UB student competing in the Mr./Ms. Buffalo bodybuilding competition

How fitness transformed his life


‘Weighting’ to change

When Jon Jeziorowski entered the Steel Mill Gym in Lackawanna weighing 202 pounds, he felt out of place. As he looked around at all the red equipment, rows of black cardio machines and free weights stacked against a wall of floor-to-ceiling mirrors, Jesiorowski couldn’t fathom where to begin.

Now, almost two years later, Jeziorowski is preparing for the Mr/Ms. Buffalo bodybuilding competition.

On March 14, Jeziorowski, a senior business major, will be competing for the second time in the physique bodybuilding competition in the men’s height class for men over 5-foot-6, up to and including 5-foot-8. Last year, Jeziorowski took fourth place in his class.

“I was chunkier. I was an oversized kid and was always unhappy with myself,” Jeziorowski said. “I didn’t like how I looked and I always got teased.”

Jeziorowski said being overweight wasn’t the only thing that bothered him. He was stressed with balancing schoolwork, a part-time job and the duties of being a member of the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity.

When he was stressed, he turned to eating habits that made him feel constantly tired, even when he was getting the recommended six hours of sleep.

Fatty and sugary foods can cause fatigue and create a feeling of being rundown. Heather Kearns, the undergraduate program director of exercise science, said these foods lead to weight gain and possible health problems such as diabetes.

“When performed on a regular basis, exercise has been demonstrated to benefit mental health, including improving concentration, reducing tension, enhancing cognitive function and managing anxiety and depression,” Kearns said.

Physical activity and a healthy diet play an important role in the body’s ability to manage stress. Exercise is a natural mood booster – the smallest amount of exercise can have beneficial effects on mood and stress levels, according to Kearns.

Jezioroski decided to seek out a fitness trainer. Once Jeziorowski met his trainer, Scott Quinn, he was instantly motivated.

Quinn started training when he was 20 years old and has been helping others for six years. He currently works at the Steel Mill Gym.

When Quinn and Jeziorowski first met, it was clear to Quinn that Jeziorowski was lost, unconfident and looking for that one moment that would help change his life forever.

“You see Jon walking around two or three years ago, he was a heavy set and depressed,” Quinn said. “He had this look on his face and you could feel it.”

Today, Quinn has Jeziorowski on a meal plan and exercise routines in order to prepare for the competition. For Quinn, having a consistent, healthy diet is important in maintaining muscle and body weight. He said nutrition should be an important factor in every student’s diet.

Quinn’s own work is evident in his built body. He eats two-dozen egg whites for breakfast, as well as either fish, steak or chicken for dinner to get even more protein.

Quinn didn’t always look like a bodybuilder. He faced struggles with his weight growing up, something Jeziorowski relates to.

“When I was 11, I was of a heavier youth,” Quinn said. “My father got me a paper route, I started running, lost all the weight and he bought me an Olympic weight set when I was 12.”

Their common background helps Jeziorowski feel motivated.

Jeziorowski decided to join Mr./Ms. Buffalo last year. Quinn has entered the past five years.

Mr./Ms. Buffalo was once hosted at UB in 2013, but is now held at First Niagara Center due to expansion.

“As I got further along [with training], he would start talking about Mr. Buffalo since he was competing and getting ready,” Jeziorowski said.

Quinn inspired Jeziorowski. He made him set a goal and after 10 months Jeziorowski wanted to step on stage.

“I wanted to lose the weight, I want to look good,” Jeziorowski said. “He told me if I put my full heart and motivation into it, ‘I can make this happen for you.’ I’m just reaching to be happy and being comfortable with myself.”

Quinn described his first show in 2010 as “crazy.” He felt like a novice and was surprised at how big the bodybuilding industry was.

Both trainer and trainee will be competing in this year’s competition.

While preparing for the Mr./Ms. Buffalo competition, Jeziorowski share insights about the benefits of nutrition and fitness to his fraternity brothers. The confidence and happiness that he has is a feeling people want to feed off of, according to Quinn.

“You see Jon now, everyone wants to be his friend and shake his hand,” Quinn said. “It’s contagious. If people see that, they want to feed off of it. I believe Mr. Buffalo is growing because of that feeling.”

For Jeziorowski, his transformation is a proud accomplishment. Since first entering the Steel Mill Gym and deciding to change his life, his motivation has paid off.

email: features@ubspectrum.com