Last month I was the keynote speaker at the main dinner for the Whyalla Wellness Weekend. I am grateful for the invitation to speak. Below is his review of my speech. Thank you again Peter!
Jenny is the real deal.
I am so grateful to have connected with Jenny and that she so generously took the up the offer to be our keynote speaker at the main dinner event as part of the Whyalla Wellness Weekend held in October 2022.
Jenny spoke from her unique and heartfelt experience and was able to share the lessons from that experience with eloquence, compassion and encouraging directness.
The audience immediately warmed to Jenny and were moved to tears at times as she shared the challenges she faced, overcame and continues to overcome.
The table of men that I sat on were intently quiet as Jenny spoke and were in awe of the presence she held while at the lectern. There was an incredible sense of respect for the woman that Jenny chose to become despite many opportunities to throw in the towel and resign herself to a lesser life.
Jenny received a heartfelt and deserved applause as she sat down after her keynote.
It is necessary to mention that the audience could have listened to Jenny for as long as Jenny wanted to share as they were captivated at the uniqueness of Jenny’s story and her strength to rally herself despite the tough hand life had initially dealt her.
From the Whyalla Wellness community and from me personally; thank you Jenny for being the person that you are and sharing your story with us. Your story has immense transformational potential for all who are blessed enough to hear you speak.
I wholeheartedly and positively endorse Jenny as a wonderfully and refreshingly down to earth and authentic keynote speaker.
In health and wellness,
The Wellness Centre Whyalla
Recently, the ABC aired a segment about discrimination by health professionals for body size. It was reported that many of us with weight issues avoid visiting a doctor for fear of being judged.
Fat shaming is a real thing. Over my life I have been bullied many times because of my size. There was no getting away from it as my shape and size made me stand out from others. My sisters who were nurses often told me horror stories about how the obese were viewed by medical professionals. They also said that they and their patients were treated with disdain.
For this reason, I avoided visiting a medical clinic of any form until my mid-thirties. It wasn’t until my closest friend gently convinced me to have a check for genetically passed down health issues that I visited a clinic. It is an understatement to say I was afraid. I feared the worst – bullying by those who were supposed to help me. But I have been fortunate as my local doctors have treated me with kindness and understanding. However, this was not always my experience.
I visited two specialists in the city to help me with stomach pains. Although I had lost a significant amount of weight, I was treated as a sub-standard human being. The first specialist was obviously uncomfortable with my size during the consultation. Two weeks before scheduled keyhole surgery she phoned me to tell me she could not go through with the operation. Apparently, the beds were not wide enough in the hospital where she worked, and she was afraid of litigation. The next specialist was willing to operate but took it upon himself to lecture me about my weight. He also informed me that my cholesterol levels were slightly raised. God knows what he would have said had I seen him at my largest! And I’m not sure how my weight influenced the pain.
Here is the link for the ABC segment: https://fb.watch/gu53cOrNWy/
Have you experienced discrimination for your weight? Contact me for a chat.
In love, Jenny
Dreamy and I travelled over 2,000 km from our home near the southern most part of South Australia to Whyalla, north of Adelaide and Port Lincoln three hours south of Whyalla. The first two nights were spent in the Adelaide Hills with a close friend. Then we were off to catch a ferry for a two-hour trip over the Spencer Gulf from the small town of Wallaroo to Lucky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula. Dreamy and I cuddled on the deck as we watched the ocean go by. We made some new friends and shared contact details.
From here we travelled about an hour north to Whyalla for two nights to speak at a Wellness Weekend. It was great to share my journey to inspire people offering wellness services in the Eye Peninsula. I was given some very positive feedback about my talk. We stayed with another close friend where Dreamy got lots of attention. We also caught up with work colleagues I had not seen for over 10 years. Everyone loved Dreamy, they were also excited to see me healthy and happy. It was such a positive time that I have promised to visit again.
We then holidayed south of Whyalla in Port Lincoln where we stayed 5 nights in a charming one-bedroom cottage with a backyard perfect for Dreamy’s ablutions! We feasted on the local fresh seafood every day at least once (which I shared with Dreamy). Dreamy and I visited a local barista each day for coffee and puppachinos (luke-warm, frothy lactose free milk). We caught up with a friend living there and others on holiday. We walked near the ocean, up and down streets and walking tracks, travelled to a sanctuary called Whalers Way and relaxed.
On our way back to the ferry we visited Tumby Bay, a small holiday town where we had local fish again and I enjoyed some retail therapy. After two hours on the ferry, we landed back at Wallaroo and then stayed in Moonta with friends for the night. We took in the sights and shared coffee. Dreamy got lots of cuddles.
Finally, we stayed another three nights in the Adelaide Hills with our friend. Here Dreamy got very excited when he saw a rabbit and chased him around the streets.
We had a great time away. Dreamy was a star, he was wonderful company and loved by everyone we met. Now it is back to normality as I focus on setting up a wellness course.
I hope you enjoy the pictures taken on my mobile phone. Thanks for reading our story.
In love, Jenny
Last weekend I spoke at a function held in Whyalla, South Australia, focussing on wellness. I connected with warm, friendly, openhearted, and caring people of similar mind to myself. The kindness I experienced truly warmed my heart.
My story was well received and eye-opening for some in the audience. I guess it is rare to meet someone who has turned their life around from morbid obesity to health. I opened my talk with “I have lost between 100 and 150 kg” and then held up the shirt I wore when I was at my heaviest. There were a few gasps from the crowd at the sight of the shirt, as it brought home the reality of the weight I have lost.
It is not easy sharing my journey because I speak about the shame of obesity. However, I am willing to do this in the hope that sharing it will raise awareness of the plight of those like me. If my story helps one person, it is all worthwhile.
The next day I chatted with someone who wanted help in their own journey to health. I was able to explain some of the complexities behind type 2 diabetes and ways to improve diet, movement, and lifestyle. This was the best part of the weekend for me. There is a real joy in helping another person work through problems of a similar nature to mine.
Another highlight was catching up with colleagues I had not seen for over 12 years. It was a wonderful, positive, and heart-warming weekend overall.
If you want to chat about your journey to health, please message me.
In love, Jenny
I am excited to announce that my website has been updated!
Over the past few weeks, we have been in the process of upgrading my website, www.jennysthoughts.com. Hence the break from my blogs during this time. The site is set up differently and we have uploaded new professional photographs. Although the site is now live, there are still a few glitches. This has been an exciting and challenging time as I navigate a new platform to upload my posts.
The last professional photographs were taken in the Leg of Mutton, one of my favourite walking spots. This time, I decided to use my garden. It was the perfect setting for a fresh set of professional photographs. It was not only a great background but also a place where I felt most relaxed, and of course, Dreamy was more settled too.
I am grateful to Kristy from Kristy Janeway Photography (kristyjaneway.com.au) for her patience, compassion, and care for both Dreamy and myself. Thank you to Jacqui and Kylie from Bev’s Salon who did my hair and makeup. And to TunedWP (tunedwp.com) for the updated site.
These are exciting times to share the love!
In love, Jenny
“A health coach guides people to take control of their health through self-discovery, goal-setting, self-monitoring and accountability. While health coaches do not diagnose or treat medical conditions, we do provide information about physical health and promote mental health by offering emotional support. Rather than telling someone what they should or shouldn’t do, we help people discover their own power to change…Health coaches are the key to creating sustainable and successful change.” (Dr Sandra Scheinbaum,Ph.D.)
My life has been about change; change to a healthy lifestyle. Living a life of compassion and understanding for others and myself has changed my thinking and habits. Over time I have lost over 100kg. I am now living a new and fulfilling life.
I am a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) and an Accredited Health and Wellness Coach with Health Coaches Australia and New Zealand (HCANZA).
If you want encouragement to find your way to a healthier life and the best you, please contact me on 0438 249177 or [email protected].
I’d love to help!
Over the last month Dreamy and I have been settling into a new lifestyle. Working from home certainly has its perks and Dreamy has loved being with me so much. I think he is finally realising that he will no longer be left alone for long periods of time.
It is easier to work the hours which suit me, and I can more readily fit in around others. I can now meet regularly with people to chat and discuss their lifestyle and health issues. Most importantly I have found myself to be less work focussed, more heart centred and able to listen to and be with people in their world.
My website is currently being upgraded to make it more functional. Over the last year the older posts on the site have been lost, which means recipes posted earlier are no longer available. In the future, all my posts will remain online. Navigation will also be easier. Signed copies of my book will be available directly from me, and I will post these to anyone who orders them. Also, I have upgraded my laptop. It now has a separate, larger screen and the microphone and camera have been improved for online coaching calls.
I am in the process of going back over my functional medicine training which has reinforced the importance of being heart centred and refreshed my memory about a holistic approach to medicine and wellbeing. I have been learning new skills in the use of social media.
In amongst all this my work as a freelance accountant for small clients and catching up on professional development for accounting continues. And, of course there is greater freedom to spend more time in the garden and Dreamy and follow up on house maintenance which had been left for some time.
This has been an exciting and challenging time as I juggle earing income with pursuing my love of helping others. If you would like a chat, please contact me.
In love, Jenny
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?
I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, as historically I don’t stick with them. Instead, I tend to change my unhealthy patterns over a period, making small changes as I travel though life. Larger changes are harder to apply so I break them down into smaller adjustments. That’s how I have dealt with every challenge to my physical and mental health – slowly.
But this year is different. This year the I have made a change in career, a switch to focus on the other side of my life, such as healthy lifestyle, coaching, writing, blogging and speaking at venues. As I have said before, this is a big decision for me and not one I have made without anxiety.
This week Dreamy and I have taken ourselves away from normality to spend time with a close friend. I figured this was a good way of breaking from my old mindset. Perhaps this is not a new year’s resolution, but it is a new start for me.
As I sit here, and think back, I can see that the last 13 years have been a time of focusing on my accounting career. It has been a time of personal achievement, and also a time of loss of heart. In the last 10 years I have completed an MBA, changed my diet, lost a lot of weight, had three surgeries to remove the excess skin, studied to become a health coach and written and published a book. I have also enjoyed some challenging walks – around Uluru, King’s Canyon, Mt Kosciusko and New Zealand.
There was an incident which triggered this loss of heart, rejection from a significant church person whom I considered a friend. This created a great deal of angst for me. I questioned my faith and deepest motives. It was too hard to face, I shut down my heart and I pushed it all aside, throwing myself into the career in which I had been trained. Despite the difficult beginnings, the last 13 years have been a time of increased self-confidence, of proving to myself that I am capable, I can lose weight, hold down a good job, study successfully, be fit and healthy, change what I eat, be intelligent.
During this time, there was something stirring within which I pushed aside as well, until now. It has simmered gently in the background as I went about life, and it has coloured my decisions in a good way. It was also a time to learn how to love again, and this is what Dreamy has been to me.
Love does that. It has a way of finding some good even in tragedy and of helping us through the pain of it all. For many this year has been one of tragedy and heart break, of lost loved ones, loss of freedoms and choices. But I hope it is also one of profound change for good, just as it has been in my life.
As we start a new year together, let’s not forget love, for love brings the colour back into our dry, black and white lives. There is always love.
Happy New Year!
In love, Jenny
Since resigning from my job, I have been winding down and re-focussing. Changing from accounting which has been my career for over 30 years is not any easy task. Accounting is logical and ordered. I guess that’s’ why I have enjoyed it, it gave me consistency in one area of my life.
Writing is less logical and requires expression, vulnerability, and honesty. I have never been good at living someone else’s life and this comes out in my writing. What I find is that winding down helps me reconnect with myself and the words flow.
Today I walked on the beach with Dreamy and my friend, Fee. When I’m with Fee it is easy to be me. Our friendship has lasted over 30 years. Her love and support have been key to the many changes I have made through my life. And, once again she is with me in this part of my journey. As we walked, we shared, and the words flowed. Such is the benefit of a strong friendship.
I do hope you too have friends you trust and with whom you can share. Friendships like this reduce stress in our lives.
In love, Jenny