On her struggles with her weight:
Most women go through phases of looking in the mirror and not being happy with what they see. I was letting it affect my entire life. I felt disappointed when I went clothes shopping and guilty about everything I put in my mouth. My appearance permeated every thought and feeling I had about myself.
On using a calendar as her exercise body:
My number-one trick is treating my workout just like any other appointment I have during the day. I look at my schedule for the week and figure out when I have to be at all of my different jobs and when I have time to get a run in or do a yoga class. Then I write it down – I don’t have to think about it, I just do it. Period.
On dancing to provide stress relief:
We love to barbecue on our patio and play loud music. Then in the middle of making dinner, someone will yell, ‘Dance break!’ and the four of us rock out like fools. Having fun is the best way to unwind.
Keep up with Alison’s diet (eat this, NOT this) and check out what she eats every day to keep her weight down:
Toasted Unsalted Almonds: “Almonds are an easy snack to keep in my purse or my car,” she says. “They are delicious too.”
Water: “In general it’s so important to drink water—and if I keep drinking it, I’m less likely to munch on unnecessary calories,” she says.
Yoplait Light: “I have to be at work at 6 a.m., so four hours later, I swap out an unhealthy sweet for a Yoplait Light which is satisfyingly yummy but a healthy alternative to a morning blueberry muffin.”
Bell Peppers: “Who needs chips when you can have healthy treats instead?” Sweeney cuts up bell peppers into thin slices and munches on them as a convenient snack. “I love the tangy flavor!” she says.
Apple Slices: Alison credits apples as another good “anytime” snack. “I like to keep apples handy to cut up in a salad or use to cook with.”
Salads: “I make all kinds of salads—usually with whatever ingredients are available,” Sweeney says. “With dinner I don’t add a protein, but at lunch I’ll make a salad and include last night’s leftover salmon or grilled shrimp.”
Avocados: “I joke that I could add avocado to any meal, but it’s sort of true!” she says. “I think avocados go with everything (except dessert). It’s a really healthy fat, so I swap out avocado in my salad instead of oil.”
Butter-Free Popcorn: “I air pop it so it’s pretty clean, but still…” she jokes.
“Those baby steps are the right way to get yourself headed down the right track,” Sweeney says. “Once you accomplish your first goal, your second is a bit easier!”