ST. GEORGE – In Progress For Good, a blog documenting Alisha Bowling’s journey towards regaining her health while overcoming a traumatic past has put the St. George resident on the map, as she has been nominated for the nationally recognized Best Health Blog of 2012 contest.
Sponsored by Healthline, the Best Health Blog contest is held annually, with the $1,000-winner determined by popular vote. Of the more than 300 popular blogs from across the country in the running, In Progress For Good is currently in second place. Voting will remain open through Feb. 15 and can be done on the contest website.
In Progress For Good is the blog of Alisha Bowling, a married mother of three from St. George who embarked on a very personal weight-loss journey several years ago. Her determination, courage and unflinching honesty have drawn hundreds of readers from across the country to follow her posts passionately. But in order to fully understand her story, one must first understand the woman telling it.
Growing up in Taylorsville, Utah, Alisha Bowling was an active, vibrant young woman with a bright future. The star of her high school softball team, she received a scholarship to Dixie State College of Utah upon graduation and moved to St. George. But during her first year of college, life as she knew it came to a crashing halt when she became the victim of a violent sexual assault.
Ashamed, angry and hurt, Bowling slowly began to alienate herself from friends, family and the outside world. She also used – and abused – food as a coping mechanism.
“I ate to numb the pain. I ate and ate and ate,” she said. “Then I stopped getting dressed and going out. I stopped being a wife and mother. I stopped caring.”
At the insistence of her husband, Jason Bowling, Alisha eventually started therapy and slowly began breaking through the many emotional barriers of her past. However, her physical health continued to decline.
She reached her breaking point in August 2009, when her weight gain forced her to wear maternity clothes, as nothing else in her closet fit. At a peak weight of 233 pounds, Alisha began dieting with Weight Watchers, which proved successful until she became pregnant with her third child.
Her battle has continued ever since as she balances motherhood, being a full-time nursing student and keeping up her fitness regimen. She launched In Progress For Good in July 2011 to share the ups and downs of her daily life.
Alisha Bowling now weighs 153 pounds and has shrunk from a size 20 to a size six. She is happier than she has been in over a decade and proud, yet humbled, to be a front-runner for Best Health Blog of 2012.
“Being nominated means so much to me, but it’s (not) about winning,” she said. “I look at the contest as a way to share my message.”
Though she is in a much better place today than she was when she started her blog, Alisha Bowling realizes that her journey towards fully regaining her health is far from over. She believes that is the main reason her story has impacted so many readers.
“Alisha’s blog (is an) inspiration for any emotional eaters, people who hide behind baggy clothes and extra weight,” said Marcee Feddersen, an Illinois woman who has been following In Progress For Good for six months. “To see someone who started off roughly the same size as me and ended up where she is made me feel like it could really be done.”
“Her story is about so much more than losing weight,” Jason said. “She has had to overcome a lot to become the woman she is today. I hope that people will see strength and be empowered to make the changes they want in their lives.”
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