Jenna De Leon (Picture by Sandy Pitt.)
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For Jenna De Leon, fitness is life. She is one of the most popular and admired fitness models in the world. Many females admire her body and aspire to have one just like it.
But it wasn’t always like that. Just before she got into fitness three and a half years ago, Jenna struggled with commitment and was at a very “precarious” point in her life.
“There were so many things I wanted to get into and I couldn’t and I couldn’t figure out why. I would start something and don’t finish it. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t finish things. It was because I had lack of knowledge of commitment and dedication, focus and discipline,” she explained.
But out of a need to accomplish something in her life, Jenna set out on a journey to fitness and stepped into a world of competing professionally, something she never imagined she would do.
“I was in a place where I wanted to be devoted and fully committed to something. I was always very intimidated by competing because at the time I hadn’t trained one day in my life. But I ended up stumbling upon an amazing coach that believed in me and pushed me and helped motivate me and helped me to carry on.
“I trained for eight months and competed in my first show. And I fell in love when I went on stage the first time. Just that feeling of feeling accomplished. I felt like I did something for myself for once. I loved it so much I competed 14 times after that and won 12 overall,” the 27-year-old said.
Since then, Jenna said she has completely fallen in love with all things fitness and health.
“It literally changed my life and I want to give that opportunity to other people; I want them to experience that. I fell into a huge level of discipline where I was committed to doing it. I had the confidence to carry on. It changed me in so many ways and I just want people to experience that kind of belief that I have within myself,” she said.
Jenna said that for the last three and a half years her life has been nothing short of amazing.
“I have been active on my fitness journey about three and a half years now and it has been amazing and wonderful. It’s a struggle sometimes but I have to continue telling myself that this is not a diet or programme or challenge that I’m on. This is my life now; this is who I am. People look up to me and I enjoy it and love it,” she said.
She says mental fitness had a lot to do with her journey.
“I have to try my best to keep positive and motivated so I can motivate others too. It’s not just about me anymore,” she explained.
She is on a quest to get women all over the world healthy and to help them achieve the bodies they desire.
“Then I gained the confidence to help other people. I believe in it so much and I just want people to experience that too. I have inspired a lot of people. They would reach out to me via social media and they would tell me how much I motivate them and ask me how they could have a body like mine and I would give tips all the time, share secrets, share videos,” she said.
It is for that reason that Jenna decided to create a boot camp series where could help women achieve their fitness goals even more. Her first stop was Barbados, the place she describes as her second home.
“So I sat down and thought how I could bring forth my passion and share it with the rest of the world so I decided to do online training. I’m also a personal trainer, but I just wanted to reach a lot more people all over the world and what better way to do that than on social media now, that’s where the whole world is. I wanted to get more connected with the girls and what better way to do that than by creating a boot camp tour that would bring the women together in person,” she said.
Jenna stressed that any fitness journey came with its fair share of challenges but she urged women never to give up. Using herself as an example, Jenna said she struggles from time to time as well.
“The most challenging part of my fitness journey, aside from the diet and the cravings, it’s just keeping a positive energy all the time. It’s hard sometimes but I have to always remember that this is much more than whatever feeling I’m going through right now. I have to ignore my feelings and just focus on the main goal which is motivating and inspiring people every day, including myself,” she said.
She advised that starting a fitness journey wasn’t hard – it just required seeing past what one perceived to be difficult.
“I imagine it changing my life. So just imagine how accomplishing something you’ve always wanted to and let that motivate you and let it drive you every single day. At the end of the day, most people want this, but they don’t see beyond the work and the sacrifice. Focus on the end goal and what it feels like. I imagine myself running a boot camp with thousands of people. That would make me feel amazing so that drives me and motivates me every single day,” she added.
In a cosy and relaxing interview at Ocean 2 Resorts and Residences, Jenna spoke to EASY magazine about her boot camp and all the plans she had for it.
After the Barbados boot camp, Jenna is headed back to Los Angeles, where she resides, and then off to her native Trinidad and Tobago, then to Jamaica.
“Hopefully we can do Europe the end of next year,” she added.
The former jazz singer and jingle and commercial writer said she had loads of plans for her brand.
“I want to do so much with my brand. I launched my website four weeks so now that I have the boot camp tour, we are going to get into products, different programmes, different challenges and stuff like that. So there’s a lot to look forward to,” she said. (DB)