Jessie Pavelka, Sky Living

This straight-talking documentary series, Fat: The Fight of My Life, joins a group of morbidly obese individuals as they embark on a journey to save their lives. They are guided by weight loss expert Jessie Pavelka in their fight to shed the pounds and build a healthier lifestyle.

Can you tell us about your forthcoming series Fat: The Fight of My Life?

Each episode is dedicated to one person and documents their battle against obesity. When we first meet the individuals, they’re all in a pretty bad place. By getting a window into their lives at every stage, you see them transform into a new person.

Each has specific demons to confront. I show them how to add exercise and healthy choices to their lives, but it’s up to them to see it through. It’s an inspirational documentary.

Did any of your student’s stories particularly affect you?

You can relate to some of their personal struggles more than others, but I got attached to all of them. I’m always there to root for them to get back up when they fall down.

Have you kept in touch with the contributors to see how they’re doing?

We do communicate about their progress. They’re doing well, but unfortunately the reality is that some might not succeed in their goals in the short or long term. It’s an on-going battle.

How have you found your time in the UK?

I love the UK, really adore it. I would love to spend more time here!

Britain is the fattest country in Western Europe. What do you think we can do here in the UK to encourage people to get healthier and be more active?

A lot of people are waiting for the government to come up with solutions, but it’s up to individuals and the public to take the initiative. Teaming up with trainers and vocally encouraging people to get out and do more is a step in the right direction. If we wait for the government or other organisations to come up with answers to this problem we’ll be waiting a long time.

How do you stay motivated?

I have a few key techniques. Having a child makes me particularly conscious about taking care of myself. Writing down exercise plans is also really effective and music is a big motivator for me. Listening to songs I love encourages me to get up and head outside for a workout or hit the gym. Motivation can be found through pretty much anything and it’s very personal.

How do you keep in shape while on the road?

Your exercise regime can be thrown out by travelling and a hectic schedule so the key is to use your time wisely. You have to make exercising a priority and not allow other factors to infringe on it.

If it’s a matter of getting up earlier then do it.Don’t put it off.

You adhere to a holistic lifestyle. What does that entail?

It’s about embracing an organic approach to both food and exercise. It’s important to get out into nature instead of remaining indoors. Taking care to follow a simple, natural lifestyle shapes my daily routine and I’ve experienced great results.

What are your top tips for staying healthy?

Finding a regime that’s practical is essential. A lot of people follow a programme for six weeks and then get burnt out, so you need something you can maintain and is manageable no matter what else is going on in your life. Don’t do six weeks then stop completely; do something intensive for a period and then return for a stable, reliable routine.

Fat: The Fight of My Life, starts Monday 15th July at 9pm on Sky Living

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