Alison Zupancic, 33, wears many hats. The DC law enforcement officer and Navy Yard resident often works long shifts and recently dipped her toe in modeling when she was cast in a campaign for Eloquii, a fashion brand for women sizes 14-28. But, despite a hectic schedule and multiple commitments, she always makes time to prioritize her health.
“Seeing my mom and other family members battle cancer has definitely struck a chord with me” says Zupancic of being reminded to take advantage of a working body while you have it. “Be concerned about your health—not obsessed—and listen to your body. Don’t put things off because it only gets worse.”
Here’s how she gets it done.
“[In law enforcement] we are assigned shift work, which means our schedules can rotate hours and responsibilities. Whenever I wake up, I always reach for eggs or egg whites and an espresso. I also either make or buy hard boiled eggs for the week, so there’s no excuse not to start my day without eating something. If I’m really pushing it on time, I’ll sub in a protein shake. I love the birthday cake flavor mixed with unsweetened almond milk! For lunch/dinner, I will either bring one of my Territory meals in my lunchbox or buy grilled chicken breasts, fish, and fresh produce from the grocery store. I know it may seem like buying pre-made food can be expensive, but I’ve done the math and it helps a lot.”
“My workout times vary, but I love CrossFit and SoulCycle. They both have enough package options, class times, and locations to add in a fun workout to break up the week. I get bored really fast, so if I’m able to switch things up, I’m all for it. Rumble Boxing is next on my list to try. It looks like an amazing and fun cardio workout! [Since] my career is very demanding, I’m lucky that there’s a gym in almost all of our building locations.”
“If I can’t find motivation within myself, I find it in my coworkers and teammates. When I played for the DC Divas, the District’s first women’s football team, it was not only training to win, but practicing together to improve our strength and endurance. I had to stay healthy for the team. You can’t run plays from the sidelines.”
“Also, a planner is a great tool! If I write it down, I’m more likely to do it. There’re so many options for last-minute distractions in this city, so if I write down my work schedule, then pencil in my workouts and activities, I feel guilty when I don’t get to check the box.”
“I’ve played sports since I was 5 and have been plus-sized since middle school. Finding clothes, especially workout clothes, has always been a struggle. Imagine walking into a plus-sized store as an 11-year-old girl to find bike shorts for cheerleading practice. Although that was in the ’90s and it’s 2019 now, I’ve spent a good two-thirds of my life navigating acceptance and overcoming embarrassment. Nowadays, it fuels my fire. If you tell me I can’t, I’ll show you I can and will.”
“I don’t let my size dictate my life, which is why I was so excited to represent Eloquii’s #MODELTHAT campaign. It’s about women breaking stereotypes and inspiring and empowering other women through their everyday activities. Everyone deserves the right to be loved and acknowledged as a human. I represent change—I am a voice for others struggling with similar body issues and fighting for more inclusivity. So whether you’re a size 14 or 24, don’t let anyone else put restrictions on your life. Keep after your dreams, break those glass ceilings, and look beyond beauty and body standards. Those limits do not exist!”