Why We Are All This Woman & Why We Should Want to Be

Melodie Henderson

Posted on March 08 2021

Hey, Girlz, Hey! Last Sunday night, I was half-asleep scrolling through Facebook when I saw something that made my heart drop. A picture of my friend, Allison, sitting in a bathtub, mascara running down her face, snack foods scattered across her body. I was instantly worried.

When I clicked, I saw more photos in the series, which included side by sides with photos of Allison looking natural, beautiful and serene. 

 

I can't imagine the kind of courage it took for Allison to post those photos. I only post pictures of myself when I feel like I look good, and I'm even hyper critical of those. Anyone else? She definitely had my attention. 

Glitzy had just posted the blog I wrote titled "If there was a skinny button, would you push it?" which got enormous response and caused an outpouring of women sharing their raw, emotional stories of struggle, self-loathing, shame and pain; everything I saw summed up in Allison's photos, taken by friend and fellow artist, Amanda Lee. 

Allison is a beautiful woman. She's 26 years old and lives in West LA, and I met her when she and my daughter did children's theatre together years ago.  I watched her grow up on stage. 

I reached out to her, and she agreed to let me interview her for the Glitzy blog. Below is the transcript of our conversation. It kind of changed me a little, Girlz. Take a few minutes. It's worth the read.

Mel: Can you tell me what inspired you to take the photos?

Allison: I wrote a released a song called Hungry last year. It was about my binge eating. But tbh I never really did anything with it because I was afraid that no one would care. So my friend encouraged me and I decided I wanted to a photoshoot based on what I was like when I wrote it vs today.

Mel: Your photos were very bold and raw. Was there any fear about putting them out there?

Allison: Oh my gosh! DEFINITELY. I was terrified. So many thoughts and worries and made up opinions other people might have lol It was definitely the most skin I've ever shown!

Mel: What has the response been like?

Allison: Overwhelmingly supportive and loving. I seriously never realized how others view me. I am not one who self forgives or gives much grace to myself so it was so emotional for me.

Mel: What did you learn about how other people see you?

Allison: People see beauty and strength. Two things I struggle with believing about myself the most. Its so funny how we can be our worst critic.

Mel: I think most people would be shocked to know what they people they love really think about themselves.

Allison: Oh my goodness! If people lived in my head I think it would scare them.

Mel: Did the responses change the way you see yourself at all?

Allison: I would say yes and no. I still battle with my inner thoughts, trauma and shame AND I am beginning to see how strong I am. The beauty about my body and who I've become. My body has got me through some incredibly hard things. Its taken a lot of the damage. So I've learned to be grateful for her. She has scars and wounds and rolls AND she's beautiful, tough, healing and capable.

Mel: Why do you refer to your body as she? It feels like a separation of self initially, but I do think that it's a good reminder that we are not our bodies.

Allison: I love this question...for so long I had negative self talk and called my body it, fat, any terrible thing you can think of. For me I always give things I love a personality and name and so calling her 'she' actually reminds me that she is living and breathing and worthy ❤

Mel: What was the key to changing your way of loving your body?

Allison: Forgiveness. Forgiving those who have taken advantage of her, wounded her. But mostly forgiving myself.

Mel: What have you forgiven yourself for?

Allison: Ooh girl that's a long list lol. But I would say for the years I spent abusing her. I really really made my body my shield when it came to handling life. I also spent a lot of time hating her with my words. For years I just trashed my body with my mouth and what you say, you'll eventually believe and become. I had to forgive my self for hating myself for years and years. It's not easy. It sounds petty but imagine spending 17 years hating your body out loud and never wanting to take care of it.

Mel: Is that how long you've been curvy? 17 years?

Allison: Yeah. I went through puberty at 10 years old. I had a B cup in 4th grade. I was "slim thick" before it was a thing but back then I was called the "fat friend".

Mel: You said it would scare people to be in your head. What are the worst things you've said to yourself?

Allison: I was suicidal most of 2019. I literally told my husband it would be better for me to die then have to live in my body for one more day.

Mel: Wow...that's pretty intense. How did you come out of that?

Allison: Yeah...it was the scariest time of my life. I have never felt so far away from myself and everyone around me. Well, God has always been my source of life. I felt completely alone but for some reason trusted He was there. That helped A LOT! My husband holding me. Human connection reminded me I was alive. My family asked the hard questions and did their best to understand, which even when they didn't helped so much. THERAPY AND blood work. That's the year I was diagnosed with PCOS and learned so much about my hormone imbalances.

Mel: It's really surprising how many women I'm hearing from with PCOS. How did treating that change your health, both physical and mental?

Allison: Oh my gosh it's insane how many women I know! Well it took me a minute to accept it and understand. But it changed everything about my nutrition. I learned a lot about how my body breaks things down. My energy levels completely changed once I started on the nutrition treatment. Mentally I learned that it wasn't all my fault. I'll never forget the feeling of relief. It literally felt like a plane was lifted off my back. It's been a very long process. I'm still learning about the syndrome and so is the medical world. Research and advocating advocating yourself is so important. And here's the thing every PCOS inflicted body is different. So I'm still changing.

Mel: Will you be able to carry children, or is that something you want?

Allison: I definitely want children. Always have ❤ If I'm being honest, it's the one test I've avoided. I've made it a priority this year but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared. I'm in a group full of women who have PCOS and were told they can't have children and many of them after finding our what they need and working on it have had multiple children. It's crazy how much nutrition effects PCOS.

Mel: Is your group online? Is it a resource you can share with my readers?

Allison: Sure! It's a women named Kym Campbell. She has PCOS and was tires of not having answers so she made it her mission to get them. Now 10 years later she's giving resources to women all over the country. https://www.facebook.com/groups/pcos30daychallenge/?ref=share

Mel: What makes you feel confident?

Allison: I love being bold with what I wear! For so long I shopped to cover my body but now I shop to stand out

Mel: Yes! How would you describe your style?

Allison: Hahaha I would say Fierce Bubblegum 🤣 What would the fashion world call that?

Mel: Whatever it is, they should change it to that!

Mel: You were on Revenge Body Makeover twice, and you mentioned it was hard for you to share the photos on Instagram because many of your followers know you from the show. Why was that hard?

Allison: I was 50lbs lighter, when I finished the show the second time, then I am now. People can be quick to assume. And most of them follow me for the reveal effect. They want me to be a forever "after" photo. Not to mention so many trainers who have rough opinions on "fat people" follow me and it was to step out and say...hey, this is where I'm at.

Mel: Why do you refer to your body as she? It feels like a separation of self initially, but I do think that it's a good reminder that we are not our bodies.

Allison: I love this question...for so long I had negative self talk and called my body it, fat, any terrible thing you can think of. For me I always give things I love a personality and name and so calling her 'she' actually reminds me that she is living and breathing and worthy ❤

Mel: You mentioned an eating disorder. May I ask what it is, and when you developed it?

Allison: Emotional Binge Eating. I would say it really became an issue when I turned 19. After college I dropped out. I always loved food but my unhealthy relationship was how I coped.

Mel: Is that something you can stop completely?

Allison: I believe with help, therapy and a willingness, yes. It's a coping mechanism for me. I trauma defense. But I've learned my triggers and things I can do instead. But it was really bad. I once spent $87 at Del Taco in one trip for myself and binge in my car for hours. All because a bad rehearsal day.

Mel: Are you aware of trauma that caused you to develop the disorder?

Allison: Yes. I was sexually abused multiple time in my life. I had a wonderful childhood, amazing parents AND we suffered a lot as a family. I've moved almost 30 times in my life and that built me but it also caused me to have a lot of stability issues. I've learned to use the word 'and' instead of 'but' in therapy.

Mel: That's a great tip...using AND. Why do it? Because two things can be true at the same time?

Allison: Yes. Because when you say this was sad "but" I'm okay. It negates the feeling or effect. Yes exactly my life has been great AND severely traumatic. My body is hurting AND it's strong!

Mel: I like that.

Allison: Me too, my therapist changed my world when she said that to me.

Mel: Would you give me another example that has to do with your body?

Allison: I am fat AND I'm fit!

Mel: How do you feel about the word 'fat'?

Allison: You know...she's a tricky one. I think I say it because of word association. If I say it then it holds no power when the bullies say it. But I'm still figuring that one out. Haha

Mel: Were you bullied?

Allison: Oh definitely! Middle school was the worst! They called me a hippo, elephant. I had boys say they liked me and thought I was pretty and then at lunch would just make fat jokes in front of their friends.

Mel: Gross.

Allison: Yeah, Even my "friends" would say things like well if you were smaller we could shop together.

Mel: Did you know Glitzy Girlz sells sizes Small-6X with no price difference?

Allison: Really?? That's amazing!

Mel: It's one of the things I love about us. Can I ask you where you are on your journey now? Are you happy with your body today, are you still trying to lose weight, what is the goal?

Allison: Sure, because of my PCOS and inflammation pain I am still trying to lose weight. But the goal is not a look it's my overall health. I'm proud of my body but she's still in work in process 😘

 Follow Allison's at TikTok: @funfitfat  Instagram @theallisonsano

Listen to her original song, "Hungry," here: https://open.spotify.com/album/0lZB0HQci5CmmQXDTVfZr8?si=ASScsSUATleQe4gatLOxlw&utm_source=copy-link

 

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2 comments

  • Corina cristan: April 15, 2021

    I love to see if i ordered

  • Steph: March 09, 2021

    Need a tall model. I’m 6’0. 2x/3x top 18/20 jeans

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