Transformation Tuesday with Julia

This story is simply inspirational. You all know how passionate I am about the deadly disease cancer. This was evident with my 3 rides (200kms - 124mi) at The Ride To Conquer Cancer events across Australia in 2013. All I can say about Julia, is you are one fighter babe. May God continue to bless you and thank you so much for sharing your fitness journey with us today. You look amazing. Without further adieu, here is Julia's story;

Transformation Tuesday with Julia

How old are you and please can you share your health and fitness journey to date?

I'm 28 and my health and fitness journey has been pretty rocky. I was always chubby as a kid and deeply uncomfortable with my body, then I was 19 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma which was successfully treated with chemotherapy. Having previously taken my health for granted I started getting more interested in health and nutrition, my cancer journey inspiring me to complete a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Science and Certificate of Human Nutrition, qualifying me as an accredited Nutritionist.

Unfortunately in January 2014 we found out that after 9 years of perfect health my cancer had relapsed and I spent the year undergoing more chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Having to build my health and strength back from nothing has been a huge struggle but I refused to let cancer stop me from having the life I want and so have been building up my fitness since finishing treatment in October and have gone from being too tired and unfit to walk around the block to doing hot yoga, circuit training, weights and bike riding. My goals now are to keep building up my strength and flexibility so I can master handstands!

What types of foods did you used to eat as a kid and young adult? What's changed since then?

My mother is an AMAZING cook so while we ate relatively healthy meals my portion sizes we way too big. I also have an unhealthy obsession with cheese and find it very difficult to manage portions when it's around! Realising my passion for nutrition and following that path of study taught me so much about really nourishing the body with appropriate food and portions and I love passing everything I know onto anyone who is interested.

Do you play any sports or what sports do you like watching?

I have played netball nearly every year since I was 10 but have been having a break since fracturing my ankle in late 2013 and then dealing with cancer all of 2014. I also love cycling and am willing to give any sport a go! (though my propensity for tripping over my own feet often makes things difficult)

What are your interests, passion and what makes you smile?

My passions are health and fitness - particularly nutrition - and cooking; I LOVE cooking. Having a husband who can eat anything he wants without gaining weight provides a perfect outlet for all my culinary adventures and he's very patient with me when I insist on photographing all our meals before he can eat them!

The biggest passions and blessings in my life are my husband Chris and my daughter Scarlett; they are the loves of my life and inspire me every day. They are the reason I get up in the morning and the reason I refused to let cancer beat me.

What was the catalyst that sparked your lifestyle change?

Dealing with cancer at a young age was a blessing in disguise - it allowed me to really evaluate what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be at an age when most people are excited just to be able to legally buy a drink. It gave me the self-belief and courage to drop out of my uni course and follow my passion for nutrition. Dealing with cancer again has only further strengthened my resolve to change the world, one plate at a time, by showing how easy and delicious it can be to properly nourish your body,

I feel it's my duty as a cancer survivor to make a positive difference in the world in honour of all the cancer sufferers who weren't able to make it through.

What are some of your dreams/goals you hope to achieve over the next 12 months?

Over the next 12 months I want to release a series of ebooks to help people cook easy, delicious meals and to help everyday people understand what nutrition really means, as well as how to sift through the endless stream of often conflicting information regarding health, fitness and nutrition.

I also want to go to my follow up Doctors appointments as the healthiest transplant patient he's ever seen so my husband and I are given the all clear to start IVF!

What tips would you like to share with my readers about your transformation?

Never give up! Rebuilding my fitness back from nothing, and I mean nothing, was so frustrating and often I would end up in tears during a workout because my body couldn't do any of the things it did so easily before. But I kept on trying, even if all I could do was walk around the block that day it was still helping me get stronger.

Also that nutrition is SO important when it comes to changing your body - you can't out-train a bad diet but you CAN use nutrition to overcome a lack of training. Forget the shakes, pills, detox teas and other fads and put your energy into learning how to fuel and nourish your body properly.

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Thanks again Julia for joining us on Transformation Tuesday and for those that wish to share their new fit and healthy journey, please visit us here. I would love to feature you!

XxDani