Her goal was strength and healing

Jul 17, 2017
Ashley Ann Lawrie


Back in March,  Julia was walking towards the gallery where her friend works in the Byward Market. She saw a Free Form Fitness sign promoting our 8 introductory sessions and felt it was a Sign.

For Julia, a 32-year-old who has a Master’s degree in Fine Arts and works at the University of Ottawa, the thought of going to a gym and working out seemed like an impossibility. Julia suffers from chronic pain from years of taking care of her ailing mother.

At 19 she had multiple slipped disks and during her twenties, her body was in constant pain for which her doctors prescribed Oxycodone for 7 years to help manage it. In order to start training, she would need a note from her doctor to confirm that her body would be able to handle it. Despite this, she knew it was time to start the healing process.

She started her sessions with Jesse at our Byward Market location and her goal was simple–strength and healing. In the gym they focus on her core, legs and balance. In the kitchen the focus is on grass fed meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts,seeds and healthful oils such as coconut oil.

In April 2016, Julia discovered that large areas of her hair had fallen out, and it was getting worse: she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. In addition to drug therapy, she needed to change to an Autoimmune Protocol Paleo diet. Having been a vegetarian, making the transition was difficult but eased by her trainer Jesse, who has a passion for nutrition. He studied her condition and was able to share from his own experience how changing diet can help the body heal and function at its best.

Once the 8 sessions were up, Julia knew that she had more work to do. “I could feel the change in my body and I could see where the training was going, so I signed up for 2 sessions a week for 6 months. Having the structure and setting a time twice a week makes the training manageable and enjoyable. Sometimes you don’t feel like going to the gym after a long day, but knowing that there’s a trainer waiting for you and that you’ve invested money into it motivates you to go.”

Julia also does exercises throughout the week at home. That way she can get the most out of her training sessions. In terms of specific goals moving forward,  Julia isn’t concerned about trying to get to a certain weight or the ability to lift a certain weight.

“For me, training is about healing and strength, not trying to reach specific targets. It’s about the process. My body will continue to get stronger and healthier if I stick to it.”

Once the 6 months is up, Julia plans to keep going twice a week for at least another 6 months to continue the process of healing and strengthening her body.

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