GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME.

Good morning, my beautiful friend!

Every morning, I write morning pages, which is pretty much just 3 pages of freehand writing I use to get all of my thoughts out of my head and on to paper. I do this every morning, and it helps take ALL those crazy thoughts I have about my goals, what I have to do that day, and helps create the space in my brain to focus on other important things vs. trying to remember my 90-mile-long to-do list.

Today, I was reflecting on how LONG it takes for some things we want to come to fruition.

The saying is true: GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME.

Photo taken by Toronto-based photographer  Amin

Photo taken by Toronto-based photographer Amin

Things that are worth having genuinely DO take time: our dream body, career, relationship. It takes hard work and effort.

But when we're so focused on the outcome — "I won't be happy until I get to X goal" — it makes for a miserable ride along the way.

It's like knowing you have to go on a road trip across the country to get to your fave place in the world, California. But instead of driving a reliable car, downloading a bomb playlist, riding with the windows down, stopping to enjoy the sights along the way... you CHOOSE to drive your brother's shitty 2004 Honda Civic that breaks down every 100 miles, whose radio doesn't work, and instead of stopping to stay at hotels and do some sightseeing, you're just going to power through, pull 3 all nighters, get cracked out on coffee and suffer through until you finally reach the promised land of Santa Monica.

Knowing that your journey is a long one, don't make it any harder on yourself than it has to be.

ENJOY the ride. Let loose. Live a little. Have some freakin' fun, why don't ya?!

In terms of fitness & health:

Even if you're not where you want to be right now, enjoy your body & the process NOW. Take classes or do workouts you love. Eat in a way that makes you feel amazing — taking the time to cook and prepare your food so it tastes delicious. Celebrate your body by wearing what you want (i.e. a bathing suit) with no shame and don't just wait around til you feel 'good enough.'

Your dream body will come only as a result of loving, taking care of, and being kind to the one you have right now.

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In terms of your dream career:

Even if you're not making stupids amounts of money or doing what your soul feels called to do for a living right now, be grateful for all that you DO have. If you have a roof over your head, meals to eat and the means to read this right now... you're doing better than 90% of the world.

Plus, you're lucky to have ANY JOB in general. And if you truly don't like the job you're in, start taking steps to change that. Start a blog. Intern somewhere at night. Get the certification you need or go back to school on the side. THAT'S enjoying the process and being a part of actively creating the career of your dreams.

When I worked at my 9-5 advertising job, I was teaching group exercise classes on the side, then decided to get my personal training certification, which led to training clients, which led to me being able to leave my full-time job, which led to me being able to do this all online now. But had I just sat there and thought "woe is me... I hate my job... this is it for me." and didn't take steps to be an active creator of my future, I WOULD NOT BE WHERE I AM TODAY, and I certainly would not be continuing to build my dream career on a daily basis.

You just need a little courage. Courage builds confidence and trust, so every time you push the boundaries a bit on what you *think* you're capable of, you'll learn to trust yourself to take even bigger risks. Start small (or start big) but just START.

*side note of love* don't feed yourself the BS of "I don't know where to start" — you totally do. Don't let fear stop you. Take a baby step. What's one thing you can do TODAY that moves the needle in a positive direction? DO THAT.

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In terms of your dream relationship:

Even if you're single as a Pringle right now, enjoy yourself. I was single for 3. YEARS. before I met Mark. But that doesn't mean I was sitting in my room waiting for him to come knock down my door (which would have been near impossible because the chances of him randomly finding my apartment in Orlando from Canada is slim.... lol)

While I was single, I took the time to discover who I truly was, without a relationship defining me — as I let it with so many of my past boyfriends. I went on dates and called them "MANventures" (shout out to Jenn — this was our inside joke HA), I discovered hobbies I truly loved (teaching group ex. classes, becoming a personal trainer), reading books and listening to podcasts to improve my career and myself as a human.

Ultimately, when the timing was right — my hobbies, my career, my work in personal development — all aligned when I took a chance to intern at Strength Camp, which *you know the ending* led me to meet and marry the love of my life! Now I live in a totally different country (talk about a curve ball I never would've anticipated in my wildest dreams!), we're about to move into a new place together, and we're creating our dream life TOGETHER.

But that's all because I spent the time to truly figure out who I was, what I wanted, and enjoyed myself along the way.

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If you're interested, you can search Mark on my blog and there are plenty of posts about our moves/journey as a couple.

And I continue to enjoy myself (as best as I can) in ALL areas of my life today — even if they're not perfect — because WHY THE HECK NOT???!

Sure, these things take time. But what's the rush?

I've learned that the reason that our dreams don't manifest over night is because we have to become the person that's ready to handle that level of success.

For example, you say you want to win the lottery... but imagine you won $50 million tomorrow. Would you be the type of personal that's financially responsible enough to win that money and — more importantly — make it last? (so many of the winners just poo that money away. sad.)

Or say you want your dream boo to come into your life... what type of person are you being right now? Is your house cluttered with junk, or would you be proud to invite someone over? Are you carrying around emotional baggage from past relationships, or have you spent time working through all your old junk so that you don't carry that into a new relationship? Are you figuring out who you are individually so that when you meet him, you guys can become PARTNERS instead of searching for someone to fill a void that only *you* can fill?

These things take time, but they are so worth it.

While you're waiting patiently, become the person you want to be.

Because it's not about the outcome, it's about WHO YOU BECOME in the process of reaching that goal.

Always be a work in progress and never settle!

LOTS OF LOVE & HAPPINESS! xo,

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Do You Self Sabotage?

Are You Unknowingly Keeping Yourself From Getting Results? 

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Do you self sabotage when you're about to reach the next level of success? 


Maybe it's in your body, your finances, your business, your relationship.

It's like as SOON as you start to see results you've never experienced before, you do something *unintentionally* that pulls you right back to the same level you're comfortable at. 

You see... our bodies / brains want to keep us safe. They like staying in the "safe zone," that place you've been in forever: your zone of "greatness" vs your zone of GENIUS.

In order to get into your zone of GENIUS (aka that next level), you'll have to become very aware of when and how you start to sabotage your success.

Do you binge eat as soon as you start to see progress in your body? 

Do you stop texting someone back when things start to get too serious and you're scared of intimacy?

Do you go out and spend a bunch of money on stupid shit as soon as you have a little extra money?

Despite our best *conscious* effort to improve, our subconscious is packed with the stories we've told ourselves for YEARS - the same stories that keep us broke, overweight and unhappy.

The solution?

1. Awareness
2. Believing you're worthy to receive all that you want 💕 

I recommend reading/listening to The Power of Your Subconscious Mind to learn how reprogramming the thoughts we don't even KNOW we think, ultimately makes all the difference in our success (or our failure). 

Finding Enjoyment in Things Other Than Food

Hey, beautiful you!

Today's blog post is very near and dear to my heart, because it's probably the MAIN concept that helped me overcome my eating disorder. Even recently, "finding enjoyment in things other than food" has become my motto when life gets hard and it's much easier to turn to food than it is to confront what I'm really craving. (More on that below.)

The one thing that's helped me navigate and make better food choices throughout the years (this means not eating too much, but not eating too little - either - because both are uncomfortable) is this:

Finding enjoyment in things other than food.

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We all have an inner child that needs to be fed.

Think of your inner child as who you were when you were very young: you were creative, you spent time outside, you played, you dreamed, and nothing was ever too silly or too outrageous.

As we get older, we're taught by society to 'grow up' and 'get more serious.'

And that's exactly what causes us to lose sight of our inner child.

We stuff down our creative, free-spirited, risk-taking, non-judgmental TRUE SELF and trade our authentic desires for what we think we "should" be doing -- growing up, getting a job, taking life more seriously, etc.

Our inner child is always there... it's literally part of you... and it's waiting to be fed: literally or figuratively.

When we grow up and start taking life really seriously, we often forget how great it feels to do things we actually enjoy, like draw, paint, write, journal, color, play sports, and all the things we spent so much time doing when we were growing up.

And because we stop doing the things that we love so much, our inner child remains HUNGRY.

So what do we do to fill that void?

We eat.

Even when we're not hungry. Actually, even when we're completely full but keep reaching for more chips until our hand reaches the bottom of the bag.

Why?

Because when your inner child is HUNGRY and you haven't yet explored this concept of finding enjoyment in things other than food, it's only natural you'll try to fill that void with something that numbs you out (it can be food, drugs, alcohol, sex, anything really.)

In fact, one of the main questions I ask clients I work with who struggle with this issue is, "What are you really hungry for?"

Is it connection? Creativity? Love? Acceptance?

Whatever it is... you will never be satisfied by food (unless the void is actual true hunger).

The anecdote for this is feeding our soul: finding what your inner child is truly craving and honoring and nurturing that.

I'll give you a personal example that happened quite recently.

When Mark and I moved to Texas for three months while he was attending the Fire Academy, I went there with the goal to grow my business exponentially. I enrolled in a business school and declared that THIS was the breakthrough moment for me to really show what I'm made of.

Naturally, that lent itself to hours upon hours spent on my computer. I was working harder, longer hours than I have in a really long time, growing my business to larger than it's ever been, and yet I still didn't feel fulfilled.

All of my friends were in Orlando and while I still connected with them regularly with phone calls, texts, and FaceTime dates, it wasn't the same as having girlfriends who lived close to me that I could just call up and go to coffee/dinner with. Literally, my only friend was Mark (poor Mark LOL), and my days looked something like this: wake up, work out, come home, make food, work for a few hours, do my business school work, Mark would come home, I'd make dinner, we'd go to sleep at 8 because I'd have to start all over again at 5am the next day.

So while yes, my business was thriving, SO MANY other areas of my life were being neglected.

I was CRAVING social connection so bad, but I didn't realize it at the time (hindsight is 20/20, of course)... so naturally, I found comfort in food. I worked right next to my kitchen, so I would feel the void of CONNECTION with food. Snacks on snacks on snacks. All day long. And it's not even like they were unhealthy, but it's just the point that I didn't NEED the food. It was friendship and true, meaningful connection I needed.

I was also neglecting any form of creativity. Sure, I have to be creative for my work, and writing calls for a great deal of creativity. But I wasn't feeding my inner child by PLAYING. I wasn't dancing, or drawing, or coloring, or doing anything 'fun' just for the heck of it with no meaningful goal attached to it.

Side note: I'm sure if you have a driven personality like I do, you can relate to always trying to attach meaning/purpose to everything you do (i.e. listening to podcasts not because you actually enjoy them, but because it's what you "should" do to grow yourself/your business. Or writing because it's what you "should" do for your business, as opposed to writing for your own personal enjoyment in a journal or something people will never read. Or reading a book that's related to personal development/business/spiritual growth, as opposed to getting lost in a novel that is completely unrelated to your line of work, but you just love so much that it sucks you in and you can't stop reading.) The former examples are still WORK. The latter are PLAYING (feeding your inner child) and that's where most of us goal-oriented people are missing the point.

Anyways, back to the story: I would literally just work. train. eat. sleep. repeat.

And let me tell you... it. was. exhausting.

I felt so defeated that by the end of the three months in Texas, I was 10 lb. heavier and while I wouldn't say I was "depressed" (I've struggled with depression before and this was NOTHING compared to that), I definitely wasn't living my highest path and being my most authentic self.

But I didn't realize any of this until I got to Canada and started PLAYING again.

I adopted the motto of 'finding enjoyment in things other than food' and since have found myself playing Frisbee, throwing around a football, writing more, running, and I'm even networking and exploring ways of meeting new friends here in Toronto.

Instead of numbing myself with food and snacks, I've decided to honor and nurture what my inner child is really craving, head on: CONNECTION and CREATIVITY.

Because at the end of the day, feeling full of food will never replace a deep heart-to-heart conversation with a great friend, or the excitement and accomplishment you get from a long run, or the laughs you experience when throwing around a Frisbee or football even though you suck at it.

Life is too short.

Don't numb out.

Figure out what your inner child is truly craving, and fill it will things that don't involve food.

Show up fully, and let the world experience the greatest YOU there is to offer.

Sending you all my love!

xo

Julie

QUESTION OF THE DAY:

What's one activity you can find enjoyment in instead of turning to food? Comment below!

 

 

A Love Letter to My Body

Dear body,

I love you. I really do. 

I'm grateful for every single inch of you: the fact that I can walk, run, lift heavy weights, carry my groceries, walk up the stairs, bend, twist, reach, hug, kiss, touch, hold hands. You've done nothing but provide for me. You've given me the vessel and the flesh to share my gifts with the world in a tangible way. 

So why is it, then, that sometimes I secretly resent you?

Why is it that when I look in the mirror, sometimes I'm unhappy with you? Why are there still times when I wish so badly to change you? To correct you? To make you smaller, or leaner, or shrink down to fit a mold that I've created for you in my mind? 

The truth is: I love you, I do. 

But I've created this image in my mind that YOU are the source of my problems. 

That if I were smaller, leaner - that somehow, life would be better. I would be loved. Accepted. Adored. Wanted.... even more than I am right now.

You see, I've created these false illusions as a cover for what's really going on. 

I've placed so much unfair blame on YOU for my problems - because it's always easier to blame something (or someone) on the outside, than it is to point the finger at what's really the problem: the inside. 

I've come to realize that it's not YOU that I need to work on, my dear body. 

It's my heart.

It's my soul.

It's my belief that I'm worthy. 

I'm sorry that it was so easy to blame you for everything, instead of confronting what I was really fearing in the first place: going inside myself to the root cause of the problem.

So, body, it was never a problem with you, the way you looked, or how you made me feel... it was a problem with my self-worth and my image. 

OF COURSE when I place so much pressure on you to change, you're going to do everything you can to stop me. It's like when your parents tell you not to do something, you do it anyway. Same thing: by me telling you to be smaller, shrink down, get leaner for none of the right reasons, it's only natural to assume that you'd do the opposite of what I wanted.

And that's why you weren't able change much, despite my best efforts. 

Because if you changed, body... if you shrank down to what I believed I wanted you to be: a leaner, smaller version of yourself, I would've never done the real work I needed to do on my self confidence. 

Thank you, body, for showing me what's real.

What's real is that you are perfectly made, just as you are. There are no problems with you. Things I'd like to improve, yes - but not because I'm judging you or hating you, but because I do love you and know your potential. 

I hope you'll forgive me, body. 

I promise to never look at you in the mirror and berate you with negative comments again; or to wear frumpy clothes in an attempt to hide you on days I feel 'bigger'; or hide you with baggy clothes while I'm at the beach; or squeeze, pick, and prod at all the things I believe to be 'wrong' with you and wish so badly you'd change.

Those days are over now. 

This is my promise to you. 

You are my friend. You've always been here to support me, and now... I'm here to support you, too.

I LOVE YOU,

Julie

Know someone who needs a little body positivity?
Share this with them! 

KEY TO SUCCESS: Take Responsibility For Where You Are

The past few days, I’ve been sad.

Let’s rewind and just say that I’ve been more ‘sad’ in the past few months of my life than I ever really have been… even though everything seems perfect from the outside, and even though I know I should be really f*ing grateful for what I have.

My point?

It’s OK to feel sad… even if it’s for no reason.

Life doesn’t always go the way you want or intend it to.

Maybe you traveled somewhere for a job opportunity that didn’t turn out the way you hoped it to.

Maybe you spent days, weeks and months working on a project that isn’t doing as well as you intended it to.

Maybe you’re flat broke and struggling to pay bills despite working hours and hours and hours at something.

Maybe you’ve spent months in the gym but still aren’t where you’d ideally like to be.

I get it. I’ve been in those situations.

 And one thing I’ve learned lately is that in order to overcome them or learn the TRUE lesson behind the challenge you’re facing, you have to take 100% responsibility for where you are right now.

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I know… it’s a gut check. And it’s uncomfortable.

It’s uncomfortable to tell yourself:

-       This project didn’t work out because I didn’t apply myself enough

-       I’m overweight because I chose to eat a lot of food at multiple occasions

-       I don’t have a lot of muscle because I chose to skip the gym when I was tired and feeling lazy

-       I’m broke because I’m not applying my energy in the best way that I possibly can be and I’m wasting time on projects that aren’t in line with what I truly know in my heart I should be pursuing…. Or simply because I’m not working hard enough

Admitting these things are REALLY hard to do, because it’s easier to just blame someone else: someone in your life, a coach, your circumstances, your environment.

Tell me if you’ve ever said anything along the things of these:

“This program didn’t work… I wasted my money and my coach clearly doesn’t know what he/she is doing.” (but really you were drinking on the weekends, eating out multiple times per week, failed to meal prep, and failed to go to the gym the days that were written on your program)

“I’m not making any money… there are no opportunities available to me.” (aka I really didn’t seek out opportunities to make money when they were available to me. I didn’t work hard enough at the opportunities that WERE presented to me.)

“I hate my boss. He/she is out to get me and just makes it miserable to work here.” (aka you’re not as successful as you’d like to be in your job and instead of working harder and trying harder, you choose to place blame on your boss for being the reason you don’t ‘like’ the job you’re doing.)

I’m not placing judgment here – these are all similar things that I’ve thought to myself.

It wasn’t until I took a step back and realized that I am in control of where I am right now.

I am where I am because of every. Single. Decision. I’ve made up until this point in my life.

Sure, some things may not be as I would like them to right now… but that just means the ball is in my court to make a different decision – a decision to change where I am.

Don’t like where you’re living? You don’t have to stay where you are. You are CHOOSING to, for whatever reason. (I understand some of these are valid, but if you are truly miserable… there’s a way around everything).

Don’t like your job? Try harder or get a new one.

Not seeing results in the gym? Try harder to stick to your program and diet.

Here’s another important point:

Take an HONEST assessment of where you are.

You can like ANY job you’re doing, if you’re applying yourself and feel like you’re being rewarded in some way or another… even if it’s not your IDEAL position, it can serve you well and you can benefit greatly from the lessons learned while you are there.

STICK to an exercise program for at least 12 weeks before you hop onto the next one. You could seriously pick almost ANY exercise program online and ANY diet plan (although that’s a lot more shaky, lol)… andyou could see decent results if you were 100% disciplined.

*If you need a GREAT plan that truly does work ;) check out my 12-Week Bikini Body Program or personalized online coaching *shameless plug hehe

 

My point?

 

You are exactly where you are RIGHT NOW because of the choices you’ve made.

As soon as you take responsibility and realize the ball is in your court and YOU have the power to make a change in your life, the sooner you will be happier, more fulfilled and live a life that you’re proud of.

Have courage.

Be strong.

Don’t settle.

And #GSD.

Love you guys!!!

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