My Story

My story starts many years ago.
Back in high school I was a very active girl.  I played on the high school fast-pitch softball team, I was healthy.  (Although at the time I thought I was SO FAT.)  (Dumb girl!)  I weighed between 135-145 all throughout high school and into college.  I loved life!  I felt like my future had so much to offer!

I left for college on a scholarship.
This is when my life changed forever.

While in my first year at college I became a victim of rape.
It took me a long time to be okay with sharing this information with people.
For years and years I was ashamed and embarrassed.

After being raped, I became a completely different person.
I hated life.
I wanted to die.  Literally.
I remember praying at night that I wouldn't wake up in the morning.
Then I remember being so disappointed the next day when I was still alive.
I felt I had nothing left to offer in this world.
I felt this world would be better off without me in it.

This is when I turned to a lot of things to comfort myself.
Food was one of those items.
I ate to numb the hurt.
I ate to numb the pain.
I ate to numb the anger.
I ate and ate and ate.

Over the years I learned to tuck everything that happened to me way back and tried very hard not to think about it.  I got really good at pretending I was "happy."
That is, until I got word that we needed to move to St. George, Utah for my husband's job.
That is when I fell apart.

You see never, NEVER was I going to step foot in that city again.
I had such anxiety when I moved down to St. George.
I moved away from all my family and friends, back to the city that I was changed forever!
It got bad for me.
I probably should have been placed in a psych unit (not even joking).
I stopped getting dressed.
I stopped caring.
I stopped being a mom.

This is the point my great husband stepped in and asked me to get some help.
And I did.
But not for me!
You see, I loved him and I loved my girls more than anything.
I went to therapy because I knew they needed a better wife and mother.
I didn't care the least about myself at this point!

So therapy began.
And my therapist began talking to me about overcoming this intense anger I had.
I told her:
We continued to work through things.
We started listing things I felt were not possible for me to do:
"climbing Mt. Everest, visiting every continent, running a marathon..."

She focused on the marathon.
(Have I mentioned, I hated to run!?)
But she challenged me.
She asked me to start putting one foot in front of the other.
(Both in my runs, and in my therapy)
And so I did.

And I can't tell you it was sunshine and roses from there.
Because it wasn't!
In fact, there were many days I flat out hated it!
There were many days I cried!
There were many days I wanted to quit.
But I kept pushing myself to places I had never been (physically and mentally).

October 2008 was the day I ran/walked in the marathon.
I will never forget that day as long as I live.
It was raining.
A lot.
It was hailing.
It was cold.
I wasn't ready for the weather.
I ran that race alone.
I felt I needed to conquer my past.
Each mile I dedicated to someone who helped me get through all I had endured.
I felt great running as I started that race.
I was making great time.
Then I hit a wall.

I had a blister the size of a 1/2 dollar on my foot...and growing.
I was still about 6 miles from the finish line.
I was bawling. (for 2 miles straight...while walking)
That is the moment I saw my dad walk around the bend.

When my dad reached me, I wanted to collapse.
He literally held me up.
All in all, he probably walked close to 5.5 miles to get to me.
So together, we started toward the finish line.
He told me I was not going to quit on myself now!!!!!

I told him the weather sucked.
He agreed!
Then he said something profound!
He said:
"Alisha, with what you've compared this race to...what would you expect?  You've been through hell, and this is the last hurdle you have to face to release that anger."

I cried some more.

As I got to that last mile, I had my family run ahead so I could finish and reflect on everything as I had planned to do that last mile.

I will NEVER forget the feeling I had as I crossed that finish line!  Never.
My time would probably be pathetic to most people.  
But it was never about the time.
It was about finishing.  About conquering.  

After that, you'd think it would all be downhill right?

I may have released all the anger that day.
(Which I truly did!)
I found a way to forgive without accepting what they did.
But I still hung on to a lot of other emotions.

I still struggled with my deserve level!
I didn't think I deserved happiness.

As the years continued on, I continued to gain.
I reached my highest weight of 233 in 2010.
At that point, I knew I needed to make a change.
I knew I needed to change to be an example for my children.

You see, obesity runs in the family.
And I knew that if I didn't face obesity square in the face, my children would have to fight the battle.
So I started Weight Watchers.  I was having great success.
Then.  I got pregnant.

We were thrilled!
(We had been trying for years!)
I was careful in my pregnancy to not undo all I had worked hard to start.
When I delivered Bubba in April of 2011 I weighed 222.

And that is when I started....AGAIN.
I walked.
I walked, a lot!
I did not start running until way into my weight loss.
It hurt too bad.
So I would walk and walk.

During that summer, my husband was in training in South Carolina.
I was the single-mom with 3 young kids.
I didn't use a gym.
I couldn't even bare the thought of taking the stroller out.
I was ashamed of how I looked.

So every night, I would put the kids to bed.
Then I would pull out my WiiFit Step Board.
I would step up and down on that sucker for HOURS!
(I'm not even exaggerating!)

I told myself if I wanted to watch TV, it had to be while I was stepping on the Wii board.
So that is what I did.
All summer long.

I also was meticulous about my food!
I was a tracking nazi!

By the end of the summer I had dropped a LOT of weight.
85lbs of weight by the time I found out I was expecting our little surprise, Madison.

I'll be honest, pregnancy was the last thing I wanted when I saw the +, but she's been one of the biggest blessings in my life.  Since having her, I've struggled to get excited about losing again.  Two years old, and I'm just now really excited about the gym and eating healthy.  Sure, I've had bursts of excitement.  But it hasn't lasted.  Now, there's something different in my head.  

It hasn't been easy.
When people ask me "how did you do it" (because I get that A LOT!), some seem disappointed when I explain there is no magic pill.
There is no magic diet.
I've tried all the "easy" diets!
Believe me, I wanted the "easy" fix to my problem.

But ultimately, the problem was inside me.
I had to fix me to fix my weight.
Shoot, I'm still fixing me.

And it hasn't been easy.
Not even a little bit!
I have had to keep my blinders on.
I continue putting one foot in front of the other.
(Hence the name of the progress for good)

By focusing on your next step...and ignoring the daunting path ahead, you are able to take that first step.  (And the second, and the third.)

And soon, after taking all these steps, you turn around and amaze yourself with how far you've come!
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