This article was first seen on the Huffington Post. For this installment, we are joined by Jade Mead.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
I have always been into fitness in some way. In school I competed in athletics and I also loved to dance. When I became an adult I joined the gym, picked up a weight and fell in love with it! I then found out about bodybuilding/sports model competitions.
In 2009 I did my first competition and have been doing it on and off ever since, I started in the bikini/sports model division and then moved up to figure. Training for a competition, getting on stage and seeing what you are capable of achieving when you set your mind to something is very rewarding. During that time I became a personal trainer because not only do I love fitness for myself but I love being able to help others to feel better about themselves.
Seeing someone improve their confidence and knowing that you helped them is an amazing feeling. With my online social media following, I have been able to help motivate and inspire people from all over the world to improve their lives through health and fitness and that means so much to me.
Where does your motivation come from?
This is a question that gets asked a lot! My motivation comes from a few things. We only get one life so why not make the most of it and be the best we can be and achieve as much as we can in life. I’m also motivated by the fact that by me doing my best, I am motivating others to be better too.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion – what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
This is a competitive industry, you are going to get many knock backs! You just have to learn to have a thick skin and realise that no matter what you do, you aren’t always going to please everybody and not everybody is going to like or support what you do.
How does that saying go..”You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” But so long as you are doing your best, are passionate about what you are doing, and are inspiring others then you are on the right path!
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
I think that self care is very important both physically and mentally. It’s all well and good to eat healthy and keep your body physically fit but it’s also important to take care of your mental health.
As women we tend to be our own worst critic and compare ourselves to others which can lead to self doubt. We have to remember that we are all different for a reason and we are all amazing in our own way. It’s great to look to others for motivation and inspiration, but never compare yourself to them. Just focus on being the best version of you!
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
The biggest misconception would have to be that women think if they start weight training that they are going to become “too manly” and “too muscly”. This could not be further from the truth! It is actually extremely hard for females to build muscle because we don’t naturally have high testosterone levels that are required to build muscles, like males do. When you lift weights, you will be able to shape your body however you want it to look and you will be strong, lean, fit and awesome!
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior. Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
I’m not too sure where that original misconception came from but it is definitely not the right way to go about things! If you are trying to lose weight and you stop eating, you are just going to slow your metabolism down, your body will go into starvation mode and it will have the opposite effect.
The best way to drop body fat is to actually fuel your body with enough food and enough nutrients. Starving yourself is also never going to be good for your mental health or self image. Love your body and give it the nutrients it needs and it will love you back and give you the results you want, it just takes time, there are no quick fixes.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
This is something I have learned over time… balance! Fitness and dieting can definitely be very time consuming and sometimes we can get too wrapped up in it. I used to feel guilty if I missed a training session or if I steered from my meal plan. But I realised that things aren’t always going to be perfect and if you miss one session or one meal it isn’t going to ruin your progress.
So, now I enjoy a balanced life where I know I can train hard and eat well but I also enjoy spending quality time with loved ones and going out for nice dinners etc. You can do both and still achieve the results you want. Everything in moderation!
How do you stay productive?
It’s not always easy to stay productive, I think we all struggle with that at times but my best way to stay productive is mostly by planning ahead and sticking to a routine.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
The best advice I could probably give to my younger self would be to have more self confidence and self belief. I used to doubt myself and second guess myself a lot. When in hindsight I wish I had of just believed in myself more and really gone after what I wanted. These days I have a lot more self confidence, and I guess a more relaxed but confident attitude in my abilities.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
My current diet regime is based on flexible dieting principles. I eat according to my daily macronutrient and micronutrient goals but I have the flexibility of choosing what I want to eat, that way I can mix up my foods instead of eating the exact same thing every day which can get very monotonous and not very enjoyable long term! Food is not the enemy, there are no good or bad foods, it’s just a matter of eating a balanced diet and everything in moderation.
My current supplements stack: – Carnitine before and after training – BCAA powder during workouts – Lean protein powder with glutamine after training I am currently not competing or training for a competition so I have reduced my weight training. I used to train weights 5 x times a week but I do weight training 3 x days per week and 2-3 days a week I do functional/high intensity training.
Going into 2017, what are your biggest life goals?
I have some exciting things happening in 2017 so my biggest goals are to just seize every opportunity and achieve as much as I can in this industry. I will be training clients both face to face and online so I just want to help change as many lives as possible and help people to feel better about themselves.
I will also be taking up an exciting new role as a master trainer for the Mike Tyson Fitness & Boxing Academy which will be opening fitness centres globally. To be given this opportunity to travel the world representing such an iconic sporting legend and to be bringing fitness to people all over the globe is such an honour and a dream come true, I can’t wait!
Where can people go to learn more about you online?