A new year, a new me.

This picture was taken right before Thanksgiving last year. I was at my heaviest, wearing the same few articles of clothing because they were the only ones that fit. I had half heartedly just started Weight.Watchers for the 3rd time. Honestly, I felt awful. Low energy, hard to wake up and get going in the morning, having heart palpitations and knee pain. Something had to change. I have had the "something big needs to change" talk with myself countless times throughout life. I've always battled my weight. It's easy to blame PCOS and Insulin Resistance for my troubles but it starts and ends with me. I'm an "all or nothing" person 100%.

Last January (January 11th to be exact) I started a program, that for me, took hold. I rocked it until the end of July...no humility here, I seriously did amazing. I felt amazing. Those 6 months led to nearly an 80 lb weight loss.

(left pic, day before I started losing weight and right pic is nearly 4 months in and 50 lbs down)

We went to Vegas in July and that was my first time letting open the floodgates and eating whatever I wanted. It was a fun celebration of all I had done. It was so freeing to get dressed and feel fit and not worry about covering this or what makes me look less fat. You see, I've always had confidence and been fairly active and embraced my role as the chubby chick. But, this was all new. A new level of confidence and, honestly, a person I barely knew. That trip was nothing short of fabulous.
I returned home and started a new journey. A journey called maintenance. Truth be told, this is my hardest journey yet. I find myself trying to eat moderately but spinning off track so pulling in the strings and eating really strict again. I fight the yo-yo mentality that cripples so many people.  My crazy strict dieting has been replaced with a 6 day a week gym routine that I am loving. SERIOUSLY LOVING. My weight has gone up a bit and I'm trying to make peace with that. Overall, I'm solid on working out and making good food choices 80-90% of the time. Will this take continued tweaking? Definitely. I am doing more research in to emotional eating and food addiction and trying to educate myself on how I got where I was and how to never go back. A difficult yet rewarding process.  I've been pretty silent on this blog because I do NOT have it all figured out. I'm not an expert, I haven't ended my journey and reached a final goal (is there ever really a final goal??!)

This brings me to today. It is truly full circle. I got up bright and early and ran my second 5k. RAN. Yes, me. I hate(d) to run. If you ask me about my first 5k (last month) I would tell you I hated the training, hated the race and loved the finish line. That finish line high led me to this race but the big difference is that I enjoyed the training and running the race and can't wait to do another (Dec 22nd, baby!!)

This is not an end to my weight loss journey. It's a "....." to my weight loss/maintenance future. I am proud of myself. I'm passionate about being an active family. I've come to realize that being an active family is extremely intentional, it never just happens. We have many nights where we tag in/out and go the gym. We choose to be intentionally active in our time with Declan (though he needs to prodding to be active). Last week, Decs and I ran hills next to the park. He giggled the entire time before he said he was tired. Yes, this 30 year old had more gas in the tank than he did.

So, I'd like to encourage whoever is reading this and wanting to make a life change. You can do it. Even if it is effort #183 like mine was/is. There is no special start date to wait on, no special diet that you have to follow. Just a healthy decision followed by another healthy decision and so on. When you slip, re-set. Throw the "all or nothing" thinking out the window. It doesn't work. There are celebrations, holidays, illnesses, injuries. You'll never be 100%. But can you can start now. You're worth it. I was worth it and my family is worth it.

Happy Thankgiving, y'all.
Turkey Trot 5k


Willow said...

That's fantastic--congratulations & good luck in your continued journey! What is the program that finally kick started things for you? Sounds like something I'd like to try :)

Breen said...

Amazing! I never thought about it not being all or nothing. Everytime I slip I never get back to it and gain the weight I just lost back. Thanks for sharing! I'll remember that it isn't all or nothing. Because life happens. :)

Allison said...

Curious about your program! I've done WW several times- have success and then flop!

Kayla Joy said...

I'm so freaking proud of you! And seriously, inspired. Just about the heaviest I've ever been, and tonight took a picture with my sisters that almost had me in tears. My face looked so heavy! Anyways, not here to whine, but to say that you inspired me and I AM going to start working out now! If you can go from hating to loving running, I can too!

Kayla Joy said...

so freaking proud of you! If you can go from hating to loving running, I think there's hope for me yet! Here I go!

Simply Complex said...

Congratulations Ashley!
I've obviously noticed how amazing you have looked, and was hoping you would spill the beans. I'm so happy that you found a healthy lifestyle that you enjoy. The sad part is that most people focus just on the weight, and don't understand that you can be nearly just as unhealthy if you are skinny too.
Anyway, good for you! Keep working and living the way you enjoy.

p.s. Isn't running addictive???

Chrissie said...

good for you! so glad that you are feeling more in control. Weight can be such a pin in the you know where. Finding things we love to do to keep busy and active is so important, as well as the food part...I struggle to find balance between enjoying life and enjoying life a little too much! Wishing you every success in your maintenance!

Johanna @ These Prices said...

What an inspiration. You rock!

Christy said...

Truly inspirational! I'm so happy for you finding something that works for you. I hope to take a page out of your book!

BrandiH said...

Congratulations to you and thank you for the inspirational post. It's hard to remember it's not all or nothing. I keep using this pregnancy as an excuse to not be serious about my exercise, when in reality even if I am exhausted, it should be the best reason to excercise of all!

PS I love the feeling of finishing a run! I hate getting up and doing it, but the feeling at the end is always worth it!

April said...

You look great and should be so proud of your accomplishments! Congratulations on what you've done so far and best of luck on what you will continue to do in the future to keep yourself and your family healthy. :)

Marilyn said...

Hi! If you feel comfortable, will you email me at merle301@yahoo.com. I have PCOS as well and am looking for something to do that will work. I congratulate you on your success!