Written 2016. 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!

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Me at school

So, where do I start? My name Jen is short for Jennifer. I’m not too keen on that I prefer Jen or Jenny! I was born in Essex in 1980. However 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. Sadly I had such low self confidence.

I was quite bright at school and enjoyed most lessons except art and P.E. Sport was something I hated 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. 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. 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.

The start of depression

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. 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. I have drawn that short straw! It is my aim to always try to be open and honest about how I feel. I believe that if people are open about physical conditions they should be about mental ones too.

Surviving abusive relationships

As I have talked about in previous posts I have been in two abusive relationships. These 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. It can be hard to see and accept what is going on.

There is a lot of support out there though for victims. 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. I am not to blame for what happened to me. By telling others I hope it helps others see that too.

I am not ashamed to say I have counselling. I know others do too. There are lasting effects that need to be considered and addressed. I’ve always been quite low in confidence though weight loss helped this immensely. I hated reading aloud in class at school. I struggled with the seminars and presentation work at university. Job interviews have always been difficult for me.

Body image

After university I applied for a job I was really interested in. During the interview/selection day they asked me to do a mini presentation. I panicked and burst into tears. I think some of my confidence difficulties were due to my body image. 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. 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 and motivation talks at Slimming World groups about my weight loss journey. Adapting what I say each time as I do it. This is far from the girl who couldn’t read in class without shaking during my GCSEs!  

A family smiling for the camera. Woman is wearing a bright pink dress

My son Ben

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 and disabilities and of course this impacts every aspect of my life. 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. He has an amazing sense of humour and mature outlook on some aspects of life!

My partner Stuart

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. 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!

My hobbies and Just Average Jen

I imagine many of you follow Just Average Jen due to my weight loss and love of cooking. However, 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. Usually, I am too busy to watch much television but when I do I am hopeless at remembering what I have watched. 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. I am sure I’m not alone in this! Also I find it frustrating that I used to struggle to buy clothes in shops when I was a size 28/30 as they didn’t often go that big. 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. Maybe I will in time now my confidence has improved! I most of all love spending time with those close to me or cooking. However I don’t really like spending time on my own.

I do hope this has given you all a bit more insight into my life as Just Average Jen with the blog but also as me. My hope is that my blog will continue to grow and that I can inspire others. I want people to see they can change their life. Once I thought I couldn’t, but I have, if I can do it you can too.

Any feedback on what you do or don’t like seeing on Just Average Jen or what you would like to see more of would be greatly appreciated. I want my blog to be a reflection of what I like to write but also what my readers want to read!

Help for your weight loss

If you are looking for help with your weight loss then a great place to start is my extensive weight loss and exercise tips and reviews directory here.

I have over 100 Slimming World friendly recipes here.

Read all about my weight loss and my story here.

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Free gifts for you

Are you struggling to exercise, lose weight or feel good about yourself? The free resources and support programmes I have to help you might be just what you need! Check them out by clicking the image below!

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