Hi, my name is Jessica and I was raised on junk food.
I can’t say that I was ever truly out of shape – I was inspired by Manon Rehume and played street hockey from age 8 until 11, only stopping because at age 12, there were no girls or no non-checking leagues available in Tampa Bay at the time. I also suffered from hyperactivity as a child, and my constant jumping around left me with calf muscles so large, I couldn’t wrap two hands around them. I then played a little basketball, ran track for a brief period, then became a scuba diver and eventually an assistant instructor.
My problem? I could care less about what I ate. I had a teacher in middle school who went to my parents because I ate a peanut butter brownie every day for lunch. Because my family has very different food preferences, we went out to eat. A lot. And I’d think nothing of eating a 1200 calorie entree and following it up with a 1100 calorie dessert. I worked late nights and would think nothing of running through the drive thru for a crispy chicken sandwich and fries (I actually royally hate the taste of beef). I would go through a box of Pop Tarts and a package of Oreos within 3 days.
That changed in 2010. A combination of health conditions caused me to lose weight…rapidly. I lost 30 pounds in the span of 2 months. It did cause me to learn a few things. For one, I was satisfied by less food than I thought. For two, I was a major boredom eater.
I had also lost all my muscle tone. Skinny jeans were now baggy on me. So, bound and determined to make the most of my illness, I began to work out. Not just so I could perform a dive rescue anymore – now, it was for looks. But I wasn’t about to give up my Pop Tarts. So I began to follow the IIFYM way of eating.
The 2011 creation of the Bikini Hockey League gave me some incentive. I always said I would give anything to play hockey again. I finally got what most would consider an enviable bikini body. The league, however, folded before it ever played a game. With that, I began looking for an outlet. I turned my sights towards NPC Bikini competitions. I competed for the first time on September 24th, 2016, at the Hurricane Bay Classic in Tampa.
And so you know my start…where I end up? Nobody knows.