Sunday, November 29, 2015

Judgement Free Zone

I'd like to prefaces this with saying I 'personally' feel I'm a pretty nonjudgmental person when it comes to about anyone or any situations. I always give people the benefit of the the doubt and give people chance after chance. However, maybe that isn't so true?

Let me explain...
Couple weeks ago I was in church singing along with the praise and worship team. Half way through a couple walked in with a baby. I had seen the girl before, but never her husband. They both stood as well and my first thought was, "aww they're cute". However, couple minutes later I noticed the shirt the guy was wearing. The church is "come as you are" -but on the back of his shirt was a shirtless Indian Chief hold a naked woman in his hands. In just a matter of seconds so many thoughts rushed through my head. The first being, "Are you serious! How degrading to the women in this church sitting behind you!"

Before I knew it, the pastor was closing out praise and worship. It dawned on me that I allowed something so stupid to take up my attention & my favorite part of the church service- the music! I started to think things like, "I missed the best part of the service because of this guy and his distracting and disrespectful shirt!"

Then I heard God say to me, "SERIOUSLY ALISON? WHO ARE YOU? This man came to church 100% humble wearing all he had". I put my head down and did some more thinking and praying as the service went on. I felt bad for taking all this time during worship that I could have been singing praises. Instead, I spent the entire praise and worship time hating and being critical. The ONE THING I say I don't do!

Then the next thought came to me, what if all of us who walked into church were wearing shirts with our sins from the past day, week, month, year? Would we even walk back into church? Umm probably not!

That's how the gym is right?! We hear it all the time, "your body reflects what you consume".
I have always viewed attending church and going to the gym as similar. They both seem to be a place where imperfect and broken people go. So many times, people looking in from the outside, view the people walking in as people who have their shit together. Yet, that couldn't be further from the truth. If we really take a step back, the people walking into church are TRULY BROKEN people recognizing they can't do this on their own. And the same for someone walking into the gym. They're humble people who are just dedicated to self improvement. They don't have their shit together, they're working on it. A lot can be learned about yourself when one stays focused and dedicated to a goal. The same with knowledge, it seems the more a person learns, the more you realize your have MORE to learn.
It's a PROCESS. A PROCESS of self improvement. Whether you're walking into church, the gym, a classroom... everyone has more to learn. The question is though, will we set our ego and pride aside to move forward?

Humbly moving forward...
I'm still learning...
Nowhere near perfect...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Uncomfortable Growth

As I look back on my journey thus far, I can pin point two things that have been the hardest tasks.
1. Walking into as gym and asking someone for help who knows more about health and fitness that I did.
Scenario 1: Back in my junior year of college I was weighing in around 230 pounds. Truly my heaviest & I needed help.
2. Walking into church in a new city and needing to find a church to call my 'new home'.
Scenario 2: Growing up with parents who drug you to church every Sunday your entire childhood, it's actually odd to have to wake up and go to church by yourself.

Let me explain both because I believe you'll be able to relate to either one or both.

Back to Scenario #1: It was the start of my fitness journey because I was working in the Athletic Training office in college. I worked for the Head football Coach, but the Assistant Basketball Coach always came in and joked around with me. One day he invited me to his 1 credit course that was basically weight training and emphasizing healthy eating choices. I was super nervous to sign up for it because that was the one course that the football and basketball players would take. I knew nothing and that was the last place I wanted to start. However, after meeting with a doctor and finding out I was at high risk for diabetes and heart disease, I figured I needed to start somewhere. I was scared out of my mind. I had no problem walking into any of my other classes, but this one was the hardest. Hardest because I had to be real with him. Had to do measurements, weight, and log my food. Nothing is as humbling as being held accountable to a food journal. But it was truly the biggest learning experience. I learned to enjoy weight training and how to properly log my food and that fad diets and shakes and pills don't work.

Scenario #2: Raised in the church, apart of the youth group, small group leader, bible studies, Christian college, and truly believe in Christ with my whole heart. But the hardest was moving away from my family to a new city and having to find a church to attend. I think I visited 7 before I landed on a church I actually didn't mind attending. Music was legit. People are legit. Time of service was legit. But still... I fought going to church because I dreaded going by myself. I dreaded coming home and not sitting down having Sunday dinner with my family. Church meant me facing I was an adult and had to go. I used work as an excuse to get out of going for a good year and a half. But those who truly know me, kept asking me why I wasn't going. After a while, "just because" wasn't an 'ADULT' response. It was a lazy response on my part.

So let me be real. I had an individual ask me one day, "How come you go to workout on Sunday morning instead of going to church?" My response, "Ehh, I don't know. Going to church by myself is uncomfortable!" Then she said, "Don't you think living outside your comfort zone applies not only to fitness, but your spiritual journey?"

Ouch! She was right. It's true, we hate to be comfortable. We hate to feel as if were going to be judged. We just like to be comfortable and in our circle of people. I've learned a lot about myself physically by stepping outside of my comfort zone physically and spiritually. I remind myself daily that I can't grow if I never accept a challenge. Growth requires me to take action & it WILL be a little or A LOT uncomfortable.

Maybe this blog made since, maybe not. But lessons of being uncomfortable continues to shape me. It's not about me, It's about loving God and loving and serving His people.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Looking the Part

I'm sure many of you have seen the following picture

And I'm sure it wasn't meant to offend me, but the more I see it, the more it pisses me off.

The more I think about as to 'WHY' it pisses me off, I have to self evaluate.
Coming from a female who once didn't care AT ALL what she looked like, to someone who become scale obsessed. Our society tells woman especially that they're worthless if they don't have a flat stomach, big boobs, and butt. I didn't even have a flat stomach at 134 pounds & now sitting at 160 I'm not surprised by the fact that I don't have abs either! I think the reason this picture irritates me is because it passes judgement on men and woman of whether they look at certain part or not.

I wouldn't ever say somebody couldn't do their job or be effective at their job by how they look. I can't determine that. Many times we judge people before we take the time to get to know them, get to know their journey, hear their experience, or listen to their advice.

I saw this powerful picture the other day and my heart ached. At the age of 27 I still can relate. We look at pictures of women that are more pleasing to the eye, most whos pictures have been touched up, but we beat ourselves up. On top of just being a female, I'm a  Personal Trainer. God forbid- I DON'T HAVE ABS! I'm sure people walk into the gym every single day who don't know me and wonder how the hell I'm training?! Only the people who have taken the time to get to know me, my journey, and my struggles understand. To be perfectly honest, I almost never became a trainer because I didn't have abs. I used to think that having abs meant being a damn good trainer! 

Here's what I've learned, a persons body can look absolutely amazing and do every exercise in the gym incorrectly. There are trainers who give out some really crappy advice and know nothing about science, the body, and metabolisms and can lead people to a great body... OR a horrible body! Somebody can eat like absolute crap and have abs. WE ALL HAVE BEEN GIVEN DIFFERENT GENES! I see people who STARVE themselves every single day because they think they'll lose weight if they just don't eat. There's so many scenarios! If I walk by a candy bar, I'll gain 20 lbs! My body is different than the next persons.

As for myself, I will ALWAYS have to monitor my eating! I accept that. And I spend more time eating veggies and protein than I do "living it up in the bars" or enjoying eating out. My body just can't do it. One week of not logging my food equals undoing all my hard work. Some people will never understand the discipline I personally have to have... or the person in similar shoes as myself.

So for the person that made the meme, I'm sure you're a genetic freak, my hats off to you. As for the rest of us that are working out asses off just to fit into our skinny jeans... keep working hard- You're the individuals that push me to work harder each week.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Women & their Bodies

I truly have no room to be blogging on such a topic as women and their bodies. I'm possibly the hardest on myself when it comes to body image, however, many conversations I've had it the last month have triggered deeper thinking.

For example from my personal experience.
A once 230 lb female dropping 90 pounds in a year. I did a lot of running and minimal weight training. I lost the weight and I did it fast by HOURS of running and not eating enough (not ideal). Even when I was at my lowest weight of 134 lbs, I still had lose skin around my midsection. I can remember getting dressed and pointing at lose skin around my stomach and telling my mom,
She asked me, "Alison, what are you trying to accomplish? What weight will you be happy at?!"
Me, "I don't know! I just don't want this fat here!"
She would sigh because there isn't much one can tell a crazy weight obsessed person to be honest.

With my mother, this was when I was about my largest.

Just running, at my smallest

So fast forward to not being able to maintain ungodly amounts of cardio and barely eating. Personally, this would be the whole reason for hiring myself a Coach/Trainer. One can't do this fitness journey alone. I personally need the accountability of someone to be honest with me and tell me to chill the hell out or to step it up and stop whining. So with that said, I'll be moving into year number three of being with my Coach and getting healthy.

With having a Coach, I lost weight then gained weight. I've had ups and downs. I've learned that I have to be more diligent about my diet and nutrition than the typical person. When it comes to having someone hold me accountable, there's no under eating & there's no binge eating. It's all about balance! It's all about controlling what I can to be better, but it's been hard as hell!

Then there's a whole other element... What about looking in the mirror? That's the whole point of this blog anyway! I didn't like what I looked like at 230 lbs so I made a change. But I still didn't find satisfaction in my body at 134 lbs! And now, where I fall right in between... Shit is hard! It's hard to look in the mirror and say, "DAMN I LOOK GOOD!" Realistically, I can't maintain 134 lbs nor do I want to be 230 pounds! Whole reason I started was to be HEALTHY right?! Is loving myself realistic?

I listen to clients and friends who have just had babies or babies years ago. They tell me about the changes their bodies went through. The changes their hormones go through. They tell me about all that comes with nursing and it's mind blowing to hear all the things a mom does in a 24 hour period for not only their babies, but their husbands, animals, and friends. It's HUMBLING! Yet they still struggle to look in the mirror. So why do us woman spend so much time not loving our bodies? I'm 100% GUILTY! We spend more time looking at other women wishing we had their body, when they're most likely looking back at us wishing they had our arms, legs, stomach, chest, butt, hair, eyes... WHATEVER!

Do I have an answer to this? Actually I don't! I wish I did. But I wanted to share this photo that my client had shared with me. It's all so easy to get caught up in comparing everything we are not, but how many times do we tell ourselves- "I love myself"? As parents, I'm sure you tell your babies you love them. But here's my challenge to you...
Take a deep breath in front of them and say, "I'm so proud of my body!"
A positive physical outlook has to start at an early age, why not start modeling it by how we take care of ourselves!

My mother has always said, "you can't love anyone until you love yourself". Still this day I believe that. I may suck a practicing it, but I always keep it in the back of my mind. My body doesn't determine my worth, but I can't not take care of it. I have to be the best version of myself when it comes my my mind, body, and soul.

As always, I enjoy reading and talking with many of you who read my blog. Feel free to comment here, Facebook, Instagram, twitter, email or in person. 

With Love,

Sunday, May 3, 2015


These last couple of weeks I look back and think where did January go. Seemed like everyone was just making New Years goals. Now we're headed into the first full week of May and I've thought about my own personal goals as well as others who had made a New Years resolution.

What's the difference between my fitness goals and others who made a New Years Resolution?

Brokenness & Humbleness are the two words that come to mind.

So many times I have people ask me, "What keeps you motivated?"

Honestly, My brokenness. At one point in time, I stood in front of mirror cursing myself, telling myself how fat and ugly I was. I was once complaining about it to my dad. How I just wanted to look like all the other girls. He said, well what are you going to do?! "Ugh! I don't know, this isn't my fault!" Mmmm hmmmm... Being 5'4 and 230 pounds wasn't my fault? I had to take another look in the mirror and ask myself what I was going to do about my issue. All my life it was everyone else's fault that I was over weight but my own fault. I asked myself, "Are you going to continue to be a victim of this box you continue to put yourself in?"

That's where my journey started. A PLAN OF ACTION.
My brokenness lead me towards creating a plan. I began educating myself on diet and nutrition- no more TV gimmicks or weight loss pills. My brokenness lead me to finding a personal trainer to teach and guide me on a healthier lifestyle path. My brokenness lead me to not accepting or making excuses to get out of a workout. No more "I'm tired" or "I don't have time".

I realized that I truly was in charge. And so many times I hear people tell me I don't have time or money or whatever. I'm no money bags over here with all my student loans. I work more than 40 hours a week and HAVE to make time. We ALL can talk ourselves out of why we can't do something. But my question is why? Maybe you haven't reached a point of breaking? ...That point where you want something so bad that you stop giving up. I don't know what goes through your head. But mine went from a pity party to a plan of action. Not every day is the VERY BEST. But every day can be better. Nobody is PERFECT, but we can work on being a better version of ourselves each day.

If you've started and feel like you've failed, today is a new day. Stop quitting. Believe in yourself. Surround yourself with people who believe and encourage you. And lastly, never be afraid to ask for help.

Be Blessed

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Just the other day I was outside of the gym and met an individual I hadn't met before. I introduced myself and the response wasn't the typical.

The woman said, "Oh, your the famous trainer to all the stars!"

Her response caught me off guard. Yea, I think the world of my clients- they're all stars to me. I couldn't help but to laugh. She wanted to know how I became a trainer and why. I gave a brief little synopsis as well as explained the wide variety of clients I train. I explained that I have a wide variety of clients of all ages, weight loss, weight gain, specific training, nutrition, male and females, moms and dads, expectant mothers, people with various careers- but the one thing they all have in common is the desire be a better version of themselves.

It got me thinking though. I've had the opportunity to work with some clients with some serious life challenges. I've worked with clients who have had cancer, have had a heart attack or stroke, been in severe accidents, as well as individuals who have had some very big surgeries that I was able to help be apart of their rehab.

So what's the lesson? The lesson come from those who have faced struggle. Many times I'll start with a new person who basically is healthy, they just need to move more and eat less processed foods- maybe drop some weight. Sure, that can be hard because breaking bad habits is difficult- But when I start a client who has just had a major surgery, they don't look at me and tell me everything they can't do. The person trusts me to be educated and to train them effectively. The person wants me to understand WHERE they have been, but they want me to guide them and show them what they CAN do. They count on me to have a starting point for them, but also provide them progressive steps and education for their future. I take away from these superstar clients of mine, It's about what they CAN DO, not about what they CAN'T do.

I'm almost positive that we can all stand in front of the bathroom mirror and tell ourselves everything we aren't, but my question is can we stand in front of the mirror and look at the positives? Can we wake up and be thankful we are blessed to see another day? It's easy to get caught up in the negative of what we are not. But look at the positive... WE MAKE THE CHOICE OF:

Who we are
What we are about
What we can offer others
How we can encourage others
How we can HELP others

Yes, I get it, we all have bad days. But I encourage and challenge you to not look at your bad days as a complete waste. Take those so called 'bad days' and find the positives. Find the positive even if means encouraging someone else. I encourage you to be the person that you wish to see and interact with each day.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

People Centered

Many of you saw my posts on either instagram or facebook about being in Los Angeles for the IHRSA 2015 Convention. I had been two years ago, learned various things concerning health and fitness, but was even more excited to return this year. I was excited to experience the latest workouts as well as hear from some of the leaders in the health and fitness clubs and hear how they run their programs or train their clients.

I can't speak for other trainers, but for me, I desire to learn. No matter if it's mind, body, soul... I understand I'm always learning. And that's the biggest thing I was able to take away from the IHRSA Convention. In one of the seminars Todd Durkin said, "If your the smartest person in the room, your doing something wrong". I wrote the quote down on a piece of paper and continued to think about that. I began to make a mental list of WHO I spend a majority of my time with. I thought of people I interactive with outside of the gym. Then wrote on my notebook,

"who am I surrounding myself with?

And then Todd said, "Think about it... EVERY successful person has a Coach or Mentor".


My desire to be better every days comes down to who I surround myself with. I want to be better than I was yesterday so I must do what most aren't willing to do. And how I accomplish that comes down to my daily 'routine'.

I often get the following questions,

"How did you lose 90 pounds?"
"How can you get up so early every day?"
"How can you eat vegetables every day?"
"How do you workout all the time?"
"Where does your motivation come from?"
"How can you train so many people?"

My ROUTINE supports my goals. And my motivation comes from a burning desire to NEVER give up on myself or the people I work with. For my personal goals, I have a Coach who I check in with daily and challenges me to be better. For my career goals, I have a boss who challenges me to be better each day. I must make sure I'm always being progressive.

So what did I learn and take away from stepping outside of Kansas? I learned that it's easy to get caught up in our own little world. Week after week, my routine is the same and I can take the people I work with and the job I have at Genesis Health Clubs for granted. I get tired, I get weary, I get hungry, I get money centered and I forget to give each one of my clients the very best session or class that Alison can offer. It's easy to half ass your job when you get comfortable. How many times do I preach to my clients, "to grow you have to step outside of your comfort zone"? Sure I don't mind challenging myself and stepping outside of my comfort zone for a workout. But how many times have I missed the opportunity to service a member or client because I was in the frame mind of "Am I going to get paid for this"? Sometimes there's no pay and you just have to do what's right because it's the right thing to do!

Don't get me wrong, routines are important. Pay is important. But what I'm getting at is one can never lose their purpose. One can never lose their "WHY" for what their doing. I got into this career to help people, make a positive difference and to encourage others on their fitness journey. My motto can never be, just get through the day. My attitude must be servant driven, humble, and willing to learn. That's the type of trainer I want to be. My goal is to be a trainer willing to learn and serve the members and clients I have the opportunity to work with each day. The type of trainer I want to be is one with Purpose, Passion, and Drive. Iron sharpens Iron, may I never forget that. May I surround myself with people who positively challenge me to be better and may I positively challenge my clients to be healthier and fitter individuals!

Huge thank you to Genesis Health Clubs for continuing to invest in me.

Be Blessed

Saturday, January 3, 2015

All Them Fitness Posts!

One thing I never would have conceived is one of my fitness post offending someone. I won't go into detail, but I offended a friend of mine a while ago from something I posted about fitness and
nutrition. My response to the individual was to block and delete. Felt I didn't need the negativity. I've been mocked for my posts and personally I felt offended by the persons response to me. But I hadn't really looked at the individuals side of things. I just felt I was trying to be someone positive and didn't need the negativity. But I truly didn't know the struggle the person was going through at that time.

The following is my last response to the individual that I feel my other readers maybe need to hear and see to truly understand my heart. The 'WHY' behind my ANNOYING gym posts, check-ins, and selfies.

I used to be the fat kid who made jokes about themselves to hid my pain. But one day I had a realization that God isn't pleased with me making fun of myself. I used to eat boxes and boxes of Mac and cheese, cereal, and junk and would make fun of myself in front of my friends and family because I would rather be the one making fun of myself instead of others saying hurtful words about my size. Inside though, I was hurting. I was hurting because I had a real food addiction and it was easier to joke about it. In my opinion, it gave others less of an opportunity to call me fat. That's why I say a food addiction is worse than being an alcoholic. You can get rid of alcohol, but one still has to eat. One has to learn to monitor their food and have self discipline. There's a reason I don't like getting together for events with food. 5 years later I still am tempted. So I chose not to go to things where I know people are doing food activities. I've learned to love myself and my body. Perfect, NO. But I look at each of my days as a way to be a better me. That's why I have Facebook and IG... To show people that I don't have an excuse or reason not to be a better person mind, body, and soul. It's daily a battle. A struggle. I feel people have no idea the mental battle a person can have every single day with food. And that's why my faith is important to me. I know who I am in Christ, but I know I can't meet my goals of being a healthier me without Him. It's a daily, hourly, minute to minute battle. The devil wants to tell you and I, we're not worth anything, we can't do it, that we will always be the same. So whatever program or diet your using advocare, Herbalife, body by vi... I've heard of them all. More so, it's a spiritual battle more than anything. Not one that can be done alone. One must have a support system and people who desire to see you be a better you. Our mind holds us back when we believe the lies the Devil speaks to us.

Many people think a persons fitness post is to 'BRAG' and tell people about what all they're are doing so people will adore all they do. But another concept to understand is a persons post could be their motivation. There's MANY people who create a facebook or instagram account dedicated just to their fitness goals. That's why I have mine! For other crazy fitness people to see my journey, so I can cheer them on and watch others transform. Who knows, your journey may encourage another to get moving and eating healthy. Your post of encouragement could make someone's day. Make the choice to be an encouragement.