Hi guys! My name is Kirstin, and I am the owner and founder of The Balance Culture. For you to fully understand my drive and passion for all things health, fitness, and nutrition, it is important to know some of my story. Like many, I had some pretty rough teenage years. My parents got divorced, I moved away from all my friends and family, and started at a new school- new everything… I felt out of control… blah blah blah… recipe for an eating disorder. I minimize, but it was rough. At thirteen years old, I became the stereotypical, awkward, chubby girl (yeah, fun times). The thing about this phase is, you don’t know you’re in it until someone points it out. After a family member mentioned my weight gain, I decided to go on my first diet. I hopped on the scale, started counting calories and exercising, and bam, the weight fell off! With weight loss, came attention from popular girls, cute boys, and all sorts of questions about what I was doing to look so good. I felt amazing and I did not want it to end. So it didn’t. The more weight I lost the happier I felt, until I wasn’t anymore. One day I woke up and the weight loss just wasn’t enough. The number on the scale was severely low. I spent all hours of the day thinking about my weight, I barely ate and when I did, it was some low-calorie combination. I exercised all the time, had no time for friends and I was consumed. What started off innocently became life threatening in the blink of an eye.
It’s crazy to think about it now, but this went on for almost seven years and for a majority of it, I had no idea I had problem. One day it clicked, I was anorexic, and just like that I was grouped in with all the Lifetime movies and the Olson twins. I decided I wanted help, but just had one tiny problem; I did not want to gain weight. I was terrified by this possible reality. So, I got shuffled around between a few counselors, was read some statistics, but it did not matter because I was not ready. At nineteen years old, I was living at home and going nowhere, fast. It had become clear to me that this was just not going to go away on its own. I began to flirt with the idea of treatment centers. This landed me in Monroe, LA at a home for girls called Mercy Ministries. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I joked to a few people that I was totally freaked out and I was going to wake up in the middle of the night with some random chick gnawing on my arm. The only thing was, I was serious and in my mind it was a legitimate fear. Contrary to what I thought, Mercy Ministries was an amazing home filled with the most incredible girls. I learned and grew more from that group of girls than in any other situation in life. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I am the weirdo that loved rehab. What I loved was what rehab did for me. I worked on my psycho control issues and learned how to handle it in a more productive manor versus starving myself- win!
I got to the “root” of these control issues and began to assess my relationships. I spent a lot of time with God, a lot. And for the first time I began to see my value and worth. I was being transformed. I graduated the program, top of my rehab- yes, that’s practically a thing. I knew I wanted to help women in the same way. So, off I went to college and began studying Psychology. When applying for the program they left out a minor detail, if you want to do anything with your Psychology degree outside of managing a Hollister store, you have to get your Master’s Degree. So, I got my Master’s. Oh, and by the way, the only way to make your college years crazier and more chaotic is to get married in the middle of it. Yup, me and the hubs, Tomas, got married after Sophomore year, and I have loved every second of it! He is my partner in crime and I would not trade him for anything in the world. Love you boo! While in school a new passion began to emerge. A friend of mine, who knew I was obsessed with all things sugar-free, fat-free, and chemical filled, began to share with me about her transition into eating a nutritious, whole foods diet. She swore by her results and how she felt and encouraged me to try it. So slooowwwlllyyy I began swapping out all of my processed addictions for healthier, less preservable options. This was so hard because Splenda and I were like two peas in a pod. This process took about a year, but by the end I was a completely different person.
There is no doubt- you are what you eat. I felt so much better. I had tons of energy, my hair grew (this answers that question, it’s real), my skin was brighter; you name it- it was enhanced. Thus, creating my passion for nutrition. Simultaneously, my passion for fitness was sparked. I had only known abusing exercise, so it was intimidating at first. I treaded super lightly and began jogging while training for a 5k for a friend’s organization. I taught myself how to be balanced with exercise and initially put limits on myself, until I was comfortable enough to trust myself again. And thus, a passion for all things fitness was born. Oh, and bonus- because of exercising I was able to completely wean myself off my anxiety medicine, score (you can read more about that here! Talk to your doctor before trying this 😉 . At this point, I knew being a talk therapist wasn’t going to cut it. I needed to be out of an office, engaging with people, addressing all aspects of their lives. Thus, the creation of The Balance Culture. The Balance Culture is place where all of my nutrition, fitness and writing passions come together. It’s a way for me to help people find their balance, and to feel like the best versions of themselves. The Balance Culture Studio developed along the way and has easily become one of my favorite things in life! It is located in Lakeland, Florida and we offer many different types of classes! More info on all that found here. So, whether you are interested in the Studio, Pilates, Nutrition, the blog, or are just trying to figure out how to get me off your newsfeed,
I welcome you to The Balance Culture!
For more details on my story you can read this three part story: