I’ve gained 20 pounds and I’m happier than ever.

I have butterflies in my belly thinking about you watching this video. Even now as I’m typing this, I’m thinking about hitting delete and walking away from my computer.

There’s no way I can preface or summarize today’s vlog so I invite you to just watch.  If you prefer reading, you can scroll down below and read the transcript from the video.

I could have written about a lot of things today. But, for some reason, I got the strongest urge to talk to you about my body.  

I wasn’t planning to email you today….until I went shopping.It was there when I realized there’s something I haven’t shared with you – something that feels really important, really real, really raw, and really vulnerable.

If anything resonates during this video, please comment below and use the social media icons below to forward this video to a girlfriend who could use it right now! This is a conversation we should ALL be having with each other.

TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:  If you were to say ONE gorgeous and loving thing to your body right now: what would you tell her?



Hi everybody. It’s Julie Santiago, and I am about to film maybe the most vulnerable post I think I’ve ever filmed before about my body. So, if you’re watching this, it means you read the subject line, right, which is in the past year I’ve gained 20 pounds. I don’t know, actually, if that number’s 20, because I don’t weigh myself anymore. It may be 30, it may be 15, it doesn’t really matter, and that’s what this post is about.

You see, I grew up as, I think many, many of us women do, with the very skewed false belief that somehow or another, my body determined my worth in some way, that it mattered, that if I were thin or pretty, I’d get more love. It’s not just a body thing, it’s all the masks that we put on as kids. Needing to be a people pleaser, or needing to be a perfectionist, or fill in the blank.

One of the masks that I put on was this mask around my body image, that I needed to be a certain way. My hair is a really perfect example of that. This is my hair. This is what my hair looks like normally. It’s curly and it’s a little messy and I’m owning it now. You see, because for so long, I didn’t. I thought it needed to be straight, or I thought it needed to be different.
My body was the same way. I thought that my body needed to be a way that it wasn’t, naturally. I just finished shopping for a dress that  I have to wear to a wedding this weekend, and I went into a store, and it’s the first time I’ve gone shopping in a while, and as I was flipping through the clothes, I was looking at clothes that fit me now, which is no longer a two or a four. It’s more like an eight or a ten. As I was flipping through these clothes, I was doing it with such love, like my body is different now. She’s different because I’ve learned to listen to her.
If you’ve been part of this community now for a while, you know that two years ago, when my really deep healing journey back to my heart and back to my shine really began, part of that also included me eliminating alcohol from my life. Because wine, for me, just like a box of cookies or a pint of ice cream or staring at the computer working for hours, all could be tools that I used not to feel my feelings. So I don’t do that anymore. I don’t reach for something outside of me if I’m having a feeling. I feel it. I don’t need to pick up food or the phone or TV show or get wasted in order to not feel the uncomfortable feelings that I’m feeling.
What’s come on the other side of that is a joy and a bliss and a freedom like I’ve never known before. What’s come on the other side of it is me learning to trust, not only trust, right, trust that I’ll be taken care of, trust that it’s all working out, trust that there’s a plan, trust that I don’t have to do it alone, but also trust the wisdom of my body.
So when she says, lay down instead of work out, I listen. When she says, eat this instead of that, I listen. I trust she’s doing the right thing, because she’s wise. My body is just as wise as the moon that cycles every 28 days. My body is just as wise as the acorn seed that is planted that grows into a tree. We are no different. For so long, I lived making decisions about my body with brain, and not listening to the wisdom of her.
So she’s bigger now. She’s bigger because she wants to be this size. She doesn’t want to be a two right now. She may want to be a ten, and the truth is, it’s none of my business. That’s what I understand more than anything, and I part it’s why I’m filming this to you. To say, yeah, I’m human, I’m a woman and I have struggles and I have fears and I have body image stuff and all of it, and it’s all just a distraction.
There’s a hilarious quote that I saw shared by one of my friends about a year or so ago. It said, “Mother Theresa didn’t worry about the size of her thighs. She had shit to do.” You know, we worry about our bodies in some ways because it distracts us from thinking about our lives. What I know to be true right now is my life is bigger than it’s ever been before. I have more to hold, and I’m trusting that my body knows exactly what she’s doing. So long as I listen to her, eat when she wants, honor when she’s full, sleep when she needs it, move when she asks, so long as I take those directives as divine directives, she’s going to be okay. My body will be the size that she needs to be.
What’s amazing about this is it’s not just about our bodies. It’s kind of like the whole life thing. Can we surrender and trust? Trust that we don’t have to control everything. Trust that there is another way. So today, whether for you it’s about your body or about money or your job or your relationship or fill in the blank, wherever it is in your life that you’re trying to control, I invite you to just take a deep breath and listen to the wisdom that is contained in you. If you can’t hear it yet, that’s okay. Keep listening.
I hope that this share with you is beneficial in some way. I’m going to stop recording now and I’m going to hit send, and I’m going to trust that my divine directive, the one that when I was shopping in that store said, oh my god, you have to share this now, it’s time to talk about this now, I’m going to trust that it was for a reason. If there’s one person on the other end of this video who gets something, that’s the whole purpose of being alive, to learn, to grow, and to share with each other. Sending you so much love and gratitude and humility. Thank you for being part of this community, and thank you for being on this path with me. I love you, I couldn’t do it alone, and I thank you.



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  1. YES! YES! YES! Thank you so much for this! Beautiful and exactly what I needed – to hear – you have no idea 🙂 xoxoxo

  2. Susan Sullivan says

    Julie, You are such an amazing woman, and such an inspiration! You are beautiful, and fabulous, and perfect just the way you are. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for again open on my eyes. Sending you a great big hug and love and light! 🙂 Susie

    • Susan…thank you sweetheart..so much for your love and for your words. sending you a big hug right back!

  3. U r the most wonderful gift and beautiful soul and I am so grateful for your share I soaked it right into my being and will take it with me from this minute till forever. I never stop learning from u. Thank u for crossing my path. Ur like the most glorious tree on a peaceful walk in nature…

  4. OMGoddess, my sister. I so felt every word of this. Last night I opened my closet looking for a pair of jeans. We were getting ready to go to a concert for Father’s Day. I tried on a pair after pair after pair, but I couldn’t get any of them to button. I had a meltdown and decided on a baggy dress. Thank you so much for sharing this – your heart, your soul, your shine, at the most perfect time! This mama needs to go shopping and it’s going to feel good. ❤️❤️❤️

    • Melanie…I know how beautiful you looked in that dress. Thank you for sharing and exploring and being such a sister. Here’s to adorning your body with new clothes she feels SO good wearing 😉

  5. Elizabeth says

    Thank you for sharing this. I don’t know you and have never seen your page before, but I was linked here by a friend’s Facebook and it was definitely something I needed to watch and hear. I not only appreciate the specific content, but also your vulnerability and strength. Thanks again. Blessings to you.

    • Elizabeth…welcome to our community. I am so happy your friend lead you here and I am so happy that the message touched you in some way. Blessing to you sweetheart.

  6. Michele puryear says

    Thank you for sharing! Our self esteem is so often tied to our body image. You have stripped that away

    • Thank you Michele. It’s amazing how we culturally learn things about self-worth and body image. Here’s to dropping the bullshit and owning our inner beauty and inner light.

  7. Julie, your timing was impeccable, for many of us, I’m sure. Personally, I’ve been weighing myself every day and I’m shocked that I actually ALLOW myself to do it because it goes against everything I’ve ever believed. But perimenopause/menopause has gotten me stuck in “I’m old and ugly”.

    This country, and world (for the most part) is so caught in a trap of what is considered “beautiful”. It’s actually horrifying and the effect that it has on us and especially our young girls is even more horrifying.

    I’m bored with my obsession with my weight, wrinkles and ‘fixing’ myself. I’ve earned these “stripes” and I’m going to wear them proudly. I’m going to do what I can to be healthy, enjoy my workouts, my skin care and beauty routines, and clothing no matter what size! However, I’m not going to obsess anymore. It’s tiring, not enjoyable and it is, as I said, damned BORING. 🙂

    Let’s love ourselves in a healthy way, so we can get to the more important work of loving and caring for others in a healthy way. 🙂

    Julie you are a beautiful, genuine soul and you have inspired me and lifted me up so many times that I cannot count.

    Keep up your important work in the world. You’re doing a BEAUTIFUL job and you’re exactly where you are supposed to be, helping others realize what is truly important in life and find their important place in the world! 🙂

    Love, peace, beauty and grace,
    Mo 🙂

    • YES Mo! I love this..”let’s love ourselves in a healthy way so we can get to the more important work of loving and caring for others.” We can only heal others and heal the world when we first heal ourselves.

      Sending you so much love and gratitude sweetheart.

  8. Julie, your words truly touch my heart. Every post I read or listen to speaks to my soul. I ran across you at a very challenging time in my life… A time that brought much strife, but also much wisdom. Your teachings align so closely with everything I am feeling and going through right now. I believe our souls were meant to connect…thank you for sharing and reaching out. Know that you are making an impact.


    • Lynetee…thank you for being a part of this community and of my life 😉 I’m so grateful to know the words and messages touch you. I, too, deeply believe that the right people come into our lives at the exact right time. Thank you for your love.

  9. Thank you for your soul-sharing and your beautiful honesty.

  10. Hey there beautiful sister. I loved your video and just seeing you. Thank you for sharing. I so miss seeing and talking with you. I hope our paths cross soon!!!!

    • Hello sweet Diane…I, too, look forward to seeing you again very soon! You are such a light. xoxo

  11. This was beautiful Julie. Thanks for having to courage to share, it was just what I needed to hear today. XO

    • Audrey…Thank you sweetheart. Im glad the message landed on your at the right time. Sending you a big kiss.

  12. You are a bright light among us Julie! Your words touched me heart and soul. Such beautiful courage is guiding you and you are listening and following. Loving our bodies and trusting the Divine wisdom that is embedded in every cell is the truth of who we are. It is time to change the entire course of our history. To no longer be chained to the definition assigned to us generation after generation until now. Who among us feels really good when we look in the mirror? I am thin by nature but am older now. I have cried many a tear at the changes in my face and body. No no no!!! That never is and never was the truth of me. Our bodies are magnificent in every detail. I imagine a time when we stand in the light of our radiant presence with complete adoration and acceptance of ourselves. Where we don’t try to be something that we’re not. Where we don’t feel flawed in my way or lesser than. Your courageous declaration is a beacon on that path. Thank you for shining 🙂

    • Oh Iris…thank you for such a beautiful post. “our bodies are magnificent in every detail”….yes! Thank you for being on this path as well..I can feel your strength and power. I’m so grateful.

  13. I was totally transfixed watching this offering of vulnerability, wisdom and love… as ever you amaze and inspire… deep bow sister… you shine with such courage and grace… xoxo

  14. christine says

    i love as always seeing your heart shine through – as you so beautifully emanate your PRESENCE which is enough, so enough. thank you love for sharing your journey and being an inspiration for us all to let the masks down and be who we are. that is where we women can finally start to heal. btw, i love the hair!!! xoxxo

    • Christine, thank you for this love. I hear “my PRESENCE is enough” Thank you for guiding me to always let the masks down. Thank you.

  15. The timing of me opening your email in my inbox could not have been more perfect. I am massively grateful. Thank you so much for reminding me that MY LIFE is BIGGER than the size of my thighs. And I have shit TO DO!!!

    • YES Lulu! Your life is so much bigger than the physical appearance of your body! Here’s to getting shit done to change the world and not getting distracted by our thighs.

  16. Thank you so much Julie. Thank you. I love you and I honor you. I needed this so much as I have struggled with weight loss from stress. And feeling weak. I am so glad to be supported.

    • I love and honor YOU Meghan. Trust that your body is always giving you clues and speaking to you…and you do not have to do it alone!

  17. “You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

  18. Oh Julie!!!! This was so wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing and not deleting this!!!! My mind, my heart and my own sweet body thank you. Honor honor honor. 🙂

    • Oh honey…thank you for this heart-felt post. I can FEEL your love and gratitude…I bow to and honor you sister.

  19. Thanks for your courage and thanks for reminding me, that I’m not alone in this all. Surrender and trust, that it will all come together. I’m learning to loosen the “vice grip” on my life, and listen to my higher self.

  20. What a video! Thank you for sharing

  21. So incredibly moving and inspiring, Julie. I am celebrating and loving your amazing courage, trust, and power!! XO

  22. June Luciano says


  23. Julie you are so beautiful in every way. Thank you so much for sharing this. You are such an inspiration. This video was very emotional to watch. I will try and listen more and act on what I hear – in every area of life. I don’t find it easy hearing what my inner self is saying but I will try. I am so incredibly grateful that somehow I came across your gratitude group and you. So very grateful! Thank you for being you!! Lots of love xxx

    • Sara…it sounds like something touched your heart and I get it. Whenever I get emotional, I know there is something for me to explore. It doesn’t have to be perfect 😉 Just you showing up is transformative. I love you sweetheart.

  24. Julie you are truly inspirational, thank you for sharing, well done

  25. Your beauty, strength and wisdom is inspiring! Thank you for sharing your love and journey.

    • Melissa…I love you sweet sister. Thank you for commenting and for your love…I deeply feel it.

  26. Caroline says

    You are beautiful and your weight is inconsequential to that fact. You are smart enough to know what’s healthiest for you and your body..which is not a size 2 [for many people at all..]
    Our society is far too fixated on this so good for you for getting yourself past that!

  27. Thank you for being so vulnerable. I really connected with your statement of how we were raised. And I’m still trying to erase the soundtrack that’s in my head from when I was a child. It goes something like this: ” you’re not so smart, but you’re very pretty, and thank goodness your sisters very smart because she’s not so pretty.” Oy yuck! How damaging is that?
    We both still joke about it but we know it cuts into the inner core of our being. I know deep in my heart that we are both very intelligent and very beautiful women with our own set of accomplishments. Thank you for sharing, and allowing me to see we all work through body / self image issues!

    • Totally hear you on that Ne. We all receive these messages about life. And, at some point, luckily as adults we get to choose to do the work of RE-RECORDING the soundtrack 😉

      Here’s to erasing what no longer works and choosing something that does.

      LOVE you sweets.

  28. Thank you Julie! I had been ignoring my own wisdom and following that of others. You need a big breakfast to start the day. You need to eat enough food to keep your body going (even if all I was doing was studying online each day). Other things like I don’t need to look after myself anymore as I’m getting to a point where it wasn’t supposed to matter. Newsflash it does matter to me. So I’m listening for when I am actually hungry. Listening for when I need a quick walk around the block to stretch out from the computer. And I’m finding more self belief and confidence in my own Wisdon. Thank you. ♥️

    • I love how much you’re LISTENING Heather. You’ve also just inspired me to stand up from my computer and talk a walk so THANK YOU!


  29. Amy Ahlers says


    Thank you for your courage and your bravery. You shine so bright and your message in this video touched my soul on a deep level. Thank you for reminding us of the truth of who we really are. Love, Amy

  30. Thanks, Julie. I was just this morning being critical of myself for not working out. I’m just so tired lately and was down on myself for not managing to get out of bed before work to exercise. This made me feel so much better. My body was telling me to rest. I am listening now without guilt. Your vulnerability and the courage it took to post this gave me permission to be vulnerable and write this post. I never comment because I feel too exposed. So Thank you.

    • Maria…yes to listening to your wise body when she needs to rest. I am SO SO happy that you had the COURAGE to post. It’s amazing when we stretch ourselves just a little bit and begin to trust that it’s actually safe to share with others 😉 THANK YOU.

  31. Thank You
    Thank You
    Thank You
    You really do make a difference. Body image is a huge mask that we as women struggle with and your post is a beautiful reminder to honor our higher self.

    • Natalie….thank YOU. I feel like bowing 😉 I bow to you, your higher self and to the higher self in us all.

  32. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your bravery, humility, your wisdom, and your soulful loveliness. Your light is shining brightly.

    • Jane…thank you sweetheart for such a generous and heart-felt message. I feel SO grateful to receive.

  33. Kim pine says

    You’re such a sweet being your love touches my heart. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m reminded to listen, to trust, and let go of control. We are SO linked with the moon, as she waxes and wanes… As she shines, as she moves the oceans… Are menstral cycle moved with her, and so why wouldn’t our bodies? A breath of fresh air. Thank you sister <33

    • Oh sweet Kimberly…I feel this sentence “to listen, to trust and to let go of control.” I love your comments on the moon and our cycles…thank you. We ARE the moon…it’s so powerful to come to realize that we are not separate.

  34. Kim pine says

    OH and the piece about being obsessed with my body as a distraction… Wow. Something to mull over!

  35. Thank you for your sharing and insights. I struggle so much with body image. Moving from a 2/4 to a 6/8. I’m 55 years old!!! …loved your comments….thank you, thank you, thank you!

  36. Genevieve says

    Finally slowed down and watched this. Though through my own procrastination and hurry… This timing is divine. I have a wedding to attend this weekend that I both look forward to and had been dreading. Dread no more. So much good has come in the last month and you’re right, this anxiety has been a distraction to fill the void of all the troubles that miraculously worked their way out of my life in the last month. But I’m not done celebrating how good I feel now that they’re gone. Time to again honor and give gratitude for the blessings as well as the void… The space created, the room to be and to breathe.

  37. I lost 45 lbs in 30 days 4 years ago and haven’t gained any back. I need help! Thank you! 🙂

  38. Joanna Nappo says

    Thank you.
    Im also on this journey.
    I fought to be a size 10/12 but its becoming aparen that my body isn’t that size naturally. I need to learn to be ok with that.

  39. Inspiring! What else can I say? Bless you, Julie.

  40. Jen Coken says

    You provide an authentic voice for sisters everywhere. As you speak your truth and break down old stereotypes, you create a safe space for us all to do so! Keep it coming sister. — Jen

    • Just when I finished overeating, knowing that I am hurting me. I have not been listening to her… Thank you Julie.

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