Jessica Hoeffner is with us in this episode. She is a personal trainer and certified health coach. Jessica has an MS in Health Science, a BS in Exercise Science, and is also a certified healthy eating specialist. She is the founder of Gracious Health, where she helps her clients achieve weight loss with a Christian-centered approach, combining healthy lifestyle changes with spirituality.
Jessica loves helping her clients make incredible transformations without falling prey to the shame and guilt that usually blocks a successful transformation. Weight loss transformations bring out your confidence, self-discovery, and self-worth – and all these attributes help women to live out their God-given purpose.
On this episode of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast:
- How Jessica came to embrace her unique approach to the weight loss industry.
- The relationship between weight loss and Christian values.
- The idea of “letting go and letting God”.
- What we are called to do and how we can embrace that.
- How Jessica got interested in health and wellness.
- Why incorporating spirituality helps reduce negative self-talk.
- How adding in the element of spirituality completes the weight loss transformation.
- The best strategy for achieving lasting weight loss.
- The types of services and programs Jessica offers.
- How the pandemic has impacted Jessica’s clients and their challenges.
- Jessica’s advice to someone who wants to get started on their health journey today.
- How our emotional health and our relationships influence our ability to transform.
- Simple tips for healthier eating habits.
Connect with Jessica
Gracious Health Website: https://www.gracious-health.com/
Gracious Health Instagram: www.instagram.com/gracious_health
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[00:00:02] I am Gloria Grace Rand, founder of the Love Method and author of the number one Amazon best seller, Live Love Engage – How to Stop Doubting Yourself and start being yourself. In this podcast, we share practical advice from a spiritual perspective on how to live fully, love deeply and engage authentically so you can create a life and business with more impact, influence and income. Welcome to Live, Love, Engage.
[00:00:37] Now must stay and welcome to Live, Love, Engage, I am Gloria Grace, Rande, and today we’re going to be talking about actually two subjects that are near and dear to my heart. We’re going to be talking about weight loss and also spirituality and how the two come together. And that is courtesy of my guest, Jessica. And I forgot to find out how to pronounce your last name is at Hoffner.
[00:01:08] Hefner as Hefner Hefner
[00:01:11] Ok, all right, sorry about that. So first off, I want to welcome you to live love engaged Jessica.
[00:01:22] Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
[00:01:25] Well, we are delighted to have you. And let me just share with our audience who you are and why you are an expert to talk about this subject today. Jessica has an EMS and health science labs and exercise science, and she’s a certified personal trainer, certified health coach and certified healthy eating specialist, I guess, as well. And she helps people achieve lasting weight loss with her Christian approach that incorporates spirituality and emotional health to build healthy habits. And as someone who has spent a lifetime on the weight loss of. Let’s see train, shall we say, or just, you know, I’ve been up, I’ve been down and round and round in more ways than one that I know that it’s not you can eat right and you can exercise. But I think it’s really everything starts with the mind and how you manage it, especially someone who’s maybe, you know, dealt with eating issues for a long time. So. Tell me a little bit about how you came up with this approach, especially I when I met you, I found out I just thought it was really fascinating that you take a Christian approach to it, because that’s definitely not the norm when it comes to the weight loss industry.
[00:03:00] No, it’s definitely not the norm. The reason why I got into it was actually my mom. She was overweight. She had been on Weight Watchers since she was like eight years old. But she was my sister just got married in anticipation of a kid. She decided she wanted to lose weight, but she really wanted it to be, you know, a lasting times. She recruited my help. And as I was thinking about it, I knew that she knew enough about what healthy food was and what to do to out. It was really like mindset. And it was really just like through being at church and just getting the word that I was like, this is what’s missing. So that’s when I kind of came up with it. We kind of worked out a bunch of the kinks together, but then I kind of kept refining it along the way and making it better and better.
[00:03:57] Well, that’s good. Well, can you give a little of a bit of an example of how how they go together? I mean, how does like faith and and values, I guess how how do that how they work together in helping someone to lose weight.
[00:04:15] So the way that they work together is you really want to be living out your highest values. And for most of us, if you’re a Christian, it would be your faith would be number one. And then a lot of times our faith has all these different branches that come from it. So not only do you have your faith as your foundation, as a it was like a pretty. Branch got your help is one of those key branches, because that is so important to how you live your life. You’ve got a God given everyone purpose and God’s given everyone dreams. And if you don’t take care of your body, if you’re not feeling well for whatever the reason, it’s so much harder to do what God called you to do. So that’s kind of how I see the incorporation of God really calling people’s dreams out and their faith. And a lot of that has to do with just a mindset that I always think about. A child 15, I kind of mind in the branches the power from God. We can do nothing. So why are we trying to do these good things like losing weight, getting energy, to do things God called us to do without him? It just seems like such a big disconnect once you really think about it.
[00:05:34] That’s true. Yeah, I, I really do like that because it does make sense. And especially one of the main things. I’m writing a book right now and the first foundational practice and I talk about is letting go and letting God you know, and really letting him into your life and being able to. You lean on God for support, you know, trying trying to do everything yourself and even trying to lose weight by yourself. I’ve done that road, too, and that doesn’t work for very long, especially the keep it off. The times when I have kept it off more consistently has been one. I worked either with a coach directly or I was in some sort of community where we are all working together. And and that’s we’re certainly having God on your side, I think is a good, strong coach to have working with you. What do you think about that?
[00:06:35] Yeah, I definitely offer support. So many of the things that help people to lose weight. When you look at the Bible, you’re like, oh, that’s how we’re kind of culturally, that we’re cultivating community to be a body to working together towards a goal like we’re called to be reliant on his strength. He wants us to come to him. He doesn’t want us to keep trying harder and like holding on tight. He wants us to come to him and surrender like those desires and just like allow him to work and allow him to be our strength, as you know, like scripture, like one of the fruit of the spirit is self discipline. So why are you trying to just conjure it up on our own if that’s the fruit of the spirit? You know, so it’s just kind of changing. How we think about where our strength is from.
[00:07:24] Absolutely. Well, tell me a little bit about what I mean. I know you said that you did this to help your mom, but but before that, you actually had you obviously had an interest in in the health sciences, as it were. So what what drew you to that?
[00:07:43] Honestly, I just I love the human body, how it moves. I don’t know, it’s just so fascinating, I played sports my whole life and I just have always liked it, like biology was interesting to watch the plants. I wasn’t my favorite, but it’s just so interesting to find out how things work. And then it’s really neat to see it in yourself or and other people. So I guess they get to studying it. But I’ve definitely always wanted to help people. And with so many people struggling with their health, I was like, well, this is perfect. Let me do this.
[00:08:27] I like that. So tell me a little bit more, though, about how you I guess, were you maybe did you just feel called, I guess, to incorporate, you know, really these more Christian type of approach to, you know, to initially to help your mom? What what really did spark that for you?
[00:08:52] So the reason why I ended up wanting to do it for other people and was like, OK, I have to do this, like there’s two reasons. The first one was as I was personal training, I my clients are getting results are looking good. They’re feeling good, getting a little bit more confident. If they ever had a slip up. Then all of the negative self talk would happen and then they would have little glimmers of like that low self-esteem that they had. So just like brewing right underneath the surface. And I was like, this transformation isn’t complete because I don’t have this solid foundation. So it was like it was heartbreaking. They’re working so hard and putting in all this effort. They want to feel good, but they they’re not all the way. They’re. And then the other one was, as I was personally like in the fitness industry, I kind of could see myself developing some weird habits. It wasn’t from like a low self-esteem point of view necessarily, but maybe it was I don’t know, you could be the judge. But it was like I thought I had to look a certain way or like kind of act the part more that felt like I kind of looked to the part, but it was more like, oh, I don’t want anyone to know if I ate anything or like I can only eat these foods. Like what if a client finds out this is what I’m eating? It was just take a really weird head space. And as someone who could see it from a different perspective that I still falling into those traps, I was like, all right, I have to do something. There’s something really wrong with how the fitness industry and the diet industry really changes, how people approach food and approach their their exercise routine. Like it just. Really lends itself to these weird habits, and it’s like weird. Unhealthy habits truly have.
[00:10:53] Yeah, absolutely, yeah, because I know one of the things that well, I think one of the things that maybe even the diet industry relies upon is that we wind up in this syndrome. It’s like, you know, some of the people you know and I know I’ve done it in the past and still even recently, you know, I’ve taken weight off and maybe kept it off for a little while and then just, you know, then wound up putting more. I now actually I have not done that of late. That was my past experience where I definitely continued to creep up. Now I’ve been getting better at actually lowering that set point. So now it’s like when I reach a certain level, it’s like, OK, and then and then we get to get back, get back to doing what I know I need to do to get more healthy foods, less of the things that should be only a once in a while. Treat that every day. So yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting because I think it really does tend to they tend to reinforce what reinforce the bad habits even of just saying things like, you know, this is good food and this is bad food or something. And instead of treating things are more of our food is good. It’s just maybe degrees or moderation. And you have to kind of pick and choose. So tell me a little bit about maybe what strategy people should really take when it comes to achieving lasting weight loss. I mean, being able to keep it off, because that’s like I said, that’s something the diet industry doesn’t necessarily want you to do, because they want to be able to keep selling you stuff. But that’s not what I think most people want. Most people want to be able to lose the weight and keep it off and not have to go down that road again.
[00:12:45] Yeah, now I’m definitely all about women breaking free from that terrible cycle because there’s so much shame and guilt in it too. So I kind of break it down into three key areas to focus on. So the first one is faith, as you could have guessed. Right. So this one’s really so with this one, this helps you to go from feeling like you don’t have any purpose, that you have low self-esteem, low value, just not having any confidence to really having unshakable confidence, having complete trust in God, because I found that people with low self-esteem, low confidence, actually don’t stick to their plans as much and they get less outcomes from their physical, like they did a study where like they were all working out and they got less benefit from their exercise routine that they did. So he doesn’t want to address that and the best way to do it is through God’s word. So that’s kind of where we start. And then emotional health. So instead of emotional eating, getting triggered, being really stressed, feeling hopeless, you really get your emotional health in order, then you can be free from emotional eating, you can be thriving, be full of peace and joy and really just break away from that.
[00:14:07] Oh, I’m sad. Let me eat this or anything like that, that you can really process your emotions with God and really just be vulnerable and hear what he has to say about everything that’s going on in your life. And then the final one is strategy. So this one has to do with. Changing your goals a little bit to be more approach goals instead of being aimless and Yo-Yo dieting, you’re going to have specific goals that you can do that are like tactical, like, OK, I’m going to eat slower this week instead of like, oh, I want to lose two pounds because you to really lose two pounds. So it’s more about like what you can do and really just changing where your strength is coming from. So instead of. You know, trying to do it all in your own strength, if you messed up like, oh, I’m terrible on that person, instead looking to God and realizing that it’s not your strength, if you can just learn from it, extend grace to yourself as you learn and just take it as, OK, so this is what’s going on. Better identify triggers that are annoying and just help you to continually to learn to get healthier. Mm.
[00:15:31] I like that. So how have you been. I really do. I think that’s, it’s so needed. It really is so needed. So how do you work with people generally. Are you doing one on one or are you doing any type of a group program.
[00:15:50] So currently, one on one, I’m looking to move more towards group. I just feel like there’s something about a group dynamic that you can hear other people’s questions before you have it, and then you’re kind of a little bit more prepared. You might still ask it, but you’re kind of like, at least I’m not alone. Exactly.
[00:16:08] Yeah. Yeah. I think that that’s that’s the thing that I like when you’re when you’re with other people who are kind of going through the same thing, then you can cheer each other on. Yes. So I think that would be awesome. Have you found anything even working with clients this year as we’re we’re recording this. It’s the end of December already. Oh, my goodness. And a twenty twenty has been the year of just tumultuous things, you know, and of course, the big the big daddy of them all was they the pandemic. So have you found because I know I’ve seen stories about the pandemic, 15 things like that. And like I said, in fact, I actually did indulge a little bit here. And so I’ve decided that this week, even though it’s Christmas, I just decided yesterday to just start eating better. It doesn’t, you know, because I don’t want to wait until the first of the year. It’s like I want to just get started now. So have you found that in any of your clients or if you’ve just you know, has it been this year in particular, maybe a little bit more more challenging than normal for people who are wanting to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle or even start a healthy lifestyle?
[00:17:27] Yeah, it definitely is, because so often. Your emotional health, isn’t this on edge? I mean, you keep trying to remind yourself so much of the Christian faith, you’re reminding yourself, but so often you’re like, remind yourself, like, OK, God’s got this. But then there’s just something else that’s happening. So you are still trying to address your first concern and you’ve got other concerns kind of creeping up. So it’s definitely difficult. And I think really just trying to extend grace is so important. I think something that was interesting is I felt like more people knew that they were emotionally eating than maybe sometimes in the past because they they kind of realized like, oh, I guess I don’t have the time excuse so much because I used to commute for an hour every day and I don’t. So it kind of holds people to almost buy into a little bit more of the emotional health. But if it’s tough here, and I think anyone who has been struggling with their weight, make sure you give yourself some grace, it’s. I don’t want to like, oh, everyone else is doing it, but just relax, it’s OK. Take a deep breath. You’ve got things that you can work on and it’ll be OK. Just continue to learn and continue to work on your emotional health. That’s what I’d say.
[00:18:54] Yeah, I like that. Yeah. Because it’s it’s it’s hard. I mean, it’s, you know, even in the best of times, sometimes it can be challenging and and I think that’s that is really good advice for people is to just. Yeah. Just give yourself some grace and say, OK. You know, you indulged a little bit because of everything that’s going on, it’s not the end of the world. You can I mean, you know, depending on where you are in your in your health in general. But if you if you did put on an extra 10 or 15 pounds, you can get that off again by just restarting. And actually that that brings me to a good question, which I know you sort of said already, but if you could give someone some advice right now, if that’s listening to this or watching on YouTube and and they want to get started, what would be what would be like the first thing that someone should do if they want to be able to, you know, take control of their health and their weight and and start a. Start on that journey of making some different choices.
[00:20:02] So it’s hard, the first thing is different for everyone, but I would say. I want to give you three things, one, for each area. Yeah, absolutely. So if you feel like you have a lot of negative self talk, the first step would be one, identifying what you’re saying to yourself and then really trying to replace that with God’s word so you can have an affirmation based off of God’s word or God’s word itself. So if you keep saying like, oh, I’m so bad, I’m so this turn to God’s word, he doesn’t say any of that. So then replace it with what he says about you and I’m and the apple of his eye and just all these things that are true because God said it. Instead of your untrue tough talk, that’s kind of hindering you. And then for emotional health, for most people, journaling works out the best. You try to process your emotions. So it’s not just a brain dump. It’s a little bit more like I want you to be super proud with your emotions, get it all out, cry, do whatever you need to do. Just get it all out. But then when you’re done. Getting it all out. Ask God how he thinks about your situation, ask God what he wants to say. And when you listen. Then you write that down and then go back to what you wrote and see what you see, where there is maybe differences between what God is saying and you might need to repent.
[00:21:46] I know I do a lot of times and I do this and just change and just repent and just go through. And whether it’s the person who has been really struggling, asked how he sees them and then just like ask for their forgiveness and just help as God for you to see that person, how he does. A lot of times we don’t have the healthiest relationships because, you know, the other person is also not perfective. So and then the last one I said I could get there is really just developing a strategy to learn. So when you do, it’s a when, not if. When you do mess up or have something you don’t want to eat, whether it’s a lot or just a little bit, just take the time to learn why you did. This could be a journal entry. It could just be a quick check in and just think about why you’re doing a habit that’s not aligned with your bigger goal. So there’s a couple of different ways you could do it, but it’s really just getting to the underlying desire that’s not aligned with that goal and see if that could be filled by God or
[00:23:01] I like that very well. If someone wants to be able to reach out to you and they’ve resonated with what you’ve said today and wants to work one on one, or hopefully you’ll have a you’ll have a group program by the Zaire’s going, what’s the best way for someone to reach out to you?
[00:23:23] Well, there’s a kind of everywhere. My website is Gracious Dasch Health dot com, so you can find some resources there. My Instagram is gracious. Underscore health. Same thing as my Twitter. You find me on Facebook. There’s a little Facebook group to try that. So I’m I’m kind of everywhere. Email, emails. Great. Any anything that you’re on, I probably am on and I would love to connect with you and just learn more about you.
[00:24:01] Awesome. Well, I will make sure that I have all that information in the show notes. So if you’re listening to this right now and you’re somewhere where you can’t get to a pen or something like that or computer, don’t worry, you can check it out later. And in fact, you can go to live, love, engage podcast dotcom. And that’s where you’ll be able to find all of our previous episodes as well as this one. And you’ll have that information. So thank you so much for being here and really shedding some good light on a subject that I know of, you know, millions of people struggle with from time to time, men and women. And I really do think that you’ve hit the nail on the head of a good way to be able to approach it, to help people to be able to really have that lasting good health that we were designed for. You know, they they say our body is a temple and and God intended for us to take good care of it. And so maybe we just need to say, OK, God help me out a little bit. I seem to be not doing as good a job on it. Maybe you can help me out. Right?
[00:25:14] Right. Yeah. No, thank you so much for having me. It was great connecting with you and I’m super excited and I hope it helps the live love. Oh, my gosh, I almost like it, but I really hope it helps your listeners. And just thank you so much for having me. This is so good.
[00:25:33] Thank you. And for everyone listening and watching out there, thank you, as always, for being. Supporting this podcast, and if you ever want to, you know, drop us a line and you can reach me through through the link, they gave you a live loving each podcast, Dotcom or just my main website. Gloria Rande, dot com. I would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions for future guests, and I think that’s probably going to do it for me. So, as always, I encourage you all to go out and live fully loved deeply and engage authentically. Did you know that
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