I’ll be honest, I don’t get a lot of sleep. This is partly because I am a night worrier but also partly because I don’t help myself. I don’t have any routine which, in my defence, is pretty difficult as a University student, and I’ll spend most of the night scrolling through Instagram and Twitter rather than giving my brain time to relax. Sleep is super important for anyone but especially when you’re training and putting your body through a lot of stress. We might see training as a stress reliever but it is also putting stress onto your body and so you need to make sure you’re giving your body plenty of time to recover. I’ve been doing a bit of research into different ways I can help myself when it comes to sleep, so I thought I would share some of my top tips that I’ll be trying out.

  1. Make sure you’re not over doing it with food just before bed. This can be tough, particularly if you’ve had a busy day (or it hits 11 and you realise you’re nowhere near your macros) but you need to try and make sure you’re not having heavy meals before you go to sleep. Our bodies are not made to eat loads and then just stop, plus, without getting all scientific, feeling full makes it difficult to get a good nights sleep.
  2. Turn off your phone!! In this day and age it’s pretty hard to just switch off. I am a sucker for flicking through my phone till all hours and expecting to turn it off and just be able to go straight to bed. You need to get in the mindset of ‘being tired’ and staring at a bright light is just tricking your brain. Plus, if you’re on your phone there will always be something you need to do, whatever it is can wait until the morning.
  3. Give yourself some relaxation time. Before bed do something to help yourself to wind down. Whether that be having a nice hot bath, meditating or colouring. Giving yourself some ‘me’ time will help you feel relax and let you switch off from the stresses of the day.
  4. Get into a routine. Another thing I am pretty bad at. You need to get yourself into healthy sleeping habits to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Realistically, this is not always possible but it can be done a lot of the time and can be really beneficial in helping you to relax.
  5. Get some fresh air. This can be tough, especially during exam season when it can be tempting to shut yourself inside all day and work. However, spending time outside can be really refreshing when you’ve been crammed inside all day. Again, avoiding getting too ‘science-y’, basically when you spend time outside your body receives more of a chemical called Melatonin that helps to regulate your sleep cycle. So grab your shoes and get outside, you’ll thank yourself for it!

So what happens if you’re sleep fine but you’re still tired? 

There are loads of different reasons you might be struggling with fatigue and if it is a persistent problem it is probably worth going to see a Doctor and get some professional help for it. There are also a few different things you can try out to help yourself a little bit. Ben Coomber did a really good series talking about different reasons why you might be struggling with fatigue that gives you loads of advice.

One tip I found really useful was making sure you’re getting the right macronutrient balance. This can take a bit of experimenting but, from experience, it has really helped deal with fatigue. Since lowering my carbohydrates and increasing my protein I have been feeling a lot less sluggish and had far more energy. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting your micronutrients in your diet as well (and that they’re off a good quality!) If you’re looking for more information make sure you watch these YouTube videos (I popped the link above!).

Let me know your top tips for sleeping or if you try any of these!

Sleep tight. 

Jamie x

Now, I’ll be honest, my BodyPower Expo 2017 experience didn’t get off to the best start. After getting there at 9 only to realise our tickets weren’t valid until 10:30, I was not optimistic. However, after a quick ticket upgrade my hopes were restored. The place was absolutely packed with some of the biggest names in fitness. I had been in a total of 20 seconds when I was offered my first protein freebie of the day, the first of many I should add (macros, what macros?).

As we were in an hour and a half earlier than the standard ticket, we made the most of it and queued at USN to meet Ryan Terry. You will notice a general theme of this blog will be queuing. (BodyPower Top Tip: Take food and water because you will be queuing for hours!). After an hour of queuing we finally met Ryan. As Ryan trains at a gym in my home town, we hit it off right away! He was such a nice guy and made time for everyone, plus we got a free shirt and packet of protein so win win! Next up was another queue for one of my favourite athletes, Nikki Blackketter. It took a good 2 hours but it was definitely worth it. One thing I will say is that you are pretty rushed when meeting the athletes (for obvious reasons) but, again, she was so friendly and down to earth. They always say you shouldn’t meet your role model, but with Nikki this is definitely not the case.

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Food time! If you’re looking for protein, you’re in the right place. I had a (very overpriced) low carb, high protein pizza and my first ever Grenade protein bar, which I would seriously recommend! I have one saved ready to melt on my oats tomorrow morning as well. After dinner I had to go and find Lauren Tickner who was with Xite. Although she was in a rush, she made time to take a picture with me and chat. She was so sweet and I got lucky because, the only time this can be said for the BodyPower experience, I didn’t have to queue. Now, Steve Cook on the other hand, that was a very different story… 4 hours later we made it to the front only to be informed they no longer had time and would have to just do quick selfies instead. Steve was not having any of this. Despite there being hundreds waiting and him being very pressured to speed it up, he made time for every single person and was such a lovely guy (he even said I should work for Gymshark… pop me a good word in would you, Steve?). 

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After meeting all the athletes we had time for, I did a little bit of shopping (it would be rude not to, right?). I treated myself to the new high waist Gymshark leggings in black marl and the long sleeved seamless black top. If you’re interested in sizings or how they look on, you can check my Instagram story here. I also finally got myself some chalk and a foam roller from Strength Shop.

In hindsight, the day was amazing. I say in hindsight because, after 4 hours of queuing in a over heated cramped space when the front of the queue is not in sight, you begin to lose hope a bit. However, I would 100% go again. Despite the queuing and despite the overpriced food, I met some of my fitness inspirations and have come away feeling even more inspired and informed.

Massive thank you BodyPower Expo 2017 and to all the athletes. I’ll see you next year! 

Jamie x

It may have been two weeks since the Cosmopolitan Self Made Summit but, yes, I am still going on about it. For that, I do not apologise. I took so many lessons from the day, far beyond simply lessons in business. In the goodie bag at the end of the day we got given to book #GIRLBOSS, written by Sophia Amoruso the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal. I have wanted to read this book for ages but never had the chance. I started it on the train back from London, by the time I got home I had finished it with a completely new outlook. I know what you’re thinking, bloody hell, Jamie can read fast, yes that is true. You’re probably also thinking that I am being super cringe saying that a book changed my outlook but it 100% did and here’s why.

Not only did the book teach me a hell of a lot about what it takes to make it (and survive) in the world of business, it also taught me a hell of a lot about life. I am a bit of a perfectionist, which is a good thing in some respects, but it also means I don’t allow myself to slip up. If I make mistakes I can’t accept them and move on – they take over my life. I stress and I think I am either a failure or a terrible human being. This book taught me that, actually, we all cock up – both in our careers and in life. We are going to make mistakes and we are going to do things that aren’t necessarily ‘good’. This doesn’t make us bad people, this makes us human. It’s about how we learn from our cock ups and how we do not let them define us. Not only is this resilience vital in the world of work but it is also pretty important in day to day life. I’m an over-thinker and any thing I do that doesn’t quite fit with this idea I have of being ‘perfect’ leads to a lot of self hatred – THIS IS NOT HEALTHY. Yes, this is not going to go away by reading a book but do not underestimate the power of knowing you’re not the only one who has done shitty things or made mistakes. Everyone has and that doesn’t mean you’re not a good person and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re not a #GIRLBOSS.

Next lesson: Shitty jobs might just be the secret to success. Hear me out on this one… Remember my Cosmo Self Made Summit post? (If not, read it!!) Remember the stars and needing to get enough stars in order to see the constellation? That is exactly why it is okay to not love everything. A lot of people say you should not waste your time with things you don’t enjoy, but I don’t believe it is a waste of time. I think being open to things you don’t enjoy helps you to grow as a person and means you pick up new life lessons. You can’t be top dog straight away – you have to hustle. 

Finally, I AM THE ANTIFASHION, a chapter in the book, really hit home. I’ve never really fit in. I’ve tried bloody hard but this has left me sad, unaccomplished and pretty lonely. What #GIRLBOSS taught me was that it is okay to be a bit of a weirdo. In fact, it’s a lot more than okay, it’s pretty vital. ‘You’ is good and ‘you’ is what makes you different to everyone else. It’s okay to look like a bit of an idiot sometimes and it’s okay not to do what everyone else is doing. If you follow the same path as everyone else you will never reach your goals. Be weird and embrace it!! 

Since reading this book I have felt so motivated and ready to take on the world. So watch this space because this #GIRLBOSS is ready for the hustle. 

Jamie x

#GIRLBOSS

If you follow me on Instagram, or twitter, or any form of social media really (I have been going on about it a fair bit…), you’ll know that yesterday I went to Cosmopolitan’s first ever Self Made Summit. The event was aimed at helping aspiring bloggers, business women, or anyone just looking for a change of career, find inspiration from those who have been there and done it for themselves. 6:50 this morning, I was up and on the train to London, ready for a full day of fashion, business and social media antics. The event was absolutely incredible and I left feeling completely inspired. I also left with a cracking goodie bag (check out my Instagram story today to see what stuff I got), my hair done (for free!!) and a tummy full of food and drink. Hats off to Cosmo for pulling off such a well organised and informative event. I want to use this blog post to share with you some of the lessons I took from today and a few of the highlights.

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I started off in a talk about the power of social media and how it can be used to launch a brand, whether that brand be a product or whether that brand is you. The fantastic Alice Liveing (Clean Eating Alice) and Louise Pentland (Sprinkle of Glitter) were just a few of the inspirational faces on the panel. I am a huge social media fan and so this talk was a must. The key lesson I took away from this session was authenticity.

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All the speakers agreed that there has to be a reason behind what you’re doing beyond simply making money. If used correctly, as these people have, social media is a great tool for education and a creative outlet for you to share your journey with others. Another really key lesson for me was being confident with your language on social media. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I struggle a lot with this and tend to find myself constantly looking for assurance when online. It is super important to be confident and assertive with your content. It is yours after all and you need to be authentic to you. Would Beyonce apologise for her Instagram picture? No she most certainly would not! 

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Next up was a talk about developing your blog into a brand. Once again, I listened to some incredible women who I have watched on YouTube and followed on Instagram and who have inspired my journey. A key lesson to take from this was to be yourself. The number of people on social media is mad and so, in order to make yourself stand out, it is really important your personality shines through. There is no point trying to copy someone else as that isn’t you. Success comes from individuality, dedication and, once again, authenticity.

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Finally, my last talk was giving by Stella Creasy (MP), Marcia Kilgore (Founder of Soap and Glory, Beauty Pie and FitFlop) and Louse Pentland. I took a huge amount from this that really inspired me going into the networking session. Imagine you’ve got a sky. You want to put as many stars in that sky as possible. You might not love every single star, but one day they will all come together and you’ll see the constellation. In less metaphorical language, you’re not going to love everything but everything is adding to your networking and helping to build you as a person. The good, the bad and the ugly – they all make up who you are. Another key piece of advice, and something I think is difficult when starting out, is to remember it’s not all about you. It’s about what you want to change and having an awareness of the bigger picture as well as a self awareness.

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I would like to end with a quote from my absolute favourite speaker of the day. Starting off in Hooters, Katharine Ryan has taken to British comedy world by absolute storm. Her talk was honest and inspirational and really made me consider my priorities and outlook (Cringe but true). She reminded us that, it’s okay to be vulnerable and still be a #GIRLBOSS (a book I read on the train back and absolutely adored!!). A final word I think we can all benefit from, whatever out journey, and certainly something I will take with me into the gym, my work and this blog – ‘never expect to be good at something right away.’ 

Jamie x

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