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5 Reasons 2: Make an Introduction!

Hello! My name is Julie and I am one of the newest Contributors to the 5reasons2 Community. Below you can get to know me a little better as I share the beginnings of my personal wellness story with you.

Throughout my life I have taken many journeys but none more special than the journey into wellness and fitness. I was never the most active child. I liked my Barbie’s and American Girl Dolls, playing dress up and pretend in the basement with my sisters. As I got older computer games and Xbox replaced the Barbie’s and dress up clothes and the word “exercise” was something that got an eye roll. I did play volleyball all throughout grade school into my freshman year of high school but then traded my kneepads in for character shoes.

The older I got the more I struggled with my weight, my confidence, and insecurities. These insecurities and lack of confidence stemmed from any early age, being bullied by the girls and some boys from my catholic grade school. Not only was I quiet, I was also a little chubby which made me an easy target in the classroom and on the school bus. I held all of these emotions inside and didn’t let them out until they bubbled to the top in tears.

By the time I got to high school, I found MY people (who are still some of my best people today) and I started to come out of the dark. I felt accepted and happy, happy enough to begin to focus on the parts of me that I wanted to make better.

My journey into wellness came my senior year as I decided to give up sweets for Lent. In the Catholic religion, Lent is meant to be a time of personal sacrifice to honor the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us. And what was the ultimate sacrifice for me? Giving up chocolate. The 40 days of Lent passed and I had slimmed down, started to run, and decided that exercising thing was something I could actually enjoy and get in to.

When I entered college at ‘THE’ Ohio State University I gained the most amazing gym access the BIG Ten had to offer. I started to go to the gym everyday, taking cycling classes, experimenting with lifting weights, I even took a few yoga classes

(I definitely wasn’t the yogi I am today back then). This daily routine became my lifestyle; in combination with healthy eating habits (even with a natty fueled Saturday) the famous freshman 15lbs never found me. I worked with a personal trainer on my summers off and gained the physical and nutritional tools I needed to better my strength and health. I kept a journal for mental wellness, logged my workouts, and enjoyed my 4 years to the max!

After I graduated, I joined a gym and continued my daily grind but after a while began to feel burned out and lost interest. I wanted to do more, I wanted to be pushed more, but how? That’s when I found System of Strength. I started going to System of Strength as a way to build strength back up in my shoulder after an accident in a yoga class.

Soon after I started attending System of Strength classes, my world was turned upside down by the announcement that the fashion brand I worked for, La Senza, was being sold. To help me deal with the stress and worry I threw myself into more classes, embracing the studios mantra of being a System of Strength for everyone that walks through the doors in both good and bad times. You leave your highs and lows at the door and focus on you and only you for an hour. And with how truly challenging these workouts can be you can’t really think of anything but “uh did you say 10 more reps??”.

Such a small part of your day can have the biggest impact.

Working out is therapy. It builds physical and mental strength and makes you focus on bettering yourself. Embracing who you are and the journey to make yourself the best version you can be. That’s what you will find here on the wellness page. Inspiration on where to start if you are lost, tools to use if you are on the journey, or validation that you have reached your final destination (or want to walk down a new path).

I look forward to joining you wherever you are on the path and walking along with you as we better our mental and physical selves.

See you soon


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