Admitting the real struggle

The first step in any drug or alcohol treatment program is admitting the addiction. That is what I’ve done this week, admitted I’m struggling. I’ve been trying to hide it but I know by hiding it, I am allowing it to continue to be a problem. I try to wear baggier clothes. A lot of black, avoiding colors that draw attention to me. I avoid being social, avoid posting photos on Facebook and Instagram with me in it. I also avoid eating with people, even Carlos.

But, I have to admit my problem. By no means am I comparing my struggle to drug or alcohol addiction but I can learn from their recovery process, borrow best practices and leverage success factors. So, without further ado, please accept the next picture that admits my problem:



I am utterly, unequivocally, beyond embarrassment. 24lbs away from my all time highest of weight, 76lbs away from my lowest. I’ve gained close to 30lbs in the last 6 months since Francisco was born. Add that to the 20ish I gained during pregnancy and the other 20ish I had gained in the years since my lowest (which I wasn’t worried about), I am now at the highest weight I’ve been at in almost 9 years. I don’t want to lose all 76lbs. I don’t want to go back to 140lbs, that wasn’t a realistic number for me to maintain. And, to be honest, it really isn’t about the number on the scale. I just want to feel healthy and confident again. I want to feel good about myself. If that means 30lbs or 40lbs lighter than where I am, so be it. But it isn’t about the number. It’s about what that number represents. It’s about the number being a symptom, my general unhealthiness being the real issue.

A comment on my post earlier this week made me stop and reflect. It read…

Hi Jen,
I do not remember how I connected with your blog years ago, but I have always admired you and your story has always touched my heart. Maybe it is because I have a daughter your age. I am going to give you the advise I have given my daughter.

In one word, it is stress.
It all boils down to we women are doing too much. Something has to give. There are simply not enough hours in the day to work full time, parent, take care of ourselves, be a wife we can be proud of, have a clean house, cook and do all the other things we women need to do . Even with the help of a supporting husband. It is just too much. Something has to give.

My solution to stress? Less Stuff.

We are working to have a nicer car, nicer house, nicer vacations, etc. Nicer stuff. We need to give up some of that stuff to relive the stress in our lives. There are 2 ways to do that. Work less (or not at all) so you have the time to take care of the things that are important to you. Or pay someone to do things that will give you more time in your day. Or a combination of both

Either way, you have less money for stuff. Another blog I found about the same time I found yours is Money Mustache. It gives a refreshing outlook on things we can do without. Dave Ramsey also has some great ideas on that.

Do without some stuff to relieve some of the stress. Get off that hamster wheel and enjoy your life. Can you downsize your life? I do not know your circumstances, but less expensive housing, and cars are usually the biggies.

I hope this does not come across too harshly. I just think a lot of us Americans have traded a more relaxed, less stress, happy life for more stuff and higher class of living.

My 2 cents, given with love in my heart.


Whether or not you and I agree on the sentiment that it is women trying to do too much, I do agree so much with the general message from Kaydee, that I need to work on stress. I can feel it in my jaw, many times throughout the day having to remind myself to un-clench my jaw. I can feel my blood pressure rise as I drive to and from work, rushing to get there or rushing to get to daycare. I know I need to work on lowering my stress. I think the easiest way to do that right now is 30 minutes of yoga right before bed. I had originally been using this time to de-stress by playing Candy Crush and reading BuzzFeed in bed but usually fell asleep within 5-10 minutes. I think 30 minutes of yoga right before bed would be the perfect time.

Carlos is gone this weekend visiting a friend so this weekend will be a great weekend to start with my new routine. Francisco goes to bed around 6:30pm so that will give me enough time to make supper and eat, do my dishes, clean or fold laundry, and then do some yoga before bed.

Now. I don’t want to end this post with that picture. So I think it’s best to post photos of little baby Francisco. Except he isn’t really little, he’s in the 97% percentile for both height and weight.




Francisco is 6 months old. He has 2 teeth, is crawling everywhere and is already starting to pull himself up on things to a stand. He is hitting a lot of developmental milestones fairly early which at first I was like “go go Francisco” but now I get weepy thinking about it because he is literally growing way too fast. He eats like a toddler, hating purees and cereal, and instead insisting on eating actual food. He eats banana pancakes, sweet potato, carrots, scrambled eggs, chicken, banana, and tomatoes. His teachers at daycare tell us often that he is a very busy baby, always having to be somewhere he is not.

I love him so much, you guys.

Happy weekend!

Jen-white (1)


  1. Love the yoga idea! And enjoy it! You deserve it mama!

  2. You need to find what works for you, that’s the one thing that I’ve learned. Go back to what worked before and start there. My motto: Work Toward Your Goal Everyday, one step at a time, no matter how small. You’ll get there.

  3. Melinda Wolff says:

    Jen I’m so excited to see u back!!! I told u about 6 months ago that u should write again and so glad to hear Carlos encouraged you!!! I am thrilled to watch u on your journey again!!! Here’s to meeting some goals!!! Love ya – Mel

  4. Greetings Jen~

    I am beyond grateful that you are back to blogging. I have missed your honesty, sincerity, wisdom and willingness to share your life with us. I can “connect” with your struggle because I too recently had a wake-up call when I had my annual physical. My weight is back to its all time high of 234# which is too high for my body structure (I stand tall at 5’4″). I nearly burst into tears when discussing my weight struggle with my doctor. She turned a light on for me when she said that I recognized the problem so I have started the battle back. She took the time to share with me my other “critical” measurements/results (blood pressure, blood work, etc) and she reminded me that I was in the healthy range on all of the numbers and the big picture showed that I was in good health. This doesn’t mean that I do not want to lose weight. To the contrary, it has motivated me because I do not want to dig a hole and live in misery. I have the ability to take the right steps. The journey will be long and arduous; however, I will not fear personal sabotage because I am not a failure. Please continue to share your motivational blog with us. Many of your readers are joining hands with you as we move forward. Your son is so precious … how fortunate he is to have you as his mother. Carry on my friend.

  5. Dear Jen (from another Jen!) –

    I was an “always read, rarely comment” reader of your blog, and I am so glad to hear from you again! I’ve just always thought you were super authentic and real about your life, both the good and the not-so-good. Of course, I also understand the need of a break from blogging – been there, done that – but if you want to write, I’ll read and support you!

    As others have commented, you are not alone in this struggle. I lost ~90 pounds in 2010-2011. While my lowest weight was TOO low to sustain, for sure, the 30 pounds I’ve gained since 2014 (work change, marriage, and dad’s passing) are all on me to lose again. Just to get back to what I felt before – that I had energy, and was comfortable in my clothes, and was confident in new situations – all those things that I felt when I wasn’t as overweight as I am now.

    Good luck to you! And to me! 🙂

  6. I too find myself back up again. Appreciate your honest blog and I hope we can succeed together.

  7. You probably already have a yoga series/sequence in mind, but I highly recommend Yoga with Adriene. I believe she has a blog, but I love all of her youtube videos. Some of them are only 15 minutes. Others related to specific practices – yoga for colds, yoga for back pain, yoga for… you name it. It’s been my thing lately.

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