When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And make sure there’s a slice of pizza to go around with it. Well, at least that’s how it’s been with Instagram star Aleen Johnson, aka The Fit Pizza Girl. This human contradiction is a power-lifter with over 581K followers on Instagram. Wonder how she does it? Read on.
Aleen was born in Searcy, AR on 31st March 1995. From July 2016 to February 2017, she was deployed in the U.S. Air Force. While there were combats to prepare for and enemies to fight on the outside, Aleen realized she had bigger battles and more vicious foes to contend with on the inside. She says, “I started experiencing bouts of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I’m still not sure what triggered them but I do know I don’t want to experience them again as long as I live.” While Aleen was deployed, the only place where she could eat something interesting was a Pizza Hut. Her obsession with the mouth-watering roundel was clear to all, starting with herself. Yet, this was not the only go-to place she wanted to develop as a means to cope with her tumultuous internal life.
The hands that were always ready to reach out for a pizza, decided to grab onto something healthier at the same time. Aleen decided to become a power-lifter in order to tire out and eventually get the better off, of her internal conflicts. This also proved to be a great way to indulge in something she obsessed over without worrying about the calorie clock ticking. She says, “I made a lot of friends during deployment. All of them encouraged me to hit the gym and start powerlifting in order to keep my stress levels in check. I am glad I heeded their advice because now I live in a place where the best of both worlds meet – pizza and powerlifting.”
There are countless pizza lovers across the world. But not all of them club their indulgence with fitness. Aleen, on the other hand, likes to “have a grip over my life. I like to eat pizza and I like to stay fit. My Insta followers can see that. Perhaps it inspires them to do something similar.” With pizza as her best friend and the barbell as a handy counselor, Aleen has found a way to keep her mind and her taste buds happy and thriving.