I have to admit, I’ve sat down so many times to tell my story and couldn’t. I’ve felt there have been so many chapters on my journey, I wouldn’t even know where to start and each time I step into a class or work with a client I pull a little bit out of me to give to them, but I’ve never actually told anyone where it stems from.
I don’t have a tremendous weight loss story; I was just a girl with good genetics that was getting by on hot pockets and my idea of “workouts” that normally consisted of 15 minutes on an elliptical. The truth is I was a very insecure girl that had no confidence in my body and therefore no respect to treat it well.
As a rancher’s daughter growing up in the Midwest, butter and fried food was all I knew to eat, and ate all of it! No really guys, you would be shocked watching this girl finish off a Footlong! Very early on I developed bad habits and even worse, I used food as escape from control issues, I’ve had since I was little.
I was an early bloomer and at 12, I was already 5’3 and skin and bones and started modeling. I thought I was on the fast track when my growth spurt stopped and everything stopped growing, well everything but my ass. All of a sudden my body began changing from lanky to curvy, and without any knowledge how to properly eat and workout I began to panic.
I remember everything about my first time purging and making myself throw up. After demolishing a medium pizza and three cokes (normal Tuesday snack) I instantly felt overwhelming anxiety and all I could think is “I have to get rid of this”. The gratification of ridding myself of food was an instant high! I felt like I found my answer to all my problems.
I was on and off bulimic for the entire first year, every shoot that came up or every time I had a bad day, I’d get my release and be on my way. Within a year and a half, I was a full blown bulimic and those close to me started to notice.
I was binging and purging up to 5 times a day, and even got to the point that I would eat carrots between meals, so I knew when to stop to leave my body a little fuel. I dropped down to 98 pounds, my skin started turning yellow, and eventually my hair started to slowly fall out. Looking back, I was a dead woman walking, but inside I felt so in control, and even worse I can honestly say I felt proud of how small I’d been able to keep myself.
Eventually my body started to shut down, and I found it harder and harder to keep up my “double life”. My friends and family would see me down meal after meal and never gain any weight and one night after opening the door after my “release” I saw my mom standing on the other side. One look I knew she knew, and from then on every time I went to the bathroom I pretty much got escorted and every ounce of food I ate was watched like a hawk.
Anger grew inside me and although I know now my family was trying to help me, I resented them from trying to keep me from my addiction. I was determined to keep this going, and even though my mind was set my body just couldn’t go on. During class one day, I was taking an exam, when I completely passed out, falling out of my chair. One tongue lashing and extremely long car ride to the hospital with my mother later, the doctor said I had stomach ulcers, extreme dehydration, and malnutrition. The doctor said Alysha “Do you want to be an athlete or do you want to be bulimic? Because you can’t have both”. That’s all I needed to hear, I sought help through therapy and finished my high school career kicking my addiction’s ass!
I felt so good to finally beat bulimia, but when I went to college my bad eating habits caught back up with me. Fast food every night and happy hours made my body once again self-conscious. I was what I call “skinny fat”, my body had zero muscle tone and I fell into a series of depression fighting my body image, and not wanting to result back to my old “release” habits, I grew angry within myself. Even though I was miserable with how I looked and who I was, I wasn’t doing anything about it! I was queen of excuses and playing the victim. It is always easier to be that person, then the one that says “Hey get off your butt and do something!” Little did I know that I was about to stumble into something that was going to change my life forever: boxing.
I went to watch a friend spar at the local boxing gym and I thought, I could definitely hit something right now, so the next day I walked in, told the huge, tatted up dude at the front that I wanted to learn how to box. He laughed and told me no and walked away, and out of nowhere that anger came pouring out of me, but this time it was different it wasn’t anger, it was self-empowerment! So I threw some gloves on and started hitting that bag like it was every ex-boyfriend for an hour.
As I struggled to regain my breathe and sanity; the same tatted duded walked up and said “Well you got rage, I like that. Training starts tomorrow”, and that is how I fell in love with boxing.
After months of training, I knew I was missing something to put me to that next level, and that was nutrition. I researched the internet for every ounce of information, and drove every trainer I knew crazy with questions, but slowly I was putting it all together.
I became certified personal trainer and started sharing what I knew to others, and that high I once chased with addiction, was replaced with a high that was more powerful than all: helping others learn, grow, and see results within themselves.
I knew from that day forward, I found my calling. I live, breathe, and literally “eat” this lifestyle. I am in love with this lifestyle because I’ve finally found my balance, on the inside and out, and I can’t lie, having abs now is pretty cool too.
Being in the industry I learned very quickly that some of the best looking women are also the unhealthiest and that for true happiness, all the work you put it has to be for yourself and keeping it real.
That’s what I promise to every person that jumps on the crazy ride with me, to always keep it real with you guys. Yes, I work out and yes, some days I drink beer and eat BBQ with the boys, but I’ve found the way to be real to myself, and that is truly the most amazing high you can ever have.
So there you go ladies, my story, and as real as it gets! Everyone has their story and everyone has their goal, and let’s use them both together to be amazing! I can’t wait to hear your story, because at the end of the day you guys inspire me to keep going!
Love-Hard. Lift-Heavy. Live-Blessed.