The day I decided to take my life back was on September 01, 2010. I weighed 174 pounds. I was angry, bitter, in denial and found it very easy to point the finger at everyone else for everything I was going through at the time. Being a single mother of two young children I didn’t
The day I decided to take my life back was on September 01, 2010. I weighed 174 pounds. I was angry, bitter, in denial and found it very easy to point the finger at everyone else for everything I was going through at the time. Being a single mother of two young children I didn’t have the funds nor the time to make it to a gym… so I decided to start at home. I began running up and down my staircase after my children would go to sleep and would perform simple exercises using my own body weight. I also started to eat healthier and cut out sugar almost instantly. After 12 weeks I lost 21 pounds.
It was shortly after this that I discovered clean eating (eating wholesome unprocessed foods) and strength training and this is when the physical changes really began to show. I have to admit I was nervous picking up the dumbbells but I wanted to tone and knew that this would be the only way to get into the shape I envisioned.
After about 5 months of clean eating and strength training I lost a total of 57 pounds and surpassed my weight loss goal of 35 pounds. I wanted to see what my body was capable of so I decided to sign up for the CN Tower Stair Climb in November 2011 and finished the climb in 15 minutes.
What started off as simply posting progress pictures on Facebook to share with my friends and to be able to track my own progress, people began asking me to help them. I attained my personal training certificate and became certified in January 2012 and followed that certification up with becoming a Nutrition Specialist. This is when I started my business which was originally named The Miss Fit Girl. It’s now ValenciaFitness.com.
I than decided that before the end of 2012 I would sign up for a figure competition. I was pretty determined to make sure that the training for the competition would be accomplished in my home – the same way I was able to accomplish my journey up to that point. It was definitely one of the most challenging experiences in my life. To train for a figure competition requires major self-discipline and self-motivation. There were many sacrifices made for both my children and I throughout this 14 week journey but they were my biggest motivation and my own personal cheerleading squad. The intent for this particular competition is to lose body fat and for women, it’s very hard to accomplish when your body fat percent goal is anywhere between 8-11%. But I was able to reach my goal (again surpassing it by reaching a body fat % of 7) and won in three categories with the International Drug Free Athletics Association at their World Championships on November 03 2012. I then became a Figure Competition Coach.
It was shortly after my competition when I began getting inquiries about online training. One of my first clients was a woman residing in Las Vegas, Nevada – she is actually a great friend today. Since then I’ve had over 75 online clients I have worked with.
The biggest challenge I experienced throughout my journey and had to learn to get over were the thoughts in between my ears – I was so negative and had to really work on my mindset and the thoughts I was feeding myself daily. I’ve learned so much about who I am and I really have learned to appreciate myself and the gifts I was given from the Creator to help others.
Despite moving ahead with my mind set, the two year journey leading up to the competition was difficult. Everything and everyone that surrounded my life seemed to slowly crash. My relationship ended, I lost my job and was forced to go on welfare. I could not have hit more rock bottom. I can honestly without a doubt say that my lifestyle change saved my life. I don’t believe I would have been able to handle the downs so smoothly if I hadn’t started to focus on myself.
Today, everything I do is a reflection of health. I eat very healthy and supplement my food with superfoods and high quality nutrients and I know that I will never go back to the way I was before – down, angry and depressed.
Julia Valencia is a band member of the Attawapiskat First Nation. Check out her personal trainer website at www.valenciafitness.com for more information about her story and her work.1 comment