Winning at life

Winning at life

Evening 🧑

Once again I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend.

Parklife was the talk of the town in Manchester this weekend. Once over I would have been right in the thick of it. Planning my outfits and dancing in a field for 12 hours praying it doesn’t rain. This year I traded Heaton Park for the Village Gym.

I’m a different person to who I was a couple of years ago and that’s fine by me. It’s ok to not do what you used to do, we grow up and find new interests and that’s normal.

I had a nice little deadlift session on Saturday morning. I just used the word nice to describe deadlifts, am I ok? 107.5kg for 5×3 which moved pretty quickly. I had THE nicest gym gear on too so I definitely think that helped. When you feel confident in the gym it totally shows in your workouts.

This two piece is from Grenade Wear, their new gym range is possibly some of the nicest sports wear I’ve worn. The quality was spot on, they’ve thought of everything women need when training in the gym. The leggings were lightweight yet not see through and the sports bra gave full coverage. I’m obsessed with Grenade as a brand anyway, I think their shakes and bars are the best you can buy, now they’ve brought out gym gear πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ.

Deadlifts are nicer when your gymgear is fit!

I’ve kept up with my cardio since the competition which I think as really helped with keeping my weight down. I like to complete the Burj Khalifa on the stair master twice a week and then I try and walk on a incline a couple of times a week, usually after my upper body work outs. Just upping my heart rate that little bit more at the end of a weight session helps me get the most out of my work outs. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t do cardio though, it isn’t my main focus and I do walk my dog every day so that’s getting my steps up. I just know I feel much more relaxed and on track when I do get sweatier. Especially after weekends like this one.

I’ve spent the whole weekend celebrating, birthdays and people getting married so cake and chocolate and cheese have certainly be around, oh and can’t forget the gin. What’s a celebration without a little gin?!?! I’m not denying myself of anything at the moment as I’m currently not working towards anything specific other than getting stronger πŸ’ͺ🏼. I had three slices of cake on Saturday night and loved every mouthful, I also had donuts on the pier at Blackpool because did you even go to Blackpool if you didn’t? I take my hat off towards these people who can eat clean constantly. I don’t have the discipline, I like having a flexible diet and knowing that when it comes down to comp time I can bring out my strict(ish) side and say no to the sugar.

Shit, I forgot to mention the fish & chips too 😏.

Squats this afternoon were 100kg for 5×5. I wasn’t looking forward to this session, I genuinely had in my head I was going to end up doing 5 sets of 3 instead but after a quick word with myself I managed to smash all 25 reps. I left the gym feeling mint! This is why we train right, for that feeling you get when you PB, when you push yourself that little bit further than before. I bloody love it. Though it still gets on my nerves that I can squat what I deadlift, I should definitely be able to pick up more than I can put on my back but hey ho, it’s something I’m working on.

Next Monday’s blog may be a little different as it will be posted from a sun lounger in Tenerife 🌴 but I will still be training whilst I’m away. There’s something I never thought I’d say πŸ˜‚. It’s my lifestyle now and as much as I enjoy relaxing and eating I very much love the gym. Soz that I’m one of those people. A year ago I would have knocked myself sick too.

Until next week

JπŸ’Œ

The highs and the lows.

The highs and the lows.

What a week, if it wasn’t for the Soap Awards this weekend I know I would have had some serious blues from last weeks competition. After being so buzzed on Saturday and throughout the bank holiday I know I would have come crashing back to earth if I hadn’t have had something to focus on.

That’s the scary part of being a jobbing actor, some days I can’t find the time to fit everything in, other days I take myself back to bed in the afternoon just to make the day go a bit quicker. After the All England’s I know I would have had a what now moment but luckily I had the Soap Awards to throw myself into.

Every year I forget how much prep goes into this night and I end up running around making last minute appointments and ordering next day delivery because I always think I’ve got plenty of time.

I had the fabulous Heather (@jacksonsfashion) make my sequin trousers which I LOVED. I totally took myself out of my comfort zone with my outfit this year and I actually felt quite confident in my clothes and in my body which is something I very rarely say.

Having the competition a week before the awards meant I had my fittings whilst on my weight cut which obviously meant I had to keep my weight down afterwards and I did it! I stuck around 54kg which is an achievement for meπŸ™ˆ Anyone who knows me is aware that after a competition I usually balloon straight back to 56/57kg and feel sluggish. Well not this time, I’ve vowed to myself to stick with it too now. I’m so much happier!

Training for me last week was tough. I’m trying out higher reps with lower weights and in my head I’m expecting it to be a doddle (especially 5×5 @ 95kg on my squats) yet I’m sat there huffing and puffing after each set, sweating. I’m enjoying having a bit of time to experiment with new things though, I really enjoy doing more accessory work based around each lift. Tried banded deadlifts for the first time last week, that really activates you’re glutes doesn’t it!

I even got a nice little session in at the hotel on Saturday with Maj and Rory. Once again training in a totally different way to what I’m used to and I enjoyed it. My triceps hate me for it now like but getting that workout in before a heavy night of alcohol makes me feel so much better.

Don’t worry I’m cringing at this picture as much as you 🀣.

My diet throughout the week was spot on (bank holiday Monday doesn’t count, obvs) and to be fair the only day I pigged out this week was Sunday as I had my stomach out on Saturday night so didn’t want to walk down the red carpet with a little pot belly 🐷. I devoured a Lindt chocolate Easter bunny Sunday afternoon and it was great. That’s the last of my Easter chocolate gone now too so at least there’s nothing in the cupboards tempting me any more.

I have a holiday coming up in two weeks which I would love to stay in shape for. I think having goals definitely help me stay on track. So this mornings breakfast was My Proteins maple syrup pancake mix, made with almond milk. I added a banana and some Whole Earth peanut butter just to give it a bit more flavour.

P- 32.7g

F- 15.3g

C- 26.4g

Perfect start to the day, especially before I walked the dog and trained with Danny this afternoon.

Let me know if there’s anything in particular you would like me to write about in my blog. I do love hearing feedback and try to answer as many questions as possible.

Thanks for reading 🀩

Love J πŸ’Œ

Strap yourselves in, it’s a long one. πŸ‘€

Strap yourselves in, it’s a long one. πŸ‘€

It’s Monday but I started writing my blog on Friday, whilst getting that last bit of cardio in before weigh in on Saturday morning. I wanted my blog to be a true reflection of my moods so I’m going to talk you through the weekend as it happened. Exactly what I’m feeling at each point. Strap yourselves in, it’s a long one.

Friday 25th May 8:30am

I’m on the treadmill, hood up, green tea by my side. My mums next to me, training for our 5k. She’s smashing it! Me on the other hand went into panic mode and didn’t eat anywhere near enough calories the past couple of days so now my body has gone into some sort of shock and isn’t dropping weight. On Thursday I weighed 53.6kg this morning I weighed 53.6kg πŸ™ƒ. I came on my period this morning too so water retention is a thing right now and I’m not going to lie I’m shitting it!

I’ve water loaded this week, 7/8 litres on Tuesday and Wednesday, halved that on Thursday and today I’ll have about a litre and a half. Having to go in the sauna this evening is soul destroying. I thought I had it. So right at this moment I feel deflated and scared. I’ll check in this evening, see where I’m at. Friday 25th May you’re going to be a graft!

Friday 25th May 21:30pm

Currently in a super hot Epsom salt bath just to sweat that little bit more, relax with my book and hopefully release some of the water retention caused by being a fabulous woman on her period.

We’ve worked out that I lose roughly 1.5kg over the course of each night. That’s by weighing myself before bed and weighing myself first thing.

I went into the sauna sitting at 54.1kg so that perked my mood up entirely. Couple of 20 min intervals in the sauna, nil by mouth until weigh in. I reckon I can do this. My mood is A LOT happier than this morning. I made sure I spent the day doing fun things. Watched a film with my parents, went and bought treats for after weigh in. Had to order Gatorade on Amazon Prime because no supermarket around me sells it! Have my coconut water at the ready to rehydrate. I hate the stuff but you don’t understand how excited I am to get my mouth around that litre carton!

I’m reckoning if I go to bed around 53.2kg I’ve got this. Will check in in the morning! Sending so much positivity out for tomorrow! Happy thoughts and all that!

P.s had to take a picture in the gym before the sauna.

I will not look like this by this time tomorrow and that is absolutely fine by me!

Also please don’t copy what I’m doing. I’ll have put at least 3kg on by the end of the week just by getting into a natural routine and enjoying myself! Water cuts and dehydration is not big and it’s not clever but it works for what I do and I have someone who knows what they’re doing monitoring me! The weight cut doesn’t last! Not even 24 hours so don’t go trying it for your hol or whatever! Slow and steady wins the race with that one I’m afraid.

Friday 25th May 22:30pm

Current situation. Little red faced but I’m as snug as a bug in a rug & still bloody sweating. Had the energy to wash my hair this time which is a Brucey bonus. Actually smell fresh the night before a competition 🀣. See you in the morning.

Saturday 26th 4:30am (comp day)

I’m up this early as I’m meeting Danny at 5 at the Village hotel, he’s driving the 3 hours to Northampton πŸ™ŒπŸΌ. I didn’t sleep the best. I genuinely think I was too excited. I had the kind of sleep you have the night before you go on holiday, or Christmas Eve. I’m in no way excited for today like I would be Christmas Day HA, I have too bad a headache for that but I am giddy to see if I’ve smashed this weight cut!

I’ve weighed myself on my scales at home (sorry Danny) I’m not going to write what they say because they are constantly wrong and usually cause me a lot of trouble when I’m cutting but I can kind of guess how out they are and I’m a very happy lady!

Saturday 26th May 5:40am

We’re on the road after weighing in for the final time at the Village.

It’s that pesky 200g again. Currently sat with the worlds driest mouth in Danny’s car with the heated seats on full. My back and arse are on fire but a girls got to do what a girls got to do.

Saturday 26th May 9:30am

The face of someone who’s made weight! 51.5kg I’m in the game guys.

Saturday 26th May 13:50pm

1st place and feeling on top of the world. Bumpy start with squats, nowhere near what I know I can do but the nerves always get the better of me. Need to keep competing to try and combat those first lift jitters.

Battled out on the deadlifts with the babe that is Natalie Banks! So chuffed to share the podium with another NW Powerlifter!

Im excited to be involved in such an empowering sport. To all the strong women that competed this weekend, I think you’re all mega. What a day! Each and everyone one of you support one another and it’s fab to see. Lifting each other up and just generally being boss bitches! To the girls I literally know through Instagram who come and say hey and give advice you’re mint!

Can you tell I’m in a good mood! I love this feeling! I want to bottle it up.

Will you’re my 🌎 You venture all over the country at weekends following me and my little powerlifting journey even though you drive around the country for a living and it’s probably the last thing you want to do. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Having your support even when I’m being a miserable bitch means the most!

And of course Danny bloody Potter! Who without fail scrapes me up off the floor, puts me back together and sends me back onto the platform! You believe in me more than I believe in myself. You give up so much time to make sure I’m still chasing my goals and I’m so grateful and so lucky to have you knocking about. Best coach EVER! Team Little Legs forever.

He looks sad on this picture because his battery died whilst videoing me on the podium πŸ€£πŸ™ˆ.

Sunday 27th May 6am

Lay in bed, still thinking about yesterday and how I scraped that win by the skin of my teeth.

Yes I won, and I’m buzzing still but actually looking at my numbers it wasn’t my best performance. I was 16kg away from my best total! That’s quite a lot. And I got 5 lifts out of 9 🀨. My squats were a shambles and they’re my fave! There’s things I really need to work on. Getting my head in the bloody game is one of them! I need to walk out to all my lifts like I did that last deadlift. I’ve never ever felt like that before, I can’t even explain it to you. I felt like my life depended on lifting that bar and after failing 125kg on my second attempt I could easily have put another 10kg on there and it would have flown up I was that hyped!Danny gave me the biggest kick up the arse I’ve EVER had and I now know where I need to be. I always think I’m ready before a lift! I’m not. I’m nowhere near it. So that was my biggest lesson of all yesterday.

I’m good at this. I could be very good at this if I sort my head out. I am always eager to learn and I love going to competitions and meeting new people who also love to lift. Competitions give me such a buzz, I’m already looking for when the next one it 🀣.

But for now it’s time to be Jazmine Franks the actress and have a week of pure Soap Awards prep! Looking forward to heading to London on Friday to represent Hollyoaks one last time. I get to see all my pals, have a good catch up and celebrate being English Champion.

Life is good!

Love J πŸ’Œ

Now there mardy bum.

Now there mardy bum.

We’ve made it.

One week out from the All Englands, well actually it’s 5 days away which is kind of scary.

I’m so nervous to write anything positive because whenever I do write that I feel ready or strong or good about the situation it all goes tits up. So I’m just going to say I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to that lovely, early morning drive to Northampton on Saturday having not slept a wink because I’m shitting it.

It’s all over so quick too, all this prep for 9 lifts. One morning of work. I’m already Trip Advisoring the best pubs in the area for once I’m done 😏.

I’m looking forward to a nice cinema trip on Friday, mainly to buy my pick and mix for after weigh in but also to just chill in a dark room where I don’t speak to anyone. I know that that’s what I’m going to want to do the last few days of this week 🀣. Will’s over the moon he works away HA! What’s good at the cinema at the moment, I’m not a super hero fan btw?

I’d say the week before competitions is certainly the hardest weeks of my life (I know dramatic but I’m an actress what do you expect). I feel powerless to do anything, I can’t become stronger in this last week, all that hard graft is already done and dare I say my last heavy deadlift session seemed to run smoothly. That lift in itself is an absolute head mess! This week I have to focus solely on keeping my weight down (with the help of a water cut) but yet try and get as much rest as possible to make sure I’m fresh for Saturday. We get to do all my openers in the middle of the week and I look forward to that.

I really struggle with keeping out of the gym, I just want to get in there and train and I can’t which then makes me aggy. Honestly I’m not the best person to be around this week, wish my parents luck.

I feel like even this post is bloody miserable. Sorry. Hopefully next Monday’s is a lot happier.

What I have been enjoying this week is making different meals. Prepping has been quite different this time round and I’ve realised that just because I’m cutting my food doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

I’ve been eating so much more seafood. Crayfish, salmon, tuna, crab meat. Mixing it up with chilli and lime or sesame seeds and a teaspoon of balsamic. I think the weather being so lovely has helped me too, salads are so much more enjoyable when you can sit in the garden. Oh the joys of being unemployed.

Hopefully I haven’t bored you with with my miserable tone but I want my blog to reflect how I’m feeling so when I look back I can remind myself that yes it was tough but I bloody did it.

Well I hope I do😬

Love J πŸ’Œ

Time out πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

Time out πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

Monday blues are a thing right? Because I certainly have them after this weekend.

I came crashing back down to earth with a bump this morning when I remembered that I’m training for a competition πŸ™ƒ.

I’ve loved spending my weekend in London with Anna. We both bought birthday presents to one another that involved a jam packed weekend of girlie fun & we honestly did not stop! We started by watching Dream Girls at the Savoy (which was Annas gift to me) on Saturday afternoon and it blew my mind! After leaving there on a high we went to Chiltern Firehouse and were treated like royalty! The food was so so good and the service was by far the best I’ve ever received in a restaurant. I devoured their Steak Tartar, Iberico Pork and Cheese board and don’t regret a single bloody mouthful!

But you have a competition soon AND STRUGGLE TO MAKE WEIGHT I hear you cry. And I know that. But I promised myself I’m going to enjoy this weekend that we’ve had planned for ages and I did 😁.

My gift to Anna was a table at Dans Le Noir! If you’ve never heard of it, have a google and please go and experience it! We had the taster menu which meant we had no choice in what food was put in front of us. Let’s just say I never would have picked off the menu what I ate but I was definitely surprised. I don’t want to go into too much detail just incase you get the opportunity to go so all I will say is, don’t wear white.

Now I did have a slight panic on the train last night, thinking shit Jazz you’ve well and truly ruined all that hard work. But do you know what I weighed in this morning at 55.5kg! I put on just over half a kg! That’s it! I have never been so happy to put on weight before 🀣. I honestly thought that the scales were going to be in the 56s, so I left the gym this morning after a lovely little bench session with Danny in a very good mood.

It’s going to be strange this week not having Danny around to train with. He jumps on his flight to Helsinki this afternoon ready to compete in the World Classic Bench Press championships (try and say that quickly). I can’t wait to sit down on Saturday with the live stream on my laptop to watch him take to the platform in his GB singlet and scream at him to push it through the ceiling whilst probably chomping on chicken and veg!

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Good Luck Danny, go do what you do best! πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Training last week seemed good, I hit all my numbers which is what we want. It’s so strange though that one week I can hit 110kg squat for 5 and then a week later hit 2 reps and feel like i struggled through them both. I know it’s all down to what I’m eating, how much sleep I’ve had, how active I’ve already been that day but it really starts to mess with your head.

I do find that this whole journey is more testing on my mental strength then my physical. Which is why it’s so important to have those breaks with your friends! Go out for the meal you’ve craved for weeks. Have the bloody white chocolate Magnum. Make memories and do what makes you happy!

Then get right back on the grind and go again πŸ’ͺ🏼Love J πŸ’Œ

It’s all coming together nicely.

It’s all coming together nicely.

Evening πŸ‘‹πŸΌ

Hope you have all enjoyed this beautiful weather. Actually I hope everyone’s still sat in their back gardens, maybe having a BBQ, possibly having a G&T making the most of the sunshine.

I did get to enjoy a bbq on Saturday which is a bonus but everything was weighed out accordingly and I had to be very strict πŸ™ˆ. Normally at a bbq I’m piling my plate with meats, jersey royal potatoes (lathered in butter), coleslaws, buns and burgers and sausages and everything that’s great in the world, my mouth’s watering just thinking about it, but this time I was so good. I didn’t even go back for seconds which was quite fantastic πŸ˜‚.

Look at that. I even made turkey burgers from scratch πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ they only took 20 minutes and are so easy. Check me out, not a bloody white roll in sight.

Incase you fancy making turkey burgers too I used 1kg of turkey thigh mince, handful of parsley, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, fresh chilli (the amount depends on how much of a kick you want them to have), two egg whites and 30g breadcrumbs. Mix it allllllllll together and make into patties. Fry lightly on both sides to seal and then stick them on the bbq. This made 10 so I have some for lunches this week. Turkey burger salads here I come!

Training this past week has been tough! The toughest it’s ever been actually. I’m going to throw it out there and say that after not making weight at the British (don’t know if you know about that, I don’t talk about it much πŸ™„) I sort of fell out of love with powerlifting. I put so much hard work into the beginning of the year and to not even make it to the platform was a kick in the dick. It knocked my confidence entirely. I didn’t think it had at the time I thought I was quite positive about it but after last Sunday’s competition I realised how much I enjoy lifting and how for the past 8 weeks I’ve just been coasting. I’ve not really been putting my all into training because I was in the wrong frame of mind. All that time spent focusing on this one goal at the beginning of the year and for what?

Now I know I needed that to happen, I needed to not feel confident so I can come back even stronger. And jheeez have I been put through my paces.

4x5s in deadlifts! GRIM!

5x5s in benchpress!GRIM!

And the most disgusting squat session I’ve done in a very long time. I was pushed to my limits to get my max 5 reps! I managed 110kg for 5 though and to say I was chuffed is an understatement. The last couple were a graft and my form went slightly but I finally know what it’s like to grind a squat up rather than just giving up. There was no way I was only doing 4!

This was after doing 100kg x5 105kg x5 as well! Go me. I do love to squat 😊

We’re just under three weeks out from the All England’s and I’m sitting at a very delightful…

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t tell anyone but this is 0.5 under the weight I went into the sauna at before the British πŸ˜• I must have been bloody mad. I’m enjoying being healthier, like I’m actually thinking about trying to maintain this weight after the competition. I know I’m shocked too. My clothes fit nicer and I just generally feel good about myself. Don’t get me wrong I’m craving a fizzy cola bottle like you wouldn’t believe but I’ve not got long to wait.

Love J πŸ’Œ

I competed and I didn’t die πŸ’ͺ🏼

I competed and I didn’t die πŸ’ͺ🏼

Some weeks I struggle with what to write about on here and then others I’ve got so much to say I’m scared I’m going to end up boring you all!

Firstly, tonight is the night Esther departs Hollyoaks. The feedback I’ve already received from the guys that watched the E4 ep on Friday has been insane! The supportive tweets and Instagram comments have been heart warming. I’m so sad to leave but so ready for new adventures. Tune in at 6:30pm Channel 4 😁

So here we bloody go! I did a competition and I didn’t die! I took part in the NW champs on Sunday and fell in love with powerlifting again. I guested in the 57kg category which took so much stress away from the day. I just want to say thank you to Kim for being so accommodating with this!

Squats! I ❀️ squats! I put 5kg on my last comp PB and now looking back at videos know I have 120kg in me. Focusing on them more in the gym has done wonders for my confidence and getting three white lights on my first lift (that’s never happened before) put me in a wonderful mood.

Bench is a babe too. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I should have opened with 60kg not 57.5kg but I played it safe and left with all three bench attempts. Hitting a comp PB of 62.5kg, I was a very happy bunny…

Until the deadlifts. Mateeeeee deadlifts can suck a fat one (sorry mum). Here comes my excuse for why they were an utter shit show. I attempted sumo about 5 months ago and strained my hip so went back to conventional and have basically put myself back a year in training. I feel like I’m at square one with them. I know I’m already really negative towards them so that probably didn’t help but we’ve decided that I’m going to spend the next 4 weeks focusing on deadlifts! The joys πŸ™„.

I totalled 297.5kg on Sunday at a body weight of 55.6kg! Nowhere near my best but hey I made it onto the bloody platform and that in itself is an achievement! If I hadn’t have missed the deadline to change my weight category I would have come 1st as well so that’s something to take away from the day. Sunday was about experiencing the highs and lows of a competition again and I certainly did that. My body is battered right now ☠️.

I just want to say thank you to NW powerlifting for always hosting fantastic comps! The graft that goes in to putting these days/weekends on does not go unnoticed and I know everyone volunteers so much of their time so thanks! πŸ’ͺ🏼❀️

Thanks to Bev and Will for being my cheerleaders always and finally Danny Potter for being the be(a)st coach about. He puts up with my temper tantrums on the regular and for that he deserves a medal. He’s also given up so much time to focus on me whilst training for the Bench Press championships in Finland himself and for that I’m truly bloody grateful. My coach is going to lift for GB how about that then! πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Finally onto Mindful Chef. Last week I had the opportunity to try Mindful Chef which was perfect for me to keep my weight down. Now I enjoy cooking but i usually only do it when I’m making chillis or curries for 4 or more people or if I’m prepping food in batches. I would never bother to cook one meal for myself I’d just throw an omelette together or have poached eggs but OH MY have I been missing out! Mindful Chef send you the ingredients needed to make the most incredible meals and I literally felt like Gordon Ramsey. I’ve had my eyes opened to spices I never would have used and food I never ever would have tasted. Their West African chicken, peanut and coriander stew is up there with one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had! And I cooked it all by myself!I was so proud on Wednesday night, proper chuffed with myself and I’ve already planned to make it again for the girls one evening!

I also made Charmoula Cod with Turmeric & spinach rice and a black olive and tomato salsa. Now normally I’m not an Olive fan, I try my best to eat them, I know they’re good for me but I just can’t bring myself to like them. Until now! The Mindful Chef recipe had me mix them with peppers, parsley, squeeze of lemon and it totally changed the flavour!! I actually enjoyed it. I felt like I’d really grown up because I’d eaten olives! Watch out, I’ll be drinking coffee next. Then that really means I’m an adult.

Then on Friday i made ginger and lime kebabs with a mango salad. I didn’t know what to think at first but I mixed the mango, sugar snap peas and chilli with sesame oil and lime juice like the recipe told me to do and it was perfect. The sesame oil took the sweetness of the mango away and so the salad really worked with the beef. Cooking fresh food and trying fresh flavours has been fun! Their options are endless too and they cater for everyone! I’ll definitely be using them again. Check out mindfulchef.com πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

All in all I’ve had a lovely week and the stress free run up to my competition has meant I’ve got the bug again. I feel really healthy and happy at the moment and in the end that’s all that matters! Right?

Love J πŸ’Œ