Introducing Jessica!

We are excited to introduce to you another fitness expert who is a part of the DTD family, her inspirational, moving and motivational story is sure to get you looking for your nearest gym. We have sourced real people, with real stories who have tried it all to eventually get great results and in doing so, would like to share with you what worked best for them. So all the way from the USA, we introduce to you, Jessica Smith…

“My name is Jessica Smith and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Born to a teenage mother, we had a very strict budget and nutrition was not a main concern. I grew up on frank and beans and butter sandwiches. That’s right, not peanut butter and jelly but just straight up BUTTER. I never thought twice about what I put in my mouth and my favorite things to eat were quesadillas and ice cream. Aside from my mother, I was the only girl in a house of men so I’ve been a tomboy pretty much my whole life. I never participated in sports but I loved video games and riding bikes. I had always been fairly thin but all that changed when I hit 18 and my metabolism came to a screeching halt.

I moved out to attend college for a semester and ended up experiencing the dreaded “Freshmen 15.” I lived off of potatoes and top ramen for half a year, gained a bunch of weight, developed psoriasis and horrible acne. My acne was so bad that I had to see a dermatologist once a week to get shots in my face (oww). I ended up moving back home and met my future husband. This was great for my love life but horrible for my relationship with food. My husband and I both love food and video games. When we first met, we ate out several times a day, everyday. Often times, we would pick up restaurant food and park in front of the TV for hours. At one point, we would plan out our fat adventures far in advance. We would go to sleep around 6-7pm specifically to wake up at 3am and eat at Carrows. Then we would go right back to sleep. These were just our weekday shenanigans. On the weekends, I would binge drink to the point of belligerency. I was normally the person being dared to do something really stupid and thus “Jess the mess” was born. Aside from my horrible eating habits, I wasn’t very active. I have always loved being outdoors and participating in various activities but I never did this on a regular basis.

Around 2005, I decided I was going to change. I joined Ballys and hired a personal trainer but I didn’t commit to a nutrition plan. I’m not sure why I thought I could lose weight when I religiously ate crumb donuts, Starbucks, guacamole chips, and snickers on a daily basis. Oh yeah, I would lose weight because I pounded Hydroxycut pills.  I ended up gaining even more weight and I looked very solid, like a pit-bull. I was also tired all of the time and jittery because of the Hydroxycut. In 2007, I tore the meniscus in my right knee while playing airsoft. I didn’t have the money to pay for surgery so I avoided jumping and running for several years. A couple of years later my knee buckled and caused me to fall down the stairs. I may or may not have also been drunk at the time.  A knee surgery and several months of physical therapy later, my knee felt like it would never be the same. People told me it would never be the same and I thought they were right. My injury caused me to pack on even more weight. By this time, I was depressed and I hated the way I looked. My husband had also gained 30lbs and we both decided it was time to make a change. In our ignorance, we ended up doing a crash diet. We ate nothing but small amounts of lean meat and veggies. We ended up losing a massive amount of weight and we looked sick. I dropped 30lbs and ended up weighing around 98lbs. With all of that weightloss, I STILL hated the way I looked. I was 98lbs with a gut and no curves. We went through a vicious cycle of starving ourselves and binge eating for several months. I tried to find balance in my diet but didn’t do any research. I ended up eating pseudo healthy food and maintained my unhealthy weight loss. I also picked up yoga and playing tennis.

In 2009, my world spiraled out of control when I received the devastating news of my little brother’s passing. Heartbroken, I turned to alcohol and food. I started binge drinking daily and could careless about nutrition. I was depressed and angry all the time. I am not a person who easily shares my emotions so a lot of people didn’t know what I was going through. My husband was there for me and made it clear that I was headed down a dangerous path. For next couple of years I continued my failed attempts at fitness. In 2011 I became a “cardio queen.” I did about 10 Zumba classes or more a week and sometimes did cardio for hours at a time. When I decided to incorporate weight training, I would seriously walk around the gym aimlessly and choose random machines. While I was on the machine, I picked a very light weight and would sometimes even Facebook while lifting weights.         

In Nov 2011, I got a call from the producers of the show “Wipeout” saying they wanted to interview me from an application I filled out years prior. The possibility of being on the show gave me a new motivational purpose and made me see working out in a different light. I didn’t want to look like a fool on TV so I decided to focus on my agility, strength, balance, and endurance. I had always been a fan of the show “Ninja Warrior,” and “Wipeout” was kind of like that so I was super excited. I joined Instagram shortly after that and saw all of the amazing people who are into fitness. I started doing research and months into my endeavor, I didn’t even care about the show anymore. I started weightlifting (for real this time) and tracked my workouts. In Aug 2012, I became very serious about my training. This is when I’d say I became obsessed with fitness. From August 2012 to about November 2012, I went from having a muffin top to having a 6 pack. I worked on building strong leg muscles to support my knee. I stopped paying attention to how much weight I’d lost. This also motivated me to start eating clean and caused me to have a different relationship with food. I never ended up on the show “Wipeout” but I’ve gained so much more. I now have a happy healthy body free of aches and pains.

I’ve been overweight and I’ve been underweight. I’ve tried every fitness craze from cardio belly dancing to ballet booty workouts. What I love about fitness is that it’s for everyone! It doesn’t matter where you’re from, who you were yesterday, or who you are today. It is never too late to become the person you want to become. I’d be happy if my story motivates even one person to make a change for the better. I can truly say that fitness changed my life for the better. I’m happier with whom I am and everyday I have a sense of accomplishment. Currently, I’m training for my first NPC Bikini Competition and I’m helping people on Instagram daily with health and fitness questions. I would have never dreamed I’d feel comfortable in a bikini, let alone compete in a bikini competition. I’ve had adversities but I finally learned to use them to propel me forward. I’ll leave you guys with my favorite quote;

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?……And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Jessica is a regular Instagram user and below are some shots of her pictures that have inspired hundreds of people: