Turning it Around

Julie Piunti was stuck in a bad marriage and a precarious financial situation—until she found the strength to transform her body and her life.

Finding her Passion

I currently live in Gilbert, Arizona, but I was born and raised in Campbell, California, in the Silicon Valley. I have worked out my whole life, but my true fitness journey began when I started taking a Jazzercise class before having my first child. At the time, I was in a very bad marriage, pregnant, and poor!

My Jazzercise teacher talked me into trying out to become an instructor. Before Jazzercise, I oversaw running the front office for a dentist. I booked appointments, did the insurance, paid the bills, and took care of payroll. Once I became an instructor, my life changed in fabulous ways. I had the freedom and finances to get out of a bad marriage, find a place for my daughter and myself, do something I loved, and help so many great people.

 

Kicking it up a Notch

Teaching inspired me so much that I decided to purchase a Jazzercise franchise. I opened my first studio in 1980. I wanted to help change my clients’ lives. To do that, I knew I needed to be the example. I needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep my clients going. Basically, I needed to practice what I was preaching!

I find success in seeing my clients change not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Sometimes clients come to the studio scared, in tears, and not wanting any of it. You hold their hand and walk them through it to give them strength. The next thing you know, they are loving it and telling everyone! There’s nothing better than that.

Leaning on Loved Ones

I had several setbacks over the years. Most of mine were about low self-esteem, doubt, body dysmorphia, and a lack of confidence. My girlfriends were the best during those tough times! They were always there, along with my family. My trainer and business partner was also my rock.

That being said, not everyone close to you is going to share in your passion or journey. You need to learn how to be strong, and how to do what your heart wants and needs. It’s not always easy, but it is so worth it. I just keep moving forward and give it up to God—it always works out.

The Next Push

When I turned 60, I upped my game and really started focusing on my fitness. I wanted to be in great shape, so I decided to get back into personal training. I started working out with a friend who gave me the confidence to achieve my goals. She showed me how to really change my body with nutrition and invited me into her business. In the beginning, I thought that being fit meant working out. Once I became more educated, I truly understood how important diet is.

Fitness helped me completely turn my life around. Now at the age of 61, I am a mother of three and grandmother of five. I’ve been married for 36 years, and I’m setting a healthy example for my grandbabies, family, and friends. I am even getting ready to enter my first fitness competition! The journey is never over, and that’s the most exciting part! I’m always learning new ways to stay motivated, be educated, and keep moving forward..

 

Photos By JASON BLACK Follow (@_JASONBLACK_)

 

By : Heather Eason

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