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I started this Journey at 231 pounds in December 2014. This was my starting point of KNOWING that I couldn’t live like this any longer. KNOWING that my weight, me being obese, was going to kill me and leave my daughter without her mommy if I didnt start taking care of it.

Today, 6 months after I came to that realization, I am down 13 pounds. To some that may not seem like a lot but for me, it is a huge accomplishment.  I am also down just over 3 inches, 2 of which are in my tummy/waist. I feel stronger and have more energy too.

I realized after I did all of my measurements and weighed in that I have actually reached 2 of my short term goals. 2 goals down, all in 1 day 🙂

  1. Loose 10 pounds
  2. Get under 220 pounds

So I started at 231 pounds. My current weight is 218 pounds (as of last night). I have not been under 220 pounds since I got pregnant with my daughter 8 years ago! People are commenting on my bum and legs looking slimmer, even though they arent measuring a whole lot less than what they were originally. I think this is because they are getting toned. I can feel that I have less skin/fat hanging on the inside of my thighs. My clothing is not fitting differently yet, but I notice that when I look in the mirror my fat bumps above my belly button and above my butt are definitely getting smaller. This too me is a huge step in the right direction.

This all just amazes me. I am so happy with myself for starting this journey. I am also happy because I am still determined to finish it! I havent given up yet, even though it is difficult, even though I have days that I doubt myself entirely. I am building a whole newly improved me and I am ready for this. 🙂

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Another Day, Another Beach Body Challenge

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Got to try Cize last night! So much fun, cant wait to do it again! I was so hot afterwards that my glasses steamed up lol ❤

I joined another 30 day Beach Body Challenge this weekend. I know what your thinking…another one? Whats the point?

For me, the 30 day beach body challenges are more for accountability and short term goals for me. Im not loving the T25 Challenge group. The only reason is because there is almost no one in the group, or no one posting. Its boring. The 30 day challenges are great because there is usually a lot more people, who are all doing the same thing you are. Plus, I find the 30 days much less daunting than thinking about how Im going to be working out like this for the next 10 weeks lol. Also, I find myself more willing to write encouraging or motivational posts or ideas in the 30 day challenge which makes me more engaged in the group.

So anyways, my Beach Body Coach posed this question to us: What tools/tricks do you use to hold yourself accountable? What tools/tricks do you use to schedule your workouts, mealtimes, staying on track?

Her post:

You can DO a whole LOT in just ONE day- When you PLAN!
Planning ahead and having some sort of schedule for yourself, especially while participating in a workout program, will give you more hours in the day and take off some of the stress!
*Comment below what YOU are doing to hold yourself accountable, or what TOOLS/TRICKS do you use to schedule your workouts and mealtimes? Any tips for staying on track?*

It’s not about time management, but self-management. And you’ll welcome the reward of a great many accomplishments—personal, professional, and physical.

My answer:

I don’t plan my times for workouts or family time etc. It’s hard for us because my daughter needs a less structured environment when it comes to home time and family time. That being said my daughter goes to bed around the same time every night (8pm ish). As soon as she is in bed lunches are made and a workout is usually done. Most nights these things are completed by 9pm. This gives me plenty of time to relax or do other house work before I go to bed.

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An example of one of my prepped snacks for the week: 2 slices of oven roasted low-fat turkey breast and a cheese stick. This is great for after a workout of just a good way to get some extra protein in.

I have a ton of short term goals. I find that they are easier to attain and you feel motivation and gratification because you reach them so much quicker. It’s like having a light in the middle of the tunnel instead of way at the end lol. I have long term goals as well but those are a long ways a way and without my short term goals I believe I would get very discouraged.

The last, and probably most important tool, that I use is meal prep. Sundays are our grocery shopping and meal prep days. So we plan what we are going to have for breakfast and lunch and snacks for the week. After getting what we need from the store we go home and cook. I make a big pot of something or recipe that I found or always loved and make enough of it to last me the week. I separate it into individual containers for each day so that I can just grab it and go. I prep all my fruit and veggies in individual containers as well. I don’t think I would be able to make it through the week without eating out if I didn’t do this. All of my daughters snacks are prepped just like mine. So it only takes about 15 minutes each night to put the lunches together with all healthy servings!

Anyways, long post but those are my tools and tricks that get me through.

I just thought Id share.

Have a great one 🙂

Double Down In Stinky Town

wpid-20150609_174918.jpgI feel like I may forever smell of mentholated rub.  This is the new perfume de la Ashley.

Lower Focus and Core Cardio done for this week and I’m pretty sure that without my A535 rub I would not be able to get out of my chair at work, let alone my car to come in, or even down the stairs at my house in order to go out to my car. 😀 This rub in a god send at the moment, even though it stinks to high heaven and I smell like an old grandma for the remainder of the day.wpid-20150609_110709.jpg

On Tuesday I got to take the day off of work and go on my daughter’s field trip with her to a nature conservatory. It was an amazing day. We got to go on a hike and be outside. It was so much better than sitting at my desk and I was surprised that I didn’t get tired at all. This is new for me and very exciting 🙂

I did lower focus that night, so I considered this to be my ‘double down’ day. I don’t know if that would actually count, but I AM counting it and I don’t care lol.

1 Week Down, 9 To Go!

wpid-20150519_214202.jpgWeek 1 is finished. On to week 2!

Thank goodness that first week is finished. It was killer after taking just over 2 weeks off in-between challenges. My advice: NEVER EVER take that much time off in between workouts and think you will be fine…you wont be. It felt like those workouts were the hardest workouts that I had ever done, and I had done pretty much all of them before in my last challenge.wpid-20150520_212316.png

Thankfully, I got through 4 of the 5 days of workouts. Yes that does mean that I skipped 2 of the 6 work outs that were required but you know what? That is OK. I am easing back into it. I definitely could not have completed all of the workouts. I had one day that I actually fell asleep before my 7-year-old while we were watching TV. I was in bed by 8 that night lol. I also had a very busy weekend. Life gets in the way, and that is OK.

This week I hope to be able to complete all of the workouts. I’m not making any promises, but for now I plan to do them all.

I am also still on track with my meals. Meal prep is the only way for me to be able to eat healthy and really watch what my calorie and carb intake. For now, my lunches consist of 1 salmon filet cooked on the barbecue in a foil packet, 8 asparagus spears, and about 3/4 cup of wild rice blend. I have 3 lunches made so twpid-20150519_120729.jpghat I can just throw it into my lunch pail the night before and its ready to go in the morning. For breakfasts I am still having greek yogurt and berries. If i’m really hungry I have a hard-boiled egg in there and 1/2 a cucumber cut up. I find that if I don’t pack my lunch or my snacks, I am starving and I go out to eat. Fridays I don’t usually bring a lunch though. That is my day to eat out. 😀

I will post some more of the workouts that I’ve been doing and how difficult or easy I am finding them as I go.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Back on the Band Wagon!

Ok, so I need to get pumped again. Ive been dragging my ass for the past 2 weeks and enough is enough.

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Monday Night Sweaty Selfie. T25 Cardio DONE!

Yesterday (Monday) was my first day of my new Beach Body Challenge.  It is a T25 specific challenge, but it is 10 weeks long and it features the entire program. I feel like I need these challenges to stay accountable. Without them, I just go off on my merry way and don’t force myself to work out. And right now, I literally have to force myself. I do not WANT to work out. It does not feel good or look good or make me feel all happy afterwards…no, it makes me kind of want to cry, or puke, or both. But guess what? I KNOW that I need to do this. I know that I will never get better, never loose this god forsaken weight unless I am giving it my all…and I am. I am now.

I am choosing (AGAIN) to do start this weight loss journey. Not that I ever actually stopped or gave up or anything, I just took a break that I shouldnt have. I figure, at least it wasnt a year long break like my last one, it was only 2 weeks. Next time, maybe it will only be 1 week, then no weeks.

This journey is for life. It is not a month, or wpid-20150519_082458.jpga year, or until I loose the amount of weight that I want to loose. It will become my way of life. It just takes time to form habits. Look how long I was eating like crap and not working out. It is going to take time to form this healthy lifestyle. Im not promising myself that I will EVER love to workout, or love eating fruit and yogurt for breakfast instead of eating a breakfast sandwhich from McDonalds….what I am promising myself is that it will be worth it.

It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day, It’s A New Life…and I’m Feeling Good!

I cannot believe how great I feel today. I have energy and motivation to get my work done. I feel like I could go for a run right now and it is only 9 in the morning. This is unheard of for me, ESPECIALLY on a Monday morning.

This weekend was busy and full of running around to get ready for the baby showers and parties that are coming up in the next few weeks. I still managed to get some workouts done, eat healthy, and stay within, or even under, my calorie goals. SWEET! I still allow myself to eat regularly (yes I had leftover Pizza for breakfast one day and I had sausages for dinner one day) I just make sure to be completely honest with myself when putting these foods into my calorie counter. Its working pretty well so far 🙂

On Saturday I made a stupid move. I ate right before my workout. This was a HUGE mistake. We decided to do T25 Ab Intervals that night as well. I only got about 10 minutes into it and had to stop. My stomach was killing me, I felt weak, shaky, and very nauseous. Those supermans were my undoing; laying on my stomach, on the floor, lifting my arms and legs up. Well, needless to say, I threw up about 20 minutes later. 😦 Blech. Lesson learned? Never again will I eat right before a workout.

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Sunday’s Sweaty Selfie ❤

Tonight (Sunday) we did Cardio. I DID NOT eat for about two hours before and I was good to go. I made it through the entire workout and felt amazing afterwards. I still have trouble doing all of those squats though. My legs just want to give out! One of my new goals is to make it through an entire T25 Cardio or Speed workout without having to take any amount of breaks while doing squats! I think at the rate I am going that this will be a very manageable goal.

Our 30 day Beach Body Challenge is just about up. My next challenge will begin soon; T25 Focus 10 week program! I am so glad that I started this journey. Starting really is the hardest part! Now I need it. I am craving it! Its crazy really, but I know that this is still just the beginning to the rest of my life.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, and I’m FEELING GOOD!

Putting on the Pounds

When I first began my fitness journey I told myself that I would be completely honest with myself and this blog. I told you that I was going to be completely honest as well. So I am here to tell you that I have gained 5 pounds back of my 11 pound weight loss.

This weight gain made me a little bit upset at first. How could I have gained 5 pounds in 1 week? Ive worked so hard, pushed myself during my work outs, even doing some workouts by myself. But, in all reality, it is my own fault. It was my birthday weekend. I let myself sit around and do nothing, eat junk, over indulge in drinks, cake, food in general, so I am paying the price.

Do I feel discouraged about gaining 5 pounds? Sure. Some of the weight is from over indulging, but some is from building muscle (or at least that’s what Im telling myself lol). Do I feel guilty that I had a lazy and crazy weekend? Absolutely not. I had so much fun with my family and my girlfriends last weekend that those 5 pounds were worth it. I need to be able to live my life and have fun doing it.

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Cant breathe after our T25 Cardio workout.

That being said, I am going to work my ass off this week!

We started back to our workouts full force last night, beginning with T25 Cardio. I dont know why but this cardio video is my absolute favourite of all the videos so far (and let me tell you, I hate cardio).

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Still managed to get a smile on our faces after working it hard.

We were on the ball last night. We worked it hard. We were breathing heavy (panthing even) to the point where we could barely speak, sweat was dripping, and our hearts were pounding. There were times that our muscles pretty much gave up (those damn squats Im tellin ya!) and Im not going to lie it was hard as hell, but there was not one moment where either of us stopped moving. I had determination to get this workout done and to work as hard as I could through the entire thing and I did.  I am so proud of how hard we worked, how hard I worked.

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Beat after T25 Cardio and lifting.

I was so determined yesterday that I was going to work out hard, that after the 25 minute Cardio I got out my weights and started lifting. I did a bunch of different excersizes to work out my arms as I have barely any muscle in that area. This wasnt necissarily an excersize for weight loss, but I also want to build muscle on this fitness journey and I feel that so far the videos have not helped me in the area of my upper body. Now I will tell you, I CANNOT lift very much. I had two weights weighing 3lbs each (yes only 3lbs each) and I could barely get through 3 reps of 10. Who am I kidding I could barely get through 1 rep of 10! But I lifted for another 25 minutes. I completed 3 reps of 10 for EACH muscle group in my arms/back/shoulders, which I thought was pretty good for the first time lifting :).

I cant wait to do this all again tonight. Maybe some Ab Intervals? Maybe some full body? We will see!

Cardio Killer and Birthday Celebrations :)

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 27 :o.

Festivities began on Friday when the guys (and Janice) from work brought me out for a drink. When I say a drink, I mean literally 1 drink (I had to drive home afterwards you know). But really, I love these guys. They are what helps make my work day bearable. One of the guys who no longer works with us even came out to wish me a Happy Birthday. This is the only part of my job that I absolutely love, the people that I work with. I don’t think I would be able to get through an entire week of work without them, or I would go crazy.

I knew I had to work out Friday because the rest of the weekend was going to be filled with rest days and over indulging. Once I got home, I was antsy. I knew that feeling. Its the feeling that wpid-20150410_225059.jpgI’d been waiting for, for the past few weeks. The feeling of needing to move my body. The need to sweat and feel the exhaustion in my muscles. The feeling and need to work out. FINALLY!

As soon as my daughter was in bed I went to work. I was still sore from the other workouts that had been done throughout the week so anything with planks or generally getting on the floor were out of the question. I went with the T25 Cardio. I chose the T25 Cardio because it pushes you to work harder, it makes you sweat like crazy and I just love this workout.

I did mostly all modified but I was able to do SOME of the moves un-modified, which is a change from last week. I sweat my butt off and when I was finished, I felt amazing.

Saturday and Sunday were our ‘rest’ days, although I did not get a whole lot of rest they were still pretty great.. Saturday consisted of baking cupcakes for nephew’s 1st birthday party, going to get my nails done with my daughter, getting ready and dancing the night away with some of the most amazing ladies in my life ❤ Sunday consisted of decorating said cupcakes for nephews birthday and setting up/going to nephew’s birthday party!! YAY!

All in all, it was a great weekend and I got a great workout in there too.

My Birthday Buddy <3
My Birthday Buddy ❤
Happy Birthday To Me :D
Happy Birthday To Me 😀

The Goals For My Future

I was asked a few simple questions today. A few simple questions that have made me realize that I have been lying to myself for a really long time. I was asked: What made you decide to loose weight now? Whats different from the last time you tried to loose weight? What are your goals and when do you think you will achieve them?

2 years ago, I got it into my head that I was going to loose 100 pounds in a year. Easy enough right? I was working out, mainly speed walking at the gym, when I started getting horrible pain in my feet. I later found out that I have arthritis, in my feet and knee, at the ripe old age of 25 (at the time). I also got a really horrible tissue infection in my right leg that left me down for the count for about 6 weeks. These were all really good excuses as to why I quit.

In all reality, I was scared shit-less. Scared of the pain in my feet and scared of infection returning to my leg. I never told anyone that until a few months ago. I think actually telling someone my fear is what really helped me decide that it was time to try again. Hearing myself say out loud “I am afraid” brought me to reality.

So I begin again.

My weight loss Journey.

Why now?

I am sick and tired of being fat! Being a BBW is fine, and I do love myself. I am beautiful, intelligent, strong willed and I have a killer personality but being fat sucks! I cannot do everything that I want to do in life, while I am in this body.

How long will it take?

This time around I put no time limit on my journey. It will take as long as I need it to take. Maybe three years, maybe it will never be over, and that’s OK.

My Goals?

I believe my goals will be ever changing. That is why my journey may never be over. But for now my goals are as follows:

1) Lead a healthy lifestyle.

This includes eating healthier (not any specific diet, I am still going to live my life, but just healthier choices), and getting active. This will help me, and hopefully set a better example for my daughter.

2) Loose 20 pounds.

This is my first actual weight loss goal. Once I reach it I will up the anti but for now…I am half way there!

3) Be under 200 pounds.

My goal weight is 150 pounds but I am not focusing on that just yet. Getting under 200 pounds will be a huge accomplishment as I have not been that weight since I was about 17 years old.

4) Be able to shop in ANY store I want.

This is actually a huge one for me. I have been shopping in plus size stores since I was 17, and paying the plus size price tag as well. I love that there are stores targeted specifically to plus size woman. There are even stores targeted to YOUNG plus size woman. But you know what? Im sick of being confined to a few stores that I can buy clothing at.

I am a young 20 something. I want to be able to walk into any store, try something on, and have it fit! I want to be able to be on trend and be able to go shopping where all of my girlfriends shop instead of dragging them to Addition-elle or Maurice or Penningtons for myself. I want to be able to buy what I want, from wherever I want.

5) Stop saying no to active play with my daughter.

I do this. I know every parent doeswpid-20150226_174802.jpg it at some point or another but I do it so often that my daughter no longer wants to do anything active, even if I suggest it. I feel like a failure in this aspect but that is going to change. We will get outside and do things together and I will no longer say no, or take no for an answer.

Why is this time different than the last?

I am sick of making up excuses as to why I ‘cant’ excersize. I am an able bodied person. It might take me double the time to do the same workout as someone half my size, I may have to modifty every single move for my arthritis and just because I am not up to that specific skill set or speed yet, but thats OK! Thats OK because Im not going to sit on my ass and watch my life go by anymore. I am going to get up and live it.

My Motivation

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Not Journey-ing Alone

The original plan for my weight loss journey was to do everything myself. Plan alone, work out alone, succeed alone.

My Main B*TCH. Love this woman <3But what fun is that? :)

My best friend, or should I say my Main B*tch, as we so lovingly call each other, has decided to complete the 30 day challenge with me. I’m pretty pumped about this as she has been getting pretty down about her body ever since she had her son, 11 months ago.  I tell her daily that she looks amazing (because she Does!) but that is something that you have to believe about yourself before wpid-screenshot_2015-03-30-11-39-27.pngyou can really hear it from others.

So she IS IN. We are in this together. Hopefully to keep each other motivated and provide support for each other when we need it, and even when we don’t.

The only thing I am worried about is becoming dependent on her. I do not want that to happen. I have, in the past, gotten ready to loose weight with a friend and then if they do not want to go to the gym I don’t go either. If that friend eats a burger, well hell I might as well eat one too right? This will not happen to me this time. I have decided to do this on my own and I will do it whether I have company or not, whether I have a workout buddy or not. I need to do this for ME, not for anyone else.

I am determined. I am ready to do this for myself 🙂