Hi, friend! My name is Allie and this is my story.
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be thin.
I remember being 8 or 9 years old and looking with envy at the other girls in class who were rail thin. Meanwhile my rounded tummy protruded from my shirts and my thighs rubbed together. It was around this time that I became self-conscious of my body.
By the time I got to high school, I fantasized about being able to wear midriffs and short shorts like my pixie-sized friends, but I wouldn’t dare.
So I started working out in hopes of joining “the skinny girl league.” And let’s be real. Many people get interested in fitness for similar reasons, whether it’s to lose fat, build muscle, get a shapely butt, and so on. I just wanted to look good…only, I had no idea what I was doing.
I stuck to what was safe and easy, which was cardio and group exercise classes. I’d occasionally use the weight machines, but was way too intimidated to venture into the free-weight area. Plus, I had no idea how to lift weights–or that it was something I should even consider.
By the time I was in my early 20s I’d gotten into the nightlife scene, which meant treadmills and elliptical machines in the day time and beer and partying at night. My other habits included Taco Bell and pizza dinners. I thought that doing cardio for 45 minutes, 5 days a week would be enough to offset that, but it wasn’t. At one point I’d lost about 5 lbs, but quickly gained it back plus more.
I didn’t get it. With all the cardio I was doing, how was I gaining weight?
Right after my 22nd birthday I’d had enough. I wanted to lose weight, so I did my research and what I found seemed simple enough. Count calories. I remember the first day of counting calories and logging them into an online journal. I was starving by bedtime and drank two Diet Cokes in an attempt to quell my appetite. But I made it. And every day after that for quite some time I stuck to my calories. I was still working out, doing cardio harder than ever before. (Still partying too, although not quite as much.) After the first week I lost 4 pounds. After a few months I had managed to lose about 22 pounds.
While I was thrilled I lost the weight, the negative repercussions were starting to surface. I was very thin but I still didn’t like the way I looked (I felt like I was flabby and “skinny-fat.”) I ate very little and was consumed by disordered eating habits. I became extremely neurotic about what I ate. I was obsessed with food and being thin. Food HAUNTED me, gave me anxiety, made me want to hide from the world. I would panic if I knew I had a social obligation. I also binged hardcore. Like, I’m talking about scooping heaps and heaps of potato salad into my mouth with MY HAND while I was in someone’s car.
This is the reality of what happens when people get caught up in the mainstream diet culture of extreme measures and unrealistic expectations.
Focusing on strength training changed my life.
At my lowest point, I became fascinated with strength training and getting stronger. I realized that putting on more muscle would give me the sculpted, fit look I wanted. So I put on my big girl pants and ventured into the free-weight area. I picked up a pair of dumbbells and never looked back.
The more I focused on lifting and getting stronger, the more my body changed.
Slowly, I started to climb out of the hole I was in. I was happy that I was getting the definition I always wanted, but more importantly, I loved the feeling of getting stronger. It made me stand taller and own my space both in the gym and out. I realized that fitness just wasn’t about what my body looked like, but what my body could do–which did wonders for my mental health.
I grew more confident as I saw what I was capable of. My neurosis and perfectionism around food subsided as I learned to nourish and honor my body instead of punish it with restriction. Plus, with all the lifting I was able to eat more.
My foray into weight loss, diet and exercise was originally fueled by vanity, but these days I’m more concerned with feeling good and being strong. As a result, my approach to fitness and nutrition has become much more moderate and sustainable. I have found a way of training that makes me feel happy, confident and strong. My eating habits are on auto-pilot and I never feel deprived. I know how to balance treats and nutritious foods so that I’m both satisfied and aligned with my goals.
I am at ease, and it can be that way for you, too.
I use my nearly 20 years of fitness experience to help clients get consistent with nutrition and exercise, see results and enjoy the process.
It IS possible to see new definition in your body, grow stronger and feel confident in your own skin–all while still being able to enjoy your favorite treats and live a life you love.
To learn more about how we can make this a reality for you, book a call or contact me at