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Alison Sweeney's Goal-Getting Tips

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Her Marathon and Motivation Tips

You're about to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. What inspired you to sign up?

I'm a lifetime fan of all things Disney, so it's a great opportunity to take my kids and a cool way to see the park. It's also wonderful motivation during the holidays: I can't eat crappy food if I'm going to stick to my training schedule. I might actually plan a long run every January for the rest of my life, because it works!

How do your kids feel about all the training you do?

After I ran the LA Marathon, my son said, "When I'm older, can I run with you, Mommy?" I love that I'm a role model and that my husband and I are setting the example that exercise is important in our lives.

You've done a lot of races this year. What keeps you going back for more?

They make me focus on the achievement rather than on "I'm burning calories" or "I have to look fit for TV." When it's a race, I don't have a choice. I have to get that long run under my belt or I won't be able to finish. It scares you straight, but in a good way.

What accomplishment are you proudest of?

Finishing the marathon. I had a meltdown at mile 21 and had to walk for a while. I had all these feelings of self-doubt. It was really hard to keep going, but I told myself, Whatever you do, don't stop. So I walked and walked, and the race volunteers believed in me. They were cheering, "Come on, Alison!" I realized I wasn't going to die, and I picked up my jog and completed what I started. The finish line was the most beautiful thing I'd ever laid eyes on.

You struggled with your weight when you were younger. What healthy changes did you make to your diet?

I was a total sucker for both the fat-free and sugar-free crazes. I used not to eat breakfast in the morning because I thought it was just one less meal to worry about. When I started Biggest Loser, I wasn't eating enough and would compensate by consuming foods that weren't good for me. I really credit the show for introducing me to quinoa, lentils, and other healthy options that taste good. Now I love going to the farmers' market and then cooking a healthy dinner at home for my family. Instead of a big bowl of pasta and three spears of broccoli, I fill a bowl with vegetables and shrimp and add just a little rice or pasta to make it more satisfying.

Do you sometimes still feel like a chubby person?

Those thought processes are hard to overcome, so that's definitely where Bob's and Jillian's mantras really do echo in my head: "That's an excuse; that's not who you are." It's important to take care of yourself. That includes eating healthier and learning not to beat yourself up when you make a mistake.

Are you more body-confident today than you used to be?

One thing I've learned through fitness: I may not have the best body out there -- not even close -- but I worked my butt off, literally, for it, and it's okay if it's not as good as someone else's. This is what I've got, and I have to embrace it and be proud of it.

How have your fitness achievements changed you?

Before, I felt intimidated, but now when opportunities come my way, I can jump in and say, "Yeah, let's do it!" The Biggest Loser crew has a softball team in an intramural league where we play other TV shows. I don't know much about softball, but I know I can have fun and be athletic.

If you had two hours to yourself -- no kids or demands -- which would you choose: sleep, sex, or exercise?

It's terrible to admit, but I'd probably sleep. But if you let me pick two, sex definitely qualifies as exercise for me, so I think I could fit them all in!

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anonymous wrote:

I love the article its very inspirational.

2/23/2013 08:24:16 AM Report Abuse
stephanie-heiar wrote:

Thank you, Alison for sharing your story. I grew up watching you on Days and could truely relate to your story. You look amazing and have inspired me with you comments about overcoming the negative thought process....that is one of my weakness as well as being type A. Thanks again;}

1/9/2013 02:17:04 PM Report Abuse
calogerol wrote:

Alison you look amazing. I watched Biggest Loser last night and all I could say is how amazing you look. Great job!

1/7/2013 10:10:13 AM Report Abuse

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