Allie Lary is a 32-year-old mother to three children, ages 8, 6, and 4. “When my last child was born and we discovered she had Down Syndrome, I kind of lost it. Despite my best efforts to deny it, I went into a mild depressive state. My husband and I did everything we could to make sure our daughter had what she needed to progress like a “normal” child. In doing so I lost myself. I ate…all the time! In the evenings, I would just sit in front of the TV watching my kids play on the floor because I didn’t want to go outside with them. I was a mess, but to the outside world, I seemed to have it all together.” Allie decided to change her eating habits, get moving, and lost 68 pounds! Not only was she changing on the outside, she was changing on the inside. “I have a new outlook on life! I enjoy it now! I feel like I have a purpose now, and not just existing.”
This is Allie’s story.
How did you reach your heaviest weight? At what point did you decide to do something?
When I was in college I worked at the university’s sales room (we sold milk, meat, cheese, etc. that was made at the university). Basically I had access to as much chocolate milk and ice cream that I wanted…and it was FREE! So I definitely gained the “Freshman 15” PLUS 15 more! After college, I just didn’t care. I ate what I wanted when I wanted and that was that. Then I gained weight with each of my kids…and with that it just kept spiraling. Having a full time job and 3 kids, it’s way easier to drive thru somewhere and pick up dinner (or lunch…or a snack…) then it is to go to the grocery store, cook, eat, clean the kitchen…and so it just spiraled from there.
What made you decide to change your body and your life?
After our annual beach trip in July 2015, I woke up one morning and just had an epiphany. I’m not sure what clicked but something did and I was ready to do something! I didn’t realize how far gone I was until I stepped on the scale that morning and weighed 197 pounds! I knew I had to change! Not only for myself, but for my kids and my husband.
What kept you motivated?
Not wanting to go back to where I was. That still keeps me motivated. I tell my husband almost daily, “I do NOT want to be back where I was…EVER!” Also, knowing my kids are watching me. I want to be a healthy example for them!
What steps did you take to begin your transformation?
I started off pretty basic. I cut sodas, breads, and pastas out of my diet completely and just started eating clean with fruits, veggies, meats, and cheese. I had to pack my snacks and lunch every day. It wasn’t convenient, but I had to make it work. I’m a nurse at a private doctors office and when drug reps would bring cupcakes and cookies, I would go to the refrigerator and get my bag of grapes. I also started doing yoga. Every day. It was a great stress reliever for me, but also hard work! I think that really helped to jumpstart my weight loss.
Did you have specific fitness goals at the beginning of your transformation?
My initial goal was for the scale to read 160 pounds. I was more focused with a number. I didn’t have goals in mind for a body transformation when I first started. I figured if I could just lose the pounds, the rest would take care of itself. Then when I hit 160 pounds, I wanted to keep going, and I did! I now weigh 133 pounds and no longer trying to lose weight, but am not where I want my body to be. I’m a work in progress and probably will always be striving for better!
How did being overweight affect your life and how are things different now?
I was very self-conscious of myself. I was uncomfortable all of the time. I just felt miserable and so exhausted constantly! I didn’t want to play with my kids because I felt “worn out”. I didn’t realize how much it was affecting my kids as well. Now I am much more active. I hardly ever sit still! I can’t stand to sit still. I’m not sure when the last time I sat down to watch TV was. I play with my kids…outside! I love buying clothes now and I love cooking! I have a new outlook on life and I actually enjoy it! I feel like I have a purpose now and not just existing.
What kinds of workout programs help you get on track?
I started out doing yoga. Despite the stereotype, yoga is hard!!!! After a while I kind of started phasing out of yoga and began running. I did a few odd and end workouts over the course of several months like P90X, random YouTube workouts…things like that. Just a few month ago I joined a gym. Never thought I’d be a gym rat but I LOVE IT! I didn’t have plans to “bulk” but I can tell a huge difference in my muscle tone since doing so. I “gym” it 4-5 days a week and have just started a half marathon training schedule!
What does your diet look like?
When I started 2 years ago, I just started with clean eating. Last year I completed Whole30 twice. I kept up the Whole30 eating lifestyle for about 8 months. I still missed certain foods though. It was after Easter this year that a friend of mine introduced me to counting macros. I can eat foods I crave and still lose weight and improve my body conformation!? SIGN ME UP! So that’s my current lifestyle…and I love it!
What part of your transformation has been the most difficult?
The social aspect of it, like going out with friends and not eating whatever I want. There’s also been negative reactions to my weight loss in addition to the positive ones. It’s the negative ones that seem to bother me more. But it’s also more motivation for me to continue to become healthier.
What are some suggestions you have for aspiring transformers?
Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? When you feel like you’re doing your best but just not SEEING results, keep going! Don’t give up! It’s all about the lifestyle. If you look at it as a “diet”…it won’t stick. Let this become your new norm! You won’t be sorry! And eat the cupcake every once in a while! (I’ve come to this realization recently and I love it!)
What are your future plans?
I will continue this lifestyle for as long as I am able to do so! I am and will continue to be a work in progress. But as for now, I’m just going to stick with what I’m doing and hope I can be motivation and encouragement for anyone trying to transform themselves.