Jamie is also a RYT Certified Yoga Instructor / Bootcamp / Fitness Instructor
Q: Have you always lived a healthy fit lifestyle?
This is a tough question. When I was younger, I always did a lot of activities. I was involved in dance, swimming, tennis, and have always loved snow sports (skiing and boarding) and water sports (wakeboarding!). That said, even with all of the activity and my decision to become a vegetarian at a very young age (around 6 or 7), I didn’t always eat right or really know how to. Meals at my house weren’t terrible – my mom and grandma used to love to make us Cream of Wheat in the morning but I’d put heaping amounts of brown sugar in it. And for lunch at school, I’d almost always have some sort of sandwich, a bag of chips and maybe a piece of fruit (or fruit snacks!). And then dinners would be something like rice (usually cooked in butter), green salad and bread. I would also eat a lot of snacks and treats throughout the day..you know, to keep me fueled between all my activities. I remember once downing a bag of Cheeto’s right before a track meet and seeing that bag of chips again at the finish line (eewwww). It didn’t even occur to me at the time that I wasn’t properly fueling myself for a race. I just thought I ran too hard. HA.
I was a skinny kid so I never realized that eating that way wouldn’t be good for me in the long run. But when I got to high school and my activity level wasn’t quite as high, the food I was eating started to show. While I was still involved in sports, I had cut back on the amount of activities I was doing and in general just gotten a bit lazier (and more into boys and talking on the phone). I think it was my senior year of high school when I realized if I wanted to look and feel better, I’d have to eat better. I started reading and learning more about food and even cooking for myself. Through college, I stayed pretty active but the partying, drinking, late night food and year abroad in Italy eventually caught up to me and again I found myself having to take a look at my lifestyle and reevaluate. During my senior year of college (see a pattern here?), I made a commitment to run every day. I had gained A LOT of weight abroad and didn’t fit into any of my clothes. I knew it was time to take control. I ran and ran and ran and ran. And focused on whole plant based foods…and am proud to say I’ve never really looked back. I’ve had slip-ups in the last 10 or so years, of course, but overall, have made a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.
Q: What keeps you going, motivated?
For me motivation comes from knowing what it feels like to be strong and in control. There is no better feeling than that. When you know you can do just about anything – and not because you’ve trained for it necessarily – but because you’ve treated your body right and are strong enough for most challenges. Even when I really don’t want to get out of bed for a workout, I push myself because I know my day will be that much better if I do.
I also have found peace and clarity from running and love pushing myself to new distances and new challenges. And, being able to go that much deeper and feel that much stronger in a yoga pose.
Q: What is your favorite workout?
My favorite workout is honestly hitting the trails for a good long run and my bootcamps! I always do bootcamps along with bootcampers while I’m teaching and there is seriously no other way for me to get that same kind of intensity and challenge. It forces me to get outside my comfort zone. As a distance runner, I never imagined I’d be leading the pack on a hill sprint and then getting down for push-ups and box jumps. I love anything challenging that really works the whole body and mind.
Q: What are some of your goals?
Oh, another tough one! I have so many goals for myself. If I didn’t set goals, I would never get anywhere. But here are the ones that come instantly to mind:
To look Christmas card ready when I’m doing pull-ups (ie make them look easy).
To have a daily yoga practice – at least 15 minutes per day.
To run 100 miles (yes, in one go)
To work on myself from the inside out so that I can be a better friend, sister, daughter and girlfriend
To stop saying yes to every social function and yes to every drink
Q: What are some of your accomplishments or things you’re proud of?
I think I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve never stopped believing in myself. Almost a year ago, I quit my job (of more than six years) and took the plunge to do something on my own. It was the scariest, most life changing thing I have ever done. A lot of people told me I was crazy – told me I would fail – basically laughed in my face. I remember my mom telling me it would be better to wait until I was married when I had more security. And all I thought was: what if that never happens? Would I just wait forever and ultimately miss my chance at forging my own path?
Aside from taking a chance on myself, I think I’m also proud of how strong I’ve become. Both on a physical and personal level. I’m proud that I can do push-ups for days, that I can out run most guys, and bench a pretty impressive amount of weight. I’m also proud of how strong I’ve become as a person. I was picked on in high school – I was always a little different – and when I really grew into myself I never changed for anyone…though many people in my life have tried to change me. I love the person I am and the person I continue to grow up to be. I embrace the things that make me who I am and have learned that people should bring out the best in you, not try to change you.
Q: What is one random fact we should know about you?
I am beyond terrified of slugs. Seriously.
Q: What words of advice would you like to leave the readers?
Make fitness a habit – like as common as brushing your teeth – if you wake up and think, what workout should I do today rather than can I skip working out today??! or do I have to??? chances are you’ll sustain your health and fitness for the rest of your life.