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Happy Wednesday Friends!  I have received many different questions via e-mail (jamariejo@me.com), blog (here), Instagram (@cupcakesforPRs), Facebook (Jamie Johnstons Journey), and personal Facebook page asking questions about running, my weight loss journey, food I eat, and I have promised you all I would address them.

So today’s the day (I know you have been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting (sarcasm).  I am pretty excited to put this together for you all!  As always if you read this and you think of more questions or want more information on a topic please reach out.


My most recent transformation picture.


My most recent transformation picture.

Q: What made you make a change in your lifestyle?

A: I get this question A LOT!  I feel like I should have some magical AHHHH YESSSSS moment to share but sadly I don’t.  I have been overweight my whole life, I joke and say I was underweight once as I was born premature weighing only 5 lbs. I don’t have a moment that made me change, BUT I was finally in a place in my life where I could focus on me AND had an amazing supportive partner along side me.

Q: Did you start with activity right away?

A: NO!  I didn’t start any type of activity until I had lost around 30-40lbs.  I didn’t want to jump into it all like a crazy lady and get burnt out.  I focused first on my nutrition with weight watchers, and from there I started to walk but not until I had lost appox. 30 lbs.

Q: How did you progress from no activity …. to walking…to running?

A: I started walking very SLOWLY!  I did laps around my neighborhood.  Not going to lie it was HARD.  My body wasn’t use to ANY type of activity.  One lap around my neighborhood is .7 of a mile, so I started with one lap and worked my way up.  I had to deal with my body hating me as well as my head playing games.  In my head the whole neighborhood was watching me (they probably weren’t and could have cared less).

After I got comfortable with one lap I added more, slowly working my way up to 3 or so miles.  After about 8 months of walking and about 75-100 lbs lost (so I weighed around 225-250 at this time) I started to venture out of our subdivision, and figured out a 5k (3 mile) route.  I would take this route on 3-5 times a week.  I slowly started to jog across the street at intersections.  Then 1/4 mile by 1/4 mile I started to run more.  My first mini goal was to run a full mile without stopping.  My running progressed after I walked my first 5k and made a goal to run a 5k in the following year.  This is a slow process and you need to do it slowly so you don’t get injured or take on something your body isn’t ready for (which would suck).

Q: What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery?

A: I get this question A LOT!!!!!  Honestly it’s everyone’s own journey.  For me sticking with eating right and exercise worked and I am pretty darn proud of that.  Some have trouble with diet and exercise, that’s their journey.  I suggest really trying the diet and exercise thing, if you gave it YOUR ALL and still don’t have results work with your DR on a plan.  I have seen many success stories with weight loss surgery but have also seen some that have gained it all back….with that being SAID the same is true with weight watchers and other programs, people have success and then gain it all back.  It’s about finding what works for YOU and YOUR lifestyle, what can you maintain for a lifetime and BE HAPPY WITH.

Q: Do you still follow weight watchers?

A: NO!  Now this might get long so please get comfortable…. I LOVE weight watchers and think it’s such a great program and great starting point for many people.  It works with you on portion control and helps you focus on eating healthy and a healthy lifestyle.  Weight Watchers is how I lost the majority of my weight.

NOW….. I was with WW for about 3 years and found myself in an interesting place (I am going to be vulnerable here so hopefully you all don’t judge).  I was at a serious plateau and found my weight was stuck and I kept gaining/losing the SAME 15 lbs. I also found that I would not allow myself to eat things that were higher in WW points and I NEVER really enjoyed food with some type of balance.  During this time it was ALL or deprivation.  So I would have a cheat day and basically eat everything I could this would include pizza, cookies (I mean a whole package of oreos is one serving right?), and other items I could get my hands on. Then I would feel so dang guilty that I would try and limit what I had the next day….I was on a roller coaster that wasn’t going ANYWHERE and high WW points items were off limits.  Most days my diet consisted of vegetables and fruit….nothing else.

During the past Christmas season is when I realized this wasn’t ok and that I needed to do something about it.  I took Christmas on in full force, eating my weight in cookies and other indulgences and told myself enough was enough…


One of MANY Christmas cookies!

I decided to quit WW as I really wasn’t following the program and I needed to try something new. Now you have to understand this was a big deal for me, WW was like my security blanket!  I wasn’t really following the WW program but it was always there waiting for me.  Also WW has just been my thing.  However, why stick with something that is no longer helping????

So I decided to sign up with a macro coach (if you are interested in who and the program e-mail me and I will tell you more).  So now you probably ask what the heck is a macro coach???  Well, a macro coach works with you and develops a plan for the number of macros you have in a day.  Macro-nutrients such as Carbs, Fat, and Protein.  I started this program and after a week or so fell in LOVE!!!  I was eating foods that I had sworn off of.  I worked a cupcake into my day, just an ordinary day with a dang cupcake.  I ate it and didn’t feel guilty!  I use myfitnesspal to track my food and find it to be a fun experiment deciding what I want to work into my plan each day.  I also include something I seriously enjoy at least once a day (lately this has been ice cream).  This has provided me with balance and FREEDOM.

Now I won’t lie and say it’s been rainbows and butterflies, I still have struggles.  I see some food items and think wellllllll I really shouldn’t have that, OR I find myself having a cheat day and going CRAZY eating way to much.  Now I must say I have actually found the most balance I have had in a LONG time and am moving in the best direction for me.  I have reached my original goal weight and have set a new goal, nothing crazy just a little bit more to go.

Q: I have started to run, but what running shoes should I wear?

A: I can’t stress this enough, no two people are the same.  For me I love my Hoka Clifton 2


running shoes BUT everyone is different.  I highly recommend visiting your local running store and getting fit, these people know best and it will help you from becoming injured.

Q: What do you eat, what are some of your go to items:

A: I am very much a creature of habit and have many of the same items everyday, which you can see on my Instagram and Facebook pages.  Here are some of my goto items per meal…

Breakfast: Oatmeal with egg whites….(It takes a bit of time but so worth it! 1/2 cup of oats (quick oats) put them in 1 cup of hot water and let that sit for 5 minutes so the oats get fluffy, then microwave for 2 minutes. Add 1/2-1 cup egg whites (depending on what you want), microwave for 3 minutes stirring every 30 seconds (this is key otherwise you will have a hard egg mess). Add anything else you’d like at the end. I like to stir in some pumpkin puree and splenda is a must for me.


It doesn’t look the best but it tastes very good AND makes a TON! This is in a pyrex bowl! 


Puffed Kamut, 



Breakfast Smoothie (I like to make mine with Quest Nutrition Protein Powder)


Mighty Muffins these can also be made into waffles, I also use this companies pancake mix for waffles (online link), egg white breakfast sandwiches.

Lunch: Salads I really like salads and don’t mind them daily mine usually have some type of protein (chicken, tuna, lunchmeat) low fat cheese (I can’t do fat free YUCK), and salad dressing, Sweet Potatoes with Jiff Whips Peanut Butter these are paired with my salad, Oatmeal I really dig oatmeal during the winter months and have been known to have it for lunch

Dinner: Sloppy Joes, Egg White Omelets, Tacos, Soup and Sandwich, Hamburgers, Turkey Cheddars, Mini Pizza (made on lavash bread, english muffins, or flatouts) , Chicken Breasts.  All meals are usually with a veggie, lately it’s been steamed broccoli.  For Hamburgers we use 96% or 93% lean beef, sloppy goes and tacos are made with extra lean turkey.  Chicken breasts are great as you can make a bunch and use them for your lunch salad.  Lately for dinner I have been enjoying chicken breast shredded with pizza sauce on a bun with moz cheese.  Lots of great possibilities. 

Snacks: Fruits, Veggies, Complete Cookies, Slow Churned Ice Cream, Arctic Zero (I only like SOME of the flavors: Salted Caramel, Mapple Vanilla, Cookie Dough, Snickerdoodle, Brownie), Quest Bars, Greek Yogurt, Picky Bars, Chips…

Thanks so much for reading along and I hope I have helped answer your questions.  Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions or would like more information on something I addressed.  Thanks for your continued support and for following along on my journey.