Jenna Marshall | The Fitness Asylum

Jenna Marshall

I began my journey in September 2011, unhealthy and unhappy at 5’10” and 198lbs. I had always been overweight as a child and continued to gain significant weight throughout my teen and college years. A victim of childhood sexual abuse, I wanted to hide my body, and wanted people to like me for my brain and personality, not my body. My weight became a security blanket. Unaware of what I was doing to my health and my happiness, fitness was anything but a priority.

In 2010, some incredible people and opportunities came into my life. I met two incredible women who competed in the world of Bodybuilding and my interest was piqued. However, bound by my own insecurity, I pushed aside my dream of having an enviable body and again fell into my old ways of fearing physical attention and believing that fitness and a great physique were just not possible for me. Later that year, my life seemed to fall into place. I landed an incredible job and started dating an incredible man that loved me for me, and not my body type.

After an alarming trip to the doctor in which I found out that at age 26 I had thyroid concerns, was considered “obese” based on my weight and BMI, and had indications of a whole other host of health complications at my age due to my weight, it seemed like if I didn’t make a change, I was on a freight train headed in the wrong direction. Content with everything else in my life, I knew I finally needed to get my body and health in check.

In December 2011, the two women that I had met that compete took me under their wings and introduced me to weight training, the world of competing, and started me on my first steps to getting healthy and in shape. My old dream of one day being a figure competitor surfaced and I decided, why not me? I finally felt like I deserved to celebrate my body, take back the power over my childhood experiences, and learn to love my body for the first time in my life, not hide it. I wanted to celebrate being a young, successful woman.

I started working with Bonnie in February 2012 with the goal of stepping on stage as a bikini and figure competitor at the June 2nd, 2012 INBF Northeast Classic Competition. Bonnie designed a 16 week diet and workout plan and put me on a regiment of Poliquin supplements and vitamins to compliment my diet and training. I did cardio training six days per week, and weight trained 4-5 days per week. I also took Boxing classes at Fitness Asylum on weekends. On June 2nd, 2012, I stepped on stage at 135lbs, a true bikini and figure competitor, and feeling absolutely beautiful for the very first time in my life.

Bonnie’s incredible guidance, knowledge, and realistic approach to fitness and overall healthy living made this transformation a lifestyle, not just a means to an end to step on stage. Bonnie was a true gift in my life and led me to a place I never believed I could be, both physically and mentally. Bonnie believed in me in the times I didn’t believe in myself. Every day, I am so grateful that I made the decision to take the journey to become a bikini and figure competitor. Nothing in my life has ever been so challenging, yet so rewarding in so many different ways. I plan to continue to compete under Bonnie’s guidance and can’t wait to see what my future holds both on and off the competition stage.

Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. This training is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider before undertaking rigorous physical training.