Slow And Steady

clientuploads/our_impact/Allison-full.pngMy weight loss story. Where do I begin? Let's see. In second grade we had to write a small all about me story.  The beginning of the book says "My name is Allison.  I have long brown hair and blue eyes. My mom says I am fine, but I need to loose some weight."  I am already almost as tall as my teacher. I am skinny.  I am a dancer, active, and play sports. I compare myself to all of the other dancers wearing the peacock blue skin tight leotard in the wall to wall mirrors each and every week. I look nothing like my friends. My mom says I often come home crying that I am fat.

She takes me to the doctors and has them tell me that I am fine but I don't even listen to them. By 8th grade I am 5 foot 11 and 3/4 inches. The gym teacher has everyone get weighed in front of one another. I weigh 160 lbs and wear a size 12. I am crushed when everyone whispers and makes comments.

By senior year of high school I have quit dance and my other sports and focus solely on my one true love, softball. I am a great first basemen with an awesome batting average. But, our class trip is coming up and we are headed to Disney. Clearly everyone will be in bikinis so I better loose some weight.I enroll in weight watchers. I loose 45 lbs in 3 months eating many bags of carrots and other 0 point snacks.

With freshmen year of college comes depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder. I make the softball team and work at the college gym. I work out 3-5 hours a day. My daily food intake consists of a plate of lettuce garnished with small amounts of ranch dressing and shredded cheese, a bag of mixed berry fruit snacks, and a package of roman noodles with a 1/2 package of seasoning. I survive on this for 2 years. I am now 6 foot 2 and 150 lbs. I see a huge fat whale when I look in the mirror.

I meet a wonderful man who accepts me for who I am. I start to eat real food. I stop working out so much. I feel physically sick each time I eat. I learn to eat again. Each and every time I go out for a meal I have panic attack looking at the menu. But, I continue to eat. I stop moving. Within 4 years I go from 150 to 336 lbs.  I start to have physical pain throughout all of this. Chronic pain.  Later they diagnose this as Fibromyalgia.  In the next 6 years we get married and have a baby. I get up to 387 lbs. I barely work out. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I get so out of control I look into Over Eaters Anonymous. I must be eating 5000 calories by now. I wear a size 28/30.

It's November 2012 now. I see an add for a 1/2 marathon in Atlantic City and think hmmm I could do that if I tried, it is on my bucket list, I could cross it off!  I sign up the day before Thanksgiving. I start to train. In April I run. I start the race and on mile 1 fall. But, I complete it. I run 6 miles of it and walk the rest.  I finish with loosing a finger nail and gaining a stress fracture in my foot. I loose a bit of weight from running.

June comes and work decides to do a biggest looser competition. At first, I solely want the winning money. I stand on the scale at work to start the competition. I am too heavy and max it out. The nurses tell me to go to the Y. I have been a member since February and have yet to get my key card. I go over and meet an amazing staff member. She offers to help, me no strings attached. The girl who once saw help as a sign of weakness for some reason, that day says ok. I come back week after week. After a few weeks it becomes less about the money and more about winning.  I force myself to work out 4 times a week 30 minutes each time. I keep my smart phone with me everywhere I go just in case I need to look up calories with my app. I keep a food journal. I stick to 1600 calories a day. At some point my mind changes and I no longer want to do this to beat others. I'm on a mission to be healthy for me and my daughter. I begin to go to the gym 6 times a week and take 2 to 3 classes a week. I no longer have to force myself to stay at the gym for 30 minutes and always stay longer.

My weekly weigh ins and monthly measurements keep me in line.  I am constantly asked how I have gone from 387 to 293 in such a short amount of time and I always say it's very simple. I move my butt and count everything that goes into my mouth. If I am craving something, I allow myself to eat it, and truly enjoy each bite. I do not with hold it from myself because I have found that just causes negative feelings as well as binging. But instead of eating a bag of Hershey kisses, I now eat 5 pieces.

The first 2 months were the hardest but it actually got quite easy after that. I have lost 58 lbs and 77 1/2 inches since June 13th. I simply needed to take responsibility for my health and not blame anyone else. Not genetics, not fast food, not fibromyalgia, not lack of time. I am the person that is in control of my body and my life. I choose each and everyday what I feed myself and how I treat myself. It's been an adventure and I still have a ways to go but I'll get there. For the first time in my life, everyday I am proud.  Slow and steady I will get there.


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