Personal-Everyday Chaos

you are the sum of every choice you make | my weight loss journey

By December 4, 2013 16 Comments

jen mcken's weight loss journey

This saying….really stopped and made me think. Not only did this hit home when it came to my weight, but in all other aspects of life. When I get frustrated, I remember it!

I’ve never had anything given to me. I’ve mentioned before in several other blog posts, I was a product of a teen pregnancy so needless to say I grew up way below the “middle class” income bracket. Two teens parents, trying to make ends meet, I didn’t exactly have the luxury of new toys, new clothes, etc whenever I wanted. If I wanted it, I had to figure out a way to get it…which ultimately ended up with me working since the age of 16. And since the age of 16 (besides heat, food and shelter and other necessities that parent’s provide for the wellbeing of a child) *I* paid for everything. I take pride in the fact that I haven’t borrowed money from my parents since the age of 16 …with the exception of $20 my freshman year of college because I had left my wallet at the college dorm and I needed gas to get back home. I paid her back next week. My point is, I’ve worked HARD for everything I have. I held two jobs while going to college full time, when I got out of college, I had a baby, one part time job and a full time job. Sometimes I look back and wander how the heck I did it all. So when I finally left my “full time job” to work for myself, it was the first time in my life I wasn’t working another job at the same time since 16. I had all this free time (well comparable to holding several jobs) and for a while I took advantage of it. But as my weight started to creep up, I figured it was time to get another part time job……getting myself back ….I wanted the mirror to reflect what I pictured in my mind . So getting healthier and losing this weight has ultimately became my “part time” job. I started off by going on a female body visualizer game to see what my ideal weight looks like – it helped give me the motivation to start my weight loss journey. And now, like every job, it’s challenging but worth it. The boss is hard on me and the pay sucks……..but I think it’s just a stepping stone to a better future!! I think it would be more rewarding to have scales to refer to in order to track my weight loss; I’ll be sure to start looking at the best bathroom scales australia based.

If you’re a regular, you know how it goes..these are completely random and in no particular order….BUT if you’re a “first timer” here are the other blogs from earlier in the year! You’ll notice that none of the photos are “professional” and most of them were taken with a cell phone camera or as a candid and given to me by someone else. I’m just trying to keep it real YO!

Big Macs, Whoppers and Diet Coke

Bye Bye 50 Pounds

What No One Tells You

Silver Sneakers, Halloween Shopping and the “Secret Code” | Weight Loss Journey

I will lose 100 pounds!

I realized it’s been a little over a month since I wrote one of these. I get random emails from everyone asking how things are going, some of you have been my little cheerleaders along the way so I thought I won’t leave ya hanging any futher and that I’d stop in and give “yinz” a little update on what’s been happening up in “hur”!

jen mcken's weight loss journey

Santa!!! So the left picture is from just last year, the one on the right was from a few days ago at my parents Christmas party.

I don’t have anything major to report in terms of the scale moving from last month….I mean it did go down a few pounds but nothing to write home about. At this point I’ve lost a total of 73 pounds. WOOO!! BUT, my inches are continuing to go down, so I’m trying really hard not to focus on the number on the scale but more on the overall picture. I can feel my body getting more tone and although I still have lots more to go, I’m still celebrating the small accomplishments. I no longer have to shop in the plus size section (WOOO!), I had to buy a new winter coat because as the weather got colder and I got out my coat from last year, it was WAYYYYY too big AND……I survived Thanksgiving with zero sweets! WHAT WHAT!

My weight loss journey is not over just yet though. I was actually talking to a friend of mine who is trying to lose weight and she told me that she has been supplementing her new healthy diet with CBD products. You see, there is a growing collection of CBD weight loss stories out there that support the use of CBD as a tool that can be used to help you to reach your ideal weight. In case you were not already aware, CBD is a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. Moreover, our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, which form part of the endocannabinoid system. This system has been found to play a huge role in appetite control, food intake, and energy balance. Furthermore, the endocannabinoid system even contributes to the regulation of our metabolism. Through the manipulation of this system with the addition of CBD, there is evidence to suggest that we might be able to encourage a more active and efficient metabolism. With this in mind, I have been doing lots of research into CBD products like Blessed CBD gummies and I am seriously considering giving some CBD products a try. Have you ever used CBD as part of your weight loss journey? Let me know if so as I would love to hear your thoughts about the potential health-boosting benefits of this fascinating substance.

jen mcken's weight loss journey

These were taken by my computer camera. I found the one on the left from last summer…..the one on the right was taken a few days ago!

Ya know one thing I noticed as I was going thru clothes to give away this past month…I came to the realization that I owned a lot of accessories. Not that I always wore them, but I think I bought them thinking that if I did wear them, people would notice those instead of how heavy I was. I had an ah’ha moment as I was going thru everything. I remember wearing a certain scarf because it hid “my fat parts” but in reality it just added more fabric to my already large body. I realized that it was just a coping device and when I realized that, I wanted to give everything away. I’m learning a lot about myself thru this process.

Dealing with chicken littles has been something I’ve also had to deal with. We all have a little “chicken little” inside of us, you know when doubt and fear cloud our thoughts and goals. We might even all have a friend or relative who isn’t encouraging in our journey. I’ve come to realize that people who run around and say “the sky is falling” are just producing noise. We all hear the noises whether we created them in our own minds or if friends and family are creating them, and the media is a huge one….I learned to drown out the noise and so should you!

It doesn’t have to be a lonely journey….I use to think it was. Greg wasn’t on board at first, and I’d sit and watch him drink Pepsi and snack on chips and think, “well, why even try, I’m doomed”. I can’t explain exactly what it was, but something “clicked” and then when I started posting stuff about my weight loss online, I thought well now if I don’t follow thru, I’m going to look like a huge arse! I realized after posting a few things that it didn’t have to be a lonely journey. There were hundreds of other women out there that felt EXACTLY the same way as I did and we all just needed a little encouragement.

jen mcken's weight loss journey

Going thru images to post on the blog…I don’t recognize that girl….and I hope to never see her again! “Before”

jen mcken's weight loss journey


I like to compare my weight loss journey to a french braid (ya, I know, I’m WIERD!) You start the journey on the thick end. And as you make your way down the scale, you gather new friends and support systems, until you get closer to the end where it’s thinner. It’s funny how when you just START working towards what you want, you create visions in your mind of what you want, they find their way to you. Now I sound like a cheesy self help book but it couldn’t be more true. You just have to get started and it opens the flood gates to attract things to you.

I learned to make myself come first. Yeah, I get it, it sounds a little selfish….but I guess in some cases yes it is. We’re taught as women that everyone comes first….I’m here to tell you, that it is OK to put yourself first. A more healthy you can give MORE to others….so in the long run, you really are doing yourself and your loved ones a huge favor. I remember times sitting in a lawn chair watching Mallory play in the yard and her coming over to tug on my arm that she wanted me to come play with her. I’d make up an excuse that my leg hurt or that I was tired….and it makes me sad now to think about it. I feel like in some ways, I’ve missed out a bunch of experiences. I put a stop to that!

I mentioned it my very first blog post “Big Macs, Whoppers and Diet Coke” but I’ve been getting infed treatments to replace my iron. I’ve been doing them for over a year and each treatment is roughly 3-4 hours long. At my last appointment, my doctor tested my levels and SENT ME HOME!!!! He said, they were completely normal that I didn’t need that day’s treatment! That was HUGE for me…..H.U.G.E. He told me to keep doing what I”m doing because it’s working! YAY!!

When “one size fits all” doesn’t fit you….yeah, it’s happened to me too! I was just thinking about this the other day, I remember going to the store and asking for a poncho (I can’t remember where we were going or why I would even need it) but I asked what the largest size was that they had. The clerk says, “ohh, they are one size fits all so you shouldn’t have any problems”. Well, it was too small….and I felt like a peace of crap. I probably went home and ate ice cream or potato chips because that’s what I did when I was depressed.

jen mcken's weight loss journey

The weird thing is, when I look at myself in the mirror I have a REALLY hard time “seeing” myself getting smaller….but then I put one picture up against the other and I can see it. The body image thing is something I’m working on.

Day light savings time messed up my internal clock-throwing me off a bit, it took me a while to get back on the schedule again. With it getting dark earlier, it really messes with my clock… the cold and gray days really does affect my mood. I had to figure out ways to stay motivated. It’s so much easier in the summer when it’s warm and sunny. I found an awesome workout class in our local community. The instructor is awesome and going to a class with other people is so much better than trying to do it on my own.

Santorini, Greece

Greg won box seats to the Bills vs. Steelers game last month and you have NO IDEA how awesome it was to fit comfortably in the seats.

This past month was a tough one. The scale b.a.r.e.l.e.y moved and I started to get pains in my hip. I thought, “OH GOD, not now!” But I pushed thru it a little and did less intense workouts while I was trying to rest it. I didn’t want my hip to give me an excuse to completely stop….because I had been there before and it wasn’t something I willing to chance. Luckily it’s back to normal and I’ve picked up where I’ve left off …and I’ve been able to pick up the intensity.

My goal is that when I finally loose the 100 pounds, Greg and I will be booking a trip to Santorini,Greece. We’ve already hashed out some details with the travel agent, but I’m not “pulling the trigger” until I hit my goal. I.can’t.wait. Just throwing this out there…I’d love to do a shoot while we are there if anyone is from there out there in internet world. Just sayin!!

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 1.55.11 PM

I’ve learned to keep promises to myself. You know, I have to tell you, if I were to tell you the one thing that really pushed me thru all the insecurities throughout this journey it would be….learning to keep promises to yourself. Think about it, we keep promises to everyone else so why not ourselves. I feel like when you keep the promise to yourself, it gives you more confidence. I traveled to Michigan this month and I knew that since I was there visiting my best friend (who just had twins) that my normal schedule would be interrupted, but I promised myself that while I was out there I would AT THE VERY LEAST, go on a walk. And it was 15 degrees and like 30 below zero (ok, I’m exaggerating) but I went….and I froze…but I went and I kept the promise to myself. I think when we break the promise we make, we tend to feel bad about ourselves and what do we do when we feel bad about ourselves….we eat! So keep your promises, then make a new one and keep that one, and the next.

I worked out “ON” Thanksgiving. That is a promise I kept. I rolled out of bed at 7:30 am to get to class by 8. I worked my butt off that day so that later when I had turkey and stuffing I didn’t feel so bad. AND I did really well on Thanksgiving, I ate ZERO sweets. Sure I had stuffing which is way more carbs that I’d typically allow myself but! I’m so proud of myself for not falling off the wagon in the name of a holiday. Now, I still have to make it thru Christmas, but since I kept my promise for Thanksgiving, I *KNOW* I’m capable to saying no to temptation. This time of the year I’m so grateful for being self employed because I remember working at my last job where people would bring in all kinds of goodies throughout the holidays and we’d all snack on them throughout the day…. I had no self control so you can imagine how much temptation I gave into…but now, I have no co-workers to throw me off track! haha!

So there ya have it folks, bad grammar, I probably miss spelled a thing here or there and I have WAY to many run on sentences….but that’s the update! I’m still chipping away at the numbers and I can’t wait to log on and write the blog post about our trip to Santorini! In the meantime…I have a lot of promises to keep! <3


  • Nicole Arnold says:

    Congrats! You look fantastic! This is just the motovation I needed to keep consistent on my journey (especially the part about promises)! Thank you! I can’t wait to see your photos from Greece!

  • Jody says:

    Having started and stopped the journey your on so many times. Today I am on day 3 of eating healthy. I was looking on face book and then I was going to look for dinner ideas… anyhow your post was in my news feed I clicked over and read your blog post.. first congratulations! Job well done and keep going!!! Your word came at just the right time it was stuff I needed to hear. Thanks for being real with us! All the best..

  • Susie says:

    Wow! It looks like now your looks are reflecting the spirit inside you! Go you!!! I only have a little bit of weight to lose but I’ve been having so much trouble getting motivated. Seeing that you’ve lost 73 pounds is very encouraging!! I’m imagining saying no to temptation getting easier and easier. I know I have a lot of work to do mentally but your transformation is very inspiring. Congratulations!!!!! Keep it up!! <3


  • Kate says:

    Jen….you’re amazing! I too have 100 lbs to lose but continue to lose motivation. Im going to bookmark this entry and read it over and over to hopefully help me along. One question, and please feel free to message me privately at my email address – but one question I always have (and a personal fear of my own ) is…. I have a “Mother’s apron” from having 3 kids and gaining weight over the years. Are you experiencing issues with flabby skin? Or are you young enough and having had one child, is it not an issue for you? I know its a rather personal question. . so I apologize for that. I just don’t know anyone personally that had lost that much weight. I see the folks on Extreme Weightloss and I know the surgery is a part of their journey. And I know its not the “glamourous” side of losing weight so no one really talks about it. Sometimes I think its one of thr things that holds me back. If I cant afford the surgery, am I going to look like a Sharpei puppy when I lose all the weight? Anyway. .. Thanks for listening and for being such a great inspiration to so many of us. Who knew following you from CreativeIve would inapire me both professionally AND personally!!!! Many blessings to you and your family!!! -Kate, Atlanta GA

  • Jessica Klaus says:

    HOLY COW you look amazing! Keep it up ♥

  • Adventures of a Mamarazzi Blog says:

    You look AMAZING!! So inspiring!

  • Elizabeth Poje Hawk says:

    1 – You are Awesome, 2 – I am so proud of you, 3 – I can’t wait to see you in person on Saturday!!!

  • Claire Marie says:

    You are so beautiful, inside and out. Congrats on all your hard work!

  • Elisabeth Da Silva Valga says:

    You look so beautiful!!

  • Kimberly Vensel says:

    Congratulations on your accomplishments thus far! You look AMAZING!! I look forward to seeing those pictures from Greece!

  • Geraldine Cookie Wisner Torrence says:

    I think you look GREAT….. I wish I had the courage you have to lose the weight.

  • Janna Rice says:

    You are an inspiration! Congrats on your transformation.

  • Kathy Diana Alkaraghouli says:

    The biggest gift you are giving yourself is not on the outside its on the inside you are learning to care for yourself and no matter what is on the outside the inside is the core of it all. 10/10 for keeping the promises to yourself. If we are true to ourselves the world is good.

  • Kim Clapshaw says:

    Jen, Congratulations. Keep up the good work. You look GREAT!!!!!

  • Kim Clapshaw says:

    P.S. I love reading your blogs. 🙂 🙂

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