Courageous, timid, inspirational, heart of gold, woman of God, and driven are words that come to mind when I think of Audrey Poisso, unstoppable would be another one. Audrey and I grew up together in the same area of Grant Parish. Little did I know that our paths would cross again , in a much different way, as adults.
Audrey reached out to me for guidance with some health issues. As many of you know, I was quick to ask what can I do to help. I led her to a community of people I had just met at B22 Health club in Dry Prong, La. She quickly found a family there.
Audrey’s story is a lot like many of you. It is full of challenges and heartache and the will to stay alive and be a better mom, wife and person. She was spiraling with obesity, health issues, family illness, and the insecurities of where to begin change.
I have really gotten to know Audrey in the last year and gosh, I just adore her. From B22 challenge, to Whole 30, to Paleo, to Strong with Mitzi Retreat (yoga was not her thing), dinners, and just some great interaction, she is one a kind.
Enjoy this read and may you all find a little bit of Audrey in you.
Audrey, thank you for sharing your story, as hard as it may have been. You are enough my friend.
Love and Hugs, Mitzi
When Mitzi asked me to share my story, I thought several things. My thoughts ran from… I wasn’t ready yet, to… I wasn’t sure what my story might even be. Then I thought if it helps one person struggling, it was worth it. I started praying and thinking about what I would share. The truth is life is hard, it just is. It is hard for everyone at times. My life is no different. I’m not really an athlete in my mind but other times, I feel like I’m an athlete trapped in a fat girl body. I do like sports and being active, but never felt like I was fit. I don’t remember a time that I’ve not struggled with weight. My biggest challenge is comparing myself to others. What I’ve learned the most from Mitzi is TO DO YOU! Don’t worry about why someone else is on a journey, worry about your own journey. I’ve always been on some sort of plan. I was never really satisfied with myself. 12 years ago, I was briefly married. It was not the best marriage and definitely not healthy for me mentally, physically, or emotionally. I rushed into it because I wanted to be married and be like others. I was living in my timeline and not Gods. One of the many things I remembered my ex-husband telling me was that if I ever hit 300 pounds, he would divorce me. I think I was trying to get there just to get out but eventually, I realized, it was just not a healthy situation. I remarried my wonderful husband Joe who supports me in every way possible.
Currently, I’m a wife, teacher and mom of three boys. I love snacks, treats, vending machines and canteen as much as the next person but had to realize those treats were not always good for me. I had to learn to care more for myself than for food. Mindless eating was getting me in trouble and not allowing me to be the mom, wife, or teacher I needed to be. My heaviest weight was 318. I remember thinking I was over 300. I was blessed with my wonderful husband who loved me no matter what. We were also foster parents at the time, not knowing when our family dynamic would change. Eventually through foster care, we adopted 3 boys. We were truly blessed by the experience. Prayer, petition, and perseverance God saw us through.
Fast forward some, our first Christmas all 3 boys were legally adopted, and Joe was in the hospital. We ended up having a major scare with Joe health wise on Christmas Day. I remember thinking I had to get stronger to be the best Mom I could be. Life is short, we are not promised tomorrow. It was time for me to get healthy! I spent a lot of time doing lots of programs and exercises with my Beachbody coach and extremely close friend. I would lose some weight but would never get below 260. I would usually stay the 280 mark never letting myself get over 300 again. My goal was under 250 but I just couldn’t do it until I made up my mind not to quit and that I was ready.
In 2018 I went to a breast cancer walk at B22 gym in Dry Prong. I loved the atmosphere and the people at the walk. I knew the gym was a “one of kind” place. In November, I saw where Mitzi was doing a step challenge in December. She asked everyone to do 12000 steps a day for 21 days. I went through with a great friend and completed the challenge. It was just what I needed. I asked Mitzi about any help she could give me, and it led me back to B22. This was the conversation:
ME: Do you do any whole 30 or paleo challenges after the first of the year? I am considering it and really need to make some changes. It’s past time.
HER: I love this here. Yes, when you know you know. There is a gym in Dry Prong that I am working with on a challenge. If you are interested, I can make it happen. It’s paleo, not W30. That takes a mental capacity that I’m not in right now but if you wanted to do it, I would help you.
ME: Ok I would love too. Dry Prong would be perfect but is it ok to do after Christmas. I do not want to set myself for failure I really need to succeed.
At the end of the step challenge we were able to meet and have supper with Mitzi and other participants. I wanted to change so I went. I remember halfway through the evening texting my 2 besties and saying here I am at this dinner and I am the fattest one I feel like a cow. They text back about self-worth and how I needed a better image of myself. The thing is no one made me feel less or even thought less it was all in my head. God loves as I am, and I need to love myself. I just kept showing up and not giving up and realizing it was just all in my head.
After talking to Mitzi about B22 and loving the atmosphere, I then asked my husband about joining the gym and the challenge for Christmas. Best present ever. He agreed and our journey began.
We lost 50lbs combined in 6 weeks with the “Back to Square One” challenge! We learned so much during the journey. We eat cleaner, cook healthier, and balance our lives better. I went from 277 to 255. I then did a whole 30 with Mitzi and stayed working out with the gym. Yes, I finally got below 250, I finished weighing 246. I loved the person I was becoming. Our family was just happier! The gym is like my 2nd home whether I just go to walk laps, cross fit or a dance class. B22 has really changed our family! It is such a blessing to have in our community. When I talked to Mitzi and she mentioned it to me. It was definitely a God thing! I was already interested but it gave me the extra push.
I just did another challenge with B22 gym and incorporated Whole 30 as my food plan. I lost 17 lbs. with the gym program and 15 was on Whole 30. I finished at 229.9. I’ve lost 48 since January. The best thing is knowing I can do it and feeling like I can succeed. If I had to pick one thing, I like about myself it would be my desire to persevere.
My life verse is Jerimiah 29:11.
It has gotten me through some tough times knowing God has plans for me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”