Jade, who was tired of giving up, embarked on a fitness journey that not only assisted her in achieving her weight loss goals but also helped her gain the muscle and self-assurance necessary to compete as a powerlifter.
What was it that ultimately made you realize that you wanted to go on a path toward better health and fitness?
I went through a lot of mental restructuring when I ended a long-term relationship that had been violent. I was eventually able to stop feeling sorry for myself and come to terms with the fact that nobody is dealt a hand that they are forced to live with. I was aware that I could affect any and all aspects of the situation, so I set out to do just that.
The real start of everything was when I finally felt mentally capable of making the necessary adjustments to my physical self.
How would you describe the way you lived before you made the change?
I suffered from significant social anxiety for a long time. Throughout my whole youth, I was subjected to terrible bullying, and as a result, I lacked self-confidence. Even being seen in public was too terrifying for me.
I was very much a daily consumer of fast food. I didn’t leave my flat since I was confused about what to do next. I simply chalked it up to the cards I had been dealt and figured I’d figure out how to play them. And I had the overwhelming sensation that there was no way out of the terrible situation I was in.
The majority of conversions result in the establishment of a community of support for the transformer. Who were some of your most influential supporters, and how did they contribute?
I will be completely honest with you on this matter: I did not have any supporters. And I mean it in the least condescending manner imaginable because I realize that what you’re saying is reasonable. Everyone knew that I would attempt the latest fad diet or go to the gym for a week and then stop going. Everyone, including me, had the assumption that this way of life wouldn’t last.
But if there is one person who has consistently been there for me, it’s my brother. He has always been there to lend an ear to listen to me regardless of what I have to say, a shoulder to cry on, and he is the only person in the world who will tell me exactly what I don’t want to hear when I need to hear it the most. He has always been there to lend an ear to listen to me regardless of what I have to say.
There is probably an opponent waiting in the wings for every cheerleader. Have you encountered any haters? How did you handle the fact that they were there? Have you been able to win over even one of your most vocal detractors?
Although I don’t use the word “haters,” you may say that they exist. It’s interesting because I receive a lot of mean and abusive comments, direct messages (DMs), and individuals in real life who speak about me behind my back, but no one has ever said any of those things to my face.
Who cares about things that people say behind your back when they don’t have the courage to say them to your face? That’s how I look at it. When I initially began receiving them, it would get to me, but now I realize that the individuals that send them are either really bored or want something that I have.
The sun will continue to rise, and a cruel message will not prevent me from achieving my objectives or make my triumphs seem less impressive. And I’m not quite certain that I can convert them into “fans.” I can say that I observed a lot of people who didn’t care for me or even give the time of day to me before anything, now tell everyone how they know me. I can say this because I noticed that a lot of people didn’t give me the time of day.
When things in your life change, you not only get a deeper understanding of the people around you, but you also discover who is actually there for you in times of need.
How did you handle weight training throughout your transition, and how did you separate your workouts?
When I originally started, I had no real focus and tried my hand at everything. I used to be a cardio bunny, and I performed a lot of basic weight lifting. Finally, I hit the sweet spot between the two.
My transformation was driven mostly by strength training and powerlifting, with some aerobic exercise thrown in on the side.
Even when I’m trying to become leaner, I don’t do cardio right now until I really feel like it (stadium steps and hiking are my favorites).
What kinds of things helped you keep motivated while you were working out at the gym?
It’s gotten to the point where it’s almost automatic for me. The fact that I like powerlifting makes it much simpler for me to go to the gym whenever I feel the urge to.
But just like everyone else, there are certain days when I’d rather be doing anything else than working out at the gym. I find that having a clear objective to work for keeps me motivated and focused.
If you find that you are unable to stay motivated by your objectives, you should definitely consider revising them.
Please tell me three things that helped you achieve throughout your transformation that you learned about exercise, weight training, and/or cardio while you were going through it:
You cannot possibly outwork a poor diet no matter how hard you try.
Women who exercise weights won’t morph into ogres as a result of their training. It flatters the curves that are already a part of your natural anatomy, and it causes you to burn more calories even when you aren’t actively exercising.
If the number on the scale becomes higher, you shouldn’t worry. At 200 pounds, I’m at my lowest body fat percentage ever. I am even slimmer than I was when I was only a few pounds lighter.
How are you now training, and has the manner in which you exercise altered at all since the conclusion of your transformation?
My current training for powerlifting is quite regimented, and it’s being led by a coach.
It is quite different from any time in its history. I’ve never had a coach or participated in anything that was very organized.
I had always done additional bodybuilding training on top of everything else, but once I gained faith in the process and reevaluated my approach to diet, everything else simply fell into place without any effort on my part.
Diet and nutrition for the transformation
How did your attitude to food and nutrition change when you were through the transformation?
From the very beginning, I was a very staunch supporter of the IIFYM. To this day, I continue to teach it, and I will place clients on such an approach if it is possible for them to make it work with their lives.
I had no clue what I was doing when I initially began, so I just ate whatever I wanted within a certain calorie range, without giving any thought to my macronutrient intake…
I had absolutely no idea what it was that they were.
When I first started to see results, I did some further research and made sure that I followed actual macros, all of which are things that I’ve always done myself. Then, the results started to really show.
Have you ever made a mistake with your diet or nutrition that you were able to learn from?
Incomprehensibly too numerous to count. It simply took a lot of practice and a lot of learning the hard way, which is what I tell people when they ask what I did and what my “tricks” are. I became aware of the things to which my body reacted favorably and those to which it did not.
The same goes for when I was performing my macros; it was all a learning process due to the fact that everyone is so unique. People are so terrified of messing up their macros that they want to copy mine exactly so they can avoid making any errors.
It’s not that big of a deal. Try out some new things, but if you’d prefer to have more structure and responsibility in your life, it may be best to simply face the bullet and pay a coach.
Please tell me three facts regarding food and nutrition that you discovered while going through your change that helped you succeed:
Food is not the enemy in this struggle. Put an end to your irrational fear of calories, carbohydrates, and fats. It’s all about finding that happy medium.
The timing of nutrients is more important than most people believe it is. When I first started doing it, I thought it was silly and a terrible waste of time, but now that I’m really doing it, I see how much of a difference it makes.
It is OK to have pleasure in life and in eating. To make sure that your diet is on target, you shouldn’t put yourself through mental and physical torture by skipping out on birthdays, meals, and quality time with friends and family. Believe me when I say that you won’t catch me doing it again since I’ve been there and done that.
Could you give us an example of a daily food plan and what it would include?
At the moment, all I do is spread out my consumption of sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fat throughout the course of the day. For instance, I consume around 5–6 ounces of lean protein four to five times a day, a substantial amount of vegetables and the proportions of fats and carbohydrates in my diet vary depending on whether or not I am doing out that particular day.
During my exercise, I consume carbohydrates and protein, and at night, I consume casein. I have what some may call a “bro diet,” but I don’t mind it because I’ve learned to make even the most unappetizing foods enjoyable. It is not necessary that going on a diet or making other changes to your lifestyle be unpleasant. But, if I want pizza, I’ll have pizza. It’s all about finding that happy medium.
Have you given yourself any opportunities to cheat?
Absolutely. I believe that it is important to take some time every so often to indulge in the meals that you like the most. And I don’t treat myself to cheat meals on a regular basis; I simply try to have a healthy balance in my life.
I am willing to go out to supper with a friend at their request. Or, if I’m in the mood for a quick dinner after my workout, I’ll grab something from Chipotle or something similar.
Because I am often going somewhere and putting in odd hours at work, I try to make my schedule as flexible as possible in order to preserve my sanity.
Suggestions for Other People
Which three pieces of advice would you provide to someone who is interested in making their own transformation?
Put your mind in the correct frame of mind. Before I accomplished that, I never persisted with anything since my mental fortitude was so lacking and I wasn’t prepared.
There will be times when you feel less than stellar. Because you have the option, you are going to either consume more calories than you should or junk food for the whole of the weekend. It is not the end; all you need to do is get everything back in order the next day.
Find what you’re passionate about. It’s just my luck that I stumbled onto powerlifting and instantly fell in love with it.
Going to the gym and performing the things I do become a lot less of a chore and more enjoyable as a result of this.
What do you do to keep your motivation? What guidance would you provide to someone who is having difficulty maintaining their current course?
I will never forget where I came from, and I am certain that I do not ever want to be that girl again. In addition, I never find myself without an objective to which I am striving.
My recommendation is that you take a step back and analyze both what it is that you are doing and the reasons why you are having difficulty. Finding something that you are passionate about is the key.
My circle of friends includes people who are enthusiastic about a wide variety of activities, including obstacle course competitions, CrossFit, running marathons, and powerlifting. Everyone can find something that interests them if they look hard enough and experiment enough to figure it out.
I constantly recommend the IIFYM eating plan, particularly to novices since it allows them to gradually work their way up to more complicated dietary patterns. From what I’ve seen, this diet has always been the one that’s easiest to maintain.
In light of the changes you’ve made, how would you describe the current state of your life?
My life is more chaotic than it has ever been, yet in the most satisfying manner. I’m in the best physical shape of my life, the happiest I’ve ever been, and the strongest I’ve ever been; in short, I’m a whole new person.
I’ve been followed around by a film team for a television program, I’ve been contacted by large publications, and I’ve met some of the most incredible individuals I could have ever dreamed of meeting in my life.
In spite of the fact that along the journey I’ve said goodbye to certain individuals I never thought I would, for whatever reason, the benefits have consistently outweighed the drawbacks.
I am aware of the people who are actually there for me. People who have never treated me differently in the past and those who do treat me differently today do so in comparison to how they treated me when I weighed more than 320 pounds.
What is it that drives you right now to keep working on bettering yourself?
I want to continue expanding my company and supporting myself financially by assisting other people in adopting healthier lifestyles.
I am well aware that in order for me to be successful, it is imperative that I put into practice what I teach; otherwise, there is no way that I can ever be happy.
I have also become a really determined person, and I like the challenge of working toward the goal of becoming stronger than I was in the past.
Also, it warms my heart when people send me notes telling me that they do something because of me or that they get out of bed to go to the gym.
Even though it may seem corny and trite, the individuals who believe that I can encourage them are the greatest source of inspiration for me. Twenty messages of support have been sent my way in response to one negative one.
Anything else you’d want to share?
Don’t give a damn about what other people think of you or how they feel about you. There will always be individuals who do not like you, who will make up reasons as to why you are successful, and who will want nothing more than to see you fail.
Some individuals are not equipped to deal with the mental alteration that accompanies physical transformation.
There are some individuals who just dislike seeing the success of others, but that is not your concern at all. It is painful to experience the loss of people you care about or to hear hurtful falsehoods about yourself, but the greatest thing you can do is surround yourself with good people who have good intentions and try not to worry about the other stuff.
Just keep in mind that you are the only one who needs to comprehend the path you are traveling in life; nobody else does.