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More Than: Julie of C&C

February 21, 2010

Hello fine readers of Then Heather Said! I am Julie from the little space on the interwebs called “Cookies and Cheese”. When Heather asked me to do a guest post about healthy living I didn’t even need to think before saying yes. Heather is an amazing writer who speaks from her soul and it’s an honor to be writing for her blog.

My road to healthy living began about 5.5 years ago when I started working full time and started dating my first “real” boyfriend. I joined a gym for the first time and really paid more attention to what I put into my body. Within a few months I had lost some weight and a few years later I was about 30 pounds lighter than when I started out. I felt great about myself and loved how I looked. I was also happy in my relationship and life was good. Or so I forced myself to believe.

When I look back on this relationship, my first real long term relationship, I see so many red flags that I wish I could’ve seen back then. It wasn’t an abusive relationship by any means; we were very much in love and treated each other with care and respect…except when my temper got the best of me.

This boyfriend that I had, let’s call him Chip, came from the most stereotypical perfect house hold. There was a loving, doting mom, a dad who was your best pal, and protective big bro and the girliest of girly little sisters. They all got along like the best of friends. Mom and dad were super in love; she was the typical little lady of the house doting on the breadwinning husband. They vacationed together every year, went out on dad’s boat every weekend, spent their winters skiing and were super cheese ball happy. The mom never hesitated to tell me how perfect her son was in all the three years we dated. Literally the woman told me how wonderful her son was every time we went over there house. I didn’t need to be impressed but it’s like she was trying to make me love him even more or something, it honestly made me uncomfortable. They were pretty much the polar opposite of my family and pretty much every family I know. Don’t get me wrong, my parents love each other and my sister and I, but there were disagreements and fights and my sister and I weren’t always the best of friends.  We didn’t spend summers on the boat or winters on the slopes or have constant smiles on our faces. We had our ups and downs, knock down drag outs, but we were never lacking in love.

For someone who grew up in a family like mine to date someone who grew up in a family like the Tanner’s is was quite a shock and adjustment. I was expected to be happy 24/7 (just like Chip’s mommy), never get angry or disagree, and pretty much do all the fun activities that Chip and the rest of his family enjoyed and enjoy them myself. I had to ski (I hate the cold and snow and really hate being out in it for extended periods of time) and love it, I had to boat (I can’t swim well and am afraid of open water) and love it, and I had to bike, run, hang out with his friends, do whatever he wanted to do, hang out with his sister, and love every waking minute of it. Now, I realize I could’ve spoken up and said “Hey Chip, can we do something I like to do?” but I was young, it was my first relationship, and I wasn’t sure how all that worked, but most importantly I didn’t know what I liked. In a relationship and in life you grow, you learn about yourself – you become you. But I was young, insecure, unsure, and wrapped up in having a boyfriend. Anything I knew about myself before was repressed and pushed down deep, as were all my true feelings. When Chip did something that made me angry or upset, changed plans without talking to me or acted like an idiot, I couldn’t say how it made me feel because if I was unhappy or showed any sign of being unhappy, that was bad. Arguing and disagreeing meant you were breaking up, to him fights and relationships didn’t go together.

However, my anger and temper can only be held in for so long before it bubbles up and over and creates a huge, giant mess. I had more emotional out bursts in our three years of dating than in my whole life. Not only did I blow up at Chip, but my family as well. Anything would set me off at home and with Chip. I’d flip out every once in a while when I got too filled with anger, jealously and rage. These fights lasted for days, put a strain on us, and drained us emotionally, yet we stayed together. I didn’t realize at the time why I had anger issues but I knew I had them and I wanted to change so I sought help for my problem. I started seeing a therapist to try to get to the bottom of things. Even though I was making an effort to make it work, a few months later, we finally broke up. Chip did the breaking but I knew it was right. Chip needed someone who was truly happy 24/7 and never got angry or annoyed, or showed any emotion other than happiness, and I needed someone who loved me for me. Someone who didn’t care if I didn’t like skiing or disagreed with something he said/did, someone who realizes compromise is a part of a healthy relationship, and that relationships are a partnership, not a dictatorship.

The week after we broke up I felt a way I hadn’t felt in years. I felt like a weight had been lifted. Chip and I weren’t right for each other and I realized that I needed someone to love me for me and not try to mold me into the perfect girlfriend. Chip and I had some fun times together, but in the end I think of a lot of the good was outweighed by the emotional outbursts I had from keeping everything inside.

I learned a lot from that relationship. The most powerful and important lesson I learned was to me 100% of the time and to never ever change for anyone. After we broke up I literally broke out of my shell. I was usually quiet at work; afraid to be myself, but now I could be the real Julie. The Julie who cracks jokes, who is silly, sarcastic and loves making people laugh. Chip wasn’t the one to take an innocent ribbing lightly, so I stopped being too jokey.

My road to healthy living began when Chip and I started dating, but it really took off when we broke up. In order to be healthy you need to start from the inside out. I did the opposite and it took me quite a while to figure it all out, but I can tell you with the utmost confidence that I am a totally different woman than I was 5 years ago. I don’t care much what others think of me, I’m not afraid to be myself or tell it like it is, and I’m not afraid to express any of my feelings. I feel mentally healthy. It’s been liberating and freeing and I love myself more today than I have ever in all my 27 years.



You can read all about Julie by visiting her blog.  You can also follow Julie’s 140 character long thoughts by reading her twitter feed.

Heather thinks you will enjoy Julie’s hilarity in all forms, but specifically her special ability to tie a  90’s pop culture reference in almost every situation and conversation, and “positive mo’” of the day. 





Discussion: Have you ever held yourself back or attempted to appear a certain way to a certain person or group of people?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2010 5:10 pm

    Wow, that’s way longer than I thought! hah 🙂
    Thank you for your kind words and the oppertunity to write for you 🙂

  2. February 21, 2010 5:37 pm

    I have to say that you seem to be speaking about me in a certain relationship I have and it’s not with a man or a friend or a family member. It’s with my job. I feel like that everyday at my job and really only realized it in the past couple of months.
    I am taking action to get out of this “relationship” by quitting at the end of July. 🙂 I have decided (after a long time considering) that it’s time for me to go back and finish school.
    I dropped out of college when I was 21 and never finished because I got pregnant. My boyfriend and I got married (and still are almost 10 years later) but I never finished school.
    Now’s the time so that I can be the woman I was meant to be and show my daughter’s that it’s NEVER too late to fulfill your dreams (and also to show them that there is a schedule to life for a reason 🙂 but that’s a different topic altogether!!)
    Thanks for the guest post.

    • February 22, 2010 3:25 pm

      such a great point… julie’s experience was with a man, but yours is with your job. Anything, anyone, or even anyTHOUGHT can keep us from being who we truly are…

    • February 22, 2010 11:01 pm

      i am so EXCITED for you to be going back to school! how thrilling this must be for you. Good bye bad relationship & hello dream chaser! 🙂

  3. February 21, 2010 5:46 pm

    I think I spent a vast majority of my elementary, middle and high school years holding myself back to appear a certain way. It lessened as I got older, but I can remember wanting to do exactly what my other friends were allowed to in order to keep my “popular” status. My Mum frequently reminded me that a 15-year-old should act their age. Thank goodness for her. Looking back on those times, I realize that in doing so, I was harmful and wreckless to others. No, I was a bitch. I didn’t care about how I affected others thoughts or feelings like I do now.

    I remember making a visit home from college early in my freshman year and having this outsider moment where I realized how much I’d grown and changed in such a short time. I stopped trying to see myself in others and started being the best I could see in me. In turn, I treated people like they deserved. I felt more in my skin than I had in years. Like you Julie, I felt lighter. I felt like from then on my life would never be the same. I gave myself two of the greatest gifts: self-appreciation and self-understanding. You did, too. What a great story and testament to healthy living. Kudos, congrats and much love. Another new blend – thank you Heather!!

  4. February 22, 2010 4:49 am

    Great post Julie. I’m glad you’re back to your old self!

  5. February 22, 2010 7:37 am

    lovely post, julie. very interesting take on healthy living as it relates to dating. people sometimes forget how closely the two are tied. i also think that a lot of people are probably stuck in relationships they think are perfect and have no idea how much they could grow if they stepped outside that boundary for a bit.

    thanks for sharing!

  6. February 22, 2010 3:27 pm

    I’m so caught up in what other people think of me that it is LITERALLY crippling. It is one of the things I’m trying to work on this year. It really is so hard. But you’re right… I’m the one who suffers when I am not true to myself. 🙂 Thanks julie. 😀

  7. February 22, 2010 4:39 pm

    This is such a fabulous post. I found myself nodding along during the course of reading it. Not so much from a relationship with a guy, but in relationships I’ve had with people since childhood/teen years and the pressure to conform to the group thinking/mentality. I realize that I’ve grown and changed (not to say they haven’t changed, just not in the same way) and I always feel like an outsider when I join them for social activities. But, feeling like an outsider isn’t a bad thing in my viewpoint any more. It’s taken a while to get there though!
    Plus, going back home and not caring about “fitting in” and conforming adds that extra element of personal amusement as they try to figure me out 🙂

    • February 22, 2010 4:48 pm

      This is SUCH a great perspective.

      Sometimes, I daydream about attending my 10 year next year (usually after spending too much time stalking on Facebook! Ha.) And think about what its going to feel like to be in that room with all those people again. I know I struggled to find a balance between fitting in/being liked and being true to who I am. I try to live now wo regard to the “popular kids” because life is DIFFERENT now and there aren’t really POPULAR kids in my life (thankfully)- but how will I react when I’m WITH the people I graduated with? I hope I don’t retract to 16 year old heather!!!

      I need to take a clue from you and EMBRACE any feelings like an “outsider” (especially bc in my case they are usually my own doubts/insecurities/feelings and not necessarily anyone elses.)

      • February 22, 2010 8:02 pm

        That is so funny because I was all excited to show up to my 10 year reunion all cut and ripped because I had been working out for a few years at that point and was in great shape (unlike in high school) and that’s all I could think about – going back to that place, with those people and showing them what I had done (secretly hoping that the popular girls were fat now) and then I found out I was pregnant in February and went to my reunion almost 8 months pregnant!!! I realized in the moment I walked in the door that the person I had something to prove to was me and I had proven it already. I knew who I was, how I was and that, in the end, was all that mattered. I was someone of huge importance to the person I cared about the most…my daughter.


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