From Fat Tired and Depressed to Vibrant Holistic Health Counselor: Allison’s Story

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Last month, we did a call for success stories to publish.  We're looking for real life stories about real people who recovered from real illnesses, overcame weight problems or just plain improved their lives by using whole foods and lifestyle changes.  Allison's success story should be an inspiation to all.  While not dramatic like recovery from cancer or a life threatening illness, Allisons story is a real story that you can relate to on a personal level.  My intention is to inspire and motivate you to reach for your potential and to take charge of your health and vitality.  We're still looking for inspiring stories to publish.  See the link at the bottom of the article. –Dr. Ritamarie

Never in a million years did I think I would ever have a weight problem. I was always the short, scrawny little girl that no one wanted to pick for their team at school. When I graduated from high school many moons ago in 1974, I weighed an impressive 88 pounds. I had to get a waiver for my weight to join the Army!

My weight stayed fairly level all through my 20’s and 30’s. I bounced right back after my daughter was born in 1982. All of this changed when I had my right thyroid removed due to a cyst in 1997. My weight suddenly ballooned and I gained about 40 pounds which was a lot on my small 4’ 11 ½” frame. I was addicted to McDonald’s quarter pounders with cheese and sodas. I ate Payday candy bars like they were going out of style. Even though I had always eaten a lot of junk food such as butterscotch krimpets, chips and cookies everyday for lunch (something everyone teased me about) suddenly everything I ate went to my waist and I was devastated! I was fat, tired and depressed.

The day I tried to bed over and tie my shoes and couldn’t reach them was the day I finally realized that something had to change.

This started a journey of learning about nutrition, exercise and being kinder to myself. I decided my focus would be on workout Videos and DVD’s, and I’ve amassed quite a collection over the years! This helps beat the boredom, I always have something new to choose from at home. I can roll out of bed at 5am and workout before going to work.

I worked out consistently for about 5 years using a combination of weights, cardio and T-tapp and then hit a very frustrating 2 year plateau. It wasn’t until I read Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s, Eat to Live book and started eating a more nutrient dense diet that I finally started to lose again. Now instead of eating crappy fast food I eat a variety of plant based foods that include beans, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and fruits. Do I feel deprived? Not a chance! I’m enjoying what I eat now more than I ever had in the past. The butterscotch krimpets really don’t appeal to me now.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a sweet tooth that I battle every day. But now I have the tools to fight the cravings I get. Sometimes the cravings win and sometimes they don’t and if they don’t I know not to beat myself up. I now know what to do to get back on track and feel happy and energetic!

I’ve read a lot of books on diet, nutrition and exercise and as a Dental Hygienist I love to share what I have learned with my patients. I felt uncomfortable just sharing what I considered anecdotal information with them and wanted some kind of certification to back up my recommendations. I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and graduated in July 2009. I am now proud to say that not only am I a Registered Dental Hygienist, but I’m a Certified Holistic Health Counselor with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners! I’m currently enrolled in IIN’s Immersion program.

My mom died of cancer when she was 55. She was obese for many of her adult years until the cancer treatments made her lose the weight. I am now 53, not many years off from her lifespan. That is very scary to me! I do not want to get older only die of some degenerative disease that could have been prevented. I am trying to do all I can to stay active and healthy and diet and exercise is a very big part of that plan and always will be.

I tell this story in hopes of inspiring others to get out there and do the same thing I have done. Also to point out that changes don’t happen overnight. I’ve been at this for 12 years and am still learning about nutrition and most importantly about myself. I don’t ever see myself changing this!

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  1. The Bitter Truth About Sweeteners | - [...] sure and read Allison’s story. Who knows…it could be just what you needed to [...]

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