A weight loss influencer who ballooned to 401lbs while she ‘used food to cope’ with her husband’s opioid addiction has turned to her followers for help in funding surgery to remove excess skin after she shed more than 100lbs.
Allison Clausen, 28, from Arizona, lost an impressive 112lbs after swapping her favorite unhealthy foods like cheeseburgers and ice cream for low-calorie dishes like fresh fruit and lean turkey.
At her heaviest, the fitness fanatic weighed close to 400lbs and spent her days eating an incredibly heavy diet of ice cream, candy, a lots of sugary soda.
In December 2018, Allison’s husband made a decision to ‘take his life back’ and quit his addiction to pills – which motivated her to start her own health journey by transforming her lifestyle and losing weight.
‘At my highest weight I was 401lbs,’ Allison said of her weight gain on her GoFundMe page.
‘My husband was battling an addiction to opioids, and I turned to food to cope. I would not wish what my husband and I went through on my worst enemy.
Inspirational: A weight loss influencer who ballooned to 401lbs while using food to cope with her husband’s opioid addiction has opened up about how she shed a whopping 112lbs
Allison Clausen, 28, from Arizona, has managed to drop her weight to 280lbs – however she has been left with folds of excess skin, which she is hoping to remove with surgery
‘December 2, 2018 is the day my husband took his life back. We decided we would do it together. He was going to beat his addiction to pills, and I was going to tackle my addiction to food.’
Initially, Allison’s weight loss journey started out on a strong note; she shed 50lbs in less than a year, and by September 2020, her weight had dropped to just 288lbs.
Allison initially began her weight loss journey when her husband (pictured) told her he wanted to ‘take his life back’ by beating his opioid addiction
However, the influencer admits that she started slipping back into old habits, and quickly found herself gaining back ‘almost everything she had lost’.
So, in September 2021, she decided to begin documenting her health journey on her TikTok in a bid to hold herself accountable and inspire others.
‘I was tired of being tired,’ she wrote. ‘I am young. I wanted to LIVE…. Truly LIVE. I decided I needed to take my weight loss journey public for some added accountability. So on 9/1/21, I posted my first video to TikTok, wanting to track my weight loss progress through a pair of jeans. That video changed my life.
By being strict with her diet for seven months and working out up to six times a week, Allison now weighs 280lbs – and has never felt better.
‘Growing up I was always larger than everyone in my class but I put on most of the weight during my adult years,’ Allison told Jam Press.
‘I didn’t have anyone holding me accountable, and it was so much easier to eat take out then it was to cook a balanced meal.
Before committing to overhauling her lifestyle, the influencer (seen in December 2018) lived on a diet of fast food, sugary sodas, and biscuits and gravy for breakfast everyday
During the pandemic, Allison (seen in April) fell back into old habits and began gaining weight again – so she decided to turn to TikTok in September 2021 in order to hold herself accountable
Since starting her TikTok journey, Allison has built up a dedicated fan base of more than 249,000 followers – and she has managed to shed a whopping 112lbs
‘Life happens, and when life gets hard, I turn to food. I always have.
‘I needed to make my journey public. I needed people to hold me accountable.’
She decided to upload daily videos documenting her journey to give a realistic account of losing weight.
Allison said: ‘Representation is so important, and I never saw my body type in social media, nor did I ever see someone start their journey and document all of it.
‘I was used to seeing the ‘after’ pictures and the success stories, but I felt there was a need to share everything from start to finish.
‘I also knew that having a digital video diary would be so helpful to look back on when I have rough days.
‘People tell me all the time how inspirational I am, and how watching me has helped their own issues and changed their own mindset on weight loss.’
How Allison changed her diet to shed more than 100lbs
ALLISON’S DIET BEFORE WEIGHT LOSS:
Breakfast: Biscuits and gravy
Lunch: Two fried chicken sandwiches, large French fries
Dinner: Two double cheeseburgers, tater tots, ranch, and a soda
Snacks: Ice cream, candy, chocolate
Drinks: Full-fat soda
THE DIET ALLISON USED TO LOSE WEIGHT:
Breakfast: Lactose-free Fairlife milk, eggs, potatoes
Lunch: Turkey and apple sandwich, protein bar, fresh fruit
Dinner: Rice and chicken
Snacks: Protein shakes/drinks
Drinks: Gatorade 0, diet soft drinks
The influencer now wants to undergo surgery in order to remove the excess skin that she has been left with as a result of her weight loss – and she is crowdfunding online to pay for it
Before beginning her weight loss journey, Allison would regularly binge on high-calorie foods like ice cream and and fries, but she has now quit those to focus on leaner alternatives
‘December 2, 2018 is the day my husband took his life back,’ Allison explained. ‘We decided we would do it together’
After losing 112lbs, Allison is now left with excess skin and is determined to get a tummy tuck, breast lift, arm lift and bra roll lift in a bid to complete her transformation.
She has started a fundraiser online to raise money for skin removal, where she has so far raised $6,752 of her $50,000 goal.
She said: ‘I can’t even begin to describe what getting the excess skin removed would mean to me.
‘It is hard to see my progress underneath the remnants of my former life.
‘I am not ashamed of my body – I show it all over the internet. But I would like to see what everyone else sees.
‘I look in the mirror and I see the 401lb-girl looking back at me.’
Allison has over 249,000 followers on TikTok, with many calling her journey an inspiration.
One social media user said: ‘You are killing it!!! So proud of you!!!!!’
In the eight months since she began posting her weight loss journey on TikTok, Allison has managed to get her weight down to 280lbs
Allison is hoping to raise $50,000 on GoFundMe, which she will use to pay for skin removal surgery
Allison also helps inspire others to shed the pounds with a monthly competition where she and her players have so far lost a combined total of 45,000lbs
‘Thanks for being so open! I had no idea what skin would look like with that much weight loss,’ another user commented.
‘Look at you! I was here when you first started! I can’t believe how much you’ve grown and succeeded! Proud of you sis’, added someone else.
A fourth TikToker commented: ‘Girrrrl! Look at all the work you did! Amazing and such an inspiration.’
A fifth follower added: ‘Beautiful! I had to check the screen name because I legit didn’t recognize you!!!!!!! Get it girl!!.’
Allison also helps inspire others to shed the pounds with a monthly competition where she and her players have so far lost a combined total of 45,000lbs.
She added: ‘Sharing my journey through social media has not only helped me succeed, but also thousands of others.’