Transformations Series: Julie Grecni
Everyone has a unique reason for their fitness transformation, but some are legitimately more life threatening than others. Julie Grecni was only 14 when she realized that exercise would save her life. It was going to have to, as just the year before she had been diagnosed with a kidney disease.
26-year-old Julie is now Head Personal Trainer for Anytime Fitness in Florence, Mississippi and in the process of training for her third show, but her life wasn't always this structured.
She was first introduced to working out at a young age, due to the kidney disease diagnosis. For years she was shuttled to and from doctor's offices, always getting her blood drawn and always feeling confused. With her metabolism under fire due to numerous medications, Julie increasingly also felt depressed. She eventually joined the swim team in high school, but it wasn't until she later joined a private swim team that she was able to stick to a consistent routine that helped keep her body as healthy as possible.
Nevertheless, like many other young people, Julie eventually injured herself, which effectively put a stop to her progress. She reverted to old, unhealthy habits with food, fitness, and relationships. It wasn't until she met the woman that would later become her coach that Julie was able to finally make a change that stuck. The final fitness transformation was about to begin. Julie met Eillen Vent during a photo shoot while Eillen was prepping for her 3rd fitness competition with the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion. Julie knew instantly that she wanted to train for her own competition. Just over a month later, she met with Eillen to discuss training. The rest, as they say, is history. Julie now credits Eillen as her greatest inspiration, citing her dedication and personal strength as exceptionally motivational.
â€œAs my body changed, my confidence in myself grew and I was becoming a woman that I could be proud of and admire. I just competed in my second bikini competition and have learned more than I ever thought possible about my body."
Julie's first show prep took place during her second semester of graduate school, which meant that she had to become adept at balancing studying with work and training. It was a struggle, but her ability to face the challenge proved rewarding and inspiring. She is currently training for her third competition with the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion, making the switch from the bikini category to fitness. Julie's enthusiasm is evident when she states, â€œ I am excited to see what my body is capable of over the next few months!"
She is also currently looking into PhD programs in Public Health, as a career in preventative care is particularly appealing to her. She would especially like to work with young people who are faced with some of the same medications she was placed on. â€œHaving the right knowledge on how to take care of your body can counteract multiple side effects from medications and prevent other problems from occurring," she explains. Julie has a great deal of valuable advice for other people wishing to undergo their very own fitness transformations. One of her main points is simple, but easy to lose sight of: the importance of setting goals. She also recommends only taking progress pictures once a week, as well as only weighing and measuring yourself that day. She adds, â€œTo do it more than once a week will drive you nuts because your body fluctuates from water, stress, extra salt, and many other things throughout the day."
â€œYou want to maximize your time in the gym and use foods to fuel your day and the recovery process. You only get one body so treat it right!"
When it comes to progress, a healthy diet was key to Julie's success with her fitness transformation. Part of a healthy diet is made possible through a meal management system, and Julie found her 6 Pack Bag at a calendar photo shoot when a teammate using a 6 Pack gym tote showed it to her . Julie describes it further as â€œa beautiful leather bag that contained food prep in the bottom." She knew instantly that she needed to get her hands on one of the bags herself. Luckily, she received one as a Christmas gift, and she hasn't parted ways with her bright Pink Innovator Mini since!
â€œI absolutely love my 6 Pack! It's small enough so it isn't in the way wherever I bring it, holds up to 3 meals, all my supplements, protein powder for after my workouts, and two water bottles. I couldn't be happier with it. My bag makes it extremely easy to stay on track."
A healthy diet is especially important to Julie's fitness transformation, as she had to gain an entirely new way of thinking about food. This change was invaluable to her because she grew up with an eating disorder which gave her a distorted body image. With the help of her diet plan and meal prepping, as well as the numerous other inspirations along the way, Julie has learned to embrace her body and to be proud of it in all aspects. It's hard not to feel motivated by the energy and vibrancy of a young woman like Julie, who overcame depression at a young age and decided to conquer chronic disease head-on with lifelong management through a commitment to exercise and health. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook for even more of a glimpse into her inspiring life! Get even more inspiration in our Fitness Transformations Series and How to Meal Prep Guides. To find the right 6 Pack Bag for you, browse our meal management bags, gym backpacks, sports duffle bags, and gym totes.