It’s never to late to start something new. It way sound a bit cliché and trite, but it’s the truth. In the modern economy, those who follow their passions are usually much more satisfied than those who settle on something that may seem stable. If you are reading this right now, you are probably someone who believed that there was a risk worth taking to follow your dreams. Jess Frano is one of those dreamers. Having left a corporate career to become a personal trainer and eventual NPC competitor, Frano is living life on her own terms and embracing change.
“The funny thing,” Jess Frano says with a smile, “is that the whole bodybuilding thing is kind of an experiment.” Frano, a Chicago native, never intended to have a career in fitness, let alone compete on the national level. “At 28 years old, I had a stable corporate career in advertising, but I left it for my own reasons. After suffering from a variety of health issues she was fired from her job. Rather that see the negatives of her situation, Frano embraced an opportunity to change the course of her life. “I wanted to work for myself, but I really wanted to pursue my passions in fitness. When I started training in a corporate gym, I befriended a bodybuilder and we began training together. That's where this part of my fitness journey really started.”
"I love to train! Lifting heavy makes me feel strong and empowered. That's the fun part for me!"
Frano focused on strength, and the aesthetics came with it. “The word ‘bodybuilder’ tends to have a negative connotation, and I had trouble embracing my muscle so I never associated with that word.” But a funny thing began to happen. Her legs got smaller; everything began to get tighter. “As I began to see positive changes from my training style, I realized I was living the lifestyle."
Frano was living the lifestyle but competition was the furthest thing from her mind. “when I first started training I was following a typical bioscience meal plan. After several months on that plan I rebounded pretty badly. This made competition the farthest thing from my mind. I researched and experimented with my nutrition endlessly so that I could find a way of eating that enabled me to maintain a year-round look I was comfortable with. Once I achieved that, I thought I could give competition a try.” After a bad rebound, she began to play around with her nutrition for 4 years, making health her number 1 priority. “Having dealt with a freak thing like the twisted colon and its complications, I am always cognizant of how my body feels. For example, reverse dieting helped me lay a better foundation for future preps and allows the process smoothly.
Bodybuilding takes courage. It’s a sport that not many understand. Luckily for Frano, the transition has been smooth. "I'm naturally muscular and athletic. People aren't really used to women with muscle, but that perception is changing. I feel grateful to be involved in fitness at a time when women with muscle are more appreciated than just a few years ago. I want to help other women learn to love the body they were given and encourage them to train to feel strong and powerful."
Jess Frano is one of many competitors who have taken a big risk in pursuing their passions and embracing the changes of life and the competition process. It just takes is the willingness to change. "People have seen me change. I think it's important to talk about where I've come from so that people know that fitness has not always been easy for me. It's never too late to change your lifestyle."
You can contact Jessica on Instagram @jessicafrano and through her website www.jessicafrano.com.