Personal-Everyday Chaos

silver sneakers, halloween shopping and the “secret code” | weight loss journey

By September 26, 2013 20 Comments

I’m gearing up for a really busy weekend. I have 2 weddings and a few portrait sessions between today and Monday….and then the busiest time for a photographer….the month of October (which is equivalent to April for an accountant!), so before things get too crazy I wanted to hop on and give you guys an update on the whole “weight loss journey”. Some of you have been asking, emailing me and messaging me asking how things are going and I love that. I’ve even had people stop me while I’ve been out and say that they’ve started to get healthy themselves after reading some of the blogs, and thanking me for being honest For those of you who are thinking, what is she talking about….here are the previous blogs I shared about my initiative to lose weight and get “mo-healthier!”

Big Macs, Whoppers and Diet Coke

Bye Bye 50 Pounds

What No One Tells You

I wish I could be typing that I’ve lost an additional 30-40 pounds, but the truth is (because I’m keeping it real), since the last update, I’ve only lost roughly 5-6 pounds. And although typically, I may be sad to report that, I’m actually happy about it considering how far I’ve already come AND that I haven’t GAINED any weight. I think I’ve officially hit another plateau and I’m not letting myself get discouraged because I know it’s inevitable that the scale WILL change, I just have to push thru it. So I’ve been switching things up a bit and incorporating in a few new workouts. AND I’m happy to report that even though the number on the scale hasn’t really changed, I have lost inches around my waist and my clothes are fitting even “mo-betta” now. Like I said, it’s not an additional 30-40 pounds I was hoping for, but it is progress and I’ll take it. So I’m up to 65 pounds gone…not lost, because I have no intent to EVER find it again! haha! That folks is the same weight as my daughter…I have lost my child! Pshhh, some people loose their baby weight within a few months….but me, it took 9 years! haha!

Because I’m self diagnosed ADD (look squirrel), I thought I’d just list how my lifestyle has changed and a few other random things:

Eating Healthy:
Lots of people have asked me to talk about WHAT I’ve been eating and I hesitate to mention it because I won’t want you to read this and think “ohh, that will work for me”, the truth is, I found something that works for me and I’m not encouraging anyone else to follow in my footsteps. I’ve mentioned before, I have no degree in food or nutrition so please consult your doctor before following ANYONE’s advice. I’ve pretty much cut out as much sugar as I possibly can from my diet as well as the bad carbs. Yes I still have them but not anything compared to what I was eating before. I also educated myself of HOW food was made and I’ve been very adamant about eating as “clean” as possible. I’ve found alternatives to my favorite foods like pizza and pasta and I just make them a bit differently now. I eat more often and I eat breakfast EVERY morning, even when I don’t want to. I’ve had to completely re-route my brain on what is acceptable. Growing up, having 2 teenage parents, they weren’t exactly the “healthiest” eaters themselves and let’s face it, healthy food CAN be expensive and we just didn’t have the money, dinners consisted of boxed food and hot dogs, it’s what I knew. Having to “re-learn” things…….IN MY 30’S (sad but true) is humbling.

And while I’m on the topic of eating healthy, just like you wouldn’t take financial advice from a broke person, please don’t take your health advice from an unhealthy person…..seriously talk to your doctor. <3 Consistency and Follow Thru:
Sure I’ve exercised in the past, sure I’ve gone on healthy eating binges in the past, the problem was I never followed thru long enough to see results, so I would give up and then curse that I was just meant to be fat! The truth is, I never followed thru plateaus to see what could happen. This time, I’m exercising not only to loose the pounds but I feel SOOOO much better, my endurance is 100% better than it was last year, and trust me I have tons of room for improvement, but just the fact that I FEEL better and can be more active in my own child’s life is worth everything.

Silver Sneakers:
You’re going to laugh……because I did, the WHOLE WAY HOME, from our first “workout class”. I felt like I was on an episode of “sit and be fit“…you remember that show right? Yeahhhhhhhhh, well that’s pretty much exactly how it was. Cherie and I were all pumped up to go to this aerobics class that was being offered and after it started we realized it was a silver sneakers class. We had no idea and as we were laughing at ourselves, we realized that “heyyyy, this was actually a little hard”, and this lady next to me with the white hair is in better shape than *I* am. It was motivational actually, hell, if she could so it, *I* could do it…..and so we stayed. We did the class with those ladies for a good couple of weeks before we “graduated” to the upper class. Looking back, we got such a chuckle out of it, but it was where we started. We still joke about it to this day…as I’m doing the Jillian Michael’s video workouts, I have to smile….it all started with Silver Sneakers!

jen mcken weight loss journey

From a Silver Sneakers class to Jillian Micheal’s

Mike and Molly:
I will never forget this day. It was cold and yes I had a bulky coat on when a complete stranger stopped me on the street during the downtown Indiana County Christmas parade. For you locals, you know, it’s when Santa comes down the street in the firetruck and then get’s lifted onto the roof of the courthouse to come down the chimney for the kids to sit on his lap *wink wink*. Well, this kind woman stopped me and gave me what she sincerely thought was a compliment. She stood there for a moment and then reached out and put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m so sorry for staring, but for a minute I thought you were Melissa McCarthy from Mike and Molly, you know that television show”. At that time I had NO idea who she was, but she went on to tell me about this actress from the show and how she loved that show and so on. After she left, I thought, “wow, I look like someone famous-that’s kinda cool” I couldn’t wait to google her to find out who she was. When I saw her picture, I was disappointed. Yes she was beautiful (and freakin hilarious) but it SOOO wasn’t the picture I had of myself in my head-that for me was a reality check….or at least one of them. And although she meant it as a compliment, I felt like crap for the rest of the day. I remember that story when I want to give up and eat a brownie. It helps keep me motivated.

mike and molly

The Secret Code:
Ok ladies, I know you’ll “get this”……the “secret code” you get when you get fitted for a bra that fits…yeah THAT one! Well, my secret code has changed…WOOT WOOT! And walking into Victoria Secret for the first time after loosing 60 pounds was AWESOME-SAUUUUUCE! It was like a moment of victory! HAHAHAHA!!!!

jen mcken weight loss journey

Funny story, I was cleaning out my closet to get ride of the clothes that didn’t fit me any more and I remembered someone sending me a photo with me wearing the same jacket… I thought I’d put it back on one more time. I remember, it was so tight and I didn’t have anything to wear that day so I had to wear it…now look at how it fits.

10 Inches:
GONE……..10 inches gone from my waist. I still want to loose another 5-6 inches, but ehhh, I’ll take! This is why measuring yourself is so important and not getting so fixated on the number on the scale…..even though it didn’t move a bunch, changes ARE happening.

jen mcken weight loss journey

Good-BYE 10 inches!

Halloween Shopping:
This is probably just another day in the lives of most of you, but you have NO IDEA how awesome it was to walk into the halloween store this year, go to the shelf and pick out a costume in the “REGULAR” sizes. No searching for plus sizes, which meant SO MANY MORE CHOICES!!!!

So most of what I posted have been positive changes in my life, however, shopping in general still carries a lot of anxiety for me. I mentioned before that I see the number on the scale changes and I know I’ve lost weight, but mentally, sometimes, I feel like my body hasn’t changed. So when it comes to shopping, you think I would LOVE it since I can fit some of the smaller sizes, but the truth is, I’ve tried a few things on in a size I thought I could fit……and when it doesn’t fit, I get bummed out. And I have to remind myself how far I’ve come…..but it doesn’t stop the bummed out feeling from happening in the first place. Damn body image! Haha! That being said, I have noticed that since slimming down, I can now shop in more designer stores than ever before. Just the other day I tried on a gorgeous pair of Gucci sneakers in the mall. They fit perfectly! I just wish I could afford to buy a pair of designer sneakers. That being said, a friend of mine owns a pair of faux Gucci sneakers and hers are almost identical to the real thing so I might have to ask her about where she got them from. I know there are some fantastic Gucci replica designs out there online nowadays, so I might have to see if I can find a pair of my own! Everyone deserves to feel fabulous, and investing in the latest fashion has always made me feel more confident in my skin.

Getting On Board:
Greg has recently joined me on the healthy train. Funny thing is, he says no to one cookie and looses 10 pounds, and I look at one and gain 10 pounds! haha! We’ve obviously been cooking differently and trying not to eat out so much…and before you say to yourself, well, if my husband/boyfriend/fiance’ would do it with me it would be so much easier….I’m here to tell you, it took him 7 months to get on board with me. So start making some changes yourself and it might inspire the rest of your family!


So that’s it folks….total and utter randomness!


jen mcken weight loss journey

I’m actually embarrassed to share this photo…not because I’m a little “fluffier” in it, but because it makes me look mean! haha! I must have been lost in thought and it was taken as a candid shot without me paying attention, but I think that’s why it’s powerful. I didn’t have a chance to pose a certain way to make me look “thinner”, it’s real………and the image on the right, well that was taken about a week ago before leaving for a military homecoming party. My brain is telling me I still look like the gal on the left, it’s something I’m working on! <3      


  • Jenny Hodges says:

    You are such an inspiration!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your personal life with us. You’re doing an incredible job!!

  • Jean Loper Photography says:

    Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Norman Cebedo says:

    try cycling 🙂

  • Bridget Faria says:

    Randomness is good 🙂 thank you for sharing. You’re beautiful and you deserve to feel beautiful as well!

  • Sue Anne Ward says:

    Wow……do you look great! What a fabulous motivation you are. Congratulations and keep it up!

  • Jenny Karlsson says:

    You rock!!!

  • Niki Collis says:

    Go you! Congrats, you look fabulous! A great inspiration too 😉

  • Cherron McDonald says:

    That’s amazing!!!! You look sooo good. I want to have a post like this!!

  • Chi Ebert-Pelo says:

    You just look so marvelous…and I can tell you FEEL good. Love this post!

  • Andrea MacLeod says:

    Don’t worry to much on the shopping for clothes side. Because all those numbers they give you for pants, shirts, dresses and what not…it’s all a lie anyway. The industry changes the sizes all the time. What used to be a 10 is now a 12, and so on. Why do you think there is a size 0? If something is 0 then there is nothing there. A person can’t be size 0.

    So next time you go shopping, don’t sweat the numbers that much. If it doesn’t fit, go one bigger or smaller and be ok with it. If it fits, be happy about it and love yourself for coming that far.

  • Samantha Gandin says:

    You’re an inspiration!

  • Jennifer Maine Sizemore says:

    You look just wonderful – and are very inspiring!!!

  • Jenarita Plante says:

    You look fantastic, and your blog is inspirational! 🙂 Thank you. It may have given me some motivation to start my journey :).

  • Adriana Janky says:

    Beautiful post! It is truly inspiring! I have been working on my weight for the past year, but honesty it wasn’t until last Monday that I started really working on it. I started eating much better, cut bad carbs and doing my best to cut out bad sugar. I’ve read your other posts and yes some things work for someone won’t work for another. Everyone is different. I actually do drink a shake a day and eat 6 meals a day or try to eat 6. My shake is nothing fancy just something I picked up from the store so no 99 bucks a month shake or something like that. I’m actually also walking much more, using my elliptical as often as I can and doing a Shawn T workout (Hip Hop Abs) I freaking LOVE it. I never really thought about how different being more active would be. I have tons more energy and I feel so great!! I just want to thank you for sharing your story. I am also hoping my husband will jump in the bandwagon but two weeks in and he’s still eating cookies and candy ha! He does eat a bit better though, but I’ll take what I can get from him right now. YOU ROCK!

  • Jen McKen says:


  • Carrie Airhart says:

    I have to say that knowing you for the little time we had during our shoot and the memories you create and just who you are as a person is also inspirational. Your love for your profession and family make every blog an inspiration for anything that is missing in peoples lives. So happy for you and I love your dedication because lets face it we all deserve exactly what we want out of life and love! Congrats to you!

  • Susan Fetcho says:

    You are lovely, inside and out (both before and after), and as others have said, truly inspirational. I read the previous posts, linked above. I’m a psychotherapist (for over 20 years) and a counselor educator. My two cents — you are doing nothing harmful here, to anyone, and you owe no one an explanation for what you write on your page. “Take good care of yourself” is an excellent message to anyone, regardless of their history. God bless.

  • Amy Abrey says:

    I needed some inspiration today, thank you. I, too, have been on a weightloss journey for quite a while now. I have been a Weight Watchers member and also believe in doing it the “real” way; without fads and other things that cannot be continued on for life. It is about changing one’s lifestyle; about eating healthy and being active. I always get inspired by others who have worked hard and list weight the healthy way. Kudos to you. Those last 30 pounds will be difficult. You’ll have to step up your game and work even harder, but you have come so far. You can do it, and you have given me motivation to keep pushing on myself. God bless you!

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