Jordan Wessel

After battling numerous stomach diseases in her young adult life, Jordan Wessel decided to participate in a swimsuit competition that would open her eyes to the world of fitness contests, beauty pageants and modeling.

For about two years, she battled stomach problems that no doctor she visited could solve. Even when she was put on multiple medications, she was still not cured.

“I started researching fitness and nutrition and eventually cured myself naturally,” Jordan Wessel, Miss Arizona USA 2014 contestant said. “I experimented with myself and I started to feel a lot better.”

Once she cured herself, she decided to make a list of activities that she wanted to accomplish.

“The first thing I wanted to overcome was my self confidence issues,” Wessel said. “I was always a heavier kid and I wanted to step outside the box and so I decided to compete in a fitness competition.”

In the NPC bikini competition, she was judged solely on her body in a bikini.

“I couldn’t think of anything more terrifying and so I decided I was going to do it,” Wessel said.

Wessel trained for about four months before the competition and lost a total of 40 pounds.

“The day that I stepped on stage, I was no longer on any medications and I wasn’t going to doctors,” Wessel said.

She figured that since she successfully competed in the NPC bikini competition, she could tackle other contests, and soon after signed with a modeling agency.

Wessel started taking modeling very seriously and was approached by a friend to compete in the Miss Arizona USA pageant in 2013.

She was told that she would succeed in the pageant, but said she could never see herself in a pageant of such high magnitude.

“I walked in there and had the time of my life that weekend and made so many friends and somehow walked out as a title holder,” Wessel said.

The competition took place over a span of three days and Wessel competed against approximately 40 other contestants. During the day, there were pageant rehearsals that consisted of dance routines, how to walk off stage, “your walk” and other specifics.

The last night of the competition, the judges picked the top 15 contestants.

“My only goal was to make the top 15,” Wessel said. “I was competing against four of my sorority sisters.”

Wessel made it into the top five in the Miss Arizona USA competition. She was crowned as Miss Arizona USA in December 2013.

This year, she will compete in the Miss USA competition in Las Vegas. The competition will air live on NBC on June 8.

“I leave on May 24 and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it and I can’t believe that I’m going to be competing,” Wessel said.

• Angela Crusco is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She is interning this semester for the AFN.

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