Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What does that scale say???

I hope everyone had a GREAT Memorial Day weekend. I got to spend a lot of time with my daughter and got a nice tan..errr burn! LOL! Now its time to get back to the basics and back to eating clean and working out!
About 2 months ago I handed over my scales to my trainer, Hether (www.hethercrawford.com). Now I know all of you are saying, "Ashley, why did you do that when you're trying to loose weight? You cant track your progress if you don't have a scale." I had an addiction and it was a bad one. I had an addiction to my scale. Every morning and every night and sometimes more than that, I would weigh myself. I would literally get right out of the bed, strip down to my birthday suit, and run to the scale. This is how I started my day and what set the tone of how my day was going to go. It wasn't always positive and there were days I beat myself up all day because I had gained or I hadn't lost. One day it finally clicked! I finally got what Hether had been trying to teach me. Its not always about the numbers. Its about how you feel and the progress you're making.
As of Sunday I have lost 75 pounds since I started my weight loss journey. I have had a lot of set backs. I have had months of not losing anything, and I have had some weeks of gaining weight. But I feel GREAT! I have dropped from a pants size 22 to a size 11/12 and sometimes size 10. I dropped from a 2X shirt and dress to a size Medium. I can even shop in the juniors department now! When I got rid of the scales I quit worrying about the numbers. I was more focused on eating clean and exercising. I know that if I focus on what I'm putting in my body and the exercise that I do daily, the numbers will drop.
I now only weigh in once a week with Hether. This month I am challenging myself to only weigh in 2 times a month. The first day of the month and the last. I shouldn't let the number on the scale determine what I eat or how many times I workout during the week. I do still have a goal weight in mind, and I think everyone should. I have reached the ending point of my weight loss journey. Im to a point where my body wont drop 6 pounds a week. I'm lucky if I drop 2 pounds in a week. So I'm more focused on increasing my strength and toning areas that need work.
I want to challenge you this week! If you have a scale addiction, find someone that will help you break it. Give them your scale and set one day a week, preferably a Sunday or Monday, that you can go weigh in with them. Focus on molding your lifestyle around clean eating and an exercise routine! Focus on how you feel and the progress you are making! Good Luck and have a GREAT week!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I DID IT!!! I RAN MY FIRST 5K TODAY!!! I started training 2 months ago for it and set a goal of 35 minutes. I completed it under what my goal was in exactly 32 minutes! We had a great turn out for this event supporting the Second Harvest Food Bank! I want to especially thank my trainer, Hether Crawford (www.hethercrawford.com) for helping to get me ready for the 5k! She also put on this event and did an awesome job!!! Here's a few pictures from the day:

Before the run:)


Im number 4! 32 minutes!!!

Me and my trainer, Hether Crawford! SHES THE BEST!

Another one of us! It was an awesome day! Perfect weather and all! Thank you again Hether!

Friday, May 27, 2011

This girl can run!!!

I never thought I would ever see the day where I would become a runner. Because I was always fat, I HATED to run. I couldn't even run 1 minute without stoppin to catch my breath! 2 months ago, Hether my trainer from hethercrawford.com, started me on a training program to prepare me for the 5k that my church was hosting. The 5k is in support of the 2nd Harvest Food Bank. All proceeds are going to the food bank! HOW AWESOME! When I looked at the plan it was broken up into running intervals. I had never heard of this before. The plan is the Couch to 5k program. I recommend this program to anyone who wants to start running! Hether and I went running a couple weeks ago and she kept telling me how proud she was of me. She was like you really are a runner, you have perfect form and everything! ME A RUNNER! Who would have thought that a former 250 pounder would be running today! I had asthma growing up and would always need my inhaler and sometimes breathing machine before, during and after running and any type of exercise. I haven't used my inhaler or breathing machine in almost a year and a half. I am proud to say that I LOVE running! In honor of running my first 5k tomorrow, I thought I would share the play list I came up with. I listen to all kinds of music so theres a little of everything in there!

I Gotta Get Through This - Daniel Bedingfield
Rock and Roll All Nite - Kiss
Sure Thing - Miguel
Shut up and Drive - Rihanna
No Hands - Waka Flocka Flame
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Firework - Katy Perry
All of the Lights - Kanye West
Rolling in the Deep - Adele
Whip My Hair - Willow Smith
S&M - Rihanna
Baby - Justin Bieber
Its My Life - Bon Jovi
Stronger - Kanye West

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Pick Me Up's...YUMMY!

I have always loved to cook and bake, but it was always stuff that was unhealthy. Hether, my trainer, (Check her site out at www.hethercrawford.com) referred me to a website that is now my favorite! www.thegraciouspantry.com
A lot of what I cook comes from here. Its full of clean eating recipes that are really good. I love protein bars because they are so easy to take with you and have as a post workout snack or an in between snack. I stumbled upon a recipe on thegraciouspantry.com and did some tweeks to it to make my own.

Peanut Butter Pick Me Up's
2 cups of whole wheat quick oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup of almond butter
1/2 cup raw agave (a natural sweetener, it can be found out Kroger or Publix)
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (can be found at Kroger)
1 cup of vanilla protein powder (I used the Biggest Loser Brand)
1 tbsp of cinnamon
3 tbsp of flax seeds (can be found at Kroger in the organic section)
2 1/2 tbsp of semi sweet chocolate chips (I would have preferred dark chocolate chips, but I got the wrong ones)

Step 1: Roast the oats on a flat baking sheet on 350 for about 15 minutes
Step 2: Combine all of the ingredients and mix well while oats are roasting
Step 3: Once the oats are cooled down, mix them in with the rest of the ingredients
Step 4: Spread mixture in a cake baking sheet and bake on 350 for about 18 minutes
Step 5: Cool down, cut, and ENJOY!

I got about 20 bars out of this because I didn't cut them that big. I ate one after my run yesterday and was surprised that it kept me satisfied till dinner. I was also full of energy too! They have just enough sweetness that it was able to satisfy my sweet craving too! :) You can also freeze these to keep them longer. ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Does what I eat really impact my day?

I proved another theory to be true last week... Does what I eat really impact my day? YES IT DOES. Last week I went to go and turn in some paperwork for school and passed a Captain D's. I have to admit, this is my favorite fast food place. I LOVE their fish, hush puppies, and tarter sauce! Because I didn't prepare for being out most of the day, and because I had the attitude last week of, I dont care I want it, I stopped at Captain D's and it was SOOOO GOOD! I knew that I had 2 really hard workouts ahead of me. My 3 mile run, which would be the hardest one yet and my cardio class with my trainer. Why did I just eat this mess???
I made it through my run and actually felt great. I actually got a second wind out of no where when doing my last interval. Cardio class was a different story! I felt horrible through the whole thing and like I wasn't able to give it my all. I'm strong and hit pretty hard. This particular night, my balance was off and my punches were weak. I couldn't get enough water after class. I'm sure this was due to all the sodium in the Captain D's I ate for lunch. When class was done, someone looked at me and said Ashley, you dont look so good. All I could say was, "Yea it was a hard class."
Food is fuel for your body. Captain D's isn't exactly what I should have fueled my body with for 2 hard workouts. What you eat really does impact how your day goes. I was loaded up on carbs, sodium, and nasty fried food. It was no wonder I felt like I had been ran over by a semi truck after it was all said and done. Today I did things a lot differently because I got back on the right track. This morning I had my personal training session and we boxed! MY FAVORITE! I also ran 3 miles this afternoon and it was longer intervals today. Here is what I ate today:
Breakfast: Egg white Breakfast Burrito (egg whites, green peppers, onion, light shredded low fat cheese, and trader joes salsa on a whole wheat tortilla)
Snack: Banana and hummus with rice crackers
Lunch: Left over shrimp stir fry and brown rice (shrimp, mixed stir fry veggies, garlic powder, pepper, olive oil and brown rice.)
Snack: Homemade protein bar (recipe coming soon)

Haven't had dinner yet but I made some yummy, clean catfish with corn relish from the Clean Eating Magazine. I FEEL GREAT TODAY! I am not tired and to be honest, I feel like I could run 3 more miles. I ate some great clean meals today that gave me good fuel for my body! FOOD IS FUEL FOR YOUR BODY! What you eat has a lot of impact on your day and how you feel throughout the day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I work out every day..why am I not losing weight???

Do you often ask yourself, " I work out every day, why am I not losing weight?" I have had to ask myself this several times...and most recently, this week. I work out at high impact levels 5 to 6 times a week. Last week I gained a pound and sadly I did the same this week. What did I do wrong? I was working out and even switched my work out up some in hopes of throwing my body off. When I sat down and looked at what I had eaten this week, I wanted to cry. I would be embarrassed to show anyone my food journal from the past week.
I really fell off the right path I was on the past two weeks. There are times where I fall back into old ways and have the attitude of I don't care what I eat..I want it, so I'm gonna eat it! I was reminded this past weekend by someone I was speaking with of the attitude I used to have. She said, "Ashley, I remember when we were at a function and you were eating something and said I don't care about what I eat, I'm fat and always will be." WOW! DID I REALLY SAY THAT? HOW EMBARRASSING! What kind of attitude is that to have about myself and about food in general.
When I walked away from this conversation, I realized that I had fallen back into this attitude the past two weeks. I had been keeping up with my workouts because that's what I love, but I had lost my passion for eating clean. This is where the math lesson my trainer gave me came back into play. Losing weight is an 80/20 road. 80% of your journey is nutrition and what you put into your body, 20% is your exercise and what you put out of your body. I had gained weight because of what I was putting into my body. The moral of this story: Even though you work out every day and work hard at it, you still have to be cautious of what you eat. Keeping a journal and counting calories is the best way to see this.
I have learned another lesson all over again, and unfortunately it has been at the cost of 2 pounds. I am well into my weight loss journey and never stop learning. Losing weight is a daily struggle and its something I fight with every day. My goal is now in reach of me, but I am at the hardest part in my journey. I am so thankful to have a wonderful trainer that is always there pushing me and helps me get back up to keep fighting. I am really back on track and cant wait to see the results this week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Before and still going...

Some of you have asked what I looked like at 250 pounds..I meant to post a picture with my first blog. So I thought I'd do that today. These pictures are proof that weight loss can be done the normal way, through healthy eating and exercising. I look at those pictures in awe! How did I allow myself to get to 250 pounds??But then I look at myself today and say WOAH! YOU'RE SMOKIN HOT ASHLEY! I still have not hit goal weight but I'm approaching it and fast!!! When I hit goal weight theres gonna be a celebration like no other!!! So here they are! YIKES!!!

This is at my heaviest. 250 pounds.
This was in 2010. I was still over 200 pounds.
This was April 17th, 2011. Well under 200 pounds and SMOKIN HOT!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Well life is finally starting to not be so crazy..so I actually have time to blog every day. As I posted in my last blog, I resigned from my position as a Medical Assistant and I also resigned from Red Lobster. I am really goin to miss working with everyone at Red Lobster but I know if I want to truly focus and succeed in school, I cant do it all. I am now working 2nd shift at Nelson Mazda which is a lot different then the typical 8-5 job I had before. My body is really thrown off and so am I. HAHA!
I did a 2 week no sugar challenge a couple weeks ago. Last week was the first week I could have sugar in 2 weeks. Boy did I take advantage of it. Because I was going through so many changes with the job last week and was having some personal issues, I had a rough week. I used food as my comfort and stress relief. I didn't get to work out like I wanted too and was eating nothing but junk! When I went to weigh in on Sunday, my poor decisions showed. I gained a pound! I haven't gained weight in awhile. I either loose or don't loose at all. I was crushed and beat myself up, but I knew what I had done and how to fix it.
We all go through downfalls. Food is truly and addiction and it is a battle I fight every day. I have a major sweet tooth. Ice cream, cheesecake, brownies, and krispy kreme donuts are my biggest weakness'. And I admit I had ALL of that and more last week. Going through the no sugar challenge made me realize a lot of things. You cant deprive yourself from the things you love. When you do, you're going to binge and fall straight into the week I had last week. It's okay to have a treat every now and then, just don't over do it.
So now that I got that out..I'm sure you're wondering what I'm doing to get back on track..I am journaling all of my food and tracking every workout I do. At the end of the week I'll share it with a friend and my trainer. Accountability is a key success point in loosing weight. Working this new schedule is really different and I'm having to adjust my workouts and rely more on the gym and my own workouts instead of with my trainer. This is a big challenge for me, but one that I'm up for.
My trainer once told me, "Just because you have had one bad day, doesn't mean you have to have a bad week." Its not to late to get back on track if you have fallen off this week! Good Luck and have a GREAT rest of the week!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Are you really doing that???

I have been slackin on the blog the past few days but all due to good reasons! A few weeks ago I began a running program with my trainer. We were running and she said, "Ashley, I really see a future as a personal trainer for you." My first thought was, "Yea okay Hether. I'm still overweight and not an athlete. I cant be a personal trainer. I wont have any clients!"  But I just smiled and was like hmm somethin to think about. After we ran we went for a boxing session. At the end of the boxing session, as I feel like I'm about to pass out she goes "you've moved from a beginner, to advanced, and now on to an athlete." ME???? Was she talkin to me? An Athlete???
After this conversation I began to research the field. The very next day I got a call from one of my best friends who had passed her personal trainer certification. She said, "Ashley, have you considered personal training as a career? You'd be great at it because you have such an awesome story and you can relate to your clients." Okay that was two people in one week. I again did some research and started praying. I prayed that if this was the direction that God wanted me to go I would go! I needed some doors opened and resources for me to make this work though. Fast Forward to today:
As of today I am resigning from my position as a Medical Assistant and have accepted a night job to allow me to go to school full time. I will start school this summer at Vol State for the Physical Therapy Assistant program. This summer I am going to be studying to take my personal trainer certification exam! My family thinks I'm crazy and this is just another wild fantasy that I have dreamed up. But they're wrong! This has become my passion and I really want to help people!
When I started praying about this, everything started falling right into place. I wondered how I was going to be able to go to school and work full time and who was going to watch Ryleigh while I went to school. All of my prayers were answered. I was offered a night job that is going to allow me to do homework when time allows and a friend who lives right across the street is going to watch Ryleigh until my parents can get to her. I am so excited that I'm going to be able to be home with Ryleigh during the day as well!
A year and a half ago I would have never thought that I'd be getting ready to become a personal trainer! But yes IM REALLY DOING THIS! Thanks to a good friend who has pushed me all the way, I now know where I'm supposed to go and what my purpose is in life. I truly want to pay it forward and help those who are struggling with loosing weight like I did. Had it not been for Hether pushing me, Id still weight 250 pounds and probably more! I cant wait to see what my new career holds!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekly Goals

Its a new week and a 2nd chance to get on track! The weather is supposed to be great this week! I am so excited about some of the goals I have set for myself. This is another big thing that has helped me succeed in my weight loss journey. Every Sunday I sit down and try to think of a few things that I can accomplish throughout the week. Here's some of my goals for the week:

1. Run every day. I am training for a 5K at the end of May and am to the point where I feel really strong in my running and need to push myself harder.
2. I have been working really hard on strengthening my core as my trainer advised me that it helps improves running times. I am devoting at least 15 minutes a day every day this week to some ab/core work.
3. I just came off of a 2 week no sugar challenge. Meaning none of my foods had any sugar in them. No honey, brown sugar, regular sugar, agave, etc. It felt so good to succeed in a challenge that was so hard! You really don't know how much of your food has sugar in it till you give it up. This week I am working hard to adapt more to the lifestyle of no sugar and find more foods and meals that I can make that don't have sugar in them.

What are some of your goals this week??? This really is an important part of achieving your weight loss goals. I hope all of you have a great week! I would love to see some of you at the classes I take. I attend a cardio kickboxing class tonight at 7pm in the old Super Pets building in Antioch. Your first class is free! And its a sure way to burn a lot of calories and get your week off to a great start!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Weight Loss Journey

Well here I am about to do something very scary! I have never shared my struggles of losing weight with anyone...So many people have asked, "Ashley, how did you do it?" "How do you not give up? " The truth is I have given up before. But somehow I always find my way back to where I need to be. So here goes nothin...
I was raised in a family where obesity was the norm. When I found out I was pregnant in August of 2008, I knew I had to make a change and break the cycle of obesity that ran in my family. I wanted to be able to run with my daughter and I didn’t want her to have a fat mom. In August of 2009 I weighed in at 250 pounds and was wearing a size 22 comfortably and 20 if I sucked in. I broke down and knew I had to do something. I went to the store and started out doin what a lot of people do who start trying to lose weight..I bought lean cuisines, weight watcher meals, and 100 calorie packaged foods. At the time I didn’t know anything else. I had seen other people have success with it so surely I could. I joined a gym and started working out. The weight started to come off, but it wasn’t long before I hit a point where I gave up and turned back to food for my comfort.
 I started Medical Assisting School in October of 2009. Shortly after I started school my world hit rock bottom. My parents told me they were splitting up and getting a divorce. As if working full time, going to school full time, and being a single mom to an infant wasn’t stressful enough, now I had to deal with my parents getting a divorce! I immediately fell back into my old ways and turned to food for comfort. I was eating McDonald’s chicken biscuits and sweet tea for breakfast, lean cuisines and diet mt dew for lunch, and whatever fast food was in the area around my school for dinner. The weight was no longer coming off. I needed an intervention and fast!
I began talking with my mentor and now personal trainer. I needed help and knew she could help me. She gave me advice and introduced me to clean eating.  I started cooking all of my food and quit eating out. Got rid of the sweet teas, diet mt dews, 100 calorie snacks, and lean cuisines. I began working out on my dinner breaks from school and even went after school sometimes. The weight loss had really kicked back into gear and I was finally on the right path. I was doing things the right way and the weight was gonna stay off this time! Don’t get me wrong, even with the help of a friend and clean eating I still struggled. Through all the stress I was going through, I wanted to turn to ice cream and cheesecake (my weaknesses) But I turned to working out and rewarded myself with a treat here and there.
When I started MA school, I wore a size 2XL. When I graduated in June of 2010, I wore a size L/XL. I didn’t have to shop in the plus size section for my work uniforms. This was the first time since middle school I didn’t have to shop in the plus size section. Growing up I was always the fat girl in my group of friends. Now I get called skinny!!!  I actually had a friend that told me I was too skinny to hang out with her! She was joking of course, but that felt so good to hear! I am now proud to say that I wear a size Medium and have dropped to a size 12 and sometimes size 10 pants! I still haven’t reached my goal weight, but I have come so far from where I was! I can run, do sit ups and have endurance for exercise like never before! My journey has been hard, and there are still struggles every day..but I am on the right track and am not given up until I reach my goal