I know it’s been a while….have you missed us? Today’s blog – getting to know the Birthday Girl Jamie Harshman!

If you follow Jamie on social media, make sure to wish her a Happy Birthday today. We met Jamie back in March or April I would say. We sprayed her for her first show ever and I am so glad she is part of the BBST Family. Jamie is the sweetest, down-to-earth girl and has a huge passion for fitness. I sent over some questions for Jamie to answer, and here they are…..

  1. When did you decide you wanted to compete in shows?

I first decided to start training for a show in September of 2014.  I had come a long way in my own transformation, but I felt sort of stuck and complacent.  I wanted that extra push and challenge for my fitness level, and I thought competing would really give me that drive.  I was actually approached by my spin instructor (fellow BBST rep, Corinne) who asked me if I ever considered doing a show, and that’s how this whole thing started!

  1. Who is your role model?

I have several role models, both personal friends (like Sheri Vucick, Jessica Lyle and Corinne Chalovich), but my ULTIMATE fitness and life role model is Chalene Johnson.  I credit my entire transformation to her.  I found her on my own when I was researching new fitness programs (I’m a huge fan of at-home fitness programs), and I found TurboFire.  Chalene and TurboFire changed my life.  Not only is Chalene one of the most positive, upbeat, FUNNY, and real people in the industry, but she stands for more than just fitness.  She stands for living your purpose, staying true to you.  She is a New York Times Best Selling Author, and she believes in and stands for everything that I do.  I strive to be more like her every day, and I’m finally taking the right steps to get there.

Sarah: I love that fact that girls motivate each other instead of bringing one another down or competing against each other. Girl Power!! 😉

  1. What bodybuilder do you look up to and why?

There are so many inspirational bodybuilders in the industry, and I honestly think they are all worthy of being mentioned because this industry is HARSH.  If I have to pick one, though, it would be Heidi Somers (buffbunny).  She has a similar story to mine in that she found fitness on her own and started out on her own because she couldn’t afford a trainer.  She’s now on her way to earning her pro card in bikini, and she shares all of her workouts and meals on her YouTube channel, for free, because she wants to help others.  That, to me, is someone undoubtedly worth looking up to.

Sarah: That’s awesome that she is willing to share that information for free. Shows she really cares about people and wants to help them! 

  1. When was your first show and what did you learn from that show?

My first show was in March of 2015, and I truthfully did it on a whim.  If you want to hear more about why I did that, you can check out my fitness story that’s posted to mine and Jess’s YouTube channel (Jamie and Jess on YouTube).  I had just broken off a long distance relationship and I needed something to focus on.  The show was 3 weeks out and I somehow managed to pull it together, but it was definitely a learning experience.  I learned that sleep actually is important, and the rebound effect post show is a REAL thing.  Competing is way more of a mental game than a physical one.  The workouts are easy, but it’s your mind that you have to convince that you can actually do this.

Sarah: OK – so I should change that date in the beginning, because this was the show we met Jamie :-). And for it being her first show, she looked and did AMAZING!!!! 

  1. When you are prepping for a show – what is a typical day like for you?

My competing days are over, and now I’m focusing more on fitness modeling and sharing my story to ultimately open up a business focused on health, fitness, and wellness to help others feel good about themselves.  Prepping for a photoshoot is a little bit different than prepping for a fitness competition.  When you’re prepping for a show, it really doesn’t get too rigid until about 4 weeks out.  Then, the meals are all timed, very specific to your goals, and the workouts can be long and strenuous.  It isn’t easy!  But if you really focus on the end goal, on getting to the stage and WHY you’re doing this, then it gets easier.  You have to have a “why,” though, otherwise you’ll just go crazy.

Prepping for a photoshoot, for me at least, is pretty relaxed.  I eat a very clean diet to begin with, and I eat according to when my body tells me it’s hungry.  I stick to clean, whole, natural foods – nothing processed or artificial, no fast foods or anything like that.  I do eat out occasionally, but when I do I stick to the clean stuff.  I work out 6 days a week – Sundays are for rest.  Right now, I’m recovering from surgery and overtraining (if you want to know more about that, visit jamieshelly.com and see “Exercise: How Much is Too Much and When You Should Cut Back”).  I lift 3 days a week, and do cardio 5 days a week.  On days that I lift, cardio is much shorter and HIIT style training.  I don’t let myself work out for more than an hour and a half a day.  30-90 minutes is more than enough.  The week before a shoot, I will deplete a little bit, but nothing like how you would for a fitness competition.

I believe in living a balanced life, and stick to the 80/20 rule.

Sarah: I know we are looking forward to you opening your own business! That would be awesome!! 

  1. What is your favorite cheat meal?

If you had asked me this 2 months ago, I would have said a jar of peanut butter!!  I wish I was kidding!  I was addicted.  I had to cut it out of my diet for a while, but now I let myself have it once a week and don’t go overboard.  Right now, I don’t really do cheat meals because I don’t feel that I need them.  Like I said before, I live a balanced life and enjoy everything in moderation.  If I’m really going to splurge though… it would be on a huge Mexican meal – a drenched burrito with tons of re-fried beans and a HUGE frozen margarita with LOTS of tequila.  If you make me that, I’ll marry you 😉

Sarah: Fellas  -make this girl some burritos and margaritas 😉

  1. What motivates you?

Fitness and health is truly my passion.  I have a unique journey and I want to share that with the world, which is why I started jamieshelly.com and am chasing my dreams to help others who might have had some similar struggles to me.  I’m motivated every day by my journey – where I started to where I am now.  I’m so blessed to be able to exercise every day.  I’m healthy and I’m so thankful that God gave me the ability to use my body in an active way.  Many people aren’t fortunate enough, and that’s what gets me out of bed each day and up in to my fitness loft.  Also, exercise gives me such a great feeling when I’m done – it’s an instant mood booster!  If I don’t feel like working out, I always make myself start for at least 5 minutes.  If, after those 5 minutes I’m still not feeling it, then I’ll walk away and come back later.  You have to listen to your body and honor that, but usually the 5 minutes passes and I never end up stopping.

Sarah: I can’t listen to my body, every time I would want to work out, it says “Sarah, what are you thinking, go grab some chips and sit your butt down” ;-). 

  1. What is the best advice you can give to someone who wants to start competing?

Competing is a serious decision.  It’s a sacrifice.  It’s an investment.  You have to be able to give it your absolute 100% dedication and commitment; there is no half-assing when it comes to competing.  The first thing I would say is to figure out why you want to compete.  Are you doing it to impress someone else, to get revenge?  Or are you doing it for you and your own happiness?  I hope it’s the latter, because that is the only way to do it.

The desire to compete and to win has to come from within yourself.  There will be hard days, and there will be harder days.  But if you do it for the right reasons, for you, then you will be successful!  Always know, it doesn’t matter what place you get, or if you even place at all.  All of the hard work that you put in is what counts.  Don’t compete for a trophy or for a title.  Compete for the experience, to challenge yourself and to grow and to achieve something absolutely incredible.  You’ll always win that way.

The number one thing I always say to people who ask me for advice is this: you are perfect just the way you are.  You are already enough – you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone.  If you go in to any challenge with this mentality, then you’ve already won.  You are enough, and you will always be enough.

  1. What is your favorite part of the body to train?

Shoulders.  I have always loved working shoulders – and abs!

  1. What is your favorite exercise?

Do you want to know a secret?  I am a cardio queen!  I LOVE cardio, and I know it’s crazy but it’s what gets me feeling absolutely amazing.  This is what got me in to trouble with over training, so I have to be careful with it.  But anything cardio, spinning, cardio machines like the stair master or all motion trainer, TurboFire (I think this is where it started); really anything that gets my heart pumping and my skin sweating!

  1. Any other comments you would like to make?

Fitness will always be my passion and my purpose, and even though I’m not a competitor anymore, I still use Sarah and BBST for every photo shoot that I have.  They really are the best in the bizz here in Pittsburgh, and I wouldn’t trust anyone else!  If you want to learn more about me and my journey, visit my blog at jamieshelly.com

Definitely go visit her website and check it out!!! Such an inspiration. Thank you so much Jamie for sharing your story with us!! Again, we are proud to have you on our team. 

Check out some amazing pictures of Jamie with her glowing tan. 

Until next time-

Sarah 😎

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