Jessica Austin

Background

I have a BA in English and two minors in Asian Studies and Theater. I'm trained in classical ballet, jazz dance, and I can toss around a Lacrosse ball with fair accuracy. I love to read, write, and edit. I'm a lifelong learner, read the news every day, and have traveled to 9 different countries. I try to find time to bust my butt on the dance floor at least once a week. But I'm also in the gym 4 to 5 days a week lifting weights. I'm outside running, hiking, or biking nearly every day the sun is shining.

I love to cook and create healthy, natural recipes that sync with my fitness goals. Chicken and polenta lasagna, tofu scramble, and no-bake coconut-almond-cocoa cookies are some of my favorite recipes so far.

Just like many of the loyal Bodybuilding.com community members, I've been through my own personal fitness journey to change my lifestyle for the better. It could read like a headline: From Young Ballerina to Freshman 15 to Strong, Lean, and Functionally Fit.

I graduated college carrying an extra 15 pounds of body fat, and I knew that I needed to make a choice about my lifestyle. Luckily, I had great sources of inspiration. My wonderful boyfriend at the time was a multi-sport, uber healthy guy who encouraged me to make fitness fun, and I got a job working for one of the greatest companies in the world: Bodybuilding.com! After 2 years of learning and testing out fitness formulas on myself, I will never go back.

My personal fitness metamorphosis was more important to my long term health than I could have guessed. During the 2 years I was transforming, my father was suffering from an onset of type-2 diabetes. Now my dedication to fitness is more than just a choice between flabby and strong but really between a life with diabetes and a life without it. I'm infinitely grateful that I've chosen this lifestyle.

Goals

My fitness goal is to gain another 3 to 5 pounds of lean muscle and also to be able to bike 50 to 60 miles in one go. Professionally, I'd like to earn a master's degree in Asian Studies as well as a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction writing. I plan on volunteering or working in Cambodia at some point in my life as well as working with development-oriented or women's rights organizations. Ultimately, I would love to be paid to travel and write.

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