Personal Training * Nutrition * Pilates

Christy Before:
265 lbs

Dear Crystal,

Where do I begin?  What a journey the past seven months has been!  There is no way that I could put into words how this incredible gift has transformed my life, and the lives of my husband and children.

When I first wrote you, I told of a life filled with shame, apprehension, and disappointment.  I spoke of an upcoming trip requiring air travel, and my fear of the seatbelt not fitting me.  I spoke of family trips to Disney where I required a wheelchair to get around the parks, and didn’t go on rides with my children due to not being able to fit in the seats.  I spoke of longing for increased energy to keep up with my children, and a feminine figure to appeal to my husband.

Several years ago I fell into a vicious cycle of being displeased with myself and many of the circumstances in my life, and then turning to junk food to suppress the pain.  As my weight climbed, my pain deepened.  Even though there were doubts and insecurities that held me back, deep down I knew all along that I had the ability to take control of my life.  I just didn’t know how to.  I knew I needed something, but didn’t know what it was.  This caused me to shut down in every area of my life; as a mother, as a wife, as a friend.  I was too ashamed to myself.

While the ability was buried way beneath the surface, what I didn’t have was the knowledge.  Ability without knowledge is wasted.  Crystal, you have taught me to treat my body well.  Just like a high performance sports car that requires premium fuel for its engine to function properly, my body requires premium foods to use as fuel for it to perform properly.  You’ve taught me that to be physically strong, I must be mentally strong.  When my head wants to stop, I need to push my body harder and break through that wall.  You’ve taught me that the muscles in my body need each other, just like a clock has gears that work together for it to keep time accurately.   You’ve taught me that my body loves exercise and proper nutrition.  You’ve also taught me that I need hugs for comfort, not brownies and ice cream.  I could go on for days about everything that I’ve learned in such a short period of time.  It seemed like we were just beginning, and our time together was over.  What’s exciting is there is still so much more for me to know, and I’m looking forward to discovering it all.

You know the technical numbers involved (lean mass, BMI, etc.).  The two numbers that I understand best are the ones printed on the tags inside of my clothing, and the ones I look down at on my bathroom scale.  What I can see is that I have gone from a size 26W to a ladies size 16, and my weight has gone from 265 lbs to 197 lbs.  Just for kicks, I pulled out my old Grad Night t-shirt from 1990.  It fits!  I told my husband I’m going to wear it to my 20th reunion in two years.

I am proud to say all of those the fears and insecurities that I expressed before, are now a thing of the past.  I just flew on an airplane just two weeks ago, and there was about six inches of slack in the seatbelt.  I went to Disney with the family in October, and I rode every ride and walked the park all day.  Rather than passing out at 6pm after dinner, I now have energy to spare at the end of each day.   Where I used to cower in the corner, I now have confidence to put myself out there in situations, without fear of rejection or criticism.  Most importantly is how my relationship with my husband has changed.  From day one this journey has been a team effort.  He’s stood by my side and supported me all the way, not only emotionally, but physically too, by preparing my foods and taking care of our three children so I had the time to devote to working out.  In the process, he has lost 45 lbs and has gone from a size 42 to a size 32.

I will never be that same person again.  We will never be the same couple again.  My children are excited to have their mom back and better than ever.  I never could have done this without you, and this incredible gift of health and wellness.  Thank you for giving me back my life and my love, of self and of family.

With deepest eternal gratitude,

Christy Cichielo

Christy After:
197 lbs