Jamie has been a guest writer for Habitude Fitness in the past. Jamie is a friend and fellow fitness fanatic! Recently she was telling me about a personal project she had decided to embark on, and it encompassed all of the elements of wellness that we try to tap into here at Habitude Fitness. The more she spoke, the more I knew that this would make a great post and encourage others in a positive way!
Jamie, since the moment I met you, I have viewed you as a driven, strong, athletic, independent woman. The more that time passes, my initial views have been affirmed. You are all those things and more. Can you tell us a little about what drives you to be such a person?
Being healthy is so important. Your health affects every single part of your world. I was lucky enough to be born healthy, and I need to do everything I can to keep it that way. I definitely push myself, whether I’m lifting or doing a HIIT class. I try to get myself out of my comfort zone—within reason, of course.
Tell us about your recent project in relation to your healthy journal, goals, and commitments.
In March, I decided to start keeping a health/fitness journal. My commitment was to write in it at least every other day, but I’ve usually written in it every day since I started it. I record the good, the bad, and the ugly. (An example of the ugly… “Today was going great with food. I was making good choices and felt fantastic. Then I ate half a box of Girl Scout cookies. I need to stay out of the lounge in the afternoon because that’s when I seem to crave sugar”.) It forces me be honest with myself, and sometimes that can be hard!
Can you give us a little insight on your journey to this place of valuing health, wellness, and fitness? Has it always been a top priority?
Health and fitness have always played a big role in my life. I was athletic as a kid and all the way through high school. Even in college I was consistent in going to the gym. Now as an adult, I continue to stay active, but I’m focusing more on the food part. There were definitely times when I didn’t value what I put into my body, namely in college. But you live and you learn…and then you drop the Freshman 15 you gained!
What is the easiest part of staying committed to your new project? What is the most difficult?
The hard part is finding time to write in my journal, though it hasn’t been too bad. I constantly have a running list of topics to write about in my head. For example, today on my way to work I made a mental note to mention that I haven’t eaten enough veggies lately. In a few days, I’ll revisit that topic and see how I’m doing. Ideally I’d write in it at night, but that just doesn’t work for me. I usually have some time during my day at work, so I’ll carve out part of it for journal time. It really only takes about 10 minutes tops. Plus it’ll be fun to look back a year from now and see what my struggles were and how I’ve overcome them and achieved my goals.
How has creating space for vision, goals, and reflection impacted this journey?
The main thing is that it holds me accountable. I can look at my day and see ways I can improve. Also, taking that 10 minutes during the day has forced me to reflect upon my life from a wellness standpoint. Like everyone, my days are really busy, and I just don’t reflect on my day enough. I’m a paper-and-pen type of girl, so just thinking won’t cut it. Writing has always been cathartic for me, so writing down my thoughts is essential.
It has also helped me identify problem areas. I’ve historically been hot and cold with my clean eating and drinking enough water. Keeping a journal helps me hone in on my eating habits and congratulate myself when I’ve had an awesome food day. (Yes, I congratulate myself! If I met my food and workout goals for the day, I deserve it!) I also track my food using the app My Fitness Pal. It’s super easy and I like that it breaks down your macros for you in a pie chart. I’m super visual, so if I see that my protein macro is lacking, I make sure my next meal or snack includes a source of protein. Sometimes I’ll record those macros in my journal, sometimes I won’t.
What does your favorite workout look like?
I can’t answer that. I can answer what my favorite workout schedule looks like, though. My weekly schedule allows for flexibility and varied workouts, so as long as I can do everything on my tentative workout schedule, I’m happy. My weekly workouts include lifting, cardio, HIIT workouts, Insanity workouts, running outside, or even taking my dog for a long walk. If I’ve scheduled HIIT workout for one day, but I just don’t feel like doing it that day, I’ll just swap it out for another workout, and it’s no big deal. As long as I workout, I’m doin’ okay!
Tell us about your passion for cooking, and how you keep it healthy?
I do love cooking, but not during the week! My weekdays are pretty full, between work, tutoring, working out, walking the dog, and needing some down time. So I allocate time every Sunday for food prep. To be honest, I eat a lot of the same thing during the week, but that works for me. It keeps me on track. I’m a believer in the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. If I don’t have food prepped and ready to go, I won’t eat as healthfully. I’m definitely more tempted to grab a not-so-healthy snack.
I try to make a few new recipes a month so I don’t get bored. I also try to use new ingredients. Recently I’ve been trying lentils, nutritional yeast, and chia seeds. I’m constantly adding new recipes to my repertoire.
What are some of your fitness/wellness goals for the spring and summer?
I’m really focused on building muscle and toning up. I’m motivated when I can lift heavier and heavier weights. It’s proof that I’m getting stronger! I also like to take measurements once a month. I want to be as fit as possible for the summer because I like to take part in various water sports. Being fit definitely helps! I do a lot of watersports in the summer. In fact, they take usually take the place of my normal workout such as running or a HIIT workout in the basement. Working out this way is WAY more fun and it uses muscles in a functional way. I want to be ready for that so I can participate 100%.
How would you encourage others to start a similar “project” or journal?
Just do it. This was something I wanted to do for a long time. I don’t know why I waited for so long. I think that everyone could benefit from reflecting in a journal. Nothing is out of bounds or not allowed. It’s your thoughts as they pour out of your head. If you aren’t super keen on spelling and grammar, no sweat! It’s only for you anyway, so do what you want to do!