We all have a moment that serves as the trigger for our fitness journey. That epiphany…that moment of clarity, when we realize how far we’ve gotten off track.
For Allison, it was September 2011 when she realized she was 15 lbs heavier than the weight she said she’d never reach. Her clothes didn’t fit anymore. When she went shopping at the stores she normally shopped at nothing looked right. The weight she had gained could no longer be ignored. She started watching per portions and the kinds of foods she ate to lose 25 lbs before she came to meet with me in January 2012.
Allison had worked with a personal trainer in high school but, as I often say, timing is everything. She admits she wasn’t as serious about her health then as she is now. And for Allison it’s not just about weight, it really is about health.
Like me, Allison is a Type 1 diabetic. Unlike me, Allison has never let diabetes be an excuse or get in the way of doing the things she wanted to do. Diagnosed at age 6, she says she never saw it as something that would come between herself and living a normal life.
When she came to me, she didn’t know I was also a type 1. It was sort of a happy accident that she chose to check out a personal trainer who just happens to know how challenging it can be to balance weight, food and diabetes first hand. I knew she would have to make more adjustments than my average client. Alison knew that too:
Every case of diabetes is different because everybody reacts to things differently. For me, when I started working out my blood sugar ran a bit higher after I got done but then about 1-2 weeks later I got to drop my Lantus 15 units and my Novolog went from 3 units for every 12 carbs to 2 units/12carbs. Exercising, in my opinion, can only help your body and your diabetes.
She’s right. Exercise, strength training in particular, can make the body more sensitive to insulin. But it’s a balancing act, filled with both ups and downs. Allison has hit her weight goals, dropping 11.6 lbs in about 10 weeks. She’s lost 3 ½ inches off her waist and she can do toe push-ups easily while her teammates watch in admiration. She’s an inspiration to them, offering advice not just on food and fitness but any problem they might be facing. I’ve heard her offer to help a client with homework or stay late to talk to another who’s hit a rough spot.
That’s what makes Allison so special. She admits to struggling herself, finding it hard to workout on days when she’s not with me yet encouraging others to keep putting one foot in front of the other. She says she sought the help of a personal trainer again because she was finding it hard to stick to anything for more than a couple of weeks, going strong and then burning out. And of course there was the food issue:
When I am working out I love it but getting myself to make time for it or just to get up and do it instead of something else has been really hard. I am still trying to tackle this! Also, making healthier choices everyday especially when I am on the road. My eating and working out hasn’t been perfect but I am getting there and realizing that it isn’t an overnight deal and to not beat myself up over one slip up.
Allison still has goals to meet. But as you can she is has a pretty healthy attitude about it. Her positive outlook and continued determination, with her health and her fitness, are going to take her a long way.