My Scoliosis Story by Crystal Saleh

My journey began in 1996 when I was diagnosed with scoliosis. My diagnosis indicated I had a double curve and needed to wear a Boston brace. I was instructed to wear it for 23.5 hours a day, which lasted a total of 3 years. Throughout my time wearing the brace, I felt cursed; no one would ever understand the pain I was going through unless they suffered from scoliosis.IMG_6204

Once my spine had reached a point of not progressing any further with the scoliosis, I didn’t have to wear it any longer. Unfortunately, I didn’t take part in physical therapy and my core was extremely weak. I had to learn how to strengthen everything on my own.

Fast forward several years to July 14, 2012, and I had definitely let myself turn into someone I didn’t want to be. I completely let myself go; I ended up weighing 211 pounds at 5’3″ with a petite frame. I knew I needed to make a change in my life and I decided that it was time to start turning into the best version of myself I could possibly be on my own. From this point in my life until June 20, 2015, I dropped a total of 83 pounds. I did it by teaching myself the basics of the fitness lifestyle through endless hours of research, gathering information from trustworthy resources, learning the importance of eating properly, and putting in the work.

On June 20, 2015, I competed in my very first NPC figure competition and I even brought home a trophy. Throughout my training for the competition, I initially had been focused on winning a trophy because I felt like that was the only thing I should care about; however, I realized that winning a trophy would be nice, but I was actually accomplishing something I had only dreamed of as a child and I was doing it at a disadvantage because I had a condition most competitors didn’t even know existed. My winning moment was when I stepped on stage and felt that I was showing the world you can do whatever you want to do in life, even with a condition, deformity, or disability. Life is what you make of it; you can be the victim or take your circumstances and turn them into something productive.

The link to my site is

Thank you Crystal for sharing your inspiring story! Let nothing stand in your way, is truly your motto!  We appreciate all your efforts to raise funds for the Global Scoliosis Foundation through the sale of your calendars!  Debbie Ordes, President