Just Average Jen – who am I?

I thought I would write a post just telling you all a bit more about me, the person behind the Just Average Jen blog. There are over so many followers to my blog now so I know the majority of you will know nothing really about me and I feel it is important for me to be a person that you all know about and can relate to rather than just a name!

So, where do I start? My name Jen is short for Jennifer but I’m not too keen on that I prefer Jen or Jenny! I was born in Essex in 1980, I only lived in Essex until I was 5/6 years old though so I’m not the stereotypical Essex girl! I was always quiet at school and struggled to make friends because I had such low self confidence. I was quite bright at school and enjoyed most lessons except art and P.E. I hated sport so much I managed to spend pretty much the whole of the last few years of school sitting out of every lesson with one ailment or another that the teachers believed, or didn’t argue with and until now I am not sure my mum knew about (sorry mum!). I really didn’t like sports though partly because it has never been something that interests me and partly as I was so lacking in confidence I couldn’t bear to change in front of the others and wear shorts etc! I am still not the slightest bit interested in exercise, and I could not draw then and still can’t now!

Looking back my depression started when I was about 13, at the time I can remember feeling low about myself because of the way I felt I looked, the fact my father didn’t want a relationship with me since my parents divorced when I was about 4, and probably some teenage hormones played a part too. I think depression plays a big part in who I am in some ways and in my weight gain and then subsequent weight loss. Personally I think that some people are more prone to depression than others whether that be through genetics, life events or a bit of both and I have drawn that short straw! I have always tried to be open and honest about how I feel because I believe that if people are open about physical conditions they should be about mental ones too.
As I have talked about in previous posts I have been in two abusive relationships which also have in some parts made me the person I am today. Between the two I’ve suffered some physical abuse but predominantly emotional, financial, sexual and psychological abuse. One thing I have learnt it that domestic abuse can be different in different relationships and can be hard to see and accept what is going on. There is a lot of support out there though for victims and I always try to be as open as I can about it because not everyone will be, that’s down to personal choice, but for me I find sharing my story helps me. I am not to blame for what happened to me and by telling others I hope it helps others see that too. I am not ashamed to say I have counselling and I know others do too because there are lasting effects that need to be considered and addressed.
I’ve always been quite low in confidence though weight loss has helped this immensely. I hates reading aloud in class at school, struggled with the seminars and presentation work at university and job interviews have always been difficult for me. After university I applied for a job I was really interested in but during the interview/selection day they asked me to do a mini presentation and I just panicked and burst into tears. I think some of my confidence difficulties were due to my body image and they were further compounded when I was turned down at a job interview due to my weight. I was a dress size 18-20 at the time and the manager of the bar that interviewed me said “you haven’t got the image or look that we need, we employ staff that are attractive to our customers”. I am much more confident now and have done many inspirational/motivation talks at Slimming World groups about my weight loss journey and have adapted what I say each time as I do it which is far from the girl who couldn’t read in class without shaking during my GCSEs!


Ben, Myself and Stuart on holiday in Majorca.

As I am sure most of my readers have noticed I have a son Ben. Ben is a challenging boy due to having a multitude of special needs/disabilities and of course this impacts every aspect of my life but having my son is the most rewarding thing I have ever done and I can not imagine my life without him. He is an amazing boy who despite a lot of difficulties really makes everyone he meets laugh with his amazing sense of humour and mature outlook on some aspects of life!

I imagine many of you will have seen me mention my boyfriend Stuart in previous posts too. We have been together a few years now and are truly happy. Ben adores Stuart and we all feel like a family, the pair of them have even managed to get me in swimming pools which I never thought possible given I can’t swim and am not a big fan of water! Stuart has also lost weight with Slimming World, he’s lost over 22 stone, but unlike me he loves his exercise! I don’t run with him but I do run his bath afterwards! He is running the London Marathon next month which I am so proud of and both myself and Ben can’t wait to watch him cross that finish line!
I imagine many of you follow my blog due to my weight loss and love of cooking but I do have other interests I may bring into my blog more depending on people’s views! I love to shop, write letters, sew and read real life stories. I don’t watch much television but when I do I am hopeless at remembering what I have watched as sometimes I just have a memory as useful as that of a goldfish! I love clothes shopping, though don’t often have the funds to buy as much as I would like, though I am sure I’m not alone in this! I also find it frustrating where I used to struggle to buy clothes in shops when I was a size 28/30 as they didn’t often go that bit, I now find not all shops stock size 8’s! I am not really one to be overly girly though in that I am not a fan of being pampered or having my hair done etc though maybe I will in time now my confidence has improved! I most of all love spending time with those close to me or cooking, and I don’t really like spending time on my own.
I do hope his has given you all a bit more insight into who I am and my life. I hope that my blog will continue to grown and that I can inspire others to see they can change their life because I once thought I couldn’t, but I have, if I can do it you can too. In future weeks and months I am hoping to introduce some different elements to my blog including recipe reviews, product comparisons, eating out reviews, and clothes. Of course I will continue also to blog with recipes, weight loss support and other weight loss and food related posts. Any feedback on what you do or don’t like seeing on my blog or what you would like to see more of would be greatly appreciated as I want my blog to be a reflection of what I like to write but also what my readers want to read!
If you enjoy reading my blog please do feel free to click through the different tabs to find weight loss tips, reviews, light reading, giveaways, recipes and lots more! if you would like to sign up to receive my weekly newsletter containing all that weeks posts direct to your inbox so you never miss a giveaway or post that might interest you just pop your email address in the box below and don’t forget to also click to the confirmation email you will receive.
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