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  • Writer's pictureJessica Gerlock

Back on the Horse

I wish the worry of maintaining weight loss was like eating a pizza, once that last bite is gone it is gone forever. Unfortunately it is not, it is a lifelong journey. As many of you know, eight years ago I hit a fork in the road and decided I was going to make a big change in my life. At the time, I was 22 years old, had graduated college, was working at The Walt Disney Company, and life seemed in order on paper. Howeverm I was really miserable inside. It was May 2014 and I don’t know what had overcome me but when I hit that fork in the road, I did a sharp left and went on a journey of self discovery. Since then I have gained a love for health and taking care of myself. From an unhealthy 18 year old girl who was 227 pounds and five feet tall, who was miserable inside and did not like herself to, now, at age 30, a healthy, happy person who loves herself inside and out. On top of all that, I was able to keep off more than 100 pounds for the long haul and begin a new career as a Certified Personal Trainer. It was a positive left turn I don’t think anyone was expecting.

Here is the thing. My weight loss/fitness/health journey was going pretty smoothly for about 6 years till Covid hit. One of the reasons I have personally been so successful in my weight loss journey is due to sticking to routines and going to the gym almost every day. It was my therapy, my happy place. The place I could go for an hour a day and escape into my music blasting from my headphones. When the gyms shut down each time with every lockdown, my motivation to keep working out every day kept dropping. Yes I did at home workouts almost every day as well but i felt my intensity and drive wasn’t the same. I was working out in my parent’s basement with very limited equipment. It was hard to keep up the personal motivation and be inspired to workout to that extent when you are working out alone in a basement.

During the lockdowns I also moved out of my parent’s house and I started to eat like nobody was watching me because well, nobody was watching me. I did my own groceries and nobody saw when I started eating nachos and quesadillas weekly and buying chips and junk food in every order. I was enjoying this independent phase of my life but I did not even realize what I was doing. I was going right back to my old ways. A few months, in I got even more lazy with my healthy routine and I started cooking bad and ordering Ubereats fried fast food. It got to the point that I was maybe cooking a healthy meal once or twice a week. My routine was way off and I could feel it. I was adapting back to bad habits that got me to being extremely overweight and unhappy with myself. I worked so hard to live a healthy lifestyle and these lockdowns and isolation were not helpful in my journey.

January 2022 comes along and I was way past the “Covid 15.” I had gained 27 pounds since Covid began in March 2020. That was from no gym, not being as motivated working out, adding take out food, emotional/bored eating, and being out of my routine that was so successful for me. At the same time In the back of my mind was in six months from then I was turning 30. I booked a vacation to go away with a friend to celebrate in Las Vegas. I could not be in a bikini looking the way my body currently did. I was insecure and needed to do something. Thankfully my gym finally opened and life started to feel normal. I made a goal. My company’s slogan is “Mindset is Everything” and I truly believe that. So, I shifted my mindset again to the way I did back 8 years ago and I was determined, inspired and motivated again. I was determined to be in the best shape of my life at the age of 30.

This is my job. It is what people hire me for. I acted as if I was going to be my hardest working client. As with all my clients, I like to set a SMART goal to start. A Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely goal. My goal was to lose the 27 covid pounds that I gained during covid before the time I went on my trip. I set a date to start February 3, 2022 and I started with Harley Pasternak’s “15 Day Body Reset Diet. That helped with cutting out the junk food and garbage I was eating. Also I aimed for 12 k steps every day and small strength training circuits. For me, this book did exactly as it says in the title but instead it reset my mindset to live a healthy lifestyle. I needed a kick in the butt to start and that was that for me.

After the 15 days I continued eating well, cutting out processed foods, added sugars, cheese, junk food, etc. but I started to go out for dinners once a week to be social. I never want my routine to disrupt my social plans but in this mindset its all about balance. I really believe you can have a cheat meal and really enjoy yourself but it does not have to be a cheat day. I go out to be social, eat what I want in moderation for a meal and then get back onto my routine of eating whole clean foods for the rest of the week and portion control.

I turned 30 June 11, 2022 and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate. Since I started this recent weight loss journey February 3, 2022 I have lost more than 30 pounds. I got my goal of the 27 pounds and more. I feel better than ever. My confidence and self-love are beaming and I am so proud of the woman I am today. For the amount of times I have been put down and shamed, I did not think in a million years I would have the self drive to accomplish what most people cannot. As a trainer, I can say I know what it takes to lose a significant amount of weight and actually keep it off for the long haul. There will be ups and downs but it is all within you. It takes that mindset shift. Due to Covid and the lockdowns I fell off that horse but I got back on and that is what a journey is all about.

Stay Strong!

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