Story & Photos by Lisa Anderson
Julia DosSantos has been doing CrossFit since 2019. Her story isn’t one of extreme makeover or huge feats of strength. It is honest, inspiring, and most importantly, relatable.
“I have set backs all of the time. If I have a bad day, I’m going to eat whatever I want that day, but I know whenever I eat well and exercise, I feel 100 percent better,” she admits. “[My family] has always been overweight. I grew up in Louisiana. We eat when we’re sad. We eat all of the time.”
Inspiration through Grief
Julia grew up in a close family with an older and younger brother. In 2003, the family was excited to learn the news that her older brother would become a father. It was only a few months after his daughter was born that Julia’s brother was diagnosed with cancer.
In 2007, he passed away due to complications from a bone marrow transplant. “Every year at this time is hard because his birthday was November 15th. So, he would have been 42 years old this year, but, instead, he died when he was 28.
“I’m living my life because he would want us to, and he wouldn’t want us to cry. This time of year, I’m mad. Another year without him. I went to [CrossFit] class, and then I felt so much better. I’m eating wrong, but at least I got a good workout and spent time with my friends and coach.
“That’s where my inspiration came from—through his cancer fight, he was so strong.”
In 2019, Julia’s doctor suggested she join a gym with classes available. Until then, she had been in an on again/off again pattern utilizing her home gym equipment. That suggestion changed her life.
Follow the Story
This story concludes in our February 2022 issue of the magazine. Be sure to mark your calendar and follow our social media pages @localamag. #localafollowme