Channeled her inner warrior to reframe the mom guilt, overcome obstacles and reach success
Makeup by Monica Kalra
Hair by Laura Christine Clark
Julia Chang is full of surprises. Just by living her best life, Julia shows us that, YES, we can be both. Beauty Pageant Queen/Taekwondo Master. Mother/Entrepreneur. Thanks to her deep-seated martial arts roots, Julia is no stranger to hard (consistent) work. The limelight that has come has been a result of said hard work. Crowned Mrs. Maryland in two pageant systems—Mrs. Maryland America 2021, and United States of America’s Mrs. Maryland 2023—today Julia is a motivational speaker, pageant fitness trainer, and body transformation coach. And she’s achieved all this because she’s nothing short of intentional in executing on the little things daily that add up to her enjoying a successful life—which for her translates to fit, healthy, and balanced. Plus, the positive trickle-down effect is real for her littles.
The limelight that has come has been a result of said hard work. Crowned Mrs. Maryland in two pageant systems—Mrs. Maryland America 2021, and United States of America’s Mrs. Maryland 2023
Julia’s Taekwondo background has been the foundation of her success in all aspects of her life, and that inspired her to create her unique coaching program, The Wonhwa Way; Wonhwa means female warrior in Korean.
For the women she coaches, too. On her own personal journey thus far, Julia says, “My thirties were a decade of beautiful changes and difficult adjustments. I got married and birthed three beautiful, healthy babies. I also suffered a miscarriage. I went through that decade losing my identity, giving all of me to everyone. Fitness helped me feel strong, grounded, and capable to handle whatever life threw my way.” It’s clear that fitness is a big part of Julia’s sustenance, giving her roots from which to grow, as well as providing lessons to be learned along the way. Which is why she doesn’t bat an eye when she gets (unsolicited) negative comments from others about her choice to fulfil her dreams while being a mom. Amidst her success in pageants and Taekwondo and prepping other women for the runway, Julia remains humble and ready for the next challenge. Her perspective? The key to becoming strong isn’t really very sexy. It’s not glamorous or flashy. Instead, it’s about a balanced lifestyle and consistently showing up for yourself. Says Julia, “My STRONG lifestyle includes healthy nutrition, strength training and martial arts, breathwork, rest, and sleep. It’s funny. I used to look for tricks and secrets. The secret is... a strong lifestyle is kind of boring. It’s the same thing again and again, but it’s also in that routine that I find strength and my center.” And now that she’s found her center in healthy rituals, Julia looks towards the future.
Julia remains humble and ready for the next challenge. Her perspective? The
key to becoming strong isn’t really very sexy. It’s not glamorous or flashy. Instead, it’s about a balanced lifestyle and consistently showing up for yourself.
For her, it’s all about peace. “My non-negotiable now in my forties is time and space to do what I find peace and joy with. That includes removing anything from my life that doesn’t allow time and space for my workouts, meal prepping, family time, and work.” And community. Julia is big on community; in fact, it’s one driving force behind the push and pull with being strong and healthy herself, and helping others do the same. Says Julia, “Community is a large part of my success. While I’m great at working alone, I love plugging into a group of like-minded women to share my wins and lessons. I love cheering others on, and I also like to receive love. My fitness community includes the Team STRONG Girls coaches and Team STRONG Girls Facebook Group. It’s cool to speak the same fitness language, say the same expressions, and be on the same page in terms of fitness and nutrition philosophy.”
Get STRONG(er) with Julia Chang