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22 Things I’ve Learnt By 22.

I turn 22 tomorrow. Part of me is excited because, you know, presents but the other part of my wishes everything would just SLOW DOWN. The little 8 year old inside me still can’t quite comprehend that she’s an adult now, going to work and renting her own little house. When I first moved in I wasn’t ready for it, but I had no choice but to learn and learn FAST. That has often been the case with most of the lessons I have learnt throughout my 22 years on this earth. Life comes at you quickly and sometimes you just have to go with it and hope for the best. 

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Started from the bottom…

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Now we’re here.

  1. Always have a sanitary towel in your bag. You never know when mother nature is going to come-a-calling and you should always be prepared. After a few accidents and more than a few girls asking me if I had one spare in bathrooms, I learnt my lesson.
  2. You’re not going to ‘like’ everyone, but that doesn’t mean you cannot get along. Back in year 8 if I didn’t like someone they were automatically my worst enemy. As I have grown up I have learnt that I don’t have to ‘like’ someone to get on with them. It doesn’t mean they are bad people or that we have to be enemies, it might just mean we’re different and that’s okay – you’re not going to like everyone.
  3. Not everyone is going to like you. Following on from number 2, not everyone is going to like you and guess what? That’s okay too.
  4. Bitching says more about you than it does them. When I was younger everyone bitched about everyone. It was cruel and unnecessary. I learnt overtime that bitching about people said more about me than it did them. If you have a problem with someone the only way to resolve it is to speak to them.
  5. Pee after sex. This came as a shock to me but yes, pee after sex. Nobody wants a water infection.
  6. Relationships should be 50/50. You should never have to bleed yourself dry to maintain a relationship. Relationships should be an equal balance of give and take.
  7. Always have a bottle of water in your bag. Hydration really is key! Plus, bottled water is expensive and bad for the environment.
  8. Water looks a lot like vodka and lemonade – just keep your mouth shut. If you don’t want another drink just order tap water. Trust me, no one will notice and you’ll thank yourself for it the next day.
  9. Endings are a part of life. Endings aren’t always nice but they are a part of life and symbolise growth and change.
  10. There is no shame in vulnerability. I used to think that in order to get anywhere in life I had to be hard faced and emotionless. Remember all the Facebook quotes glorifying this? Turns out, there is no shame in vulnerability. In fact, I have grown up to find it an endearing quality in others. Without vulnerability I found that life was very lonely.
  11. Sex and self respect do not correlate. When I was younger I firmly believed that sex and self respect went hand in hand but overtime I have learnt that that is not the case. People have both self respect and sex – the two do not correlate. If they are happy and safe then it really doesn’t matter how many sexual partners an individual chooses to have.
  12. You’re going to need anti-ageing creams sooner than you thought. Okay so I haven’t got wrinkles and I’m not greying just yet BUT there is no harm in erring on the side of caution. I have recently brought myself an anti-ageing eye cream to help with early signs of ageing. Kind of expected that to be a purchase I made closer to my 40’s but there you go…
  13. Coffee is cheaper if you just make it at home. Yes I know this is obvious but honestly you will save SO much money if you cut down on your coffee shop habit and just make it at home.
  14. The laundry is not going to wash itself. Turns out it was Mum who did it! Who knew?
  15. You are your own priority. I spent a long time trying to be a people pleaser and it got me nowhere. The more I tried it seemed the less I was liked. I learnt that your happiness should be your first priority. The more I put me first, the more I found people like me who loved and supported me for who I am.
  16. Things hardly ever go to plan. Literally EVER. You really have just got to roll with every new opportunity. As a self confessed ‘planner’ this came as a shock to the system but hey, that’s life for you!
  17. Not everyone has the same heart as you. Sometimes people can be cruel and work from a different moral compass to yourself. Take lessons from these people should you come across them and remove them from your life. Do not sacrifice your inner peace for anyone.
  18. Mum knows best. It didn’t take me long to learn this but it did take me a long time to accept it. Mum’s really are always right. My Mum knows me better than I know myself and her advice always come from a place of selfless love.
  19. You don’t owe ‘looking pretty’ to anyone. Don’t want to wear make up? Don’t. Can’t be bothered to wash your hair? No worries. It took me a long time to learn this but you don’t have to ‘look pretty’. You do not owe being ‘visually appealing’ to someone – you are worth so much more than that.
  20. Heartbreak hurts but you get over it. I have had my heart broken. One time I never thought I would EVER get over it but I did. I still think about that person from time to time but it is usually with fondness. Heartbreak is a part of life. It sucks but you’re going to be fine.
  21. Dry shampoo is a gift from the gods. I thank the gods for the day dry shampoo was invented. Honestly the day I learnt I did not have to wash my hair every single day was a wonderful one.
  22. You’re never alone, even if you feel like it. There are times when I have felt very lonely but I have learnt that I am never alone. In a world where anyone is just a phone call away and friendships with your online pals are as real as friendships with those you have known in person you really are never alone. I promise.

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My last celebration living at home. 

I hope I never lose the little 8 year old inside of me who still jumps in puddles and will go out of her way to do the hop scotch on her route home from work. I might be an adult but I always want to be a child at heart. I always want to keep hold of that youthful, carefree fun whether I’m 22 or 82. Happy Birthday to me. 

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“We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public’ – Bryan White.

Jamie x 

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Favourites Of The Month | September.

I swear I say this every single month but HOW is it already the end of September. It seems like just yesterday I was walking around with so much sweat between my thighs I constantly thought I’d weed myself, moaning about the sunshine and waiting for the delights of pumpkin spiced syrup. Nice image for you there, ey. Seriously though, it is mad how quickly this year is going. It is also mad how I have managed to do favourites of the month consistently now since March. Well done me.

By this point you’re probably getting the hang of these, so let’s just get straight into it. 

Fashion

It will probably come as no surprise to you that this month’s fashion favourite is from Gymshark (something tells me that this is going to become a reoccurring theme). A few months back Gymshark released their Slounge Collection and quite literally as soon as I got into the office and saw these sets in the flesh I knew I HAD to get my hands on them. I went for all three components of the set in the grey but can also vouch for the other colours (I was really torn but decided that grey would go with more). They are possibly the comfiest joggers I have ever owned and yet they still manage to have such a flattering, bootylicious fit. The whole collection is an absolute game changer for Gymshark and I cannot rave about them enough. They are perfect for rest days, casual days out and for smashing your gym session now it’s getting a little colder – the perfect all rounder outfit.

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Image from gymshark.com

I wear a size S in all three components and they fit perfectly. I am usually a size 10 in bottoms and around an 8-10 in tops.

Make Up 

When I first bought this product I was a little disappointed. Not because it was bad quality because it is definitely not (it has such a silky smooth formula – I cannot fault it) but because it was a little too golden for my skin tone. I am talking about the cult favourite from Laura Geller, the Baker Gelato Swirl Highlighter in Gilded Honey. This glow is one of the best I have ever owned but the colour just wasn’t quite right. HOWEVER, that all changed this month. I have been consistently using my gradual tan and so I have a bit of a glow. Plus, now my make up as transitioned from the dewy, summer, barely there look to a more intense, winter look, it is perfect. It goes so well with deep brown lids and burgundy/berry lips. The product has a little bit of sparkle and a LOT of glow. It makes my make up pop and my skin look super healthy even in the colder weather.

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Image from beautybay.com

I would seriously recommend having a look at this product if you haven’t already because I really can see why there is such a hype surrounding it.

Skin Care

As you will know if you’ve read these posts before, I get really dry skin and this only gets worse as the weather starts to get colder. My absolute go to over the past few weeks has been Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Concentration Cream. It is the most delicious, nourishing formula that smells like melted chocolate. It has a thicker texture than usual moisturisers and feels so silky smooth, which I really like. This product has made it into my daily bag, which is a HUGE achievement for a moisturiser so well done Palmer’s – I tip my wooly bobble hat to you. The collection is HUGE so have a browse and see what floats your boat.

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Image from ebay.com

Exercise

It surprises me to say this but this month my love for the deadlift has returned. I really went off deadlifting when I pulled my lower back due to some dodgy form and seriously overestimating my capabilities (sure I am pull 100kg after 2 weeks off, no worries…). Since then I admit I have avoided it but since starting training in Solihull I have really started to love them again. Rather than going super heavy like I was doing before, I tend to do high reps with a lower weight (50-60kg) and I am really enjoying them.

If you’re not deadlifting here’s why you definitely should be doing:

  • It works your full body.
  • It helps with fat burning
  • It can help improve your posture (as long as the form is correct) 
  • Helps increase grip strength
  • Makes you feel BAD ASS.

Entertainment (Book) 

This one way easy this month. My September favourites when it comes to entertainment has to go to the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. The first book in this series is the one that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film was inspired by. They are such fantastic reads – trippy, engaging and totally unpredictable. If you get the chance and enjoy crime fiction then I would seriously recommend giving these books ago. Larsson has such an original writing style that will have you hooked from the first page!

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Image from booktopiablog.com

This has actually been the easiest favourites of the month EVER! I usually find myself really torn but I am loving all of these things so much that they were unrivalled this month. What have you been loving this month? Did you treat yourself to the Gymshark slounge? On the hunt for an intense moisturiser to get you through the winter months? Let me know in the comments below. 

Jamie x

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Coffee and Crunches | How Is Your Coffee Habit Impacting Your Fitness Goals?

It’s no secret that I am a huge coffee fan. I never used to drink it but final year at University got the better of me and I went from a milky Latte to a black Americano with an extra shot in the space of about a month. Nowadays I have coffee every single day without fail, whether that be from a coffee shop or chilling on the sofa at home. Coffee has a bit of a bad rep when it comes to health and fitness (one of the reasons I avoided it for so long) but is it really all that bad? Can squatting and shot-ing ever mix? What is your coffee habit doing to your fitness goals?

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We’ll ignore the huge slices of cake, shall we? 

I have been doing my research and found both positive and negative ways in which coffee is having an impact so sit tight, get yourself a cuppa and let us begin… 

Positives

We’ll start with the positives and you will probably be pleased to hear that there are a lot.

  1. Calorie Burner: The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that trained athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned around 15% more calories during the three hour period post-exercise than those who took a placebo. This comes down to the fact that coffee contains caffeine (surprise, surprise), which you probably already know is a stimulant. What you might not know is that it has also been shown to enhance our metabolic rate and can help increase fat oxidation as a result of this – cappuccino anyone? 
  2. Athletic Performance: You might also be surprised to hear that sipping coffee has also been linked to improved athletic performance according to the International Society of Sports Nutrition. This is due to the fact that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. Research has shown that that it can help with memory and concentration, which subsequently helps when it comes to your workout. This leads us on to our next benefit…
  3. Pre-workout: Pre- workout can be expensive but it turns out that everything you need might already be sitting in your cup board (or, you know, at your local Costa). As well as hoping with your performance, a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning has revealed that caffeine can also help to reduce DOMS when it was compared with a placebo. Less time needed for muscle recovery more time to make the gains!

Negatives 

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news and there are some pretty bad ways your coffee habit could be impacting your health and preventing you from achieving your fitness goals.

  1. Calorie Intake: We’ve talked about how coffee can help when it comes to burning calories but make the wrong order and you could be adding a lot more calories to your dinner break. It’s estimated that 34% of us (ahem, me) fall victim to what is called ‘upselling’. Picture the scene: you’ve ordered a small latte and the cute barrister has told you you can upgrade for only 50p extra. Seems like a good idea, right? Wrong. This could apparently result in an extra 17,000 calories over a 12 month period. Of course it depends on your coffee preference but certainly food for thought.
  2. Anxiety: Perhaps not directly linked to your workout but certainly important to consider, coffee consumption, due to the caffeine, triggers the release of the same hormones involved in the fight-or-flight response. This can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and has the potential to exacerbate any existing anxiety disorders.
  3. 40 winks: Despite apparently helping with performance, if you’re drinking coffee within three hours of heading to bed you could be increasing the time it takes to drift off by up to 40 minutes – that’s a lot of extra counting sheep. Being sleep deprived can have a huge impact on your whole day, not to mention your workout.

So there you have it. As you can see, science has been anything but conclusive and there are both positive and negatives ways coffee can impact your health and fitness. My thoughts overall? Everything in moderation. I personally find myself more motivated, awake and content after a coffee in the morning (not to mention I enjoy the taste). I usually go for a white Americano with almond/coconut milk so it is not too calorific. Every so often I will treat myself to a dirty chai but it’s all about being aware. Stay hydrated and maybe cut back on the syrups and you’ll be fine.

What’s your go to coffee order? Let me know in the comments below.

Jamie x 

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Sources:

https://www.verywellfit.com/the-neurological-benefits-of-muscle-building-creatine-3121392

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24901809

https://www.verywellfit.com/drink-coffee-to-boost-your-workouts-and-more-3121398

http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/nutrition/happy-hour/7744/coffee-effects/

http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/beauty-style/skin/2759/is-your-morning-coffee-wrecking-your-skin-with-acne-and-dehydration/

https://www.nutracheck.co.uk/calories/calories_in_drinks/calories_in_coffee

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/calories/faq-20058100

https://www.muscleandfitness.com/features/edge/think-coffees-bad-you-think-again

https://www.health.com/nutrition/5-reasons-to-drink-coffee-before-your-workout

‘Worth a Shot?’ Two Weeks With Apple Cider Vinegar…

Happy Friday guys and gals. So here on Jamie Lee Jenkins Fitness we like to test out the latest health trends to see if they really are worth the hype. I say we, it’s just me really, but my point still stands.

As you have probably seen if you have been anywhere near a fitness Instagram or Holland and Barrett store, Apple Cider Vinegar is the new craze. People are downing shots or blending it up in a smoothie, whatever it takes to get their daily dose of the good stuff.

I did a bit of reading on this and apparently it comes with a load of health benefits. It can help with weight loss, bloating, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, blood pressure and relieving symptoms of acid reflux just to name a few.

Sounds good, right? Well, I thought I would give it a go and let you guys know whether I think Apple Cider Vinegar is ‘worth a shot’. 

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Days 1-4

So far I am yet to venture into the land of vinegar smoothies and so it has just been a shot of straight vinegar. Go hard or go home as they say.

I’ll be honest, it burns a little and doesn’t exactly taste great but I have definitely done worse (Aloe Vera juice, I’m looking at you!). I’ve picked up some fruit and veggies so tomorrow I can make myself a kale and vinegar smoothie and be the real definition of #health.

In terms of any health benefits, I do feel a little less bloated but that could also be down to the fact I spent all last week shoving Easter eggs in my mouth… I think it is too soon to tell. I don’t feel worse but right now I can’t say as I am feeling dramatically better and toilet wise, we have yet to have any miracles. If you know what I mean… 

Days 4-8

So it’s been just over a week now and I have finally ventured into the world of vinegar smoothies. You know what, they’re not that bad. I made mine with spinach, kale, vinegar, apple, pear and banana and it was decent. Nothing to write home about but certainly better than chucking it back straight. Kind of like vodka and lemonade. You still know it’s there but you don’t made that weird face as you question why you’re drinking something that is making your throat burn.

In terms of the health benefits, well, I am one happy girl. I’m not feeling half as bloated as I was before and toilet time is becoming a lot more regular and, well… satisfactory. I wouldn’t say my bloat has completely disappeared and it has certainly not proven to be a miracle cure just yet but I really am seeing some benefits.

Days 8-12

I have two days left of my trial and I am pretty sure I will carry on with my shot of vinegar every morning. I’ve got used to the taste now and don’t mess around with smoothies unless I am really in the mood. I just chuck it back and then have a glass of water ready to wash it down with.

I am seeing all the same health benefits that I saw in days 4-8, just even more so now. I assume this is because it’s had time to get into my system now and work its magic.

One thing I have started to think about is what this is doing to my poor teeth! I’m making sure I am brushing straight after and so I don’t think it is going to be too much of a problem unless I start gargling with it (which trust me I am not going to be doing). I have read that some people use a straw to prevent it damaging their teeth but I have yet to try this. Who knows, might be something I try in the future if I keep it up.

Days 12-14 

And I have finished… 14 days later and I have finished my Apple Cider Vinegar trial. So, was it worth a shot? You know what, I have to say yes. I’ll be honest, as much as I wanted to find something that was going to get rid of my bloating and help me go to the loo, I was not convinced it was going to be apple cider vinegar but I really have being pleasantly surprised!

Like I said, it is not a miracle cure. I’m still bloating a little but not half as much as I was and even when I do it is settling down a lot quicker. I also cannot report that it has cured my IBS, however, it has definitely helped with going to the toilet.

So, yeah… apple cider vinegar has earned itself a spot in my daily routine. It might not be a porn star martini but hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. 

Jamie x 

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‘5 things I wish I’d have known in my 20’s’ | A chat with my Mum

As Mother’s Day fast approaches and we celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, I felt this blog would be fitting. I’m currently 21 years old. The next decade of my life brings with it some massive pressures and changes that, when I consider that I still haven’t mastered the art of cooking for myself on a daily basis, are pretty bloody terrifying. I interviewed my Mum back before I turned 20 for a radio show and she shared her top tips for smashing your 20s. Back then, Mum was 40 something… Now she’s a little older. I loved this interview and I wanted to share it with you guys so here it goes to celebrate the inspiration that is my Mother- ‘5 things I wish I’d known in my 20’s’. 

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I decided to consult the best and most reliable person in my life for some advice about how to truly embrace my 20’s, my Mum. Mum has been and done it and gave me some words of wisdom, telling me what she wished she would have known as she embarked on her ‘20’s’. In her 20’s, Mum got a job (and another and another after that), she got married, she got divorced and she had her only child. That’s one rollercoaster of a decade, with her 20’s being the home of some of her best and worst years of her life.

1) First up on the things Mum learnt in her 20’s is something that, knowing my Mum, really shouldn’t have surprised me.

“Hangovers get way worse when you get older. If I’d have known that I would have definitely got pissed more.”

I don’t know why I even expected something philosophical and deep from this interview, although we can all learn something from this, whether we drink or not. Your 20’s are a time to enjoy yourself, we’re still young even though it doesn’t feel like it, and life doesn’t have to be taken too seriously. It really is early days.

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2) Next up, “It’s okay not to know exactly what you want to do with your life, in fact I still don’t know now.”

Now this was a massive relief and something that I think everyone I know worries about. I feel like, by 20 I should have some sort of life plan and, if I’m honest, after my degree I have no clue. Mum experimented, tried new things and was brave enough to walk away when something wasn’t right for her.

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3) “Saying that, if you have a goal and something you really want, your 20’s are the time to do it.” Your 20’s are years full of potential and the thought of finally not having any excuses to put off pursuing my dream is both terrifying and really exciting. My mum’s advice was to ‘use your 20’s wisely’, find a work, play balance.

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4) “Having a child is hard, particularly when you’re on your own, but you can do it and she will become your best friend.” The thought that in the next 10 years I could be married with a child is absolutely petrifying, however, whether its just because it was her daughter asking her, Mum also said it was the best thing she has ever done. Mum brought me up as a single parent, which brings with it whole new challenges and, by the end of her 20’s, Mum had an 18 month year old child, not a lot of money and no partner. Things don’t always go to plan but she’s okay now. Everything worked itself out, she overcame the challenges and, if I do say so myself, is the best mother and best friend I could ever ask for.

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5) Finally, “It’s pretty much as my Mum said it would be.” Rephrased, Mum’s are always right. There will be ups and there will be downs and I know going into my 20’s and leaving behind my teenage years isn’t going to miraculously solve all the problems I am facing, but it is nice to know things get better and I have my Mum by my side no matter what.

I am as grateful for this advice now as I was when Mum first gave it to me over a year a go. I am pleased to inform you that the first year of my 20’s has been the best year of my life. I cannot wait to see what the next 9 years has in store. 

Thanks Mum x

 

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