Pick A Struggle

Meet Alana Marie

alana faulkIn 1994 I made a huge career change. I quit my job and decided to open a bar. Not just any bar, but a gay/lesbian show bar. I immersed my entire being in the nightclub scene and yes indeed, it was a “gay” old time I had.  I found myself living a life of excess.  I drank too much, ate too much, partied too much, dated too many women to count and spent much more money than I had. After 17 years of abuse, my body almost self-destructed. At one point, I found myself weighing in at 528 pounds, an alcoholic, broke and alone. I sat there on my little corner of “rock bottom” and felt sorry for myself. I was repulsed and ashamed of what I had become. On January 15, 2011, I had an epiphany. I was forced to face the reality of my mortality and I was mortified.

On January 16, 2012, I quit drinking completely which was truly difficult, in that I still owned a bar. I lost a total of 252 pounds and went back to college after 25 years. I am also a proud member of the LGBT community.  I have stared almost every type of discrimination in the eye and vanquished it. I have lived life to the highest of highs and hit the lowest of lows. I am still searching for my middle ground. I have completely turned my life around. I am not who I was three years ago. I like to write and create. My passion is to communicate, educate and motivate.   Recently, I lost my best friend and my greatest supporter, my mother. She was never one to whine or engage in self-pity.  Despite all of the hardships she herself endured, she managed to raise 4 very strong, independent and successful children.  When we were overwhelmed with stress, love and life she would sit us down and calmly say “Pick a struggle cupcake….and resolve it”.

I did…I have….and now I would love to share some of my experiences, struggles, failures and triumphs with you. In doing this, I hope to compel and inspire you to confront your demons and conquer your looming catastrophes. There is always an answer, an escape or a solution. We just have to find it! Together, we shall! Now, let’s get started! Pick a struggle cupcake…..pick a struggle.


Alana Marie


  1. I love the name is this blog and the story of how that came to be. I hope to one day have the relationship with my mom that you had… No that you Have! I lost my grandmother this year but there is no doubt that she is still with me. My life has turned around so much that I believe she’s here opening doors for me… Pick a struggle cupcake is going to be my new motto. I’m learning to face a fear at least once a day and whether you know it or not, your encouragement has helped me do that. I appreciate you so much Alana and I hope that we become good friends one day 🙂

  2. Lisa Massengill says:

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. You are truly an inspiration! I initially thought it was a little strange that someone who struggles with weight, would name their blog “cupcake.” Now after reading your blog, I love it! It’s not only appropriate, it’s a beautiful tribute to your Mom. 🙂 I look forward to your future writings!

  3. Gill says:

    It seems many of us struggle to find the middle ground, I’m hoping to find it eventually! The story of how your blog’s name came to be is wonderful, I just love it. Sending you all good wishes, just keep on keeping on!

  4. Mikala says:

    Greetings Alana! I read your story first on FB (I’m getting skinny and I know it) and that led me here to your blog. Wow! What an inspiration! Congratulations on your continuing battle with alcohol (my husband is a former alcoholic, and as a nurse many of my patients are/have struggling/struggled with it) I know how difficult that can be especially with owning a bar! A huge wow/congratulations on your weight loss journey thus far! You look amazing!! Pick a struggle cupcake….I’ve never heard it put quite that way…but I can tell you from here on out it will be on my brain while going through not only this weight loss journey/lifestyle change, but with other aspects of this crazy life as well!! Thank you for sharing your journey, I look forward to reading more!

  5. Jojjer says:

    I love how the name came to be, pick a struggle cupcake… 🙂 I can just picture a mom saying that to her kids. I’ll carry that motto with me. I often have the habit of getting overwhelmed by too many problems so this motto seems appropriate. Pick one and fix it. Great tribute to your mom too who must have been a wonderful woman. I unfortunately wasn’t so lucky in the mother department but I have a wonderful mother in law that more than make up for the short fall in my life, nuff said. Pick a struggle cupcake… I think I will! 🙂 xxx

  6. Hi Alana, thank you so much for the invitation to your blog, I LOVE it!! Your journey is very similar to a loved one of mine, and I totally understand it. I’m in awe of your writing, your passion to reach out to others, and your success in overcoming your struggles. I have alot more reading to do and may just pitch a tent here for a while. 😀

  7. Arlene says:

    Just discovered your blog tonite and can’t get enough of it!! You are so inspiring and creative. Thanks for sharing your struggles and by doing so giving others hope that their situations can be overcome.

  8. Kathy Benroth says:

    I’m so glad I’ve joined you on your journey to a life of sobriety , control, peace and happiness. We lead very different lives, but we share so much.i’ve been on this weight loss journey for the last 30 years, and I lost my Mother, my biggest supporter more than 30 years ago. I think I see a connection there. I anxiously await your blogs ,

  9. Alana,

    You are AMAZING! I simply love your story, your dedication, your courage, your strength, and your triumph.

    Thank you for shining a light on people’s lives all over the world.

    Keep on smiling and shining.

    To Your Success,
    Stacie Walker

  10. AJ says:

    Thank you for letting me share a tiny part of your must feel so proud of yourself for what you have and will achieve.Im still looking for my lightbulb moment. Guess you know how hard it is fo finally break free from the chains that when worn for so long tend to become comfortable.You are doing great..

  11. Alana says:

    Thank you AJ…You have to just decide THIS IS IT! You then center your entire life around this one single goal…at least for a while…until you get rolling and lose at least half of what you need to lose. You CAN do it! I have faith!

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