My name is Jessica Wasinger and I am the founder of Shredded by Grace--an organization dedicated to seeing lives transformed through whole person health. And, my story--I imagine--isn't entirely removed from your own. No, I was not born with "an incredible metabolism" and "great body." I had to work hard, set goals and make choices that were in line with achieving the fitness level and life I truly wanted. It is only through years of effort and increasing knowledge that I've grown in my overall fitness and holistic health.
Growing up, I participated in many different competitive sports. I absolutely loved finding new physical challenges. My earliest memories of "pumping iron" were as an adolescent doing Denise Austin workout videos with my mom. Little did I know, the journey that would transpire from my early interest in fitness. Though I had always excelled in physical competition, my weight was a roller coaster. I was blessed to have parents that got me involved in so many activities and kept a house full of fairly balanced nutritional options. However, I couldn't understand why I wasn't more "lean and toned" like all the fitness models I saw on the cover of the magazines, even though I was so active. I would constantly compare myself to my sisters or friends wondering why they had "natural six-packs" or were so thin while eating whatever they wanted. I'd suffered through many of the trendy diets to no avail.
In college, I decided to get my first personal training certification and took a nutrition course in hopes of figuring my own body out. For the first time I began to dig past the popular media-driven "health fads" and into real science. Initially, I only utilized the knowledge to pursue bettering my own health and fitness goals while working professionally in crisis counseling and in teaching teenagers success-development through whole-person health.
As my knowledge and experience in these seemingly different fields grew, I found huge bridges between them. I had struggled so much myself in losing weight and finding an enjoyable lifestyle that empowered and improved not only my external physique but also my internal well-being. I began to realize that "true health" is so much more than a number on a scale or my pant size--to see just how parallel physical fitness and whole-person health truly are. Because, just as muscles must be torn in order to grow, so many aspects of our lives must undergo the same process. It is in walking through brokenness that we are able to embrace healing, growth and health.
You see, we all have a story. Mine is no more glamorous than anyone else's. I still have my struggles. I am human. Life throws curveballs that can make it difficult to make our health a priority. However, I believe that God gave me this body with many awesome talents and abilities, but that doesn't mean I won't encounter hurdles. I have learned to love myself and to love this temple, striving to continually accept where I am while pursuing deeper levels of health in all areas of life.
I often wondered why I have such a passion for something that challenged me so greatly--why I couldn't just achieve my fitness goals with more ease. But, the truth is, so many of us share that same struggle and it is only through my own history that I developed a personal passion to help each client navigate the highs and lows of their journey!