In today's member spotlight, we are featuring Jessica Volchok. Jessica grew up in Torrance, CA, and said she was never particularly athletic as a kid, although she did play softball for seven years (but says she was very mediocre at the sport). While remaining slender through her youth, things started to change in her 30s when it became clear that she could no longer eat anything she wanted without suffering the consequences.
Plus, with two kids, I was genuinely busy and taking the time/spending the money on myself was a difficult commitment to make. Throughout my 30s, when my weight and overall lack of physical strength or stamina began to be an issue, I would always think, "I need to get moving and deal with this," however I could never motivate my self to actually do it. Additionally, healthy eating wasn't really a focus for me, which added to the problem. It wasn't until my husband started working with a personal trainer and really started to see results, that I was motivated to do the same."
What brought you to Bionic Body?
I started working with Dan Bohenek prior to Bionic Body opening, so when he joined the team, I followed him. I think I was the first person to buy sessions there! In fact, I started training at BB before they had power in the Soul Studio, and well before a lot of the finishing touches were completed in they gym.
I hadn't known Dan all that long before Bionic came about, but he and I clicked really well and I didn't want to start over with someone new, so I left the original gym I had joined altogether. I had found that having to reveal all the issues I had with my body, my weigh,t and my total lack of strength (my first attempt at a plank lasted all of four seconds - an ongoing joke between me and Dan now) to a total stranger was incredibly scary, but he always made me feel safe and positive about my progress.
Dan is also incredibly, and sometimes hilariously, creative when it comes to developing my workouts - he keeps it fun and challenging, which means I'm never bored and generally spend a good portion of each session giggling helplessly as I try to contort myself in or out of whatever position he's gotten me into.
What are some of your favorite things about Bionic Body?
I generally train with Dan three days a week, and then try to get in for Heather's Balance class on Sundays. I've also taken several of the Circuit, Signature, and Synergy classes, which I loved. Overall, I love the vibe at Bionic - all the trainers, Kim and Gunter are really nice and encouraging. The facility has a great family-type environment and I never feel intimidated when I'm there.
Of course, the equipment and functional fitness concepts are really working for me, both at the gym and in my daily life. I love that we can use the resistance bands to help me do things that I never thought I'd be able to do, like handstands or push-ups.
What do you find the most challenging about staying healthy and fit?
I've found that for me, keeping a healthy and balanced diet is most challenging. At my age, I can maintain my weight through exercise, but in order to lose weight - it is all about my food choices, and I am not always consistent in making good ones. It's something I have to focus on more - but since I'm continuing to work out regularly, it is easier to keep it top of mind.
Are there any health and fitness goals you would like to accomplish?
I'd like to lose a few more pounds (especially post-holidays) and keep focusing on growing my strength so I can do more advanced exercises. I'd also like to run (and complete) at least one 5k race. I HATE running so this is a pretty big hurdle for me.
Since I started working with Dan, I've dropped 3 dress sizes (around 30 lbs) and have learned how to focus more on what I'm eating, what makes me feel lousy (I'm looking at you, dairy), and gain a ton of strength and stamina. My confidence has gone way up, as has my ability to do tougher and more complicated exercises/workouts, which makes me want to continue to push my limits even further.
Who do you most admire?
That's such a tough question - I admire so many people from different areas in my life that I don't think I could pick just one! But I do derive a lot of inspiration, fun (and sanity) from my friends who are parents. Parenting is such a difficult job and I love to glean ideas and solutions from other parents, which helps me work on being a better parent to my own boys.
If you could only eat one type of meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ohhh - that's tough ... quite possibly my mom's lasagna or my husband's famous split pea soup with crusty bread.