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Celebrating Truth: A Name Change + A Confession

Hey there. I want to get straight to it today. I have two things on my heart that I want to share with you.

First, I changed my name.

If you’re newer to the blog, I got married in my early 20s to my college sweetheart. We ultimately ended up going separate ways but I still hold a tremendous amount of respect for him and gratitude for the time that we spent together. He is a super great guy. I moved to Charlotte with him back in 2009 and and everyone in Charlotte and in the online/blog world has always known me by my married name.

When we divorced, I was dealing with so many emotions and had so much to figure out. Changing my name, given my profession and how I was known, seemed complex. I was also holding so much guilt and shame inside around being divorced at 30 and I didn’t want to talk about in online or feel like I had to explain it to anyone here in Charlotte.

Over the last couple of years, I have had a growing urge to change my name back to my maiden name. The best way for me to describe it is that every time I wrote my name or said it or heard someone else say it, it just didn’t feel true or right or authentic to me. After my brother’s death in September, my desire to change my name back became even stronger because I have come to this realization in my 30s that family is the most important thing.

My first inclination was to keep this private but I am done with the guilt and the shame of having a family member who struggled with mental illness/addiction and I am done with the guilt and shame of my divorce. My new way of being is to stand in my authenticity and truth. Like I’ve said to you many times, I think it’s the only way we can all connect and be real with each other.

Last Monday I went to the courthouse, completed the paperwork required and filed it with the clerk. It was extremely emotional but also extremely empowering.

You can now know me as Jennifer Marie Eddins. My middle name is from my grandmother (Anna Marie) and I’m so proud to call myself an Eddins again. And if you’re wondering how Tanner has felt about this, he’s been so supportive and encouraging. He wants me to have whatever name feels right to me.

I changed all of my social media handles to jen_pbrunner and you’ll notice my new (old) name in my blog header. I’m keeping a double name on Facebook and on our yoga schedule for the next month and then I’ll drop DeCurtins completely.

Big exhale here. It feels really good to get that out.

Stagioni Charlotte

Second, I quit my second Whole30 on day 27.

If I had to pick one word to describe January it would be WORK. Tanner and I barely came up for air the whole month as January was consuming and busy as business owners in the fitness industry in all the best ways. We started our February feeling a little exhausted and a little disconnected. We made plans to have our first date night of 2017 on Saturday night and went to our favorite restaurant, Stagioni.

I decided that my second Whole30 journey was complete. I value my relationship and quality time enjoying not just amazing food but deep conversation more than the ability to say that I made it to day 30. While I deeply respect the Whole30 and have been leading over 700 people on their Whole30 journeys, I know that this was right for me.

We shared an amazing charcuterie plate to start.

Stagioni Charlotte

Along with the fish special which was red snapper over beet risotto with arugula salad, roasted broccoli and beet chips.

Stagioni Charlotte

And the most amazing herb roasted potatoes and a bottle of wine.

More than anything, it’s my hope that this post creates the space for you to start to listen to the inner voice that guides you to do what’s right for you. To love yourself and not judge yourself. To break the rules sometimes. To celebrate your authenticity and your truth.

All of my love. Thank you for reading.

xo,
Jen

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Michelle February 6, 2017, 9:06 pm

    Jen,

    As always, you are amazing and inspiring. Much love to you. ❀

    Michelle

    • 2
      Sabrina February 9, 2017, 3:16 pm

      I agree 100% – much LOVE to you!!!

  • 3
    Nathalie Cone February 6, 2017, 9:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Sending lots of love to you and throughout the universe.

  • 4
    Nicki February 6, 2017, 9:23 pm

    What a way to celebrate and be your true self! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing

  • 5
    Tamara February 6, 2017, 9:28 pm

    LOVE THIS! 2017 is my year of living my truth as well finally – I so appreciate your realness. Very proud of you and thank you for sharing. True Self Love πŸ™‚

  • 6
    Trish February 6, 2017, 9:38 pm

    When I was 8 years old, in 1973, my older sister – she is 12 years older than me – developed schizophrenia. My lovely sister was no longer the same person. I NEVER told anyone about it. When I finally mentioned it to a coworker, in 1995, she told me that maybe I shouldn’t have kids.

    My sister’s life has been nothing short of tragic. And, even worse, another sister (there were 8 of us) took her life after a struggle with depression. I no longer shy away from telling people. Intelligent, informed people will not judge. The rest – I choose not to deal with.

    Very impressed with you for leaving the stigma behind, Why in the world should there be shame. It is an illness. If my sister had had MS, I could have told everyone, with no shame. But her illness is as physical as MS is. We must embrace science and its teachings.

    • 7
      Rebecca February 7, 2017, 10:13 am

      I’m so sorry for the loss of your sister. We lost my father-in-law to suicide a few years ago and it’s still very hard for my husband’s family to talk about it.

    • 8
      tara February 7, 2017, 1:06 pm

      i love your comment of “the rest i choose not to deal with.” the rest is not worth your time !

  • 9
    Michelle February 6, 2017, 9:40 pm

    So powerful and authentic. Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing! πŸ’—πŸΎ

  • 10
    Angela M February 6, 2017, 9:51 pm

    Hi Jenn, first, let me say how truly sorry I am that you lost your brother to this disease. I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year, however this is the first time I have commented on your posts (which I LOVE by the way, I’m a big fan). This is regarding the shame and guilt you referenced in this post, and several previous posts.

    I’m an alcoholic/addict. I’ve been sober for over three years after using for almost 15. My specific story doesn’t really matter, as it’s the same story of countless other people living with this terrible disease. Fortunately, I’m one of the lucky ones, however my life easily could have also been lost. I was so consumed with the guilt and shame that it almost killed me. Not talking about it. Not sharing how I was feeling, not asking for help, or communicating how powerless I was. That’s what almost killed me. The stigma of addiction is so heavy that we are losing countless lives because people are afraid to ask for help.

    Addiction is a disease. It’s not a matter of willpower, or meant only for “bad” people, both of which I believed about myself for so long. Alcohol, or drugs, literally changes the chemistry in the brain, as I’m sure you know. It’s physiological. The only difference is, with addiction, as opposed to cancer or diabetes, there’s no medication that will treat the alcoholic. It all starts in the mind.

    When I first go sober I felt so much shame that at times I couldn’t leave the house. However, one day, after much counseling, I realized that it was a disease. And this same shameful, embarrassed, and closed off attitude was going to cause me to relapse. So I let it go. I thought, how can I use my experience to help others? I now talk openly about my addiction and recovery. At first, it was very uncomfortable. Painful. But, just like running, the more I did it, the easier it became.

    This is a very long winded comment, I apologize. I simply wanted to let you know that you have a platform. And the more you share your story, however many details you wish, the more people will realize how common addiction is. How the stigma is not true, and no one should be ashamed because of this awful disease. This, of course, includes you and your family. And in turn, it may become cathartic to you. Anyway, thanks for letting me share and I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers. ‘One day at a time;)’ God bless, and good night.

  • 11
    Claire February 6, 2017, 9:52 pm

    I am so inspired and refreshed by your authenticity on a regular basis. I believe we get the most out of life when we live it for ourselves and stay true to your own needs, and you truly embody that so well. Thank you for sharing and spreading confidence into others to trust their heart.

  • 12
    Fran pitotti February 6, 2017, 10:08 pm

    some of my all time favorite women are Eddin’s women. Strong, independent, loving and full of life.

  • 13
    Katie February 6, 2017, 10:10 pm

    Such a beautiful post! You can almost feel the light coming off of it!

  • 14
    Carolyn Marie Eddins February 6, 2017, 10:18 pm

    Strength and wisdom come with time, now is your time. Love. Carolyn

  • 15
    Erin February 6, 2017, 10:18 pm

    Hi Jenβ€”I am so grateful for posts like these. A close friend lost her son to opiate addiction this year and while I know you generally write a “healthy living” blog, it is so meaningful to her, me, and others like us to see that drug addiction is not a moral failing/result of bad parenting, but a disease. Thank you.

  • 16
    Melissa H. February 7, 2017, 1:20 am

    This is my favorite post you’ve ever written and the first time I’ve felt called to comment. Thank you for you and your bravery. I’ve been a reader for years and treasure the growth and bravery you continue to show. I know it is not easy and admire you and your truths (both seen and unseen). Xo β™‘

  • 17
    Meg February 7, 2017, 2:21 am

    Congratulations on getting your name back! I also divorced my college sweetheart and struggled with shame about it. But now we are both happily married to other people, much happier than we could have been together. Thank you for your courage and openness. Also, good call prioritizing a date night, some much needed rest, and a bottle of wine. Sounds to me like a wise and balanced choice!

  • 18
    Mollie K February 7, 2017, 4:42 am

    As you open up more on this space and become more authentic and vulnerable I feel like I am connecting with you more and more and I want to thank you for that. When we speak our truth and vulnerabilities we realize we are not alone and that in itself combats the shame. I hope February is full of more rest and relaxation for you!

    PS. Those potatoes look AMAZING.

    xo

  • 19
    Meredith (The Cookie ChRUNicles) February 7, 2017, 5:32 am

    i totally understand! I haven’t changed my married name since my divorce mainly at this point for my son’s sake but over the last couple of years, I totally hear my last name and don’t really feel as though it’s mine anymore! maybe when my son is older, I will change mine back. (and I was going through my divorce by 30 too :))

  • 20
    alisha February 7, 2017, 5:52 am

    Jen, I have been a long time reader, but rarely post. I just wanted to thank you for this post. I have always loved how non-dogmatic you approach life: eating, whole30, yoga, running, food, etc. It is really inspiring to me who has suffered from always falling into rigidity and ignoring my inner voice. I am working on softening and surrendering my rigidity and addictions for a more peaceful life. I too have a lot of shame from addictions and also from a divorce. But, we are all fighting our own battles, which is why we should always treat everyone with kindness as we do not know what anyone is going through. I will say that changing my name back to my maiden name was so emotional, I was crying at the DMV, and the lady working was so nice and said it happens all the time, ha. Such an angel. As sad as I was to give up my married name (which just symbolized the loss of not only a name but a husband and entire family), going back to my maiden name, to my family that has supported me throughout everything just felt like coming home. I hope you feel the same. Again, thank you for sharing, always. And thank you for being an inspiration of following your intuition, instead of blindly following rigid rules. Much love.

  • 21
    Sherry February 7, 2017, 5:52 am

    You are ALWAYS incredibly inspiring. Thanks for saying words today I needed to hear: listen to the inner voice that guides you to do what’s right for you. To love yourself and not judge yourself. To break the rules sometimes. To celebrate your authenticity and your truth.
    Thanks for leading by example!

  • 22
    Julie Monahan February 7, 2017, 5:58 am

    You are a BEAUTIFUL SOUL. Welcome Home Jennifer Eddins! We’re SO HAPPY you are back.

  • 23
    Nathaly February 7, 2017, 6:36 am

    Hi Jen!! Congratulations on becoming Jennifer Marie Eddins:)

  • 24
    Amanda February 7, 2017, 6:58 am

    This is amazing and inspiring. I’m really glad that you are being true to yourself and trusting your gut. We could all do that a little more.

  • 25
    Jarrelle February 7, 2017, 7:02 am

    Great post!! You never know who else you are helping by being so transparent! Also, are you still in Charlotte?!!? I would love to meet up sometime!! Love connecting with other bloggers & runners!!!!

  • 26
    Joy February 7, 2017, 9:01 am

    This post really resonates with me because so far in 2017 I’ve been all about trying to listen to my intuition.

    Congratulation on your new (old) name. I love, love, love that you’re listening to what is right for you and going for it. I feel like that is how to truly make yourself happy in this world. Thank you for all that you share in this space, Jen.

  • 27
    Lauren February 7, 2017, 9:02 am

    Congratulations on the name change! I think life is a process of steps to find and maintain that feeling of self. Sounds like this one was a big step!

  • 28
    Mary February 7, 2017, 9:20 am

    Thanks so much for sharing! Your commitment to authenticity is inspiring. β€οΈοΈπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘

  • 29
    Amanda February 7, 2017, 9:39 am

    Wow Jen! Thanks so much for sharing this amazing post. You are one amazing woman.

  • 30
    Sarah February 7, 2017, 11:06 am

    Congratulations on doing what’s best for YOU and what your heart truly desires. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to change your name but I wholeheartedly believe that if we have the slightest desire, it’s smart to listen to that intuition. I give you credit for doing 27 days of Whole 30 – it sounds like you got what you needed from it!

  • 31
    ACKTIVE LIFE February 7, 2017, 11:38 am

    Those last few words of this post totally resonated with me and thank you for the reminder and for sharing them! XOXO

  • 32
    Nicole Haber February 7, 2017, 11:39 am

    sounds like this was the right move for you. congrats on doing something hard and coming up on the other side.

  • 33
    tara February 7, 2017, 1:17 pm

    what a wonderful post ! i have personally never understood how people can change their name from what they were born with. For me i never ever considered it since to me my name was just me and some other name would be not me i guess ? i do not have a common name and my dad has had some problems in the past and i think some think it odd i wouldn’t want to separate from “his” name and that stigma of what people in the community thought, but i never thought of it like that….this name is mine not his! To each his own of course, i’m not judging. just sharing my truth. maybe to some it has less importance. i can totally see how you felt that someone calling you by another name eventually felt a bit off or like they were talking of someone else.
    and there is no shame in divorce…what is the alternative ? to be miserable for the next 70 years cuz you made a mistake in your 20s ? no thank you ! and…for me sticking to whole 30 for the entire 30 days would probably be harder than marriage ! i love me some cheese and wine ! so happy for you to be in a good place !

  • 34
    Laura February 7, 2017, 2:01 pm

    You are so strong and inspiring! I’m sure it feels liberating taking your name back! I am not sure if this is too personal, but will you take Tanner’s name? …and on that front, when do y’all plan to get married? or are you just totally fine with being engaged? I would love to hear about wedding planning! πŸ™‚

  • 35
    Julia February 7, 2017, 2:06 pm

    You do you, Jen! Proud of you for following your heart and not letting shame stand in the way of your stories <3

  • 36
    Lee February 7, 2017, 2:27 pm

    Jen,
    Thank you for this post. And as you know too well–life is short! A glass of wine and a potato on day 27 —

    I joke about my Whole 30 being a
    Whole 14 (friend’s major birthday–wine) + 2 (dinner with old friends–wine again!) + 5 (another dinner–and more wine!) + 8. That’s close enough for me!
    (And yes, I do notice what it is I miss most…)

  • 37
    Erika February 7, 2017, 11:12 pm

    You doin you!! πŸ™‚

  • 38
    Janice February 8, 2017, 3:39 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I too was divorced in 2009. I held onto his name because I was too embarrassed to have to change it at work. It was as if I didn’t change my name then no one would know. But I knew everyone knew. I had to start an entirely new Facebook page because the one with my married name kept asking me to be friends with his family. I moved to another state and finally feel healed from it and I have toyed with the possibility of changing my name back but thought was is the point. Every once and a while the name change idea pops in my head. After reading this it brings me strength and courage to do it. Thank you so much!

  • 39
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen February 9, 2017, 2:26 pm

    Thank you for your transparency, Jen! I know that is not the easiest thing but we love you for who you are and for sharing the true you with us πŸ™‚

  • 40
    Laura February 9, 2017, 2:56 pm

    Congrats on having the strength to follow your inner voice! I could sense the relief you must feel (both in having gone through with the name change AND opening up about it) coming through your words. Last year I made the decision to follow my inner voice as well, and this is the year that decision comes to fruition. It’s been hard to not judge myself for “breaking the rules,” but it’s getting easier. Thanks for the (as always) timely post!

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