By Liana Jacob
MEET the beautiful blonde twins who went through yo-yo dieting and borderline anorexia due to feeling self-conscious about wearing bikinis but have since regained so much confidence one of them has participated in bikini competitions.
Business owner, Emily Seelman, and personal trainer, Allison Ferrante (27), from Pennsylvania, USA, grew up in a sporty environment and since they had high metabolisms, they would eat as much as they wanted.
Feeling like they were ‘huge’ they began to starve themselves until Allison shrunk to 6st 9Ibs and Emily went down to 6st 11Ibs. Following orders from their doctors, they both were instructed to follow a regular eating plan which resulted in their highest weight of 10st 5Ibs.
While their sizes are considered normal, when they looked in a mirror they were very unhappy with their look and would shy away from wearing bikinis. This spurred them on to change their lifestyle and after finding out about body building, they found a comfortable balance with exercise and formed a better relationship with food. Emily is now a svelte 8st 11Ibs and Allison has reduced to a slim 8st 13Ibs.
“I always believed that my weight was genetic and, therefore, out of my control. I just assumed I would be overweight because it was just who I was,” Emily said.
“I had low self-esteem. My weight fluctuated from what the doctors described as ‘anorexic tendencies’, to being largely overweight.”
“I think for me a lot of it was misunderstanding food and nutrition. There was a time when I had ‘anorexic tendencies’ and was very thin (in an unhealthy way) but when I looked in the mirror I thought I was huge,” Allison said.
“I then had to gain weight (per the doctor’s orders) and completely blew up. I still looked in the mirror and hated what I saw, but this time I would starve myself and then binge eat, totally messing up my metabolism.
“I believed the magazines that told me to eat eight-hundred calories and run miles every day. It was so unhealthy.
“I hated how I looked in pictures but, more importantly, it just wasn’t who I was. I knew I wanted to be able to control how I looked and felt, I just didn’t know how.”
After settling into a new exercise and diet routine of weight lifting five days a week, cardio three-times a week and a high-fat, low-carb, plant-based whole food diet, the twins reached a weight that they now love to flaunt on social media.
“I was always trying fad diets and trying to fix my self-worth through weight. One day, however, I took the step of figuring out myself worth despite my weight and body,” Emily said.
“Once my self-esteem went up and I saw my own value, I was then able to work on my weight in a healthy way.
“I shifted from all cardio to primarily lifting weights. I studied the process and what it was all about and began learning how to lift weights in a regimented way.
“From there, I began cutting out dairy, white processed sugars, processed foods, and foods with preservatives. I wanted to eat for health, energy, and a clear mind.
“My body fat continues to drop while I gain muscle mass. In the moments where I look back and remember how terrible I felt, like I was always losing, I realise how much of a lie it was.
“Truly, much of it came from falling for these lies that starving myself or running all the time would work and when it didn’t, I just felt like I would always be overweight and would never find a way out.”
“I hated how I looked in a bathing suit or in the mirror,” Allison said.
“I lost weight by eating more of healthier food (rather than starving myself and then binge-eating on junk food).
“Emily and I threw out all of the bad food in the house so we didn’t even have the opportunity to eat junk food.”
Changing their mindset of what was considered a ‘good body’ turned out to be a real challenge for the twins, but they say the experience has been life-changing.
“I feel unstoppable. Honestly, I know what it takes to be healthy and, particularly, I know what it takes to have the discipline to be stage ready (for body building bikini competitions),” Allison said.
“It’s so much more than looking great in clothes – although that is definitely a huge part of it. It’s all about mindset. If you think ‘I am on a diet and can’t eat this’ – you’re going to lose.
“But if you think ‘I am eating healthy, whole foods for my health and I don’t want to eat junk because it makes me feel gross’ – you’ll be successful.”
“Exercise and eating nutritious foods has become so intertwined in my life that I feel motivated every day to continue forward,” Emily said.
“I used to lose weight and think to myself, I wonder when I’ll fail at this and gain all this weight back.
“Now I know I am not going to lose, because I can’t lose. Exercise has become a major source of stress relief for me. I feel great.
“The hardest part for me was overcoming that story I always told myself. I had to rewrite my story. My story now is; I am prized, I am loved, I am enough.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/emily.and.allison/