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Photo of my son-Warning serious cuteness

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So here he is. The other love of my life.

I have had him since college and he is a little old man now. He sleeps on the couch all day like prince of the house. I don't know what I would do without him. Just had to share his supreme cuteness with you all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PURPLEVALENTINE 12/18/2010 10:00AM

    oh my gosh!! He is too freakin cute!!

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RUNNINGOLLIE 12/17/2010 9:24PM

    completely cute!!!!! emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 12/17/2010 4:08PM

    Awww cuteness!

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3CHIHUAHUA 12/16/2010 12:04AM

    I am with cookwithme

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BROCCO5 12/15/2010 8:53PM

    Too cute! :-)

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HANNAH_CALM 12/15/2010 1:01PM

    Awww, he's really cute!

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COOKWITHME65 12/15/2010 7:52AM

    So cute Ashley.Isn't it great having a dog. They give such great unconditional love. emoticon

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TRACYZABELLE 12/15/2010 3:56AM

    Oh MY!! WHat a cutie pie~

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TERRYT55 12/14/2010 11:52PM

    Just adorable! What a face......

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CHATTIEGIRL 12/14/2010 10:40PM

    Hi ASHLEY1977T;

I have 2 dogs too and they are my best friends. I would be lost without them but they are getting old so I know I will not have one for too many more years. You are doing good with your diet, keep it up. Stay true to your healthy eating, routine exercises in reaching your goals. May God watch over you always. Love the Spark people.

Joyce

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ROSEWCI 12/14/2010 7:47PM

    Awwww...he's soooooooo cute! emoticon

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EMIKAIT 12/14/2010 7:42PM

    He's adorable!!

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EMIKAIT 12/14/2010 7:36PM

    He's adorable!!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/14/2010 7:24PM

    Baby!!! (Truth? My first thought was "How did I not know she had a kid?") :)

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PUDLECRAZY 12/14/2010 6:42PM

    VERY cute!

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HEATHER_RUNS 12/14/2010 5:58PM

    So cute!!! Thanks for posting!

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LAROSEBAUGH 12/14/2010 5:49PM

    He looks like Lucy! She's getting gray too, hehe

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MY_LIFE_NOW 12/14/2010 5:40PM

    OMG!!!! so awesome,,what a face

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LJOHN44 12/14/2010 5:35PM

    He's like the Yoda of cuteness!

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GIANTMICROBE 12/14/2010 3:50PM

    My head just imploded from cute! You owe me a new brain, missy!

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SARAHNICOLE__17 12/14/2010 3:15PM

    What is your little guy's name????

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SARAHNICOLE__17 12/14/2010 3:14PM

    Your little guy is the cutest. Diesel my Boston Terrier dislikes Pugs because of their breathing habits. My little guy is cuddled up to my feet at the bottom of my bed. He loves to keep my feet warm! That reminds me! I totally took a picture last night of him and I will incorporate it into my blog today! Thanks!

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JENN26POINT2 12/14/2010 3:14PM

    hahaha Here I was expecting to see a 3 year old blonde and blue boy! hahaha

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KRAWRS 12/14/2010 2:30PM

    omg adorable! i wanna post a pic of my puppy now. :p

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M_TOUHEY2 12/14/2010 1:59PM

    DAWWWW! Puppy!

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JRSGIRL1995 12/14/2010 1:29PM

    very very cute!

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KIMJEWKES 12/14/2010 1:01PM

    awww, he's precious!!

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DUSTYGIRL25 12/14/2010 12:56PM

    So Adorable!!
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SCROOKS26 12/14/2010 12:26PM

    aww so cute!

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ERIN4771 12/14/2010 12:26PM

    oh dear....love that face!!!! and he looks right at home on the couch!!! love dogs, how can anyone not?!?

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SMOCKON 12/14/2010 12:19PM

    Precious! I love puggies!

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PRETTYLILHEFFER 12/14/2010 12:16PM

    how adorable!! he looks like a prince emoticon

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SKYEPHOENIX 12/14/2010 12:13PM

    I love pugs. :)

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BETHIE_BOO 12/14/2010 12:08PM

    scuse me, ma'am, you are under arrest for exposing me to excessive cuteness. This is unacceptable as I cannot pet the cutie in that picture emoticon

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MCSNYDER1 12/14/2010 12:03PM

    TOOOOOOO cute!!! I have a new grand-dog that I will meet this weekend!!!!

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MONKEYSNUFFER 12/14/2010 11:47AM

    I want one LOL

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LUCKYDOGFARM 12/14/2010 11:46AM

    so Adorable. he looks very sweet and cuddly!

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AMOHAME2 12/14/2010 11:44AM

    So cute!!!! I want a dog so badly, can't wait until I'm in a situation where I can get one!!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 12/14/2010 11:40AM

    Thanks everybody. His name is Loki and it means mischievous one which TOTALLY fits him.

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JESSICAW09 12/14/2010 11:35AM

    Awe LOL, I wuv pugs~~~ Too sweet.

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PAMATX 12/14/2010 11:24AM

    Ridiculously cute!

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NEWYORKORCHIDS 12/14/2010 11:21AM

  I love him! What's his name? I have two dachshunds and whenever they act like hooligans, I always threaten that I'm going to bop them in the nose and turn them into a pug. I never, ever do mind you, but it's a funny thought.

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JACQUELINEJO 12/14/2010 11:13AM

    So cute!

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MOMTO6PLUS2 12/14/2010 11:12AM

    So, I'm cruising around SP on my phone--(small screen, keep that in mind) I looked at my friend feed, saw your blog title, was intrigued, and was apparently unprepared in spite of your warning!

Lol! You totally caught me off-guard! CUTE, indeed! I want a doggy for Christmas!

Thanks for the smile :)

I hope you have a great day!

Comment edited on: 12/14/2010 11:15:29 AM

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CHANGINGMORGAN 12/14/2010 11:09AM

    Oh so cute!!! Aaaawww. I so want a dog!!!

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REDDIRTRUNNER 12/14/2010 11:03AM

    Oh yah! Too friggin cute!

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TREASURINGLIFE 12/14/2010 11:01AM

    Thanks for the warning - even though it totally did NOT prepare me for his cuteness!! LOL! He's adorable! :)

- Michelle

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SLFRISBEY 12/14/2010 11:01AM

    I luff hims! I want to cuddle and baby talk that puppy all day! Wow, I sound like the crazy dog lady :)

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DRAMABEAR 12/14/2010 11:00AM

    He is too precious!

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UNSTOPPABLEJEN 12/14/2010 10:59AM

    So ADORABLE!!!

I have to admit, when I saw the blog title, I did a double-take because as far as I know, you don't have kids...I thought maybe this was your way of announcing a stork visit?!? I laughed out loud when I saw your fur-baby!
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I am finally feeling sexy ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This weekend was an interesting affirmation of why I have been doing this. Lately I have been feeling "fat" again. What does that translate too exactly? Well I went from an apple shape to an avocado, why do we have to use food references for shape even if they are still healthy foods??? Anyway, I am feeling VERY bottom heavy. I am very happy with the top of me. When the boobs started to disappear I got a bit panicky but they have stopped doing that and I am happy where they are at. The spare tire and hips are what is really chipping away at my self confidence. I really don't care what my numerical weight is anymore when I get down to a healthy size I just want the tire to go away. That is when I will stop. Clothes are starting to actually look good on me and I am learning how to dress my body type. I get excited when I can get into smaller sizes but just because I can get them on doesn't mean they are flattering so I am worrying less about the size on the label.
Saturday night my friends took my out for my birthday a week early. My best friend is going back to Colombia for his sister's wedding, which is on my birthday, so we decided to celebrate before he left. I went shopping that morning for my fiancé, he needed a work shirt and is working 100+ hours a week so he didn't have time to buy it himself, so of course I had to try a few things on as well :). I have learned clothes can look so different on the hanger so I tried on this very simple V-neck shirt that was a bit flow. It LOOKED AWESOME. I bought it and this cami with a delicate lace detail around the neck that is so not me but I am trying to step out of my shell.
I wore my new shirt with some jeans that look really good on my new body, cute boots, blew out my hair, and I was feeling pretty hot. That doesn't happen often but it should. I went to the grocery store on the way to meet my friends and let me tell you it was a bit overwhelming. Men where literally falling over themselves to help me. Men in line where smiling at me and asking me if I needed help, the manager came over and asked me if I needed anything, old men where smiling and winking at me when I walked by, women were glaring at me (I have decided I am not longer letting women be the enemy so I smile back, we should all appreciate each other!). Honestly it bordered on creepy. This is the first time I have experienced this and it made me feel awesome but it also made me a bit sad. Do I really have more value because of what I look like? No. The harsh reality is looks do matter a great deal in our society. Life is easier when you look good. All this time I have been saying it shouldn't matter, that I don't care what people think of me but I do care. It is nice to be appreciated. To not be looked at and ridiculed for being heavy. To just feel like a normal woman having a good hair day. I hope as I adjust to my new looks that I am able to reconcile this. I used to tell my ex husband you can tell when a person used to be really overweight because they look at you, not through you. People who have never had a weight problem tend to look through morbidly obese people, like you don't exist. I vow to never become a person who values myself or other people solely based on looks because I know how much that hurts.
This was supposed to be a happy blog, damn my over analytical brain. Nights like this are what is keeping me going. I might not be losing as fast as I would like but I am doing it, period, and I am NEVER going back. With every pound that melts away I am rediscovering me and I like myself now. I never thought I would feel that way. I LIKE MYSELF. What this all boils down to are those words. When we choose to stop punishing ourselves and hating ourselves we will be free. It is all about self love.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRLCORNETT 12/26/2010 7:18PM

    Congrats! It's fun, isn't it?

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BRENDAGAIL9 12/26/2010 7:14PM

    Keep on keepin' on and you will succeed!!

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RECIPE4ME 12/26/2010 2:38PM

    emoticon

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LRSILVER 12/25/2010 6:53PM

    woo hoo. that is great

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RUNANDRUN 12/24/2010 7:09PM

  Shake it baby! Happy for you.

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TRABOLD8567 12/24/2010 1:07AM

  nice!

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MUSIKGIRL 12/23/2010 5:09PM

  Enjoy the sexy feeling...it's a good one!

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 12/21/2010 11:45PM

    Great blog. I have experienced a lot like this too. Having days where I feel beautiful and it was noticed, and times when I feel like a fat blob again. This weight loss process shows so many things about ourselves and about society. I hope that we do all show compassion as we get thinner and see others that are still struggling.

Comment edited on: 12/21/2010 11:45:41 PM

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ACTINGDARLING 12/21/2010 2:20PM

    You are beautiful no matter what! But its awesome to get your confidence a little boost even when other people help it along! Sounds like your doing great! Keep it up!

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MADSASQUATCH 12/21/2010 4:50AM

    feeling sexy makes you confident and that makes you look sexier - it is a wonderful cycle. revel in it, and keep on trying on stuff that you wouldn't normally - it sometimes amazes me what looks great on and what looks hideous. emoticon

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MADSASQUATCH 12/21/2010 4:50AM

    feeling sexy makes you confident and that makes you look sexier - it is a wonderful cycle. revel in it, and keep on trying on stuff that you wouldn't normally - it sometimes amazes me what looks great on and what looks hideous. emoticon

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MADSASQUATCH 12/21/2010 4:50AM

    feeling sexy makes you confident and that makes you look sexier - it is a wonderful cycle. revel in it, and keep on trying on stuff that you wouldn't normally - it sometimes amazes me what looks great on and what looks hideous. emoticon

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MADSASQUATCH 12/21/2010 4:49AM

    feeling sexy makes you confident and that makes you look sexier - it is a wonderful cycle. revel in it, and keep on trying on stuff that you wouldn't normally - it sometimes amazes me what looks great on and what looks hideous. emoticon

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MADSASQUATCH 12/21/2010 4:49AM

    feeling sexy makes you confident and that makes you look sexier - it is a wonderful cycle. revel in it, and keep on trying on stuff that you wouldn't normally - it sometimes amazes me what looks great on and what looks hideous. emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 12/17/2010 4:11PM

    Wonderful you are feeling sexy! But I think it comes from within too, you are probably feeling better about yourself, due to getting healthier/more fit.

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FLY0NTHEWAL1 12/17/2010 11:30AM

    Yay!!! More pictures! emoticon
You're awesome!

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AMANDAWEYRICH 12/16/2010 10:33AM

    Work it girl! I know what you mean. lol I'm exactly the same way. Just remind yourself you are beautiful no matter your size. :)

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CARILOUIE 12/15/2010 8:13PM

    I love going out and feeling sexy. Brad loves when I look nice and it makes me feel great. ENJOY IT, sexy woman!!!


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PAXAPUNCH 12/15/2010 8:01PM

    Clearly you are beautiful....great you are starting to feel that way. Im cheering you on emoticon

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MARCYNA 12/15/2010 10:59AM

    I've always been embarassed by all that, but now I've decided I deserve being sexy..and you, too emoticon emoticon

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COOKWITHME65 12/15/2010 7:56AM

    Great blog AShley. We like you too! Enjoy your new sexiness

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GO-LOEW 12/14/2010 10:27PM

    Wonderful blog! I think your very thoughtful analysis of your feelings and discoveries are very helpful to those of us reading your blogs. Keep it up....the blogs and your growth as a person.

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RJ-CYCLES 12/14/2010 9:43PM

    You're making great progress Ashley - what you are describing is a good feeling about getting into shape and feeling better about ourselves -- too cool! - I have friends at work stop me now and they said they hardly recognized me.

Congratulations Ashley :)

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ROSEWCI 12/14/2010 7:46PM

    YOU ARE worthy my friend! Hold your head up high & strut your stuff! You are an attractive young women! Enjoy any & all accolades that come your way!!!

You are emoticon!!!

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BRANDI.FEY 12/14/2010 4:07PM

    It's good to feel sexy, but you do know that it's all about attitude, right? If you feel good about yourself, you usually stand up straighter, walk prouder (maybe even sashay a little bit) and smile more. Attitude, more often than not, is what's really getting the attention. It just helps that you're sexy, too. :)


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WILLIAMV3 12/14/2010 4:00PM

    Woo Hoo!! Way to go sexy lady!! You are a beautiful woman! emoticon

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KRAWRS 12/14/2010 2:22PM

    Yay for a succesful shopping trip! I'm glad you experienced that outward appreciation. Even though we may not be the kind of people who DEPEND on admiration for our looks, even our egos could use a good stroke now and again!

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ROBYNROSE26 12/14/2010 2:21PM

    Awesome! I love your blogs! I told DH last night that my new favorite thing is trying on clothes that I haven't tried in a while, I love to see them loose or just fitting really well instead of tight and I feel hot!

Did you take any pics of the sexy look??


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DUSTYGIRL25 12/14/2010 2:11PM

    Wonderful! Your right, clothes sizes on the tags doesn't matter. It's how YOU feel that counts! emoticon

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BADASSBLONDIE 12/14/2010 12:56PM

    Congrats! And you're 100% right about the looking through people thing. *hugs*

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BROOKDOESLIFE 12/14/2010 12:32PM

    Awesome blog. Thanks for sharing this. I have had similar feelings about this, so thanks for putting it out there for us to read.

You are awesome!!!

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ZANNACHAN 12/14/2010 11:53AM

    Congratulations on feeling sexy! It's a great feeling, to feel good about your body and how you look.
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And I definitely agree with wear clothes that are flattering and not worrying so much about sizes. Women's sizes are messed up anyway--I've gone to one store and fit into one size and another store the same day and fit into a different size. It feels good to fit into pants that you couldn't wear before, but I try to not get too hung up over the number on the label.

You're right, our society does put a lot of weight on good looks, and it's very unfortunate. But I don't think you need to feel guilty about enjoying positive reactions now that you have lost weight--it is human to want that positive reaction. Just make sure that you never look through obese people and you have nothing to feel guilty about.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 12/14/2010 11:51AM

    That's so awesome! It's great to feel great! I'm glad you're feeling sexy and aer getting "the looks" to prove it!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 12/14/2010 11:45AM

    Now, not only are you realizing your beauty (it has always been there) but you have the confidence it takes to wear that beauty so that the world can see it. not that the world was looking through you or past you. you were hiding it before in your lack of self confidence.

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JESSICAW09 12/14/2010 11:40AM

    Great blog. I can't wait until the day again that I am happy with the way I look. I am sure I am too harsh on myself now, but I am just not happy, simply put. I am working towards a new me and get discouraged, but every time I feel this way (depressed), I have to think about why I am working so hard at the gym and why I am drinking so much water and watching my nutrition. I am hoping to find me again very soon. Thanks again for sharing this with all of us. You are such an inspiration Ash!!

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MAMADWARF 12/14/2010 11:38AM

    So glad you FEEL what we all SEE! You are a sexy woman and I love that you had that experience and it is only going to get better! ALso, thanks for showing us your puggy baby... He is adorable! kady wants one sooo bad!

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TREASURINGLIFE 12/14/2010 11:17AM

    Oh, feeling sexy so rocks!!! :) And the bottom line is that there's absolutely nothing sexier than CONFIDENCE! It truly transforms a person!

Have a GREAT day! :)

- Michelle



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DRAMABEAR 12/14/2010 11:07AM

    I'm happy to hear you were FEELING smokin!! Sad that the pressures of society on HOW we look had to creep in and ruin that good feelin ; /

Glad you were invigorated though!!

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KELCEE75 12/14/2010 10:56AM

    Way to go You on all your success! From one avocado to another I feel your pain. I'm still waiting for the tire to deflate, but it'll happen....it almost doesn't matter after grocery trips like that. Nice! Keep going! :)

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NANHBH 12/14/2010 10:32AM

    Ashley, you GO, Girlfriend! This is a great blog. It really does come down to loving ourselves first. I'm working on that right along with you. So honored to be on this journey with you.
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JODY22002 12/14/2010 10:28AM

    You should feel sexy because you are sexy.

I get lots of attention in the grocery store too. It's funny because if I ever needed a date, I'd just hang out in the produce section at the market. Lots of single men chatting to me. Anyway, I think it has less to do with what I look like and more to do with how I feel about myself. The more confident I feel, the more it attracts men.

Whatever it is, it sure gets better service.

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SHERYLDS 12/14/2010 9:32AM

    Friendly People who show confidence in how they look give off an aura of being more approachable. People who look like they're covering themselves up and show they're uncomfortable with themselves give off those negative signals. It's all body language.

Congratulations on the new you. Enjoy your womanhood and be proud.

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PATTYCAKE17 12/14/2010 9:10AM

    Your blog reminds me of when I first read Louise Hay's books, and her mirror talk mantra for readers was,"I love and approve of myself." I said it bec she said to say it until we believed it. I felt so awkward stumbling the words from my mouth and couldn't imagine ever feeling that could be true, but years later now I can honestly say that I love and APPROVE of myself! That sounds like it's happening for you as well! I'm so happy for you, and it does have to come from within. It's that inner glow and self worth that people turn to admire, along with your new attractive self! I think you are probably exuding a new confidence and joy that is contagious. Keep up the good work, and never stop working on and loving you! You are worth it. God bless. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SCROOKS26 12/14/2010 8:44AM

    That is totally awesome! You go girl, feeling sexy is good! I love it when peoples jaw drop because they havent seen you since you lost the weight. AWESOMESAUCE! Good luck on many more future sexy adventures.

PS. I do agree its a shame how much value we put on looks but its the world we live in.

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HANNAH_CALM 12/14/2010 8:38AM

    Okay, now I want to see pics of your new outfit. It must have been amazing to turn so many heads at the store, and you must show us! Please?!?

I want to get some cute boots too, ones that the rain won't damage. I live in Portland, Oregon, so I have to worry about that, or they'll never get worn.

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ERIN4771 12/14/2010 8:35AM

    when we start feeling comfortable in our own skin, that's when we truly start to blossom, and my dear, you are BLOSSOMING!!!! woohoo!!! emoticon

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AUNTIELES53 12/14/2010 8:29AM

    great blog :) i agree with kathlow dont get hung on what people do or dont do know that its for you :)

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MEL_UNRAU 12/14/2010 8:13AM

    I read this brilliant book called the "Science of Sexy" by designer Bradley Bayou. It isn't exactly a high class read, but totally worth checking out from your library. He doesn't break down body types into 4-5 categories, but 48! and tells you how to ACTUALLY find what your "shape" is, and then gives a dressing room guide to each one of the 48 shapes. Since dressing my "shape" I do feel better and sexier and more confident. I kind of wish I had had this during my journey, as my "shape" changed so much during that time, it would have been nice to feel sexy all along the way!

Rock on your sexy self!

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BETHKK 12/14/2010 8:10AM

    I totally agree with Paula...those looks, smiles and winks were for a woman who was carrying herself with confidence and a positive attitude about herself! People are naturally drawn to others who are comfortable with who they are...and that describes YOU! Women who turn heads are not necessarily the best looking, most "perfect" ones...they are the ones who exude happiness. And that is YOU, girl!!

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ALOFA0509 12/14/2010 8:02AM

   
In the words of LONG DUCK DONG:" Heeeeyyyy Seexxxxxyyy GGIIRRLL FFRRIIEEND".. lol Your Blogs make me happy. Your Journey makes me Sing.. Hugs 2U sista!!!

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So here is my plan

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I am not a big joiner by nature. Challenges give me anxiety. I don't join anymore teams because I have a hard enough time keeping up with the ones I am on and then I feel guilty like I let people down. I am a big goal setter. I need goals to keep me feeling like I have a purpose. One of the things I like about myself is I am very realistic about my faults and where I need to improve. It can be hard to face sometimes but you will never get anywhere in life if you don't make changes in yourself when things aren't going the way you would like. Opportunities exist for everyone, it the people who show up to take them that get them. That being said I decided to restrategize and here are my goals/plan for keeping on the path to being healthy.

Keep drinking all my water. I have been doing well with this and my skin has never in my life looked this good. Yeah me.

Eat protein for breakfast everyday. I tend to grab something carby, like a whole wheat english muffin, for breakfast because it is easy and then I end up hungry mid morning.

Pack my lunch. I am the most successful when I do this. When I eat the food at work I lose less weight. Period.

Not eating out more than once a week, for ANY meal. When we eat out I can't control the preparation and portions as well. I feel like I paid for this steak so I should eat all of it and that is how I got fat to being with. Also when I did the math on how much we spend on takeout lets just say I will have a lot more money in my wallet!

Get in all my fruits and veggies. This is harder for me than it should be because I don't like to throw away produce. My fiancé only eats one meal a day at home, the rest he eats at work, so if I buy a bag of carrots they go bad etc and then I get mad I wasted them. I need to find a better way to do this. Maybe more frozen veggies...hmmm

More creativity in the kitchen. I tend to fall back on the same easy to prepare meals and then I get bored. Once I am bored that is a big problem for me because I will want to eat out. Hence the evil cycle. I am a rocking cook so I need to show myself that same love I show other people!

Focus on me more. I will always put myself last and I have to stop doing that. Period. If I don't take care of me I won't be around to take care of anybody else. Ashley, take care of you. NOW

Move more. I was doing awesome before my grandmother died. Going to the gym 5 days and really enjoying it. I felt better when I was working out. No aches and pains etc. Then I spent those 2 weeks back in my hometown and just stopped. That combined with having someone smash in my car window at the gym the night before I left to see her I have just not wanted to go back there. I need to suck it up and go and I know I will be back into it again. I feel less stressed and sleep better when I work out regularly.

Sleep, that is a big one. I am always thinking. I can never turn my brain off. I get around 4-5 hours a night most nights and I am exhausted all the time. This negatively affects my whole day. I read recently that when you are over tired your body secretes more of this hormone to make you hungry to try and get energy. Not good.

Me time. I tend to put off the things I love that help me unwind. Reading, my art, working on my business. I need to bring those things back into my weekly activities.

Friends. Fostering the ones with people that are a healthy relationship and letting go with the ones that are not. There is only so much time and energy I have to give and I am not going to waste it on people who don't deserve it.

Have a great day my friends. Thank you for being so supportive and wonderful and helping me to stay positive and motivated. Hugs, Love you guys.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RECIPE4ME 12/26/2010 2:13PM

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MELISSAP1981 12/22/2010 12:05PM

    Just wanted to let you in on a secret I found out about making your fresh produce last. I found these green bags at the grocery store and they prolong the life of fruit and veggies. They can be washed up to 10 times and last forever. They really work. I found this helped me keep fresh fruit and veg in the house. I hope this works for you too.

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ANDREWRACE24111 12/20/2010 4:41AM

  Great plan, with some great goals ! Hope you keep to them all, and make sure you make time for you .

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JENAANN3 12/14/2010 8:10PM

    I don't think you've left a thing out. Sounds like a great plan to me. Good luck.

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LJOHN44 12/14/2010 7:17AM

    Great Plan!

I eat a lot more fruit than veggies around this time of year because they keep longer. Citrus fruits, grapes, pomegranate, bananas (you can buy only as many as you'll eat). I eat more produce in the summer b/c of the garden.

The tortellini soup from Back to Her roots is an old Cooking Light recipe. I've been making it for years. I use fresh spinach- it tastes better, I put a whole bag of fresh baby spinach in the pot- then I don't waste any. I also skip the boullion and use low sodium chicken stock instead.

I always have Low Sodium V8 available in case I need to squeeze an extra freggie in at the end of the day.




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ANEPANALIPTI 12/13/2010 10:25PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WILLIAMV3 12/13/2010 5:01PM

    Sounds like some great goals!

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ERIN4771 12/12/2010 6:51PM

    great plan ashley!!! you can do this!!! emoticon

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OPTIMISSPRIME 12/12/2010 4:04PM

    Oh, and one more thing: the Back To Her Roots blog http://backtoherroots.com/201
0/11/06/november-farmers-market
-spinach-tortellini-soup/ is the most inspirational blog (food or other) that I've ever read. Any time I need recipe inspiration, BTHR is my solution! It's worked every time emoticon emoticon

And the writer is on SP too! Her username is MIGHTYFINEWINE

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BADASSBLONDIE 12/12/2010 3:32PM

    This is a fantastic plan. :D

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OPTIMISSPRIME 12/12/2010 3:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

I also struggle with getting enough sleep - my brain doesn't turn off either! emoticon
What helps me is bringing a hot massage pillow to bed. I put it right under my shoulders (where I tend to carry all my tension) and I'm sleeping like a baby within 10 minutes. emoticon

By the way, frozen veggies are great! I could not recommend them more. I could probably build a small house with the amount of bags of frozen broccoli in my freezer. I just rinse some under hot water and add to salads, pasta, soups, you name it! And it's really filling for very few calories! It's too awesome for words emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 12/12/2010 2:26PM

    What a great plan you have set for yourself! I too have a very hard time getting in veggies - it goes bad, and I also am not a huge fan of them. I do have some frozen ones, hoping to use some today.

Best wishes you will do really great!

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KHELMAN 12/11/2010 2:26PM

    you are always so inspirational i love reading your blogs sometimes they even hit home and make me get on the elliptical even if i have been putting if off as i have been for 2 weeks again :( i can get 1 or 2 days in then i get annoyed with it i need to find something else to try

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LUCKYDOGFARM 12/11/2010 12:36AM

    i found out that if i prep my fruits and veggies before i store them, i am more likely to eat them. so ya, wash all the fruit and veggies and dry them before placing in the fridge. it doesn't take that long, but when you want a snack, you want it now. if you have to take the time to prep it first, it probably isn't going to happen. also, in the evening when i am "hungry" or think i am hungry, my hunger test is going for a fruit or veggie. if i am truly hungry, i will eat it. if i won't eat it, i am probably not very hungry.

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DRAMABEAR 12/10/2010 1:08PM

    I use frozen veggies a lot in an attenpt to get more veggies into my diet! I live by myself so unless I buy frozen I end up wasting A LOT!

I understand what you're saying about goal setting! I have to have goals set or else I will just flounder for a while until I set a goal. Having a to-do list is key for me!

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CARILOUIE 12/10/2010 6:30AM

    Have you tried a glass of warm milk before bed? I read about that in so many articles, so I figured I'd try it. And by George, it works! When I have a mug before bed, I sleep SOOO well.

As for the gym, my mom and I have a saying we like to use when faced with things we don't necessarily want to do - "suck it up and do it." Ha!

Have a great weekend!

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MCSNYDER1 12/9/2010 8:56PM

    Great plan! It reminded me of some of the things I need to work on!

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I82MUCHB4 12/9/2010 8:43PM

    Sounds like a great plan! I agree with all of these goals. Now all you have to do is stick to it! emoticon

Ha! That is where I usually go wrong. emoticon

Anyways, your leftover veggies might work roasted in oven or in soup at the end of the week. Of course, if all you have is a bunch of carrots and no other veggies, then that would be kinda boring… but it’s a thought.

Focusing on yourself and your goals seems easier now with Sparkpeople don’t you think? emoticon

Also, you spoke of friends deserving your time. I want to say that if you haven’t already done so, get away from any other negative folks in your life too. I have trouble with this one because I work in an open room with a couple constant gripers and even though they are kind of my friends, they make me gripe and complain too when it’s really not a big deal what they are complaining about! emoticon
Well 2011 is definitely gonna be our year! Thanks for putting down these goals so we can all see them!
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HEALTHYONE2008 12/9/2010 8:03PM

    Great plan Ashley. Something that I need to work on as well.

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ATREAT4ME 12/9/2010 7:52PM

    What an impressive plan. You've touched every area of your life. Way to go!

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HANNAH_CALM 12/9/2010 6:53PM

    You can freeze your own vegetables. Slice them, then lay them out on a baking sheet and set them in the freezer. When they've frozen, put them in a plastic bag, being sure to brush off any ice crystals.

I wish you the best of luck in taking back your time, perseverance!

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MONKEYSNUFFER 12/9/2010 6:10PM

    Good luck with your plan!

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TRIP2HAPPINESS 12/9/2010 5:05PM

    Sounds like you gave yourself a talk you needed, sounds great Ash.

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FLGIRL1234 12/9/2010 4:04PM

    I LOVED this blog! Way to go on writting it out and getting your thoughts and goals "on paper" so to speak, to see visually! Nice!
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BOBF15 12/9/2010 3:57PM

    Plan your work and then work your plan.

Keep it simple and focused SUCCESS!!! emoticon

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SARAHNICOLE__17 12/9/2010 3:39PM

    I have anxiety also. Have you tried meditation?? Don't laugh! It totally works.

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ZANNACHAN 12/9/2010 3:38PM

    Sounds like a good plan! Actually it sounds like a remarkably familiar plan (there are a lot of things on your list that are on my list of things to do/work on *grin*)

As far as vegetables, a couple of ideas... First frozen vegetables are a lovely thing. Even when I'm making lazy meals (like, oh, lunch today--I made Mac&Cheese only instead of butter and milk I added condensed cream of mushroom soup and tuna--no idea if it's healthy but it was filling and delicious and different and did I mention easy?) it's easy to throw in some (thawed) frozen vegetables as well--like peas or broccoli. Yum. And frozen vegetables are actually fresher than fresh because they are flash frozen when picked--locking in all those nutrients that the fresh slowly lose as they are transported long distances. Also, I buy a lot of veggie trays--they are more expensive but I get a mix of vegetables, already for me to snack on (munch). We started getting them because it was a lot easier to deal with with my husband's food allergies (easier to quarantine, no having to peel carrots etc. and then sanitizing everything he might touch) but it has the added bonus of giving me small amounts of everything--so I don't have to eat only carrots for a week, or worry about my celery going bad before I use it.

Sleep is one of the big things makes a difference for me--sleep and stress. When you are stressed, your body tends to put on weight. When you don't get enough sleep, you tend to put on weight. Unfortunately, sleep is a double whammy because when you are sleep deprived you don't handle stress as well--so you get more stressed and, bingo, even more weight.

I am a chronic insomniac, so sleep is something I struggle with. I know all the "shoulds" and "should not--don't drink caffeine in the evening, don't work or watch tv in bed (bed should be basically for sleep), practice night time rituals, work out in the morning or afternoon--not right before going to bed, take bathes in the evening, not showers, don't eat too close to bedtime, be careful what medicine I'm taking (some of my meds make it hard to sleep).....It helps but it's still something I struggle with--last night I was up until almost 2 am. :(



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KATISCARLET 12/9/2010 2:51PM

    Two words: Slow Cooker. You throw everything in and leave it all day. You can make everything from soup to chicken to just about anything hot. Put servings in plastic containers then freeze them. You have instant lunches ready to go.

As for sleep, it is perhaps more important than anything else in my mind. I gained 40 lbs because I wasn't sleeping more than an hour at a time for 2 years. It screws up your hunger and satiety hormones so you want to eat all the time and it never goes away. Get some melatonin from trader joe's. It will help. Also look at any medications you are on. Is something keeping you from resting peacefully?

Excellent plan. I can't wait to watch you succeed!



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ROBYNROSE26 12/9/2010 1:58PM

    Your plan looks GREAT, you got this!

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SARLELAND 12/9/2010 1:13PM

    Great post! Thanks for sharing :) emoticon

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 12/9/2010 1:04PM

    Definitely a good plan!

I know what it's like to not be able to shut off my brain to go to sleep. I was hesitant to medicate but I needed to do something! I heard about guided imagery and have been listening to that in bed on nights I can't sleep. It's fantastic!

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JULIGHTER 12/9/2010 12:43PM

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I am trying to do the same thing. I can relate to eating fast fat is what we call it now, we are trying once per month. I love to cook also and have tried some different recipes-which is wonderful, the portions-I have to really work on. Keep up the good work.

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AMJ0710 12/9/2010 12:07PM

    Great plan keep it up!

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JENN26POINT2 12/9/2010 11:46AM

    this plan looks great!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 12/9/2010 11:41AM

    Sounds like a great plan! You're going to do great!

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ALISONF2 12/9/2010 11:38AM

    I like to go with frozen veggies because I have the same problem, I buy fresh veggies and if I don't cook them right away, they end up going bad.

Last year I decided to stop wasting my energy on people who did not deserve it. I had people I called friends who would just take and take and take from me and never give. It was more exhausting being a friend than enjoyable. So I made the decision to just cut my ties with those people and it was such a weight off my chest!

And I'm with you on the getting moving again thing. I stopped going to the gym and once I stopped, it has been hard to get back. It shouldn't be, but, like you, I don't get much sleep because I have an overactive brain and I'm so tired all the time. So you are not alone in that!

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KEELYDEUS 12/9/2010 10:47AM

    Sounds like an awesome plan to me! You can do it! I dislike making the same things over and over, so usually 3-4 times a week, I make some random recipe from SparkRecipes. I even downloaded the app for my iphone so I can see the recipes if I have to make a run to the store. The other night I made Maple Pecan Chicken, and other favorite is Parmesan Tilapia and Portebello Mushroom Burgers, and... oh boy.... Try that, save them to your favorites if you like them. I usually just put in a keyword and look for something that is within my calorie range for that meal! :)

Keep up the awesome work!

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SKYEPHOENIX 12/9/2010 10:44AM

    I like your plan--it's good to remind ourselves of the whole picture, and go over each aspect of it once in a while.

Have you ever tried melatonin as a sleep aid? It's naturally made by our bodies as we get closer to bedtime, in order to help the body fall asleep. I assume you could get it at any health food store there, and I found it really helps me during my 'brain working overtime' phases. Plus zero side affects since it's something your body already makes, just more of it. :)

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ARCHIMEDESII 12/9/2010 10:42AM

    You can still enjoy that whole wheat English muffin for breakfast !! Have it with a bit of peanut or almond butter. That's a good combo of carbs/fat/protein. You could also have a banana with peanut or almond butter. If you've never had almond butter, it's marvelous. It's very rich. as a result, you need less than peanut butter.

You could even make your own breakfast sandwich. Toast that whole wheat English muffin then top it with slices of a hard boiled egg. If you like, it's okay to top with some shredded mozzerella or low fat cheddar cheese. Don't eat fat free cheese. there is nothing worse than fat free cheese. Have low fat versions or small portions of the real stuff. Yes, cheese can be a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Definitely over load on those fresh fruits and veggies !! For optimum health, a person should eat 6-9 servings a day. as I tell people, if you're going to over eat anything, over eat your spinach.

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MRSSIBRAT 12/9/2010 10:32AM

    sounds like a good plan...DEFNIITLY get more sleep girl!! you body won't be able to give you the best it can give you if is tired!

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THENEWSHANNON 12/9/2010 10:20AM

    This sounds like a plan for surefire success - way to go! I struggle with keeping veggies fresh too, since I live by myself. Sometimes I'll throw whatever's looking sad into a quick soup or frittata to give it a longer life.

emoticon emoticon

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TYCA41458 12/9/2010 10:16AM

    Sounds like an awesome plan to me! Congratulations on making it this far and I know you're going to do great! Keep Rockin!

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RIGBY31 12/9/2010 10:14AM

    Good plan, Ashley. Organized and covers lots of areas of life. A good template "starting point" for me... mind if I steal a few ideas?

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MAMADWARF 12/9/2010 10:03AM

    well sounds like you have it all set to succeed! A good easy fruit is those little applesauce cups. I eat those when I just need a quick snack and am out of fresh fruit. One serving down! I feel like I need to refocus too. I find myself being really hungry lately and wanting snacks and stuff that usually dont call to me. (didnt help I made those damn cake balls!). I have been doing this 3-4 pound thing back and forth since before thanksgiving. boo! Im proud of you, Ashley!

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AMANDAWEYRICH 12/9/2010 9:59AM

    I know what you mean by not wasting the high calorie food you just bought. :) I know you can do this. I actually stopped stressing about how many calories and just ate healthy in general and didn't count and my pants got bigger. So if you get into a sleeping routine and at least make healthy choices most of the time, and stop worrying about it, it will come to you. Have fun and good luck! :)

Comment edited on: 12/9/2010 10:05:25 AM

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 12/9/2010 9:54AM

    Sounds like a sensible plan and things that will help you to become a healthier you. You got this!

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KRAWRS 12/9/2010 9:32AM

    I think this sounds like a GREAT plan!

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GWYNNETHJACK 12/9/2010 9:23AM

    i too need to restrategize and do some new/improved goal setting so thank you for sharing yours and hopefully it will make mine a little easiser to get out now!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 12/9/2010 9:21AM

    I don't like frozen fruit really either. I can eat fruit at work so I don't have an issue with that. Bags are a great idea, I have heard they are great!

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NEWYORKORCHIDS 12/9/2010 9:10AM

  You know, I think I read somewhere that frozen veggies can have more nutrients than fresh produce because fresh looses some of them in transport and sitting out.

Of course, I've also read things that are false, so that might need a little more checking in to. At any rate, try the frozen and hopefully that works for you.

As far as the frozen fruit...well, not my favorite, but if you're doing protein shakes, maybe you can throw some fruit in there?

Awesome plan by the way.

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Do you really want the truth? Really?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I have been writing this blog in my head for a few days but after just having a "friend" really upset me I decided I need to write it now. So my birthday is December 18th. This is a ridiculously busy time of year for us at work so it is always hard to celebrate. My family basically never acknowledged my birthday after the age of 12 so I have abandonment issues with people and my birthday. When you are a week from Christmas people tend to forget and then give you the combo gift in Christmas paper that they scribbled Happy Birthday on the bottom of the tag as an after thought. FYI if you have a friend or a child who is in this situation. Save them the therapy bills and buy an actual gift or card that you put some thought into, it will make them feel like a million bucks.
So Saturday my friends are taking me to this new polish restaurant to celebrate and then on Sunday night I was supposed to meet another good friend who is separate from that group of friends and it would be weird to invite her because she doesn't know anyone and she would feel very out of place. We made the plans for Sunday 2 weeks ago. I just texted her to confirm time and place etc and she tells me "well I can give you from 3-6 PM because I have to go meet another friend later. This is a person who constantly whines to me about how all of her friends are mean to her and blow her off. They never want to make plans with her. The person she is meeting is the one who specifically blows her off the most. It is taking all my personal self control to not tell her where to go right now. I am the only friend she has that supports her unconditionally. Never blows her off, treats her with respect and tries to help her out. She is a very difficult person to be friends with because she is very negative and controlling and I still try to overlook that because I think in her heart she is a good person and she has had some serious trauma in her past. I am hurt and it made me think about a good conversation HEYPINK and I had earlier.
Do people really want and respect honesty? So that is my question. When you came on SP are you looking for people to be real with you and help you see through your excuses and issues and really get to the root of your problem? Or did you come here to be told time and time again that its ok to eat horrible and not work out and you are so depressed so people faun all over you? So here is some honesty, I see a lot of both. In the future if I am whining none stop and not losing any weight I ASK YOU call me out on my BS. Tell me to stop whining and get over it and start tracking my food and drinking my water. I am not talking about meanness masked as honesty. There is a difference between being cruel and hurting people to make yourself feel better and helping a friend to see the light on a flaw or an issue and genuinely wanting them to improve themselves.
I respect honesty above all else. In my partner, in my friends, in my colleagues. If I screwed up at work I can admit it. I don't screw over my friends. I have a VERY hard time trusting and attaching to people. If my trust is broken once, I am done. I can cut a friend out of my life in a second and never look back but if they treat me with the love and respect that I give them I will do anything for my friends. I am extremely loyal. I know my hardness is a defense mechanism. When you are abused you make a shell so people can't hurt you, ever. It is hard for me to let anyone inside. That is why my blogs are so good for me. They are my truth, my reality and I am stunned I share them with anyone. I tell you all things the people close to me don't know about me. I want to call my friend right now and really let her have it and tell her she is a hypocrite. Then my manners kick in and say it won't solve anything. She probably doesn't want the truth.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITZGOTIME 12/16/2010 8:47AM

    I have noticed that as I get older I am less able to deal with the bullcrap. And therefore if I find that I'm friends with someone who doesn't put the same effort into the friendship that I do then, Adios Amigo! I believe LHIEBEL said it best, Life is too short and our free time is so little. And I certainly don't want to spend what little free time that I do have with someone that doesn't appreciate me.

You have come way to far to let this one person drag you down!!

Stay strong!





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MARCYNA 12/15/2010 11:02AM

    Oh My...this is so close to my experience but I'm growing out of it, just like you, thanks for sharing!!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/15/2010 11:02:55 AM

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LHIEBEL 12/10/2010 4:27PM

  mmmm..life is too short and my free time is limited--so I only spend it with people I really want to spend it with--I have been amazed at how easily I can cut someone out of my life--I only include quality people who treat me like I treat them--makes life much better!

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OCEANS241 12/10/2010 10:22AM

  I know how you feel! My brithday is Dec. 24 - and oooh the dreaded combo gifts. Seriously - wrap something - anything! - in bithday paper. Do not split up my Christmas presesnts and put a birthday card on top of one. :-O Anyhoo...happy early birthday!

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FLBEACHBUM14 12/9/2010 8:43PM

    Ashley, I have been sensitive to the "Birthday combined with Christmas" problem all my life- my Mom's is Dec 16, her Mom's was Dec 25, and my wife's is Dec 5!! It is VERY important that every person has their OWN day!

I have read most of the other answers to your blog and the one from ZANNACHAN strikes me as having a lot of great advice. She is much more eloquent in her writing than I could be.

I just want to add that honesty and being true to yourself is important, but the advice to be calm and not confrontive when you are angry is also good. I regret an incident over 30 years ago when while angry, I confronted a friend (of about two years then) who my wife and I felt had been inconsiderate and had taken advantage of us. The friendship was ended, and looking back at it, a calmer approach could have had a better outcome.

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MARCYNA 12/9/2010 10:05AM

    I think you can be a role model for her. You are learning to respect yourself and to eaxct the same respect from the others...I wish I had read this blog before,,,it's hard & honest but it is serious. I want people around me to yell at me if I deserve it but also to tell me I'm doing great if it is the case emoticon emoticon
PS I hope this birthday will be the best in your life!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/9/2010 10:13:24 AM

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HAPPYCUPCAKE 12/9/2010 9:19AM

    My birthday is Christmas Eve, so I know exactly how you feel. The only person I usually do anything with is my best friend because everyone else is "just too busy". It really sucks, but over the last couple of years I have started to cut people out of my like who are fake, flaky, and just plain out rude. I used to think I needed to make everyone like me and be friends, but that just wears you out and is just so fake. I was blown off a couple months ago for the billionth time and finally kind of told her off without being rude in the text and completely cut her out of my life. she didnt' deserve to be in it anymore, and I was fed up with pretending everything was okay.

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REDSASSENACH 12/9/2010 8:48AM

    Man I'm with you on this one- and this is why I have so few female friends. I'm always the one making the plans, returning the calls, IF no one else has anything better to do...and I just decided a long time ago that my time is more valuable than that. I don't have time for people that treat me that way.

My sister in law is the QUEEN- and it hurt my feelings for a long time, but it's HER shortcoming- not mine, and I refuse to let it affect me.

Good luck. If I were you I'd call her out, nicely. Not cool!

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BEST_LIFE_NOW 12/9/2010 8:42AM

  Just a couple of thoughts:

First, we teach people how to treat us. It's a hard reality, but true.

Second, people screw up. If we are too quick to write them off, we lose some really valuable people in our lives.

Third, you are doing amazing. Keep it up! emoticon

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HOLLIEAYNE 12/9/2010 8:22AM

    Great blog. I have fallen victim to frenemies like this in the past. I was always the back burner friend. They friend that would be there when all the other friends didn't want to play. I was giving so much more than I was getting. Alot of it was my poor self esteem due to how big I was and the other part is that I am too nice and very loyal. I have since learned to cut the friend fat. Getting rid of the negatives in my life have allowed me to breathe easier. I have cut alot of friends "down" meaning I keep in touch and still care about them but I keep it all on the surface. I have a very small circle that I keep the deep friendships for. Everything else is safer being on the surface. I applaud your strenght to stick it out and try time and time again. The best thing is keeping your eyes open to how she makes you feel and what it can do to you. That way you won't be left cold in the end. I love the part about coming on SP to get fluffed or motivated. I hate the complainer/fluffer relationships. It's not helpful to anyone. Also the part about meanness masked as honesty. I've seen that alot too. You have amazing insights and are a great source of my daily inspiration not just in weight loss but also in being a human. A kind caring human. You rock!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 12/9/2010 7:56AM

    This is a conversation I have had with this girl innumerable times. She whines on facebook constantly how nobody loves her and she has no friends blah blah. Huge drama queen, needs attention on her all the time. Every time a celebrity dies she posts their name on facebook with RIP. It is completely to draw attention to herself and it makes me insane. I have overlooked these things for so long. She is never wrong, completely in denial of her own behavior and she never listens to anyone. She is always right. This is why she has no friends. The friend she specifically blew me off for's bf emailed me and asked me how to deal with her because he can't stand her and doesn't know what to do. I would never tell her that because, hey I have manners and am not out to be hurtful, but this is the person you will intentionally hurt the people you care about for? Get some priorities. Ok, end rant. I am done spending anymore energy on her. Thank you all for making me feel better!

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CARILOUIE 12/9/2010 7:45AM

    A very good friend and I are trying to get together to bake Christmas cookies. She texted me to say "the 19th looks good. I'll let you know if anything comes up." What?!?!!?!? If anything else comes up? Way to make me feel like a piece of sh--. I'm going to bake the cookies regardless - it was my plan, but whoa.

So I understand.



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HIFIVE06 12/9/2010 7:32AM

    The truth hurts but in most cases it is absolutely necessary. I have come to the conclusion that I like to mind my manners, BUT when you start hurting that bad because of someone elses actions, they have to know. It cannnot simply "slide" anymore. There are so many people who dont care for the truth, or specifically hurt nice people because they KNOW they wont say anything to correct the action. I think that us nice people will only be taken seriously when we stand up for ourselves. If someone doesnt like the fact that you are disrespected, thats kind of their problem. Just because you bring it to their attention does NOT mean that you are the bad guy.

I had a guy who was running me around with excuses of why we couldnt get together. We actually made plans on a Saturday to watch football and that time came and went...no call, no text..nothing. This was the second time he ditched. I talked to him the next day after he said hi with no visable appology or excuse. He said "things happen. oh well" and laughed it off. I instantly said "I think its time you f#%@ off. I dont take to being disrespected very lightly." To tell you the truth, if you arent respected, people arent taking you seriously. Do you want friends to not take you seriously?? Maybe the reason that she HAS no friends that respect her/talk to her is BECAUSE of HER actions, and NOT because of her friend's actions. Sometimes people need to lose everything before they realize THEY are the problem.

Lastly, I know EXACTLY what you mean about the abandonment issues, and also the ability to cut people out. Once my trust is gone, people wont ever get it back. I dont like to be the idiot so I dont set myself up to be crossed again by the same person. You arent alone in those feelings!

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CHICAT63 12/9/2010 7:31AM

    Ashley, first off I understand in regards to having your birthday so close to the holiday. My Godson, my dear cousin who is Godmother to my youngest is Dec. 24th. You are so right to mention, just get out people and treat it like birthday not a combo celebration.

For your friend telling you from the start you only have her from 3-6, a carbon copy of my twin sister. You feel like there is always something better out there for them, I could go one but I won't it is hurtful. On that being said, have the talk put it out there. Just recently a friend of mine ended a 20 yr friendship, it was all her doing bottom line she wanted me to choose between her & an another friend, a real friend does not do that to friends.

Enjoy your birthday celebration on Saturday !

Comment edited on: 12/9/2010 7:32:19 AM

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AMOHAME2 12/9/2010 7:23AM

    Ashley, you are obviously such a good friend to see past the whining and high-maintenance tendencies of your friend, she is certainly lucky to have you! I know first hand how hard it can be to just tell your friend how you are feeling, because deep down you know it probably won't change a thing.
I personally agree that honesty is best, I want to hear it like it is. That's what I love about Spark, online friends don't really know each other in the real world and aren't as likely to hold back the truth. My real-life friends constantly say "don't worry, it'll all work out" but what I really want, NEED, to hear is "it may not work out, but even if it doesn't work out, you're going to get through it". And even occasionally "if you want things to work out, you're going to have to make some changes". Telling me it'll magically get better over time isn't doing me any favours!!

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KATHLOW 12/9/2010 3:34AM

    honesty please. feel free to call me out on any crap! I wouldn't presume to know the best way to deal with your friend...i can understand you feel abandoned on your birthday tho!

in case i forget later on: happy birthday to you!

love,
kath

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HANNAH_CALM 12/9/2010 2:41AM

    Do you want the truth? I don't have any real friends. So I don't know what you should do. I really don't. I ruined all my friendships that I could ruin, and my friends ruined all the friendships they could ruin--and that makes them all ruined! So... Good luck!

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ALOFA0509 12/9/2010 1:27AM

    A couple yrs ago I was venting to my boss abt a "Friend" who always blew me off a couple hrs before our meetings-. My boss looked at me and said, " Girl we teach people how to treat us". ** emoticon emoticon...

I sat down with my then "Friend" and told her the honest truth abt how her actions made me feel. I didnt mince any words and was STR8 to the point. I felt soo much better becuz I didnt dance around the - **I'm gonna hurt her feelings BS.** I mean really, she was hurting my feelings for years. Ashley, If an Honest heart felt conversation from one friend to another can't help set respectful expectations in this relationship ... Then I say RUN.... RUN FAR WAY!!! Hugs, Alofa


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ANGELOO29 12/8/2010 10:50PM

    I respect HONESTY and yes I want to be called out of my crap. I've hit a point where I'm more afraid to go forward than to slide back. I'm lucky enough to have some very awesome people around me who are not afraid to tell me how it is.

****My birthday is December 29th, so I am TOTALLY feeling you on how we get the short end of the stick. I actually gave the same advice to friends of mine who have kids born around Christmas - make it special. Saves so much over all.

HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!

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SARAHNICOLE__17 12/8/2010 10:24PM

    I'll tell you to suck it up buttercup!!! Happy Birthday in advance! :)

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MOMMYKAY038 12/8/2010 9:57PM

    UG. My sons birthday is the 10th and I just got done telling my hubby "let's just turn the xmas wrapping paper inside out and draw on it for him"

I'm glad I read your post. Obviously I am totally guilty of this! I will be off first thing in the morning to buy birthday paper and balloons to make up for the guilt of almost doing something horrible!

Thank you for saving me!

PS I think you should talk to your friend, it doesn't have to be all Jerry Springer but just so she knows that it makes you nervous to clear your schedule when she clearly isn't going to keep to the arragnement and maybe that is why her other friends never want to plan to do stuff with her.

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CALIKIKI 12/8/2010 9:31PM

    There was a lot going on in your post but I only want to mention the birthday thing.

The birthday for an ex of mine is Christmas Eve and I make it a point every year to send him only birthday wishes and messages. He usually calls on Christmas and we chat then I wish him merry Christmas but I think it is important to acknowledge the day a man I love very much was born.

My mom is 6 days after Christmas so the same thing goes for her.

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MAMADWARF 12/8/2010 9:12PM

    I, too, want honesty. Here more than anywhere because here I am more brutally honest than anywhere else in my world so yea, I want it back. I would do the 3-6 thing and make sure I left at 5:30 cause when her other friend blows her off, she will expect you to change your plans. Do NOT let her manipulate you into doing anything else. Just get on with your day.

Here is some truth. I think you are awesome and I love your honesty. SO feel free to lay it on me! anytime!

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BRIAEL 12/8/2010 9:11PM

    Can you be honest with your friend about how her actions have made you feel? That she's devalued your friendship by choosing to spend arranged time with someone else, and hurt your feelings into the bargain?

If you can keep the emotional response (anger, frustration and tears) out of the conversation, then maybe it's time your friend heard the effect she has. The problem with humans is that we're scared to be honest with people for fear of being cut loose and not having them in our lives, instead of offering them the chance to fix what is clearly not right and making a much stronger, more meaningful relationship with them.

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ROBYNROSE26 12/8/2010 8:13PM

    My son has his birthday on Dec 22nd, and it is SO important to us to make sure his Birthday is important and totally separate from Christmas!!

Sorry to hear about your friend, that is BS if you ask me. Surround yourself with people who love and respect you and distance yourself from those who don't! You deserve the best!

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AUNTIELES53 12/8/2010 7:54PM

    i know what you mean about the birthday thing all to well.. my birthday is dec 27 and i was always told you just had christmas i will get you an extra present then to me its not about the presents its about being noticed on that day..

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ZANNACHAN 12/8/2010 7:44PM

    Sorry about the birthday blues. I have a good friend who has the same birthday as you do (and her husband's birthday is two days before) and I have a friend who has a birthday of Christmas Eve and another one Christmas day--talk about lousy timing, since NO ONE is free on Christmas eve and Christmas day. They had a lot of the same issues that you have. I confess I have once in a rare while bought joint birthday/Christmas gifts when it was something I couldn't afford as one or the other, but it doesn't happen very often, and we try to celebrate somehow.

I would talk to your friend, but maybe not right away--let your emotions cool so you don't say something you'll regret later. I find sometimes writing out a letter that I never intend to send, one where I can be as angry of nasty or sarcastic as I want, helps because it gets it all out of me. Then I can talk to the person more rationally--say that it upset me and why without being mean or making them defensive. It still may not go well but at least then you'll have tried. And if she isn't willing to at least try to understand and meet you half way, than it might be time to seriously reconsider that friendship--backing off or even out entirely, whatever feels like the right choice.

As for honesty, I don't know that there is a simple answer. I don't think it helps to say "hey, sure, no problem, pig out on those Dorito's and blow off working out." But on the flip side, telling someone that they need to get their act together and get their lazy butt off the couch isn't necessarily helpful either because even if it's true, especially if I'm struggling because I'm really stressed or something.

It's kind of like feed back on writing. "This sucks" may be honest but not helpfu. Instead, it's important to give detailed information, give the good as well as the bad "I really like your characters but this plot in chapter 3 makes no sense" and as much as possible give constructive criticism--ideas of how to address the problem "if you had the brother come home first, this part here would make more sense."

I think that honesty on sparks--and in much of life--follows the same logic. Anything that is a personal attack is definitely not helpful--so calling someone lazy, even if they are being lazy, isn't helpful. "Just do it" isn't necessarily helpful either, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed and don't know where to start. Advice like some strategies for dealing with emotional eating, for finding new interesting ways to work out or how to work in some exercise in when really busy might be helpful. I think it helps to say "okay, so you ate the bag of chips. Note what you did and why and then move on--let it go." because beating yourself up doesn't do anyone any good.

And maybe sometimes it comes across like I'm saying "it's okay to screw up sometimes" but really, it IS okay. We're in this for the long haul and we're human. We'll make mistakes. Expecting perfection is just setting us up for failure. But if we can stay on track most of the time and not let our slips undermine us too much, we'll be better off in the long run. That's one of the reasons I keep reminding myself that my goal is 80/20, not 100%--I don't plan on a life without cake and there are days I am not able to work out and somedays I just screw up, like yesterday when I was out shopping all day and ate at the mall and ended up eating I don't even know how many calories (because the lunch restaurant isn't even in Sparks or online so I can't look it up). I could get upset about it or I can focus on eating well today. And if someone else writing about my day yesterday and how I ate all this terrible food, I'd probably say "learn from this, try to do better next time, and let it go."

Comment edited on: 12/8/2010 7:46:46 PM

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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/8/2010 7:22PM

    I too have to wait out my frustration and anger to enlighten a friend who acts very much like the one you describe. Lashing out is not a good option, constructive feed back and honesty about how I feel is. People will act how they want to act, my reaction to their actions is what important to me and important for my own growth.

So to answer the question in the blog ... I want honesty and constructive feedback not "yes" people in my life. I want to be challenged, the mirror held up to my face asking - "how's that workin' for ya?" Anything but honesty is dangerous.

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HEALTHY4ME 12/8/2010 7:18PM

    Know hat you mean about the birthday, mine is new years eve and as a kid mum said i usually got little golden books with someone else name scratched out and mine put in. But who has $$ a week before or after christmas. My sil and dil are both dec 26. so they too know what you mean.
Hope you have a great time whatevr you decide. cos I dont have enough ba$$s to tell amyone thta they have made me upset I would go and do nothing but I think the best thing is go and then say you knwo what....
oh I dont know just enjoy yourself! HUGS

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HEALTHYASHLEY 12/8/2010 7:17PM

    Thanks ladies! This why I love all of you so much. You make me think in different ways. Thanks baybeliever for your empathy clarification. I totally agree and didn't articulate that well. Looky-Lou I am sure you hit the nail on the head. She does have very poor social skills and no filter and that's why she has very few friends. It's also why I don't introduce her to my other friends. She would behave strange and i know they wouldn't like her so I always tried to not make her feel badly.

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DEBBIE19580 12/8/2010 7:14PM

    If it were me i would do the 3-6 thing with her, and then be glad to get rid of her cause she sounds like a pain in the a@$ anyway. but if your with her and her other friend cancels on her i wouldnt stick around cause shes got free time suddenly. why she would even choose to have a friend who cancels on her left and rite is beyond me!!! i dont get that, in my previous life, for real, my friends and i NEVER cancelled on eachother. We ALL were loyal to a fault with eachother. unless this is a guy she is choosing to b with, then it all goes out the window!!, ive known lots of chicks who when it comes to a guy, forget it!!! you cant compete, unless its a really good friend which ive had and no man can come between me and my girl. as far as honesty,i want someone to be totally honest with me, all my friends were, but in the end im going to do exactly what i want regardless of what anyone says. I know when i came to this site i wanted to loose weight, but wasnt ready too yet, so i screwed around for a few months before i got serious, just for me to even continue to b on the site was huge for me though, it took mea while to get my head in the rite place, if someone wasnt kind or made a remark like, hey deb its been 3 months and you havent lost any weight, put the cookies down now,i woulda probably jumped off the site!! lol lol, but NO-ONE DID THAT, i guess i want people to support me honestly now, because i am ready for that, and i also am now here to truly loose weight., so i need all the help i can get. i guess everyone is at different points in there journey, what motivated me was just reading blogs andseeing before and after pics, then im like i can do this, she did it!!sorry about going on and on, i tend to do that. emoticon emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 12/8/2010 7:09PM

    I think there are actually people who are born without the "filters" the rest of have. When you make plans you may think to yourself, "okay I have between 3 and 6" so you may say, "How about a late lunch, so we can get a good sleep?" Someone without filters actually tells you they only have that block of time, unaware how rude they sound.

My daughter has a friend with this...she is so RUDE/SELFISH sometimes that I have no idea why my daughter wants to be friends at all, she is older by a couple years and basically has no friends in her peer group. Honestly I don't think she means to be so socially inept, but is!

I once asked a teacher about that kind of kid and she said "you know how when you go to a new friends house, you would never open their fridge, well your kids don't either. You never specifically have to teach this, they just see you not do it and pick up the social cue. Other kids just don't get it unless they are taught. If you tell her not to open the fridge she won't, but doesn't pick it up"

I think your rude friend probably has this too! So you either understand that's what she is like, or you end the friendship, you can't change her!

I hope you have a WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY!

And I will remember to spoil my January 8th kid forever!

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LJOHN44 12/8/2010 7:05PM

    Both my brother and sister have December birthdays (25th and 23rd), I make it a point to get them distinctly different birthday presents (wrapped in birthday paper) and Christmas presents (wrapped in Christmas paper). However, being a March birthday I have noticed over the years they get more presents because more people are around at Christmastime and don't want to "overlook" their birthday. Nobody is around in the middle of March!

Anywhoo...I think you should tell your friend what you think. Be nice about it but put your foot down. The way she's treating you is not cool at all. You don't need that in your life. I completely agree with Jody- People treat you the way you let them treat you (or as I say- People will do whatever they can get away with). If she's truly your friend she'll see that her behavior isn't the way someone treats a friend. If she's not your friend she'll get pissed off at you for calling her out. I'd rather have a few close friends than a bunch of friends who use me when they need me or hang out with me when they don't have anything better to do. Sometimes you have to declutter your life. Even if that means people.

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BAYBELIEVER 12/8/2010 7:04PM

    I think you are right on one hand, and wrong on one (good thing we only have two!). First, from what you have said about your friend and the way she is acting, no, she doesn't want the truth. She is hanging on for dear life that the friend who normally blows her off won't do so again on Sunday night. But she is putting all her eggs in that basket and so doesn't want to hear the truth. On the other hand, yes, I came here to hear the truth, sort of. I think you are totaly right in that the truth and being cruel are two very different things. If I am whining and bemoaning and I seem to be doing what I should, then I want empathy (because we have all been there) and suggestions and advice. If I am not doing everything I should, then I would still want a little empathy, but I also want honesty, not cruelty. We are all human after all and we have situations in our lives that have or are already cruel. But, if we came here, and if we blog about something, then, I think we are opening ourselves up to honesty (what I would prefer to call knowledge, advice, and suggestions). Sometimes that honesty is going to be: Stop blogging constantly! Start logging! Start moving! I had one "friend" on here that I had to drop specifically for that reason. She wasn't out to help herself. She just wanted empathy, or sympathy. She didn't want advice or suggestions. She wasn't doing anything to help herself. I am working too hard to improve myself to keep hanging around someone with no interest in improving themselves. Just to be clear, because I am never sure how these comments convey: You are doing a great job (as if you need to be told that!) and are one of the valuable friends I have here. You work hard. You deserve empathy when needed. And you should ask for advice and honesty, as you have done here, because you really want it! Sorry that was so long-winded, but it struck a chord with me today! Thanks!

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MCSNYDER1 12/8/2010 6:59PM

    I used to silently take stuff like this from so called "friends". I never told them the truth, because they wouldn't have even understood what I was talking about. Or they would have rationalized their behavior and turned it around on me, so that I had even lower self-esteem than I did before!

NO, I never told them. What I DID do was exclude them from my life--no more negative people or lying backstabbers! I have been happier ever since. I may have missed the friendship that I thought we had. But I didn't miss (and still don't) is the last minute cancellations and made-up excuses.

These kind of people don't deserve a friend like you or me!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 12/8/2010 6:57PM

    I do not let this girl walk all over me. I tell her how it is all the time. I am just waiting until I am calm because I have a temper and I don't want to be mean which I want to be right now. She never wants to hear the truth. If you tell it to her she just ignores it. Hence this whole rant. Thanks everyone for the words of advice. I appreciate it.

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JODY22002 12/8/2010 6:52PM

    I'm sorry that you are feeling undervalued. Here's where I give you a little bit of tough love.

Speak up. People treat us the way we ALLOW them to treat us. If it bothers you, say something. You are going to what......stuff it and not deal with it? Where will that get you? People cannot know how we feel if we don't tell them. Tell her how you feel. What's the worst thing that could happen? She gets mad? If she's that kind of girl than she really isn't a good friend. To get what we want, we have to ask for it and not assume those around us will know

Happy pre-birthday. Celebrate. Celebrate. Celebrate. Celebrate how far you have come. How amazing you are. Treat yourself for your birthday because you are deserving.

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PROUDLY_HIS 12/8/2010 6:50PM

    Ohhhh my love's bday is the 18th too, and im the 23rd. :)

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KRAWRS 12/8/2010 6:50PM

    She probably doesn't want the truth. I had a friend like her... we're not friends anymore, because SHE dumped ME, but thats a whole nother story. Like you, I stayed friends with her long after I should have, because I felt (and still feel) that in her heart, she is a good person. But these types of friendships are called "toxic friendships" for a reason... when they are hurting you, their friendship is no longer worth it!
And no worries about the truth. I came here fearing that whole cruelty masked as honesty thing, but have yet to find it. If you ever need it, I'll give you a kick in the butt. I know you'd do the same for me. Its the HONEST thing to do. We are supposed to be here to support each other, right? Well, sometimes support comes in the form of dragging us off our butt when we're hurting ourselves.
We have a lot in common in the way of honoring honesty above all else. My facebook profile lists this quote about me, which I find incredibly accurate: "I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies."

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Food is my life, literally

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I have been obsessed with food as long as I can remember. My mom found my 5th grade writing assignment a few weeks ago and she read it to me. It was talking about who I am. Apparently I was very self conscious even then, I didn't like mean kids (still don't lol), I loved boats and sailing (no idea where that came from we never had a boat and I despise both) and I loved to cook. One of my fondest memories was after reading the book "Stone Soup" my grandmother helped me to recreate the soup in her kitchen and we sat down to eat it in my tiny tea set bowls at her table. She wouldn't let me use both barley and potatoes though because that would be 2 starches and that is just wrong :). That is so her and makes me smile just to write it. I spent many a Saturday in her kitchen in my little red apron she made for me baking up a storm with her whole wheat flour. That apron is one of the things I took after I lost her and I will post a pic of me in it when I get to my goal weight. It is very cute.
My first job was scooping ice cream which I am thankful for because it made me pretty indifferent to it now. I can take or leave it pretty much and for years after that summer even the smell made me nauseous. I moved on to working in a snack bar and restaurant and to this day that is still my most favorite job I ever had. I found great joy in working the line with the "real" chef's and making people happy with food. Now that I think back on it I liked the actual cooking more than eating and I had a semi-healthy relationship with food. My binge eating started in my late teens and was more an emotional manifestation than anything. At night my best friend and I made caesar salad table side in a fine dining restaurant and we loved it. That is a pretty cool job for a 14 year old girl. I felt so grown up. She told me a few years ago that is still the most favorite job she ever had and now she is some big deal executive somewhere. Isn't it funny how we give up our passions to take safe jobs?
Today I work around food every day. Good, high end food. We are a certified green company and all of our food is organic and local which makes me feel good to be able to be a part of something I believe in. However I am too far removed from the food aspects. I sell it and get to design the parties, write menu's but I miss the creativity of working with the food. The joy I get from feeding people healthy food. I am also a baker and I have decided it is time to launch my own company. It is rare to find someone who is a good cook and a good baker. The 2 styles are so different. One requires creativity and an understanding of ingredients. It is an artform really. To be able to take what is in front of you and create is a lot more difficult that you would imagine. Especially if you can't fall back on fat to create flavor as many chef's do. Baking is the opposite. It is precise, measured. The science behind rising dough or creating a crisp crust is fragile and experimentation still has to follow rules. Chef's tend not to like rules. I like both. My fiancé and I have come to that point we are tired of working for other people and I have started writing our business plan for a specialty food company. I don't want to give away my ideas but suffice it to say it will be a fun venture and when I have it up and running I will tell you all about it.
What I am finding a bit daunting is how to reconcile my healthy lifestyle with a literal need to taste and eat some of these foods. You can not create recipes without eating and even though I choose to be healthy I need to sell items that are not always going to be. Yes, indulgence items are a necessary part of life and I will not be successful if I don't offer them. I really don't want to live in a world where I can't have a piece of chocolate cake ever now and then. Finding my way in this is still a work in progress and although it intimidates me I am determined to find a way to balance my work and my health. If I can do it surrounded by cakes and brownies you can do it too.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SALSACHIC 12/9/2010 2:36PM

    Stone Soup was one of my favorite books as a child as well. My 1st grade teacher had us make stone soup as a class, he even had each of us collect a stone from outside to put inside the soup!

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ROSEWCI 12/8/2010 7:42PM

    I wish you much success on your ventures! You sound very knowledgeable & determined...& I see you going all the way, my friend!

Good luck to you! emoticon Rose

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PERFECTVELVET 12/8/2010 4:44PM

    Your blog made me really excited for you! That sounds like such a blast! I will be a taste tester if you want ;)

There will be a challenge to the healthy eating vs. what you're cooking, but remember - you'll just be tasting it, not eating the entire thing. And maybe you'll just get sick of it, like you did ice cream, and invent something new and wonderful!

Best of luck, Ashley, this is so fabulous!

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BRIAEL 12/8/2010 4:33PM

    You have me bouncing up and down in my chair with excitement about your new creative venture. I wish you success, because I would REALLY love to see you become a high street name with healthy foods; America needs more healthy options. :)

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ALOFA0509 12/8/2010 4:28PM

    OMG This is soo wonderful.. Sista friend I remember a few short months ago, you were soo fed up with your job. You wanted to pursue something you were passionate abt and HERE IT IS!!!!.. What a perfect venture for you and your Honey.

Being arnd food in this environment will be different. Your attitude and your Intentions are rooted from a place of creativity and venture, your actually creating the best environment for your current fab life style!!! Soo happy for you Ashley ;) Such Wonderful news-- Cheers, Alofa emoticon

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KRAWRS 12/8/2010 3:14PM

    Thats fantastic! I'm glad you got around to telling us about this new venture. I was wondering. You know what? About those indulgence items. I definitely feel you can make those work. You know, I was watching one of those baking competitions on t.v. not too long ago... I don't know, something like Ace of Cakes only a baking competition... There were two bakers against each other. Both made rich, decadent looking cupcakes, as beautiful to look at as they must have been to taste. (Seriously, when they were asked to tell the judges about the cupcakes, the flavors they mentioned were totally droolworthy.) You know who won that round of the competition (and apparently a bunch of previous rounds)? The VEGAN baker. Now I know, in the end, a cupcake is a cupcake and a brownie is a brownie. Calories add up wether they come from vegetables or candy. However, given this example, I think it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE to offer those indulgence items and also have them be healthy.

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SARAHNICOLE__17 12/8/2010 2:16PM

    Congrats on persuing your dreams. I have a background in culinary and down right preferred working with pastries, chocolate and baking bread. Baking is a science!!! Different altitudes can make or break the same recipe. I'm really looking forward to hearing more about your venture.

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WILLIAMV3 12/8/2010 1:06PM

    I'm so excited to hear more about your new company. What an exciting time for you!!!

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MAMADWARF 12/8/2010 12:59PM

    I am so excited about a new career venture for you! You are gonna be hugely succesful!!! and independant! You win!

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MCSNYDER1 12/8/2010 11:36AM

    Oh, I can't wait to see the picture of the apron! What wonderful memories you made in the kitchen with your grandma!
I am glad she lived to see you become an accomplished chef and baker!

You know, Ashley, I bet she would approve of your decision to launch out on your own! It's scary, I know, but the best time to take these kinds of chances are when you are young! Go for it!

I'm off the topic of your blog, but you need to know (or I need you to know) what a pure joy it is to see you online! Girl, this is a scary world out there, but you are so equipped--academically, emotionally (that's a biggie), physically-you are getting there! You are so smart

I wish you the best of luck---and take your company online, please! I'm a lousy cook!!!

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MCCLOD 12/8/2010 11:17AM

    Have you read about Mrs. Fields of Mrs Fields cookies? She can't weigh over 120 and she has created an empire of full fat cookies. She apparently chooses to just eat terrific cookies -- no mindless eating and not dozens of each. I read somewhere else how its the first TWO bites that brings us the most enjoyment... I think that is what I heard Mrs. Field does -- Image what you could do cooking HEALTHY! Definitely doable. But do keep your gym membership ;)

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FLWRCHLD97 12/8/2010 11:16AM

    emoticon

Good luck on your new adventure. I believe you'll find a way to balance your desire for a healthy life and your goal/dream to own your own business.

Where there's a will, there's a way!

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JODY22002 12/8/2010 10:57AM

    I so envy you. Having the ability to cook is a gift and something I always wished I had. I grew up with a mom who cooked the Christmas turkey in the microwave. *GAG* I didn't have a good role model in the kitchen and it has always been a skill I have admired.

Chase your dream. Life is way too damn short to do anything else.

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HANNAH_CALM 12/8/2010 10:17AM

    It's so wonderful that you're about to start this new business doing what you really love. I wish you the best!

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LADYV1781 12/8/2010 10:12AM

    Good for you! That is so wonderful!! I was just telling my brother last night that I would have loved to be a chef (in my mind a chef and baker can be just called chef...although I completely see your point on their seperateness). Now, it was a complete pipe dream for me.....but kudos to you for making it happen!! Wishing you nothing but the best!!!

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GIANTMICROBE 12/8/2010 10:02AM

    Amazing blog as usual, Ashley. I have always been obsessed with food too. I remember when I was a little kid, I would look forward to lunch or dinner like it was a trip to Disneyland. I would get very excited and the thought of eating something yummy thrilled me. And even when I was 7 years old, I wondered if that was normal, if other people got that excited about food.

I am good at both cooking and baking as well! I guess if I had to pick the one I like better, I'd choose baking (but really I love both). What's really neat to me is watching basic ingredients like flour and sugar become something edible and delicious.

Congratulations on deciding to follow your passion- I really admire that. So many people out there are miserable and would rather complain than actually make changes. There will be people who don't believe in you, and who tell you that you should have stayed with your "safe" job- but don't you dare listen. Negative people are dreamkillers. Follow your heart.

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ERIN4771 12/8/2010 9:54AM

    how exciting is this!!! i am pumped for you chica, what a great adventure you are about to embark on!!!

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SLFRISBEY 12/8/2010 9:39AM

    This is so exciting! You're awesome for taking the leap to follow your dreams! I can't wait to hear about your new comapny when it lifts off :)

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ZANNACHAN 12/8/2010 9:38AM

    Fingers crossed for your new venture! That sounds exciting.

Funny how people can be so different--I hate cooking. I don't like baking. I just don't have the patience for either. Maybe I'd feel different about it if I cooked more for other people but I mostly cook for myself and it rarely seems worth the effort. emoticon

But that doesn't mean I don't like to eat food! Sigh. I'm with you on not being willing to go my entire life never having a slice of cake or whatever. I aim for balance and moderation--to heat healthy foods and make healthy choices most of the time and knowing how to splurge a little without going overboard for the rest. I use the 80/20 rule as a guideline.

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HEAVENSFAE 12/8/2010 9:33AM

    You have already come so far, there is not a doubt in my mind that you will surely find a way to balance your dream work and your new found health! There's no stopping you now . . . go for it!

How awesome that you have decided to follow your passion with the love of your life!! Together, the two of you will conquer all that is daunting and intimidating.

I wish you both the best on this momentous & earnest endeavor!

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NITELITE72 12/8/2010 9:32AM

    Wonderful blog! I am excited for you and this new venture you will soon be embarking on! Best of luck to you!!

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TYCA41458 12/8/2010 8:38AM

    Awesome Blog Ash! I knowt a lot of my fondest memories are centered around food. When my grandma died, the one thing I asked for was her recipe box. Good memories! Good luck to you and your new business!

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PAMINHALF 12/8/2010 8:35AM

  emoticon wishing you a lot of good luck on your new adventure.

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LISA1101 12/8/2010 8:35AM

    Sounds so good! I want to eat there too!! emoticon

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MUTANTQUEEN 12/8/2010 8:23AM

    I admire people who can work with food, and still keep a trim figure. I have a friend who makes chocolate for a living, and she says she doesn't have the temptation to eat it because she's around it all day. I guess that would be true of anything.

I enjoyed your blog. Great success to you in your new venture!

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FUZZY1TOO 12/8/2010 8:08AM

    emoticonWishing you the best of luck in your new venture. If anyone can do it, you can! Face it, you sacrificed a mini-cupcake for your own health! That is dedication to your goals. I applaud you for everything that you are doing in your life.
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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/8/2010 8:06AM

    I also work for a local/organic food company, and good food is never far! I love that you are taking life by the reins and pursuing your dream! I will be looking forward to seeing your dreams unfold!!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 12/8/2010 8:05AM

    I live in Boston but it is going to be a company that will ship food so I will let you know when the website goes up! Thanks for the support!

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LJOHN44 12/8/2010 8:01AM

    I grew up in food too! My favorite job to this day is working for a restaurant/catering company in college. I love to cook, I can't bake for s---. I totally agree: cooking is an art, baking a science. I wish you the best in your business venture!

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MRS.CARLY 12/8/2010 7:57AM

    Where do you live?? I want to eat/shop at your new business!

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