Selena is a great photographer, and EverButter had the pleasure of first meeting her when they were referred to her. She is a very professional, timely, diligent photographer and all around great person. EverButter is so pleased that she sat down and talked to us.
Selena has been able to overcome her weight issues that she dealt with due to some personal trials she encountered. She has opened up to us and told us how she was able to lose weight and fight through the obstacles that life can sometimes throw at us; and instead of letting it defeat her, she conquered it!
Selena is EverButters' "Love" of the month.
My name is Selena Jackson, I am 29 years old, and was born and raised in Detroit, MI. I have a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and a Master’s degree from Lawrence Technological University.
EverButter - What is your profession?
I am an Eligibility Specialist for the Department of Human Services, a Photographer, and a Graphic Designer.
EverButter – How do you maintain your desired physical appearance?
Right now, my personal trainer, Brandon Parker of A Way of Life Fitness, LLC., has me on a plan that includes working out five days per week which includes cardio, weight, and strength training exercises. I am also a customer of the Body by Vi Nutritional Shakes where I supplement two meals per day.
EverButter – How do you maintain your hair while exercising?
During the winter months I usually wear my hair straight and to keep my hair straight I use a thick cotton sweatband and put my hair in a high bun so that it will not touch the sweat on my neck.
EverButter - How would you describe your healthy lifestyle?
I would describe my healthy life style as not extremely restrictive. When you restrict yourself and have a taste after so long, you may over indulge. I treat myself from time to time. Due to me being on a transformation challenge at this moment, I’m limited in the sugars, carbs and starches I’m able to take in, but as far as proteins, fruits, and veggies are concerned everything is pretty much fair game.
EverButter – Has health and fitness always been a part of you?
I wouldn’t say that it hasn’t, but, I was raised in a household where I had three hot meals per day and grew up around cooks from Louisiana so I never missed a GOOD meal. Growing up, eating large amounts of food was considered “nourishment” and not necessarily a “bad” thing because we couldn’t leave the dinner table without clearing our plates. My parents would sometimes say, “There are people in Africa starving and you’re trying to waste food.” We didn’t have the ingredients listed on the back until I was in middle school maybe so I probably had no clue how many calories I was putting in my body at a young age. I believe habits are formed as an adolescent so I took all of the recipes my mom, grandmothers, and aunts passed down to me and got down in the kitchen. I later found out that I had to make a huge adjustment in the foods I ate.
EverButter – Please go into detail how you started this health journey and how you were able to find the balance and motivation to be fit, while juggling a career, your personal goals, and personal life.
Whew, where should I begin?!
I lost my grandfather to lung cancer in March of 2009 and from there my diet and slight depression spiraled. I ate out at a restaurant three times a day and didn’t exercise at all. In February of 2012, I’d had it with my weight. I was 200lbs and a size 15 in jeans. I was tired ALL of the time and very irritable. I ate because I saw it. I decided to try personal training with my co-worker and attend his cardio fitness classes in St. Clair Shores twice a week. I lived in Canton and only missed one class so I had to be really fed up with the weight to go that far for help. In high school, I played volleyball and softball so I thought cardio class would be a breeze – NOT. I would stop in every class with my heart BURNING from being so out of shape. I couldn’t do ONE push-up and got extremely upset when I couldn’t. I would duck and dodge exercises because of the pain from doing things with incorrect form but I never quit – I always came back for more.
I would fuss and fight my trainer on most exercises that didn’t come easy to me. I would go home, practice, and come back to the gym only to be faced with harder exercises. I tried diet pills, doing one workout over and over because it was easy, and I continued my eating habits but only eating “a little bit” thinking I’ll burn it later with 30 minutes of walking, etc. I did everything “around” what I was really supposed to do which was getting more nutrition in my system so that I could work out better and more efficiently. I kept looking for the easy way to get in shape.
My first goal was to get back into my old clothes and get my weight under 200lbs. I achieved and surpassed that goal in November 2012 by losing 41lbs and seven pant sizes. Once I did that, I thought, maybe I should tone my stomach because although I looked nice in clothes, I didn’t feel “fit” with clothes off. My second goal was to wear a two-piece bathing suit for the first time in life and I achieved that October 11, 2013. My current goal is to work hard enough to have definition and a 4-6 pack of abs showing without flexing by the Summer of 2014.
It is important to create a balance in whatever goals you want to attain. However, there aren’t any excuses when you find the fire inside to keep you going. I surround myself with positive people that continue to pursue their goals. I’m not the type of person sitting and watching those around me make moves when I’m perfectly capable to make some on my own. You just have to find your strength and your schedule and balance will fall in place.
EverButter – Where can our viewers find you?
They can find me online at www.jmtpd.com, www.facebook.com/jmtpd,www.selena113.bodybyvi.com, and they can follow my training progress on www.awolf-fitness.com under the Results section.