Jen’s Anniversary of kicking a habit while kick starting her life.

June 28, 2013 -
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Hey all! Happy Friday!

As many of you know, I am working on the #whatsbeautiful campaign with FitFluential & Under Armour Women. Throughout this campaign, I have not only been inspired & motivated by some of the most amazing women out there, but I have realized how many beautiful moments people in my own life are having. Last weekend, during my day/night day with my boy, we ran into my girl Jen while we were out to dinner. It completely made my day, not only because she gives the MOST AMAZING HUGS EVER, but just being around her inspires me to reach my goals. If you don’t know who I am referring to, I highly recommend you checking out Jen’s Weight Loss Story & seeing how amazing she truly is.


While we sat & talked after dinner, for two hours, we covered so many topics. She pulled out her phone & read to me a status she had posted to Facebook a few days prior, which also happened to be her Anniversary of quitting smoking. While she read this out loud to me at the table, my eyes filled up with tears. Her words are so real & genuine. She means everything she says and on top of it all, she is an amazing writer. With every word I was finding that I wanted her to keep talking because I was so drawn in.

When she was done reading,
I looked at her & said – this needs to be shared.

I am so grateful to have a blog as a place to share these messages and stories with others. So, today for Feature Friday, not only do I want to feature Jen & her update on where she is at now, but Jen wants to share her update & where she is at now; and I think that’s #WhatsBeautiful.


“The first year of not smoking was Hell On Earth.

The second year, a whoooooooole lot smoother.

Today, I walk into my third.

The first year was one of the hardest years of my life…but still these past two have been amazing, an epic journey. When they say it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, they are NOT JOKING. But it is not impossible.

I’m not saying it will be easy, I’m saying it will be worth it.”

In the last two years, I have: finished a bachelors degree in biology with a minor in chemistry; overcome major personal/emotional tribulations; survived amounts of stress that many humans can’t imagine; thought I was unintelligent, unworthy, unable; made some pretty gigantic life decisions; thought I’d live in a straight jacket if all these things continued all at the same time; thought I wouldn’t make it thru a lot of days without coming really close to a nervous breakdown…all while quitting smoking and missing it tremendously and wondering if I’d actually succeed…these were during the inaugural nicotine-free year.


*The adorable Jen (in the middle) and two of her girls at a 5k race last week.

I have also: NOT smoked an estimated 15,000 cigarettes; I’ve gone from someone who couldn’t run a quarter mile two years ago to someone who has completed twelve races in fifteen months, including a 5-mile race and a 10k (seven more to go for this year’s goal), and last Sunday’s long run was 7 miles; I eat as clean as possible; I’ve gone from someone who never enjoyed the thought of exercising to one who works out about ten hours a week; I’ve lost 105 pounds, six clothing sizes, given away pretty much my entire wardrobe; I can do a whole bunch of man-style pushups and hold a plank for a pretty decent amount of time; I’ve found inner strength, found that exercise is therapy, found that I have far more determination than I ever thought I had; I’ve crossed over from the person that needed as much encouragement and push as possible to one who now gives it to others; I am mentally, physically, emotionally stronger than I thought; I have challenged myself more than I ever have, embraced my goals, and learned that almost nothing is unachievable if you work for it…and I have worked damn hard; I’ve gained more confidence and peace in myself than I have ever had in my entire life; and I have gained an entire crew of amazing people in my life and also shared this beautiful evolution with my old friends; I feel the best I have ever physically felt; I am healthy..all because I quit smoking.


I didn’t want to give up cigarettes…. there’s no smoker on the planet that will say they hate it, I just knew I needed to. What I didn’t realize is that I would go through an entire life transformation in the process. It has not been easy, I still miss cigarettes, I crave them sometimes, I dream about them occasionally, and every now and then I could punch somebody in the throat for one. I never actually thought I’d be able to do it. But today, I celebrate a huge victory…two whole years and knowing I’ll never go back because I can kiss all my goals goodbye if I ever start again…and I have a lot of goals.

All of these things have happened because #1 I made a decision, #2 I didn’t give up, and #3 I have absolutely fantastic friends who have supported and still support/encourage all of my health and fitness goals, both people within reach and ones who are many miles away from all know who you are and I love you for it. All sorts of triumphs and goals met and accomplishments made in two short years. Whatever can I get myself into next?”



Red heart Kasey

Category: beTRUEtoYOU, Blog, FitFluential, Fitness, Friday Feature

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17 responses to “Jen’s Anniversary of kicking a habit while kick starting her life.”

  1. Danielle says:

    Such an amazing story! Thanks for sharing Kasey!

  2. such and amazing story! i’m so proud of you Jen!!! Keep up the great work. You’re inspiring many!

  3. ironsayya says:

    It was amazing to meet Jen on Monday at Amys Army Bootcamp. I have followed her story on this blog and I recognized her right away (Kasey, thanks for doing the formal introduction!). Then, I was lucky enough to be placed into her group for the workouts. Her work ethic and encouragement is OUTSTANDING!! SHe shared that she does 2 bootcamps plus a run (3 workouts!) almost EVERYDAY. Jen pushed and encouraged me and even shared a few tips on form during the workout, I don’t know if I would have made some of those pushups without her. It was fun to get to talk with her and share our “life changing” experiences with one another. We also we’re the first ones to have an adult beverage after the bootcamp #friendsforlife. Thanks again for sharing your story, its truly an amazing one! Best of luck on your upcoming half marathon 🙂

    • Jen says:

      Oh how nice it was to meet you and I was happy when Kasey said we were in the same group! I had a blast working out with you 🙂 I wish we would have counted how many pushups we did….it felt a thousand! I told my friend, Tod, about you looking at me and saying, “how are you STILL doing pushups?!”
      He thought that was hilarious, then said, “she does FULL Ironmans? Those people are pretty tough.”

      Ha ha, don’t pump me up too much, either…I only do two-a-days twice a week…maybe three if I’m feeling spry 😉

      Thank you for your encouragement! It means so much to me. Three weeks till the half and then a much needed rest week….before the Mudder!
      I hope we have the opportunity to hang again some time. I’ll meet you at the drinks table before everyone else shows up 😉

  4. Anna says:

    What an encouraging story – brightened up my Friday 🙂

  5. Katie z says:

    What lovely writing–your friend is so talented! Kudos to her for sticking with it!!

  6. Amanda says:

    Such an inspirational story!! I think I will send this to my mom. She is trying to quit smoking but having such a hard time. Thank you for sharing!!

  7. Such an amazing and inspiring story!!! My best friend quit smoking 3 years ago after 15 years of non stop smoking and I’m so glad she did as I was going to force her to quite myself due to how bad it is for you and how I couldn’t stand to not grow old with her if she got lung cancer. After she quit she got the fittest I’ve ever seen her and has not looked back!

    • Jen says:

      Congrats to your friend! I bet she feels like a million bucks! It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Tell her to keep up the good work 🙂

  8. What a great story! Congrats to Jen on all her successes and more to come!

  9. […] you got a chance to check out the quote from yesterday’s post – I actually met with my girl Jen last night for dinner & we discussed that quote in detail. We both agreed that we are usually […]

  10. […] Hi everyone! Happy Friday! Today I am so honored that my friend Jen is stopping by the blog again. She is such an amazing writer and each story she tells, I never want it to stop. Jen is so inspirational & has openly shared her journey here. If you want to learn a little more about Jen before reading her below post, you can check out [Prepare to be inspired by Jen’s Weight Loss Journey] & [Jen’s Anniversary of Kicking a Habit While Kick Starting Her Life]. […]

  11. Anonymous says:

    Inspired! Thank you & Congratulations!

  12. […] Jen before, here are her posts! [Prepare to be inspired by Jen’s Weight Loss Journey] & [Jen’s Anniversary of Kicking a Habit While Kick Starting Her Life]. Life’s Most Thrilling Roller Coaster: Ourselves (Part One) & (Part […]

  13. […] you read a little more about her – [Prepare to be inspired by Jen’s Weight Loss Journey],  [Jen’s Anniversary of Kicking a Habit While Kick Starting Her Life], [Life’s Most Thrilling Roller Coaster; Ourselves. Part ONE], & [Life’s Most Thrilling […]

  14. […] week! I’ve been up and at it starting with a 6am client & now headed to meet up with my girl Jen for a park workout before running about 1,000 errands since we leave for the beach tonight. (AMEN!) […]

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