Changing from the inside out

Many women struggle with eating disorders and body image issues – even women who seem health and to have every thing together.  Ones that you would never suspect.  Learn how this active mom is pairing her faith in God with healthy eating and training plans to overcome.


FITBODY Feature – Alison Feinauer

Hometown: Covington, KY

Personal Information:

I am 33 years old, I have a 2 year old son and 2 incredible bonus (step) kids!  I’ve been married 10 years to my husband, Keith – he is AMAZING! I am an IT Database/Web Administrator at Crossroads Church in Cincinnati. I’m passionate about seeing change in people’s lives.  I have struggled with an Eating Disorder most of my life – I am now a changed person and want to help others in any way that my story can.  I am a people person – I love inspiring, having community and learning from those around me.  I know that being the best me – physically, mentally, and spiritually will help me fulfill the roles I have in this life – wife, mom, employee, friend, etc. Discipline and Self-Control have never been my strong points.  However, I know that those are part of our DNA (how God made us) and that we need those skills in order to have fulfillment in our lives.  Nutrition and Fitness and Rest are a critical part of bringing my A-game to my family, work, and friends so I’m always looking for ways to improve and feel great.  I know that when my body feels good, then my emotions come right along and enable me to focus on those around me.

What are your greatest fitness accomplishments so far?

I have ran 6 Marathons, 6 Half Marathons and a Mudathlon.  I’m not a natural runner and hated running until about 8 years ago.  Most runners are tall and thin, I am short and work really hard at it.  But I’ve also found my passion in lifting and I love Boot Camps!

Transformation info – How much have you changed in what period of time.  What things have most helped you make that transformation?

I was not an athlete or in any sports growing up, so I didn’t have any training in nutrition or exercise.  I was always the “thick” girl until high school when I developed an Eating Disorder.  I went through college battling it and then somehow overcame it for several years.  It would creep back up once in a while with a binge here and there.  I continued to yo-yo diet and always had a plan to start again on “Monday”.  I always thought the less I ate the better off I was.  So somedays it was 500 calories, but then I’d follow it with a day of 3000 calories because I was deprived or emotionally struggling.  So my metabolism was shot. I was very discouraged and didn’t have much direction in that area.  I weighed myself every single day and that number either tanked my mood or made my day.  I was very good about working out though, I lifted weights, went to lots of classes at the gym, read every magazine article on the market and I’ve ran 6 marathons so everyone has always thought that I’m healthy.  I had a baby 2 years ago and gained about 60 lbs – 185 lbs at 5’2″.  I was determined to get the weight back off so I did that mostly by not eating much.  My Eating Disorder reared it’s ugly head again!  This past year we had a service at church that talked about confession and the power of it.  The Bible says that if we confess our sins, then God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9).  I decided to confess to a trusted friend that I was struggling with this, she prayed with me and immediately I felt healed.  Shortly after that confession, I realized it was going to be a healing Journey.  I needed to retrain my mind and body how to eat and workout as a healthy lifestyle and not a “diet” mindset.

That is when I reached out to Julie.  I knew that Julie had the knowledge, compassion, strength and support to train me.  I have a high respect for Julie and knew that I wanted her to hold me accountable and give me specific direction.  I’ve found the strength in God to look at my struggles in the face and deal with them – the root of them.  Asking Julie to walk on this Journey with me and teach me was one of the best decisions I’ve made.  We need systems and people in our lives to give us guidance and help us along the journey of life.  I’m so thankful for her. After being on her program for 8 weeks – I can say now that I have not skipped a meal, I have not binged, I have had very little processed food, I haven’t missed a workout, I’m not married to the scale or it’s numbers anymore, my emotions are not a roller coaster anymore, I have crazy amounts of energy, sleep very well, I feel whole and healed!  I am a new person…from the inside out!

What do you enjoy most about fitness?

I love the sweat, I love seeing results and I love the mood booster.  After my fitness class today – I said Hi to everyone I saw at the grocery store.  They probably thought – who let her out of her cage:)  but exercise is so uplifting, fun and empowering!  It is my medicine each morning!

What are your fitness goals?

I’m going to do another half marathon this year and a mudathlon this year.  Long term – I would love to compete one day and be on Julie’s FitBody Contest Prep Team – that’s my ultimate goal.   Overall – I just want to maintain a mental and physical health through nutrition, exercise, and rest.

What motivates you to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Life, Joy, Feeling Whole, My family and I feel like we are called to take care of our bodies.  I love making others happy – and I can’t do that if I’m not happy with myself.  We have been given a body from the Lord – which is His temple.  It’s our job to love it, take care of it, and own it.  It won’t come naturally – we have to be intentional about it.  That is what motivates me…

What is the best part about working with Julie?

2 words.  Ridiculously Amazing.  Inside and out!  I respect her, I know her personally, not just through her training and so I can say that she is the same in every facet of her life.  She has integrity, amazing beauty, compassion, inner strength, inspiration; she’s reliable and inspiring! From a training aspect, she was always there to answer any questions, no matter how hard they were.  I chose to start my program with her right before the holidays and I thought – this is a mistake.  So many times – I’d come to her with my struggles and she would do nothing but encourage me, she believed in me and she kept me grounded.  My goals in working with her were not to lose a bunch of weight, it was to Change My Life….and she helped me do that.  (The bonus was that I did lose weight and see transformation in my body!)  Another great thing – her workouts rocked…I was more than challenged and I loved how she changed things up!

What is the worst part about working with Julie?

Hmmmm…Zero, Nada, Nothing!  She rocks!

Favorite ‘diet’ food:

UMP – I love protein pudding!  Glutemine Select – I can see a big change in my workouts when I drink this during them.

Any other comments or anything else you would like to share?

I’m just thankful that Julie uses her gifts to help me and others.  She is a true blessing!


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