TV star Jessie Pavelka shares four elements to weight-loss with Marie Westmoreland
Eat, sweat, think, connect, are the four essential building blocks to a leaner, stronger, healthier you says fitness expert Jessie Pavelka, who was in the UK in February with his What If... tour.
The motivational TV star, is most famously known for his work on NBC’s Biggest Loser USA; Sky TV’s Obese: A Year to Save My Life; and Fat: The Fight of My Life.
I was lucky enough to be invited along to the inspirational event, in Manchester, where I got to speak with the father-of-one about how he is helping people transform their lives - The Pavelka Way - and got the low-down on his new book, The Programme.
Sitting on a sofa with Jessie, in the company of his business partner and good-friend, Jill Tipping, it was clear to see why Jessie is adored by fans around the world, (he has more than half a million followers on social media).
Ok, I know he’s hot - and yes he is super buff in real life - but for me, it’s his compassion that is the most compelling, and it’s this trait, teamed with his fitness expertise, that has proved a winning formula for his career.
Jessie, who lives in LA, and has a six-year-old son, Rowan to actress Sitara Hewitt, says his own life experiences are where his compassion stems from.
The Catholic-raised, Texan, grew-up in a “broken home” and was “in and out of jail” during his teenage years. It was his connection with sport and exercise that helped him change his life for the better.
The humble star said: “If you saw someone on the ground who had fallen down and hurt themselves you wouldn’t walk past them, you’d help them get up, right?”
“[Working with obese people] is not much different to that. You see an individual struggling and hurting and you want to be part of the changes that they want to make and help them get back up on their feet.”
Finding his “purpose” while working as a personal trainer in his early 20s, Jessie soon tired of training clients for vanity. And, his continued pursuit for growth lead him towards learning about other elements involved in making lifestyle changes, in particular understanding what’s going on inside the mind.
“The vanity side of training wore thin, so I specialised, working with a gastric bypass physician, who gave patients to me pre and post op, and this is when things really changed for me.
“I’d sit in focus groups and listen to their fascinating stories - listening is the second most powerful thing you can do as a human being, aside from breathing.”
According to the 33-year-old, who works out every day, listening to why someone wants to change is essential.
He said: “You need to ask yourself WHY you want to make a change, you must have a strong answer to this question to make it work.”
This message was key throughout his What If...show, and Jessie encouraged fans attending to ask themselves why they want to change and commit to four changes using The Pavelka Way, which focuses on altering behaviours associated with food, movement, mind power and family. Jessie said: “If we can get people to make small changes from this [tour] and make them feel good when they leave, then we have accomplished something.”
In 2016, Jessie launched a free online community, the Pavelka House, which offers an abundance of tips and advice for people wishing to transform their lives.
Online, there’s recipes and workouts to put to the test, tools on how to engage a positive mind set, as well as a community for connecting with liked-minded people.
When you action The Pavelka Way’s four elements, you should really start transforming your life and gain balance.
Jessie, who has tribal wings tattooed on his shoulder blades, is a big believer of working the mind and connecting with people who will serve you.
He said: “Surround yourself with people who light you up and believe in yourself. Connecting with people and finding support is essential.
“Positive affirmations are great for helping you stay on track,” and there’s five commitments on the Pavelka House that Jessie encourages people to read every day to help stay focused.
But, regardless of what diet or programme you choose to follow, Jessie, who is an ambassador for Race For Life said: “It’s not the diet or the programme that helps you change your life, it’s YOU.
“People forget it’s them doing the work, it’s not the diet. At the end of the day it’s about the work. You’ve got to find something that is sustainable, that you can do for the rest of your life.”
Q&A with Jessie Pavelka
What’s your exercise regime like?
I try to do something every day, go to the gym or even just go for a walk. I try to push myself to do more than I did the day before.
Do you ever have a blowout and eat and drink unhealthy?
Yes, I like eating pizzas and hamburgers, and drinking beer and wine, so if I want to have something like that I have it.
Do you ever feel guilty after eating badly?
No, I never feel guilty about my food because I know I am going to be active the next day.
How do you relax?
Exercise helps me relax, most people think exercise is stressful but it’s not, it’s the opposite.
What makes you happy?
I like hanging out with my friends and my son. I like art, music and I like to hike.
What music are you listening too?
Music really is a big part of my life. At the minute I’m listening to Father John Misty from the Fleet Foxes, he’s really good. I love listening to music that connects with me emotionally.
Who inspires you?
A few people. My son, he’s a constant and one of the most important things in my life. The people I work with, I think any time you see someone overcome something massive you can’t help but say ‘wow, that’s my hero right now’.
And my parents. After you’ve had a kid, you look at the sacrifices your parents made, so they have inspired me when it comes to being a father.
Do you have any personal struggles?
I have struggles, I’m a human being. Internally I can pick myself apart, I have self-doubt and can be very negative at times. It’s hard being away from my son. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be. But, at the same time I get to do some really cool things that I love. I hope that he sees that and grows to do the same and fall in love with something.
What are your pet hates?
Oh, pet peeves? I can’t stand the sound of anything scraping the sidewalk. Also I couldn’t eat my breakfast with my mum when I was a teenager because she would slurp her cereals. And, I don’t like it when people are rude.
What are you reading right now?
The Richest Man in Babylon, it’s like an old guide to finances but it tells stories. And I’m also skimming back through The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra.
Where would you choose to go on holiday?
Somewhere nice and outdoorsy. I love the mountains, Banff in Canada is really amazing, I had a really cool time there when I was in my early 20s. Or, a tropical island like the Maldives.
What’s your motto for life?
I’ve got about 84! But, at the current moment in my life, it’s to embrace and appreciate all of yourself. Embrace the good and the bad, and don’t be hard on yourself - that’s a big one.
About The Programme...
This unique 21-day plan for men and women, is a positive, sane way to achieve a better lifestyle by making small changes, achieving balance and getting back to basics.
Jessie Pavelka said: “We cover four different elements, eat, sweat, think, connect. “We focus on food, exercise, the mind and community, connecting with other people and finding friends and accountability partners.
“It’s not one size fits all. It gives everybody something different and new. When you look at the nutrition and exercise side, we have brought in different varieties of exercise and the cool thing is, we pair the style of eating with the style of exercise. So if you’re doing resistance training you get to pair that with the proper nutrition for that day. It starts out with a four-day cleanse of just soups and smoothies, which are really good.”
The Programme book is out May 10, 2016.
About The Pavelka Way...
We all have something we are looking to over-come. Sometimes these things can seem bigger than us, greater than us. By taking consistent action using The Four Elements you can create sustainable change and develop the lifestyle you deserve.
Movement - Most of us live in our heads. By creating regular movement in our lives we learn to live in and through our bodies. Our body is a tool which helps us cope and deal with day-to-day life and if we use it right, it works for us. Movement is the first step to living well.
Food - The food we eat depicts our mood - how we feel. It heals our body and ultimately heals our life. We help you to combine simple and effective ways to eating well, allowing you to make informed choices about what is best for you.
Mind power - Exercise and nutrition have been thrown at us for nearly half a century but something that gets overlooked is the power of the mind. On the Pavelka Way you get the opportunity to look inside and find an infinite supply of power. This is your power and with the right tools you will learn how to keep your power.
Family - This is your support - the life blood of the Pavelka programme. These people are your specifically chosen family who allow you to be you and who are there for you during dark moments of fear and then on hand to celebrate your wonderful moments of success and joy.
For more information visit www.pavelka.co.uk