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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One of the greatest hurdles I had to overcome when I first began training was getting over ‘the fear’ – I was terrified of going into the gym. It seems strange now, right? I am a qualified PT and work for Gymshark for god sakes but, believe it or not, there was a time I avoided PE like the plague and the thought of walking into the strength and conditioning area in the gym gave me literal nightmares. Overtime I have picked up a lot of tips that helped me to build confidence in the gym and end up not only loving training in my free time but also making a career out of helping others to love it as well. I strongly believe that every single person deserves to feel confident, happy and safe in a gym environment so I hope that some of these top tips will help some of you new gym-goers out there! 

Top Tips for

Have A Plan

If I could only give one piece of advice it would be this – have a plan. Not only is this going to help you smash your workout but it is also going to mean you’re not wandering around aimlessly and feeling awkward (speaking from experience with this one!). Give yourself a bit of time before your gym session to plan what you want to achieve – that way you can give bits a bobs a google if you’re unsure and walk in with confidence and smash your session.

If you’re struggling with planning your own work out…

Get A Trainer

We’re nice, I promise, and most trainers, if they’re worth their salt, will teach you proper form and help you create a tailor made plan so that when you go at it alone you can smash it. Do your research and get yourself a trainer that is right for you. It can be expensive but, as I trainer and online coach, I really do think it’s worth it. Having somewhere there not only for accountability but also to provide motivation and mental support is invaluable when you’re feeling nervous.

If you’re interested in getting an online coach and want a bit more information, get in contact with me on jamieleejenkinsfitness@gmail.com. The initial chats are totally free and although I can’t be there with you, I am available all the time to offer support and guidance.

If you can’t afford a trainer make sure you have a least got yourself a…

Get A Good Gym Induction 

A good gym induction is vital when first joining a gym. Even if you have been training before and think you know the ropes don’t turn one down. They are a great way to feel at ease in a new environment as well as gives you a chance to get to know the staff. It’s also the perfect opportunity to assess your fitness levels and workout what your goals are. Having goals will help give you the motivation it takes to fight to nerves and do it alone.

This leads me on to my next top tip…

Do Your Research 

Every gym is different and they all have a different ‘vibe’. Don’t be nervous about going to look around the gym and even having a taster session before committing to a membership. Even now there are some gyms I feel a lot more at home in than others. It is important to work out what you are looking for from your gym and what it right for you. Have a chat with the people who work there who will be more than happy to offer any help and advice. It might sound daft but it is really worth making a consideration choice when it comes to which gym you go for. If you like the atmosphere and the people there you are much more like to feel at ease and want to go back.

Invest In Some Killer Gym Clothes 

Now I know that I always say you don’t need anything apart from yourself and some motivation to smash your sessions so this might seem a little hypocritical, but I speak from experience when I say that feeling fresh in a brand new outfit really helps with confidence. I used to always say that I would only buy nice gym clothes if I knew I was going to go (kind of like a reward) but this time I got them before and they acted as the best incentive. I have learnt that feeling good in gym clothes isn’t about my having the ‘perfect’ body, it’s about celebrating the body you have at the time and how incredible it it. Be your own cheerleader and invest in some gym clothes – you won’t regret it.

My recommendations: Gymshark, FLEXXFIT, H&M, Primark, Wearwolf Clothing.

Take Your Headphones

Music always motivates me. A little bit of Survivor and you can guarantee I’m going to absolutely dominate my workout. Having your headphones in also helps you to zone out and focus on your own workout. As much as I love chatting to people in the gym, I know this can be intimidating (not to mention distracting) and so having your headphones acts like a bit of a deterrent.

Don’t fancy listening to some bangers? That’s fine, instead…

Get A Gym Buddy

Joining a gym is a new venture and so it is completely normal to be nervous. Just like with anything else, having someone there by your side for a bit of moral support can be really helpful. Having a friend there with you will make the whole process a lot less intimating and will also provide some accountability in the long run.

Don’t have any friends you can drag along with you? No worries, instead you could always…

Go To Classes

Classes are a fab way to meet people and get yourself used to the gym environment in a fun and safe situation. When I first started training I had no one to go with and so I decided to go to a ladies only boxing class. I went along on my own and got chatting to a lovely girl. Flash forward 9 month and she is one of my best friends and my ride or die gym buddy. Without braving a class I never would have met here, and what I sad, sad world this would be… 

Remember, everyone has been there

As I mentioned at the beginning, we have all been there, myself included! ‘The Fear’ is not uncommon so don’t think that every single other person in the room is an expert – the chances are the majority will just be your average person trying to keep fit and healthy. Keep in mind you have just as much right to be in that room as every single other person, whether they are training for a competition or wanting to lose a few pound. Every single person has a goal and everyone should feel comfortable and valued in a gym.

So there you have it, my top tips that I have picked up over the last few years. I will say that the majority of people are very friendly and willing to help. Of course you get some nasty people but I have been lucky enough to only come across kind and supportive people on my journey. Remember that you’re doing it for you. ‘The Fear’ is hard to overcome but I promise you that it is worth it. 

Jamie x 

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I talk a lot on my blog about the importance of having a good mental as well as physical health. For me, training and keeping my body healthy has really helped improve my mental wellbeing. There are a few other things I have been trying recently to try and help improve my mental health and I thought I would share some with you guys.

 

  1. Talk more openly. Keeping my feelings bottled up has been really unhealthy for me. I find a lot of the time, when I let my thoughts fester inside my head without talking to anyone about them, they can become extremely irrational and unhealthy. Sharing your thoughts with someone can really help you to rationalise your feelings as well as take a huge weight off your shoulders. I am quite an open person and so have not found this too difficult but if you’re struggling to talk to someone else you could always write them a letter about how you are feeling.
  2. Learn to say no. If you have read my second year reflections post, you will know that this is a massive thing for me. It is important to sometimes be a little selfish and think about you. If doing something is going to make you unhappy or you know you’re not going to enjoy it, there is no shame in saying no. I have learnt this year that it is okay to not be a people pleaser and to actually consider yourself and what you want to do. Saying no can be quite an empowering thing and has really enabled me to find time for myself.
  3. Write more. Writing things down has been really good for me. This hasn’t always been anything deep or particularly meaningful, simply finding time each day to write a blog post has really helped me focus and feel accomplished. Although not helpful for everyone, I am a list maker and have found loads of really cute books at the minute full of lists and activities. I find these, not only super cute, but a great way to prioritise and work out my direction.
  4. Get more sleep. It is really surprising what a good nights sleep can do for you. I am really trying to make an active effort at the moment to go to bed at reasonable times and get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep can be hard, particularly if you have a busy unpredictable schedule, but it is really important. Since I have started getting into more of a routine with my sleeping habits, I have found myself feeling a lot less anxious and irritable throughout the day and have been way more productive.
  5. Try meditation/mindfulness. These are hard, I’ll be honest, but for people that have sussed it out they are really beneficial. There are loads of great apps out there that can help you with stuff like this, just give it a google. Alternatively, you can arrange an appointment with your doctor or a counsellor and they can give you advice on different things you could try.

There is absolutely no shame in seeking help, whether that’s helping yourself with an early night or deciding to go and see a doctor.

If you are really struggling and want urgent advice, there are lots of 24/7 numbers you can ring. The Good Samaritans (116 123 UK) can be contacted whenever and are happy to talk, however big or small the issue. 

Jamie x 

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For those of you that have been following my blog for a while now, you will know that I am not the biggest fan of cardio. The weight room is where I feel most comfortable and that makes up most of my training. I have recently starting to increase my cardio (I’m now trying to do 15 minutes 4 times a week, stress on the word trying…). Anyway, recently I decided I would spice up my cardio and go to a gym class.

Now, ‘Twerk It Out’ is not the class I signed up for. The plan was to go on Tuesday evening for a nice bit of yoga. But, plans changed, and instead I found myself in the gym on Wednesday night twerking it out to a bit of Shakira, sweating to the point I looked like I’d just stepped out of the shower (not a pretty sight!). Much to my surprise, I loved the class! It was exhausting and challenging in an entirely different way to what I am used to, but trying something a bit different really helped motivate me.

I talk a lot about consistency being key, but I also think that variety is the spice of life. Since ‘twerk it out’, I’ve been experimenting with loads of different classes which have really pushed me. Classes are a really great way to try something new, meet new people and stay motivated, but spicing up your training doesn’t have to mean getting up at the crack of dawn and jumping on a spin bike. I have also been trying some new weight training exercises. My programme is still pretty simple and is great in helping my hit all the key muscle groups and build up strength but, after 5 months on the same programme, it can sometimes get a little bit tedious. So I don’t lose motivation I have been trying some new things, getting inspiration from YouTubers, fellow bloggers and my new ‘Everyday Fitness’ book.

Trying something a bit different can make the usually boring stuff (I’m looking at your cardio..) actually quite fun. 10 minutes on a cross trainer and I am ready to call it a day but a whole hour twerking it out flew by. It might be that the exercise you are doing just isn’t for you and it’s important to be realistic when training. If there is no way you’re going to spend 30 minutes on a treadmill, why not schedule in your programme a class or go swimming or brave the outdoors and go for a walk? Enjoying what you’re doing is what will keep you motivated so don’t be scared to try something new and be a beginner again. Not everything will work for everyone so spicing it up will help you find your strengths.

Over the next few weeks I will be trying out lots of new stuff and sharing videos on my Instagram to hopefully inspire you to spice up your routine. Let me know what sort of stuff you get up to when you’re looking for a bit of change. 

But, for now… back to the weights room.

Jamie x

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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