THE TOUCHING & INSPIRING INSPIRATION DEDICATION DIVISION

THE TOUCHING & INSPIRING INSPIRATION DEDICATION DIVISION

FEATURING THE TOP 3 TRANSFORMATION STORIES AT THE 2016 IPL WEST COAST PRO/AM: ALISON DAVIS, JAVIER JUAREZ & LAURA PETERSEN

Intro By Ben Yosef / Michael Brooks Photography

THE TOUCHING & INSPIRING INSPIRATION DEDICATION DIVISION
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What an incredible division! I witnessed this for the first time at the 2016 IPL California Championship back in May. And, I was blown away by the incredible stories. I was literally in tears.

Since then, the IPL has offered the Inspiration Dedication division at every contest event. And, for the first time, at the September 2016 IPL West Coast Pro/Am in Rancho Cordova, CA, we offered a special award to the top three transformation stories. Not only did each receive the IPL participation medal, but each was also awarded a custom plaque and this NATURALMAG feature. The following stories offer detail into the journeys of these three wonderfully inspiring individuals.

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Alison Davis // Age 41

I chose to do this competition as a celebration of life for myself for being a 5 year breast cancer survivor and losing the 50 lbs. that I gained after my surgery.

Trying to find the right diet program was a challenge. Being angry with my diagnosis and also frustrated with myself with the way I looked was not helpful with the start of my weight loss journey. I thought making a life changing decision 5 years ago was difficult, but as I look back in the past months, this has probably been harder for me to prep myself physically and emotionally to stand on stage. I have been fortunate to have support from family and friends, and especially my husband, that have all been by my side since I decided to achieve this goal.

“I am here to represent those that have lost, those that are still fighting and those that have survived.”

I am also thankful for the friends I have met and the way that we can support each other. I am here to represent those that have lost, those that are still fighting and those that have survived.

I would like to share a quote from one of my favorite authors… “Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”

Q: How did it feel being a part of the Inspiration Dedication division at the IPL West Coast PRO/AM and winning Top Transformation?

Alison: It felt amazing to be a part of an awesome category. I am honored to be able to share my story and accomplishment in this category and show no matter what life hands you, you can do anything you want to as long as you put your mind to it. Winning was shocking and still is. I was surrounded by beautiful people on stage with great stories and to hear my number was unreal. I still look at my plaque and can’t believe it’s mine. It’s like I was in a dream that day.

Q: What is next for you?

Alison: I am continuing to keep my weight loss at the number I wanted going into this goal I set for myself and still working out. I am also hoping to compete again in 2017 and start coaching others that would like to lose weight or compete.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you?

Alison: My website is https://goherbalife.com/alisondavis/en-US or I am on Facebook under Alison Davis and also on Instagram as alidavis7.

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Javier Juarez // Age 35

As a kid I was one of the last to be chosen to play on the sports teams. I was always being teased and bullied for being overweight, which brought my self-esteem down.

“I want everyone to know that bullying can either make you or break you. If I can do it, then you can do it.”

All of the bullying led me to take my anger out in a negative way and I found myself behind bars. I reached 487 pounds. This was my wake up call. When I got out, I was introduced to proper nutrition and a team that never judged me. My energy is now being used towards training in Jiu-Jitsu and boxing. I want everyone to know that bullying can either make you or break you. If I can do it, then you can do it.

Q: How did it feel being a part of the Inspiration Dedication Division at the IPL West Coast PRO/AM and winning Top Transformation?

Javier: It was amazing! I wasn’t expecting to win. I just wanted my message about bullying to be heard. So when I heard my number being called out it took me by surprise. Being in that category and with all of the participants felt more like an honor.

Everyone has a story to share, but only few actually share it. There was so much that ran through my mind; the bullies that made fun of me, the mental pain I endured growing up and the self- discipline it took to compete. I really hope that my story inspires others to create the best versions of themselves, no matter where they’re at in life.

Q: What is next for you?

Javier: I plan on competing again in August 2017. In the meantime, I’ve been asked to be a speaker for the troubled youth in my community. I’m also coaching people who have weight management goals. I’m always trying to create a better version of myself and stay positive.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you?

Javier: Instagram is @Coach_Gordo24. My personal Facebook is @Javier Juarez (Big Gordo) and if anyone wants my help on their weight loss journey they can check out https://Facebook.com/getitnutrition24

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Laura Petersen // Age 45

Laura’s overcome physical, emotional, and mental adversity to walk on stage.

In 2001, she fell down a flight of stairs carrying her infant. The baby was okay, but Laura destroyed her knee and split her femur in two. It took 3 surgeries to repair her leg and she became addicted to opiates during the process.

Five Years later, the addiction had torn her life apart. She lost her home, job, and marriage. Worst of all, her ability to care for her children. The heaviest toll came when she suffered a heart attack. She was only 35. That same year, she crashed her car and was impaled by a tree limb, nearly losing her arm. Doctors saved the arm, but it left her with a titanium shoulder. Feeling hopeless, she turned to food and gained over 70 pounds.

In 2008, after the loss of her sister to AIDs, she was touched by the grace of God and overcame her addiction.

Today, she’s married to the love of her life, in excellent health, has a close relationship with her kids, and runs the company that let her go. She got on stage on stage at the West Coast Pro/Am to serve as an inspiration for those facing their own impossible trials.

Q: How did it feel being a part of the Inspiration Dedication Division at the IPL West Coast PRO/AM and winning Top Transformation?

“Recovery is possible and a better, brighter, more wonderful life is out there. It’s not easy, but I am living proof that anything is possible if you are willing to try.”

Laura: Winning this competition was like a dream come true, because after everything I have been through I never thought I would be able to accomplish such an honor. I want to be an inspiration to others that are fighting addiction. Whether it’s prescription pills, food or anything else that has taken over their lives. Recovery is possible and a better, brighter, more wonderful life is out there. It’s not easy, but I am living proof that anything is possible if you are willing to try.

Q: What is next for you?

Laura: The immediate plans are to rest through the holidays and start our new adventure in January 2017 of competitive dancing along with keeping a healthy, active, natural lifestyle.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you?

Laura: FB @Laura Petersen and IG @laura_e_petersen. Please connect with me to share your story and lets support each other on our goals and dreams! NMI


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