We spoke with Julia Dalton-Brush, CEO and founder of Fit Journey. Her website is a resource for people interested in getting back into fitness, or into fitness for the first time. We found out how she got back on the workout wagon, where to find motivation when you need it most, and the best sports bra for big boobs.
What makes Fit Journey different than other fitness sites?
I think it’s the fact that we have everything on our site to help you wherever you are in your fit journey! A lot of phenomenal fitness sites target those who are already super fit, some are only resources with articles and videos, and others have amazing blogs that follow incredible people, but we have it all! I am also very honest in my personal journey, the bad days, good days, the absolutely kick ass killer top dog days, they are all on there. We also have our Foundation video series which sets us apart. In the series we break down any workout, fitness class and nutrition question and explain how it is done so that our readers don’t need to feel anxious or nervous to try something new.
How would you describe your personal Fit Journey?
Like every fit journey, it was a struggle at first. But, I think that’s what it is supposed to be. You’re supposed to be insanely out of breath your first run… or how I remember it, my first “feet dragging on the ground shuffle session”. And it was incredibly defeating at first, because I had all these grandiose ideas that I would be an Olympian by the second week… and I wasn’t. But then I allowed myself to just be proud for each day I made the effort, and it made it so much easier.
I’ve always been an athlete, but I only really feel fit when I’m in a workout routine. I know it’s in me, but unfortunately, that alone doesn’t make me feel fit (or maybe fortunately, because then I’d never ever work out!). Also, I changed my mentality when I started, and it really helped me go from feeling fat to feeling fit. My motto is “I used to be fat, but now I’m in training”. Because regardless of where you are on your fit journey, your headed in the right direction.
What makes you qualified to lead people towards getting fit?
I grew up training. So whether it was baseball, softball, basketball, weight training, crew or boxing, I was always training for something, and always learning more about how the body trains and how it works. I have had some of the most inspirational athletes (and inspirational people in general) in my life, and I try to take what they’ve taught me to help myself and others. I also have some of the greatest trainers, nutritionists and health professionals in my corner to help guide me and my community along our fit journeys.
You’re helping people within your community support each other. Was there a time when you felt you lacked support?
I have been exceptionally lucky in my life to have found incredible friends, to have amazing family and to have my beyond supportive husband. That being said, I think that whenever you start a new endeavor, there are always people in your life whose reactions aren’t what you expected. People who are very close in your world and just because they may not agree with what you are doing, can all of a sudden stop supporting you and that can be hard and it can be lonely feeling. That is definitely something that I have dealt with through different times in my life.
Some people think eating healthy means having salads all day. Do you feel deprived or hungry?
I never feel deprived or hungry! People tend to mix up dieting and healthy living. There is “going on a diet” and there is “changing your diet” and those are two very different things. There’s no need to only eat salads all day because you can find and make healthier versions of the all foods you love, and eventually (if not right away) you will actually start enjoying those much more.
It may take a little time, but when you remove the over sugared and over salted foods from your life, your palette adjusts and you start enjoying the flavours of real food, and that is an amazing thing! So, do I eat salads? Of course, and I enjoy them, but I also enjoy plenty of other delicious and filling foods that are healthy without feeling bored or deprived.
What’s your favourite healthy recipe?
I am a huge egg salad fan, but with all the mayo it is just too unhealthy. So, when I started making it with avocado, non-fat greek yogurt and lemon juice, it changed my life. It’s still not something I’ll eat all the time, but once or twice a week it is an incredible meal.
What’s your biggest temptation? How do you handle it?
I am a huge chips person. I love baked BBQ chips and there are days that I really crave them. But then I do this crazy thing- I sit with myself for five minutes. When you take a minute to think about why you’re craving something, or if you’re even actually hungry, you tend not to want it anymore! Am I saying I never break? Of course not, but when I take the time to think about it for a minute, it changes everything.
What were you doing before this?
I was, and still am, a successful makeup artist in New York City.
What song always gets you pumped up?
I have a few, but from my boxing days to now still, B.O.B. – Outkast. That song is perfect for pumping me up, but also has the best jump roping beat.
Your favourite workout clothes that hold boobs and for real bodies?
I love the Base Neccessities’ BP Plus Shock Absorber bra. But, I also love the sports tops that have a built in bra. Paired with a good sports bra, I can run, jump, do whatever in them without any worry of too much bounce or movement.
Morning workouts or evening?
Definitely morning workouts. I love setting a tone for the day. I love knowing that I did something great before most people sit at their desks. There is an unexplainable feeling of accomplishment when you put yourself to the test and crush it, and then you have the rest of the day to conquer. Evenings have to happen sometimes, but in the morning I’m really ready to work.
Exercising indoors or out?
It completely depends on my mood. If the weather is right, outdoors. But, I love a good, HIIT workout (high-intensity interval training) indoors too.
Kickboxing or Yoga?
Iced tea or hot tea?
Yoga pants or sweat pants?
Skinny or strong?
Don’t you know strong is the new skinny? Strong, always.
What’s in your power shake?
I pretty much add kale or a leafy green to any smoothie I have, period. Even a fruit one. I love avocado, ginger, kale, lemon and beets. I’m not a big sweet person, but the beet adds the perfect amount of sweet for me.
You motivate so many. Who motivates you?
Who doesn’t motivate me? First, my daughter. Period. At five, she has more heart than most people I know. She is kind, smart and beautiful and makes me laugh… Oh, and she is a fierce athlete (not sure how, but she already has a six pack and likes to do burpee contests – up/down’s – for fun…). My husband is a constant inspiration always willing to try anything. I have a group of great friends, and the four of us make up the Fit Fam. These women push me and motivate me and really keep me inspired to stay on track, and to have fun doing it. My best friend Cristina is a constant source of motivation as are all of my friends.
Besides all of them? Every single person I run by, work out next to or go to class with, the ones who are just starting their journey, to the elite athletes. I get huge energy and determination from each and every one of them. They are all on their own journey for their own reasons, but they are out there, and they are killing it doing their own thing, and it makes me proud to be out there with them.