If you are looking for the best program to make a complete healthy lifestyle transformation, look no further than the 10-week challenge.
Meet Jessica Ketola, a mother, a nonprofit director, a musical talent, a kickboxer, a fitness inspiration and an overall great person. Seriously, Jessica is kicking ass and taking names…
So when it came to Jessica’s performance during the 10-week challenge (fall 2015) it was no surprise that she kicked ass again. In fact, Jessica lost 17-lbs and 30 inches in just 10-weeks!!! In addition to the inches and weight lost, Jessica also improved all aspects of the fitness test improving her max pushups (in 2-mins) by 4, her max goblet squat (in 2-mins) by 17, her max sit-ups (in 2-mins) by 5, and her pull-ups by 4.
To learn more about Jessica’s 10-week journey, read below.
Besides being an absolute warrior in the gym, what is your day job?
I am the Executive Director of a small local nonprofit, Turning Point, working to help inspire and catalyze ordinary citizens and neighbors to invest in building a strong community, creating a fabric of care in our neighborhoods. We run an afterschool tutoring program, summer day camps, provide healthy snacks, free summer lunches and weekend backpacks for kids at risk of hunger, and cultivate a giving garden that donates fresh, organic vegetables to the HopeLink food bank. I love my job and am a big believer in the idea that if we all offer our gifts to the community, there will be more than enough.
Do you have any hobbies?
My hobbies are keeping up with my four kids, kickboxing, hiking, cooking, hosting parties and days all to myself.
I am also an artist-singer-songwriter and I enjoy singing, writing, playing piano, and performing. Several years ago, I did a fan-funded project, releasing my debut album. This was after a rockstar moment I had singing with Sting at the Gorge a few years earlier (I know, long story – www.jessicaketola.com) which inspired me to pursue my music. It remains a constant challenge to make time to create and to play, but is a vital part of what brings me joy.
How did you learn about the challenge and was it a hard decision to sign up?
I did the challenge last fall and LOVED it – though it was definitely not easy and required discipline and perseverance every day. I felt I needed the push to continue pursuing my health and fitness goals, so signed myself up again!
What was your favorite aspect of the challenge?
There was so many favorites. This challenge superseded the one before. I loved the increased accountability, the support of the other challengers in the takeover classes and facebook group, and the meal plan! It was the best challenge yet!
What was the hardest part about the challenge?
For me, it was a couple of “potential” setbacks. We unexpectedly had to take a trip to Montana to move my husband’s grandma into a retirement home. And so had to travel and eat out in a very stressful situation for 5 days. Not too long after our return, I was taken down with a nasty virus which completely knocked me out from working out for almost an entire week. I rarely get sick or miss work, so this was very disappointing. However, I was proud of myself as I didn’t let it give me any excuses to quit or settle. I flexed with the things outside of my control and made a plan to stay on track with my food and still get in all 50 workouts.
What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?
The entire CKO / 2.0 community! I see people working hard, fighting to change their lives, getting stronger and more fit every day and it inspires me. I purposefully put myself in classes and around people that are stronger and more fit (which is truthfully not that hard to do ) hoping that someday I too will be like them.
What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?
I think keeping motivated, keeping on track, staying consistent is a challenge. I have lost significant weight multiple times in my life but have gained it back. I know I have made so many lifestyle changes over the past two years but it is easy to slip back into bad habits.
What would your advice be to some considering doing a 10 week challenge?
DO IT!! If you are ready for change, it will absolutely change your life!
What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?
You are doing it! I brag about “my gym” all the time. You guys have created a place of acceptance, community, and challenge – which is a pretty rare thing. Just changing people’s lives one day at a time! NBD.
Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining the challenge)!
Two and a half years ago, I found my weight peaked at an all time high. I was absolutely miserable and felt defeated after just previously losing weight and vowing I would never put it back on — but with high stress, a new medication, low thyroid and failing to prioritize my exercise and food, here I was again. I felt so discouraged and some shame – but the only way forward was through the pain. And so I signed up at CKO in January of 2014 and began eating a whole foods Paleo diet. I was so out of shape, I couldn’t get through a class but I kept showing up and I lost 30 pounds in the first 6 months. In Fall of 2014 I did my first 10 week challenge and it pushed me out of my long plateau and I lost another 17. I was thrilled! I kept up the workouts, kept up the healthy eating and was able to maintain and even lose a few more pounds. This summer was brutal and I found myself struggling to stay on track, especially with my food and the scale began to creep up. And so I signed myself up for the Fall Challenge again and I couldn’t be happier with the results! I have now lost a total of 60 pounds and I am absolutely committed to continuing the journey!
Congratulations Jessica for all the success you have had during your fitness/life journey. You are a big inspiration to many in our fitness community (CKO and 2.0). Keep doing what you are doing!