“I Wouldn’t Have Signed On” Julie Goodwin’s Return to MasterChef Came With a Set of Conditions

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When Australia was first introduced to Julie Goodwin in 2009, her life was considerably different. For one, she was a busy mum running after three teenage boys and two, she hadn’t been crowned the winner of MasterChef Australia.

Goodwin is the OG MasterChef, and since her time on the show, she’s gone on to publish multiple cookbooks, host a radio show and open up her own cooking school — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

However, for years, Goodwin questioned whether she was deserving of the title, not taking into account her immense success throughout the last 13 years. 

“There is no doubt at all that I was dealing with imposter syndrome, and I think a lot of people struggle with that,” Goodwin told POPSUGAR Australia.

“Anyone who struggles with any kind of self-doubt knows that feeling of, ‘Gosh, what if I don’t deserve this? What if this was a fluke? What if I’m not good enough for this?’”

Related: After Winning MasterChef Australia, Julie Goodwin Faced a Tough Few Years

With all that in mind, the cook decided to return to the MasterChef Australia kitchen for Fans and Favourites, but the decision didn’t come easy.

Open about her mental health struggles, Goodwin debated whether revisiting the show would be good for her wellbeing. After consulting with her psychologist and loved ones, she decided to take part — but only if producers agreed to her terms and conditions.

“I wouldn’t have signed on if they didn’t come to me with a commitment that they would support my mental health journey,” she admitted.

“I just said to them, ‘I can’t say yes to this because I need to be able to exercise, have contact with my family, I need my regular psychologist appointments, I need to be able to stick to the routines that keep me well’,” she explained. “And they just said, ‘tell us what that looks like, and we’ll make it happen.’”

Goodwin continued: “So, I was supported by production, I was allowed to drive my car to Melbourne instead of flying down so I could go to the pool and exercise, as that’s part of mental health regime.

“They tried to keep the hours fairly moderate, and we all had full contact with our families, and they worked the schedule around my psych appointments.”

Related: Julie Goodwin Is Returning to MasterChef Australia 13 Years Later for Fans & Favourites

Her decision to return paid off. While she didn’t end up taking home the crown the second time, Goodwin did manage to make it all the way to the Top 5, proving that she definitely isn’t a one-hit wonder.

“This is a conversation I actually had with Billie [McKay]. I said to her, ‘Oh my God, maybe it wasn’t a mistake the first time round’ and she said, ‘I feel exactly the same way’,” she said.

“We’ve made it through this far on a whole new competition, a whole new set of judges and a bunch of new contestants. It can’t be an accident,” she added.

She hopes her hard work and perseverance inspire her one-year-old granddaughter, Delilah, who is the light of her life.

“What I hope for Delilah is that she can look at my journey and think, anything is possible. No matter how hard things get, you just don’t stop trying. It won’t always feel like it’s possible to get back up, but it is, and you’ve just got to hang in there.”

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