We all look forward to different milestones we hope to enjoy in the future. For some it is the excitement of a graduation day, while for others it is the dreaming of finally becoming a homeowner that acts as a primary motivation to create change. For Jessica Messina it was the envisioning of her wedding day that prompted a 145 lbs weight loss transformation journey and complete lifestyle change.
When Jessica began college in 2012, she weighed 300 lbs. She tells POPSUGAR of that moment in time, “that’s when I really knew I needed to change how my life was going.”
Jessica’s transformation started with one vision
Jess says, “Whenever that day comes, I want to look my best.” She continues, “I don’t want to feel self-conscious or worried about how I’m going to look in the pictures.”
Jessica Messina’s desire to feel like her best self on her future wedding day was not the only driving force for change. Jessica also really wanted to become a mother but feared that her weight would create complications.
Jess says, “The sad reality was at 300 pounds, my cycle was irregular. I had high blood pressure and probably many other underlying issues that went undiagnosed.” She adds, “One of my biggest fears was that I wouldn’t be able to have kids if I stayed at that unhealthy weight, or I’d be high-risk and have a lot of complications.”
One of my biggest fears was that I wouldn’t be able to have kids if I stayed at that unhealthy weight, or I’d be high-risk and have a lot of complications
Jess decided to join a gym and lost a total of 70 lbs over the course of her college years.
“Losing weight in university was difficult,” Jess explains. “I was always around high-calorie food, so it was tough to maintain my weight loss, and I ended up gaining some of my weight back.” Then Jessica experienced a weight plateau until 2018.
From 2018 to 2019 Jess changed her exercise routine after she got into bodybuilding and personal training. The change in her workout regimen would result in Jess losing another 75 lbs, leading to a total weight loss of 145 lbs overall.
She doesn’t believe in limiting herself
Jessica’s success is rooted in the fact that she didn’t go the diet route, instead she sought to overhaul her lifestyle for a healthy one, eating everything in moderation.
“I have never deprived myself or stopped myself from indulging in all foods. However, I was able to portion-control what I was eating, which allowed me to stay in a caloric deficit,” Jess describes. “It’s all about lifestyle changes.”
When Jess was focused on weight loss, her daily caloric intake was between 1,600 and 1,800 a day. Now however, Jess says, “Currently, I am consuming 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day, depending on my activity level for that day. My main goal is to gain muscle at the moment.”
Jess started out with just cardio, but after her weight plateaued, she knew that she had to change it up. Messina says, “Once I hit a plateau, I knew I needed to do something different. I knew I needed to increase my intensity and that’s when I got into bodybuilding.”
When Jess’ goal was to lose weight she was in the gym 5 times a week. Now that her focus is on bodybuilding, she has upped her gym time to 6 days a week. Occasionally, Jessica will even do two workouts in one day.
Jess gets her motivation from helping others succeed
Helping others motivates Jess along her journey now. Jess is inspired by her work as a personal trainer where she gets to help others lose weight and gain muscle. Most importantly though, she likes to show people that they are capable and worth the effort!
Jessica’s transformation motivates her to stay on course. She says that, becoming “someone who has lost 145 pounds and is working toward living the rest of her life as a healthy and fit individual is something I am very proud of.”
Jess has literally measured her success in many different ways, including inches. She proclaims, “I have lost a total of 93 inches off my entire body!”
We are all human, and no one is perfect, but just remember what you’re fighting for.
“I have gone from a size 22 to a size six in jeans, a 2X to an XS in shirts, and a size 24 to a size two in dresses. I used to be on the last hole of my Fitbit band; it used to be very tight on me, and I am now on the first hole.”
She also encourages taking photos of yourself along the way so that you can literally see the progress. Jess says, “Oftentimes, the scale doesn’t move, but our bodies have changed drastically, so use other methods to measure success.”
Jessica’s advice to all of those wishing to embark upon similar transformation journeys is to “educate yourself.” She explains that understanding how the body works and what you need to do to achieve your goals is paramount for success on this journey.
Figure out “why” you’re doing this in the first place
Don’t worry if you feel as though you have strayed off course on a lifestyle transformation journey. As Jess puts it, “We are all human, and no one is perfect, but just remember what you’re fighting for.” She continues saying, “Maybe it’s your kids, maybe it’s to have kids, maybe you’re competing in a show, or maybe it’s to save your life. Only you can pick up the pieces, get back up, and keep on going!”
Jess explains that above all, “believe in yourself and trust the journey!”
Jess originally joined a gym and decided to embark upon her transformation journey with the mental image of feeling good as a bride. Now, as a result, Jessica Messina gets to feel good in her skin every day.
What motivates one person may not be the same for the next person, but we all have the power to project forward toward the future. Envisioning ourselves where we want to be, and how we want to be when we get there is an important mental exercise for achieving our goals.
Manifesting hopes and dreams begins with goal setting, and setting goals begins with seeing the future. Envision success and you are more likely to attain it. You dictate who you are in the future, and you always have the power to begin your journey towards becoming that person today.
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