But all that is about to change. I want to help others and I want to be there for others and I want even more importantly to be proud of the me I am and the me I am becoming.
So here I am... and I can't help but think of how far I've come in life. I've been told "You Can't" more times that I can even count. Family, friends, strangers, and even MYSELF have muttered these words to me and I believed them each time they reached my ears. But guess what... they were wrong, and I was wrong.... here... just look....
The girl in these pictures was about 10 years old and wanted to be a softball star. She practiced in the field nearly everyday with her dad since the age of 4. When she was old enough to try out, she made a fool of herself and was literally the last one "drafted" onto a team. Guess what? That little girl had a few coaches who believed in her, parents who supported her, and the drive and determination to be a top notch softball player. Fast forward to her junior year in high school... batting average over .500 and first team offensive player for the TriCounty League. "You can't be a good softball player" became "I DID become a great softball player".
That little girl graduated from high school and took the big step of moving to the big city to attend The Ohio State University. "It's too big" they said, "you'll never make it" they said. "You want to be in THAT band?" they asked. Ha, yeah! Best Damn Band in the Land you better believe I do. Tryouts came and went my freshman year and my name wasn't called as a member in any row. Tryouts came and went my sophomore year and again I didn't hear my name. Depressed and defeated I was packing my room to go back home.... back home as the failure they all told me I would be. The phone rang... "Hi Allison, we have an opening in the band and we would like you to join us". I don't remember much else from that day except that yet another dream had come true... and for 5 years I had the honor of being a member and even a 2 year squad leader of one of the greatest organizations in history. I turned "You can't make that band" into "I DID make that band!"
I love to swim. I could swim all day. At one point in my life I decided I wanted to become a distance swimmer. I thought it would be awesome to complete a triathlon. Man you should have seen the looks I got when I said that!!! "Are you sure you can do something like that?" Well, my answer was I don't know, but I'm sure going to try! I trained and trained and trained. I actually did compete in 2 triathlons as the swimmer in relays. Had personal best times each time too!! Along with the swimming training, there was biking training... started with a simple 10 miles and worked my way up to 35 miles in one day. And the jogging? HA even I said I couldn't do it. But in the end, I've completed a 5k AND a quarter marathon as a jogger!!! Injuries have kept me from putting them all together, but I'm a never say never kind of gal, so who knows what the future brings. I turned those "you can swim, bike and jog long distances" into "I DID swim, bike and jog... a lot!"
Something I always wanted to do but thought I would never ever do is get on a wave runner and set off into the ocean. I always told myself "you can't get up on that if you fall off" or "you can't keep up with everyone". Let's go back to Myrtle Beach July 2014... someone found herself on a wave runner in the ocean chasing dolphins. Allison DID, conquer that one!
And that brings me to today... 13 months into my lifestyle change that has forever impacted my life. I've been a bigger girl for as long as I can remember. I've tried everything under the sun to lose weight... starvation, no carbs, all protein, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, Mayo Clinic, diet pills, Advocare, and juice cleanses. While they are all great programs for the right person... I found Beachbody and Shakeology and life hasn't been the same since. Over this last year I've lost 50 pounds and over 25 inches. Did I gain some back? YUP!! It's been a little bit of a yoyo for me lately. I lost faith in myself, I lost faith in my future, and I nearly just gave up everything.
As I look back at the weight yoyo I've been on, I also had to remember the other things that have changed for me. My blood pressure is now normal, my cholesterol is lowering, my confidence is raising, I can smile at the girl in the mirror, and my clothes are fitting better. I also have to remember that the scale does not dictate who I am or even the successes I make. The number game is a brutal game and we all need to stop playing it. This final picture has more meanings than one. The girl on the left hated life, hated herself, weighed 310 pounds, and didn't care if she woke up the next morning. The girl on the right kinda likes life now and finds a reason to smile everyday. Her health is getting better and she likes the way her clothes feel on her. I think I'll stick with the girl on the right.
I will continue to turn any and all "you can't" and "I can't" moments into "I DID" moments. I will continue to life a healthier life and care about the person inside that blue shirt. Triathlon in my future? Maybe. Wave runner in the ocean again? I hope so. Active in a healthy lifestyle with workouts and fun? You betcha! Life for me isn't over at 40... it's the point where I finally figured out how to do it right!!