Jennelle's Journey to WBFF Worlds!

Transformation. The word itself conjures up many images and meanings. Globally, transformation is something we each achieve at different points in our lives. It can be a change within ourselves. It can be the way we view the world around us. Sometimes transformation happens as the result of natural tendencies or yearnings; but for me it happened as a response to trauma.

In 2014, I was sexually assaulted by someone I knew. This shook me to my core, caused me to spiral into a deep depression and I developed extreme anxiety. I began to lose hope in humanity. I started eating and drinking in excess to kill my pain, and I didn't even recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror. I had lost my spirit and my smile and I was headed downhill fast.

I was scared. I felt like a victim. I was weak.

It took two years of counselling, hypnotherapy, seeking the help of the police, social workers and my network of loved ones and friends to get myself back on track. It took time, but once again, I had found my power - I was finally the me I nearly lost! I felt great again! My heart was full, my dreams were bright and I was ready to take on the world! But on the outside, no one could see the incredible transformation that had taken place. I started to resent the old me looking back at the new me, taunting me, teasing me, trying to bring me back down.

Our society places a significant focus on the importance of what's on the outside...and to a certain extent, I have to agree. I was longing for my internal transformation to match what people saw when they looked at me! I wanted the world to know that I was a brand new version of myself - inside and out! I wanted to shout from the mountain tops that life IS good, things WILL get better, and you CAN recover!

As fate would have it, I started teaching at a new Catholic school in 2016. We were fortunate to have a wonderful woman that came twice a week to do fitness boot camps with a few of the teachers. I jumped at the opportunity! The instructor recognized my intense ambition and asked if she could train me for a fitness competition. I did not think twice, I simply agreed. The external transformation had begun and nothing was going to stop me!

On January 9th of 2017, I started to follow a meal and workout plan. As an extremist, I followed everything my trainer told me to do, right down to the tiniest of details. Within 5.5 months, I had lost a total of 65 lbs!

I found new strength and people said I was glowing. Don't get me wrong. There were days when I was utterly exhausted. My daily routine was to be up by 4am for morning cardio, then I'd go teach 30 students, followed by weight training and then a grand finale finish of more cardio. BUT, I was truly determined and again, nothing was going to stop me!

The support of family and friends and even my precious students was incredible and so humbling. People would find inspiration in my story, but truly what kept me going was the fact that they believed in me and drew their own strength from my determination. The ripple effect was quite powerful!

The big day finally came and I was blessed to compete in the WBFF Show on June 24 in Calgary. I entered the transformation category and I am so proud to say that I won! The transformation was a success and I was on cloud 9! This win earned me an invitation to attend the WBFF Worlds Competition in London England on August 25th at the O2 Centre. Truly an opportunity of a lifetime!

Now for the tough part.  The local Calgary Show cost me $2000 (and that didn't include supplements, food, gym membership, etc). The International Show will be expensive and I simply cannot afford to go without the support of others. I realize this is a lot to ask, but I know my story of success has touched the lives of people that were just like me - helpless and hopeless. I am on a mission to continue this journey and share my struggles! I cannot begin to express my appreciation for the support of those around me - it is the very heart of what encourages me to get up and work hard everyday! It is my hope that this message of transformation following something as traumatic as sexual assault can show others world wide that there is a bright path ahead of you and it is possible to turn pain into strength!  Thank you for believing in me, supporting me, and sharing my story!   ~Jennelle

ABOUT THE ORGANIZER:  My name is Jennifer and I am supporting Jennelle throughout this challenge!  Her journey has been one of true strength and inspiration and I believe the world needs to hear her story.  For every dollar raised, I will match it!  Please help spread the word so we can get Jennelle to London!

Please note all donations are in US Currency

Facebook - Jen Mac (jennelle.mackenzie)
Instagram - jennelle19


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Jennifer Gilson 
Phoenix, AZ
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