Over the past year, ok really over the past 6 months, I’ve gone through some major changes in my life. Lately I find myself measuring myself to the past. Now I know that’s not the best way to live… always thinking about the past, but with so many things changing I feel like I need a way to measure the changes.

Obviously some of these are really easy to measure, such as losing weight. Over the past year I’ve lost almost 40 pounds. Now, don’t get too excited over that, I’m not on any fancy diet and I didn’t start working out 4 hours a day. I simply eat less and (mostly) healthier. Right now, my body seems to revolt after anything I eat, so I eat less. I don’t recommend this as a weight-loss program, however for now, this is one thing working to my benefit. :)

SMX West 2010 and SMX West 2011

Thanks to my good friend Dana Lookadoo for the pics!

But other changes are a bit harder to track. Like self-awareness and self-confidence. One way I’ve found to see the changes in my self-confidence is to see the differences between my first Whiteboard Friday in February 2010 and my latest one in February 2011. I think it’s obvious that part of it is my weight-loss, but it also is just the fact I have more confidence in myself and with showing myself on video.

February 2010

February 2011

It’s a bit painful for me to watch that first one. It was actually my friend Danny Dover’s first time doing a Whiteboard Friday too! (Read more about his transformation on Danny’s blog). The thing is I feel more confident in my work these days, in my presence in the community (er… I’d hope so seeing that I’m a Community Manager :), and as a woman in general.

Dealing with chemo and the crap that goes along with it, just makes other things happen a bit easier. Getting up in front of a camera? Pfft no problem, I fricken had cancer YO! See… everything else jut seems a bit easier. :)

Now… self-awareness, how do you track something like that? It’s more something that I feel, and changes that go on within me that matter. But I’ve also noticed that I’m more thoughtful than I was before (ok some of you may not agree with this, heh). I used to always have these great intentions of sending personalized thank you notes, or making hand-made birthday cards. But I never did it. These days, I’ve started actually doing those things. I do think part of this comes from the fact that so many people have done these very sweet, thoughtful things for me. It makes me want to do better.

In the beginning of the year I started writing a similar type post, but for some reason I could never finish it. Another thing I learned recently is to not push it if something isn’t ready. Whether it’s a blog post that just isn’t ready for prime time, or that our daughter just isn’t quite ready to be a rocket scientist, it’s ok. It will happen when it’s time.

I look forward to continually tracking these changes and seeing the improvements. Luckily (or possibly unluckily) for me, I’m in the public quite a bit. And by public I mean the internet. :) My work is visible to anyone with an internet connection, so I can continue to see my own growth. Plus, the more I put myself out there, the more I want to improve. So there… the beginning of the transformation of Jen. How ya like me now?!

25 thoughts on “The Transformation of Jen”

  1. I LOVE it! It feels so satisfying to see those changes, doesn’t it? Good job on the self-awareness, and with the weight loss…. I went through that (diagnosed with Crohn’s two months ago) where I just couldn’t eat anything that made me happy so I ate a lot less.

    The bad news is that I’m feeling better and proceeded to gain back all my weight (“only” 12 pounds – but UGH, still) so now I’m back to trying to wire my mouth shut. My pants are very unhappy with me!

    I hope you continue to feel better though!

    1. Thanks Kristi. :) I’m sorry to hear about the Crohn’s, I have two coworkers who have that as well and I know it can be pretty tough on them.

      Don’t beat yourself up about gaining weight though, no use in making yourself feel worse about it. One thing to think about, is that if you stick to your earlier plan, not only will you keep the weight off, you’ll also feel better by not having flare ups.

      I hope you continue to feel better as well! :)

  2. Holy shit girl! Frankly, the best advice in this post (besides self-awareness) is making the time for those personalized bits that we always seem to have the intentions for but never follow through. My best friend from school and I have ALWAYS written to each other (you’d like her -she’s fiesty) and we still do to this day. She even makes her girls write to me. So do it. And I promise I’ll take my own advice as well. BTW, our time together was much too short. I hope to see you in Seattle in a few months. xo

    1. The thing is by doing those “little” thoughtful things for others, makes ME feel like a million bucks. It’s just good to know that I’ve made someone smile. And that’s much better than just having the intention of making someone smile.

      I agree we didn’t have enough time, but I loved loved loved the time we had! It’s funny when you instantly feel close to someone like that. Are you sure we haven’t been friends forever??

      See you in Seattle soon!

      1. When it’s easy like that, you know it’s special. And it was frightfully easy, wasn’t it? I’m lucky. :) I only regret we didn’t have more time. Seattle is only a few months away, I’m planning on being there!

  3. You rock! Whether you realize it or not, you are such an inspiration to others in so many ways. You’ve kicked cancer’s ass, you’re living a healthier life, you’re raising an amazing kid, and you’re pretty awesome at what you do professionally as well. Thanks for sharing your experiences and inspiring words. It makes more of a difference than you know.

    1. Thanks Stacey! Lucky for me you guys see all the good stuff going on. :) Soon I need to write a post about the real inspiration in all of this… Rudy. :) He’s my shining light!

  4. How great are you? How beautiful are you? I love you so much and I am grateful to have a big sister like you – that will never change :) ♥ xxoxoxo

    1. Aww thank you sweet sister. It’s funny because I totally look up to you. You’re the younger yet wiser little sister. :) Can’t wait to see you next week!!

  5. You’re transformation is inspiring to read and watch. It’s incredible to see such change over time by daily baby steps. Being a naturally impatient person, I give up if I don’t see an immediate change. That pretty much sets me up for failure all of the time. Your post is a reminder that everyday doesn’t have to be epic, just little decisions that add up over time and in every area. Love it. Love you.

    And, whenever things get tough, this is a quote to live by: “Pfft no problem, I fricken had cancer YO!”

    1. haha glad you liked that, I’ve honestly said it to myself before. Although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t so “clean.”

      And thank you… I’m a horribly impatient person so it’s been tough for me. Luckily my husband is extremely patient and has taught me quite a bit these past few months!

  6. I love you to pieces, Jen. Eva is a lucky little girl to have a role model like you.

    Hell, I’m lucky to have a role model like you, too. :)

    1. oh no no no talk of role models. For Eva yes, poor kid just has to deal with me as a role model whether she likes it or not. :)

      I’m lucky to have friends like you who are crazy enough to think I could be a role model. I have a LONG way to go. :)


  7. Leave it to Jen to start “tracking” self-awareness. You should start a company called New Age Analytics and sell it to Depok Chopra. :-D

    1. haha well I’m not doing a very good job of it, but if I figure it out I’ll let you know. I’m sure you could help to set up a nice affiliate site for it or something. ;)

  8. Pretty awesome that you both both those videos up. Keep tracking those changes, that works best for me for staying on target. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks. :) Those videos are crazy different eh?! When I recently went back to look at my first one I was completely shocked by it. I remember thinking I had done such a good job… now it makes me cringe!

  9. Ok now I feel guilty for not sending you a personal thank you for the snuggie! :) No seriously, I don’t think you realize how you touch other people’s lives. You’ve always been able to handle any adversity that comes your way. I’m not just talking about the stuff this past year, but in the 18 years that I’ve know you. You are a priceless gem!

    1. hahaha never feel guilty about that! I’m horrible, you know I never finished sending thank you cards for either my wedding or after Eva was born. Horrible, I tell you. I don’t know that I’ve changed enough now even to finish things like that. A thank you text message or FB status goes a long way these days. :)

      Anyway.. we’ve known each other 18 years? Holy crap you’re old. :P Love you Teresa, I really can’t wait for that girls weekend one of these days. <3

  10. Maravillosa Jen! La transformación física es evidente y estoy segura de que toda esta experiencia te ha hecho crecer y valorar cosas que antes veias de forma diferente pero, ¿sabes que? ese corazón y la capacidad que tienes de dar sin esperar nada a cambio siguen siendo los mismos.. QUE SUERTE DE TENERTE EN MI VIDA!! Love you =)

  11. Dear Jen:

    Great to see this transformation and wishing you more good health and fun! Are you in Seattle now? I love the company you work for but I would need to be speeded/revved up on “geekisms” to know what the company does-I am a Luddite so techville seems out of reach. Instead, I’m going to Denver (now in Tucson) and then to India. So glad we worked together many moons ago!

  12. Happy to hear you’re more confident Jen, and hope you have a full recovery and never have to deal with cancer ever again!

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