For most women who head off to college for the first time, there’s always a fear of that “freshman 15.” The early stages of adulthood, and being away from home for the first time, means navigating what to eat, when to eat it and how to balance cafeteria food with an apple every now and again.“For quite a while I felt completely disconnected from the entire college experience,” she writes in an Instagram post!
“There weren’t many things I could control so I began to focus on obsessing about my body. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was in the beginning stages of my body dysmorphia, disordered eating, and excessive working out. I was so insecure and I allowed my belief that I wasn’t good enough to hold me back from SO MANY opportunities in my young adult life.”
Allison claims she gained and lost hundreds of pounds over the next ten years. She went from a size 4 to a size 18 and struggled with the roller coaster cycle of never being able to embrace her body for what it was. Allison launched an Instagram account about a year ago to start a discourse about body diversity and self-love.
She says it was her way of chronicling her journey and healing her 15-year-old-self from the negative path of destruction she’d spent a decade on. “I struggled for so long to fit it and feel love, only to find at the age of 30 that it was within me all along if I had just allowed myself to feel it. I knew that I didn’t want anyone else to waste another single second being at war with themselves and so I took to Instagram to attempt to free women with daily inspiration.
”She recently shared a conversation with her children that quickly went viral because her daughter called her fat. Allison’s response has moms everywhere applauding her for the way she handled the otherwise-devastating blow: “My daughter called me fat today,” she writes.“She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat.
I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat. Me: “what did you say about me?” Her: “I said you were fat, mama, I’m sorry” Me: “let’s talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us with energy. Do you have fat?”
Her: “yes! I have come here on my tummy” Me: “that’s right! So do I and so does your brother!” Her brother: “I don’t have any fat, I’m the skinniest, I just have muscles” Me: “actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts.” Her brother: ” Oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me”
Me: “Yes, that’s true. Some people have a lot, and others don’t have very much. But that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand? Both: “yes, mama” Me: “so can you repeat what I said” Them: “yes! I shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat”
Me: “exactly right!” Them: “can we go back to the pool now?” Me: “no” Each moment these topics come up, I have to choose how I’m going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical, and undesirable.”
“Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friend’s house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school- ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds.
It is our responsibility to remain the most outspoken, accepting, positive, and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can stand out from the crowd. “Just do it!” Allie recently teamed up with “Full of Freckles,” a plus-size body-positive illustrator, to work on a series of children’s books about body confidence and self-love.
The 30-year-old mom is proud of her body, the incredible babies it created, and the way her story has touched the lives of so many others. Cheers to you, Allie! You are a beautiful mama, and you’re teaching those babes wonderful lessons about being the perfect version of who God created them to be.