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Jessy Kang

I AM ALFA because I am strong and focused, with a clear understanding of what I want from life. I have the skills and determination to turn my dreams into reality.

Jessy Kang

Instagram: @nlk_fit

Photographer: Ali Sohrab

Make up: Shannon Payne

Tell us about your background and the journey you took to be where you are today Jessy.

I take great pride in the person I have become, knowing that my story resonates with many who have faced similar challenges. Growing up in a middle-class family with two older sisters, I witnessed my parents' relentless efforts to provide for us with limited resources. They instilled in us the values of hard work and determination, laying the foundation for our future success. While my parents may not have been experts in nutrition or health, their love language through food was evident. It was an integral part of our culture, and their ultimate goal was our happiness.

Throughout my childhood, I struggled with my weight, constantly feeling self-conscious and comparing myself to others. The critical nature of the culture I grew up in made it even more challenging, as I faced questions and judgment about my body. However, during my university years, I found a path towards self-improvement. Enrolling in a nutrition course opened my eyes to the world of healthy eating, and I started incorporating exercise into my routine. The physical and mental gains during this time were tremendous, and I even ventured into powerlifting, focusing on strength rather than just my physique.

Unfortunately, life took an unexpected turn when I was involved in a car accident, causing me to shy away from heavy lifting due to fear. But during this time, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. Amidst it all, I met my incredible husband, Peter, who has been an unwavering source of support and encouragement. He helped me regain lost confidence and embrace my authentic self, looking beyond external appearances. Peter's deep passion for health and fitness not only influenced my journey but transformed it. Together, we created a dream home gym, elevating our love for health and fitness to new heights.

As our marriage flourished, the next chapter led us to start a family. I had concerns about how my body would change after childbirth, but Peter reassured me and encouraged me to pursue my fitness goals before parenthood. It was through his suggestion that I connected with Shawn McIntyre, an exceptional fitness coach who has become an invaluable part of my journey. Working with Shawn has not only taught me about fitness and nutrition but also expanded my mindset, determination, and discipline. I am now in the best shape of my life and have achieved new levels of personal growth and success.

Initially seeking a physical transformation, I discovered that this journey has touched every aspect of my being, leading to a holistic change. Blessings continued to flow, and I was offered my dream job while working with Shawn. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and the profound impact this journey has had on my life. I feel reborn, armed with newfound understandings and perspectives that will guide me as I navigate the future.

My greatest aspiration now is to pass on the lessons of discipline, determination, and confidence to my children. I want to be a constant example of what hard work, dedication, and discipline truly look like. Through my own transformation, I hope to inspire them to embrace their journeys and unleash their full potential. As I continue on this ever-evolving journey called life, I carry gratitude for the experiences and growth I have gained. The lessons learned from my transformation will forever shape me, and I am excited to see what lies ahead, ready to conquer new challenges and inspire others along the way.

I AM ALFA because I am strong and focused, with a clear understanding of what I want from life. I have the skills and determination to turn my dreams into reality.

When it comes to the rewards of fitness, the most significant one for me is improved health. In my early twenties, I battled a rare autoimmune disease that affected my bones and joints, causing pain and swelling. I believed I would always have to deal with these issues. However, since starting my fitness journey and discovering the right foods for my body, I am happy to say that I no longer suffer from joint pain. Additionally, I've experienced new hair growth and noticed improvements in my skin, nails, and teeth. Overall, my health has greatly improved, and I am truly grateful for that. Fitness has given me a renewed sense of vitality and resilience. It has taught me the importance of self-care and shown me the incredible potential our bodies have to heal and thrive. I am thankful for the positive impact it has had on my life and the motivation it brings me to pursue my goals. I aim to inspire others to embark on their own fitness journeys and experience the transformative power of taking care of yourself.

How important has your personal coach Shawn been to you? I can't say enough good things about Shawn. He came into my life during a tough time and has been my guiding light ever since. He has taught me valuable lessons that extend beyond just the gym and kitchen. Working with him has made me a better, stronger, and more resilient person. I will forever be grateful for everything he has taught me. He's not just a coach; he's family. I have immense love and respect for him. I know I can always count on him for advice and encouragement. I feel incredibly blessed to have developed a lifelong friendship through this journey.

The most transformative moment in my life occurred when I landed my current job. Prior to this opportunity, I was uncertain about my career path, having recently completed my masters in nursing. Unexpectedly, I secured a position as a nurse educator, though it wasn't exactly what I had initially envisioned. Nevertheless, I confided in Shawn, and his pride in me was unmistakable. He believed that I had attracted this opportunity into my life.

About two months into my new job, fate brought me face-to-face with Rachel, a Clinical Nurse Specialist, holding the highest-ranking position in my nursing union, requiring a master's degree. We had an inspiring conversation, and I couldn't resist asking her how she achieved her role. My genuine interest must have made an impact, as she later spoke to her manager about me. To my surprise, several months down the line, a job opening emerged within her team. Rachel sent me an encouraging email, urging me to apply, and even offered to connect me with her manager should I have any questions. It was a tough decision, as I had just begun to feel comfortable as a nurse educator. Yet, with Peter's support, I took a leap of faith and submitted my application.

The process unfolded swiftly—I had an interview, and despite feeling unsure afterward, I received a call a few days later, offering me the job. Overwhelmed with emotion, I accepted the position. They believed I was the best candidate and that the job would be an excellent fit for me. I shared the exhilarating news with Shawn, and his excitement mirrored my own. This dream job was something I had never imagined having a chance at. Not only did it come with a higher salary, but it also aligned perfectly with my personal focus on prevention and health. Truly, it was the perfect job for me.

What's astonishing is that all of this happened during my fitness transformation journey, teaching me the power of shifting my mindset and focusing on my goals. Witnessing how these changes opened doors to extraordinary opportunities has been nothing short of incredible. It reinforced the idea that I can achieve anything when I believe in myself and set my intentions towards positive outcomes.

What is next for you? As I reflect on my journey, uncertainty surrounds what lies ahead for me. There are numerous aspirations I hold dear, including the desire to compete in a bodybuilding competition. However, I must also consider other factors in my life before making any concrete decisions. Through this experience, one thing has become abundantly clear: the possibilities are endless, and I have the power to achieve anything I set my mind to. While I may not have a clear roadmap for the future, I am confident that success awaits me as long as I maintain my focus and embrace the understanding that growth and progress are constant companions on this amazing journey called life. It is the unexpected twists and turns that make life so enjoyable and full of surprises.

Who do you want to inspire and why? I am driven by the desire to inspire others, fuelled by the profound impact that fitness has had on my own life. I have come to realize that fitness extends beyond physical transformation; it encompasses the well-being of the mind as well.

Through my fitness journey, I have achieved a level of mental fitness that I never thought possible, and I yearn to impart this incredible experience onto others. It has unquestionably transformed my life, and I want others to experience the same sense of empowerment and personal growth that comes with embracing fitness in all its dimensions.

Please share up to 5 things people don’t know about you. I find solace and fulfillment in my spiritual beliefs, which guide me on my journey. When it comes to guilty pleasures, I must confess that I find great enjoyment in watching soap operas. Even during busy times when I can't indulge in other forms of entertainment, I make sure to keep up with my beloved soaps. I have a deep love for learning, constantly seeking opportunities to expand my knowledge. Despite already earning my nursing degree, I have returned to school multiple times and maintain a strong desire for further education. Indulging in bread and butter brings me immense pleasure. There's something truly delightful about savouring this simple combination. Thanks to my husband, I have developed a newfound addiction to Little Caesars pizza. Every Friday night, we treat ourselves to this guilty pleasure, creating a cherished tradition that we both enjoy.

Please name up to 5 ALFA people you know. My support system is comprised of incredible individuals who have played significant roles in shaping who I am today. At the top of the list is my mom, who exemplifies unwavering grit and determination. Her resilience has served as a constant source of inspiration in my life. Equally impactful is my dad, who has consistently encouraged me to reach for the stars and pursue my dreams without hesitation. My sister, a truly formidable woman, stands as a pillar of strength. Her unwavering spirit has shown me the power of resilience and the importance of standing tall in the face of adversity. My husband, my greatest ally and motivator, has always been by my side, offering unwavering support and belief in my abilities. His presence fuels my determination to keep pushing forward. Lastly, my best friend Melanie has been a shining example of a super mom. Her dedication and love for her family inspire me to be the best version of myself.

Each of these individuals has played an integral part in my journey, and I am immensely grateful for their presence in my life. Their unwavering support and remarkable qualities have shaped me into the person I am today.

What are three things you would like to share for someone starting their fitness journey or feeling stuck? First would be to Keep pushing forward, even when the journey feels challenging. In the beginning, it may be tough, but remain focused and determined. Trust me, the rewards will be worth it in the end. Remember, success is not an overnight achievement. It requires consistent practice and dedication to hone your skills and become a master in your craft. Embrace the process and commit yourself to continuous improvement. Failure is an inevitable part of the journey. Don't let setbacks discourage or disappoint you. Falling off track is a natural part of the process. What truly matters is your ability to pick yourself up, return to what you started, and stay committed to your goals. Embrace the lessons learned from setbacks and use them as stepping stones toward future success.

What are the most attractive attributes in a person? Hard work and ambition have been the foundation of a strong connection between my husband and me. I have always possessed an unrelenting drive to improve, both within the gym and in every aspect of my life. The hunger for growth and progress has been a constant flame within me. The path to my accomplishments has been paved with immense dedication and effort.

Nothing was handed to me easily; I had to pour my heart, sweat, and tears into each success. This relentless pursuit has made the achievement of my goals all the more rewarding and gratifying.

What would be your advice to people who wish to get started on their own fitness journey? After going through mine I learned that so many factors that helped me to overcome challenges I faced during my path. I would say it's important to set a goal, to make a realistic plan. You need to understand things take time, so be patient. Know your limitations, and ask for help. Find a support partner. Hold yourself accountable. It's your journey and none else's. Do not give up if things get hard, but be kind to yourself. Consistency is key, so keep it up. Make sure you celebrate your achievements, even the small ones. And always remember its about the journey not the destination.

Favourite quote: "Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorrow."

Where can people find you?

Instagram: Instagram: @nlk_fit

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