I graduated college weighing in at 250+ pounds and through dieting I lost 45 pounds and I struggled to lose the last 40-50. It was a constant internal struggle to keep going when I was not seeing the results I wanted. In all honestly I probably was not getting the most efficient workout and not eating the right foods.

In 2015 I set a goal to commit to1 year of working out and clean eating. Thankfully the ME vs ME Strength Program launched that year and I was one of the first to sign up.

The ME vs ME Program was a real game changer. In addition to strength training and conditioning there was a personal development component. Each week I had homework that was intended to deal with body image issues. I did not realize how many issues I had until we started to discuss our homework with each other after class. As the weeks went on I began to notice that I was not alone in my thoughts and feelings. I learned that the women in class who I thought had it all together struggled with their body image.

The ME vs ME Program was a real game changer. In addition to strength training and conditioning there was a personal development component.

At some point early into the program I decided not to beat myself up over a bad workout or food choice; it is good to acknowledge it but then I had to move on. Eating a cupcake is not the end of the world as long as it is not an every day food choice. Life is all about finding the right balance for your goals and recognizing that as the goal changes so does the method to create balance.

There are so many voices and forces in the media that have entered into our subconscious that allow us to easily to tear ourselves down if we do not stand up to them. Strength training has become my escape the negativity of the day. It is so easy to tune out the world when I have my weights and workout that I leave the gym with a better perspective.

In 2015 I lost 48 pounds and 19.75 inches overall but what I gained in physical strength and emotional aptitude far outweighs the pounds and inches lost. I hit a point in early 2016 where I stopped using a scale because I stopped losing pounds and started to destroy inches. As I continued to improve my strength and endurance, my confidence and body image improved.

Life is all about finding the right balance for your goals and recognizing that as the goal changes so does the method to create balance.

I have come to accept that I will always have loose skin and stretch marks from when I was heavy but that should not stop me from feeling proud of my accomplishments. I have come a long way from where I was and for the first time in my life I was confident enough to wear a 2 piece bathing suit. I didn’t care what others thought of my body because I am proud of it. In the back of my mind I reminded myself that I may not have society’s perfect body but I can push ups, pull ups, squats and burpees with ease which is more than what the average person can do.

Strength training, conditioning and healthy eating are not a destination point so I continue my journey of personal development with an astounding coach (Beth) and incredible community of supporters.

- Julie L.