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How I Got Here (Part One)


photoA few months ago, I came across this quote: “Life is about change. Sometimes its painful, sometimes its beautiful. But most of the time, it’s both.” And it hit home for me, hard. When I decided to start getting healthy, I had absolutely no idea how much of my life would change, and I could not have predicted the both painful and beautiful ways this change would affect me.

These changes are the story of how I got here.  They have made me the person I am today.  A person who can write a blog about maintenance. A person who puts food into my body for fuel. And most importantly, a person with renewed sense of self.  There are four major changes that have made me who I am today, and I touched on them quickly in my first post.

There are many reasons why I want to share these changes, but one very much sticks out in my mind.  As an avid reader of Julia’s blog (since long before I had the incredible opportunity to write my own, or the unbelievable fortune to call her a friend) I find that the parts that stick with me the most are the things that make me know I am not alone in the struggles.  Just knowing that there is one other person out there, experiencing the same thing as you, can sometimes make all the difference.

So, over the next four Sundays, I will post about each of the four changes that grew me into the person I am today, starting today with how I lost and gained some of the most important people in my life.

Many times, people come and go from our lives simply because, well, that’s how life is. I have always been aware that not everyone in my life was a constant. That being said,I had a group of friends that I had for 10 years, who I felt would support me no matter what. But then something happened: as I changed, as I got more confident, as I found new things that I enjoyed doing other than what we typically did as a group, and as new people came into my life- they all started pulling away. And trust me when I say, I understand how scary it can be when the people you love change, but I thought these friendships were stronger than any difficulty change could bring.

Going through this was immensely painful because these people were the ties to my past, and my dreams of the future.  They were who I thought would be my bridesmaids and the people that my kids would call Aunt and Uncle.  So very many memories over the past ten years of my life have these seven people in them, and I just wasn’t sure if that sense of security in a friendship was replaceable.

I struggled with the worry that I was the sole cause of this loss.  And, of course, there are always things I could have done better, but looking back I realize that I was picking myself up and changing myself for the better, and for some reason, these friends were not a part of that change.

With hindsight on my side, I now can look back and know the reason for this overwhelming loss: it made room for the family that I have built over the last seven months.  A family of people that I never want to live without.  Each of them has had a hand in helping me reach my goals. Some of these friends have helped me by simply being there while others have physically taken classes with me, given me someone to be accountable to, and offered endless advice.

While each of these people has been an exceptional source of support and encouragement for me, I have to acknowledge three people who have become my Fitness Family.  Julia, Lindsey, and Lindsay are my work out partners, they make me laugh hysterically, make fun of me in the way that only “sisters” can and dry my tears in the way that only someone who truly cares about you would.  I would do anything for each of them, and the best part is, I know they’d do the same.  Many many people have asked me, given the heavy loss of my closest friends, would I go back and do this all over again? And I always respond with a question- when I do it the second time, do I get to have my Fitfam? If the answer is yes, then I would go through that loss 100 times over just to have them in my life.

I am so grateful to have had this major change in my life, because it has made me a better, happier person.  And while losing weight is what spurred this loss in the first place, it is also what caused this undeniable gain.  I feel so lucky to have the happy memories of the past with my old friends, and the hope for an amazing future with my new ones.




About Crystal Carlin

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