A new way forward.

30 Oct

This is the final post to the Blog Series I wrote on what my journey has been like since the first year of losing over 40 pounds. I have gone through many ups and downs and finally realized that I could continue playing this yo yo game and continuing being unhappy, or I could seek Balance once and for all. I had an epiphany when I was talking to my friend. I did make a post on this on my wall and when I posted it, it meant a lot to me and still does. I usually post things that are happening to me, are a focus in my life currently or that mean a lot to me.

This was the post:

My friend Jeremy said something to me today that became an epiphany for me, on the spot. He said, “people always want to correct their weaknesses. Why not start realizing what your strength is and building on that.”

Am I a stick? NO!
Can I eat whatever I want and stay same size? No!
Am I a genetic freak? NO!
… … … Is my waist naturally thin and lean? NO!
Can I eat a couple pancakes and not bloat? Nope!
Did I get my daddy’s muscular legs? YES!
Does my body change when I lift weights heavy? YES!
Will I ever have a runner’s body? NO!
Will I always have the body I was born with? YES!
Do I have to work really fkn hard? YES!!
Can I keep fighting my body to be something it doesn’t want to be? No!

He said, Steve Jobs was good at what he did. He didn’t try to be a master Piano Player, he picked one thing, what he was good at and went in that direction.

Gosh, this is not what most of us are taught to do. Think about that.
Happy Friday everyone! Take this weekend to really think about that first sentence above. Are you focusing and working on your strengths? Are you living in line with the way you were made and what your body and mind truly want or are you trying to fight something? I have been trying to be this lean mean runners body with some tone but my body doesn’t want that. It wants to be muscular and it wants to do plyometrics and hill sprints. So that’s what I’ll do!

This was a major epiphany for me because looking back over the past 2 years, I have been so completely hard on myself for not morphing into what I was trying to create on the outside, and because of this reality, was falling apart on the inside.

I have met a really wonderful women, Niki, who I have posted about and with. We met earlier in the summer and have both found we share an innate passion for health and fitness. We have been working out together non stop, at least once per week during our busy schedules and made sure to make time for it. I have loved being pushed my someone with a different technique and approach to training and I have loved teaching her new things. Together we are a force to be reckoned with. So then I asked her if she wanted to be a part of one of my videos and as soon as she was game for another one, I knew I found my Partner in Crime. Together we have created 2 Girls, 1 Goal. This idea is in its infancy stage but what we’re going to be doing over the next 6 months is what I told you I’d tell you about and also that you could be a part of too.

I’ve competed in two competitions and have truly loved the experience. That is, everything but my approach to dieting and training for the experience. This time, I will be doing this right. I have learned so much from falling and from having to personally figure it out from my own experience. I want to share my methods with you for training and what my approach will be. I can’t share everything down to the meal plan, as this is a part time job for me, creating meal plans and exercise plans for people…BUT, I can tell you a general outline for what we will be doing.

The major difference, adn why I am so excited for this goal, is that I have 6 months to prepare for this show. That means natural and healthy. I WILL NOT cut out carbohydrates. I will lift heavy and do light cardio, practice yoga and share my workouts and time with Niki and have fun doing it, and just approach this like I’m jogging towards a goal without sprinting. Slow and steady wins the race. I am going to focus on my strengths and play on those. I’m going to do legs more, as I have not trained them directly for over a year….because I didn’t want them to get bigger. In reality, they just tone more and get sharper angles and lean out when I train them….so my old thought process is going out the window.

We are going to be documenting our progress through the weeks. I will be posting our new Facebook Page on Fierce Forward some time this week so you may follow our goal and progress there.

So we’ve been having fun with it too, as this was our last “harrah” before our 6 month journey. And yes, there will be a meal once per week where I get to eat the things i crave. Maybe a little sugar, maybe some not so clean carbs, but nothing crazy and no binging. I have someone to do this with and I think that’s going to be so great, as I’ve always just been my own support. I can’t imagine what a hard week will be like with someone else being able to empathize with me and keep each other strong, together. Here are some pics of us this weekend enjoying ourselves!
Niki and I at Politos, enjoying CHEESY goodness:)

Making jello shots for the annual Halloween Party, enjoying white wine.

making pumpkin mini pies.

zombie bride attacking brittany

eating my favorite!  Sugar cookies with sprinkles

My hopes are that if you have ever wanted to compete, that you choose this time to do it. Pick a date. Our date for our show is April 23rd, 2012. It is located in Indianapolis and is Natural Bodybuilding. We will be competing in the Fitness Model part which is two parts, one where you stand in a two piece on stage and the other you come out on stage in workout clothes! Totally my style:)

My hope is that you see this as a big opportunity to feel you have someone to do this with as well. Of course I can help you with a meal plan and exercise plan as well if you need the help. I’ve learned so much on my own that I know if I get back to basics, stop stressing, stop depriving and stick to sleeping enough, relaxation, low intensity sometimes and also weights“`my body will change. So therefore, I feel confident that I do not need to hire a coach for this. I know what to do, and always have. With 6 months to prepare, there is no last minute, over the top way of dieting. This is not going to be dieting, it is going to be the most natural, clean diet i can do, on a budget! 😉 oh yah! I’m trying to be a penny pincher these days…trying! So meat is the most expensive, so things like adding in more beans (other sources of proteins), etc, will help there.

I’m so excited for this because I’m doing it the right way, for the right reasons. I’m doing it to challenge myself and will also know it will be so much FUN….because I’m doing it with a great friend and a girl who has similar interests. It changes the game when you have a partner in crime. 🙂

For me, it’s very important to set goals and not find myself “wandering.” “Find myself…” are the two key words there….I want to be in control. I will tell you that I have loosened the reigns and I just would rather be in control, and in fact have to be if I’m going to keep moving forward and being successful in what I do. I can’t wander. I don’t like to. But to find this out, you have to wander for a little while.

This week I will be posting BEFORE pics and what month 1 looks like. I will be gaining muscle in the first 3 months…I will be backing off of working my butt off to the max every time at the gym. I am moving forward by finding the balance of Fierceing Forward, yet settling into my stride. There is balance to be found in everything.

Please take as much part in this as you’d like. Have you always wanted to compete or run a half marathon. Set the date this week. It can be for 6 months down the road if you want to follow my approach or 3 months down the road if you know what to do already. Or maybe you just want to lose weight or gain muscle or start swinging kettlebells, hell, whatever your goal~~just set a goal and let’s move forward together! Don’t forget to check when I post our 2 Girls, 1 Goal page so you can follow all of our progress and tips there.

I hope you’ll realize too, that, you are how you see yourself. So start looking at yourself a little differently if your thoughts are negative. We all have uniqueness to us and damnit, I’m going to just love the hell out of my legs from now on!

What are you going to love the hell out of?! :)) Thank you for following me through my ups and downs, through my questions and self found answers, through my thoughts and feelings and for being a support to me. When I read a comment that is supportive (in any of my posts), it really means something to me, that someone else went through the same thing or can empathize. So thank you to all of you for your unwavering belief in what I’m doing. I can’t wait to start something new with you!

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15 Responses to “A new way forward.”

  1. capecodbarbie October 30, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    6 months…what can I do in 6 months?! Well, this week is going to be a psychological detox…none of the crap food I’ve been killing myself with, none of the self-pity, none of the feeding the negative emotions. Then, I’ll build. I’ll let the momentum of clean meals, positive energy, and sheer determination take me where I need and want to go. 6 months from now, I will be 50 lbs lighter, down 20% body fat, and off the medications I currently need to manage my medical condition. Thank so much for doing this, Ashley!!

  2. Chelsie October 31, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    This really resonated with me. I’m 19 and have always wanted to finally get ahold of myself and lose the 30-40 pounds that I need to and become healthy over all. Reading your posts, I envy how mentally strong you are when it comes to your nutrition. I keep waiting to have some “epiphany” that’s going to make me do it and be consistent, however, you’ve made me realize that it takes dedication and passion. You have to earn it. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration in my life within the few days since I’ve discovered your blog. I wish you all the luck in the world with your competition and your new mind set in getting you there.

    • fierceforward November 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

      Chelsie, it IS ALL IN YOUR MIND. all of it. That is what I gained most: confidence, self love, pride, perserverance, and so many other characteristics that move me forward every day. I was weak before, but made myself strong. It took 2 years and I’m still getting stronger. It does take dedication and passion. Even if you don’t initially love it or have a passion for it, FIND A passion for it. I truly believe in anything, you can find something you love. Pleaes let me know how I can help you. The best time to start is now. xxx ooo Ash

  3. Angela October 31, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    I love love love the whole idea of focussing on our strengths instead of trying to be(come) something we’re not!!! I’ll definitely have to journal that out for myself, but not here. 🙂 I so want to join in on your 6 month goal setting! I’ve always wanted to do a triathalon, but I can’t start training (swimming) until all of my kids are in school. I just can’t get to the pool often enough. But maybe there’s something else I can do…I would love to lose these last 15-20 lbs (again) and that should be relatively easy in 6 months, right? 🙂

    • fierceforward November 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

      Angela, ABSOLUTELY GIRL! It’s taken me a long time and one moment that made me finally realize this….I understand how things can get in the way. Why not set a goal of improving your cycling then…or through the winter, taking spin classes and working on saving for a bike (I know those triathlon bikes are pricey)…..I think you could do something else too…find something you want to improve upon yourself….maybe it’s being a great, healthy example to your kids of what to eat…..or changing the meals you have at dinner time….just ideas:) Ash

  4. Heather Wright October 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    Can’t wait to follow both of you on your journey (and join you in my own way). Good luck to both of you!

    PS- my 6 month goal will be bathing suit season here in FL. I’d like to wear a two-piece for the first time in my life. I *know* I can make that happen 🙂

    • fierceforward November 3, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

      Heather! Hey girl! You can make anything happen you decide to and work for!!! Here for you! Ash

  5. Noel Harris November 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    I’m going to love my legs too! My nickname in Highschool was “Beef” for my muscular legs and being at the base of every pyramid in cheerleading! Thanks Ashley for sharing your heart! Fiercefully on, Noel

    • fierceforward November 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

      ohhh, I love that,
      “Fiercefully on” right on girl! People point out things that are unusual, and I believe the oddities or uniqueness in people is what makes them beautiful. If you watch Top Model, this is why I love tyra..she believes that too. She is also Fierce;) Cheers to muscular, hot legs and fiercefully on…Ash

  6. Justina November 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    hey, i love your determination and i wish you all the luck in the world! i have some goals too and my first goal is to stop binge. i train so hard and eat so well but then i slip.. and after the slip i have to pick myself together and do it again.. it’s just been too many slip ups or am i being too harsh on myself? I also want to pick up a bodybuilding contest so i have a goal and go for it.. keep us updated Ashley and good luck! Wish i had a friend in London who could share the same passion for fitness and health!
    Lots of love, Justina

    • fierceforward November 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

      Justina, thank you so much for your kind wishes. I do know what binging is like and have done it many times. That Is why I believe in “no deprivation.” and “everything in moderation.” it’s too hard to pick yourself up after a big fall and those feelings that go along with it: guilt…is just stress. I have never been at great odds with keeping girlfriends. I know I am a great girl, friend, and person and it’s just been hard to find a girl who has been cool enough and confident in herself to hang with me. It sounds weird, but it’s the conclusion I’ve made after seeing hte situations happen the way they have with women. I have just recently met Niki and wasn’t expecting anything and have found a friend for life. She wanted to be in my life and we share similar interests. I’d say start looking around your gym for someone like this….and take the lead…..it does change alot! having another to support you and do this with. BUT< in the meantime….I'm here for you and so are we as 2 girls preparing for a competition that want to motivate, help and share with you our experience and hope you'll ask any questions you have and be as much a part of our journey as we are together! ash

  7. Gina November 2, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    Wow! I just set a date… March 10, 2012… and boy am I terrified. At 40 years old, with five kids, I am in the best shape of my life. I have to drop from 13.5 % bf to 9 % in four months. I am hoping to follow you Ashley as motivation! Love the recipes… Thanks for the tips too. I will be checking in frequently. We all need as much support as we can get. Thank you for sharing…

    • fierceforward November 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

      Gina, you are currently at 13.5????? wow. you are lean. DO NOT BE AFRAID OR IF YOU ARE, ACCEPT IT AND THEN FACE IT HEAD ON GIRL. you are awesome and are going to feel amazing after accomplishing something like this. Just, no deprivation. 🙂 please share your journey and take part in ours with us, you are more than welcome!!! Ash

  8. Laura Martin Sharun November 2, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    Just left a reply on your last blog before I realized that you’d written Part 5 already lol I will choose a goal of becoming healthier mentally and getting back to being strong and lean with clean eating and I will do a triathlon next summer 🙂 And as a side note, I said in my last post that I did my competition in May of 2010, it was actually in May of 2011 so not very long ago but I never thought I’d struggle the way I have been!! Thank you again for sharing your story and good luck with your goals Ashley, you are a beautiful, determined, inspirational gal! Can’t wait to follow your progress!

    • fierceforward November 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

      Laura, how are you struggling? same way I am? what’s your next goal?!!! thank you for your kind words and for your support. much love! Ash

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