Today is all about how Jen went from having depression, daily pain, acid reflux, brain fog, and sugar addiction, which led her to a place of extreme isolation and loneliness, to a life of fun with her grandchildren and confidence & freedom to minister to others. She even jumps on the trampoline!
Listen to podcast here (or read down below)
In this episode, you’ll hear…
01:46 A little about who Jen is.
02:07 What her biggest struggles were.
03:02 What she had tried in the past.
05:27 How she got to her turning point with the guidance of a good friend.
06:19 How the 5 Day Healthy Habit Challenge changed her life.
07:30 What life is like for Jen now.
09:04 Jen’s approach. Was is easy? Hard? Just how did she do it?
10:36 What was the biggest difference that Healthy Free Life made.
I am so thankful that Jen decided to share her story with us, and I pray that it will truly be an encouragement to you. And most importantly, I pray that you are inspired to either start or continue on your healthy, free life journey.
Links mentioned in this episode:
“I think the biggest thing was the [Healthy Free Life] community support and the daily encouragement that I found, the accountability, daily checking in and letting people know what I’m up to, helped me to do what I needed to do. And, I think another huge thing was that [Healthy Free Life] is biblically based and I’m realizing that I couldn’t do this on my own power, that I needed God to help me through with my struggles and to rely on him each day.”
I am so excited to share Jen’s story of moving from depression and loneliness to connection and confidence. She is a dear student with an encouraging success story.
She’s a student of the Healthy Free Life Way.
The OLD Jen
Jen was once depressed and anxious.
- in constant pain.
- unable to run with her grandchildren.
- foggy in the brain.
- had acid reflux and ate sugar all the time.
This is definitely not a healthy free life. Would you agree?
Jen made a decision.
She decided something had to change and by God’s grace, she was led to the Healthy Free Life Way and the result of her journey is that she now loves all of God’s glorious foods that she has discovered. She’s added them into her life.
The NOW Jen
- clear skin
- clearer thinking
- radically reduced anxious feelings and depression
- no more daily pain like she once had
- In fact, she can not only run and play soccer with her grandchildren
- but she can also jump on the trampoline.
Yes and amen. I can not wait for you to hear her story.
Let’s dive into it. Jen, welcome. I am so glad that you are here. Can you tell us a little bit about you just so that everyone that’s listening and watching can just get to know you.
Hi, my name is Jen Carper and I’ve been married to my husband, Tim, for 23 years. I have two grown children and two grandsons.
Katrina: Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that. So let us know. What was your biggest struggle before starting the Healthy Free Life Way? What did you struggle with most when it came to your health?
Jen’s Biggest Struggle
I think depression and anxiety for the most part and, um, tired all the time, isolated, had a lot of joint pain and, a poor self-image.
Not necessarily a healthy free life.
Katrina: No. And then what was that like for you? What did it feel like for you?
Jen’s struggles led to isolation.
I was just tired all the time and that just caused me to isolate myself and pretty much withdrew from everything and away from everyone. And so it’s lonely.
Katrina: It is very lonely and very isolating. So had you tried anything before to resolve this? Like what were you trying to do?
What Jen tried first
Um, well, because I thought it was a majority of the depression. I was trying all kinds of depression medications, which made me feel worse actually. And for the joint pain, they told me to take anti-inflammatory medicines. Those things weren’t working for me and so I was desperate for something different.
Katrina: So you primarily tried to treat it from a medical medication standpoint.
Katrina: Did you understand that there was a link between how you were eating and living to those things you were experiencing?
I mean, with reflux, they told me to avoid different foods and stuff like that, but never with the depression did they suggest to eliminate certain foods, that it would lift the brain fog that I was experiencing. They just never offered that to me, no.
Katrina: And so I’m sure that was frustrating when the medication that they were offering wasn’t working and was making things worse. So now here you are. So how have you? You’ve overcome so many things and we’re going to talk about your wins and your successes in just a moment, because I want, like, people need to know. And, so what are you doing or what have you done to overcome those challenges?
What Jen did to overcome her challenges
I think the first thing I did was I eliminated a lot of foods, right off the bat like sugar, dairy, soy, peanuts, corn, caffeine, and processed foods are the main ones that have contributed to my health issues.
Katrina: Wow. And so, that’s a big step to take, to eliminate all those things because those are pretty much staples in our standard American diet, right?
Katrina: Yes. So that wasn’t necessarily an easy feat. And so what if I were to ask you what was inside you before you made that decision? Like, how did you say, “Now’s the time that I need to do something?”
What was it that really helped you to finally make that decision and do that? Do you know?
Well, I had asked God for direction and so I reached out to one of my friends and she was encouraging me health-wise and was guiding me in that way and just helped me to understand that I needed to do something. We weren’t exactly sure what, but then it popped up in my newsfeed. So, it just happened that way.
Katrina: When you say it popped up, what was it?
A free course on habit formation. Five days or something like that?
Katrina: Yes. It was the Healthy Habit Challenge we did a few, a couple of years ago. Well, it’s awesome. Awesome. Okay. And so it was a friend that was in your life that was supporting you and encouraging you, and then you were praying about it, and the Lord put me in front of your screen.
Healthy Habit Challenge “Popped Up”
Katrina: I hear that all the time– people definitely feel that it was a God moment when my classes show up on their feed. Like this is what I’ve been praying for.
It always blesses my heart to hear that. I’m glad you were one of them. I think that it creates such a more powerful experience when we have that understanding that the Lord can guide and direct us this with this, for sure. So. Uh, how, you know, if we could talk about where you are now with your health journey.
So you shared, and you painted the picture of what life was like before. Can you give a picture of what life is like now? And, just a little bit of a timeline of when did you start your Healthy Free Life Way journey and what’s life like for you now?
Jen’s Healthy Free Life Way Journey
I started in December of 2019 and, I just went through the classes and as you guided us, I started eliminating things that needed to be eliminated. I noticed a difference right away and how I was feeling. And I think right away, I experienced that the brain fog had lifted. And so a clearer mind is, was huge for me because that was debilitating in some employment that I had in the past. And so now I have clear thinking and I am moving without pain and I can play with my grandsons, which is huge. Yes. I can run and play with them without getting exhausted or in pain.
How Jen Feels Now
I feel excited because then they’ll have those memories of me playing with them and not just watching them.
And Fun! I’m having fun and just speaking into the next generation.
Was it hard to eliminate without feeling deprived and overwhelmed?
I think with the recipes inside the Academy, I was able to find healthy upgrades, like chocolate chip cookies. That helped me to get through, so to speak, because that was a majority of my diet before. It was sugar and sweets and donuts and all that. And so we needed the healthy upgrade to supplement that. I don’t know what the word is I’m looking for.
It wasn’t about deprivation but healthy upgrades!
It’s not necessarily about deprivation. It was more like, Hey, I’m already eating cookies, but there’s a healthier way to eat cookies. We’re still eating the cookie, so we’re not deprived, but we’re upgrading and we’re beginning to reduce and eliminate some of those things that are bringing us the most harm.
Jen’s Current Journey
Katrina: So you have continued this journey. Now you are 18 months into this experience. You have, in the Healthy Free Life Way, done the 40 Day Food Revival, you’re a part of The Academy, and we’re working on all of those healthy habits. And so can you share a little bit about what makes the Healthy Free Life Way different than maybe what else is out there or what you’ve experienced?
Jen’s Healthy Free Life Way Difference
I think the biggest thing was the community support and the daily encouragement that I found, the accountability, daily checking in, and letting people know what I’m up to, helped me to do what I needed to do. And, I think another huge thing was that it’s biblically based and I’m realizing that I couldn’t do this on my own power. That I needed God to help me through with my struggles and to rely on him each day.
Amazing. Um, Jen, it has been such a joy to watch you over these last 18 months, because you have been busy about doing the thing and you have been taking the steps that were laid out before you and you have experienced just a miracle in your life. You’ve done hard things, you have put one foot in front of the other. It’s just been such a joy to watch you.
We talked about it briefly with playing with your grandchildren just a minute ago, but if you were to sum up what life is like now, since joining Healthy Free Life, what would you say?
Jen’s Life Now
For the most part it’s pain-free like, I can actually climb my stairs without groaning. And like, I used to have constant knee pain going up those steps and now I can run up the steps and it’s just, it’s a huge transformation. That’s really hard to put into words and it’s just very freeing.
Katrina: What are you going to be able to do now that you have this freedom?
What Jen Can Do With Her Freedom
To become more confident and carry out what God wants me to do in my life. With all those debilitating things like depression and anxiety and pain and all those things, they were keeping me from what I needed to do, and this just helps my confidence to better minister and to encourage the people that are around me.
Abundance Not Lack
Katrina: You can pour out because you’re pouring out from a place of abundance instead of a place of lack, and that you’re able to fulfill your purpose, which is what Healthy Free Life is all about. So, Jen, thank you so very much for being with us today and for sharing your story. I know it’s going to inspire hundreds, if not thousands of others that either haven’t started their journey yet or are on their journey to know that it is worth the effort, my friend, it is worth the effort. It is worth the steps that are in front of you. And we are here to support you on your journey as well. Thank you.
Jen’s Amazing Story
Wasn’t that amazing? I am just so thankful that Jen decided to share her story with us, and I pray that it was truly an encouragement to you. And most importantly, I pray that you are inspired to either start or continue on your Healthy Free Life Journey. I’d also love to let you know exactly how Jen got started.
I’ve outlined the first steps in our Healthy Free Life Way Starter Kit.
The starter kit includes the first five steps you need to take to start your own Healthy Free Life Way journey.
I’ve also included devotionals, prayers, food lists, and so much more. You can get the kit by clicking here.
Now I want to leave you this reminder from Philippians 4:19,
“And my God, your God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Until next time. Bye for now.