Food,  Health,  Life

It’s not you, it’s me.


There are two words that are banned from my house.  If you know me, you’re having a smug moment, aren’t you? You think you know exactly what two words those are.  Well, I have news for you. They are NOT moist and panties.

(I just watched a small mass of hives appear on my wrist from typing them though.)

But, no.

The two words that I hate more than anything are… fat and ugly.

I know, I know. That sounds all self-righteous and cumbaya of me, right? But it’s the honest truth. I have always hated them. And not in the jokey way that everyone hates moist (although, I really, really strongly dislike that word). I mean it in a serious way. I automatically cringe when I hear people use those words to describe people. I have this automatic reaction of inner-disgust.

There is just something so nasty about calling people ugly or fat.  I don’t mind the words when they are used to describe someone’s personality (though that really only pertains to ugly…). But, when they are used to specifically describe a person’s physical appearance, I’m instantly revolted. It’s such an openly direct and intentionally cruel thing.

So, lately, I’m ashamed to say that although I haven’t said those two words out loud – I have been thinking them in my head: about myself.

I’m not going to get into the whole body-image thing here again. Blah, blah, blah – we all know I have issues. LOTS of issues… But I’ve been thinking of doing something bold about it once and for all. Putting myself out there and holding myself accountable in a way I’ve never done before.

Tomorrow morning, I’m going to post a BEFORE, no, CURRENT photo of me in my yoga pants and sports bra (yep!) and document my progress (or lack thereof) on this new healthy journey.

Warts and all.
No photoshopping.
No good angles.
Me, straight on.

We all know that I have body issues and I’m also very vain. I don’t like “unauthorized” photos of me floating around on Facebook. I secretly delete photos of me on my husband’s Flickr account that I don’t like (I’m sorry, honey – I promise I won’t do it again).  I have become an expert at dressing to camouflage my most troubled areas.  But, truth be told, I’m tired of hiding and masking my body out of insecurity. I’m sick to death of cropping my bottom half out of photos, so that people won’t see what I’m truly working with.

I parade around on this blog and and try to empower us all to see ourselves as beautiful and strong and all the while I’m cropping my body seven ways ’til Sunday so no one truly sees me.

Truth: I talk about empowerment all of the time – but I still fail miserably with it in so many ways.

So… I’m going to do something that absolutely terrifies me. (It’s literally making me nauseous just thinking about it.)  Today – without a plan in place – I woke up and decided to start taking care of myself fully.  In fact, as I type this, I’m wheezing.  Fortunately, it’s not from the flu. I was just on the treadmill for twenty-five minutes.  I’ve also started the Whole30 again as a good start-up to detox.

I’m going solo here, guys. I’m not starting a group. I’m selfishly focusing on myself and my own achievements and failures. And my plan is to be brutally honest every step of the way. There will be progressive photos (and, very likely, regressive photos). There will be bad days where I cry about pizza – or eat it and simply own it.  I have no idea how this is going to go, truthfully.  But it will be 100% honest, I promise you that.

And, selfishly, I am asking a few things from you as well:

  • You can judge my methods all you want – but keep it to yourself. What works for you – or what you think is the only way to get healthy – may not work for me. So, though I’d love for you to follow along and watch – I don’t want advice, unless I specifically ask for it.
  • You can judge my body all you want – but keep it to yourself.  If writing publicly has taught me one thing, it’s that I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. (And also that everyone thinks I’m writing specifically about them…).  People may look at my photo tomorrow and think either, “Eww,” or “Ugh, she’s not even that big.”  Guess what? I don’t care what you think!  (Ok, that’s a total lie. I care too much what you think.) But, I don’t want your feedback on my current situation – especially positive feedback right now. Although it’s lovely if you think I “look great” no matter what, I’m the one who is uncomfortable right now and Richard Simmons himself could not perk me up at this current state.
  • You can judge this plan of blogging all you want – but keep it to yourself (And, perhaps, stop reading my blog. Just a thought…)

This may not seem like a big deal to you. This is a very big deal to me. In fact, once I hit publish on this – there’s no going back, right?  Y’all can expect to see my pasty white 43-year old body in full glory tomorrow… (well, not full glory).

Bottom line, I have to start walking the walk on self-care. I want to teach my girls to love themselves, but I also want to teach them to strive to be the very best versions of themselves health-wise. And I clearly have a lot of work in that area to do myself.

I don’t need to be thin, but I need to be comfortable with myself.  And maybe putting myself out there like this will (finally) push me to acknowledge my flaws and change what I can.

I have to go. My watch just told me to stand up. (She is seriously so pushy…)

Sh*t… am I really going to hit “publish” on this….?







  • Heather Rathbone

    Jen, I LOVE this! Thank you for writing what so many of us are feeling, and putting it so well onto “paper”. I too have struggled with being comfortable in my own skin again. It doesn’t help that we are our own worst critics. And, it is a great reminder, that what works for one person, does not necessarily work for someone else. I will be here cheering you on while I continue to work on finding my healthy and confident place!!

    • Jen

      We really our own worst critics! And it’s so sad, because would we want our loved ones to think like this about themselves? No! Thank you for your comment and support, Heather! I’m a little nervous on this one – but maybe putting it all out there will keep me accountable! xo

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