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One of our Rhinos recommended Brene Brown Ted Talks to me. One of them was about the power of vulnerability. So I’m going to share some of my more vulnerable thoughts on weight loss, self-worth, and finding our happiness.
I used to be on a quest to lose weight and find the right man. I built my business around my own personal struggles with weight loss and had one long-term relationship after another. A decade later, my focus has shifted. Now, I’m on a quest to build the healthiest, strongest, most agile body I can personally. I’m also learning as much as I can about people (and their lives) to see how I can help them. I’ve been single now for 2 months and it has been a time of happily learning and working. I’ve had many epiphanies over the last couple months that I’m going to share with you in this email.
Those of you who have been getting my emails for a long time know that I’ve struggled with insecurities in the past about myself and my weight. I always thought if I could keep the weight off, I would be happy. But then when I would lose weight, I would be unhappy with other aspects of my appearance. For the first 11 years that I owned Camp Rhino and Boot Camp Las Vegas, I refused to change my nutrition. I was addicted to food and insisted on working out hard while eating whatever I wanted. The focus was on trying to lose weight, not trying to feel good. The Rhino 6 Week Challenge in 2015 changed everything for me. I was at a place where I knew I needed to eat healthy in order to keep the weight off. I didn’t realize that losing weight through healthy eating AND exercise would open up a whole new world for me. In the past, if I ate ‘bad’ I would punish myself with double workouts. With the challenge, I started FUELING my body for my workouts with ‘good’ whole food. I started feeling good for the first time in my life. My energy was sky-high from morning until night. I developed an interest in life and not just food. I started enjoying work and problem-solving. I no longer had a fog in my brain and I developed a fresh love for my fellow humans.
Every time I host the 6 Week Challenge introduction workshop, I share my story. During one of the last few intros, I had a realization in the middle of it…the reason I suddenly had an un-paralleled love for everyone else was that I finally loved myself.
I was trying to figure out where this self-love came from. Was it eating healthy for the first time? Probably. Was it taking control of my food addiction for the first time? Probably. Was it feeling good for the first time? Probably. But there was something else.
All my life, I had a plan. I was going to get married, have kids, and own a business while somehow being a supermom. From 25-30 I thought, “I need to hurry up and find my significant other so I can have kids!” From 30-33.5, I thought, “He needs to hurry up and marry me so we can have kids!” Trying to follow my plan was inadvertently affecting my self-worth. I was valuing myself by my biological clock. My most recent boyfriend was younger, and I was always very self-conscious of that. I would do the math and realize that time was running out.
Now, I’m in a completely different place. I’m following my own path. I truly feel fulfilled by all of my Rhinos who call me the ‘Mother of Rhinos.’ I feel fulfilled by having family such as my brothers, whom I helped take care of when they were younger. Recently I’ve been enjoying my friendships more than I ever have. I feel like I could be where I am right now forever and be happy. I’m not searching for anything other than knowledge, friendships, and ways to help my members overcome the traumas and fears in their lives through nutrition, exercise, and a happy sanctuary to go to (Camp Rhino).
I was fortunate to have a one-on-one conversation with my Grandma Cox a few days ago. She is an amazing woman who raised 4 kids with my Grandpa, and was a solid rock for the family, whether they were dirt poor or crop-rich farmers. Farmers can be poor one second and seemingly rich the next, but there is a lot of risk all the time. She is witty, charming, ladylike, and always has her hair done. I broached the subject of me possibly being single forever and just enjoying the family I have – my parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and rhinos. I was prepared for her to tell me that family is everything and to not give up on having my own. Instead she said “It’s not necessary to follow a cookie-cutter life and be the same as everyone else. You can follow your own path and be just as happy.” She has no idea what this conversation meant to me.
If you’re still reading, this email was written to all of you who are striving towards a goal or a dream that may not be your own. It’s okay to fail, it’s okay to not have a perfect marriage, perfect kids, or a perfect job. It’s okay to drop out of college or choose a different path. The bottom line is to try to become the best you can be, while loving your family and being good to others in your life. Sometimes our life plans cause us to settle because we are afraid of the unknown. Once you learn to love yourself, the rest seems to fall into place.
I hope to meet with all of you one-on-one at some point to hear your stories! Please keep the emails coming, I love to read them!
<3, Julie
I recently opened up time slots for ‘happiness meetings‘ for all of you members to come talk to me whenever possible so I can learn more about you. I also have ‘No Sweat Intros‘ for those of you who are locals and haven’t worked out in a long time or are brand new. I’ll be putting up more times in the Northwest, but for now, the meetings at HQ are with me, and the NW meetings are with Anna, our nutritionist and co-happiness coordinator. At the meetings, we set goals and I get to learn more about you and the obstacles that keep you from reaching your goals.