My name is Jennifer Gunter, but you can call me Jenni. I come from a small town in central NJ. I'm a Jersey girl, born and raised. If you don't think central NJ is a thing, I'm sorry but that's a conversation for another time; I don't have all day! If you're genuinely clueless about what I just said, Google it, it's a whole thing.
Anyway, I'm here to tell you about myself. I'll start by saying the simple things like: I like cooking, cleaning, hiking, traveling, and being near water (especially the beach). I got my associate degree in Liberal Arts from Burlington County Community College, now known as Rowan College at Burlington County. I got my bachelor's degree in Nutrition from Arizona State University, but from the comfort of my own living room because, why not?
I have always had a love for food and a passion for learning about how it hurts us or helps us. I haven't always had a good relationship with food either. I've tried all the fad diets and none of them worked. So, I'm just gonna say it: fad diets are a scam and deep down you know it too. It's difficult to have a healthy relationship with food when everywhere we look someone is trying to sell us the next best thing that we secretly know won't work in the long term. I'll go more into detail about my relationship with food in my future posts. This blog will be filled with helpful, realistic ways you can start to have a healthy relationship with food too. For now, lets get back to the story.
I recently got married last year right before COVID-19, so my first year of marriage has been very memorable to say the least. I love learning and now that I'm out of school, I don't want to stop learning so I decided to start this blog and share my knowledge and wisdom with you guys! Learning about my true self is a journey I take daily and I'm constantly figuring out new things about myself.
For example, I HATED gym class with a passion. I would always stand there awkwardly during kickball and do the least amount of work possible. I was a shy kid and I hated the idea of performing in front of others. When it came to running "the mile", I walked the entire thing. I told myself that physical activity just wasn't my thing. However, I have learned this past year that I actually LOVE long distance running. Just goes to show, you should never put yourself in a box, because we all can change over time. I know, I know. Some of you out there are thinking, "Girl, you've got to be kidding me! Running... for fun?!". Yes, you read that correctly, I run for fun. You can thank my husband for that.
My husband and I have the CUTEST "meet-cute" story ever. The first time we ever saw each other was across the room at a middle school dance. We locked eyes on each other and stared for a moment, he thought about asking me to dance but ultimately chickened out, because middle school hormones and nerves, you know. We didn't forget about that heated moment and so we started messaging on Myspace. Yes, Myspace. (I'm a millennial, btw.) Just as we started to form a bond, he got news that he was moving to New Mexico for his dad's job in the Air Force.
We didn't give up. We started dating long distance and despite talking over social media, we had never actually met in person, just that one glance across the room at the dance. We dated for a few months long distance. He would wake up at 4am New Mexico time to call me just so his voice would be the first thing I heard when I woke up. That still makes my heart melt, to this day. But, spoiler alert: dating long distance while being a freshman in high school didn't work out. We had no money to see each other and we decided to end it.
Fast forward to 2018, we were both out of high school for 7 years at that point and had our lives pretty much figured out. I had a rough year, I had lost 4 of my pets (3 cats and 1 guinea pig) and just found out my boyfriend at the time cheated on me. I was at the lowest point I've ever been in. Nothing seemed like it was going my way.
I looked through my messages on Instagram and saw that I hadn't replied to his attempt to reach out a year before. I messaged him back and said hello. He asked me how I was doing and I just broke down and told him everything. He was there for me like no one else had ever been, not even my best friends. I instantly remembered all of our late night talks and all those feelings came rushing back. "I totally forgot what it was like talking to you", I said.
Apparently he had always known that I was the one for him, even when we were kids. It just took me a little bit (10 years!!) to realize that he was the one for me too. We talked on the phone like teenagers, staying up late every night because we didn't want to say goodbye. We finally met in person, at the Philadelphia airport. We hugged and kissed like it was the end of the world. I instantly said, I LOVE YOU, and he proposed 2 months later. A year later we got married on New Year's Eve and streamed the wedding on Facebook for all our friends and family to see (before it was COVID cool!). It's been a whirlwind ever since. My husband inspires me to be the best person I can be, and I do the same for him. He's always there when I need him; he is truly my best friend.
Picture perfect love story, am I right? Sorry if it sounds like I'm bragging but if you knew the kinds of guys I dated before him, you would understand.
My marriage is a huge part of who I am, that's why I decided to tell you guys the back story. And who doesn't enjoy a good love story?
My identity is centered around being an outstanding wife and future mom to LOTS of children. I have always wanted to make someone the happiest man alive and even more so I've always wanted to be a mom.
I was raised by my grandmother, who raised 8 kids before she decided to take on the difficult task of raising me. She was such an inspiration to me and I'll never forget that when she passed away, we were all there surrounding her. She never had to know what it was like to be alone because if she ever needed anything, one of us was there to help, happily. Family is such an incredible blessing and for me; family always comes first.
My past does not define me but it has made me into who I am today, so it's worth sharing. My grandmother raised me because my father struggled with alcoholism for many years and my mom is schizophrenic. My mom and dad got divorced when I was a young teen and my relationship with my mother has been rocky ever since. My relationship with my dad is almost non-existent because he's an introvert and so am I, so we never really know what to talk about. I struggled with substance abuse issues of my own as a young adult, and going off to college didn't help at all. I had a string of deadbeat boyfriends, some of which were mentally and emotionally abusive. However, I have picked myself up by my bootstraps and told myself, "You are not your past". Finding salvation in Jesus Christ has changed my life for the BEST and enabled me to stop turning to drugs and alcohol to solve my problems. I am new to my faith, as I was saved and baptized just last year with my husband. God has lit a fire in me that no one can extinguish.
As you can see from this backstory, I am an open book. I have nothing to hide. I think the way we learn about others is by knowing who they are deep down even if that means exposing old wounds to fresh air. We grow close to others by being vulnerable. God has created us to be social and enjoy fellowship with one another. I hope that you can learn something about yourself from me being so honest about my life and my own personal struggles. If you've made it this far, thank you so much for reading.
I am excited to share with you guys my journey of faith and food. Stay tuned for more posts.
- Jenni Gunter