The journey to weight loss

| 29 Jul 2014 | 12:19

Losing weight is easy.

If reading these four words causes a gut instinct to grab the bathroom scale and hurl it out of the nearest window, well that might actually be a step in the right direction.

According to certified Master Trainer, Jessica Sharry-Dransfield, it's time to rethink and reteach people on how they measure success in the journey of weight loss.

A grease monkey
Growing up in Bergen County, Sharry-Dransfield, always had an interest in fitness — studying martial arts, running track, and lifting weights in high school. Describing herself as one of the tiniest people in her class, Sharry-Dransfield worked to gain weight while everyone else around her was dieting.

Although passionate about fitness, she did not set out to become a personal trainer.

"My first lifelong goal was to become a meteorologist and I held this goal through grammar school and into high school," shares Sharry-Dransfield. "At the same time I also had a very high interest in becoming a mechanic like my dad, and well, I became a mechanic."

Sharry-Dransfield holds a degree in Automotive Technology from Lincoln Technical Institute. She has worked at dealerships and private shops before becoming a full time personal trainer.

"I love the whole atmosphere of working on cars and I will never tire of being a grease monkey, that is why I still do it on the side to this very day," she says.

Having worn many hats since she made the decision to pursue personal training, Sharry-Dransfield has worked as a certified nurses aid and attended Sussex County Community College for business. Master trainer

In 2007, she began her schooling with AFPA (American Fitness Professionals & Associates) to become a Master Trainer and continues with them to earn even more certifications.

"Becoming a trainer not only keeps me accountable, motivated and inspired, but it also gives me the reward of knowing that I have the ability to help people reach their goals, whether that be weight loss, strength, or maintenance," says Sharry-Dransfield.

"This is not only a career that allows me the flexibility to be there for my four sons, but a passion that I love to bring to others. It is a genuinely rewarding career," she says.

"Not every job allows you to wake up knowing that you are about to make an exciting change in someone's life," says Sharry-Dransfield.

And changes is what it takes to ultimately reach one's fitness goals.

Secrets to success
Understanding the struggles of emotional eating, breaking bad habits and fearing calories, Sharry-Dransfield provides knowledge and support to those looking to finally make the change. Whether it's becoming despondent when the number of the scale hasn't moved in a month, or using food to self soothe after a grueling breakup, Sharry-Dransfield can offer that perfect marriage of tough love and hand holding, that gives a client the support and drive to hold that plank position just a bit longer, and ultimately reach success.

And by success, this spirited young woman is quick to point out, it is not measured by the scale.

"Avoid the scale," says Sharry-Dransfield. "I don't allow my clients to weigh themselves. Although in theory looking at a scale can be a great way to track progress people tend to overdo it and then get discouraged when the number stops going down," she explains. "Instead, weigh in only once a month and try going by how your clothes fit instead."

She also encourages her clients to celebrate non-weight related successes such as how many push ups or jumping jacks a client can do as opposed to when they first started.

Another tip that may surprise those life long dieter out there is that Sharry-Dransfield does not promote the consumption of any "fat-free" foods, citing that people often mistake these foods as safe, yet they are far from it.

"When you see something that says fat-free it usually means that something artificial was put in to substitute that fat," she explains.

Sharry-Dransfield would much rather have her clients eating full fat cottage cheese and a reasonable portion of avocado then seeing them munch out of a can of fat free Pringles.

Sharry-Dransfield is also driven to educate women and men as well, about not fearing calories. She feels society and the media condones calorie counting, dieting and quick fix supplements which can cause drastic and unhealthy weigh loss only to lead to weight gain once the diet supplement is stopped taken.

"We are told that thin is better and fat is a liability, and while obesity is a major health risk, so is being under a normal weight," she says.

"Society, media, and family and friends as well are not educated with the correct tools to help you live a fit lifestyle. An expert trainer and nutritionist is."

For more information on individualized personal training programs or to schedule a consultation contact Jessica at or call 862-354-3489.

You may also find Jessica on Facebook to get updates on local classes and group programs she offers.