Sometimes inspiration hits us when we’re least expecting it, and that happened to me recently. A few weeks ago I celebrated my birthday in New York with some of my favorite friends, and I was totally blown away by one of them.
I don’t have a lot of close friends, but I have a few extraordinary ones who accept me in spite of my faults and understand the battles I face even though their battles are different. One of those friends is Kelly aka CurvyFitGirl.
If you follow me on twitter then you see us talking nonsense on a regular basis, but what you don’t see is that this girl is there for me no matter what. She lets me laugh, cry, yell or drone on about whatever is on my mind, and I do the same for her. We are totally different people, but she gets me. And I am so thankful that she’s in my life.
It’s easy to look at someone like Kelly and think “Well, she’s beautiful. Of course she’ll reach her goal! It seems easy for her.” But I know Kelly, and I know the struggles and the fears and the obstacles that she has faced in accomplishing what she has so far. I know what she has overcome, and to say it’s inspiring doesn’t even begin to cover it. (Seriously, if you don’t read her blog, you’re missing out.)
Kelly and I met through twitter in 2010 when I asked for a recipe to impress a guy I was dating at the time. We didn’t date long, but what I found as a result was a friendship that I plan to keep forever. (Shut up, Kelly. I’m mushy, and you know I can’t help it. hehe) Kelly and I have been solid ever since, and I’ve watched her change and grow (inside and out) more than I could have imagined when we met.
Kelly is a faithful Weight Watchers member, and she’s proof that it works. She tracks her food intake everyday (like it or not) and keeps her body in motion through Firm DVD’s and Bikram Yoga. She has literally melted away since she started Bikram, but it didn’t come easily for her. It doesn’t come easily now either.
When I arrived (late) to my birthday dinner a few weeks ago, I stepped out of Ed’s SUV, giddy. I was so happy to have my worlds colliding that night, and I couldn’t wait to hug Kelly.
I was excited about my long time friends meeting my newer friends and friends from far away, and when I looked at the person in the car next to me I didn’t even realize who it was. Seriously, it didn’t register that it was Kelly until she jumped out of her car and hugged me. I don’t even think I said hi before saying “OMG I didn’t recognize you!” I had just seen Kelly a few months before that and a few months before that, but whoa! She looked like a different person!
I have always loved wearing dresses and makeup and pretty nail polish, but I have watched Kelly transform herself from a girl who was comfortable in dark, over-sized sweats and cotton shirts to a girl who wears form-fitting dresses, make-up, bikinis and a killer tan. (As I’ve already stated, Kelly, if I didn’t love you I’d hate you. I need some sun, man!)
She’s still the same dry, New Yorker that she was when we met, but she seems to possess a confidence in herself that was buried when we met. She’s also more in touch with her emotions, and if you read her blog you know that’s not easy for her either.
Kelly started her journey near the weight I’m at now, and it’s incredible for me to see how far she has come. It’s incredible to think that if I lose another 100 that my body will be completely transformed, and seeing Kelly reminds me of that. You may have noticed that my weight has not changed significantly since we met, but she doesn’t judge me for that. She doesn’t judge me for anything (except my love of American Idol, but she watches Dancing with the Stars so we’re even.)
I’ve said so many times that I’ve lost enough to know weight-loss is possible. I know what it feels like to lose 100 pounds, but I’ve been stuck in the 280’s for what feels like an eternity. And knowing that Kelly struggled to break into the 100’s for so long inspires me to believe in myself. Knowing that it’s possible to break through barriers that feel impossible just as she has done inspires me to keep trying.
It must be obvious that I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’m friends with someone who has accomplished so much on her weight-loss journey, but let me be clear…I am proud to be friends with someone who goes after what she wants, who doesn’t quit just because it’s hard and who clearly understands that life is what we make it.
Kelly still struggles. She has good days and bad days just like we all do, but she’s a fighter. She does not give up. She’s a winner, and though I know isn’t perfect, she is a shining example of the kind of person I strive to be – independent, driven and beautiful inside and out. I love her, and I’m thankful for her. She gives me hope.