The first time Jamie Honey went to do a wall ball at Yelm Bootcamp (now Elite Fitness Zone), it wasn’t pretty. In fact, he says, “It was terrible. It was a light weight and you’d barely see me move it more than an inch. But that was where I had to start.”
At 310 pounds, the former international stuntman was wrestling with knee pain, back pain, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath. It was a struggle just to tie his shoes, and invitations to go out angered him because he was confronted by not having any clothes that fit.
A little over a year later he’s dropped 107 pounds, gone through the process to become a trainer at Bootcamp, and feels like a different person. “I feel just like when I was twenty,” he says. “I’d just finished university and thought, ‘I can do anything. I can travel the world.’ I feel that way again at age 46, when at age 43 I’d totally given up on me. The possibility of being able to do anything I want physically is great.”
He got here through embracing all of the knowledge his wife, Bootcamp and Elite Fitness Zone owner Amy Honey, made available, acting on it, and shifting his mindset with a little help from the larger Bootcamp community. The key, he says, was wanting to change.
“I was in a state of extreme frustration with my life,” he says. “My blood pressure was so high that I was told, ‘You can’t get your teeth cleaned. You’re a health risk.’ One day I was told, ‘We’re going to call an ambulance for you because your blood pressure is too high to drive.’ That’s when I knew I wanted to treat, not the symptom of being overweight, but the cause, which was my overall health.”
In the beginning, even with the best of intentions, he resisted what he was learning. “I started doing what Amy told me, but I would try to find out that she was wrong,” he says. “She would ask me, ‘What’s more important to you: believing you’re right or getting the results you want?’ I had to give up on believing I was right about certain things when there was other information that would help me achieve my result.” That included advice he’d gotten from other trainers during his stuntman days in Japan, Australia, and Indonesia among other places.
After he’d lost the first forty pounds, Jamie changed his thinking in one critical area: food. “I realized that there were certain ways that I was living that I had to give up,” he says. “At first, the thinking was ‘I have to give this up because I need to lose weight.’ Then, a shift happened where it became, ‘I don’t want that because that’s not healthy.’”
As an example, he loved root beer, but when he found out about its chemical and sugar content, his enthusiasm dimmed. “I don’t do meth, I don’t do cocaine, so why would I do soda?” he asks. “Why would I do fast food when there’s no nutritional value in it and a whole lot of chemicals that undermine my health?”
Amy got to see the epiphany firsthand. “In that moment, he shifted from ‘I can’t have that’ to ‘I don’t want that,’” she says. “It was a quick shift. As soon as he shifted that mindset, the weight just flew off of him. It was a little light bulb had switched on. It was amazing to watch.”
The supportive community at Yelm Bootcamp also played a role in his transformation. Remember that first wall ball? “From the beginning, other people were encouraging me and congratulating me for putting in effort, not judging the quality of what I was doing,” he says. “The fact that I was here and putting in the effort was something they could support. That made it enjoyable to come back.” He started coming two days a week, then increased to three, five, and eventually six. “It built and built,” he says.
These days, his life is quite different from where he started. “I have unlimited energy. I sleep throughout the night. I’m flexible, I’m lifting things, I can run and jump,” he says. “My mood has improved so much, but even more, I now see a future where I didn’t realize I wasn’t before. I was just living through a life of ‘have to’: have to get up, have to go to work, have to do this. Now I’m so focused on where I am today and what’s possible for me in the future that it almost seems like a different life.”
So what would he say to anyone who’s where he used to be? “Absolutely anything is possible, but you’ve got to want to change to achieve it,” he says. “You can’t sit back on the couch going, ‘That’s not possible for me.’ You actually have to do something. When people say, ‘I’m too old,’ no. You’re too old with your thinking. You’re not too old for the possibility, because anybody can change.” It all starts with a wall ball.