Jessica is an Army spouse of six years and a stay at home mother of two kids. Eager to learn and challenge herself, she has been able to strive to new heights to obtain her health and fitness goals. Always open to different ideas, Jessica enjoys trying fresh ways to stay fit with her family. After a recent PCS, she is excited about their new home in Colorado where they will take full advantage of all the activities the great outdoors provides. Why do I strive to live a healthy lifestyle?

Throughout my life, maintaining a healthy weight has been a constant challenge. From the time I was young, I was always the “big girl.” When my husband joined the military I was determined to “get skinny.” Getting healthy didn’t even cross my mind. I just wanted to be skinny. And I succeeded, by not eating nearly enough and excessively working out I was able to lose 60 pounds. But just as quickly as I lost the weight, I gained it back.

Jessica - BeforeDuring both of my pregnancies I took the time to eat whatever I wanted, also leading to another time in my life where I gained weight. Plus it seemed that every time my husband would leave for a long period of time, only then would I be able to refocus my eating habits and workout schedule. But once he returned, life would seem to take over, my priorities would shift, and my health would suffer.

After years of yo-yo dieting and facing a nine-month deployment, I decided to get as healthy as possible and this time for good. My goal was to play with my diet and find out what was really going to work when my husband came home. I wanted something I could maintain for my whole family. Although working out has never been hard for me, at that time, not only was my treadmill routine getting old, it was taking more and more effort to get motivated. 

I was lucky enough to find a workout group at the on-post gym that introduced me to a completely different way of working out. It included strength training and short, high intensity workouts. This ignited my excitement, motivation, and weight loss. Working out became the one thing I looked forward to doing every day.

Being surrounded by so many positive and healthy people not only helped me stay focused, it made me curious and interested in finding other ways I could continue to improve my health. That’s when I was introduced to Paleo and clean eating.

why jessica funct fitnessAt first, I was completely overwhelmed!  Cutting complete food groups out of my diet wasn’t going to work for me and I knew my husband would never go for it. On the other hand, I was also sitting at a weight plateau which was more frustrating than the thought of trying a different food plan.

After a ton of research, I decided to commit myself to Paleo for 30 days. After eating Paleo about 80% of the time, I had dropped a few pounds, but knew definitively the diet wouldn’t be anything I could maintain for my family for a long period of time. However, during those 30 days, I did notice that I felt much better not eating grains. Since then, I have continued to keep them out of my diet.

One year later and a recent PCS back to the States, I have been able to maintain the weight loss and fitness habits that I adopted during the nine-month deployment. Although I find myself “cheating” a little more often than I did while my husband was gone, I continue to keep my health and fitness my top priorities.