23W Members Spotlight: Jess Brown

By Ange

Meet Jess! One of our glorious 23W members and recent runner’s up in our 8 Week Upskill Winter Challenge. Unfortunately, with the recent run of lockdowns our challengers were forced to complete a significant portion of the challenge online. 

This did not stop Jess from saying focused on her goals and looking for ways to overcome set backs along the way. 

We are so blessed to continue to have amazing women, like Jess, get referred into our community and be willing to share their journey so far. 

How long have you been working with 23W?

I have been working with 23W since the start of 2021 (Feb I think!). 

What got you started with 23W?

I was really wanting to build my strength back after my pregnancy with Ziggy. I had achieved a lot with home workouts but was feeling I needed something with more structure. I had battled body image for years and oddly becoming the heaviest and least fit I’d ever been, kind of showed me that it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. So I finally felt ready to focus on fitness and training in a positive way that wasn’t about running away from a “bad body” but rather chasing that amazing feeling of being strong and fit. After talking about this with my friend Alinta, she suggested the amazing gym that she trained at. I called Ange who explained the gym some more and it sounded exactly what I didn’t even know I was after!

You recently took part in our Upskill 8 Week Challenge, what did you enjoy about this challenge?

I really enjoyed learning about macros and the break down based on my body scan information. I respond well to structure and being accountable, so the check ins and my goals help to keep me motivated. I even forgot to focus on body changes, so much so that when I quickly did my ‘after’ photos I was quite surprised at what I had achieved. 

What was your biggest challenge(s) at the start?

I really struggled with not just constantly eating whatever I wanted (mostly due to emotional eating) at the start. I had pretty bad headaches!! I also had some pretty huge emotional experiences during the challenge which tested my resolve to eat my feelings and not work out, as well as pelvic pain and a broken toe. But the structure kept me going or at least being able to get back on the horse when I fell off. 

What was your goal?

  • Wanting to get on top of sustainable meal prep to save money and increase healthy eating habits 
  • Lose 3kg 

What result did you achieve?

I achieved both goals! 

How have you changed? 

I feel like I have been able to shift my mindset around food. I still emotionally eat at times but I have really been able to reset and keep going with the planned food. I experience way less “fuckits” than usual.

I also buy and consume way more fruit and vegetables 

What has been your biggest takeaways from this challenge?

How enjoyable food is. And how much I was just mindlessly shoving food in my gob before, to the point where it hurt my stomach. I’ve really learned to enjoy food and try new vegetables and the lovely feeling of being fuelled and feeling satiated, instead of feeling stuffed and sick. 

What is it like working with the 23W and the other girls in the community?

It’s just so encouraging and nourishing. I will easily give up and am usually quite vocal about “NOT ANOTHER ROUND!” so I love the community feel and support to keep going. I miss the gym so much, but I really try to do the live workouts to get in a bit of interaction.

What is next for you?

I’m aiming to increase my weights in my at home workouts. I am loving building muscle.

Doing some boxing now my toe is better. 

Hoping that gyms open when vaccination rates are high enough! 

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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