Revisiting The Year of Confidence

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Back at the start of 2019, I decided that I wanted to stop wasting my time with feeling insecure and less than. In 2018 I found myself scrolling on instagram, feeling like I didn’t have enough or wasn’t enough, and I began placing blame on others. It’s a pretty common cycle. We do it all the time as humans. We see something that someone else has, it makes us feel inferior, so we try to make ourselves feel better by saying something negative or telling ourselves we could never have that. Then the rabbit hole of despair begins. It’s a real bitch.

So at the beginning of January 2019, I vowed to make a change. I wrote down the five steps that had helped me move past some of those insecurities to become happier and healthier. And I hoped that those words would help you do the same. Since we are already half way through the year, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on how these steps have helped me improve myself, and what other steps I’m taking to move past a few lurking insecurities that still pop up. I’m going to lightly gloss over the 5 steps I shared in my January post, but if you want to read them more in depth, click here.

Step 1 – Compliment yourself.

  • This was in my first post and it’s still my #1 technique to improve self confidence. It’s amazing what you can talk your brain into believing. Which means if you constantly tell yourself that you suck, you aren’t good looking, you’re not smart enough, or you don’t belong – your brain will believe it. But if you turn this around and start telling your brain the complete opposite of what you think in that moment, it will begin to believe that, as well!
    • Example – When I look in the mirror and I see that I have gained weight (which happens almost every week depending on my eating habits), I’ll quickly jump in my brain and tell myself that I’m pathetic for not sticking to my clean eating habits and that I look disgusting. I’m pretty mean. But nowadays I’ll actually cut myself off mid thought and I’ll tell myself (even out loud sometimes) that I’m so proud of myself, my progress, and the hard work I’ve put in over the years. Then I walk away and get to work. Life is too busy for self depreciation.

Step 2 – Acceptance. 

  • This is a new step that I’ve been working HARD at. Because it’s definitely a fine line kind of step. I’m trying to work on accepting things that I may not love about myself, while still working hard on them in the meantime. But accepting things I don’t have much control over has really given me freedom in the moment.
    • Example – Cellulite. These little dimples have had control over me ever since I got my period at 12 and womanhood showed me that cellulite would now be a part of my life forever. I’ve always felt like people wouldn’t see me as a true athlete or a good coach/trainer because I had cellulite. I still even feel like people won’t want to follow me on social media for inspiration because why would they ever be inspired by someone who has so much cellulite. These are the thoughts that go through my head every single week, especially during the summer when swimsuits and shorts come out.
    • I wouldn’t say this is a step I have mastered yet, but I’ve gotten much better at it in 2019. I used to look in the mirror and feel so defeated by it, but I’ve been able to push through those negative thoughts and move on with my day. This means more freedom in life. Like enjoying a stunning beach in the Bahamas. My SIL snapped this photo below while traveling a few weeks ago and I almost immediately erased it. But to me, that’s just enhancing the problem. So here the photo is. I still see cellulite, but I also see a woman who isn’t covering up, staying in, and missing out on life’s adventures because of her insecurities. And that’s a pretty freeing feeling.

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Step 3 – Looking in the Mirror.

  • This step is actually different than what you may think it is. In my previous post, I talked about unfollowing accounts that made you feel insecure. But sometimes I feel like that may just be masking the issue at hand. Instead of just ignoring those feelings, it can sometimes be beneficial to look those insecurities in the face – aka your mirror.
    • Example – I have unfollowed a few accounts of some women out there that make me feel inferior. I look at their page and I see the perfect life, the perfect body, no cellulite, etc. etc. At the time, unfollowing them was the best thing for me. But as I’ve moved past some of my own insecurities, I’m able to look in the mirror instead of at that person. Before I would look at that person and feel less than, but now I’m able to look at these women and say, “Fuck yeah, you’re crushing it. Good for you, girl!”
    • If someone online is making you feel insecure just by living their life, it may be a good time to take a step back, look in the mirror, and understand why YOU are feeling that way. And it often has to do with what you need to work on with yourself.

Step 4 – Stay in your lane.

  • This definitely plays in to step 4. It’s so easy for us to judge, especially when we have feelings of insecurity, but if you can put your head down, put in the work, and concentrate on yourself – those judgmental thoughts will quickly dissipate because you won’t have time for them. You’ll be concentrating too much on yourself, your business, your family, your empire, and even your legacy.
    • Example – When I begin to find myself thinking a negative thought about someone else, I reflect once again on myself, and remind myself – good for them, not for me. It’s definitely not something I’ve mastered yet, but I’m getting better at it.
    • Real life example – In a podcast a while back, I talked sh*t about someone I didn’t really even know. Well luckily some people told on me and I had to take responsibility for my negativity. I took the guy out to lunch to apologize and then I reflected on why I even had those feelings in the first place. I couldn’t quite nail down why I was feeling negative about this stranger, but I was able to remind myself to stay in my lane. Wasting negative thoughts and feelings on a stranger just leads to more negativity in my own life and less productivity. Stay in your lane, girl.

Step 5 – Be happy for others.

  • This step is simple, but it’s huge. If we can learn to be happy for others, especially when their happiness is something we would like to have ourselves OR their happiness is something we don’t understand, we will open up the possibility for happiness within our own lives.
    • I have about a million examples for this one, so it’s hard to choose which one to write down. One that pops in my head currently is seeing people’s giant homes on instagram. Before I would quickly wonder how everyone affords these homes then think about how they must be house poor. Why? Because it made me feel better about my own small home. That’s stupid.
    • Real life example – Just last night while scrolling through instagram, I saw a woman who just bought this stunning home. Right away I thought about how she could afford it. Then I stopped myself and said, “Good for her. That place is stunning.” I felt genuine happiness for a person who is going through a happy time in their own life. And that feeling was incredibly freeing.

For some, confidence comes easy. But for most, it takes work. Daily work. It takes reflecting on yourself, working on yourself, and moving past negative thoughts that you feel about yourself AND others. If you’re feeling insecure or unhappy, just know that there is freedom from that. It just takes work. But you got this! Take a look at some of these steps and start with one. As you get better and better at that one step, then you can move on to the next! Remember, these are steps that have worked for me. But if you need a little extra help and guidance, finding a professional such as a therapist can be incredibly beneficial. Find what works for you and get after! A happy life is a way more fun life to live.

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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32 thoughts on “Revisiting The Year of Confidence”

  1. This post gave me goosebumps!! I have been reading your blog from the very beginning and it is so obvious how much you have grown and changed and become more confident. I am so proud of you for posting that pic and FYI the cellulite is so small – but I know in our own heads it looks huge. Keep at it!!

    1. awwwwww thank you so much for following along for so long! it’s definitely been a windy road along the way so it’s always fun to hear from people who have been there throughout! thanks so the love Jamie!

  2. Not sure this makes you feel better or not, but that picture is SO refreshing. I’ve had you as my phone background for ab/muscle inspiration. I look at your older pictures when you were competing and can commiserate so well with your “inflamed” body. Thanks to you—I don’t beat myself over missing workouts, I prioritize sleep and spending time with loved ones, I cook your recipes/daily meals all. the. time., and I slowly over the years feel more confident in myself.

    Your butt looks incredible, but your legs look even better. I know they’re an insecurity of yours, but damn they look good.

    Just want to say as a girl who always has had such a difficult time accepting my legs– following you and seeing you change your body and mindset has helped me be proud of the body I have.

    The cellulite is way smaller than you think and I think it’s a really flattering photo of you.

    I’ve been using these steps in my life and can feel a real change in myself. On those really crappy days, please remember that there are plenty of women who are inspired by you and are grateful for your openness.

    1. that’s absolutely amazing LW! so cool to hear that some of those steps have helped you as well! thank you so much for the love and kind words!! so cool to be able to connect with women out there and help out in some small way with their own transformation!!

  3. How do you always know what to say, when I really need to hear it!? Looking in the mirror and saying positive things to myself is something I REALLY struggle with, I told myself back in January this had to end, and instead I’d focus on building more strength and confidence. I’ve had some friendships with women who didn’t make me feel good about myself, and have since pulled back on how close I once was with them. Step 3 reminded me that maybe that isn’t the solution, but looking at myself with love and affection should be. I’m so grateful to have found your blog, and admire everything you do to be realistic and put yourself out there, knowing it isn’t easy. Lastly, you look absolutely stunning in this photo, if you had posted it like a regular photo in a post I would have first thought, damn I love that suit! Keep doing you girl!

    1. it’s definitely a balance. you have to find the people out there that make you feel your best while also doing it yourself. keep working on those daily positive affirmations!!

  4. THANK. YOU. FOR. THIS. Amazing timing. I’m an actor and I’m currently in a show that requires me to wear a bathing suit onstage. In my costume fitting, they asked if I wanted to wear shorts to “cover up,” and at first I thought I was supposed to say yes, but then I was like, FUCK THAT. I would never wear shorts over my bathing suit at the beach. I’m not gonna wear shorts in this show. Because like…cover what, exactly? If peeps are gonna be looking at my thighs jiggle a little bit rather than watch the frickin show, that’s on them, ya know?

    And it’s so much to do with perspective, too. I wish for a day we could all see ourselves the way our best friends see us. This post is such a great lesson in allowing ourSELVES to be those “best friends” and love on ourselves.

    As always, you’re the best.

    1. thanks Jodi!! and good for you for feeling that way and saying FUCK THAT! it will take many people to change the narrative and perspective on women’s bodies but sharing their own real bodies, and that’s exactly what you’re doing onstage in that bathing suit! keep kicking ass!

  5. Your increase in self-confidence and self-care has led to my own increase in self-confidence. It might sound so backwards and bizarre to say, but the fact that you look SO fit and fantastic and still have (a very small amount of) cellulite has led me to say fuck it, Juli looks bomb-ass, works out way harder, eats right, and still has cellulite, so why should I waste any time worrying about it or feeling bad? I can do everything “right” and STILL have cellulite!! It’s genetic, and 90-98% of women (depending on the source cited) have cellulite. THAT’S DAMN NEAR EVERYONE!! So instead of focusing on the cellulite I can’t change anyway, I work on making my arms looked toned and fabulous. That’s something I CAN change! I now wear sleeveless blouses to work every day because I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked to make my arms look nice – and believe me, they are nothing special, but to me, my arms are a symbol of hope and success!

    Thank you for posting a real, untouched photo. You look AMAZING, and you are also helping women by not providing a false, unrealistic, and unattainable airbrushed/Photoshopped body. You are posting a REAL body, and your REAL body is fantastic! You’re beautiful on the inside and out. Go, Juli!

    1. thank you for the support, Bethany!! i feel the same way when women I follow share their own untouched photos! it can be so inspiring to see others out there feeling the same way I do and still living their best lives!

  6. Love this post! I’ve been feeling less than confident lately- some weight gain due to premenopausal bullshit, and every damn person I know comparing me to my husbands ex wife. I have to remind myself of my good qualities once in awhile!

  7. Brooke McClelland

    Love this post!! Love everything about it and it’s a great reminder for everyone. It’s so easy to get caught in the rabbit hole of social media and get down on yourself. Thank you for this today, it was needed. As women (and men) we are all so hard on ourselves, comparing ourselves to everything we see online. We are all so different, beautiful and amazing, in so many different ways!

    Also, you look fucking fantastic! Can’t wait for the next recipe that I know I’ll love! Keep on keeping on Juli! Cheers!

    1. it’s such a rabbit hole! it’s amazing how hard we are on ourselves when we are never actually that hard on anyone else out there. being our own biggest fans is the best way to live life!

  8. Wow…I have been following you for quite a while and just when I think I have read your best post ever you drop a bomb like this one. So much goodness in this! I moved to Hawaii four years ago with a not so healthy body image. With a passion for surfing I decided to let it go, my dysmorphia wasn’t going to be the reason I didn’t enjoy the very reason I moved here. Fast forward and you will now find me running around all day with nearly nothing on, truly enjoying life. Rather than wonder if people are looking at me wondering what “that girl is doing wearing a bikini” I like to think they are wondering what is making that girl so freaking happy and smile so big.

    Keep crushing it Juli!!

    1. that’s amazing, Amanda!! finally getting to that point is what so many people strive for, and you’re living it!! and probably inspiring other women along the way! good work Amanda!!

  9. This post resonated with me so much. We always show our best face on social media. People usually don’t post the bad things going on in their lives. I think everyone will go through battles in life, they just may be different than yours. I think you look absolutely amazing and love your honesty and frankness. You’re rocking it in that bikini! Just remember that a lot of people probably envy your life and success. Your blog inspires a lot of people. One key that I have found is getting out of my confront zone because it allows you to grow and accomplish more and more. Love your blog!

  10. You are an inspiration and it’s funny -I look at you and see nothing but confidence , beauty inside and out! I love how you keep it real and share these things you struggle with, as we all do ! Social media can make us feel like everyone’s life is perfect -and it’s really just a curated view. Love your honesty!! ❤️❤️

  11. Katherine Hopkins

    I know this wasn’t a recipe but I gave it 5 stars. I have realized lately that I cannot change mistakes from my past and that I must be present in life and in love if I ever want a shot at truly being happy. This is a DAILY meditation for me. Especially when stressed. The intrusive thoughts come in and I start to think that I do not deserve to be where I am at. I have made too many mistakes in life, I am a poor mother, I need to apply myself more to my workouts, HOW DARE I EAT THAT DONUT AND THEN SKIP MY WORKOUT…. makes me smile and laugh thinking about that. I turn 31 tomorrow and I think that I will take some of your words here and make it my best year yet. I am starting to realize that it’s all a process. You are wonderful and P.S. all of your recipes are an absolute hit with my boyfriend and family. Keep em coming!!! Killing it girl!

    1. it’s definitely all a process. a process that continues to build and get easier with hard work. so all this meditation and positive changes will continue to build and get easier with time as you become happier and happier. thanks so much for leaving a comment Katherine!

  12. I am so thankful for your willingness to be so vulnerable! I was trying to come up with something else to say but I think all the women before me have worded it perfectly! You have been an inspiration of mine in business, workouts, body, recipes, etc and at times I’ve felt intimidated that I will never measure up. Funny how we’re all just going through the same things!

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