I’m Fit Not Skinny
Growing up I struggled a lot in school with my academics. I hated school and my teachers always accused me of giving up and not working hard enough. My parents both owned their own businesses so I would be dropped off at school and left alone to get home, watch TV and eat. By the time I was in the 4th grade I would go home and make a full box of Hamburger Helper or other boxed item. I always loved sports and was even on a traveling basketball team. I never got to play because I was “too fat and slow”. I began to hate practice because I knew I would never play. After a while I quit basketball and didn’t pick up another sport until volleyball came around in Junior High. I could care less about the food I ate. I just knew that I felt better when I ate. During my 5th grade year I started having severe side pains and I struggled with the pain for 6 months till my doctor took out my gallbladder. Two months later, I fell and dislocated my right hip and had to have emergency surgery. I was on crutches for 2 months and I continued to eat and eat because I was behind scholastically and was missing out on what other kids my age were up to. Going into the 6th grade I was right around 175lb. I always joked about my weight and figured that it gave kids at school less of a chance to make fun of me. At the end of my 6th grade year I switched eye Doctors and found out that one of the reasons for my poor academics were “somewhat” related to the muscles in my right and left eye. One was weaker than the other. I spent the following summer in eye therapy while everyone else was swimming and playing summer ball.
When I got into High School I got started on the Atkins diet and followed it on point very well. I lost 40lbs, but then didn’t lose anymore. I wanted to just maintain, but it seemed that no matter what I did, I continued to gain weight. Going into College I refused to gain my weight back, but I gained that and more. I reached my heaviest of 226lbs. I was working out 3-4 hours a day; sometimes I’d skip class to work out, and actually would go a few days at a time without eating. I was working for the football coach in the Athletic Department when one of the coaches recommended that I take a personal training class. All my friends were athletic trainers or in some form of the Sciences so I took the class. With my exercise and diet being monitored for 6 weeks and me continuing to gain weight and inches, my professor/basketball coach informed me I should visit my Doctor for further help. After visiting 3 different Doctors, the 3rd one finally diagnosed me with hypothyroidism. This is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. It can be brought on by several factors, but one main cause is simply being obese. I had a huge risk of becoming diabetic and I didn’t want that. Family members on both sides have it and I didn’t want that for my future. I came home after getting my medicine and googled, “Diabetic Diets”. This site brought up a simple to follow plan and I dedicated my whole summer to the workouts from www.EAS.com combined with Oxygen Magazine’s workouts and meal plans and in 3 months I had lost 35 pounds. I continued to buy books on thyroid disorders and met with nutritionists, and started working out with a woman trainer who had a back ground with hormonal issues. The weight continued to come off and since I chose to make being fit my LIFESTYLE, like Oxygen Magazine references, I’ve lived by those principles ever since.
I know that ultimately, my strength comes from God. I know that the desire he placed in my heart is for HIS will and I’m only following along for the ride. I see it as the struggle that I had to overcome helps me to guide and encourage others; just to hear me say “You Got This”. I ultimately believed in myself and I KNOW that everyone has it within them, it’s just my job to figure out what motivates them so I can tap into that and bring out their fullest potential. Working-out is only part of being overweight. It’s so much more mental. We all need someone to hold us accountable! The desire to never be the old me drives me on a daily basis. I see so many individuals who overcome serious physical challenges and my challenge is “my self’. I know what I need to eat to stay fit. If my eating slacks, so does my attitude towards myself and others. I want to lead by example. Those closest to me have loved me at my worst and now we look back and laugh about how I would eat a whole bag of Oreos. I’m disgusted with my old self, but we look back at it because it was something only I could do for myself. So many times when I was overweight I would pray to God to look like my friend. I compared myself to others and would stand in the mirror and tell myself I was ugly and that I shouldn’t even be living. I HONESTLY, am my worst critic. I am harder on myself than anyone could ever be. I have had to learn to accept myself and love myself for who I am. I realized I couldn’t even love my family until I really loved myself.
My lowest point, which I rarely tell, is that one day I was driving home from my cousin’s house and I thought that if I actually hit the bridge I would die and wouldn’t have to live in my ugly body anymore. I remember hating myself so badly I would go to sleep wishing to die. There is nothing worse than the feeling of not even believing in yourself. NEVER will I be there again. I LOVE ME!
I’ve completed 2 1/2 marathons and several 5-10K runs and walks. I was featured on Nike Women’s “Making Yourself” spotlight, recognized by Complete Nutrition’s Success Story of 2011, featured in Oxygen Magazine August 2011 and will be in an upcoming issue about Thyroid disorders. I am a Life Guard, Water Safety Instructor, CPR & AED Instructor, Spin Instructor, and as for May 28th… PERSONAL TRAINER! I will be getting my Zumba certificate at the end of July and deeply desire to do the Nike Women’s full marathon in California one day.
I currently take BCAA’s and glutamine after each workout and currently my workouts are two times a day, however I also have classes that I teach. My week starts with upper body and cardio, day two lower body and cardio, day 3 cardio 2X , then rest and repeat. I’m working on my abs right now so I’m really cutting out all sugars and salts. I have not had a nice stomach since birth. I’d love to see it!
My Current Meal Plan:
Meal 1 1 1/2 cups green veg and 1 piece fruit
Meal 2 2 cups veg
Meal 3 1 1/2 cup green veg 1 piece fruit
Meal 4 1 scoop whey protein 1 piece fruit
Meal 5 2 cups green veg
I drink unsweetened almond milk with 2 cups spinach in between if I need an extra boost of flavor or energy.
I originally started my fit journey because I was afraid I would never get married, but after finding out there was so much more to being “fit not skinny” I’ve dedicated my life to it. I never would have imagined I would have done the things I have done so far. I gained a whole new self-respect for myself and that is why I started training others. I want them to view their lives as valuable and worthy. I want others to know that they matter and that they are loved. I want to help others gain their life back. I want them to be in control of their next move and share that encouragement with one other person. If I can change ONE person’s life, I will die a happy woman. It’s all for HIS glory. Let’s keep motivating others and sharing our stories and hopefully we can help that one person that I once viewed as myself.
Live to inspire, and be inspired to live.
Twitter: @Fit_not_skinny Facebook: Alison Hager Instagram: Fit_not_skinny