About Me

Hello and welcome to An Appetite for Love! I’m Jennifer and I have a huge appetite…for life, love, food, and all the little gifts in between. I’m a social worker. My degree reads “Master of Social Work” but I believe being a social worker is an intrinsic quality. It cannot be taught; fine-tuned, but not taught. Thus, I engage every aspect of my life with my “social worker hat” on. Some days it's not the best but most days it is absolutely wonderful and rewarding.
Married since 2006, my Mr. and I are your typical “opposites attract” pair. We met at a gym near where we grew up. I signed up for kickboxing and self-defense classes. I enjoyed my training but my trainer was a jerk. I called him the “cardio-kickboxing-trainer-from-hell.” That trainer is now my Mr.! Yes, I am a masochist – Haha! Actually, he is a wonderful man and a fabulous husband.
As different as we are, we make total sense.

Our furbaby Cinnamon, she's a Miniature Dachshund.

In April 2010, during my first year of grad school, the Mr. enlisted in the Air Force. It’s been an interesting ride ever since. This summer the Air Force is relocating us from the West Coast to the East Coast, the Southeast to be a little more accurate. It’s my first time living on a military base so we’ll see how this socially liberal girl does. Being a military spouse is both challenging and rewarding. And while the separation the first year was difficult, we also grew so much. It was definitely something I needed, and here’s why…

I am recovering from a long history of disordered eating and self-loathing. I spent so many years using food to cope with anger, stress, and sadness, even happiness. Some might identify these eating patterns as “bulimia” or “anorexia” or “binge eating.” The answer is Yes! To all of it. From a very young age I began obsessing over food. I've tried all the "fad diets" and taken just about every diet pill. I've struggled with anxiety and self-esteem issues and I’ve allowed my anxieties about food to control me for far too long.

Over this past year I’ve realized just how much I’ve missed out on life. I’ve realized that no one really cares about the things I do and how I look as much as I do. I’ve learned that when you embrace where you are and feed your soul with the things you need, life will figure itself out. More importantly, the weight will figure itself out. Long story, short, I’m learning self-acceptance. Today, I am using Mindful Eating, also known as Intuitive Eating, to help me in my journey of healthy eating and leading a balanced life.

"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance." -Oscar Wilde
This has not been an easy journey for me. I am still learning and I believe life is an ever-evolving classroom. In my quest to “control” my eating habits I did something I would later learn to regret. In January 2009 I had the Lap-Band procedure. It works for many but it did not work for me. My portion control was not the problem, however, the reasons behind the portions was the real problem. Simply put, I was not ready to deal with the root cause of my food issues. Today, I am only 10 lbs down from my weight on surgery day but I am in a much better place.

Now, the inevitable question…”Do you want to lose weight?” The answer is a resounding YES! Hell-to-the-yeah!! But I refuse to do it by denying myself any happiness or pleasure I might gain from life or food. I refuse to starve myself or eat crappy foods in the name of “health.” And that leaves me here, in a totally new place. A place where I exercise for the good it does for my body and for fun. A place where I experiment with food, learn new ways of eating, and most of all…I enjoy my food down to the last bite!

So, thank you for reading and joining me on this journey.
May your appetite for life, love, and food grow and grow…

I love...
...the beach.

*Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor or Registered Dietitian. I am a Clinical Social Worker, but I am not here to be your therapist. All the tips and advice I talk about here are from my personal experiences. If you feel you need professional help, I encourage you to seek the help of a licensed professional.
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