How Jess got her glow back - and lost 15kg in the process
For Fernwood Tuggeranong member Jess, joining the gym was about much more than weight loss - it was a way to change her mindset and turn her life around.
"Sometimes it takes an overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough."
I’m not sure where this quote is from, or who it is by, all I know is that it resonates strongly with me. I had always been that person who struggled with their weight. I was the one who tried everything and anything in an attempt to lose weight but never had any results. Fast forward 24 years of my life and I had started to think that I would always be a larger person. I knew I wasn’t happy with who I was, or how I looked, I had no self love, but had no idea how to turn my life around.
Towards the end of 2016 I was dumped via text message, and then later found out my ex had in fact been cheating on me. I had hit rock bottom. From that moment, all I wanted to do was turn my life around. I needed to rid myself of the toxicity that had plagued my life for the past few years and start making positive changes that made me happy. Not knowing where to start, my mum suggested I joined a gym. A couple of days later, I was at Fernwood Tuggeranong becoming a member.
Sitting down to set my goals, I had one thing I didn’t want this journey to become, which may sound weird, but I didn’t want this journey to be solely about weight loss. I had this ‘crazy’ idea that if I focused on changing my mindset and how I felt about myself, the outside would slowly change to match the mental changes within me, and it worked.... Okay, so it wasn’t that easy, but I was on to something.
For the first couple of months, I didn’t focus on weight loss. I focused on freeing my mind from everything that was weighing me down and making me feel horrible. I would come in every day, work out and get my endorphins pumping. Family and friends started to notice a change in my mindset and overall happiness levels. A word they often used was ‘glowing’, and I felt that way – I had become happier than I could ever remember. I know it wasn’t just the gym that made me feel this way, but it certainly helped; more than I thought was possible.
Starting at the gym I was nervous, I would hide in the back corner of the group fitness room hoping no one would notice me. Slowly as the weeks passed I started to see small changes in my fitness, energy levels and overall happiness. I kept gaining confidence every time I went to the gym. I stopped hiding in the corner and began trying more and more classes. I remember trying Body Attack for the first time and halfway through thinking I was literally going to die. Promising myself I would never do that class again, I have gone every week since, without fail.
As I started to notice an increase in my fitness levels, I continued to up my training, pushing myself harder, and working up some serious sweat. While my main focus wasn’t weight loss, I did start to see significant changes in my body. Over time I started to notice that my clothes were getting looser and looser, and my weight had started going down. In the few months since joining Fernwood, I have lost more than 15 kilos – an amount that shocks me!
In losing this weight I have never followed a strict nutritional plan (something I had done many times in the past and failed), I simply added more vegetables to my plate, chose water over soft drinks, and didn’t eat simply out of boredom. I didn’t cut out all bad food - I still eat chocolate, biscuits and other foods, I just don’t stuff my face with them like I did in the past.
The journey hasn’t been easy. I still have days where I look in the mirror and cannot see the 15 kilos of weight loss, only the weight I still have to lose. Some days I forget just how much my life has improved over the past few months. Some days I forget to love myself for who I am and all that I have achieved and will continue to achieve over the coming months. On those days, I find it particularly important to get myself into the gym. Fernwood Tuggeranong has become my home away from home. The love and support I have received from the staff, as well as other members, gives me the motivation to keep going and keep chasing my goals. Fernwood has helped me find my place in the world, and I am so excited to see what’s next for me.
My story isn’t over, in fact, it is just beginning and I can’t see it ending any time soon. What is my goal weight? I don’t have one. I will no longer be defined by a number. My journey is about feeling strong, confident, healthy and, most importantly, happy.”
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