Hey guys! My name is Ally and I am a mama of two beautiful girls. Evs is two and Riley is six. They both have the biggest attitude in the entire world but I love them with my entire heart! I am an online health and fitness coach, full time, and my wife to my husband Christopher. This is my story of how I went from a size 20 to a size 10.
I guess let’s start at the beginning with the birth of my second child Riley. I had her a week into the shutdown in Georgia and we were still wondering if we were going to get toilet paper. Remember that side of the pandemic, what the heck! We were expecting to bring a whole human into the world and all of this was happening around us. Policies were changing all the time. Once I brought her home, I had to figure out how to navigate not only a pandemic, which is an unforeseen thing, but also a newborn. I mean, you’re isolating yourself anyways, when you have a newborn, but also all the uncertainty in the world and all the fear because April of 2020, it was all fear based. There was no knowledge. You had no idea what was going on other than the face that everyone was just scared. Bringing her in was just a really heavy time from the isolation aspect of the pandemic, how scared everyone was, and trying to homeschool virtual learning with my other one. It was a really, really, really hard time.
When you think of postpartum depression, you think of mom’s in movies holding a two-week-old or a one-week-old suffering, and that didn’t happen for me. I was good in the beginning and it wasn’t until three months later that I really started realizing my emotions had changed. I was down all the time and I didn’t know why, which at the time it was postpartum depression.
Mentally during this time, I was not who I was. I just, I was in this dark hole that I never could get out of. And I felt like I was just going through the motions and I wasn't the mom that my babies deserved. I wasn't the woman that my husband deserved. I just felt isolated, because it was a pandemic. Everybody was isolated, but I felt even more isolated to the point where I didn't even know who I was at that point.
Physically I was just down all the time. I did my workouts every day because it's my job, right? Like that was the one thing I could control. And I really focused on what I can control in the midst of all of this stuff I can't control. So fitness was one thing I could control, but it's like after I did my workout, everything else was just a free fall. I was letting my kids watch TV the whole time because I didn’t have energy to do anything else.
Postpartum depression led me to drinking more and leaning into alcohol. A lot of people during the pandemic were doing this so it all felt so normalized. I didn’t realize it was a problem.
My darkest moments were every single night when my kids went to bed, having to rely on alcohol every single night, having to have an entire bottle of wine, just to be able to cope. And then waking up the next day, feeling like complete crap and feeling like I was just letting that cycle repeat itself over and over and over again. And it's like, I was watching myself do this, knowing I shouldn't know it's not going to help.And it was almost like this out of body experience because the problems were still there afterwards. You know…
My weight was insane because I was working out, which for me, I was like, I'm working out, I'm a health and fitness coach. Like I'm supposed to be somebody that's got their crap figured out. I'm supposed to be somebody that knows what they're doing. I felt like I couldn’t show I was struggling with things on social media even though I definitely was. Because of my job on social media, I looked like I was thriving. I was doing my workouts every single day, but behind that, I was self sabotaging it by eating all of my feelings. I was drinking an entire bottle of wine a night, just trying to cope with everything that was going on inside of me.
I was breastfeeding. So all my hormones were wacky and it ended up, you know, I found myself December of 2020, freaking back up to what I was nine months pregnant, which was history repeating itself. Like my first one, I was like, how did I get here? How did I get to this point right now? Because I shouldn't have that right. I shouldn't have been at this point.
I realized I needed to take control of my life. I started with, pulling myself out of the hole with baby steps. I think so many times people take too much on too soon. And my first thing was I stopped breastfeeding. I chose me. I knew that my baby would be fine and I chose to stop to get my hormones all intact. Then I decided I'm just going to cut out alcohol, right. Just taking these baby steps. That seemed very obtainable at that time. So I cut it out during the week, till the weekend. And then I started eating more vegetables and stuff like that until eventually I really had this strong foundation to then go on and take on a really hard challenge. Taking complete control back of my life.
Healthy lifestyle and fitness to me and it just starts with baby steps. It starts with really focusing on intentions. I truly believe that a healthy fitness and nutrition lifestyle starts within. I'm a firm believer that if we fix the thoughts in our head, the way we perceive fitness and nutrition, and the reason we do it, that we truly will be able to take control of our life. Our body will follow up after we change our mindset. Anytime we focus on aesthetics first, I truly do believe that it always surface deep. If anything hard happens, we never can stick with it because we just have this surface-level reason. But if we really start working on the inside, the outside takes care of itself. Yes it’s great I went from a size 20 to a size 10, but I am more grateful for the grit I learned and the amazing inner transformation I made. I always tell everybody to focus on your mind, focus on your relationship with yourself, and your food. Your body will be a byproduct of the inside transformation.
My advice to Ally of 2020, who was in the thick of it, is to stay strong. Keep going. It'll get easier. Rather. It won't get easier. You'll get stronger, you will get out of this. I think at that moment she only saw this dark tunnel with no end. I just want to let her know that the end is beautiful and you will go on to figure it out. You will and also grow so much as a human because of it.
So many times, we don't realize our breakdown is our breakthrough and the Ally of 2020 felt like there was no way out of this, but sometimes you have to be broken down to the bare bones and not see a way out to have the courage. You have to go to your breakthrough, to take control of your life and to do something that you never thought was possible. I never would have gone after the things that I went after last year and this year, if I didn't have my breakdown if I didn't hit rock bottom, because the only thing to do when you're at rock bottom is you have all these rocks and you're down there. You can start building yourself up and it's so beautiful up there. So keep going, girl. You deserve to see that transformation.