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Other good news and progress!! I purchased a pool pass. What?! Who am I!!! And I went tonight for the first time. It wasn’t as warm as I thought, but it still felt awesome to swim around and be out in my suit. Side note: I went with my mom and she told me how much of a fish I used to be and how she couldn’t pry me away from the pool. Then, puberty. And self consciousness.
Seriously, I never thought I could even get to a point where i could wear a swimming suit in public. Let alone BUY a pool pass. It’s just so crazy to me. And amazing. Along with liberating. And I don’t even THINK about what people see or if they are looking. Like, those are the types of things that would consume me before. That experience a year ago, it would have been torture. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself at all. I would have been constantly thinking about leaving, and the shortest distance to the pool. And how I could cover myself to not offend others. But today, I can say to myself, “self, let’s go to the pool.” And GO and have a great time!!!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that finally, after all these years of trying to hide myself for when I’m X, I am actually able to live my life and love my body . I am able to be unapologetically, perfectly imperfect me. And i love it. Fuck all those that don’t. That’s changed my life for the better in soooo many ways, but most importantly in the BEST ways.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve shown me that i can be. To allow me to find my true self again.
Julie and I started a journey together many moons ago, where she shared some of her greatest vulnerabilities with myself and a group of peers. We reflected and embraced the many ways that God’s love had wiggled its way into our lives, and struggled with many mysteries and questions that remained. I sat in awe at how Julie guided a group of students through this beautiful journey, sharing God’s love with each in a very special way.
Fast forward to 5 (?!) years later, and I learn Julie has started her own business as a health coach. Now, I’ve paid a pretty penny for trainers, nutritionists, and everything in between - all in an effort to feel better about myself (admittedly, this was masked by a desire to lose weight, eat better, etc., etc.), and nothing ever stuck. But reading how Julie was approaching health, I scratched my head – this wasn’t anything I had come across before. Intuitive eating? Loving your body just as it is? Every diet, media ad, and coach had taught me these things didn’t exist – if not explicitly, then implicitly. But that logo – exercise, meditation, nutrition, and a donut – a donut in a health coach ad?! – got me curious.
I signed up for a discovery session, and Julie didn’t hesitate to dive into what my deepest desires were for myself. No one had ever asked me these things – I had never asked myself these things, especially in this context. And bringing them to the surface – what success beyond numbers looks like for me, what confidence feels like, what feeling like my truest self might feel like if I didn’t let my body negativity get in the way – woah. This brought many tears to the surface, facing these desires I so strongly wanted but felt so very far away. It also felt like a removal of this mask that had been suppressing these hopes for myself – the belief that a number or a size or a diet defined these desires. Hope crept in – things could be different.
Through my sessions with Julie, I learned that I get to define my success – no one else. I get to make a choice – to love my body, love myself – and this choice liberates me to live a life without restriction or judgement or negative self-talk. This choice allows me to enjoy the foods I love (and had always been taught to hate), truly embrace nourishing and energizing foods, and to be patient and compassionate with myself.
Tonight I went for a 4 mile run – let me tell you, it’s been a while since I’ve gone out for that long of a run. Instead of dreading it, feeling like I ‘had to’ in order to burn calories and speed up my metabolism, I left thinking to myself ‘wow, what a gift that I get to enjoy this beautiful evening and this beautiful city, and my legs get to carry me through that. And you know what? It’s okay if I want to walk or slow down – this isn’t about punishment, it’s about embracing my body.’ I’ve started to think about exercise as a gift, not a punishment.
Now, I started this letter with a story about Julie’s grace filled accompaniment 5 years ago – and let me tell you, I am so grateful to have been on the receiving end of her accompaniment through her coaching. She is patient, empathetic, encouraging, and challenges me to shift perspectives that I’ve been holding onto for 29 years. Julie is a powerful advocate for women, working to lift each of her clients up so that they are able to see a new horizon and a different future for themselves and for their bodies. She is an activist in her own quiet way, doing her part to deconstruct the destructive and oppressive messages our society has pushed onto women.
Julie, you have showed me in a whole new way about how to love myself, and to me that is such a beautiful example of God’s love. Thank you, Julie, for shining this new light into my life – it has truly transformed me.
"I started Julie's program when I was going through a hard time and knew I wanted to start taking better care of myself and creating healthier habits. When we first set my initial goals, I remember thinking they would be so hard to achieve. Now, however, week after week I am hitting my goals and meeting my expectations with ease because my goals have become habits. I am thankful to Julie for keeping me accountable during this process. I had it in me all along, I just needed the extra push. I wouldn't have gotten this far without Julie by my side... and she keeps it fun and positive!"
"The 90-Day Program was life-changing. Life altering. It's different than anything else I've ever experienced. The whole thing was an ah-ha moment. It's not just this thing I did for a few months, it'll stick with me for life. It's about looking at the big picture of diet culture, and it's huge! It's really huge! I'm sorry that I didn't learn this 15 years ago! This has been a really big deal for me. I remember being nervous to contact Julie. Honestly the whole program was so much more than anything I could ever imagine."
When I discovered Julie's Health Coaching website and blog, I was amazed at how much I related to her and her clients' experiences. I read on, and it made me feel comforted knowing that some else had made peace with the same things I was having problems with. I knew at that moment that I needed to stop wishing my life would change and actually DO something about it. Working with Julie has changed so many aspects of my life. I have stopped labeling certain foods as "bad" or "good." I discovered that I wasn't happy with the mentality that I had to workout (all the time). I changed my routine and found movement that makes my body happy. Friends and family members have even said how I am such a happier person. I feel so inspired by Julie to love my life and find joy in every aspect of it. Thank you Julie for helping me every step of the way!
"I’ve known Julie for a couple of years as a motivating spin instructor and then I started following her on Instagram and her blog because I felt like I could totally relate to her experiences with exercise and food. When I found out that she became a certified health coach, there was no question in my mind that I had to sign up for a discovery session, and then her 12 week program.
I was just plain tired of dieting. It was exhausting and frustrating. What I’m finding with her health coaching program is it’s NOT just another diet, it’s about truly loving your body and what you as a person are truly capable of accomplishing. I’ve just completed my 8th coaching session, and I am amazed at what I have been able to accomplish and how my thoughts about how I look at food have truly shifted in a positive way. I love the fact that Julie holds me accountable with my action steps and that she doesn’t hold back sharing her own personal experiences with me."
"In just a few months, Julie's health coaching principles have invaded every part of my life. I thought my food and body complexes were isolated - turns out, health coaching has led me to question who I am as a person and what I truly value.
Julie's one-on-one coaching sessions really are personalized - everything we talk about is relevant to me and what I'm working through that given day. She encourages me to dive deeper into my own beliefs and emotions while validating my feelings and doubts. She is my toughest challenger and biggest cheerleader all at once."
"Julie has helped me believe the truth - that I am beautifully enough for myself and everyone around me. Not only am I enough, but that I deserve my own time and energy. Having someone hold you accountable for your HAPPINESS and HEALTH and not superficial things that the world tells you you need to be is incredibly empowering.
I’ve learned to train my mind to value what I have and listen to my body, because if there’s one thing you will learn from Julie it’s that your body is smart. What made Julie’s program work for me is that she helps you completely without judgement. When life gets busy or I don’t meet a goal for the week we just get curious about it - there are no faults or consequences. Health coaching with Julie is an all encompassing wellness adventure that builds lifelong healthy habits, not quick fixes that are unsustainable."
“During my first session I remember saying, “I can’t see myself being able to do this in this amount of time. There’s no way!” BUT, the way Julie helps you challenge your negative beliefs and feelings in order to break down the barriers keeping you from moving forward is incredible. I was stuck in a cycle of self hate, failure and defeat, feeling that I would never be “good enough.”
Learning how to be kind and compassionate to yourself is hard, but what I’ve learned is that it is possible! I never thought in my wildest imagination that I’d have the ability to be this completely committed and present in the journey to loving myself and my body... but it’s amazing how much progress can come through vulnerability. I’ve shifted my mentality from “I have to/can’t eat X” or “I need to lose this much weight to be size X,” to honoring my body for what it is - strong, capable and, most importantly, mine to love and cherish. ”
I met Julie a couple of years ago when I started taking classes at Cycle614. Immediately I kept coming back because of her energy and ability to help me push myself harder each time. She also pointed out that everyone’s experiences are different, so you cannot compare yourself to the person next to you. This is how I came to join Julie’s 90-day program.
While for the most part, I thought I ate well and tried to exercise, I never really loved my body. In just 3 short months I had learned so much, and came further than I ever anticipated. In the beginning I was super impatient because I wanted to move faster and get results, but Julie taught me that you must take your time and make gradual changes. Because when you do that, you will form habits, break down your blockers and truly change your perspective. Now I am able to identify foods that fuel my energy, workouts I am ACTUALLY willing to get up at 6am for (as a non-morning person), and she helped me break down my ‘failure’ fear so I could sign up for my first Tri-Fit triatholn! The most important thing I took out of this experience is I taught myself that I must love myself first, regardless of judgement.