Julia shares her UPS and downs, tips and tricks, good and bad habits and hopes to inspire you to become the fittest version of yourself. If she can, you can as well!
Julia felt so uncomfortable with her weight that she thought people were making fun of her behind her back. Every time she walked passed people who were laughing she assumed they were laughing at her. After going to the gym focusing solemnly on cardio, skipping meals and not seeing any results, she realized it was time for a change. This is when she decided to go to a nutritionist and start her Fit journey in a healthy way. Read fast Julia’s Fit journey!
1)What was the reason to change your lifestyle?
I have always wanted to have a healthier lifestyle but I have never been taught or shown how to do this during high school as I was so buys all the time. I used to dance Ballet 3-4 times a week but still was never confident about my body and barely ate. I thought this would help me lose weight but I was so wrong.
Once I started university I tried to cut down on my meat intake and go to the gym where I solely focussed on cardio exercises. However, nothing had changed. Finally I had enough and went to a nutritionist at the university who gave me a meal plan whereby I ate 5-6 times a day and went to the gym 3-4 times a week.
2) Who or what motivated you?
No one had motivated me to do this, I have always been told by my father that I should be my own competition. Therefore I stopped comparing myself to any other girls but looked at myself. I was sick and tired of feeling sorry for myself and decided to do something about it.
3) Is there something you used to be ashamed of?
I’ve always been ashamed of my thighs. It wasn’t like I was fat or anything, I had a lot of muscle in my legs from the 15 years of dancing ballet I did, but I still wasn’t happy. I tried to so many different leg exercises but did not see an improvement. I used to starve myself with merely 1 meal a day if that to get a quicker effect which only made it worse. I used to look in the mirror and pull the fat around my thighs back to see what I would look like without it. I felt very uncomfortable in my own body and walked around hunched over with my arms crossed. It affected my social life on such a level that I thought everyone was talking about me and laughing at me behind my back. I used to hide all the mirrors in my own house so I would not accidentally get a glimpse of my body. Now I look back, I was never fat.
4) What do you dare to do now that you didn’t before?
Now I look the way I do, I am not afraid to try on clothes that are not usually my style. When I go to the beach, I walk in my bikini with confidence when before I would wear men’s swim-shorts and a t- shirt the majority of the time. When I walk past people who are laughing, I do not assume that they are laughing at me anymore. I feel more positive in myself not just in regards to complexion, but the way I present myself and the normal daily tasks I have to do every day.
5) What was your worst habit?
My worst habit was to not eat for hours on end. The nutritionist told me that because of that, my metabolism stopped working. So never starve yourself!! Now, I eat every 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
6) What is the one thing you could absolutely not delete from your life?
Now I have this lifestyle I cannot imagine my life without exercise. Mentally, I always feel better after going to the gym or going for a run. My goal used to be losing weight, but now it’s toning in order to keep the body I have long term and become more firm. But to do this you need perseverance.
7) Perseverance is often the most difficult. How do you make sure you stay fit?
To motivate myself to stick to my goal, I try to keep my routine interesting by looking up different exercises and healthy diet plans and new recipes. I use Instagram a lot for this by following all these girls and boys who have the same goal as me. It really motivates you!
8) If you could say something to the person you were before your transformation, what would you say?
If I could say something to the old me it would be learn to love yourself. If you learn to love yourself, you can then help yourself to become the person you want to be. Not just physically, but mentally too. I am a big supporter of exercise to help deal with depression and deal with your negative perspective of yourself. I don’t believe in no calorie diets without exercise. This might help you physically for a short period of time, but don’t you want to focus on the long-term?
9) What does your sports regimen looks like? Do you have a schedule?
I personally do not have an official timetable for my work out but I began doing classes called ‘power pump’ which introduced me to all these new exercises. I have been told that alternating the type of exercises is the most effective, as you can focus on each individual muscle group. Some more than others. For instance I focussed more on my glutes and searched for exercises on Instagram to help.
10) What do you think is the biggest bullshit hype in the fitness area?
In regards to the hypes in fitness areas, I do not believe there is a bullshit hype. Just the no-calorie, fruit juice or tea detox diets are what I am strongly against. I don’t believe in counting calories when it comes to toning and losing weight, as I have tried it before. The only thing it did for me was stress me out which in turn lead to me gaining weight again. Nevertheless I do have an app which shows the calories but I check it solely for guidelines and do not count the amount of calories I put in my body because I need them. Healthy calories will keep your metabolism moving. Of course, I have my cheat days, never beat yourself up for that. I was stricter on myself for the first 6-8 months by allowing myself one cheat day every two weeks but now I worry less about it, as I know exercise a fair amount and if I feel I ate too much, I just run an extra 5-10 minutes the next day. As this might help you lose weight in the short-term, it can truly effect your body negatively in the long-term (look it up if you don’t believe me!). If you do decide to do these diets, make sure you check with a dietitian first. Finding a balance for your diet is hard, so you try out different things. But the most important thing to do is to listen to your body! Your body is your temple, one of the most important things you should listen to.
Do you know or are you someone who has also gone through an amazing Fit journey? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story could be the first or the final push of motivation towards the right direction