In our series Fit Chicks, we chat with female fitness bloggers and trainers from all over the country. Equipped with their collective experience, expertise and practical tips, you’ll be happy to know that a healthier lifestyle is right around the corner.
Name: Jane Jourdan, 27
Business/Blog: Fit for Broadway
City: New York City, NY
When she was growing up, you probably would’ve found Jane either singing those insane Mariah Carey notes or crushing it in the gym. After college, she packed her bags, moved to the Big Apple and started her passion project in 2014. Two and a half years later, Jane is still learning about the Broadway community and her personal journey into a healthier lifestyle.
Where did your love of being fit and active come from?
Jane Jourdan: I wasn’t really into sports necessarily, but in middle school I always loved going to the gym and doing online workout videos. It was the first time I started consciously setting goals for myself, tracking progression of growth, and seeing how that was affecting me as a performer, too. I always just loved the high of what fitness gave me. I was a runner too, and I always felt really good after I worked out. It definitely started in middle school and then it just stuck with me. That was my way of building up my confidence and being positive. It has always served as my balance.
When did you start performing?
JJ: I’ve been singing since a really young age. I remember my dad used to joke when he heard me sing and say, “We need to get you voice lessons,” you know, parents observing what kids are interested in. I always loved Mariah Carey and Frank Sinatra, which is the best combination ever. When I was little, I was always singing Mariah Carey in her whistle range and loving it. When I was nine, my mom went to Toronto and saw Phantom of the Opera and brought back the cast album. She told me the story as we listened to the entire album start to finish. I remember just balling at the end. I was like, “This is love! This is everything!” From there I started taking voice lessons and singing a lot of musical theatre and classical stuff. I did undergrad at Loyola Marymount University and studied classical voice, not really musical theater. But then I graduated and felt like I was missing what I loved about singing. I ended up telling my parents I wanted to move to New York and pursue musical theatre. I knew I didn’t want to go back to school, but I was like, “I can move to New York, make my own curriculum, and catch up on what I missed out on.” So I moved to New York and started auditioning. I definitely got immersed in the fitness and health community, probably first and foremost before the performing community. Then the blog started and it was just totally a passion project and research for my journey to understand what it was going to take to get on Broadway. After a year and a half, it just felt like a more authentic and creative expression of what I wanted to be doing. I stopped auditioning and have been devoted to the blog ever since.
Photo by Jake Smith
What have you learned from the Broadway community when it comes to fitness and health?
JJ: That it’s hard work. They’re just so dedicated. I think that was the biggest learning curve, because I thought I knew what being in shape and being healthy was. Then moved to New York and started seeing it. Especially when I started doing interviews, I was like, “No, this is what being in shape is and this what being healthy is.” I think it’s just being hyper aware of your own body and how to best take care of it. That means a lot of different things for a lot of different people. I’m really big about holistic health, so whether that means you’re going to therapy or meditating or whether you’re a fitness person in the Broadway community. A lot of them work out, but some of them don’t do that much intense fitness stuff but they’re really into nutrition, or whatever it may be. Everyone has their own task, so there’s not one specific thing that’s throughout everyone’s journey apart from the fact that they’re dedicated to being aware of their body and taking care of themselves to the best they can to do the job that they do eight times a week.
Sometimes women can get over-obsessive about living a healthy lifestyle. How do you keep the balance of being healthy but also just enjoying life?
JJ: I think you have to journey through it. There have definitely been times in the past few years of having the blog that it felt like it became an obsession, like “I think I need to relax in the balance a little bit more.” So much of it is just emotional and mental, because you have to be secure in who you are and accepting of yourself. You’re not going to accept yourself three sizes smaller if you can’t accept yourself now. People sometimes say, “Okay yeah, but I want to be that person, this skinny or this weight,” but it’s about how to be confident in your own skin, finding what you’re passionate about and what makes you unique. Also find what in fitness and health makes you happy, not just doing a workout to check off the list or to become a certain weight. My biggest advice for eating is to measure your energy levels because you can always sense how you’re body is reacting to food that way. There are all these crazes of being vegan or gluten free or not eating dairy. Anything is fair game for me—I eat meat and dairy and all these things, but in moderation because I know if I eat them too much, I’m sluggish. So if you tune into these vibrations of what makes you you and how your body reacts, then it’s a happier journey for you.
Photo by Jake Smith
What’s your go-to healthy snack?
JJ: Oh wow, so many. I have a few favorite bars. One is called Perfect Bar. I’m a big smoothie person, too. I have this smoothie called the Green Bee on my blog and it’s so delicious. It’s so fresh and good with not a lot of fruit so you don’t get jittery from the sugar high. Then I’m a big coffee person, so I definitely have to have an afternoon pick-me-up in the form of an almond milk latte (probably at Toby’s Estate).
What’s your favorite exercise?
JJ: Lately I’ve loved boxing. I love pilates. I’m certified in yoga actually, so the yoga I teach is kind of a pilates/yoga fusion. It’s so good for you.
What’s a nutrition trend you’re a fan of right now?
JJ: Plant-based diets are amazing. I eat anything and everything in moderation, but I genuinely feel better when I’m eating a plant-based diet. There are all these super foods that are super duper amazing. I’m really into herbs or seasonings that are good for you, like adding turmeric or ginger to things. I also love Matcha these days.
Who’s your Broadway inspiration right now in terms of health and fitness?
JJ: One of my biggest Broadway inspirations is definitely Patina Miller. She’s just someone who is constantly inspiring me. I follow her on Instagram and even just through that, I just see what she’s doing every day to maintain her body for work she does, and it always pushes me. I need to be on Patina’s level. I’ve interviewed her and she’s just so lovely. She’s been part of the workshops in New York and she has an amazing fitness regimen and attention to fitness, nutrition, and health. Cynthia Erivo is insanely inspiring in every single way. I’d love to finally have her on the blog, but she’s obviously had the craziest, best year of her life so it hasn’t worked out yet. Someone on the holistic side of things and positive energy is Sierra Boggess. She’s super honest and vulnerable in a way not a lot of people are able to be at that caliber. She has insecurities and very vocal about them, but is very proactive about leading a positive life. She’s also into yoga, eating well and being mindful of environment. She has a lot of beliefs that are really important.
What are some of your goals for 2017?
JJ: I really want to give a TEDx Broadway talk, because it’s really important to me and something I’m very passionate about. I’m also building a curriculum that’s similar to the workshops in New York but at an undergrad level. Getting those up and going and consistent will be amazing. Oh, I would love to go to the Tony’s this year, so let’s just put that out there.
McGee Nall a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia. She was probably eating Nilla wafers and Nutella while writing this.