Transformation

After Trying Every Diet Under the Sun, Here’s the Plan That Actually Changed My Body

And yes, I still eat bread and chocolate.


best exercise plan

After years of experimentation, Juliet Root found the best exercise plan for her body. Photographs courtesy Juliet Root

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one local’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email ccunningham@phillymag.com

Who: Juliet Root, 30, Unite Fitness owner and Flywheel coach from Chinatown

Why I wanted to make a change: “I come from a very overweight family, and when I was 16, my father passed away from a massive heart attack. I had already, from an early teen, been trying to exercise and eat healthier, as I was always trying resist what I thought my fate was of being overweight. It wasn’t until my 20s that I learned how to do it the right way, both mentally and physically.”

Height: 5’4″

Starting weight: 145

Current weight: 130

When I started: “I would say the majority of my transformation was within the last five years. But honestly my transformation is still going on. I always believe in continuing to better myself and see how I can improve upon my health and fitness.”

How I changed my diet: “I spent years experimenting with different ways of eating. Vegan, paleo, gluten free, South Beach, raw food…you name it and I did it. I graduated as a nutritionist back in 2010 and it really helped me tune into what my body needs and feels best eating. I tend towards being hungry a lot, so I fill up with lots of protein and fiber. Both lunch and dinner are usually a huge salad with protein, some healthy fat, and a little bit of carb. I feel best with balancing my macronutrients in every meal. I eat five to six times a day, but that’s the nature of teaching fitness all day and needing lots of energy. I try to eat home cooked meals Sunday through Thursday and allow myself plenty of treats on the weekends. I live for chocolate and I’ve been known to order two bread baskets at Parc.”

How I changed my workouts: “The biggest change I made was discovering Unite Fitness, which I am now co-owner of. Nine years ago, I stumbled in there not knowing what to expect, and I fell in love with the workout. The combination of high intensity intervals on the treadmill or bike, coupled with heavy strength training, allowed my body to burn a ton of calories and build lean muscle. My body fat dropped from 24% to 16%!  Right now I currently take about two to three Unite classes, teach five to six Flywheel classes (which means I’m riding the bike), and my latest obsession is throwing in an SLT workout one to two times a week.”

“I give you full permission to unfollow people on Instagram that make you feel less than.”

The hardest part: “The hardest part was digging digging deep within myself with the help of multiple therapists and healers to discover why I felt so inadequate and used food and exercise as punishment. By enlisting the right support I was able to come out the other side and heal my trauma.”

What I’m most proud of: “My healthier relationship to food and exercise. Not feeling guilty is the best feeling ever!”

What I want everyone to know: “It took years to get where I am and there’s never really an end point. I still want to work on myself to improve upon certain habits, tendencies, etc. But the most important part of any transformation is learning to like and then eventually love yourself and be kind to yourself. Enjoy the steps that it takes to accomplish larger goals and pat yourself on the back for the small wins that you have. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and don’t bring you down. I give you full permission to unfollow people on Instagram that make you feel less than. Follow the people that motivate and inspire you. Honor your individuality and what makes you happy.”

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