Julia is no stranger to getting wrapped up in society's beauty standards and feeling like "skinny was better than everything." This time of year is an especially sensitive time for girls and women, with it being New Year's, so Julia posted this before and after to her Instagram account as a heartfelt warning to other girls.
She says, "before you make another New Years resolution to lose weight, take a moment to consider your happiness and mental health." She notes that in the photo on the left, she was "super lean and fit into the smallest size of everything," but she wasn't happy with the way she looked. "I was constantly worried I looked 'too big' in one way or another."
Julia hated the gym, saying, "I just saw the treadmill as a requirement." And more importantly she says, "was my mental health in check? No. I was anxious about every meal, tired all the time, and driven by calories in versus calories out."
Things have changed. Julia says, "Now, I'm happy. I don't ever weigh myself (haven't gotten on the scale in over 6 months!), I eat when I'm hungry, and I enjoy my life. I say YES to going out to dinner, something I hated to do before." Julia adds, "I'm more present socially and emotionally and think about bigger things than how what I'm going to eat may or may not affect my weight."
So heed Julia's warning and take her advice. "I think it is wonderful if your goal is to become healthy and strong. Just don't get caught up in society's standards of beauty that say thinnest is best." Focus on taking care of yourself, being happy, healthy, and kind to yourself, and aim to love yourself unconditionally. Those are amazing 2018 goals!