10 Week Challenge Results (Jessica Ketola) part 3

If you are looking for the best program to make a complete healthy lifestyle transformation, look no further than the 10-week challenge.

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Meet Jessica Ketola, a mother, a nonprofit director, a musical talent, a kickboxer, a weight lifter, a fitness inspiration and an overall great person. In addition to all this Jessica, is also a 3 time graduate of the 10-week challenge. Each challenge provides unique learning experiences and during this challenge Jessica learned that our “simple” fitness plans are not always so simple

However despite all the twists and turns of her journey she still managed to find time to workout.

To hear about Jessica’s experience read the interview below.

March 2016 - May 2016

March 2016 – May 2016

The Jessica Ketola Interview

Besides being an absolute warrior in the gym, what is your day job?

Executive Director for a local nonprofit, Turning Point, that serves at-risk youth and low-income families in the neighborhood
Do you have any hobbies?
Not really. Raising four kids has kind of been my hobby over the last 20 years — but I do enjoy cooking, entertaining, enjoying family, friends and strangers, and laughing, dancing and drinking wine. After which I love to indulge myself in a good book, a hike, a spa day, or some delicious silence and solitude.
CKO Kickboxing Shoreline. Real People Real results

Being strong is our right! Jessica working towards completing the CINCO

How did you learn about the challenge and was it a hard decision to sign up?
This was my third challenge (read about the other two here and here). CKO has been life-changing for me and I wanted the extra push that the challenges provide to keep me working hard, growing and testing my limits.
What was your favorite aspect of the challenge?  
I loved the Semi-Private Training. During the last challenge, I discovered that I really liked strength training and so this time I took full advantage and improved my strength all around.
What was the hardest part about the challenge?
They say the journey is never a straight line but a bumpy, twisty journey and this time, I found that to be ever so true. My dear friend, pastor and colleague was diagnosed with a heart attack and congestive heart failure that is very serious. After which my husband was rushed to the hospital and we were told he was having a heart attack. Fortunately for us, he was NOT having a heart attack but pericarditis (inflammation of the heart sac) but after a rocky night where he flatlined and they had to resuscitate him and two nights in the hospital, our family was pretty rocked. Add to that, taking on the lead responsibility of our church in addition to everything I was currently doing which was already too much, you get one of the most stressful months I have been fortunate to live through. So, I may or may not have eaten a whole MOD gluten free pizza one night in the hospital and I certainly began to give myself allowances of wine and chocolate. But I didn’t quit. I traveled a whole week away and still got my 50 workouts in!
Bootcamp 2.0 Seattle, shoreline

Jessica (bottom left) after a very intense bootcamp

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?
You guys do! This gym is my happy place. Garett and Jessica, all the staff and just some really great people who are all pushing themselves to become the best versions of themselves.
What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?
Self-acceptance and maintaining fitness and health in balance with the occasional indulgences and stress of everyday life.
I am CKO
What would your advice be to some considering doing a 10 week challenge?
Do it! It will change your life!
What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential? 
I think you are doing it. Thank you!
Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other team members might not know about you.
 
The last couple challenges I have seen dramatic results. This time, being closer to my ideal weight, my gains were much smaller. And yet, I made gains. I lost inches. I lost pounds. I lost fat. I built muscle. And I got stronger. My fitness improved across the board. One of my goals was to work on the emotional side of the challenge, and I feel I made some good progress there as well. And so all in all, I am proud of myself even if I didn’t “arrive.” The more I journey, the more I realize that there is no arrival destination. We all just keep progressing, growing, learning and evolving. So here’s to the journey! 
September 2014 - November 2014

September 2014 – November 2014 (Jessica after her first 10-week challenge

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10-Week Challenge Results (Jessica Ketola)

If you are looking for the best program to make a complete healthy lifestyle transformation, look no further than the 10-week challenge.

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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…

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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.

 

10-week Transformation

10-week Transformation

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.

Jessica with Sting!

Jessica with Sting!

 

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?  

Jessica (center) at the yoga challenge takeover class

Jessica (center) at the yoga challenge takeover class

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. 

Jessica working out and giving back to the community

Jessica working out and giving back to the community

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.

Jessica at a 6am challenge take over kickboxing class

Jessica at a 6am challenge take over kickboxing class

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.

Jessica at the 2014 ugly sweater Kickboxing class

Jessica at the 2014 ugly sweater Kickboxing class

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!

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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!

10 week challenge (Jessica Ketola)

There is always one! Yes, we have learn that at the end of every challenge there is always one participant whose transformation is so amazing it is almost unreal. And that “one” was Jessica Ketola! I remember when Jessica first started, she really struggled to make it through class, but she never complained and never quit, she just kept showing up day after day. In fact Jessica is a great example of what is possible.

September 2014 - November 2014

September 2014 – November 2014

See, we have an unwritten rule in the gym which is 1% improvement, because in the fitness world, slow and steady wins the race. Fitness/nutrition is meant to be a lifestyle not a quick fix solution, so if you can focus on just improving 1% every day, slowly but surely, those 1%’s start adding up.  Then one day, 10 months later…BAM, you lost 48-lbs, numerous dress sizes, and have an entire new out look on life!

So thank you Jessica for showing/reminding us what this health journey is all about! Because it is all about small daily improvements! Too many people get caught up in the “big picture” focusing on how much weight the still have to lose instead of focusing on just being better than yesterday!

Congratulation on all your success thus far! If you continue down this path anything is possible. I look forward to writhing part 2 of your story this time next year 😉

The Jessica Ketola interview:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job?

I’m the Executive Director for a small nonprofit in Shoreline, Turning Point, working to build a strong community of care for at-risk youth and families. We run an afterschool tutoring program, summer day camps, provide healthy snacks and free summer lunches 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. Alone we can so little. Together we can do so much.

Do you have any hobbies?

I am a mother of four so spending time with my family is my biggest “hobby.” Attending games, concerts and keeping up with all their activities keeps me busy, but it’s a fun season as they are now young adults (ages 14 – 22). They make me laugh everyday!

I am also an artist-singer-songwriter and I enjoy singing, writing, playing piano, and performing. Two 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) which inspired me to pursue my dreams as an artist.

She can definitely sing (my wife heard her preform

She can definitely sing (my wife has seen her preform live!)

I also enjoy hosting parties, cooking, reading, and days all to myself.

How did you first learn of CKO?

Trying not to be too discouraged that I was back up “here” again (on the scale and feeling pretty miserable in life), I was looking for something different, high intensity, and a location that worked good with my schedule. CKO came up on my internet search and as I began to read through all the testimonials and comments, I became increasingly convinced that I would get the results I was looking for.

What are some of your fitness goals?

My primary goal is to feel good in my own body. To be strong. To be fit. To be FREE. My fitness journey has been fraught with self-hate, self-rejection and harm, and it has been a long journey to learn how to love myself and honor and care for my body. Yes, I want to drop some weight and be able to do real push ups and pull ups, but more than that, I want to drop the self-consciousness and harsh cycles of hiding and striving and learn to love and accept myself as I am.

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?

I love the community, the energy, the intensity and the challenge. I love hitting the bag and channeling my inner “bad ass”. I have loved that everyone is welcome at CKO – all different flavors, sizes and ages. It is inspiring to work out besides so many people who are fighting back and changing their lives.

Participating in the boxing for boobies event

Participating in the boxing for boobies event

What was the best part about the challenge?

I loved getting to know people better and the sense of encouragement and motivation I felt because of it.

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

Five times a week was brutal. My life is very full, working, being a mom and involved in my community. Often this meant waking up at 5:15 am and making the early classes, sometimes right after I had worked out the night before. In addition, the boot camps were sheer torture for me — I felt like I was literally going to throw up, they pushed me so hard. I had to try not to think about that as I made my way to the gym on Saturday mornings.

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

You guys do! The CKO community is very inspiring. I have worked way too hard to stop now. I’m beginning to see and feel the fruit of it, and I want to be an inspiration to myself and to my family.

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?

Meal prep and planning is still challenging. Sometimes my diet can be missing greens or enough protein or I find myself hungry if I don’t plan ahead.

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?

I think you are already out there ahead of us. I love the blogs, the challenges, the events, the personal training, and I am excited to see what 2.0 looks like.

Bootcamp anyone?

Bootcamp anyone?

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)!

Since joining in January, I have lost 48 pounds! I began working out 3 times a week and eating Paleo (even though I could barely get through a class!), and I lost 30 pounds by the time July rolled around. I had wanted to do the spring challenge only to find out it was full, but I just kept going. I coasted through the month of August with a move and vacations and then did the 10 week challenge this fall (I think I was one of the first to sign up this time!), losing another 17 pounds (now 18). I am very proud of myself as I met my goal of completing 50 classes and staying on track with my eating. I lost a total of 11.5 inches and improved my fitness stats across the board! My goal is to keep going with the lifestyle changes, continue to drop extra pounds, build strength and feel great!