Here’s What It Took For 1 Woman to Go From a Size 26 to a 14
Julie Ana thought she needed a reality TV show to lose but soon realized she had the courage within herself to start the health and fitness journey that would save her life. While her original -loss goal was tied to a number of pounds specifically — she told us that she now simply wants to be healthy, and she’s working with her doctor to get to a good place with her and overall health. She’s kicking so much, too — just wait until you see her powerful progress, incredible workout schedule, and honest optimism she maintains along the way. There are so many tips you can pick up from this insanely inspirational woman.
What made you decide to start your loss journey?
Julie Ana Kim: I had reached almost 300 pounds and my was starting to affect my everyday life. I had a hard time sleeping, breathing, walking, tying my shoes, and getting in the car; I knew I needed to change. I had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I had high blood pressure and cholesterol, and I still wasn’t doing anything to change my health. I was eating fast food for every meal, every single day, along with a liter of soda and a large bag of chips. After auditioning for The Biggest Loser and Extreme Loss shows, I decided I wasn’t going to wait around for a reality TV show to change me. I signed up for a personal trainer, something I had done in the past, but I knew this time was different. In the past, my family had signed me up for a personal trainer even though I didn’t want one. This time, I was signing up myself and committing to a year contract. I wanted the change this time and I felt ready. I wanted to be healthy and happy again.
PS: What drew you to the program specifically?
JAK: I had been doing training with my personal trainer for about three months and my loss had slowed down drastically. My trainer recommended that I add more cardio into my workout since all I was doing was lifting for 30 minutes three times a week. In the past, I had seen transformation pictures on her page but never felt like the program was for me since I mostly saw smaller girls getting fit. But one day, I was scrolling through her page and saw a girl whose before picture looked somewhat like me. I felt connected to her and felt that if she could do it, then so could I. I immediately bought the guide and started pretraining. I chose to stick with BBG because I saw the results fairly quickly, and I knew it worked because I saw all the transformations.
PS: What’s your favorite way to work out?
JAK: My favorite way to work out is having so much fun that I forget that I’m actually working out. This is the reason I love SoulCycle so much. I usually focus on the music and the positive energy in the room that I will forget how hard the workout is. It isn’t until I come out of the room that I realize I’m drenched in sweat and breathing hard. It makes cardio fun. It’s the same with boxing for me; I’m taking all my stress out on the bag or on my coach that I forget it’s exercise.
PS: What’s your weekly exercise schedule?
JAK: I’ve been doing the 12-week challenge for BBG, so I get in three days of BBG. I try to go to kickboxing or boxing two times a week. I started lifting with one of my best friends, so I will do that two times a week with her. And SoulCycle once a week! I try to squeeze all those workouts in, but it’s hard to do them all, so each week I have to double up or skip out on a certain workout.
PS: How do you keep workouts exciting?
JAK: I switch up my workouts all the time! The only workout I’ve been loyal to is BBG, which I have been doing from August 2016 to now. To be honest, I wouldn’t necessarily say I have fun doing it, but I love it because it’s only 28 minutes and I know it’s workable. For my other workouts, I have gone from Zumba to multiple 24 Hour Fitness classes to cardio kickboxing at multiple studios to boxing. When I start getting bored or start dreading the workouts, I will switch to something new to make it fun and exciting. Working out with friends also helps a lot because it’s always so much more fun and they push you to work a little harder.