One evening a friend and I were standing in line to watch British artist Tinie Tempah at a small venue in Portland, USA. Two friendly locals started chatting to us, a blonde girl named Kelli her friend Jim. We hit it off so well that the next day they were driving us around rainy Portland showing us various sights, some more off the beaten track than others.
At one stage in her life Kelli found herself spending a lot of time at the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. Her mother was suffering from cancer so regular visits to see her were routine. While it may sound odd that she decided to take us here, we were so grateful that she did because its something we will always remember.
This particular hospital is uniquely located atop a hill in a densely wooded area. There is a cable car that takes you up, through the trees, and gives you a fantastic view of Portland below. Kelli knew the hospital like the back of her hand and we strolled around trying to ignore the ‘hospital-ness’ of it all and enjoy the views, hot student doctors and the meaning behind her having taken us there.
This was 2011 when Kelli was blonde and slightly overweight. We became friends on Facebook and I have watched her transform her body and her life. I don’t know the details or much about the point at which she decided to take control and change her lifestyle. But she is almost unrecognisable today. Take an already bright and happy individual, some motivation, passion and hard work and you get what seems like an even more amazing human being than before.
Her progress status updates and pictures aren’t even annoying thanks to her sense of humour. Only Kelli can upload a photo from the gym and not only keep your eyes from rolling but have you laugh out loud too. It takes a well balanced person to not allow such a massive lifestyle change to consume you completely. Normal life (read- partying and living life in general) still continues for her.
I found this ‘before and after picture’ on Facebook with the following caption:
“I can’t even imagine myself as the girl on the left. I have changed in so many ways more than physical too. This is a lifestyle and I have 100 % fallen in love with it. Can’t wait to see what else I can accomplish! I’m not done :)”