Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Story

There comes a time in a person's life when you finally realize it's time... it's time to share who you really are, where you've come from, how you got there, and where you plan to go from here.  My life story isn't an easy one to share but I'm at a point now where I know I'm a better person and it's all in my past. 

I have always been a quiet person, even from a very young age.  I remember my report cards even from elementary school would say "Allison is a good student but she's very quiet".  Even as I became a trumpet player I was always asked to "play louder".  I've just never been one to stand out in a crowd so to speak.  I can first remember life becoming difficult in the 7th grade.  I was never really one to care about dressing up for school and often chose sweatpants for the sake of comfort.  I distinctly remember being called "sweatpants girl" and other kids laughing at me quite often.  It was also social suicide to be in the band yet there I was in the high school marching band as a 7th grader.  I now have a chipped front tooth thanks to a football player who so politely informed me I was on HIS field as he jammed my trumpet into my mouth as he ever not so nicely told me to get the F out of his way and off the field.  FYI, I was marching in the halftime show... I wasn't just hanging out.  Then there was the time, still in junior high, that I was tested for the gifted program.  We were informed that I definitely qualified for the program but they were not going to put me in it because I was "too emotional".  So now, even the school had me labeled as someone incapable of success.

Then it was on to high school... where the nightmares only worsened.  There I was, a straight A student who minded her own business, a dedicated band member, a member of several other clubs and groups, and a starter on the varsity softball team (and I can guarantee you hardly anyone knows about the awards I won as a softball player).  No one cared though... I wasn't one of the skinny girls, I didn't buy fancy clothes (I remember one birthday where I opened a present of clothing from my grandma and my friend reached in the box and checked the tags), and I was quiet and never really had much to say.  I had friends, don't get me wrong and some of them are still my friends to this day... but most of my high school years were spent walking with my head down through the halls doing my work and going home or to my after school activities.  I remember one day in gym class when I had done something rather well and a senior (who I thought was my friend) stopped in the middle of class and yelled "Hey Allison, can you do this?" as he sucked in his stomach to make himself even thinner.  I was mortified and knew that the next 3 years most likely weren't going to get any better.  They of course didn't as I heard daily how ugly, fat and useless I was day after day.  It wasn't out of the ordinary for me to cry on the way to school and on the way home.  One year during softball conditioning I nearly passed out while in the middle of a bench press because I had been starving myself for days.  I even went as far as wondering if I really needed to continue with life because life just sucked.  When your teachers tell you that despite your over 4.0 GPA you'll never make it in the big city at Ohio State and many just laughed when I even mentioned my dream of being in the Ohio State Marching Band.  So let's just say graduation day was one of the best days of my life because it meant I didn't ever have to be with those people ever again!

College life... my dream of making the band didn't happen... I was cut the first AND second time I tried out... but by the grace of God I received a phone call and was asked to join the band halfway through the season.  Well what was supposed to be a dream come true was a dream turned nightmare because I swear my row mates hated me because I replaced one of their good friends.  But I trudged on and came back year after year for 5 years and was voted squad leader for my final 2 years.  I made some of the best friends of my life in college through the dorms and band and they are still my best friends to this very day!

I am now 16 years out of college and still overweight.  I've tried more diets than I can imagine and had some progress but then plateaued and just gave up.  I came to the point that being overweight was just something I would have to deal with.  Depression and anxiety set in and then my health started to decline with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, back problems, knee and ankle surgeries and I pretty much was done with life.  Sure, I would succeed now in then especially when I ran an entire 5k, swam on a triathlon relay twice and then walked/jogged my first quarter marathon.  But I was still fat and I was still depressed.  I honestly didn't really think much would ever work to get me out of my funk and I certainly didn't think anything would ever make me like myself again. 

I began my journey toward a healthier lifestyle that not only included weight loss, but also learning to like myself, put myself first and just enjoy life.  I have a niece and nephew now and my cousin is isn't getting any younger... I need to learn to like myself in order to help them live happy lives.  I've taken more chances in the last 3 months than I've probably ever taken... I've quit a job of 12 years to try something new, I've posted more about myself publicly than I ever imagined I would, I've engaged in relationships (short and long term) and I've just plain taken the time to enjoy life.  This journey is taking me places I never imagined and I still don't know where it will end.  What I DO know is that I'm not going to stop... I have had and I will continue to have really rough days... but nothing is ever perfect and thanks to my friends and family I will get through each and every one of them every single time.  I started my journey at 310 pounds and I'm no longer at that weight.  My cholesterol and blood pressure are down and my asthma inhaler is barely used.  My doctor is even optimistic that I will no longer need my anxiety medications in a few months.  One day at a time though... one step at a time... and definitely a lot more ME moments are sure to come!!!

So there you have it... it's not complete and many moments are left out... but that's a snippet of me and why I'm headed where I'm headed.  Who knows where I'm going... but I'll get there a "Stronger" person!

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