Julie Wilson lost and gained the same pounds for years. Finally, she decided to take a new approach. One night she made a quiet vow to her young daughter, asked for strength from God and then took baby steps toward her goal. After losing 100 pounds, now Julie is helping others.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I always ate very fast and my portions were out of control. I didn’t know how to eat “one” of anything. While I have always loved vegetables, they were few and far between. I remember coming home after middle school and eating a box of macaroni and cheese for a snack along with two hot dogs. Then, I would eat dinner.
I was an athlete in middle school and high school, playing basketball, soccer, and throwing shot put – so I justified my eating. In high school, I got a job at McDonald’s where I worked for 5 years and gained 80 lbs.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? On December 12, 2010, I looked at my newborn daughter and promised her I would be an example for her. I had to do this for good.
How did you lose the weight? I started by tracking my food on My Fitness Pal. As time went on, I realized I needed to change the types of food I was eating. I ate smaller portions, drank more water, and started exercising.
What diet and exercise methods did you employ? I started my journey differently than my previous attempts. I vowed to keep my faith in God and trust him for strength. I tracked my food, pushed the baby in the stroller, did Taebo videos at home, and found a love for running. After losing 80 pounds, I joined a gym.
Did you have any “ah ha” moments? Two years after holding my loss of 80 pounds, I realized that my fears in my life, socially and physically all centered on my belief in myself. I was so fearful about new situations, making phone calls, interacting with others, and attempting big goals. I’ve learned how to live a life of freedom.
Biggest struggle in your journey? It’s been four years since the beginning of my journey and I still have so many daily battles with food. The biggest struggle for me is eating on the weekend. I have learned how to get back on track when I fall off, and that has helped me stay focused on the journey.
Biggest triumphs? I completed my first full marathon on October 18,2014! I ran the entire race with a time of 5 hours and 37 minutes. At one time, I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile, but that day I ran 26.2 miles.
Current/future goals? I do plan to run my first Spartan race with teammates from my obstacle course racing team – The Cornfed Spartans. It’s a group made up of 3,000 people across the world.
When I started my journey, Austin Andrews from The Biggest Loser (Season 11) was one of my biggest inspirations. Years later, we connected on Twitter. Now I work for Ken and Austin Andrews at RetrofitMinistries.com overseeing challenges while helping others find hope and lose weight.