Taking the first steps on your journey to a healthier lifestyle

In the first of an on-going series on health, nutrition and becoming a better you, Modern Mississauga has teamed up with local fitness and health enthusiast Julie Cropper to provide tips, advice and inspiration to help you become the best you possible.
Got a question for Julie? Send it to info@modernmississauga.com.

Turning 40 changed my life. I was a bit nervous about the big 4-0 and with no way to stop it, I decided to embrace it.
As I was always “skinny” I didn’t think much about my weight and eating habits and was somewhat active, courtesy of the pool in my back yard. 

I wanted more, though. I wanted to feel better physically and do more with myself. I wanted to learn about healthy nutrition, exercise, and start a personal journey where once I took care of myself, I could share my knowledge with others.

As is the common first step for many of us, I joined a gym - Erin Mills Fitness, to be exact. Honestly, I was terrified because it’d had been nearly 20 years since I was in a gym. I was self-conscious that I wouldn’t be using the machines properly and that I’d fail after day one. I had no idea how to become healthy but I was absolutely willing to learn. However, once I got started and was seeing results, my desire and my body became stronger.

After working hard over the past several months, I now have the energy and the ability to do more. I'm doing things I never thought were possible for me, like obstacle runs and leading a weekly running group. It’s an amazing feeling.  

As cliché as it sounds, it’s never too late to start making improvements and start feeling better about yourself. I take pride in my transformation and my new ability to inspire family, friends and even strangers to make a change.

How do you start?

Begin by setting a goal. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to lose 10 pounds? Gain strength? Increase your lean muscle mass and tone? Whatever your goal is, remember to start slow and build gradually. Realize that results don’t happen overnight. It takes time. But it can be done.

Start moving and enjoy yourself. Make exercise and healthy food choices a priority. We’ve all heard the benefits - reducing the risk of illness, lower stress, keeping your bones strong and your mind sharp - and ultimately, it will improve your overall quality of life.  

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned along my journey with you and happily answering your questions. I’m here to help and support you in your goal, whether it’s 10 pounds or 100 pounds. There’ll be articles on diet, nutrition, exercise, how-to’s and many others.

I look forward to connecting with you and hopefully inspiring you to become the best you possible!

Julie has a passion for health and fitness and is on a mission to help others be the best they can be at any age. Follow her on Instagram @julescropper.