She received a new kidney, and then being healthy began to weigh on her. Alison Foster knew she needed to lose weight and begin a journey to better health.
She works near walking trails at Dowell Springs, and that is where she works out at least 30 minutes a day.
"When I first started I could barely make it up one of the hills. It took me an hour to get up one of the hills. I would stop and I would breathe. And now I'm pretty much three-and-a-half miles," Alison said.
Back in 2014, a kidney transplant promised a better life.
"The gentleman's family had to make that decision to donate his organs because the hope for his life was gone. So I struggled a little bit after that," she said.
She struggled to be a good steward of that gift. She lost a long-time job and depression set in and she weighed a lot - 280 pounds.
"I found this new job over here and I went to get new scrubs because we had to wear black. I couldn't wear my old scrubs that I had previously worn and I ended up having to put a 3X scrub top on. And I was like, 'What have I done to myself?'" she said.
Pictures document what she looked like two years ago. That's when she heard about a weight loss center in West Knoxville called Profile by Sanford. It offered an opportunity to meet with a coach every week to develop a customized meal plan and fitness goals.
"Talk about my struggles or any positive things that I had done during the week every time I saw them. It was almost like an accountability to myself but I was accountable to my coach as well who was pushing me to better myself," she said.
Amy Stephens is a coach at Profile who has seen Alison's confidence grow as her body shrank.
"Have somebody that you can be accountable to. Just an accountability partner and somebody who can keep your motivated when the going gets tough and you don't want to do it anymore," Amy said.
Side-by-side photos show the difference: 280 pounds then and 150 pounds now. Two years after starting her journey, Alison is in the maintenance stage sustaining her weight, keeping active and making good food choices every day.
"Sometimes I have to mentally weigh is this food option the right choice? Is it not? It's a struggle sometimes every day just to make those right decisions," Alison said.
"It's hard to do," Amy said. "There's an old saying that says you can't out run the kitchen. And it's really true. No matter how hard you exercise it doesn't really make up for poor eating habits."
Two years into her fitness journey and going strong, Alison Foster has new habits, a healthy kidney and a positive outlook.