This article was first seen on the Huffington Post. For this installment, we are joined by Julia Woodford.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
My name is Julia Woodford, I’m 24 years old, I’m a trainer, lifestyle coach and IFBB Bikini competitor. I have always been very active from a young age. I started competitive gymnastics when I was about 8 years old and continued training and competing throughout my school career.
When I finished school I knew I wanted to be in the fitness industry so I completed my cert 3 & 4 and started personal training as well as coaching kids gymnastics. I started to share my journey on social media and was blown away by the impact I had on people, not just around me but all over the world.
The past year has been so amazing, I have had the opportunity to travel doing what I love and that’s helping motivate and inspire people to live a healthier more active lifestyle.
Where does your motivation come from?
Where does my motivation come from? I get my motivation in the gym! I love the feeling when you have had an awesome workout knowing you have given it everything you’ve got. It’s my escape from the world where I can be with myself and nothing else matters.
This feeling also motivates me to be better every single day not just in the gym but in everything that I do. Also it’s fun! I love meeting new people in a positive environment while working on building a strong healthy body!
As you decided to make a career out of your passion – what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
My biggest stumbling blocks would be the negative self-talk and belief. There are a lot of people in the fitness industry doing what I do, who are very successful which is very motivating but there would be times where I would put things off I have always wanted to do because I had the feeling I wasn’t good enough or why should I bother.
Believing in myself has been a big challenge for me and has taken a while to realise that I am capable of achieving my goals when I’m positive and stop worrying about what others are doing.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
My perspective on the importance of self-care has truly grown the past few months. We need to put our self first in order to boost our own happiness and make others happy. I also believe that the best way to develop personal growth is by self-reflection.
Take the time for you to look back on what you have achieved and what you have faced in your life. This will not only help you become the person you want to be but help you be successful in many things.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
Lift weights they said… It will make girls bulky they said haha. To me strong is everything! Lifting weights will not make you look manly, it will give you a strong, lean, sexy body. Chase the burn ladies.
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
My perspective on educating people healthy nutrition habits is very simple. Don’t over complicate it! People go crazy over these diet plans that they can’t maintain. Eat real food and listen to your body. You don’t have to starve yourself in order to get results. Make small changes that suits your lifestyle and trust me you will get results and keep them.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
An unexpected lesson I have learnt on my health and fitness journey so far is that we all go through hardship at some point in our life. During this time we need to not give up and use the struggle to make us stronger. I have also learnt to keep moving forward no matter what because that’s the direction we are all meant to go.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
To maintain balance in my life I need to have time for myself every day and that’s to train. It not only makes me feel good but it’s a stress release. I think it’s super important to work on you! So whatever it is that makes you feel good…do it every day! I also love to be around empowering people, I’m grateful for my friends and family who support my journey.
How do you stay productive?
I need to keep a diary. I use the calendar in my phone, I write notes every day and tick them off as I go. I am always on the go so this helps me stay on track and get things done!
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Always be true to yourself. Don’t get caught up in the drama of people around you and always surround yourself only with people who lift you up and believe in your dreams!!
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
Breakdown of my current diet, I eat a very clean diet which consists of simple, whole foods. Lots of colours in vegetables, lean protein like chicken and turkey and good fats such as flaxseed oil and avocado. I have previously counted my macros but since I have started listening to my body my results have been better than ever.
I no longer count my calories and spend hours in the kitchen weighing out my meals. I also regularly drink water throughout the day and supplement before and after my workouts. I sip on BCAA’S during my workouts and always have protein post workout to ensure I’m fuelling my muscles and getting the recovery my body needs.
Going into 2017, what are your biggest life goals?
Life goals for 2017! In 2017 I want to fill my passport. I want to continue to travel and connect with people from around the world. I want to make a positive impact on people’s lives and create a legacy around my brand and my passion to help people.
I also want to do the best in everything that I do so to win my PRO card for IFBB Bikini. And to be able to compete overseas would be truly amazing.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?