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by Jude Jacob January 31, 2021
About me: I was born in Pleasanton, California, and live in Austin Texas. I’m a very passionate and energetic person. I started as a swimmer and water polo player when I was 8. I trained in Junior High and through High School, but I got a shoulder injury and couldn't play in College. My friend introduced me to powerlifting and I fell in love. There’s never been a time I wasn't training for a competition!
In the beginning of my powerlifting career I was a trainer at a gym. I only had 60 minutes with each client and I felt there was so much more to each person’s journey than physical health, so in 2018, I decided to work for myself. I started taking one-on-one clients and nurturing them through a healthy lifestyle and not just a fitness regime.
Living with PCOS
I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It’s very common, affecting 1 in 3 women, and basically means your hormones aren't at the levels they should be. I spent years going to doctors telling them about my terrible periods. At one point I gained 60 pounds in 6 weeks, yet people kept telling me nothing was wrong.
It took me 3 years to get tested and I was offered birth control, hormones or a hysterectomy. I had a rough time with different treatments, and there is no cure, only the possibility of managing symptoms. I got very frustrated. In the end I decided to come off medication and focus on my body and health. Women with hormonal issues are often dismissed or misdiagnosed and an estimated 78% of women have an undiagnosed hormonal condition.
I fell into Instagram. I never set out to gain a following. I’ve always had body issues: most women do. A couple of years ago I wrote about wishing that when I was a teen someone spoke positively about their body that didn't fit the standard. I'm thankful to have a platform where I can do that. At times body positivity can be too much, and too centered on falling in love with looks. For me it’s more important to love my body for what it does than how it looks.
Setting Powerlifting Records
I started powerlifting when I was 18, and I’m 24 now. I trained at my gym for 2 years, then the gym started a competition and I went for it. I didn’t realise how strong I'd gotten till the day of the competition and I did really well. There was a World Record Holder there that day who invited me to come train with him, so I got a coach and decided to qualify for Nationals. Then in 2017, I threw my back out 6 months before qualifying. I did a qualifier too late for Nationals but on time for the World Championships. Although I didn't do my best there - I learned a lot from the experience. In 2018, I competed at the Chicago Fitness Expo and set a world record in squats. Then in November I hit World and National Records.
I have combination skin, and thankfully, no issues right now. But I get really bad black heads and bad acne from PCOS. I used to have bad acne scarring, but modern tech and good skincare has resolved that. My skin is super oily but I also get dry patches in winter.
My daily routine
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