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My Transformation Story

My Transformation Story

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My Transformation

I am the trophy. I am the prize. My journey and my result are my reward, not a statue from a judge.

There I was, an 11 year old So.Cal kid, active in sports, gymnastics, swimming, skating, you name it. Softball was to be my ticket, if not gymnastics, to a scholarship. I actually had one, to play softball, in the wings for a private high school in the Antelope Valley. Pitcher and shortstop and scored MVP every season. Gymnastics, I was on pre-team on the verge of being on competition level. I was just an average kid I thought, I just loved to play sports and be active. Well, I didn't realize all that would fade after a skating rink accident that left me in physical therapy for a few months with a chipped joint in my low back.

It was during the back skate, I was on the speed skating team so knew what I was doing right, well out of no where, I get slammed into by a kid on roller blades who was out of control. Mind you, this was the experience level back skate session, not beginners, so I thought I was safe from wild skaters.

WRONG.

So, the kid slams into me and I fall back and land on his roller blade. Maybe this is the reason I despise roller blades to this day. Hmmm.

Okay, so a few months of therapy and back to normal, right? WRONG again. Well, softball, it was off season, so no biggie, but jumping back into gymnastics after a few months hiatus, not so easy. It turned out to be painful too. So, I gave it up for a while, sadly that would be pretty much it but didn't know at the time. So, I still had softball and swimming and skating to look forward to.I did all those things and did them, as
hard as I could.

Softball, I played for most of my childhood, in California and then in Ohio when we moved back after my parents split up. I played up through my freshman year in High school, and I got banged up a lot on the field. I was one to sacrifice my body for the play, no matter what. So, I continued to play until High School, but at that point, it wasn't fun for me anymore. The coaches were cut throats and it took any pleasure I had for the game out of it. I won't do it if I don't enjoy it. That's me.

So, with no more softball and feeling a little lost after my parents split, I resorted to other activities, not so healthy ones. I started smoking at age 14, drinking at parties and just being an ignorant and rebellious kid.

Throughout high school, I had many bouts of, what I refer to as, paralysis, due to my back injury, which I had no idea had progressed into a herniation of my L5-S1. At least twice a year, I would be down for at least a few weeks because the pain was so bad I couldn't walk. Missed school, went to chiropractors, reflexologists and regular doctors and no one ever took an MRI or X-ray because they thought I was too young for back issues. So, I got through it until I was 22. At this point, I had gained a bit of weight over the years, because of smoking and inactivity. I was sitting at 212 lbs but didn't even realize it.

At 22, I had a horrible spell with my back and finally got my diagnosis of a herniated L5-S1 and disc degeneration. Physical therapy was the remedy, but come to find out, I was limited in what I could do because I was 7 weeks pregnant.

During my pregnancy, I felt pretty good. I quit smoking soon after finding out, but that led to more weight gain. My back felt pretty good too, after a few months. All seemed to be going pretty good. Well, at the time of my last appointment, the scale read 265lbs and I had a few days to go. How did I get this big?? Oh, I am pregnant, that's my reason.

Well, after delivery on May 16, 2002, I lost a few pounds, 10 maybe. So I sat in the 250's. I was going to recover from childbirth and lose the weight, right?

Well, that was the plan. Just shy of two months later, my 23rd birthday, I had a gall bladder attack but had no idea what it was. I was vomiting and thrashing around in pain until the squad picked me up. Gallbladder out just hours later. THIS WAS MY WAKE UP CALL! I was a new mom, sicker than I had ever been and could only think, if I am not alive and well, who is going to take care of my baby?? I have to be here and be better for her and for me.

6 weeks of recovery, I started working out. I went to every class I could go to at the local Y. I started eating better. Cut out the fatty foods, the fried greasy stuff. I stopped eating when I was bored. And the weight started to come off. From Sept 2002 until Feb 2003, I went from 250lbs to 170 lbs on my own. I did videos at home, I went for jogs, classes, anything to be moving. My back was fine, I was getting stronger. Well, for awhile, anyway.

Enter 2006. I lost my mother from complications from liver transplant on March 3, 2006. That summer, I had a massive spell with my back that disabled me for a few months. I had a series of 2 spinal injections that finally gave me the relief to function again. This was another wake up call for me. Life is way too short.

In 2007, I decided that life was too short to not pursue a career in something I love. Jan that year, I quit my job as secretary for major gasoline company and took on Cosmetology school.

Enter summer 2007, I found out my husband and I were expecting, just shortly after reinjuring my back. Took a leave from school and spent most of the summer in bed
unable to walk.

Feb 14, 2008, our son is born. I feel pretty good after birth, but found myself at 210 lbs, again. April 2008, I bought a highly popular workout program and started that and had great results. Lost all my baby weight and a few extra pounds. I wanted more though, than to just lose weight.

What was it I could do to fulfill the desire? I decided against finishing cosmetology. In spring of 2009, I decided what it was. I was going to be a personal trainer and help others in my situation. I studied hard, passed exam and became a trainer in Sept 2009.

In November 2009, I was so lucky to have been introduced to a gym owner and his wife, who I currently train with, that would take me in and show me the ropes. They just so happened to be bodybuilders and figure competitors. Score me! I had always seen these things, these comps and was amazed by the people who do them. The discipline, the strength, the beauty. I want to be like that. So, anyway, they were so awesome to take me in and really show me some things. The big thing??? Doing a comp.

WHAT???? Are you kidding??? Me in a suit on stage, baby scars, loose skin and all. That's nuts! Well, with several months of training and dieting.....I did it!

May 10th, 2010, there I stood on the stage at the Mike Francois Classic in a bikini, stretch marks and all, posing my butt off. I didn't place, think I tied for close to last, but darn it, I was up there and I got myself there all the way from 265lbs. I was going to have my moment, even if I was scared, even if I wasn't perfect in the judges eyes, I worked my butt off for that moment and I took it.

So, here I am now, a little over a year later training for my first figure comp and I am terrified as all get out. Sept 24th is going to be here before we know it. I am going to work hard to look and be my best. The back is giving me fits, but I am finding ways to workout and tolerate it enough to get through to the comp. I am finally back to the me I lost all those years ago. The competitive me. The active me. The me that is always up to the challenge, who loves friendly competition, loves to sweat and work hard. And believe me, I sweat. I sweat like a dude, the gym owner tells me. That's ok. I will lay my sweat down gladly, because I am glad that I can and have the ability to do so, after all the life experiences, troubles and wrenches that were thrown at me. I am here and I will stand on that stage in Sept and make my presence known.

I probably won't place, and that's ok. I win and take home a trophy no matter what....me!!

I am the trophy.
I am the prize.

My journey and my result are my reward, not a statue from a judge.

Oh yea, I want one, don't get me wrong, but I don't need it. All I need is my family and I need my health.

The rest is icing on the cake.

Mmmmm, cake.
(I am human. lol)

Author: Allison Foster
allison.webster14@gmail.com
http://www.beachbodycoach.com/elitenfitaly

Member Comments

I love your quote!! That is awesome! You are truly an inspiration!!!
--Gymbunny

Thank you for sharing your amazing story! You motivate me!
--Vonni

You are the trophy, you are the prize. What a great way to look at it. You have accomplished so much, congrats and good luck in Sept!
--biergirl84

OMG!!!! Your story is just the thing I needed! I recently decided to bust major butt and work my way into a bikini and one day compete too! I'm currently 199 pounds, down from 220! I have four kids and all the scars to prove it!You have given me hope! I thought there was no way I could compete with the map of Indiana on my belly lol Thanks so much! BTW cake is my nemesis :P
--landria

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