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8 Weeks to Greatness – 2019 Participants

Jessica Before AfterJessica Dold

Lost 42 lbs of fat
Lost 17 inches
Lost 40 lbs on the scale

Week 1 & 2
For the last 3 years the words diet and exercise made me want to run and hide. Why had I let myself slip so much? I used to be such an athlete and worked out all the time and enjoyed healthy foods … but this Jessica I didn’t know. Deep down I know I wanted a change but how do I do that? And just like that it happened!

Walking into His and Her Fitness at 4am day 1 was terrifying to me. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into all I knew was that I was ready, completely ready for a lifestyle change. I was nominated for 8 weeks to greatness and 24 hours later I had a meal plan and a creative cardio routine. No more excuses I was ready to make my family proud and to be the healthy person I once was. I had a week to show what I was made of – my determination and dedication to the 8 weeks to Greatness program!

Announcement night came so quickly and I haven’t been that nervous in such a long time. My number one supporter through all the ups and downs is my Mom, Nancy. Having her hear my name called as being chosen to continue this journey was a moment of pure joy and something we will treasure forever.

His and Her Fitness has been the most welcoming gym I have ever been part of. Christina wants nothing more than to help me reach my goals and be a support system. His and Her Fitness feels like family and I enjoy walking into the gym no longer in fear but through sweat, smiles and dedication I will reach my weight loss goals. None of this could be possible without trainers Christina and the team of trainers!

I have a long way to go but every day I feel stronger, happier and healthier. I am so grateful for everything that I have accomplished so far and I’m ready for the next 6 weeks! Let’s do this!

Week 3

Heading into week 3 was tough for me mentally, emotionally and physically! I felt that I was off my game and doubting myself to the full extent! For 8 weeks to greatness I want nothing more than to accomplish my weight loss goal and be proud of myself again.

Once Monday weigh in came and went I told myself that I have to have a positive attitude and head space going forward. Monday was by far the toughest day for me. I was leaving that day in the dust and moving forward.

The training workouts I am doing three days a week are starting to feel natural- that I, Jessica, actually belong in a gym! I have never had so much one on one attention when it comes to training. I am learning from Christina more than she could ever know. I have enjoyed the #creativecardio six times a week and know that dedicating time to it each day is setting me up for success. Heck, I even did it on my day off this week!

Everyone at His and Her Fitness are beyond supportive and cheer me on daily! Having that many people in my corner drive me to push even harder to reach my goals!

Another week down! Let’s go!!

Week 4

Start of Week 4- end of this week will be the halfway point for 8 Weeks to Greatness! This journey has been tough physically and mentally but I know I can do anything for 8 weeks! This is a lifestyle change for me. Starting to actually see my worth and that I deserve a healthy life future and family of my own!

I have found myself in a much more positive state of mind I am no longer dreading getting out of bed from a sleepless night. I find myself excited to get up and train or start my day with creative cardio. The workouts I am truly enjoying and know that with each warmup, push up, cardio… it puts me one step closer to my goal.

My accountability buddy is my food journal. Writing down what I am eating every day is another part of my new normal. When I actually see on a day to day basis how healthy I am eating it motivates me to keep going! Who knew Greek yogurt with cinnamon and honey could be so good! I never thought I would get over my Diet Coke addiction well guess what it is officially replaced with two scoops of Amino Energy – so yum! My cravings for something sweet is completely gone… how is that possible? I have not felt this much energy, strength or happiness in a very long time.

Being the roller coaster dieter I have been for the last 4 years Is a place I never want to be in again! I am so driven to take everything Christina has taught me about eating, working out and to actually appreciate myself and use this as my new normal!

My boyfriend, Eric and I had date night with my best friend Melanie and her husband Eddie. I was up for this challenge I knew nothing would tempt me! We went to Topgolf for date night. I enjoyed water with a lime – in a fancy glass of course! Going out socially, not eating or drinking just enjoying the company of wonderful people made for the best night! The support I have from Eric to stay healthy even going out means the world to me. I would not be able to do this journey without him. I even got Eric to start doing creative cardio with me this week- I will keep him forever!

A huge support system I have is Shelley Whipps, Shelley’s sister Stephanie Woltemath, and my sister in law Mackenzie Dold. I truly cannot put into words how grateful I am for Shelley nominating me for this journey! Shelley has never given up on me and gave me this chance to change my life for the better. Every time I step into the gym I think of Shelley and doing an extra push up to make her proud. Stephanie is my new gym buddy and gives me the motivation and encouraging words to keep going! That doesn’t happen at every gym but it definitely does at His and Her Fitness. Kenz, my cheerleader from afar. You motivate me to finish out this journey so we can travel together and have fun- dreaming of our Hawaii trip once I’ve conquered my weight loss goal!

Week 3 was the week people began to notice … and wow even more motivation for me! Getting the reassurance my hard work is paying off and knowing I’m doing something that is inspiring others makes me so grateful for this opportunity! I have had the ups and SO many downs when it comes to weight loss and it brings me joy that my story can help someone else start their journey.

To another week rocking it out in the gym! Thank you for your weekly support – His and Her Fitness Trainers Christina and the team you all mean the world to me!

To my Mom whose unending love and support goes beyond my wildest dreams. Week 5 is for you! Love you

Let’s do this!

Week 5
Wow, made it through week 5! During this week I noticed I was having some issues with fatigue. I was able to turn that right around by sticking with my food plan, 5 meals and day and eating every three hours. I made sure to eat plenty of protein to stay on track! This meal plan is something I will make part of my day to day life even after the 8 weeks. The amount of things I have learned in order to live a healthy lifestyle day in and day out is fantastic and for that, I am so grateful.

I am starting to feel stronger and more powerful as each day goes by. Training 3 days a week is starting to feel like a routine. With creative cardio 6 days a week I am starting to challenge myself adding burpees, mountain climbers and things I haven’t been able to do for so long. Makes me proud when I can workout without having to stop constantly or gasping for air. I keep having to remind myself that the results will come because of the time and effort I am putting in. Down 26 pounds and ready to crush the next 40 pounds! I am determined to reach my weight loss goal and will not stop until I get there.

As I have been sharing my journey and Christina posting about my 26-pound weight loss so far I had no idea what an impact I was making for others. All of the positive comments along the way have given me fuel to keep going. It means more to me than anyone could imagine. I hope that my journey inspires others to make a change no matter how tough it can be. I realized I haven’t had sweets in over a month, that is a serious accomplishment for this sweet tooth gal! In it to win it! No more excuses!

Christina laid down the law this week! Brad and I have worked too hard to get to where we are. We have a lot of people rooting for us and there is no going back! Christina wants us to live a healthy lifestyle from here on out and if we don’t …she will be at our front door to meal prep and whip us into shape. I love you Christina but I don’t need you at my house. I have made a promise to myself that I will never be at this weight again.

I started to make recipes off of wow so many amazing choices! I discovered jalapeño Creme fish tacos and cauliflower crust pizza. The fish tacos are bomb and officially part of the dinner rotation! My boyfriend Eric and I had date nights at home making these delicious recipes. It’s been a great experience making healthy recipes together while enjoying each other’s company. Lot more date nights to come!

Going into week 6 I have been reflecting on the highs and lows of this challenge so far. I never thought I could feel as great as I do. I am dreaming of witnessing “Maui Dad” again as well as making my Dad proud of me. Meeting my goals means a trip back to Hawaii for my family which would be a dream come true. Week 6 is for my Dad who always supports me no matter what! Love you to the moon and back Dad!

Week 6
This amazing 8 Weeks to Greatness journey has flown by! All of the love and support I have had keeps me motivated to finish this challenge strong!

With the end of the 8 weeks nearing we have been discussing the photo shoot that is happening at the end! Christina told me that we would be going shopping together to pick out something for the shoot. I went ahead and asked where we would be shopping so I could go take a look ahead of time…. worst decision ever! I am halfway through this journey I still have curves and weight to lose. With 20 inches off my waist I should not leave a store feeling defeated! I definitely should have listened to Christina and waited to shop with her as she knows how to style people and make them feel beautiful!  Lesson learned!

I feel so grateful to be part of something so positive and being pampered by generous people! I will be getting my hair cut and colored at Shelby Herrick Salon! Clothology 135 was so generous in styling me from head to toe! All of the amazing gifts from Talbots, Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming, Shelby Herrick Salon, Amelia’s and Clothology 135- makes me feel so blessed!

I was able to stick to my meal plan and workout every day during a holiday weekend! Proud of myself for staying healthy and working hard!

With each passing day I feel healthier and stronger! I will continue to train with Christina at His and Her Fitness after the 8 weeks! I am so determined to reach my goals and live a healthy lifestyle.

Week 7Christina and Jessica
How is it possible that week 7 is here?! I have enjoyed my #8weeks_to_Greatness journey so much even through the highs and lows it has gotten me to this place of pure happiness. I started this week feeling proud and successful as I am so close to my weight loss goal! My journey will continue after the 8 weeks at His and Her Fitness. My fitness journey will never be over as I want to continue feeling this strong and healthy for years to come! I promised myself no more excuses, just a healthy lifestyle always.

My closet is beginning to open more and more to the clothes I kept holding onto hoping one day I will get back into them and week 7 I accomplished just that. I was able to put on a pair of jeans without jumping up and down to squeeze into them or doing lunges around my bedroom to make them work. In fact they slipped right on. A lot of my current pants are too big by the end of the day I need a belt and they fit like my should never leave the house in them kind of sweatpants. I wasn’t the only one to notice things are fitting much better – the compliments from family, friends and coworkers are so nice and makes me realize how far I’ve come! Christina has told me clothes that are too baggy or not flattering have got to go…this is terrifying to me but at the same time it would be throwing out the part of my life I don’t want to go back to. If I don’t have fat clothes in my closet to get back into it keeps the motivation constantly going.

With the photo shoot nearing my planner personality had about 100 questions. Few words that are not in my dictionary … patience, chill and relax. I am quite the planner in the sense that I like to be fully prepared and all things are in place. When I have 100 things going on in my brain … that means Christina has 500 things going on in hers. I didn’t give much consideration before my 20 questions via text to Christina began …. the response I got was CHILL! Poor Christina I felt so awful after the fact. We had a lot of good laughs when I went in for my workout that evening. I am slowly learning to just let everything happen and to take the worlds largest chill pill.

I went to the gym later in the week for #creativecardio and Christina was there with a giant smile. She let me know our workout attire for the photo shoot had arrived ….medium pant… excuse me WHAT?? As I headed to try the outfit on I could feel defeat and disappointment coming on. The outfit actually fit. Talk about a huge accomplishment. I am starting to feel confident with each passing day. By the next photo shoot Christina says I’ll be wearing a small… #motivation.

At the end of week 7 just relaxing at home, meal prepping and in my workout clothes Eric said to me, “You look amazing and I’m so proud of all your hard work.” This simple compliment from Eric meant the absolute world to me, more than he will ever know. I want to be the best girlfriend I can be and being healthy is part of that. I am so awkward when it comes to receiving compliments but this one was so welcomed and I was beyond grateful he said

One week left….

Week 8- Final Blog

The final week for #8weeks_to_Greatness is finally here I cannot believe it! I have not been this successful with a diet and workout routine for as long as I can remember. Very grateful for the last 8 weeks but my journey is just beginning!

As I reflect back on the last 8 weeks I feel so blessed to be nominated and chosen for this journey. Without this challenge, I’m sure I would still be yo-yo dieting and struggling with confidence. I have learned so much about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle while still having a life outside of His and Her Fitness. I have learned a lot about myself and what I can actually accomplish if I am determined. I have truly realized I am someone who will need to meal prep, workout regularly and weigh-in consistently. Keeping myself accountable and never looking back to the way I was before the 8 weeks.

The end of the week is here and we have our final weigh-in and photoshoot. I was so nervous for the shopping experience but Clothology:135 and Christina made it wonderful. I am able to go into stores and fit into clothes that I feel confident in and now show off all my hard work.

Final weigh-in and metrics … so nervous to know my final results. I stepped on the scale and rather than feeling defeated I felt joy. I had reached my goal and in 8 weeks I lost 40 lbs. I feel like I am getting back to my old self and so happy for the life I have ahead of me.

I have the tools to maintain a healthy lifestyle while living a fun life! No going back! Grateful for this journey, for His and Her Fitness and all the trainers.

Cheers to a new me!

Brad Jennings

Week 1 & 2

I decided to take a chance. I saw the announcement for 8 weeks to greatness and thought “what else do I have to lose?” I was miserable. None of my clothes fit anymore. I swear I was actually wearing shorts to work because my clothes stop fitting right. I kept telling myself it’s okay, you will get this under control… but every week everything kept getting tighter and tighter. I was sleeping more and waking up even more tired. I knew I had the capability to achieve my goals, I just needed someone to hold me accountable… someone that believed in me.

When I walked in the first day I half expected them to tell me I was a lost cause, not even to try, but sure enough, They took my measurements and started me on my cardio plan. What I noticed first about His and Her Fitness was the positive attitude and the motivation they provided is next level. Cardio started one step at a time… literally. I couldn’t move too fast, I would get winded and tired… but that was the point, to keep moving. Even if it was one step, it was the step in the right direction.

As days passed I started getting quicker and quicker. Suddenly, the voice in my head that said you can get this under control started saying you’re getting this under control. Sure, there were days I felt sore and weak, but I felt like Christina and the team of trainers had my back. I didn’t want to let them down. I didn’t want to let me down. As days went on I saw my reps increase and intensity jump. I felt like I was my younger self smoothly transitioning through practice drills. Simple, but effective movements that kept my heart rate up. I’m doing it; I am getting in better shape.

What helped me excel the first two weeks was keeping a food journal and submitting them to Christina every night for her review. This hasn’t been too difficult because the recipes on H&H website were easy and delicious. I have tried several diets: Vegetarian, Vegan, Whole 30 and so on… nothing has stuck. I can actually have carbs on this plan…. I am pumped about that!

When announcement night came I was feeling nervous, butterflies filled my belly as I drove to the gym. I worked my butt off for 2 weeks, I saw the improvements taking place, I was feeling great about where I was and where I am heading. I didn’t want it to end. I was grateful for the first two weeks but I REALLY wanted to see how far I can go for 8 full weeks. When my name was called I was ecstatic! The nerves were replaced with joy; in two short weeks, I discovered that I believed in me, and the crew at H&H believed in me. I won’t let anyone down. I know I can get to my goals, and I know His and Her Fitness can get me there.

Week 3

Heading into week 3 was full of anticipation. This was my first week of lifting weights and I was nervous that I would burn out. Lifting incorporated with cardio was a lot for my busy schedule. After our first lift (Wednesday) I honestly felt the burden lift off my shoulders. It was a quick session (only 30 minutes) and fit into my schedule nicely.

As for my eating habits. Even though There was a wide range of foods I could eat and the recipes on were delicious, I found myself settling into the same foods day in and day out. I would like to focus on widening my menu so I don’t get stuck on the same foods. If I can do this, I feel like success is imminent.

Now time for the disappointing part…I lost hardly any weight. I am not too upset because I knew that losing 10+ every week would not be in the cards, but I am definetly going to focus on what I may do better next week. Luckily, Christina and the crew were very encouraging and helped keep me on path. Stay Tuned!!!

Week 4
The weekends always seem to be a little tougher for me. During the week I have a set schedule with work so I can plan my snack, lunch, and dinner times. During the weekend I always find myself getting wrapped into projects around the house or going out with family or friends. If you are focused on making healthy choices, please make sure you have healthy options on hand for yourself. It will go a long way… and save you from being hangry… If I only knew…

Workouts increased from a 30-minute session to an hour, and whoa momma am I sore! I had no clue that there were that many different ways to work out a shoulder… Each one just slightly different, but I could feel burns in different parts of my shoulders, pretty crazy actually, LOL.

For the first time, I am having people ask me if I have lost weight. What a great feeling! Both Jessica and I are working our butts off and getting a little recognition is going a long way! Makes me feel a little more confident that I am working hard and going somewhere.

I have discovered Spaghetti Squash… my life has meaning now. That is all I will say about that. Also, slap some pasta and some baked chicken breast and you have a party in your mouth! Trust me… Don’t undercook the squash, it will not taste that great.

For the weigh-in, I had some fantastic news. I was down… BIG. I didn’t feel like I switched up too many things but frankly I don’t care, it was so encouraging to see the amount I lost. I spoke to past 8 Weeks To Greatness winner Stephanie and she ensured me She saw good weeks and bad weeks (when it came to weight loss) and to just stay on the path.

Everyone at H&H Fitness has been great, helping me feel welcome every time I walk through the door and making sure they point out when they see the work I did. I am so thankful for this journey. Halfway there, Stay tuned…!

Week 5

You know how I said during week 4’s blog that weekends are tough for me…? Welp, I made the rookie mistake of heading to the lake of the Ozarks completely unprepared. Sure, I packed food, but I packed Strawberries, baby spinach, turkey, and blueberries. Needless to say I got through everything in less than 3 meals. I completely forgot my carbs (tortilla’s). I was left going to the lake bars and ordering whatever I could to stay on plan. One meal consisted of Red Bell peppers cut into chunks and salsa. On a plus side, I kept up my cardio. I can honestly say this was my least fun trip to the lake I have ever had, and it was all my fault. BE PREPARED PEOPLE!!!

Coming in after that trip, I felt motivated. I felt like I let myself down (even though I stayed on plan, I knew it wasn’t as healthy as it could have been and I felt like I let myself down.) So making sure I was focused during the workouts was a must.

The weekend put a toll on my weigh-in, as I had another down week. I lost a few lbs, and my inches were down, but I knew with the work I put in I should have been down more. This is just another learning opportunity and I’m going to take this setback and turn it into a teachable moment.

Week 5 down, 3 to go…! Stay Tuned!