Fitness in Fashion: How the Man Behind the Jonathan Blake Brand Turned Tribulation into Triumph
By Barrett White
With a kind smile and a twinkle in his eye, local fashion designer Jonathan Tinkle, creator of the Jonathan Blake women’s clothing brand, appears about as easygoing as they come. Like anyone, though, he’s had his trials.
Throughout middle school, Tinkle was the subject of harsh bullying, leading the budding teen to grow reclusive and reserved. As he entered high school, he found his way out of his shell and began to actively pursue his passion as a designer. After college, the man we see today hit the main stage with dazzling fashion shows and a Galleria-area boutique that opened in 2013.
As his star rose and the young designer began to come into his own, bigger troubles beneath the surface began to bubble. Through no fault of his own, Tinkle was confronted with the missteps of one of his biggest investors. Although not culpable himself, he soon found himself feeling as if he was in middle school all over again as the negativity flooded in. Peers, associates, and even complete strangers expressed their contempt for Tinkle’s mere association with the guilty party. Still young and still a beginner, the words hit hard. But after much introspection, he made the decision not to let this hiccup take the reigns.
“Rather than turn to drinking, or worse, I decided to begin a fitness regimen,” Tinkle states, in reference to what would become the lifestyle overhaul that he follows to this day.
Workouts are invaluable in any fitness routine, of course, but the majority of your transition comes from your eating habits. Employing the help of world-renowned nutritionist Keith Kline, Tinkle took his first steps. Kline, known for his life-changing nutrition work throughout Houston and beyond, is known in the health and fitness world as the nutritionist behind Olympians, television personalities, models, NFL players—and the list goes on. Based right here in Houston, he was Tinkle’s first choice to help him revamp his lifestyle.
Tinkle went through several personal trainers before finding the one best suited for his body—Jason Adams of Equinox River Oaks.
“My workout is not going to be the same as your workout, and yours isn’t going to be the same as your friend’s, because our bodies react to different things. So you want a trainer who is going to tailor a custom workout routine to you. [Previous trainers] were giving me the same workout program they were giving the overweight 265-pound man and the 145-pound soccer mom. So we all had the same workout plan, and we were all getting results that were not quite what we wanted.”
By pairing a nutritionist with a trainer, Tinkle saw noticeable results quickly, further encouraging him to press on with his training. There was no time to be lax, no time to let the haters get him down.
“I usually get up between 6:30 and 8:00, depending on what kind of day I’m preparing for,” Tinkle says.
For breakfast, it’s egg whites and toast—and no more than one yolk, if any. At his six meal times each day, turkey jerky makes for a high-protein snack, followed by chicken and vegetables for lunch. He’ll keep boiled egg whites around for an afternoon snack, with grilled chicken, steak, or fish for dinner. He’ll typically round out his day at the gym around dinnertime.
When Tinkle says he wanted to make a lifestyle change, he means it.
“This isn’t a meal plan for someone looking to be a body builder. This is for someone looking to lose weight,” Tinkle explains about the different routines associated with different goals.
Today, Tinkle is still busy with his fashion atelier in River Oaks, continuing to design for his own brand of high-end women’s clothing while keeping up with his health. “Drama-free” is his lifestyle mantra while he’s busy building his brand. In addition to the growth of business, his adherence to an ambitious routine helped him find personal growth as well.
After several years of swapping trainers, learning food faux pas, and getting used to a routine that works, Jonathan is down to about 110 pounds. “It’s probably taken me five years. That’s way too long, but I did it at a slower pace than most people. You can do what I did in a year or two. For me, it was slower because what I thought I knew, I didn’t know. There was a learning curve there for me,” Tinkle admits, while encouraging others interested in body transformation to consult a professional for best results without sacrificing good health.
Barrett White is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine.