How Did You Get Here? Interview With Personal Trainer~JAMIE NORCINI!

Ever want to ask your in-shape-healthy-looking-friends and acquaintances just HOW THEY DO IT??!! Me TOO! Oh I have tried to get the magical formulas out of my fit friends to the point of dirty looks; “Oh, you JOG to keep in shape? How FAR do you jog? How LONG does it take you? Do you do it EVERY day? Anything ELSE? What do you EAT on a regular basis how MUCH and WHEN!!??” No… I don’t usually go THAT far… but, I’d LIKE to! So! Here goes, I want to learn everything I can from people who seem to KNOW how to keep their food and fitness lives TOGETHER and themselves in tip top shape! How will I DO this without being TOO obnoxious? I will do it in the form of a very professional INTERVIEW! Here is the first of what will hopefully be many!! Enjoy!

 

Jamie Norcini ~ Personal Trainer

Interview: JAMIE NORCINI
Employed: CLAY FITNESS
Profession: PERSONAL TRAINER / GROUP FITNESS INSTRUCTOR (and Aspiring Life Coach?)

How does he stay in shape: At the time of the interview Jamie looked as fit and handsome as ever! His personal fitness routine is taken care of by teaching at LEAST 6 group fitness classes a week including; Clay Cycle, Guts n Guns, TRED class and Cardio Sculpt. As a personal trainer he has a large list of clients and success stories that keeps him very busy every week.

What does he eat: Jamie says he pretty much eats what he wants! What?? So unfair! Ha! But after really talking with him you get the idea he has a pretty clear idea of what works best for him to keep himself feeling good. He takes his nutrition meal by meal. No food RULES, but a balanced way of looking at his intake and expenditure with an eye towards balance, and listening to his body and what works for him. No big ‘secrets’! Darn! Ha! But he does talk about tradeoffs at dinner like, veggies instead of fries when eating out but if you REALLY want the fries sometimes you should have them. If he REALLY wants ice cream he’ll have it (not the cone, why eat the cone?), but most of the times he craves it he will go get a healthier option like frozen yogurt. My takeaway is that he counts on his balanced and conscious way of eating AND all the exercise he does to keep and maintain his health. It seems to be working out VERY well for him! If you want to check out Jamie’s philosophies and training for yourself you can find him at CLAY FITNESS on 14th Street in NYC.

INTERVIEW

ME: Ok let me start you off with a question, SO JAMIE! How did you come to be involved in fitness at all? This is what you’re doing for a living now, so what brought you to it?

JAMIE: As you know I was a dancer so I had started off dancing and… I took my first class when I was 12 and I kind of just flailed for a year and a half and then my parents sat me down – you want like the whole story? All the story??

ME: YES!!

JAMIE: Ok – My parents sat me down and were like ‘look are you REALLY serious about this because if you ARE we need to get you away from this dance teacher because she’s really bad…’ my first recital she (my bad teacher) was in EVERY NUMBER WITH us! (me Laughing!) yeah… and she gave herself the solos! (Ha!) So… my father had some friend who was a professional dancer and he talked to him and told him where to go so I went to this other woman and this woman had a lot of connections with broadway dancers, she took me to NY alot and blah blah blah so, I started with her and stayed with her – I think I was 15 when I went with her and stayed with her a couple years like 2 and a half years and one of the guys, one of the dancers that used to come teach master classes for us graduated from Juliard and suggested that I go audition for Juliard. So I auditioned for Juliard, SUNY Purchase – and I was starting my application for NYU, and I got accepted to BOTH (Me clapping!). So I dropped SUNY Purchase and of course went to Juliard and had that four years of intense – not only was it intense dance training it was alot of – we actually learned anatomy my first year. We learned alot of kenisiology so we really studied the body so it kinda started from there. My uncle was a chiropractor my mom was a nurse so I was kind of body aware very young

ME: Yes a very ‘organic’ way of getting to where you are now.

JAMIE: Yeah and I danced for a while and then fitness transitioned into my life.

ME: Did you dance professionally? Did you dance during school professionally or after you graduated?

JAMIE: …Every Summer (during school) I took off and danced musical theater and did whatever I could, whatever… I had to make a little money – I started off doing musical theater thinking that’s what I wanted to do because I came from a dance studio in Rhode Island that was very musical theater. So I did musical theater during my Summer breaks from school and once I graduated I did concert dance for a year. Two years traveling with small companies. I went all over India, Japan… (ME: NICE!), and then I went back into musical theater because I was so sick of working so hard and having NO money… as you know us poor dancers have to suffer… so I did musical theater for about 10 years and I came to a point where I just… hated it – ha!

ME: What did you HATE about it?

JAMIE: I hated doing 8 shows a week. I felt like I was stuck in ground hog day! It was – I did the tour of Kiss of the Spider Woman for a year, and it was a GREAT show and a GREAT company and I never had that experience again, I never had THAT cast THAT show – and it didn’t have to be THAT show again because that was my other thing with musical theater – if I’ve DONE the show I don’t want to do it again – I didn’t want to do West Side Story 40 times! I knew I was ‘right for it’ but, I was done after once or twice – so it just got very monotonous. I don’t know, I just lost my interest… and THEN I got cast as Al in Chorus Line by Byork Lee and I did the national tour and it was the hardest and worst experience of musical theater career. I learned that show, and I had done it before but I had never learned all the original choreography and I learned that show in SEVEN days… it was QUICK INTENSE learning – I had to be on the downstage blue line 11 12 upstage red line 14… AH! It was just SO intense like being a Rockett onstage in SEVEN days! And then we opened at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. It was the hardest… and from the day I got that job – I had this instinct, this reaction like “REALLY?” Ok it’s a job it’s an acting gig I can do it but I never felt comfortable, it never sat right with me.

I was in a corner because it was Byork Lee, do you know who she is? She is the original Connie Wong in Chorus Line, the original production of Chorus Line, it was HER and I had just signed on with this agent, it was my third audition for this agent and I booked this big national tour so it was a pretty big deal and I would get my insurance after this gig all of these things, of COURSE there was no way I was going to say no… but… I got FIRED from the job!

ME: Oh no! Why?

JAMIE: I got fired because… I don’t know! – Who knows! Ha!

ME: We all have our ‘fired’ stories, I’ll tell you mine later :)

JAMIE: I am the first one to say when you get fired from a job it just means you’re meant to be doing something else, and I REALLY believe that. They had all these excuses and they started internally moving people around because they weren’t comfortable with a lot of the people in the show and the current positions they had… they screwed up and it was a big wakeup call for me.

ME: It was one of your last straws?

JAMIE: Mmmwell… It was a start, a start of me letting go of being a dancer. And being in musical theater. I really think we are born with the passion of being onstage, it’s kind of always there and I think teaching is IT (performing) for me.

ME: Absolutely.

JAMIE: A little bit…

ME: You are in front of people (as a teacher) you are sharing… you are a performer when you’re teaching and showing people…

JAMIE: So that’s kind of when it happened – I was very angry after that happened… I don’t even remember what I did right after that, but somehow a friend of mine who moved back here (NYC) from LA had gotten into fitness while he was in LA and he had connections out HERE (NYC) teaching. He moved back here, and had all these jobs teaching at Equinox and blah blah blah… and I had said to him I’d always thought about TEACHING but I don’t want to TEACH DANCE. I always knew that I NEVER wanted to teach DANCE. But I thought about doing some fitness classes and at the time I was doing a swing show at the Supper Club, we were doing this weekend Swing Show a couple of nights a week and I said I would maybe like to put together a swing dance exercise class, to all swing big band music, dancing cardio!

ME: FUN! (Be careful people are going to WANT this routine sold to them; BIG BAND MUSIC?? How FUN is that?!)

JAMIE: Within a month and a half of me auditioning for Equinox (and I auditioned for every gym) I had 8 classes a week! Within a month and a half! I was in Equinox, I was in Sports Club LA, Reebok – it just Blew Up! I was also at this place called Printing House. It was so bizarre that’s how you truly know you are going in the right direction. Cause things just fall in place.

ME: Did it Feel good? To do the classes?

JAMIE: Yeah, it felt good that I had another focus, another outlet to keep me busy – and then after 2 years of teaching Swing and Cardio – I was exhausted! It was aLOT of work!

ME: Is that all you taught? Swing Cardio?

JAMIE: I was teaching JUST that, I was doing the Supper Club nights, I would get gigs here and there, like industrials – I was good on the industrial tracks. I would get a few industrials which were always really good pay, good money gigs. So I did that, and I got certified as a group fitness instructor.

ME: Where did you get certified?

JAMIE: AAFA  It’s world based, all group Fitness.

ME: Was it online, did you have to go to classes, go to a school?

JAMIE: No, you buy the books, alot of certifications work this way, you buy the books you study the books then you go for the exam. And with this certification there’s practical aspects because it’s group fitness certification so part of it is a test and part of it is standing in front of everybody else who is auditioning and you have to teach a class. And as you walk up at the start they say “alright JAMIE we want you to do an exercise for legs.” And you go; “Alright! EVERYBODY HERE WE GO!” and you do your thing. I got certified and started teaching MORE group fitness classes, FITNESS based, instead of dance based, dropped dance completely, I don’t teach ANY dance classes anymore! Ha! Over time I came here, I came to Clay (Clay fitness on 14th St.) A year and a half after I started here, I ended up taking over the group fitness department, managed it for four years. While I was here, I got certified as a Trainer.

ME: Was that a similar situation? Where you get books and then go and…

JAMIE: Yes. I did NASM National Association of Sports Medicine, if you are going to be serious about being a personal trainer, not even just in this country but around the world, this is a internationally recognized certification. It really tells people that you’ve done your work, studied your stuff – you get your liability insurance.

ME: People recognize it that it’s good training

JAMIE: Yeah there’s no question. I don’t even have to have a group fitness certification anymore. I have THIS. We also have to maintain continuing education credits every two years. You have to do so much continuing education to get points to restate your certification. Certification, only good for 2 years. Including CPR and stuff like that.

ME: Did you ever feel funny because it was all online (learning) and what you DO is in FRONT of people? PHYSICAL?

JAMIE: You know that’s so interesting, when I went in for that test it was so out of body. I remember I was watching something with Maya Angelou, she talks about her life, if she really looks at her life – it’s so much bigger than what she really is, we can all really say that. I mean about HER, that LIFE, what that woman has had in ONE life is remarkable… she says whenever she goes out and she speaks in front of people, wether it’s to do a poem or… she always asks all the people, anybody who has ever said anything nice to her, has given her encouragement, or given her moral support, she always asks the spirits of everybody that has ever said or done anything nice to her to come WITH her, and she says; “come with me”, she goes onto the stage and she does it. I ACTUALLY did that WHOLE exercise when I went to do that test! Because it was so INTENSE. I got there, I took the test and every question on that test was reworded to NOTHING I had seen before… I finished the test and I remember passing and thinking; “How did I DO that??” How did I actually GET THROUGH that test??

ME: You must have had the understanding of all the facts even though nothing was stated the same. There’s a saying… what is it? CHINESE proverb: “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”) If I UNDERSTAND what I’m being taught, I WILL remember it. It must be what happened! You TOOK to it!

JAMIE: It was really really remarkable because I remember being really calm going in… I surrendered to the fact that what ever is gonna be is gonna be, my life is gonna change and be a lot easier or I am just going to have to work a little harder next time. It is what it is, surrender to what it’s gonna be.

Chill… We are all in this together – LIFE!!

ME: Let me ask you a little question, backtrack for a minute, when you went to college for dance and you learned anatomy, was there ever any support in your school for nutrition? You had anatomy, physical dance exercise, stretching… did you ever have support/education for nutrition in school?

JAMIE: None. Whatsoever. Ha!

ME: Ha!

JAMIE: It’s so interesting that you’re saying this, in my head I’m going ‘oh my God, no, nothing’. There was so much anorexia and bulimia. We were also, well at the time, Juliard shared space with SAB School of American Ballet, and that’s where you really saw it, kids were young and they were just throwing up in the bathroom with each other – and we had one girl, she was so anorexic that all she ate was broth, chicken or beef, and candy… that’s all she ate. All the time. So skinny.

It was 20 years ago… Thanks for bringing THAT up! Ha! I also have to say this, I never had a struggle with nutrition and weight. ONCE, I came back from Christmas Vacation and I had eaten myself to oblivion and one of my teachers said something about I’d put on a little weight over the holidays, but that was it. But when I did show distress in my second year; not knowing if I wanted to continue, I got a lot of moral support from my teachers.  I got alot of support. I guess if I showed signs of distressed eating I probably would’ve gotten that support.

ME: It wasn’t something (eating, nutritional problems) that you personally went through as a dancer or civilian. But you saw it.

JAMIE: Even though it’s such and intense program, they really did give us a lot of individual support

ME: So now years later when you decided to first get your group fitness training and then your certification, was there any nutritional education in that? Or was it solely about the physical aspect of classes and training?

JAMIE: Group fitness no, but there was a whole big nutrition section we had to learn about for this sport medicine one. It’s something that I have always found fascinating and interesting.

ME: Is it something that you looked into for your OWN life – is it something that made you change the way YOU saw yourself and how YOU ate?

JAMIE: No, I was already there. I was already there and already understood it and well, I’ve always LIVED my life as far as food goes! I’ve never really denied myself, I have been more focused some times than other times in my life, and there’s been times when I have been completely frustrated and not want to live like a rabbit anymore, it’s really hard. I’d rather keep my cardio up, my fitness up, if I want a cone of ice cream, I’m gonna have a cone of ice cream. Sometimes I’ll go in for ice cream and I won’t have the cone. Most of the time I don’t get the cone, why do you need the cone!? I don’t need to EAT the thing that’s holding it! So you know I’ll HAVE the ice cream I won’t deny myself. Sometimes during the day if I am craving it I will seek things out like Red Mango yogurt over here is frozen greek yogurt so A) it’s high in protein so your gonna get protein B) it’s high in antioxidants, they have all natural flavors, the original flavor is great, you don’t have to add, but you can add, you just make choices. You try to make the better choices. Instead of going and having Haagen Das when there’s gonna be 24g of fat PER serving!!

ME: So you ARE aware of your choices you just don’t… do you have any RULES for yourself? Or do you just ‘balance’ the day as it goes?

JAMIE: Ha! It depends on the day! :)

ME: Some people count calories?

JAMIE: Shakes his head…

ME: Some people say i’m not gonna have carbs?

JAMIE: Shakes his head…

ME: Some people I’m not gonna have flour…

JAMIEShakes his head…

ME: You don’t have ANY (dietary) rules?

JAMIE: I try to eat healthy every meal when I sit down to eat a meal, I focus on THAT meal. And that’s my philosophy in life I’m pretty much a person that’s in the now. And I try to make the choices, the best choices I can for that present time. And if I am home I’ll see what I have – if I have them, I pretty much always have a banana every morning as soon as I wake up. A) it’s good for balancing out the alkaline and I tend to be someone who is very high acidic so it kind of works as an antacid. If I HAVE yogurt, greek yogurt, with nuts or cereal or a piece of bread and peanut butter, whatever…

I think in general that’s the best advice I give my clients is just don’t get over whelmed with constantly trying to figure out what you’re going to eat for the day or the week, try to make the conscious aware choice while you are in it. If I am in a restaurant and I am going to have lunch – ok what do I want and what can be a healthier choice instead of french fries – if I can live without the french fries and have sliced tomatoes, I’ll eat that – if I WANT the french fries… I’M GOING TO EAT THEM! Ha ha! You know what I’m saying?? And I let stuff go like I have gummy bears and I have my ‘things’ too but then I know when to cut it off.

ME: It’s a balance, you are balancing yourself, you give yourself treats but you don’t have french fries EVERY time, and you know you can make better choices other times.

JAMIE: Here’s another trick that I also do and I think we all have this but: I think you really really have to be aware of your body. I REALLY listen to my body and my stomach. My stomach TELLS me, my stomach ALWAYS tells me… “you need to stop eating snacks!” or “you just need to stop eating! Right now!” I really LISTEN to my body!

ME: I think alot of people have LOST the ability, or, are out of practice with the listening.

JAMIE: I live with a scale from 1-10 with all my clients and myself.

ME: What does that mean?

JAMIE: So if I am going to eat, or if it’s ‘snack time’, I say to myself “how hungry am I on a scale of 1-10?”  If I am a 3, I am not really hungry, if I am a 5, ok it’s snack time – what’s a 5? It’s an apple with peanut butter it’s a protein bar it’s – hopefully we make choices of fruit because when we first start craving something and our energy is down it’s usually about dehydration and energy needs, so we need carbohydrates, we need fuel, and we need water. And 90% of the time that’s all we need. I guarantee. I say this to all my clients;

I guarantee that if you are hungry at a 7 or 8, you’re not going to want to have a piece of chocolate cake, you’re going to want protein, you are going to want a meal! We should never eat until we are at least at a 7 (except for a snack) and we don’t want to ever get to a 10, cause then you are ravenous and you are going to eat everything in sight and you are not going to know when to stop. If you ever get to a 10 I always say to drink a full glass of 16 oz of water first, calm down, and THEN start eating. Cravings at night almost always means dehydration. Especially sugar cravings. And if you are craving sugar, have a piece of fruit, or greek yogurt or something that – YOU have to figure out the thing that is going to satisfy you and not throw you overboard.

ME: When a client comes to you – are they pretty specific with their goals or are they more like “JAMIE fix me!”

JAMIE: It depends, it depends on age really, if they are younger they want a brand new body, and the older ones just want to be healthier. Most of the time people just want to feel better.

ME: What do you think one of the biggest misconceptions is that people come in with?

JAMIE: That they can spot train… that they can work THIS off (points to saddle bag area…) like JUST that one little area.

ME: Yeah… that’s a GREAT area…

JAMIE: Or they just want THIS gone (points to belly). There’s no such thing, you can’t just work on ONE area, it just doesn’t happen.

ME: Do you tell them that?

JAMIE: YES, does it work to tell them? No…

ME: And how about diet? Do you do journal/diaries with your clients?

JAMIE: I do journals with people in the beginning only for awareness. And sometimes people lock on to it and they continue with it. I am not a dietitian – not a registered dietitian so if it goes much further, if they want to take it more seriously I send them to a nutritionist. There’s only so much I can offer with my own personal experience, and what I have learned through clients. I can give them advice and it’s usually enough, but not always, and sometimes people want to seek more help from a nutritionist which I LOVE. I love it (when they go to a nutritionist) because it really starts to solidify for me, what I need to do for them.

ME: When you are training a person do you generally see them once a week? More often?

JAMIE: It depends on the fitness goal, if it’s weight loss it’s usually 2-3 times a week.

ME: And do you recommend people work our 5-6-7 days a week?

JAMIE: Depends on their goals and yes, Ha! We have a new study that actually blew my mind a little bit… there used to be a study that 3 times a week an hour each time was sufficient, and it’s NOT anymore, it’s 7 days a week, 30 minutes a day!

ME: I went to the doctors after having committed myself to 5 days a week and seeing great improvements and telling her about this new great thing I was doing and did she give me props? NO, she said how about 7 days a week?! And instead of saying, thanks a lot! I said ok, you’re probably right! And now I find it easier to do every single day!

JAMIE: Gets you into a routine

ME: It’s a routine it’s a habit, and since I choose to workout first thing in the morning (after coffee…) I have started my day WITH a wonderful accomplishment! IF something comes up, and I skip ONE day, it’s no big deal! You’ve done the other 6! I actually love the everydayness of it.

Jamie Norcini ~ Personal Trainer

Because I am your FB friend I see that you post a lot of…

JAMIE: Positive affirmations?

ME: Positive Affirmations! YES! That’s what they are, tell me about those and where you get them and what inspires you to post them.

“Your future is being written with every meal.” – Kris Carr

“For everyone, well-being is a journey. The secret is committing to that journey and taking those first steps with hope and belief in yourself.”
— Deepak Chopra 

“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. ~ Benjamin Franklin”

“There are no failures — only feedback. ~ R.Bandler”

“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” 

JAMIE: If I could give you ONE word of advice it’s; OPRAH.

ME: Ha Ha!

JAMIE: I feel like Oprah Winfrey did all her programming for ME… from about 4 or five years ago, I started watching her religiously and I completely grew with her! It seems that everything she had on her show related to me, worked for me, inspired me, pushed me, to go forward. So! I get a newsletter from her daily – with thoughts for the day, I don’t resonate with ALL of them, but if I feel they are going to resonate with some of my clients or my family I post it anyway. But most of the stuff that I post is purely for me.

I also follow the Dalai Lama. I follow Marianne Williamson. I follow Deepak Chopra… I follow these people on Twitter and scan through for stuff and Iyanla Vanzant! Believe it or not she’s got… this woman – she’s like… The woman has LIVED! The WAY she puts things… I really GET it, I get IT with her… Tony Robbins, he’s got the testosterone energy, there’s so much women doing this work and there’s not a whole lot of men doing this work – but I follow these people and that’s where I get some of these inspirational sayings. At one point I even started doing exercise of the day tips (posting them on FB) and I will still do that once in a while but it seems harder to find the exercise of the day. I like what I am doing with it – you know how we have this time-line now? I feel like there is a book in me somewhere and I feel like this is my journaling, and I am putting pieces of it into my timeline, so when I want to go back and do the research I can…

ME: You’ll have an outline

JAMIE: Yes an outline of what I want to talk about so.

ME: I think that’s a great idea, the quotes can be the beginning of your topic to fill in relating to you and your clients and family and friends that inspired you to post it in the first place!

ME: For you personally – I know you are a group fitness teacher, I know you are a trainer, a coach for people in their fitness and health, for you personally – do you have a specific routine or does everything you do during the day keep you in shape?

JAMIE: Fortunately everything I am doing each day as far as teaching is keeping me… in THIS shape… am I happy? No… JAMIE is in a funk with Fitness! It’s important to look at it and understand. I have been lifting weights since I was 24. You NEVER lift weights as a dancer, they completely shied us away from all that –

Long & Lean vs Weight Lifting Muscles ~

– so I’ve been lifting weights since I was 24, a really long time, I came into an injury – I was actually talking about this to someone a couple of weeks ago… my whole life, up until maybe a year or so ago, I had such a drive and such a focus from the dancing, working as a dancer, going into fitness… I ALWAYS had this serious serious drive, and I don’t think I have it anymore, I feel like I’ve gotten to a point – which is kind of a sign – I’ve gotten to a point of contentment, so I am in this place of shifting and trying to go to the NEXT level. So all that leads to the working out and I’m getting to the point where I am feeling I don’t want to kill myself at the gym anymore I don’t want to be in pain anymore – I still want to LOOK good but not feel that I have to go workout for 2 hours everyday anymore.

ME: How old you are JAMIE?

JAMIE: I’m going to be 43 in October.

ME: My idea from what you just said, and I hear it from women because that’s who I usually talk to more about these things…

JAMIE: We’re all the same…

ME: When we get older the jogging (or whatever) hurts a little more than it did a couple of years ago – so I think ALOT of us are looking for ways to transition our routines without being as harsh to our bodies – finding physical fitness and a new way to focus that isn’t so… HARSH as we might once have been able to dish out to ourselves. A worthy endeavor!

JAMIE: I’ve thought about doing a class, kind of like Fitness AA, just a bunch of people who get together and talk about these topics. Talk about the struggles of fitness and why our bodies might be hurting and I feel like it could be a great resource – like I may not know something, but YOU might be able to share with everybody to figure things out – I think everybody struggles with aging and fitness and WE KNOW now, we KNOW that we gotta do this til the day we die! If you want to stay healthy!

ME: Upkeep! There is always upkeep! Even when you feel like you’ve gotten to a good spot like I can look at you and say I think you look like you are in great shape but I KNOW we each have our challenges.

JAMIE: Fitness will never be easy, if it comes TOO easy you are not doing a good job :)

JAMIE: Have I told you about the Orthopedist Dr Sarno? His book, it’s called Healing Back Pain and his whole practice for the past several years is in the study of TMS, Tension Myositis Syndrome. Which is the MOST of what people are experiencing when they experience pain right now, it’s from TENSION. From stress, pure stress. Basically his practice is all mind body and I am completely behind that. The mind body thing is everything to me.

One of my clients had golfers elbow which is the tendon underneath the elbow. Sometimes it’s on top which is tennis elbow – what happens over time with a lot of strain; you start to get cramped – now pain in general – Dr. Sarno explained – is not that it’s not real, the pain is there because there is a deprivation of oxygen so you are getting pain in an area, but 90% of the time it’s not coming from that area. So this guy… most times you have any kind of tennis elbow joint issue or shoulder issue it’s coming from your lats (Latissimus Dorsi Muscle) and if you start rolling out your lats, that starts to relieve all the stress in your shoulders then releases the biceps and the triceps which releases the elbow! He didn’t understand that there is a connection. When I put the roller on his lats he couldn’t believe how much pain there was.

ME: GREAT example of everything being connected.

JAMIE: Yes everything is connected. You have pain in your leg it could be coming from your hip, your glutes, or your lower back. You got pain in your lower back? 90-99% of the time it’s coming from your glutes, your hips, or your hamstrings.

ME: More often than not people don’t connect the idea, it makes sense once you say it aloud to them and demonstrate but they wouldn’t have otherwise put it together. I used to have backaches quite often until I strengthened my CORE area, it created a girdle effect that helped loads!

JAMIE: Yes! You know sometimes when I find something like that that resonates with me from a book or show, I watch or read it five six seven times! Because I really want to absorb it and be able to speak it if it comes up and I don’t think we do that enough. We read books and we throw them away. The book that changed my life was THE NEW EARTH or THE POWER OF NOW by Ekhard Tolley. I have read that book 200 times! Literally I’m not kidding! I have it on audio book and everything! I listen to it, I open the book randomly and it gives me a lesson when I feel like I need it.

ME: You’re right, I think we skim things way to often, I am a skimmer… I get the JIST of things more often than getting something solid –

ME: Are there any books that have come out recently; fitness or diets that you recommend?

JAMIE: makes a face…

ME: Not your thing? :)

JAMIE: I only make a face because I feel sometimes like it’s all just a schtick…

ME: Alot of it is… Even though some really good information could be hiding in there, the schtick is a bit much to take sometimes.

JAMIE: Schtick to sell books, and I GET IT, and I might be there someday! Ha! Which is FINE :) And you and I started talking about this already. WE have to do the work, and figure out what it is that works for you. What DIET works for you… it’s not even a DIET – what LIFESTYLE works for you, what FOOD works for you, what food DOESN’T work for you, what EXERCISES work for you, what CARDIO programs work for you … That’s the work that WE have to do… it’s kind of like medication and vitamins – if you have an ‘issue’ you’ve got to figure out the ones that are going to WORK. You can’t just think that there is this ONE thing thats gonna do it!

ME: YES I have something I have been saying recently in a few different ways, same message; Keep READING keep EDUCATING yourself keep EXPERIMENTING – FIND OUT ALL THAT YOU CAN and then MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS. Because there are so many confusing things out there, and it’s upsettingJ just thinking about it! Because we all want to KNOW what is THE thing to do, THE answer!

JAMIE: But that’s their (the book author’s) journey… it’s their journey too – that passion that they are going through – that desire to FIGURE it out? They are going to do 50 million things until they/we finally ‘ding!” and they/we hear it go off in our heads and then figure it out. I tell everybody, worry about yourself… figure out YOUR self… it’s a HARD job! It can be a really hard job figuring out this BEING that we have this time around for our spiritual LIFE. WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS HAVING A HUMAN EXPERIENCE.

QUOTE: We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
BY: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1 May 1881 – 10 April 1955) was a French Jesuit priest trained as a paleontologist and a philosopher, and was present at the discovery of Peking Man

ME: I LOVE that saying!

JAMIE: YES this is our vessel it’s not what we are going to have forever, and we have to do the best that we can with it. So what I have been saying to myself is that, I am a very firm believer that what you put out to the universe is exactly what you get back. If you are in a place and you are saying “ I’m just too tired… I’m fat… I don’t feel good today…” That is exactly what you get back.

ARGUE FOR YOUR LIMITATIONS… OR

Lately I have been saying to myself “I am energy, I am health, I am Love.” Because all I want in my life, is that. I want ENERGY for my day, I want to live HEALTHY. I AM HEALTH and I am LOVE.

I came from a very aggressive passionate Italian family background and we deal with everything by yelling and screaming and aggression and if it was too much we just zipped it, and walked away. I feel sometimes that I get so passionate about teaching – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten frustrated with people and wanted to start swearing at people in the middle of class like ‘lets just fr@$kin sit down and figure this out!’ I just want to feel like I am always in a good place no matter what the situation is, I want to approach that situation with LOVE. I just want LOVE back. I don’t want hatred back. I don’t want negative energy, I just want a good positive experience… We have this brain that makes us think WAY too much, and we get lost in it :)

******

ME: I know you have lived here in the city for a long time. Is there anything you think the city contributes to fitness besides formally going to a gym?

JAMIE: … the great thing about NYC is that we WALK EVERYwhere. We take alot of STEPS. Up and down (subways stairs!), we’ve got that one big advantage.

ME: Yes I notice it when I have guests how much more we walk, they are like “REALLY? There’s more? Aren’t we there yet?” I don’t think about it anymore, take it for granted.

JAMIE: Yes cause really (in many towns) most people walk from the house to the car to their work. We also have ALL the choices in the world as far as food. You have EVERYthing you want here.

ME: Yes and I take THAT for granted sometimes too, until I travel!

JAMIE: That being said it is a very high stress city. I mean we’re – everybody’s here to succeed. Don’t get in anybody’s way cause they are in their little path and more power to them. Let people focus, you do YOUR focus, you don’t have to get into THEIR energy, you don’t have to take on anybody else’s responsibility – we work hard, we work long hours, and it’s challenging – and people with kids?! I don’t know HOW they do it! I don’t, it’s THE hardest profession ever I think. Being a mother? Woo! I can’t imaging my life AND a kid, and I am DYING to have a DOG, DYING! But I stop myself every time because I know what that’s going to require.

ME: Yes and you would need a dog small enough to put in a carrier on your motorcycle :)

How Jamie Commutes to Work in NYC

Pre Interview Chatter:

ME: I’m always interested in reading about food and nutrition and how people keep their sh*t together!  There are many recommendations that say this is a good example of a great meal plan:
– egg (white) omelet and vegetables with maybe fruit for breakfast is amazing  –
– big salad with chicken for lunch is amazing –
– maybe steamed vegetables and a piece of protein for dinner.
Really good for your diet, really good for blood sugar stabilization, all that stuff… And THEN I read equally credible (to me and my limited knowledge at least) saying all animal products (for instance; The China Study) have bad issues even organic even grass fed has issues. So its confusing.. JAMIE: Right its totally confusing…

ME: Because THAT camp of thought (China Study) would maybe recommend equally nice meal plans but NO animal products
– oatmeal raisins and nuts for bfast
– whole grain bread hummos and veggie salad for lunch
– veggy chili and vegan corn muffins for dinner

Are any of them more right? Who would know!

Its not black and white because I can find somebody to verify… people who are as equally adamant in one situation (food health philosophy) as someone else is in another… Coffee’s good for you coffee’s bad for you!

JAMIE: Coffee’s good for you!

ME: I know! I choose that too! Ha Ha! Oh… how did we start this thread? OH! People being Black and White in their belief systems … I believe in leeway, some leeway? But I would LOVE it if there WERE a black and white answer :)

JAMIE: What you’re… What I THINK you’re hinting at is we all have to do the work to find out what works best for us. We’re all… not everybody is exactly the same, we’re similar. I’m not the same as you wether it’s just because were male female what not, different hormones different…

ME: And there’s allergies… and physical things that make us different…

JAMIE: Absolutely…

ME: But people (authors of diet books/articles in magazines, Drs, Nutritionist and trainers) come out and say THIS IS IT!

JAMIE: THAT works for THEM…

ME: And when people say this is IT, it makes me? Nervous? (If I am told I NEED to eat breakfast upon waking and I DON’T WANT to… I’m not hungry then, does that set me up for automatic failure? Experts take the common denominators of success and compile them to see what works in the most cases. According to me these can teach you many many things but you still have to find out what works best for YOU. Common denominator; refined sugars/sweeteners are NOT good for you but a pinch won’t kill ya. I have coffee when I wake and a breakfast 3 hours later, I sleep an average of 7 hours a night and feel great on that, I weigh myself every day not once week to keep track, and I LOVE coffee! I seem to be having measured success with my health and weight too :)

JAMIE: But that’s just marketing… It’s how they’re gonna SELL THAT BOOK.

ME:  I do understand that snippets and sound bites SELL things (like CARDIO KILLS – what an awful thing to say! It’s attention grabbing and dumb even though the book might have useful info inside it is a total setup to title a book like that & OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends – you can find controversy on the web about this one too, the motivation in the title is first suspect and some of the advice inside seems more like tricks than fixes), but, it is very confusing for the world at large including myself you know?

JAMIE: That’s because we’re Libra’s my love! We believe everything should be literal and fair! WRONG! Ha!

ME: I know! Ha!

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