Julia Barretto on how she no longer betrays her body for appearance’s sake and values comfort when it comes to her fitness and wellness routines outside of her glamorous lifestyle
Julia Barretto is an impressive woman to watch at the shoot. An utter professional, she moves swiftly from one location to the next and even sings under her breath, not letting the scorching heat hamper her mood. She’s all poise and confidence on camera, but the same is true even before the camera began clicking away. While her team works all around her to get her camera-ready, Julia maintains the easy charisma and reveals the underlying practical mind that’s gotten her through work as an actress, model, and CEO of her own company.
Food for thought
“I’m just going to give you an honest answer—I’m actually not strict with my diet.” This was how Julia answered our first question. Not one to mince words or portray herself differently from how she really is, Julia adds, “Maybe when I was younger, yes, but now that I’m older, I’ve started to really embrace just being able to enjoy eating.”
Going against the grain of diet culture in the entertainment industry, the cover star says she allows herself to enjoy whatever she feels like eating because doing the opposite would only bring her mood down. “I find that when I’m on a diet, it really puts me in a mood, like a sad mood. And with the kind of life that I live, I always have to face people and I’m always on the go. It’s just not the kind of energy that I should be having,” she explains.
“Life is too short to try and be in control of everything and I don’t wanna anymore control what I eat. I just really want to enjoy my life, to be honest.”
All the same, she balances out her indulgences by remembering to eat the right amount and working out. On that note, Julia says that the best kinds of workouts for her are low-intensity ones like yoga and pilates. This mindful type of exercise allows her to de-stress and find enjoyment in working out. This is the key to maintaining an active lifestyle, she says. “You just find what works for you and maintain that kind of lifestyle.”
Finding that these mindful and low-intensity exercises work best for her both physically and mentally, she mentions that she doesn’t force herself to do anything now that feels too much for her and her body.
Mind over matter
Proving herself to be the ever-active woman, Julia shares, “If we finish early today, and if I still have the energy to do a little cardio, I definitely will.” She mentions that finding the time to add fitness and self-care into a busy schedule is a matter that determination can fix. There’s always a way if it’s something you really want to do, according to her, but don’t push yourself over the limit. As the saying goes, focus on what you can do over what you can’t.
This rings true for the actress, model, and CEO as well. For example, she doesn’t like cardio, but instead of forcing the issue, she finds a solution. Hers? Getting her cardio in through fun sports with friends. “To even do it alone is a challenge for me, so I always make sure I have friends to do it with,” she says. “Right now, I’ve been really into badminton. I find that it’s really good cardio for me as well because I’m not really in my running phase so I try to find a way to do cardio in the most fun way.”
Adding to that, Julia says she likes to fit in her physical activities at night after work. But, again, the cover star chooses not to push herself over the limit, explaining that she doesn’t force her body to exercise if she has no more energy left after work.
I don’t betray my body anymore these days. I listen to it because it’s so hard when your mind and your body battle. It’s just not a battle for me to fight anymore.
Julia recalls, “When I was younger, I was always trying to be in control of every single thing and I found that it really drove me mad as a person, like really aggressive and really frustrated. And I didn’t wanna be that kind of person, so I’ve really learned to just let go slowly of the things that I can’t control and were stressing me out when I tried to control it. So, I just really go with the flow nowadays and I think that’s how I really keep my life at a steady pace.”
No matter how busy life gets, self-care shouldn’t be neglected. For Julia, this means pampering herself in the comfort of her bathroom. “You know, my self-care is really my time in the comfort room. Like, to me, that’s my safe haven,” she says. Whenever she needs to pause and take a moment to think, she spends most of her time in her bathroom.
Showing herself to be a practical woman, she divulges, “When I was building my house, I made sure that my bathroom would be spacious enough for it to be space for me to think as well. It’s funny but it’s really my safe haven.” In there, she would unwind by doing self-care rituals and using things like body scrubs, hair masks, hair oils, and face masks. For her, right now, that’s the epitome of self-care. “The hours I can spend in the bathroom are the best hours of my life these days, honestly,” she adds with a laugh.
Gravitating to what’s comfortable, especially on her off days, is a commonality in Julia’s life. She says she’s more of a loungewear kind of girl but would don activewear when she’s working out or running errands. And when she does put on activewear, she insists on what’s comfortable and practical. Function over form.
“When you do a workout, you have to be comfortable or you won’t be able to do the workout,” she says rationally. And among her workout clothes, she says you’ll spot mostly black and neutral pieces. Black, in particular, is a deliberate choice of hers since any dirt that gets on her workout clothes won’t be too visible. Sensible as always, she says, “I really like pieces that are classic, basic, and that make me feel comfortable.”
A deeper insight
All in all, Julia prefers wearing classic staples, the kind you can wear over and over again. Pointing to her own outfit that day—a white tank, blue jeans, and black sandals—she shares, “I’ve worn this so many times, but that’s the purpose of having pieces like these.”
She goes on to say that she prefers to dress down and be laid back on her off days given her already glamorous lifestyle. “Our work requires us to be glammed up all the time and in the moments that you can be dressed down and not have any makeup and not be in a crazy lifestyle, I take those chances because, almost every day, I’m already glammed up,” she says.
Her deep insight and calm introspection belies his years. Though she just turned 26 in March, Julia says she’s getting old and feels tired a lot of the time, so she just wants to be cozy and comfortable for the rest of her life. The self-reflection doesn’t end there. Recalling her past relationship with food and fitness, she gave one last piece of advice, particularly for young girls that are body-conscious.
“Just take it easy. The more movement, the better—but don’t forget to have the proper nutrition as well,” the cover star says. “When I was younger, this was where I got it all wrong. Like, not eating is not the key to having a good physique, and being strict on your diet is not the secret to having the physique that you want.”
Again, the right balance is still the best. Feed your body, feed your soul, and have the right amount of movement and everything will be on balance.
Photography ANDREA BELDUA
Creative Direction MARC YELLOW
Art Direction ANDREW ENCAPAS
Fashion Direction RYUJI SHIOMITSU
Styling CATH SOBREVEGA
Hair RAYMOND SANTIAGO
Makeup ROBBIE PIÑERA
Shot on Location UP DILIMAN TRACK AND FIELD OVAL
Shoot Coordination KZ FRANCISCO