered, and have grown stronger together because of all we’ve faced. Sometimes things that don’t make sense to others, only make sense in our hearts. And I thank God every day of my life that for the first time in my life, I listened to myself and trusted my heart, even though it didn’t make sense to anyone else.

Happy 12 years of marriage, Keithy. We’ve lived 5 lifetimes together already, I can only begin to imagine the randomness that awaits us together in the next dozen years together. Thanks for loving me when no one else did. For believing in me when no one else did. Thanks for being worth the wait. Thanks for everything you do, every single day, for me and our children. I’ve never known a love on this earth like yours, and endeavour every day to return to you as much as you give to me.

Together, always. Keith+Jen=Love.