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The Story Of A Year

Blogging is a tricky thing with a lot of blurred lines on how much is too much information to share. I started blogging almost five years ago on my (now neglected) recipe blog Bakin’ and Eggs. Although I did include some personal stories in that blog, the main focus of my posts was to share recipes. I never even considered the ramifications of sharing personal information on the internet because I really only posted about food and recipes and not so much about my day-to-day life. Also, my readership was relatively small and consisted mostly of family, friends, co-workers and friends of friends.

And then I started Peanut Butter Runner over two years ago atย the urging of my friends and Bakin’ and Eggs readersย to share how it is possible to make delicious home-cooked meals, bake frequently AND stay healthy. My interests in all things food, eating, cooking and baking as well being a fitness professional made a so-called “healthy living blog” a great choice for me. Peanut Butter Runner started small but after a few months (and after running the Marine Corps Marathon) the traffic quickly started to bypass Bakin’ and Eggs. Before I knew it, I was receiving thousands of page views each day and connecting with readers across the country and around the world. It was incredible and I felt so lucky to have a blog that allowed me to write about my passion for food and fitness while also including a look at my day-to-day life.

That was all fine and great until one year ago when my life completely changed. I quit my job. I switched career fields. I became my own boss. Initially I felt on top of the world but then found myself completely overwhelmed. I made so many life-changing decisions over the course of a year that I kind of lost perspective on what was reality. I was working most of the hours of the day. There were days that I would teach 5-6 classes, train clients and work on my blog. I was exhausted but so happy because I was doing what I dreamed of doing for so long. I considered it a price that I had to pay to be successful in this field and hoped the hours wouldn’t last forever…although it really never really felt like work. I loved every class and every client that I had the opportunity to teach/train.

It was amazing to have this blog as an outlet for sharing what happens when you set out a plan for yourself and change your life. I have received countless e-mails about how to change careers, how to break into the fitness industry, becoming a yoga teacher, getting into personal training, etc. I also received criticism for being so busy and working so hard. Without the time I committed to making this happen, it simply would not have. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to work like that but I am incredibly career-driven. I saw change happening and wanted to be successful.ย I honestly still can’t believe that I pulled it all off.


It wasn’t all a pretty picture though. In the height of the transition and crazy hours I withdrew from people that I cared about. I distanced my friends, parents, my grandmother and Brandon. I kind of became a machine that emotionlessly functioned at a high-level. And as a result of that some of my relationships began to unravel. Including my relationship with Brandon. I won’t get into the details about it but we remain close. He is my best friend and the person who knows me best. We support each other and wish each other nothing but happiness. Out of respect for him and our families that is all that I am comfortable sharing.

This is why I ultimately ended up accepting a full-time job managing Metro Fitness Club and Metro CrossFit. The promise of stability and a more set schedule was exactly what I needed. I feel so happy and grounded here. I cannot imagine a more perfect job for me in Charlotte.


Back to the opening sentence of this blog. The blurred line of how much information to share. I am fiercely private and as I was going through this emotionally tumultuous time (that I continue to struggle through every day), the last thing I wanted to do was share it publicly. And not only on the blog, I just didn’t want to talk about it at all. I have students, clients, staff, family and friends that read my blog and it didn’t feel right to write about intimately personal details about my life here. I’m not going to talk about what it feels like to cry on the kitchen floor. Or how to get through teaching a yoga class when you feel like you’re dying on the inside. Or how to digest food when your stomach is in knots. Or hitting bottom and finally allowing friends to support you.

Daily I stop and ask myself, “Is this my real life?” It’s beautiful. It’s painful. It’s paradoxical. Full of all my wildest dreams and worst nightmares that have come true all at the same time. What I want most is for things to be normal again. Whatever that new normal is, I just need to feel it. I want to smile every day without that ball of anxiety in the back of my mind. I want to let go and feel good.

{ 120 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Lee October 1, 2012, 5:12 pm

    You are a brave, strong, inspirational, human woman! Whatever you are going through, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, you have people that care about you. Hang in there and know that you are not alone.

  • 2
    Mary-Heather October 1, 2012, 5:13 pm

    Aw, Jen, I have read your blog for a long time, and I think you have always struck a great balance between what to post publicly, and what to keep private. I’m sorry that you have had such rough things in with all the good of your year – life is just that way, isn’t it? This post must have taken a lot of courage to write, and I applaud you for it. I also applaud you for all the posts and details you *don’t* write. Everything you keep private is important, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ (But it’s good that you have friends to help support you in real life… not to mention Sullie! I know dogs can be the best companions on down days.)

    Hugs hugs hugs.

  • 3
    Kalyn October 1, 2012, 5:14 pm

    This is simply beautiful.

  • 4
    Kelly October 1, 2012, 5:16 pm

    What a beautiful post!!

  • 5
    J October 1, 2012, 5:17 pm

    You are an inspiration. Every one of us is a work in progress, constantly evolving and adapting. Thinking of you & thanks so much for sharing. xox

  • 6
    Agata October 1, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I am so career-driven I am sometimes getting scared…

  • 7
    Sara October 1, 2012, 5:22 pm

    Sending nothing but positive thoughts and strength (although you seem to own the very concept of strength, I am so impressed by your simultaneous grace and ‘fight’ ). We all stand behind you in your journey and have no doubt despite the difficulties you will find exactly the place(s) you are meant to be physically and metaphorically and come out on top.

  • 8
    Kimberly @ Healthy Strides October 1, 2012, 5:25 pm

    In a way I’m glad you posted this but, in the same vain, I hate that you had to. You are an incredible woman, a source of inspiration to me, and I am not surprised that you handled this with such grace and poise. I hope that you continue to grow and flourish in the coming year.

  • 9
    Amy October 1, 2012, 5:27 pm

    I don’t know what to say but wanted you to know there are people thinking of you.

  • 10
    Laura @ LauraLikesDesign October 1, 2012, 5:39 pm

    You are such an amazing young woman and have accomplished so much. You have a beautiful heart and such a driven spirit. Thank you for your honesty–you are truly an inspiration!

  • 11
    Lauren October 1, 2012, 5:50 pm

    I’ve been a loyal reader since the very beginning of this blog, but I hardly ever comment. This post is too brave for me to not click over from my reader and say something! Whenever I am feeling this way, I remember this:

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    -Mary Oliver

    Everything will be okay!

  • 12
    Donna October 1, 2012, 5:50 pm

    You are such an inspiration to me, on a daily basis! You are an amazing, strong woman and I only wish to have your character, bravery and strength – I truly look up to you! I hope you know how wonderful you are, and that you’re not alone in all this. Knowing you, you’ll come out the other side smiling ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 13
    Dory October 1, 2012, 6:01 pm


    Sending you love. I have been reading your blog for a long time and although I know you strive to hold it in I've seen that you've been in pain over the last year. I wish nothing but the best for you. I hope now that you are working a more stable job you'll be able to spend time on the things you have been missing, whatever it may be. I've noticed in the last month or two you've been going out with friends more and it makes me smile every time I see it.

  • 14
    Alexis October 1, 2012, 6:09 pm

    You don’t “owe it” to any of your readers to share the details of what you’re going through. It’s your personal life and your business. It’s so frustrating that people have hinted at it or tried to pull out the info from you (I’ve seen it a lot in comments), simply because they’re nosy and curious. I come to your blog because I am inspired by your healthy eats, workouts, and attitude toward adversity. While not the same thing you’re going through, I am going through a very rough year as well and have found your perseverance through the adversity of this year to be inspirational, and feel encouraged to take the same attitude. So thank you for that! And I’m hoping you get to your new normal as well:)

  • 15
    gm @ GMRuns October 1, 2012, 6:15 pm

    I have chills and I don’t know what to say. It seems like this is a post you needed to write. I hope this is the beginning of healing, for whatever reason, for you. It will be ok. Just know there are a lot of people thinking about you. You are one courageous women.

  • 16
    Courtney D, October 1, 2012, 6:40 pm

    I will tell you what I told my best friend when she went through a divorce. Things will get back to normal, but it will take time. Just take it one day at a time.

  • 17
    Miriam@Bellaspire October 1, 2012, 6:42 pm

    Love you Jen <3

  • 18
    Trish October 1, 2012, 6:44 pm

    It is interesting to on the one hand share so much with people (like what you eat on a daily basis) but then have something happen that you would prefer not to share. It’s kind of like being a celebrity – we as your readers feel like we know you, but really we don’t, and aren’t entitled to know ALL about what goes on in your life. But we do come to care about what goes on with you. A blog I followed suddenly ceased publishing earlier this year. I am left wondering what happened? Did the couple get a divorce over the huge kitchen reno? Has someone lost their job, or gotten sick? I will likely never know. But I want to say, I do appreciate what you share with us. I enjoy your blog SO much.

  • 19
    Ann October 1, 2012, 6:44 pm

    Oh my goodness, I have a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye after reading this. How very brave of you to share this emotional stuff with your readers. You know we are all here for you, albeit in cyberspace. I am sorry that I don’t usually post, but I am here nearly every day getting my little dose of inspiration from you. My very best wishes to you as you continue on your journey of self discovery.

    ((( Hugs )))

  • 20
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad October 1, 2012, 6:49 pm

    Hang in there Jen. It must have been hard to write this post.

    Give Sullie extra hugs and snuggles – it makes everything better ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 21
    Kasey @ realfoodroots October 1, 2012, 6:49 pm

    I’m glad you shared this. It’s really hard to find balance among all the thing you want to do in life. I feel like I’m having some of the same struggles. Know that you are not alone! You are a strong, brave woman, and things will get better with time. Sending positive thoughts your way ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 22
    Nicole October 1, 2012, 7:03 pm

    You will find your new normal it just takes time…and it will be as beautiful as you are. Reading your blog gave me the courage to start practicing yoga which has changed my life in so many ways. Thank you for being such an inspiration! xo

  • 23
    Drea October 1, 2012, 7:05 pm

    This is a fantastic, open post. You have to know your life’s decisions are not only driven by you. A higher power has you in His hands and will never give you more than you can handle. He will lead you to where, who and what you will ultimately become and we all can connect with you by your sharing. I know it is a challenge and brings conflict and sadness and joy…but everything does even itself out and the world is everyone’s oyster..you included. Congrats for opening up and the absolute best is only wished upon you. Deepest thanks for sharing.

  • 24
    Courtney G. October 1, 2012, 7:05 pm

    You are so brave to share this post. As much as I consider myself a loyal reader, you dont owe it to anyone to explain your personal life on your blog. I am sorry this year has been so challenging but full of so many successes. *HUGS* to you Jen.

  • 25
    lauren October 1, 2012, 7:09 pm

    prayers for you & thank you for opening up.

  • 26
    Amy October 1, 2012, 7:31 pm

    One day at a time, Jen, and then one day your new normal will just be … normal.

    The grief picture is so true. But you do keep moving forward, step by step.

  • 27
    Lee October 1, 2012, 7:35 pm

    Hang in there! I wish i had something helpful and insightful to write, but I don’t. Thinking of you and I am sure that you will feel normal again.

  • 28
    Kelly October 1, 2012, 7:36 pm

    Thank you for opening up, and being vulnerable- it is beautiful. If you have time, I think you would appreciate Brene Browns “The power for vulnerability”


  • 29
    MaxsMom October 1, 2012, 7:52 pm

    De-lurking to say that this post is beautifully written, though I know it must have been hard to write. Sending good vibes your way, and thanks for writing your blog – you are an inspiration.

  • 30
    Sarah October 1, 2012, 7:53 pm

    What a year you’ve had! Thank you for sharing (you certainly didn’t ‘owe’ it to anyone)…thinking of you and sending hugs your way.

  • 31
    alexandra October 1, 2012, 7:56 pm

    I stumbled across your blog while also training for the MCM 2010 and since then I’ve come to your site as a source of positive energy and daily inspiration. I really admire how strong of a woman you are and your upbeat attitude, even in tough times. Thank you for continuing to “be real” with your readers, we appreciate it!
    Take care!

  • 32
    Courtney October 1, 2012, 8:01 pm

    You are an amazing person! Thanks for sharing- I hope that helps you through this season of life. I’ll be praying for you!

  • 33
    Steph October 1, 2012, 8:11 pm

    you are beautiful and such an inspiration. thank you for showing every day that it’s ok to be s strong, independent woman.

  • 34
    kat October 1, 2012, 8:31 pm

    Beautifully written, Jen. Like another commenter above, I have been aware of some of your pain over this last year or so. I have lots of respect for you and the way you have just handled it here. Acknowledging the struggle is a major step in that direction, and while you certainly didn’t owe your readers an explanation, I appreciate knowing where you are, because I care about you (and Brandon). Like your grief map above, it may not be a quick, direct route, but you will circumnavigate to the end. Whatever your new “normal” is, you will get there. Hang in there, and let me know if you need anything.

  • 35
    Faith October 1, 2012, 8:32 pm

    Also de-lurking to say that I am glad that you opened up. It must be hard to decide when and how and if to share things. Only you can make that decision but I am glad that you shared it with us. What an amazing journey you have been on – you are learning a lot, no doubt. I think we can all relate to that. I am sorry that you are dealing with pain but so glad that you have also found blessings…. I needed that right now – I feel like life is trying to teach me something and I just need to be open to it. Thank you for for sharing that, I really needed to hear that right now. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 36
    B October 1, 2012, 8:35 pm

    Jen – I have been a reader of your blog for a couple of years and have never commented until now. I just couldn’t let this post go without saying something – I wanted you to know how much I admire you and am inspired by you. It sounds silly, but I can really tell you have such a big heart and beautiful soul via your blog! And I too have seen too many comments jabbing at you to open up about this – but I knew you would post about it when you were ready. It has been so awesome to watch your career transformation over the past year.. Anyways, I just wanted you to know that I think you are awesome. I will keep you in my heart and pray that God guides you to happiness and peace. Life can be so difficult, yet so beautiful all at the same time! I wish you nothing but the best, Jen!!

  • 37
    Ashley October 1, 2012, 8:37 pm

    Thanks for being so real and such an inspiration. I’m a longtime reader and wish you nothing but the best. Keep on staying strong and know that we are all here for you. And also, congratulations on your successful career change. You did it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 38
    Kamaile October 1, 2012, 8:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing your life. I love your blog and glad you have family & friends to support you. if we were friends IRL i would give you a big hug.

  • 39
    Allyson October 1, 2012, 8:52 pm

    I started reading your blog a few months ago and although I do not know you personally, I feel the need to tell you what an impact you have already made in my life. You are truly an inspirational woman and I strive to be like you now each and every day. Sending you thoughts and prayers!

  • 40
    Courtney October 1, 2012, 8:54 pm

    I hope you are able to heal and recover from your grief soon. I just want to let you know what an inspiration you have been to me (and obviously so many other people). You inspired me to start going to yoga regularly, which has helped me tremendously through a tough year. I also just had a conversation about grief today that this picture illustrates perfectly. Thanks for being willing to put yourself out there.

  • 41
    Brenna October 1, 2012, 9:00 pm

    What an amazing, gutsy post…I’ve never commented before but I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for continuously inspiring me and letting all of us into your life.

  • 42
    Laura October 1, 2012, 9:04 pm

    I wish I could send you a hug through this comment! I’ve been reading your blog for so long and followed Bakin’ and Eggs for recipes before that. You’re an incredibly strong woman but that doesn’t mean there won’t be times that are a struggle. This post is honest and sad/beautiful at the same time. I hope that you are able to find comfort in a new normal soon. Each in our own way, I think that’s what most people are searching for defining. You seem to honor a balance between personal and private postings about your life, and I encourage you to continue doing what feels right for you.

  • 43
    C October 1, 2012, 9:08 pm

    Time will bring the emotional changes you want and need right now. I wish I didn’t know so confidently how heartache and deep sadness feels but I have learned that above everything…. have faith that you WILL be happy again, you WILL laugh again, and you WILL one day look back and understand that “some great things fall apart so better things can fall together.” I applaud your vulnerability and openness and hope you know that by sharing something so difficult, you tell others that its ok to feel the same and thats very selfless and amazing. Prayers and love to you! xo

  • 44
    pamela October 1, 2012, 9:12 pm

    Oh Jen. You and your blog are so beautiful. This is an amazing post. You describe what so many of us are dealing with right now. Grief is such a spiral and we need to keep revisiting the SAME issues again and again at different stages of our life in order to truly heal. How hard is that???

    I forget who said that life is about constantly dying to the way you wanted things to be. I live this every day, especially now as I am approaching my 40th birthday and am not doing anything remotely close to what I thought I would be doing. And yet, I am doing what I love – teaching yoga to Marines and their families, staying home with my 2 little boys, married to a wonderful man who also happens to be a soldier. Life is just nuts.

    Oh, thank you for the post on Erin and her jewelry. I ordered an amazing necklace from her:)

  • 45
    Amanda October 1, 2012, 9:13 pm

    This post must have taken a lot of guts to write, and I’m glad you did. You’re an inspiration, and I hope you never forget that. =)

  • 46
    Whitney @LiveRunLoveYoga October 1, 2012, 9:13 pm

    What a beautiful post, you teach so many lessons to others through this experience. Thank you for opening up and sharing. Send love and light your way!

  • 47
    Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More October 1, 2012, 9:17 pm

    I am going through something very similar myself. It does get easier. I hope you find the balance you are looking for and deserve.

  • 48
    Julie October 1, 2012, 9:21 pm

    Thinking of you Jen, the way you were able to share your feelings into such well written words was truly amazing and something I could never do. You are amazing, and have so much going for you including an incredibly cute Sullie and a blog that is an inspiration on so many people.

    Things take time to work thenselves out, and they will, I promise. From someone who has spent many hours crying on the kitchen (bathroom, hallway, bedroom….) floor I know that things will never go back to “normal” but you will slowly figure out what a new normal is and accept that. Some days it’s easier to accept than others, just like your grief picture shows, but you will.

  • 49
    Brooke @ sweats & sweets October 1, 2012, 9:23 pm

    You are strong and beautiful. I know how hard this must of been to write, but I believe you did the right thing for you. You have so many readers who love you and we are all here to support you! Stay strong and you can only get stronger every day!

  • 50
    Sarah N October 1, 2012, 9:28 pm

    I don’t comment often, but I just wanted to tell you that this was a hard post for me to read because I know how hard it must have been for you to write it. I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through over the past year and I hope things start looking up for you! You have an amazing spirit and are such an inspiration to me as well as countless others. Your blog post is always one of the highlights of my day. =)

    Stay strong and know that there are so many people who care about and think of you!

  • 51
    Rachel @ For the Love of Chocolate October 1, 2012, 9:40 pm

    Jen, this was a beautifully written post and I am sure it was extremely difficult for you to share such personal information with your blog readers. I love your blog, visit it every day, and want you to know that you are an amazing inspiration in my life in regards to fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. It is hard to hear you are going through a difficult time, but I am sure you will make it through with your head held high. Remember, that your readers support you no matter what. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 52
    Sandra October 1, 2012, 9:43 pm

    Thank you so much for this story. I can relate in so many ways. I have been separated from my partner of 7 years for one year as of August 2012 and I can honestly say that it was one of the most heartbreaking, difficult, world shattering, amazing, life altering, opportunities for growth and positive change in my life. I really struggled with telling people at first because I felt like it was a personal failure and I was sort of ashamed in some bizarre way. I think it only made things more difficult because everyone kept asking when we were going to get married and I always had to deflect their questions. While I am in no way ready to move on to another romantic relationship, I am in such a better place overall – new job, new commitment to fitness and health, renewed faith that things happen for a reason as painful as they may seem at the time.

    Hearing your story and seeing how you’ve come through such a difficult time with such grace and dignity gives me the strength to persevere and carry on in my own life. I think there is only so much in life that we have control over and the rest is up to a higher power. I wish you all the best always.

  • 53
    Sarah October 1, 2012, 9:47 pm

    Delurking just to leave you some major love.

  • 54
    Amber October 1, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Thank you for your honesty and bravery. I truly admire the courage it takes to DO life and share it with others. I can relate in that I understand the realness and the imperfection of life. Thank you for sharing!

  • 55
    Emily October 1, 2012, 10:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I’m sure everyone can relate in some way and we are all rooting for you!

  • 56
    Josie October 1, 2012, 10:05 pm

    <3 <3 <3

  • 57
    Jen October 1, 2012, 10:08 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. You are inspirational beyond words…

  • 58
    Nancy October 1, 2012, 10:30 pm

    I know this was hard to write, but it was beautifully written. Much love to you.

  • 59
    Elena October 1, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Thanks so much for this post. You always have such a strength that shows through… physically and emotionally. And what strength it is to be honest with yourself and the feelings you are having. It is so powerful to honor them… Honor their existence, whether we like them or not. Welcome them… and figure out how to handle them. Thanks for being such an inspiration to so many of your readers!

  • 60
    meghan@strugglemuffins October 1, 2012, 10:58 pm

    This is a beautiful post – I can totally relate to the struggle to find balance between public and private, vulnerability and control. I think as scary as it is, what you did was awesome because its inspiring to others, myself included. Keep on doing your thing, you’re awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 61
    Katy October 1, 2012, 11:01 pm

    This too shall pass. It’s what my mom always says to me when I’m losing it. It’s comforting to know that the stress and pain can’t last forever — that’s impossible!! Remember that there is someone who has a plan and is watching out for you. Trust me, He has it all under control even when you think He doesn’t. You are so strong and have grown so much this past year — try not to let the confusion and frustration distort that.

    Your blog is an inspiration to me and so many others. When in doubt, let yourself have a good cry and then go for a walk with Sullie. Thinking of you and sending you love xoxo

  • 62
    lyss October 1, 2012, 11:09 pm

    though i have never commented before, i read your blog often and, like others, i felt compelled to leave you a note after reading this truly heartfelt post. as i read this, i was reminded of something one of my teachers tells us often during class: in life, as in yoga, we strive for balance by looking forward and up. best of luck on this quest. stay strong!

  • 63
    Nicole October 1, 2012, 11:20 pm

    I love posts like these that are real and genuine. I know you are struggling and I know it’s hard to open up, so I commend your bravery. And I hope you can accept the outpouring of love in these comments–it shows that people really do care.

  • 64
    Katie October 1, 2012, 11:42 pm

    It’s hard to find a new normal, but it comes with time. You have opened up enough to show us that you are a strong woman, someone that a college student like me can look up to. I admire you for all of your courage- the courage you had to do what you loved because it was right for you. Reading your blog and watching you navigate your path inspires me each time I read. Know that though you are going through difficult changes, it all works out in the end. One way or another. Stay positive.

  • 65
    Susan October 1, 2012, 11:50 pm

    That was a very sweet post. Thanks for being so open. I want to share with you what my very wise father-in-law once told me when I was first married to his son. He told me that normal was just a setting on the washing machine. Nothing else is normal! I’ve been marrried to his son for 35 years now and I truly believe that nothing is normal and to appreciate every day. You hang in there and continue to be true to yourself.

  • 66
    Michelle October 2, 2012, 12:00 am

    Delurking also and sending you love, Jen! Just recently started following your blog, and as a runner I appreciate the workout diversity and great food you’ve shown me! Thank you for sharing your life and being an inspiration to me and many others! I wish you the best!

  • 67
    Lisa October 2, 2012, 12:07 am

    Thanks for this truly honest post Jen. I can’t imagine how difficult this was to write, but just know so many people out there support you. You are very strong and driven and you can definitely sense that through your blog. I had no idea you were going through tough times. Your blog is a very inspirational one out there, because you show what true health is like, not going to extremes with exercise and food and that’s a thing all women/men should look up to. Stay strong through this!

  • 68
    Amy October 2, 2012, 12:38 am

    Jen- I’m a long time reader who truly appreciates what you write, Thank you for your honesty, and I wish you nothing but happiness…

  • 69
    Vani October 2, 2012, 1:06 am

    This is one of the most powerful blog posts I’ve ever read. My heart, hugs and kisses go out to you Jen.

  • 70
    Cath October 2, 2012, 1:15 am

    Aw Jen.. you’re amazing. I wish you so much happiness.

  • 71
    Isabelle October 2, 2012, 1:36 am

    This is such a beautifully brave post. Social media and online sites can so often become a “life highlight reel.” I love your genuine voice and openness. You don’t owe your audience anything at all, but your honesty encourages us all to be a little bit open and communicate things happening in our own lives – whether with thousands of supportive cyberspace friends, or our closest loved one. Thank you. Sending you positive energy and universal love!

  • 72
    Sig October 2, 2012, 4:40 am

    *lots of hugs*

    I’ve been a long time reader but never really commented and this post just made me want to reach out and give you a big hug. Life sometimes takes us in directions we never dreamed of, and over the last year you have been the constant inspiration for so many people for healthy living. I’m hoping you find your new ‘normal’ and know that you have readers that care and wish you well.

  • 73
    Tara Deal October 2, 2012, 5:01 am

    Things wil get better, you will find your new “normal”, but I struggle with similar issues myself! You are not along, you are an amazing person, just keep looking toward the bright side ๐Ÿ™‚ You are doing great!

  • 74
    Amy October 2, 2012, 6:38 am

    Thanks for sharing. You are truly an inspiration and I love reading your blog. You’ll get to your new normal…hang in there.

  • 75
    Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) October 2, 2012, 6:40 am

    Your ability to put what you’ve been going through into words is amazing. You are so strong for opening up and admirable for doing so in an honest, real, yet respectful way. Sending huge hugs your way and rooting for you… even more than I’m rooting for UGA to beat SC this weekend, and let me tell you, that’s a lot ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • 76
    Amelia October 2, 2012, 6:49 am

    Wow, thank you for sharing what you just did. I know it was probably extremely hard. There are so many things that I can’t even let escape my lips, let alone fee comfortable enough to share on the internet. Sometimes I feel like I want an online dairy/blog of sorts that does not link to my identity whatsoever, just to unload.

    I find you very motivating, inspiring, and a very talented individual. Thank you for all of the dedication to your work and this blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 77
    Pam October 2, 2012, 7:50 am

    Heart wide open
    Spilling forth pain
    Healing has begun
    Swim in the peace and joy of this breath

  • 78
    Holly October 2, 2012, 8:07 am

    I feel like everything has been already said here in the comments.

    Wishing you happiness Jen. Thank you for sharing.

  • 79
    Lindsey @ Cardio Pizza October 2, 2012, 8:52 am

    My year has been similar to yours so I really feel what you are saying and feeling. I took a dream job, that gave me more stability and structure (I am also an athletic director for a fitness club), yet my long term relationship was something I let go to the side and have since been dealing with the aftermath of making such decisions. I know in my heart things happen for a reason and I made choices that have lead me on this path, but it’s very hard. I am elated at one moment with the newness of my life, then completely filled with despair at another. It’s been a crazy year, filled with so many feelings, yet I know that I am where I am supposed to be. Hang in there, you are not alone. I repeat this to myself often that “sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same”. I made one of the most difficult decisions, yet I know that it was right for me at this point in time.

  • 80
    Tracy October 2, 2012, 8:56 am

    *Tears in eyes* Jen, this is so beautifully written and such a big thing for you to share. You truly are an inspiring individual to so many, and I hope in all of this you continue to stay true to who you are and enjoy what you love about life. From each and every event (good or bad) that unfolds in life, one can always look back on it with meaning and taking something away from it…it’s what makes us who we are.
    Sending you hugs and prayers for “anxiety free” smiles filled with happiness! Take Care.

  • 81
    Nicole October 2, 2012, 9:27 am

    Jen, I just wanted to say I’m thinking of you. I can’t imagine how difficult this is. I’ve also had a very difficult year, and during this time, I have just reminded myself to breathe through it, and experience it, and this too, shall pass. Big hugs to you, sweet girl.

  • 82
    erin October 2, 2012, 9:30 am

    I have been reading your blog from the beginning and, as you know through email, you have inspired me in many ways. I am forever grateful to you for that. You certainly didn’t owe anyone an explanation of what’s been going on in your personal life, but I hope you are able to soak in the love and support from your readers’ comments. You are braver and stronger than you know, Jen.

    “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” -Kahlil Gibran

  • 83
    Tracy October 2, 2012, 10:18 am

    I have to admit that after reading your blog for the past few months I noticed changes in your lifestyle without them being said… I appreciate you opening up and sharing this difficult time with your readers. I often tell myself to not let life get away from you… I went through a very tough time earlier this year and months later I’m still moving past it. It will change you, it will make you stronger, and in the end happier. Although you may not see it now, these things happen for a reason. I wish you all the happiness and laughter… You are a strong woman and you will get through this.

  • 84
    Kelly @foodiefresh October 2, 2012, 10:19 am

    I know this was difficult for you to write and my heart goes out to you. If you ever need anything, I’m always here for a chat and/or a run. I struggle with knowing how much to share sometimes too because the things I write affect more than just myself. Here’s to finding normalcy and happiness again. I’m thinking of you.

  • 85
    Brooke P October 2, 2012, 10:27 am

    God has a plan for you and all of these twists and changes are part of it. Stay strong and always remember his plan for you is WAY more amazing than anything you could imagine for yourself. prayin for you!

  • 86
    Kim Hoffman October 2, 2012, 10:40 am

    It had to have been beyond difficult to write this post, and I agree with so many of the comments above that you don’t owe anyone any explanations. I come here for the healthy living tips and recipes and sometimes as a bonus, get that push of inspiration I need. Sending warm wishes and thoughts your way.

  • 87
    Nicole M. October 2, 2012, 10:52 am

    I suspected something was going on but I figured you wanted to keep it personal. I’m sure some people don’t have the same respect for your privacy but I don’t think any blogger can possibly put their whole lives out there. Even though we know more about you than a passing stranger, we can never fully understand what each other’s lives are like. I do hope you are alright, though. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you and I wish you the best.

  • 88
    Christine October 2, 2012, 11:26 am

    This post was beautiful, heartbreaking, and relatable and I’m sure your readers appreciate you sharing it, but please don’t feel like you owe us anything. I have loved visiting your blog over the past couple years and find your strength so inspiring.

  • 89
    Lisa October 2, 2012, 11:58 am

    This was a beautifully reflective yet heart-wrenching post. It must have taken a lot of courage to share this part of your life, and I continue to be inspired by your strength and focus every day. I hope you find solace in your new endeavors.

  • 90
    Joy October 2, 2012, 12:16 pm

    Thank you for posting something so very personal. I’m sorry you’re going through such difficult times but I do hope it helps even a little bit to know that so many people are thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts.

    I love reading your blog and am just in awe that you were able to blog while going through tough times. You are a source of inspiration for me!

  • 91
    Sarah October 2, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Jen, I know this must have been hard for you to write, but you did it well. Sending you nothing but love. And as your blog is pretty much the only one I keep up with nowadays, I feel like I can say that it’s none of my business what is happening in your personal life, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to share it. That being said, this was a beautifully honest post and I appreciate you sharing it. Hope venting a bit at least gave you some relief.

  • 92
    Blaire @ Just Been Running October 2, 2012, 12:52 pm

    Hey Jen,

    I found your blog almost a year ago and I’ve been hooked every since. You write beautifully and I love reading about your day to day here in Charlotte because I am here too and know most of the places you are talking about. I think I took one of your classes at Y2 a while back and I work next door to you (in the Tranquil Court condos) so I feel like I can relate to your blog a lot.

    This was an amazing post and I’m sure it took so much courage to write. You are an inspiration to so many people, and you truly made the saying “dreams come true” happen. Cheesy I know, but you deserve the best and just know that there are so many people thinking about you and sending you great thoughts! Good luck in everything you do.

  • 93
    Kristin October 2, 2012, 1:14 pm

    Jen, your blog has become one of my favorites. I’m not sure how I initially stumbled upon it, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve been a loyal reader for over a year and love coming to your site for daily inspiration. This was such a beautiful post.

    PS-I have your salsa chicken in the crockpot as we speak!! It’s one of my family’s favorites.

  • 94
    Courtney October 2, 2012, 2:08 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year, and after reading this post, I felt the kind of sadness I feel when one of my closest friends or family members is struggling. Your blog has meant so much to me, and has blessed my life in so many ways. You are an inspiration. God has some crazy plans for our lives and in my short 22 years of life, I’ve learned that His plans are always right. They may not feel right in the moment, and I sometimes feel like I am walking around blindly, but I know He is always directing my path and leading me in the right direction. Trust in Him and rest in His love.

    Don’t lose that light that shines so brightly from within you. You are a true beauty.

  • 95
    Erin October 2, 2012, 2:41 pm

    Jen – I am a fairly new reader to your blog (probably since the holidays) and I have never commented, but could not resist after reading the above. I come here almost every day, and have picked-up on your inward struggle – I cannot imagine the bravery it took to post something like this. I am a very private person as well and always wondered how bloggers balanced personal life and the mission/purpose of their blog, especially since we live in a society that always wants to know more — you do an amazing job. Your positivity and dedication to health and fitness is truly inspiring.

    It is obvious that you have a very supportive following and as someone who is always searching for my “normal,” questioning what I want out of life, I wish you the best in your journey. Something tells me you will be just fine ๐Ÿ˜‰ This quote has always helped me:

    “Happiness is a quality of mind, it is something we possess within…If we do not have it within, nothing outside can give it to us” -Paramananda

    Much Love, E

  • 96
    Ali @ Around the VeggieTable October 2, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Beautiful post…thanks so much for sharing. It’s always scary to be vulnerable, but you handle it with grace.

  • 97
    Shea October 2, 2012, 3:16 pm

    My family has experienced some pretty painful life blows the past few years which have affected me as well and it sometimes feels like I can’t ever escape the pain. Please know that being able to read your blog at work each day gives me a few moments to forget everything and just completely enjoy the moment and the beauty of life. It serves as that little reminder that life goes on. Thank you for that.

  • 98
    Meredith October 2, 2012, 3:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing the below paragraph and know that you are not alone:

    “Daily I stop and ask myself, โ€œIs this my real life?โ€ Itโ€™s beautiful. Itโ€™s painful. Itโ€™s paradoxical. Full of all my wildest dreams and worst nightmares that have come true all at the same time. What I want most is for things to be normal again. Whatever that new normal is, I just need to feel it. I want to smile every day without that ball of anxiety in the back of my mind. I want to let go and feel good.”

  • 99
    James 4:14 October 2, 2012, 3:33 pm

    “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” – James 4:14

  • 100
    Joanna October 2, 2012, 4:26 pm

    You said everything without saying too much. It was something I may have been noticing like those above mentioned so it is great that you were able to write it so eloquently without us feeling like we were breaching a blogger confidentiality. You do inspire so many people, I also some how stumbled upon your blog a year or so ago and you inspired me to try yoga, crossfit, BLOGGING, and to do it with grace and confidence (and desserts). You seem to be finding your footing as you go through this hard time and we all know you will come out the other side strong, confident, and inspiring all the same. Letting others support you is always a tough but necessary step.

  • 101
    Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake October 2, 2012, 4:27 pm

    I’m so sorry you’ve been going through so much! I’ll be praying things start to look up for you!

  • 102
    Deb October 2, 2012, 5:26 pm

    You certainly never owe anyone anything, and this was so brave of you to share. Many, many hugs, good thoughts, love and encouragement coming your way from Ohio!

  • 103
    Angie October 2, 2012, 6:48 pm

    love you so much!

  • 104
    Danielle October 2, 2012, 6:59 pm

    So brave of you to share xo

  • 105
    Jillian October 2, 2012, 7:16 pm

    I’m a long time reader and I just had to say that you are an amazingly strong woman. You have approached this subject with such dignity and poise. I’m glad that you shared this information on your own terms. After all, it is your life and we are just lucky that you share some of it with us. You honestly always find a way to write with such grace. Your last few lines really made me reflect. Sending you warm thoughts….

    “It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are still not dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light can appear in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope.”

  • 106
    Lelia October 2, 2012, 9:36 pm

    Jen, you are wonderful. Just as you are. Love you!

  • 107
    Lelia October 2, 2012, 9:37 pm

    Jen, you are wonderful, inspiring, brave and strong, and you are a good friend. You are supported and loved! Thank you for sharing. xoxo

  • 108
    Sarah A. October 2, 2012, 11:22 pm

    Although I’ve only been a reader for a few months, this post really hit a note for me. I am going through a similar situation, and sometimes I feel so alone. Reading your post, and knowing there is someone else out there going through the same thing, is an immense comfort to me. I hope you will be comforted in the knowledge that you are not alone in your pain, and that there are those who would be considered “strangers” who are sending good thoughts your way.

  • 109
    Liz Lovett October 3, 2012, 3:17 am

    Thinking of you Jen, and sending you much love (all the way from County Durham, England!) xxx

  • 110
    Lisa October 3, 2012, 7:31 am

    I have been a long time reader. You have been so inspirational to me and a great motivator. Thank you for sharing. I have been going through a similar situation and some days are harder than others.
    Be strong and stay safe! It will get better!

  • 111
    Lindsey October 3, 2012, 10:20 am

    jen…so sad to read your post. you are such a strong person so I have no doubt you will get through this and find your new normal. Lots of love from birmingham!

  • 112
    Ellen October 3, 2012, 2:21 pm

    I am still struggle to find “normal” after life changing events. Thanks for this post. Keeping you and sully in my thoughts and prayers.

  • 113
    Katie | wholelivingimprint.tumblr.com October 3, 2012, 2:25 pm

    This is a beautiful post, thank you for sharing and know that you are not alone in this!

  • 114
    Ellen C-P October 3, 2012, 3:23 pm

    That is a really beautiful post. In a world where we have all grown accustomed to hearing private details made public, it is wonderful to see someone make a stand and say “not me.”Good for you – takes a lot of courage. I wish you all the best. And it is obvious you have a lot of people who want the very same.

  • 115
    D October 3, 2012, 4:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Jen! I hop ethat by sharing your story, you’ve experience relief and a great sense of support.

    I have to say that I hope that you were ready to share this story and not that you felt forced to by your readers. I saw your tweet a few days ago.

  • 116
    Jenilee October 3, 2012, 5:16 pm

    It is obvious how much you respect your relationship with your readers the way you laid it all out like that. I hope this new journey brings you everything that you need, on every level.

  • 117
    Larissa S October 3, 2012, 6:42 pm

    Jen, you are an amazing person. Thank you for sharing, you are strong both physically and emptionally. I hope each day gets easier and easier.

  • 118
    Lindsay October 4, 2012, 9:35 pm

    This is the best and most real post I have seen on PBR. I love how you wrote this. And I am so envious of your motivation and ability to mold your dreams into reality.

  • 119
    JW October 4, 2012, 10:19 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. In addition to your other talents, you are a wonderful writer. I am going through a very similar situation right now, and have been questioning the choices that I made. Your post described exactly how I am feeling, and I commend you for keeping it together as well as you have; I know how difficult it is. Thank you for helping me realize that I am not alone.

  • 120
    Clara October 5, 2012, 10:21 am

    Jen- I thought for a long while about how to respond to this post, thinking that there was actually something I could say that would make things all better. Now I realize how absolutely silly that is. So I just want to say I’m sending you so much love and support. Hold on to that sweet puppy of yours- every photo of Sullie makes me want a golden retriever even more! xoxo

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