From Childhood Diabetes to Bikini Bodybuilding Champion, Why Its Never Too Late to Get Fit

with special guest Julia Johnson

Quote from Julia Johnson on Patti Patti Dobrowolski's podcast
Up Your Creative Genius
From Childhood Diabetes to Bikini Bodybuilding Champion, Why Its Never Too Late to Get Fit

Julia has dedicated her life to finding the spiritual keys to getting the most out of life and in the last two years preserving her health through a major fitness transformation. After childhood diabetes, a double organ transplant, triple cardiac bypass, & thyroidectomy, Julia decided to reclaim her health and began a fitness journey at age 62. By age 64 she was on the stage at an NPC Masters Bodybuilding competition for women 55+ in age, and she won. It was a way to celebrate 30 years since her organ transplant that cured the diabetes.

Julia is an artist and teacher who has been on the faculties of universities in San Francisco, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. She believes in empowering other women her age with her story that it is never too late and you are never too old to get fit, feel amazing and look healthy and vibrant.

“She looked at me and then she unbuttoned her little nurse uniform to about here and opened it up. She had this like scar. She’s like, I’ve had a bypass. It’s not that big a deal. And I’m like, if she can do it. I can do it. “

“I fell in love with the weightlifting and then I stalled after about those first four months”

“I think it’s because my story inspires people. If I can do it, they can do it.”

“I would say prioritize yourself. Just make yourself number one, because you can’t do anything for anybody unless you take care of yourself first.”

Follow Julia Johnson @Dolphinine

Follow Patti Dobrowolski – Instagram


Up Your Creative Genius

Time Stamp

[1:00] How has childhood diabetic shaped Julia’s life

[5:52] Having someone else hold your heart causes depression!

[9:13] The moment a Filipino nurse changed Julia’s life

[13:40] How a Facebook challenge started her journey to reclaim her health and fitness

[16:00] Why she was inspired to do a Bikini competition

[17:10] Why other women appreciate Julia’s story

[21:23] The black bear and the white bear

[24:15] Why Julia has 24k followers on Instagram

[29:30] Dump the frump

[30:19] How meditation helped Julia stay clear of negative self talk

[34:45] Top advice for anyone who wants to make a change in their fitness

Patti Dobrowolski 0:03

Hello superstars. Welcome to the up your creative genius podcast where you will gain insight and tips to stomp on the accelerator and blast off to transform your business and your life. I’m your host Patti Dobrowolski. And if this is your first time tuning in, then strap in because this is serious rocket fuel. Each week I interview fellow creative geniuses to help you learn how easy it is to up your creative genius in any part of your life.

Patti Dobrowolski 0:39

Hey, everybody, it’s Patti Dobrowolski with Up Your Creative Genius, oh my gosh. Today I have Dolphinine here. You know Julia Johnson, amazing Julia Johnson, who most of you follow on Instagram, but if you don’t already, you got to follow her @Dolphinine. She is transformation in amazement, like it’s just like,

Patti Dobrowolski 1:05

You changed everything. It’s so cool to see you. And have you on the show. I just I can’t wait to hear all the tips and tricks that you’re going to share with us about how you were able to shift your mindset and shift your life. So welcome to the show Julia, glad to have you.

Julia Johnson 1:24

Thank you, Patti. It’s so nice to be here with you. Always fun, always fun.

Patti Dobrowolski 1:29

Oh, fantastic. All right. Well, I want to start off so people can get to know you a little bit. Tell us your story. Really, you know, tell us about you, you know, from whenever in your childhood up to now what what happened to you and who are you so we get to get to touch and feel you even through our audio?

Julia Johnson 1:49

Yeah, so well. You know, we all have a life story. And I and mine was not I didn’t think so unusual because I lived through it. But after you live through certain things and realize, Wow, I survived that. Yeah. And other people say, Wow, you survived that. So what I survived was childhood diabetes. Oh, wow. Yeah, diagnosed at age 11. And I was a very brittle case, which meant my blood sugars are very hard to control. Plus, this was in the 60s were children who got diabetes, there wasn’t a lot of diabetes research. And it was considered an old person’s disease. So I took one insulin shot a day that was supposed to cover me for 24 hours of activity and food and you know, kids run around a lot. And I was very active kid. Well, I got complications starting at, like, age 25.

Julia Johnson 2:48

My kidneys started to fail. Oh, and my late. Yeah. And my late 20s I started to go blind with diabetic blindness. Oh my gosh. Yeah. And I had nerve damage and all these things. I mean, my hands were like claws. And I had black floaters in my vision. And, you know, by the time I was 30, my kidneys were like, failing. And the doctors had warned me I was headed that direction. But I was just like, I’m it seems so far away.

Patti Dobrowolski 3:21

Yeah, yeah. You’re in your 20s. You’re invisible, right? We all are in our Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Julia Johnson 3:29

I just thought, well, one day one day. That’s right. Always. He we always think of all this being like, well, in our 80s, or whatever, it was kind of that way off in the future. I don’t have to deal with it now. But yeah, by the time I was, in my early 30s, the kidneys had failed. And they said, you know, you’ve also got heart disease, and we are going to recommend that you get a kidney transplant, otherwise, you’ll be on dialysis with diabetes. And that’s going to be maybe a five year lifespan from now. So wow, that is crazy. Yeah, yeah, I wasn’t going to live to see 40. And wow, they were doing experimental pancreas transplants for their diabetic patients that needed a kidney and and they told me the risks involved. And of course, my husband, I went in and talked to all the specialists and all the teams and he basically said it needs to be your choice, but but the risks were that I that I could die before during or after the surgery because I had heart disease. And I just thought I don’t want to live with diabetes anymore. I mean, I don’t get a new kidney but I can’t live with this disease anymore. Wow. It was just eroding my quality of life every year. And so I decided I’ll risk it. I’ll do this experimental double organ transplant.

Patti Dobrowolski 4:53

Oh my God. You’re you here today.

Julia Johnson 5:00

It worked that is so when I was 30 years ago, 30 years ago.

Patti Dobrowolski 5:09

Oh my gosh.

Julia Johnson 5:10

In the meantime, I’m at age 48, my heart really got clogged and part of the clogging was from high cholesterol, which runs in my family and the heart disease from diabetes that gets exacerbated. And then some some of the medications I was on for anti rejection. Yeah, also contributed. So by the time I was 48, my arteries were so clogged that wow, I you know, I had a hard time breathing. Yeah. I didn’t want a heart. I didn’t want heart surgery.

Patti Dobrowolski 5:44


Julia Johnson 5:45

Because they actually saw you.

Patti Dobrowolski 5:46

Oh, I know. I remember at that time, you got sawed open, they crack your ribs and open. Yep. Right.

Patti Dobrowolski 5:52


Julia Johnson 5:52

Yeah, it’s just and then another human handles your heart, which actually causes depression in people for a couple of years afterwards. But I Oh, wow. That’s crazy. So when somebody holds your heart, it causes depression for about two years afterwards?

Patti Dobrowolski 6:10

What what do you think that’s about? That is like insane.

Julia Johnson 6:14

That’s your most intimate sort of physiological connection to your spirit, I think is your Wow. Wow. That’s crazy.

Julia Johnson 6:24

There’s been studies that have shown, for instance, men that are heavy drinkers or drug or drug, recreational drug takers, I guess you would call them users. Users. Yeah, if they end up having a heart attack, going into the ER, and the doctors, like, we got to do a bypass right now. When they wake up, they are psychotic. And there is always a psychiatrist on hand to handle those patients. Because they it’s so prevalent, that, you know, when you’re out of balance anyway, and then somebody you know, but luckily, I you know, I’m really not a drug user don’t drink. So when when I came out, and I expected the surgery, these are men, patients that didn’t expect the surgery and then

Patti Dobrowolski 7:10

right, right, but you were ready. You you went in for it. Right? You

Julia Johnson 7:14

Well, I wasn’t I wasn’t really ready. What happened was Patty was I kept putting it off. And I tried everything. I tried chelation therapy, which is supposed to clean your blood, which didn’t wasn’t going to work for me. I did Dean Ornish’s heart healthy diet for a couple of months. And then one day, because I just didn’t want to be I didn’t want to be in have that invasive surgery. And in my mind, I thought, oh, I can get around this. But yeah, I had a an episode one day where I couldn’t breathe. And I had to call an ambulance go to the ER, because I was sure I was having a heart attack. And

Patti Dobrowolski 7:54


Julia Johnson 7:54

I went into the ER. And I’ve told this story a couple of times, this is how this is how other people help us. This little Filipino nurse was in the ER taking care of me. And she said, she was so sweet. She said, What dear, what are you in here for? And I said,

Julia Johnson 8:14

I think I’m having a heart attack. And she said, Well, I’ve looked at your chart. Why? If it looks like you need a triple bypass, why aren’t you getting? Why don’t you schedule for triple bypass? I said, I’m really afraid. I just don’t want to have it done. And she looked at me and then she unbuttoned her little nurse uniform to about here and opened it up. She had this like scar. Oh, wow. She’s like, I’ve had a bypass. It’s not that big a deal.

Julia Johnson 8:43

And I’m like, she can do it. I can do it.

Patti Dobrowolski 8:46

That’s right. That’s right.

Julia Johnson 8:47

Changed me like that. Just like that.

Patti Dobrowolski 8:49

Wow, wow. Isn’t that amazing how people can do stuff like that. Like, they you can see someone and they’ll say something and then boom, you’re ready to do it.

Julia Johnson 9:00


Patti Dobrowolski 9:01

Right at that moment. It’s if you have a little role model for stuff. It’s much easier. It’s so much easier. And yeah, just

Patti Dobrowolski 9:10

Yeah, so you went in and had the surgery. You did it.

Julia Johnson 9:13

I did schedule it after that episode. But it was because of her because she was just, she was tiny like me. I mean short, and she was just so soft spoken and it to her it was no big. And everybody kept saying you know, a bypass is routine these days. And I’m thinking to myself, if you were gonna get sawed open on your sternum. You think that’s routine. Everybody says it’s not routine.

Patti Dobrowolski 9:40

Everybody thinks any kind of surgery now is routine and I’m like, no routine, you know, really, they’re cutting you open and then they’re doing something with right part of you. Right? You know that that’s everything like that is invasive. It is

Julia Johnson 9:56

yeah, just it’s huge, hugely.

Patti Dobrowolski 9:58

You had the surgery. And you survived because here you are, and you’ve got a beautiful scar, because I’ve seen it in your Instagram posts, you know all your scars and your fantastic body. So you did that. And then your health seemed to go great. And then what happened?

Julia Johnson 10:15

What you know, I pretty much of maintain good health my whole life. I’ve always been athletic and active and ate well, but you know, then you hit menopause. And they took my thyroid out. And I just was having other adventures in life. And I didn’t have like, I didn’t have I got a working program that I was I did in my early 40s. And I was really healthy and I was lifting weights, but blah, blah. So 20 years went by living in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and when I got to Mexico, there just something went off in my head. I was 62. I knew in two years it was going to be my 30 year anniversary from the transplant. I thought, What am I doing? I? Yeah, I’m like, I don’t have a lot of time left. I need to stop messing around and really take care of this body, which is the chariot for my soul. I mean, this is like the temple I live, I need to start taking care. And it was Yeah, it wasn’t that I was disgusted. I didn’t look in the mirror and go, Oh, God, I’ve got to lose weight. I’ve got to get chic in chip. It was just like, I need to start loving this body with every ounce. I have. It’s gone. So much. It’s taken me so much taking me through life in so many situations. Yeah. And from day one, I was like, I was who I am now. In other words, I felt I made this mind shift. I call it the nanosecond, boom, mind shift, it was so

Patti Dobrowolski 11:54

wow, wow,

Julia Johnson 11:55

Boom, I was already her and her was lean, strong, healthy, vital, energetic, grateful, joyous. And it wasn’t about oh, this many pounds last this much muscle, it was really about the whole consciousness of living in a body that’s being cared for.

Patti Dobrowolski 12:18

I love that. I love that. Because I think that we all, you know, yesterday, I was talking, I was leading a draw your future session and a woman in the session said, you know, how can I stop myself from looking in the mirror every day and saying, Oh, you’re so you know, that neck and you’re so wrinkly and all that. And I said, Well, you know, you have to understand that this is your body. And it’s done so many things to get you this far. So you have to appreciate it and love it and all of that that comes with it. All the wrinkles, and all the tiredness and whatever it is that you’ve gone through, you know it, it’s transparent in your physical form. And so if you can fill yourself with joy and love, you can transform your outer form to and that’s what you’re talking about. You changed your mindset. And so then, but wait a minute, because then you changed your mindset. And then you started to work out. That’s what what happened was that you weren’t just working out your regular way, like walking your dog and maybe running every so often and riding your bike with your husband, Paul, but you went out and you started to really seriously train. So I was thinking about you and how you started to train and I wanted to know, like, how did you begin to lift weights? And do that? What did you do? What did you start with?

Julia Johnson 13:46

Yeah, you know, a lot of people on Instagram will message me and say, I don’t know how to start. And I wouldn’t have known how to start unless I found this online challenge. It was a Facebook challenge with a coach that had written a book in the 90s. And I won’t mention his name, but he was fit. He had a very successful book. Yes. And he had an online challenge. And I joined the challenge. It was a three month and it was for people over 40. And he had modified the exercises to be easy on the joints for people and I thought this sounds perfect. So I got him with a community of people that wonderful and this coach would, you know, check our form sort of informally, but it was a community and then I went to one of his camps and what I found out was after three months, I won the challenge.

Patti Dobrowolski 14:36

Oh, wow, that was fantastic.

Julia Johnson 14:38

Yeah, and that was I didn’t even know there was gonna be a winner. I just yeah, do this for three months and then we’ll see what happens. Yeah, yeah. And I fell in love with the weightlifting and then I stalled after about those first four months took me four months to lose 10 pounds, which is actually very healthy.

Patti Dobrowolski 14:57


Julia Johnson 14:57

And so on. stalled after that. And so I started looking around for other what I needed to up my game, but I didn’t know how. Yeah, so from then until now, it’s been a constant, I would say, discovery of what can I do next? What how can I up my game? What more do I need to learn? So I’m, I’m a lifelong learner, I just really love to learn things. And so I’m still this is the thing about fitness. There’s never end there’s

Patti Dobrowolski 15:26

No no no. Well, and and you will learn so much about your body, and then what food and you know, your, your body changes all the time. And I think these are things, oh, you know, you get into a routine, then that routine works. But you can plateau at any point. And so you always have to challenge yourself and push yourself in some other ways. And so that’s what you did. And then you actually got a really great coach, and she helped you to enter some bodybuilding competitions. Yeah. Tell us what that was like to go to your first bodybuilding competition. Gosh,

Julia Johnson 16:01

Well, first of all, my local friend and coach here, before I found the woman that I’m working with now, he’s the one that suggested to be in a competition. Yeah. Because he saw me working out really hard every day. And he was helping me and working with me, because when I went into the gym, he said, Well, what are your goals? I said, I want to be really lean and strong. And when I get lean and strong, he’s like, you need to be in a competition. And I said, What do you mean, he goes, You need to be in a Masters Bikini NPC competition. I’m like oh, 63 and in a bikini on stage. But, you know, my

Patti Dobrowolski 16:23

I love that. I’m gonna do that. I think that’s a good challenge for everybody to have the woman that was in the, the, the talk that I gave yesterday, that’s what she did. She bought a vacation for her whole family where they would have to wear their swimsuits, so that they could all get in shape to go. That’s, that’s fantastic. Right. Yeah, you know, Bikini challenge.

Julia Johnson 17:11

In the back of my head was who wants to see a 63 year old in a bikini, you know, but what I found out was that there’s in the fitness world. Yeah, and people who work out and other coaches and other women of all ages who work out have a super great appreciation for a woman my age, who works as hard as they do to get in shape. So yeah, I found my coach who got me there. There’s coaches have so many different levels and things that they do. Some are just lifestyle. Yeah, like, get fit, lose weight, eat better, and some are, get fit to have a photo shoot, and then, you know, live your life more sensibly eating and working out. And then there’s contest prep coaches, which is what she did for me. And yeah, that was amazing, Patti, because my body transformed in a way I never would have imagined I will.

Patti Dobrowolski 18:08

And you were I saw some of those posts with you working these like little tiny muscles in there. Just with one particular way of lifting the weight. I always really it’s very impressive. Yeah,

Julia Johnson 18:22

I see everything because you what you do is you you really strip away all the body fat, the body fat gets really low. Yeah. And you’re mostly just muscle and then they tan you and that makes it even more. Just kind of a hilarious thing I had. I had

Patti Dobrowolski 18:41

I remember my remember. You know, I wrote you a text and you said I’m just about to go into the tanning booth. And I was just like cracking up tanning booth. Okay, we’re not going to talk about whether that’s good for you or not. You’re going into the tanning booth. I love it. I love Yeah. Wait, but then you get on stage. You do the competition. And in your category you take first place?

Julia Johnson 19:07

Yes, I did. Because I was the only competitor

Patti Dobrowolski 19:11

But still first place. Alright. And then you did it again though. You went to a different city. And you did? Yeah. With other other women. You right?

Julia Johnson 19:22

Yeah. And I came in third which was there were only three of us. So I came in last but I absolutely loved the experience for me. It wasn’t about winning. It was just about you know, Patti, all my body’s gone through and all the times I laid in ICU thinking. Am I ever going to get out of here? Am I am I am I going to survive this experience? Yeah. And then to be on stage with this joy of look what my body I wasn’t proud of myself. I was proud of my body. Look what it can do. Yeah. And it was in the realm of just mind over matter, spirit willing flesh having to obey. Yeah. And I just it was such a triumph for me and a triumph for my organ donor. And I just was I was so joyous it was such a great experience for me had nothing to do with being in a competition getting a medal or getting a truck. That’s like, that’s just sort of the fun part. But yeah, I mean, the icing on the cake.

Patti Dobrowolski 20:33

That’s right. Well, the part of it that I love is that you really up to your creative genius, you really tapped your creative genius, and it took form in your physical body. And I think that’s part of it is we underutilized our imagination, because we think, Oh, your imagination, you’re just imagining that daydream? Well, hey, guess what? Yeah, imagination is power. It is really the fuel behind everything that you become. And so when you realize that, then you can leverage it. So even when you’re in. Yeah, and as a bike racer, this is what I would do. Like, I would imagine that a black bear was chasing me, and a white bear was running in front of me and guiding me, because I felt like I needed somebody to chase me.

Patti Dobrowolski 21:23

So I could go faster. And I needed, you know, something I was scared of. And honestly, black bears scare me. Right? And a white polar bear, you know, just in front of me to just show me Come on, you can do this. And I think you know, and people say, Oh, well, whatever you can do to trick your brain into overcoming the moment where it feels very challenging, because there’s no doubt that your body gets fatigued. And there’s a part of your brain that’s like, oh, yeah, yeah. Well, now is the time to just give up or why don’t you get some water. Now, instead of pushing through the last five reps, or just really blowing it out until you know, we would always say if you can feel if you taste blood in your mouth, you know that you’ve really gone to the limit in bike racing in a time trial, right? And everybody will be like,

Patti Dobrowolski 22:13

Oh, my God, that’s so gross. But that’s how you know that you’ve really changed your oxygen level. And, and part of that is that you have to know that your body can take it. And the only way you know is if you believe, which is part of what you did you believe that you were that person? And then you stepped into it, and so beautifully. And so in such a disciplined way. But what did you What was your day? Like? What’s a day in the life of Julia? When you’re in this training state? What do you do? How does it go? You wake up and then what?

Julia Johnson 22:51

Well, you know, it’s, it’s, I’m at a time and I always say day in and day out day in and day out. Because the consistent behaviors and repetitive positive actions we do. That’s how we transform and write. I mean, I review my workout the night before and I just can’t wait. I’m Sometimes I wake up at 4am. And I’m thinking it’s too early to go. But I want to I want to go to the gym. Yeah, I’m so I so I’m excited. And I think part of it is just the joy of movement, and working my body and feeling good. And having energy I’m and I love to dance. So there’s something about that, too. I just really like movement and being able to use my body. It makes me feel alive. And I have an important why my why why do I do this? Why do I get up every morning and I’m just like, I can’t wait to go to the gym. And some people are like, Oh, I just don’t want to go to the gym. I never feel that way. And it’s because I’m grateful to be alive. That’s why I am so grateful. And yeah, why do I get up every morning go to the gym, because I can I do for my organ donor I do for you know, and now that I have a lot of I don’t know how this Instagram thing blew up, Patti, but I know

Patti Dobrowolski 24:18

You have so many 1000s of hundreds of 1000s of followers and its crazy.

Julia Johnson 24:25

like 24,000

Patti Dobrowolski 24:27

That’s just insane. And that only just happen. That’s thing is

Julia Johnson 24:33

In the last six to nine months. And I think it’s because my story inspires people. If I can do it, they can do it.

Patti Dobrowolski 24:40

That’s right, I think do it. That’s right. And I think there are a lot of women that are out there our age who are thinking, Oh, life’s over or now we’re on the downflow now I can just rest and relax and whatever. Well yeah, but you have a service in the world. So if you haven’t figured out what your service is Because even if you retire, you still are in service. Right?

Julia Johnson 25:05

Right, right.

Patti Dobrowolski 25:05

So you got to figure that out. And you have to be in service to yourself, right, who you are. And so that you love yourself, I think, you know, many of us, we spent so many years not not really loving ourselves, we say we love ourselves, but we don’t you the way you love yourself is that you care for yourself. Right? You’re right, that you go to the gym and the workout and that you eat well, and when you don’t want to eat well, that’s okay, too. Yeah, get right back into the flow of drinking a lot of water and getting enough sleep and things that we know will make us perform at our optimum level. And yeah, you know, that, I think its something that you are just demonstrating in such a big and bold way that people can’t wait to follow you. I mean, like the posts that you when you’re the book for my favorite or the before and after posts, you know, because we see you just like two years ago, and then now it’s like, whoa, you know, did that into the years. It two years ago?

Julia Johnson 26:06

Is this me? Yeah. And you know, the thing is Patty before, I was like every other woman that we’ve been on this diet and that diet and blah, blah, blah, and yeah, 1200 calories, and we do cardio until the cows come home, and then the weight comes back on. I now eat way more than I ever did. Yeah, and I weigh less than I ever did now. Yeah, because my metabolism works now. It’s been it’s been here rebooted.

Patti Dobrowolski 26:32

It’s been rebooted, yeah, yeah, well, and, and I think people don’t realize that, that when you get your self back into the groove of working out, and push yourself in that workout, you will reboot your metabolism. And it’s really amazing to do this. You know, I remember when I was racing, I ate so much food all the time. And I would come home, I would wake up in the middle of the night and have a bowl of cereal because I’d be starving. Yeah, because I would have burned that many calories, my body. And that was in my 50s. So let’s be out here that I was already perimenopausal or maybe even postmenopausal at that point. And I think, you know, we forget that the body remember, the brain is malleable, it’s plastic. You can Yeah, you can trick your brain to believe anything I know. So that’s the fun part, trick it into anything that you are capable, which you are and competent and confident. All right,

Julia Johnson 27:30

that my right, right. And you know, Patti, when I go and look at my before and after pictures, and I’ve got a lot and actually when I started feeling great. I would have my husband, Paul take pictures of me on the beach or whatever. And we moved, we moved to where we are now on the East Coast, you know, on the Atlantic Ocean, and I think it was maybe four months into my fitness journey. We went to the beach and I’m like, oh, take pictures of me and my bathing suit. I was just felt so fantastic. And I didn’t look at those pictures until a year ago. And I looked like a chunky monkey.

Patti Dobrowolski 28:07

That’s how it is, you know what I felt?

Julia Johnson 28:11

I felt so great. And I didn’t have the time. I didn’t look at those pictures and say, God, you’re still not on you’re not in shape yet. Because within myself I was you already know who I am now.

Patti Dobrowolski 28:25

Yeah, that so great.

Julia Johnson 28:27

So no self censure, there was no no self loathing there was so I remember losing weight in my 40s it was because there was a story. It was at a seminar actually. And I had given a talk and I went to the pool and I was laying by the pool. And this very attractive man who was also at the seminar came up just to tell me how much I loved or how much he loved my talk. And I’m in my bathing suit and I’m like embarrassed that my eyes are so lumpy and this attractive man and he wasn’t coming on to me he was just we’re having a normal conversation. ,

Patti Dobrowolski 29:04

Yeah your self talk was out of control

Julia Johnson 29:06

Oh my god like my

Patti Dobrowolski 29:11

oh my god well, and I think this is why we spent so much time and energy you know, worrying about what we look like. Oh, it’s you know, and instead of putting that energy into loving and caring for who we are who we are you know, then

Julia Johnson 29:27

how we look does change. I don’t look like the same person. I did two years.

Patti Dobrowolski 29:31

No, you really don’t You don’t I mean, honestly, you you and it no offense, but you looked very frumpy back then. Oh, yeah. alive and vibrant now. Yeah. And so I think that’s part of it. You know, if you’re feeling the frump, just know that. Yeah, that’s something you can dump you can dump the frump. Don’t just dump the frump and go go out and you know, that’s gonna be your motto your tagline but I love this now you, erm. So every day when you get up, you go to the gym and you work out day in day out. That’s what you say. But also what kind of what do you do in terms of your meditation or you know, your terms of food? What kinds of things do you do to keep your whole life in balance?

Julia Johnson 30:19

Yeah, well, the meditation part I’ve had, I’ve had a practice I’ve done since I was 17. And you know, you don’t do things for that long in life unless they work. Right, right, let’s work and they work powerfully. And it’s chanting an ancient it’s an A, it’s known as an ancient name for God. H U. When I lived in Saudi Arabia, I met women who were Sufis who knew all about chanting this word. Yeah. And, and I found out over the years that many religions and cultures are aware of this mantra, this ancient mantra, so I learned about it when I was 17. And I just sing it like most people that know about ohm, yes, you just sing, Hu. And Hu is just going a long drawn out breath, like Hu. And I put my attention right here and my third eye or my where my imagination is. And I really try and empty my self of, you know, thoughts, or it just tried fill myself with love, even if I, or gratitude, and it just takes me to a completely different place. And my next 24 hours is like this very even almost like blood sugar when you eat the right food. It’s just sailing, you know?

Julia Johnson 31:49

The other thing it does, Patti, is it it clears out my thoughts stream. So we all know that. If we look at the news, or we have a upsetting experience, or something happens, it’s kind of like, also, yes, news itself negativity, we’re throwing junk in our hot stream. And we get affected by that. And so the hue when I when I sink you this ancient mantra, what it does, it purifies my thoughts stream, it’s kind of like standing on a bridge and watching my thoughts kind of go down. And there’s a lot of sometimes there’s a lot of junk in there. And then all of a sudden, with the Hu, it just becomes this crystal clear, flowing water and I feel very removed from worry and care and things get surrendered. And I just feel like a new person. And that helps me stay positive and also not fall into these negative traps of self talk negative self talk, or guilting. myself or even what it’s helped me do is build healthy boundaries around myself, emotionally, for people even in my family that just weird, the relationships are toxic. So yeah, without hurting anybody’s feelings or having some big, you know, brouhaha? Yeah, it seems like chanting this word just gently opens these stores to a life that is has meaning where I can also serve. I really think it’s why I have so many followers on Instagram, because I meant to share this. It’s not a monetized Instagram. And I absolutely I don’t know who my followers are. But I absolutely adore them. Yeah, see,

Patti Dobrowolski 33:44

And you really engage with them. They write such amazing oh my god, it’s not Yeah, not shallow. They write like long paragraphs to you, about what’s going on. And I love that I love reading through them and seeing what, what people are connecting with. Because, you know, I think in the world today, wouldn’t you agree that people really want to find connection? Yeah, with something meaningful, and they right, feel good about who they are and what they’re doing ifƒn their lives. And that I think this is a beautiful way of serving and sharing this whole journey. I mean, I love this, that you have done this and transformed and so what would you say to people in any anybody who wants to make a kind of change? What’s a change tip? What would you say to them if they want to change any part of their life and particularly in the fitness space? You know, what, how would what would you say to them, if they were just sitting in the room and they said, you know, how do I What do I do? How can I you know, do this?

Julia Johnson 34:46

Yeah, well, you know, mostly women our age are the ones that want to know, and are inspired by this journey. So I would say prioritize yourself. Just make yourself number one, because you can’t do anything for anybody unless you take care of yourself first. And as women, I think we are taught and brought up to be the caretakers, and many women that are married and had children and whatever. I mean, they’re just motherhood. I mean, you and I, we’ve we’ve not had children except for babies. But we have a lot of friends that have children. And yes, it is like an incredible job. Yeah, it is. I just feel like women give their all in that job. And it and when the kids grow up, and there’s empty nesters like, I think some women have a hard time saying I’m first now, yeah, I’m here. So I would say how to start. Make yourself number one. And you can still be a mom at home with kids and do that your kids will appreciate it because you’ll be feeling better.

Patti Dobrowolski 35:54

And you’ll be demonstrating for them how to do it for themselves so that it’s important to take care of yourself first, and then serve other people. I love that i This has been so inspiring. It’s just really I mean, I’m totally motivated. Now, as soon as I’m done with this podcast, I’m going to get on my bike and go ride because, you know, there’s nothing more joyous than being in your body fully and feeling the experience. There’s something about it that you just can’t describe. So thank you so much for sharing everything with us. I’m going to have you back on the show. Because we’re going to we have to go into much more detail about other things. But for this for today, I just want to say thank you so much, Julia, for everything that you taught us today and shared with us about change and and what you’ve been able to do.

Julia Johnson 36:45

Oh, Patti, thank you. Well, you know, we’re on the same wavelength where that’s concerned. Yeah, for sure. It’s these principles that you and I both use in our lives. And you’re just a super dear friend, and I love you.

Patti Dobrowolski 36:58

Yeah, well, I love you too. And everybody, please follow Julia at @Dolphinine on Instagram. That’s a place where you can see what she’s up to. It’s amazing. I’ll put some more in the show notes for all of you. And you know, if you liked this podcast and you think it was interesting, you know, put some notes in DM me so and forward it to your friends so everybody can hear about her. And I just thank you again for being here. And everybody who’s tuning in right now. Thank you so much for taking the time. We love you. Go out and be your best self and you know up your creative genius right Julia?

Julia Johnson 37:37


Patti Dobrowolski 37:41

Thanks so much for listening today. Be sure to DM me on Instagram your feedback or takeaways from today’s episode on Up Your Creative Genius. Then join me next week for more rocket fuel. Remember, you are the superstar of your universe and the world needs what you have to bring. So get busy. Get out and Up Your Creative Genius. And no matter where you are in the universe, here’s some big love from yours truly Patti Dobrowolksi and the up your creative genius podcast. That’s a wrap.

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