My name is Jana (or as some call me Jans or even nick named me Pocket Rocket) and by no means am I a qualified nutritionist, personal trainer, therapist or a life coach. I can’t claim any of the above, however I’ve met many aspirational people in those areas and with the expertise who contributed to who I am today and continue to fuel my personal drive to change, improve and get better and stronger.
By the sound of things I am not an important person you should know or hear about in the world of fitness and healthy lifestyle, however I want to stress that this page was not created to make money or create business enquiries neither was it created with an intention to get richer. I have created it because I feel that sharing my personal experience as a novice to fitness and weightlifting of 21st century (yes there is a huge difference in the perception of fitness and weightlifting in this century vs how it was perceived in 90s) is something that will benefit those, who like me, are embarking on a very challenging journey of getting fit, healthy and strong in the world of social media and information overload.
I have a full-time job, which I still love and enjoy, but I also have personal goals which when they are reached would mean that I no longer can keep my full-time job. Instead I will do something that I really enjoy (coaching) and I will change people’s lives and add value through sharing value.
My job keeps me busy 5 days a week (and sometimes weekends). I work for a young, dynamic financial company in London. To shorten this, I have been working in the capacity of sales and business development for over 7 years. The role is not only office based, but requires a lot of time meeting clients and often entertaining – drinking and dining along with long distance overseas travel. It is a job which comes with a lot of pressures such as financial targets, performance, team management, working in a testosterone dominated office and be responsible for company’s growth.
As a female, it is even harder to work your way up in the financial world (but other industries too), but I’ve dedicated past 7 years to my career, so I can safely say that once you get to the top it is as hard to maintain it as it is to get there, so if this relates to you, just keep going! Hard work pays off regardless of sex.
I grew up in a sport oriented family in Slovakia, my dad is a weightlifter himself and a very successful and world known olympic weightlifting coach. I was always exposed to this sport but never had a real personal connection (i.e. never performed it or trained it). Since I learnt to walk I was spotted crawling and walking around dad’s gym in between very heavy loaded barbels (mum was not happy about it) . Dad’s passion and life dedication to this sport brought me around the world with him from European ~Championships to the World ones and to Olympic Games recently (I don’t realise how lucky I am to be exposed to this world for such a long time). In the past 12 years I was involved with weightlifting in the capacity of a translator ONLY given that my dad’s English was never great.
In 2012 before my best friend’s wedding I’ve decided that I will not be approaching my 30th birthday in a few years to come looking the way I did.
Size 12 to 14, 69-71kg weight, short and rounded figure 5ft1, wide hips, back fat and unhealthy skin complexion was not what I wanted or aspired to and it was time to change. After a few too many relationship failures in the past 10 years and “work to pub” party lifestyle in London I decided to change everything about me.
Not much happened after I’ve decided to change EVERYTHING and I can safely say that my character (from extreme to extreme go getter who never stops) meant that I entered the yo-yo dieting circle and became a keen “gym bunny”. I started something I could never finish the way I was approaching it. I joined the gym only to do cardio workouts and planned my weekly attendance which got scrapped after Monday’s work stresses and few excuses to take a gym bag to the pub after work instead to the gym. At one point I starved myself on a celebrity diet (won’t name it) which caused lack of calcium in my body and consequently a stress fracture of my 3rd and 4th metatarsal on my right foot by running on a treadmill.
Low fat, high protein, artificial sugars, sweeteners, shake, replacement meals, 7 days, 21 days, books, manuals, I believe I’ve tried them all, maybe not all as prescribed to deliver the effects claimed on the label, but I have tried them and gave up most of them after being bored and inconsistent with them.
Post injury I realised that the only way to achieve my goal is a full dedication and focus on what it is that I really want to achieve.
In my mind I wanted to be skinny. Lose weight. Buy size 8 dress and throw away all my yo-yo wardrobe (range from 10-14). Weight figure was my only indicator of how good or bad I was doing and being skinny was my goal. But, that goal was never going to be achieved as every time I dropped in a dress size, something happened to me like injury or distraction with travel and holidays and I jumped back! Also, I was never getting anywhere close to my idea of skinny. It was the most frustrating time of my recent years.
I was lucky that in my gym bunny days I had a sober moment and enquired about a personal trainer. I got introduced to Adam, who jotted down my goals (as above) and commenced working with me on training plans and sessions. He asked me if I would like to lift heavy weights and whether I know the benefit of lifting heavy.
That was the key moment which completely changed my perception on weight loss, dieting and opened up a whole new world to me, which in fact I grew up in and was completely oblivion to because I was just another happy consumer of skinny fat marketing messages out there.
Initial reaction to his question was the same as 99.9% of girls would answer: “NO! I don’t want to get big, I just told you I want to lose weight!”
This came out of a mouth of somebody that watched Olympic and Elite athletes since early learning age. How could I get it so wrong?!!!
Adam talked me into lifting heavy weights and to this date I will not forget and can’t be thankful enough for his persistent message:
“You are not here to lose weight, you are here to get stronger, better, and aesthetics will be the secondary once you realise how good being strong feels”
So, here I am today, almost 2 years later, writing this blog for those girls that don’t know what to believe, where to start and how to go about determining what it is that they want to change and improve on themselves.
So, who am I?
I am a girl and I am proud to lift heavy!
I am an athlete because I train and eat as one (I don’t diet any more – I fuel my days through food intake). I want to compete in women weightlifting in Britain (achievement would be getting to regionals in 53kg category)
I am learning to weightlift and I train crossfit in SW London.
I am a keen believer that you can only improve what you can measure.
You can’t measure skinny, you can’t measure beauty, but you can measure your physical performance.
That’s who I am today and I am getting better every day!