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HEALTHYASHLEY's Recent Blog Entries

When we don't acknowledge our feelings, we eat them

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I am getting inspiration all over the place from my Sparkfriends and it is awesome. I just commented on a friends blog about how she felt inadequate so she looked to binge and even though she ate a healthy meal she still felt unsatisfied. The answer to feeling like this is something I discovered on my own. If we suppress our feelings and just keep swallowing them eventually we try to eat them away. People all cope differently. Some people yell, hit, break things, work out, most of us? We eat. When we feel marginalized, hurt, angry, scared we eat.
A big lesson I learned was standing up for myself. I was bullied my whole life. First by my father, then by kids at school, and as an adult by coworkers and friends. I hated making waves, hated confrontation. I realized that whenever I had negative feelings I sought sugar to comfort me. We all know how that turned out. Morbidly obese and looking 15 years older than I was.
When I finally began to draw boundaries and stop letting people treat me poorly I started to have less urges to binge. Don't get me wrong, I still have days where I have the desire but they are much fewer and farther between. I had written a blog back in December about how a friend blew off my birthday and how much it hard hurt me. Truthfully I wanted to yell at her and then I wanted to just avoid the confrontation all together. I waited until I was no longer angry and I told her how I felt it was thoughtless and hurtful. Her response was "well I was just trying to make everyone happy". I responded "that isn't true. You did what was good for you and you didn't consider anyone else's feelings. If you truly care about a friend and you already have plans you don't treat them the way you treated me." She was surprised and embarrassed and it made me feel so good that I had calmly stood up for myself. No tears, no anger. It is what it is and nobody is going to make me feel that way anymore and if they continue to do so I will be cutting ties with them.
This is a huge HUGE movement forward for me. I was the world's biggest people pleaser and I can tell you that chapter of my life is closed. I will still continue to be a good and loving person but with the people who deserve it. The stronger I get the less I need to binge. This all goes back to my blog about getting healthy being 100% mental. This whole journey is a mental one. Fighting our own demons. Our biggest obstacle is not the plate of cookies, but our own self destructive behavior. I am snuffing out my demons and so can you my friends. Make it happen.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 2/8/2011 2:59PM

    Soooooooooooo true, honey, you said it only too well emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 2/8/2011 9:12AM

    Thanks for writing this blog. Lessons to be learned from you. Much appreciated.

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DBFBILLY 2/5/2011 9:28AM

    This is awesome and very true..i've been dealing with this my entire life too, and starting to make changes...i had a terrble relationship with my mom, and just realized in the past year how much it has affected me....i always thought i just liked food,,well, theres more to the story, as I now know..good for you on standing up for yourself..you are such an inspiration emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 2/4/2011 5:02PM

    Well said!

I started to connect the two as I forced myself to get my food in check. Then when I did eat too much, or eat to feel better, and then I just felt the same or even worse - things began to click. I still struggle. But at least now I feel like I have some knowledge as a tool, a weapon even.

And it sounds like you do too! emoticon

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GLORIEE 2/4/2011 12:03PM

    Thanks for putting it into words!!!

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MKT-PLAN 2/4/2011 9:14AM

    Awesome blog!

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PAMINHALF 2/4/2011 8:27AM

  Good for you!

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NANHBH 2/3/2011 11:49PM

    Right on, Ashley! People pleasing does nothing to trim the waistline. Your personal growth is showing, my Dear!

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HANNAH_CALM 2/3/2011 11:21PM

    Very good blog! We need to talk with people about how we're feeling, instead of eating to feel better. I'm glad you stood up for yourself with your friend!

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BABYBEARY 2/3/2011 7:45PM

    Happy for you. Good job! Btw, you really write very well. Keep writing.

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 2/3/2011 7:11PM

    Yep... I agree... but so far I haven't found another "outlet" yet... but I'm working on it... acknowledging my feelings is the first step and I'm working on it..
Thanks for a great blog..
Annie

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 2/3/2011 6:59PM

    Congrats Ashley on making another HUGE milestone in your journey. It's fantastic that you are becoming a more confident person. You do not deserve to have people treat you in any manner other than with respect. You're such a good person, and I know this new attitude will suit you!

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MONA_MONA 2/3/2011 6:23PM

    Wonderful blog! I wish I'd have drawn boundaries years ago. It would have saved me a lot of sweat, tears and grief.

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LORIAPO 2/3/2011 6:20PM

    emoticon
You have done the very best thing by standing up for yourself & what is right.
You have found out what a difference it makes.
I am proud of you & so happy for you. You make a wonderful role models for others.
emoticon Lori

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DUSTYGIRL25 2/3/2011 5:41PM

    Way to Go!! Strong words for Strong feelings!

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VITASANA 2/3/2011 5:38PM

    I am so proud of you and so inspired by what you wrote. I can definetely see where my binges this week stem from not releasing my emotions. I also people please and have trouble being confrontational. I've gotten better since last year but I totally get what you mean and the binge pattern does start to change when you stand up for yourself. Thank you for reminding me of that.

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KARLYNCANDOIT 2/3/2011 5:29PM

    I hear you!~~ The dh and I have been getting into it cause I ain't taking no crap, you feel me?

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FLY0NTHEWAL1 2/3/2011 5:28PM

    Good for you. : )

This is a lesson many of us need to learn. I've recently decided to say F it to putting my own needs on hold. No one can reach my goals but me. I have found that the more I am able to do for myself the better I am at meeting the needs of others (within reason). Putting my needs aside for the whims of others is out. No more putting anyone ahead of me. My goals and dreams need realization too.

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GO-LOEW 2/3/2011 5:28PM

    Thanks for this blog Ashley. I am so glad that you confronted your friend about your birthday. Hopefully she will treat you better in the future, but if not, you know how to proceed. To continually allow someone to hurt us and not stand up for ourselves, is so destructive.

I have an expression about that sort of thing. I quit "biting at people's tires," meaning if people in my life are causing me distress and disappointment, I quit chasing after them like a little dog biting the tires of a car. I am polite, responsive when I hear from them, but I don't go out of my way to be hurt. It has worked out very well for me (and them too, probably.)

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FIZZYBALL 2/3/2011 5:02PM

    Wow...you hit the nail on the head again. I am still struggling daily at work to not be a doormat and assert myself in a professional and productive way. Work is my MAJOR stresser and source of overeating in the past.

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BTRTHANEVA 2/3/2011 4:58PM

    I believe Dr. Phil states that we teach or allow people how to treat us (something to that effect). So if we don't like what we're getting, it's up to us to change the situation.

Ashley, you certainly *get* that message and understand it's up to YOU to teach OTHERS how you want to be respected. Instead of pleasing everyone else, you're pleasing yourself!!! Good job on taking control of your emotions and taking charge of your life! You are awesome... totally awesome!!!

Comment edited on: 2/3/2011 4:59:11 PM

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MINENA1 2/3/2011 4:43PM

    emoticon I'm a huge people pleaser & I really need to work on that. Great blog! Thanks for sharing.

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QUILTBIRDY 2/3/2011 4:37PM

    I love the title of this blog. I'm writing it down on paper to remind myself of this!!

Thanks! emoticon

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 2/3/2011 4:37PM

    good insight

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Excuses are just lies to yourself

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Thanks to SCHENPOSSIBLE for giving me this blog idea. Her status was about not making any more excuses and it got me thinking. Excuses are nothing more than lies. Lies to ourselves, lies to our trainers, doctors, loved ones, and friends. There are no excuses for not living a healthy life. It is a do or do not and accepting responsibility for choosing the do not is one of the big lessons we all need to learn.
When I took a 2 month hiatus from the gym I had my reasons but I never blamed anyone else. I blamed me. Not in a harsh self defeating way but in a realistic way. I was stressed out and chose not to make time for it. Period. It wasn't my grandmother's fault she got sick. It wasn't the person who broke into my car at the gym. I kept telling myself it wasn't that important and it was okay but as the weeks passed I knew I was lying to myself. Working out is important. It keeps your heart healthy. It is the key to changing our bodies and to keep losing weight.
A friend texted me yesterday and asked me if I would "help her lose weight". This is an on going thing with her and honestly I don't believe her anymore because it is a lie. She has millions of excuses and it is all lies. Finally I responded to her and said "you don't really want to do this and until you do there is nothing I can say or do to help you. It has to come from inside you. When you reach that point I will help you any way I can but I am done with all of your excuses." Harsh, yes. Reality, yes. To get respect you need to give it and to continue to lie to me while at the same time asking for my time and support is not respect. I have very little time as it is and I am done giving it to people who take advantage.
Her response, "well my tailbone hurts so I can't go to the gym." Boom, another lie. It got me thinking about how easy it is to lie, to make excuses when you really don't want to get healthy. I did it for years. Excuse after excuse. The reality of the situation is nobody can do this for you. Your hubby not wanting to take a walk with you so you didn't is an excuse. Your kids want Mc D's so you got it too is an excuse. Nobody in your family likes "healthy food" or it is too expensive is an excuse. You can make this happen for you. If you CHOOSE to make it happen. Let go of the excuses and you will find solutions. Eating healthy does take more effort but what in life that is worth anything that doesn't take effort? Would you do a half a$$ job raising your kids because it was easier? Of course not. So why do you do that with your own health? YOU ARE WORTH IT. So let go of your excuses and this will get easier. Once I made that decision I immediately started to see changes again.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRAVENEWGRL 2/20/2011 11:14AM

    Great blog. Excuses are big fat lies!

Love it!

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ALLISON_H 2/11/2011 6:14PM

    This is a great blog!! Thanks!

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DELTAGAL65 2/9/2011 9:42PM

    You are so right! Excuses are just reasons people use to not tell the truth. Ironically, I found that I spend LESS money eating healthier because I am eating LESS!! Keep up the awesome work!

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UMUCGRAD 2/8/2011 11:13PM

    Oh, yeah! Good one!

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REDLACED 2/8/2011 8:03PM

    Great blog, totally agree with everything you mentioned!

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AML05030 2/7/2011 11:13PM

    HAAAATE that. "Help me!" "Sure. I will." "I just don't want to work out or eat healthy or anything, but make me skinny!" "no."

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AGENTNER 2/7/2011 10:55PM

    VERY VERY MOTIVATIONAL!!!! thank you for sharing! IT IS SOOOOO TRUE!
I have a friend that is just like yours. She recently just joined SP we will see if this place will help her get motivated or not! Thank you for the encouragement, thank you for sharing, thank you for the motivation!!!!
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MOUNTAINKATIE 2/7/2011 10:50PM

    Loved this blog! It is so true, find the strength inside yourself and make the change! ~Katie emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 2/7/2011 4:26PM

    Woo yeah...I've made plenty of excuses, it's so true.

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SHAE777 2/7/2011 4:15PM

  Love this blog entry!

I especially love this line:

"Let go of the excuses and you will find solutions".

SO true. If we're stuck in excuses I think we really can't SEE solutions. But solutions are always right there, waiting for us to stop lying to ourselves and start thinking for ourselves.

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JBMT08 2/4/2011 10:07AM

    This is an awesome blog, and something that I definitely needed to read today. Thank you!

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BABYBEARY 2/3/2011 7:54PM

    Great blog! I am guilty of this too.

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PRETTYBLKGYRL 2/3/2011 4:30PM

    emoticon

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MARATHONBOUND 2/3/2011 3:52PM

    Awesome! You can't succeed until you stop with the excuses and/or denial about your issues...you are so right! emoticon

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DIVADOLL73 2/3/2011 3:38PM

    AWESOME!!! Ashley you are such an inspiration. You are doing so awesome! Keep up the great work and please !!!! don't stop blogging it is such an inspiration to me. NO MORE EXCUSES aka LIES to ourselves. emoticon emoticon

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KIYOSHI04 2/3/2011 2:38PM

    awesome blog. so true.
im glad that you texted that to your friend... cos the reality of it is, until someone is ready, all the half hearted attempts, in my opinion... are just hurting them... mostly mentally.
great job for standing up for yourself and your time too. you deserve that.

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-KIMBERLY- 2/3/2011 12:41PM

    emoticon

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FLGIRL1234 2/3/2011 9:49AM

    So very true! It definately can take some people longer then others to "get it". Some never do and thats the sad thing. Good for you to call her out. Some people need the reality check.

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PHEFEY 2/3/2011 9:46AM

    excellently said!
i think it is very said how much we lie to ourselves. own your choices, if you can't then it isn't really the choice you should make.

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HANNAH_CALM 2/3/2011 9:35AM

    Your friend does sound unwilling to change things right now. She's looking for advice from you on how to make things easy, which would be really annoying after a while. Especially since you worked really hard for your weight loss. I'm glad you've back to the gym!

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CMPEARL 2/3/2011 9:20AM

    Fantastic blog...no more excuses!!!!

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KATHLOW 2/3/2011 4:59AM

    I'm guilty of this in a big way.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 2/3/2011 1:18AM

    Thank YOU for posting that! Excuses and Lazy are what got ME fat to begin with! I am the first to admit it. but once i found out that i REALLY wanted to be a healthy person and the only way to get there was through a lifestyle change, I took it and there was NO looking back except to say bye-bye fat girl! Hello Beautiful Healthy ME!

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PELESJEWEL 2/2/2011 11:57PM

    Your blogs are your roadmap to success. When you write its like you are calling yourself out, holding yourself accountable on life's stage. That's why you are inspiring so many! I hope when you look in the mirror, you are inspired by you!

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BIGMAMAT 2/2/2011 8:31PM

    No excuses!!! You Rock!!! emoticon

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BTRTHANEVA 2/2/2011 7:07PM

    Timing is everything. Ashley, now is your time!! Your friend is not there yet and might never be ready.

In the meantime, you're a great role model and inspiration to many people who are getting honest with themselves here at SP.

Excellent blog!



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RACINGSLUG 2/2/2011 6:46PM

    Wonderful blog as usual. Definitely mad props for being honest with that friend - because that's where it all starts - honesty with yourself. You can't fix a problem until you get real about what the problem is. It is so wonderful to see you grow as a person and become more healthy.

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GIANTMICROBE 2/2/2011 5:50PM

    So true! I don't do that anymore. If I don't want to go to the gym, I don't say to myself, "I'm tired" or "I don't have time", I just flat out admit I don't feel like it. It helps me see the truth, as in, "I DO have time, it's NOT too nasty out", etc. etc.

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NANHBH 2/2/2011 4:24PM

    Ash,

Good for you for not buying into her codependency! I am so amazed at your psychological growth with each blog you write!
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DUSTYGIRL25 2/2/2011 4:15PM

    Perfectly stated advice! Thanks once again for getting the real "truth" out there.

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 2/2/2011 4:12PM

    I love that response to the status update and now you have a blog to elborate. This is a very motivating blog. I'm tired of making excuses for myself and my life and I'm ready to see some results! Awesome blog!

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HEALTHY4ME 2/2/2011 3:06PM

    Thanks for that comment, excuses are just lies. I "stole" it and put on my page cos it sure did hit home to me.!!!!!
You are doing great these days Ashley and good for you telling your friend she has to get real to herself. perfectly right you can't help her if she doesnt want to help herself.
Continue on the track you are on and you will see great success!!! HUGS

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RIGBY31 2/2/2011 1:55PM

    I would never cheat, lie, deceive, betray, ignore, manipulate a friend. So why do I do it to myself? Thanks for bringing it home to me.

Comment edited on: 2/2/2011 6:03:22 PM

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MAIA2011 2/2/2011 1:43PM

    I definitely relate to the guilty party as well as the one waking up to my own excuses. You have provided enough tough love and inspiration for this one. If you don't extract yourself now she may turn into one of YOUR excuses to not take the best possible care of yourself.

Easy to say, infinitely more difficult to do.

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SARAHNICOLE__17 2/2/2011 1:23PM

    Look at how many people you have inspired. You are incredible! I really enjoyed reading your blog.

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DEB181 2/2/2011 12:46PM

    I have come across your SPARK page often over my 1st year here. and after reading this blog.. I felt the connection.
I seriously just redid my SPARK page to read "NO MORE EXCUSES"

you seem like the NO B.S type of girl I love to have in my inner circle.

I "friended" you. thanks for the awesome reality pep talk
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TERRYT55 2/2/2011 12:42PM

    Wise words and SO true. I've used every excuse (lie) in the book. It was only when I gave up the excuses......it takes too much time to journal my food, I'm too fat to exercise, no one will do this with me, my feet hurt, it's too hard, etc. etc. etc., that I finally began taking the weight off for good. I have a friend who has an excuse for every suggestion I make and she asks for the advice. Every time she makes an excuse I hear my old me doing the same thing.

You hit the nail on the head saying "Excuses are nothing more than lies. Lies to ourselves, lies to our trainers, doctors, loved ones, and friends."

Thank you!

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MAY1787 2/2/2011 12:31PM

    I have friends like that. Its almost as if they prefer being fat, because they make so many excuses to fight getting fit. It is frustrating, but I also know that the desire has to come from within. I can't make anyone get healthy, and I wouldn't want anyone to MAKE me either. It has to be an individual choice.

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JLJOYNT 2/2/2011 12:27PM

    Great Blog! You hit the nail on the head with this one. No more excuses!!

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NICOLIE84 2/2/2011 12:04PM

    Love it!! Thanks for your wise words!!! =D

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LILMISSRED79 2/2/2011 11:52AM

    Your blog is spot on, as usual. Reminds me of one of the quotes from the SP page.. "A man who wants to do something will find a way. A man who doesn't will find an excuse."

Here's to no more excuses!

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SPACELION 2/2/2011 11:42AM

    This blog is absolutely fantastic and SO true! Your friend sounds a lot like my sister who is desperate to lose a little bit more weight/tone up and keeps asking my advice and yet everything I give her, it just falls on deaf ears. She won't keep it up. She keeps eating crap and making excuses about why she won't exercise with me so I'm leaving her to it. You are so right, they aren't excuses, they're lies. I used to be the same after all. Thank you for this :)
xx

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AMOHAME2 2/2/2011 11:35AM

    How right you are!!

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MAMADWARF 2/2/2011 11:25AM

    True dat. Well said Ashley. ANd you were correct in your response to your friend because her reply PROVED It. lol.

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STEPHANIE0982 2/2/2011 11:24AM

    I'm tired of lying to myself - great blog!!

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TRIGRAMPS 2/2/2011 10:56AM

    BUT, I have a good reason..... emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 2/2/2011 10:53AM

    Excuses are lies. Thank you for reiterating that. I will keep that in mind! Great you stood up to your friend, it is true, only she can make things happen.


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KARVY09 2/2/2011 10:52AM

    Amen.

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ERIN4771 2/2/2011 10:42AM

    miss ashley, i couldn't have said it better myself!!! so tired of hearing people's excuses, either do it or don't but i am tired of hearing the lame *ss excuses they come up with, and then sit in judgement of all the changes i have made....oh, rant, sorry....anyway, way to stand up to your friend, and calling her out, harsh, well, that's really in the eye of the beholder isn't it? i prefer reality, and sometimes we need to get called on our sh*t, whether we like it or not..... emoticon

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RUNNINGVEE 2/2/2011 10:41AM

    Glad you stood up to your friend! Some people continuously give excuses about why they can't exercise..no time...no equipment...blah blah blah...and then I see people who work, have a family and still exercise. So it is really up to the individual and they have no one to blame but themselves. emoticon

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Getting healthy for me is 100% mental-My story

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I tried on off for 14 years to lose weight. I failed time and time again. Tried every single diet known to man other than pills and surgeries. When a doctor who had never even looked at me suggested I get bariatric surgery to my horror and the horror of his nurse, I gave up on the medical profession. After he left she looked at me and said "honey, you do not need surgery. You are young and have no health problems. You can do this and not have all the side effects and complications of a surgery like that." I still am grateful to her for looking beyond the formulas of Western medicine and caring about me as a human being.
This experience made me keep searching for the answers. I never fully in my heart believed I was destined to be fat for life. There had to be an answer, an aha moment, when I would find what clicked for me. Intellectually I did not want to accept defeat and believe I could not overcome this and be free. The addiction kept sucking me back in and with every failure I sunk deeper into depression.
The thing is about weight loss. The more you fail, the harder it is to try again. Here is why...
This is ALL a mental game. A very small percentage of people have a true medical reason they can not lose weight. It is easy to try and believe you are one of those people but the chances are very slim. Who doesn't want to believe that they aren't the reason for their own misery?
My truth is I felt so badly about myself by the time I reached 345 lbs that I had no hope left. I didn't even bother to try and lose weight because I didn't even believe I could do it anymore. That fire inside me had slowly suffocated and I buried it under excuses and lies to myself for years. Then one day there was a spark again and I knew if I let it die that I would end up like my aunt, 600 lbs, almost a shut in and I could not spend my life that way. As my fiancÚ and I built our life together and started dreaming about kids I knew that I could not sustain a healthy pregnancy at the weight I was at. One thing I haven't shared is I have a medical background and a BS in pre-med as well as grad work in nutrition. Ironic right. I knew the risks, I knew what would happen if I got pregnant. I had to make a choice. Love myself, love my fiancÚ and desire this life or let him go to live the life he wanted and I would eat myself to death. It sounds rather dramatic but I don't sugar coat things. It is the reality.
One day, I chose me and our life together and I started fighting my own negativity. I never drew a mark in the sand and said "I am on a diet". I just put the knowledge I already had into practice. I went to the gym with my mom once a week. She was already a trainer at that point so she created a program for me and I felt confident standing next to her that people wouldn't tease me. The first time I got on the stepper it sank to the floor and I couldn't make it move. I was sad but not defeated. Every single time I got on it and tried and the first time I could even get it going was a victory.
I started making better choices food wise. If you don't get the emails from "Eat this, not that" I highly suggest you check it out. I never weighed myself I just made better choices. No more heavy snacks on the couch, I had pickles. No more endless margarita's. I have maybe a glass of wine or 2 on the weekends but the days of high calorie cocktails are over. I thought about what I put in my body. The whole time battling the voice that said I couldn't do it and telling it to shut up.
I went to a doctor's appointment for something not weight related and again the doctor brought up my weight. I replied, "well I have been eating really well and exercising. I know I have lost weight but I don't know how much or even what I weigh." She looked at my chart and said "well you were 345 when you were here last year and so you have lost 35 lbs". Her face lit up and she said "that is amazing, keep it up". I was excited to learn I had lost so much and wasn't even aware of it. However, I was deeply ashamed I had gotten so high and didn't even know it.
I joined Spark a few months later when I hit a plateau and lost another 45+ lbs. I have always had all the tools and information I needed inside me. What I needed was the confidence and desire to implement them. I had to love myself enough to keep fighting like I am now. To choose me and my future over a donut or a piece of cake.
So I say to you, all of you. Whom are such a huge part of why I am able to stay sane and focused. This is mostly a mental game and you are fighting against yourself. You have to dig down deep and find it within you to keep going. You are worth it and you can do this. It is a choice, a choice to live. A choice to be free. To choose you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMYMOHIO 2/9/2011 5:44PM

    This is beautiful.

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WEDDLEACE 2/7/2011 10:30AM

    Wow. The part where you say "Love myself, love my fiancÚ and desire this life or let him go to live the life he wanted and I would eat myself to death." struck me to the core. I see myself in those lines. Choose myself, love my husband, work for the life we want and can have...or eat ourselves to death. Thanks for being brave enough to share!

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JBMT08 2/4/2011 10:12AM

    AWESOME!!!!!!! I am going to work on my "mentals" and just DO IT!!!

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GO-LOEW 2/3/2011 5:38PM

    Exactly!

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SEESTARS 2/3/2011 12:16PM

    Great blog. I agree 100%!!!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 2/2/2011 11:44PM

    I just threw my icing out the window!!! no really

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MAIA2011 2/2/2011 1:51PM

    I keep hearing about this mental thing on the blogs of my SparkHeroes who have shed so much weight and are honest, funny, and smart during the process.

What if mental is the missing piece? What then, doc?

(BS in pre-med is serious stuff. I know the S means lots of math.)

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DEB181 2/2/2011 1:20PM

    your my NEW Best SPARK friend ... mmmuuaahh !
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KATHLOW 2/2/2011 5:08AM

    hmmm. get out of my head please. yes i know what i need to do - but do i believe i can? i don't think so!

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NANHBH 2/2/2011 12:46AM

    Yeah, Ashley, for choosing to love yourself. I'm choosing me, too! Thanks for sharing your "lessons learned." They are really helping me!

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TERRYT55 2/1/2011 7:42PM

    You write the most insightful blogs. Thank-you for sharing.

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BELLALUCIA 2/1/2011 7:08PM

    Thanks for the insight Ash!

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EVRLNGFOO 2/1/2011 6:48PM

    great blog! you have said some very, very valuable things here. i think we all forget the most important person we need to be doing this for: ourselves. we need to think of our futures and our loved ones and we need to be the best person for them. there are too many "easy" answers out there that people try and just fail with. repeatedly. it's a vicious cycle and people are left feeling worse than before when a magic cure doesn't work. thanks for motivating me today!

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MAMADWARF 2/1/2011 6:37PM

    I am so proud of how far you have come. And I am so happy that we both ended here and go to be friends. What a blessing! and you are right. It all boils down to us. Nobody is doing it for us, there is no magic. Just us. ANd that's enough. Love you, ash!

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EVANSPROUDMAMA 2/1/2011 6:07PM

    emoticon and a huge emoticon on losing so much already! Thank you for your blog today I am motivated by you and reminded that I am the only one stoping me from being the real me thats stuck inside! emoticon

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HEALTHYONE2008 2/1/2011 5:39PM

    Thanks Ashley, you sure do have a way with words!
You are so motivating! So many of us are ready to give up when the going is hard, you just keep moving on and take us along with you.

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BLONDEPOODLE 2/1/2011 5:35PM

    Great job, it's wonderful that you found that initial spark on your own!

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KEVINDHARE 2/1/2011 3:28PM

    speechless. Thanks for the wonderful words and..pardon the pun...food for thought.

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HANNAH_CALM 2/1/2011 3:03PM

    This is a very moving blog, Ashley. I'm glad you've found the courage within yourself to work on your health, and write these amazing blogs. You're doing such a good job right now, keep it up!

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TBID227 2/1/2011 2:17PM

    So true! Thank you for sharing.

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PELESJEWEL 2/1/2011 2:05PM

    emoticon Couldn't agree with you more!! I experience it every week when I attend the group run. When your mind is strong, the body will follow. I'm easily 10 years older & 30-40 lbs heavier than the other gals in my run group, and there I am running the same distance and in the same amount of time. I know they wonder how I do it, it's all in the mind!

Comment edited on: 2/1/2011 2:06:48 PM

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DUSTYGIRL25 2/1/2011 2:01PM

    Beautiful Ashley,

Your doing a fantastic job and such a fantastic motivator!
Thank you for being my SparkFriend.

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 2/1/2011 1:59PM

    and a hearty AMEN!

Annie

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RIGBY31 2/1/2011 1:55PM

    Oh Ashley, you are so honest and I love that you "don't sugar coat" your words. Your truth is helping set me free.
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MEGANC1988 2/1/2011 1:44PM

    emoticon

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JENN26POINT2 2/1/2011 1:06PM

    Great blog and great story! Keep up your amazing work!

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SARAHNICOLE__17 2/1/2011 12:52PM

    This blog is absolutely raw and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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MELLYBEANS0919 2/1/2011 12:38PM

    Fantastic! Congrats! Thank you! Mental aspect certainly is key. How do I receive e-mails from Eat This Not That?



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MY2CHIX 2/1/2011 12:24PM

    Thank you for sharing your blog, it helps to know others are/have struggles the same as mine!
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JLJOYNT 2/1/2011 12:21PM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing and for reminding me that I am the only one who can make this happen.

Have a great day.

Laura

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AMOHAME2 2/1/2011 11:55AM

    Thank you for sharing your story!! It really is all about the choices we make and the way we approach weight loss and health from a MENTAL perspective! People often forget that it's not all physical, and in fact it's less a physical journey than a mental one!

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AGALAVIZ 2/1/2011 11:38AM

    LOVE IT Ashley Thank YOU!!!!!

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TIFFYBABY26 2/1/2011 11:36AM

    wow!!!! Thankyou!!!!

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LILMISSRED79 2/1/2011 11:34AM

    Such a beautiful and powerful blog, and so true. Thank you for sharing this, Ashley! It really is a mental game.. and each morning we have to wake up and decide to put ourselves first and not give up.

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LCHADBOURNE 2/1/2011 11:29AM

    You are so great! I love love love reading your blogs. You are so honest and heartfelt and inspirational. I felt the very same way before finding and feeding that spark within me. Its such a defeating and self distructive rollercoaster, but once you find it with in yourself to get healthy and find that internal motivator...look out world! I'm so glad that you found yours too.

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GRACEISENUF 2/1/2011 11:28AM

    I really needed to read your blog this morning. I am "digging deep" today as I have hit a dreaded plateau...UGH!

I WILL NOT let this get me down and I will press on. Thank you Ashley for this blog.

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JRSGIRL1995 2/1/2011 11:25AM

    Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!! I wish I could reach out and give you a big hug. I so needed to hear this today. I am in tears and at a lost for words-so THANK YOU! emoticon

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BRIAEL 2/1/2011 11:22AM

    I think many people with a great deal of weight to lose are daunted by the numbers, instead of taking it one day at a time, one meal choice, one exercise at a time.

You're absolutely right - you HAVE to make the choice to start. Small successes, week after week, will eventually lead to a goal weight. It's just easy to become sidetracked and disillusioned, to feel deprived when others around us seem to eat freely and not gain. But, I like to think my insides are better looking than theirs, and that's the truly important issue. :)

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I truly have changed my life and this is how I know

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday was one of me and my fiancÚ's rare fights. This was an all out big one and normally I would have sulked and cried and not gone to the gym 1) because that would upset him and to be spiteful (this is the old me we are talking about) 2) I would have kept at him and tried to control the fight and 3) I would have used it as an excuse not to work out. This Sunday was different and I don't know what it was specifically inside me that made the difference but I grabbed my shoes, quietly closed the door and went to the gym. I went into the bedroom with the intention of sulking and all I could think was "Ashley, why are you wasting this day? You want to get this workout in and you know it will make you feel better."
When we fight it shakes me to my core. I hate fighting and I hate saying negative things to eat other. We don't name call or things like that, we fight fair, but I still hate it. Life is too short. I had promised myself as upset as I was I would just do cardio and tackle my upper body ST another day. As I worked I could feel myself caring less about the fight and feeling better about myself. I had picked me. This is huge for me. I always worry about making him feel better and fixing it to the detriment of myself. Today, I did what was good for me. I can say I don't consciously remember the last time I did that. It feels awesome. In reality the problems would still be there when I got home and taking this time for myself wasn't going to change that so why did I never choose me before?
When I finished my cardio I looked over and the weight area was empty which NEVER happens so I thought "this is the perfect time to work out, I am not wasting this" so I went over and got in my whole planned work out. I was shocked how weak I had gotten so quickly and it was tough for me but I still managed to push through. I kept picturing myself looking better with each rep.
When I did get home a few hours later we were able to talk through the issues and resolve them. A good relationship does take work and effort. It is nice to both care enough to keep working at it and compromise. To be fair and caring with each other. It makes the taking care of me part much easier!
The moral of this story is...do what is good for you. Pick you! That is when you will have truly changed your life for the better and you will reach your goals.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTABOUTHEFACE 2/1/2011 2:42PM

    Sorry you guys had a fight but GOOD FOR YOU for putting your health and your journey first. It's definitely a sign of change for the better!

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WORKINGSTIFF 2/1/2011 2:40PM

    Working out can be the best medicine for anger or other emotions. Something major becomes not so major. New ideas pop up where they never were before.

Working out can work off a good head of steam.

Nobody likes fighting (or if they do, they got issues!). Wherever more than 1 person is involved there are bound to be conflicts-that's life. Dealing with them in a constructive manner is the important thing.

Always remember that you are not responsible for the other person's happiness. We each have to get to that on our own with one another's help.

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AGALAVIZ 2/1/2011 11:35AM

    Awesome!!! I love your positive attitude!! And I can relate to you with the fighting piece..I hate fighting and as you read my blogs I am sure you could relate. I am so proud of you..makes me want to jump outta bed and get to the gym as well. However, I have a couple of weeks to go with my foot up in the air!! boo! Once I get back on track I would love to connect more as a workout buddy!! Have a super day and great job!

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MAY1787 2/1/2011 11:15AM

    I love your blogs. They are so full of wisdom and self-reflection. Pick you!

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MUSTANGMISSY 2/1/2011 10:40AM

    That's awesome! A great way to take a breather and step back too. Sometimes when hubby and I fight I jump on the treadmill or take the dog for a walk and the time away really helps put things back into perspective. Keep it up, girl!

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JAB0929 2/1/2011 10:08AM

    Great Job! It's these changes in emotional and mental behavior that make the difference! I am proud of you! emoticon

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APMAC_D 2/1/2011 10:02AM

    This is great, it really speaks to me. You have made great positive changes. I am glad you fight fair and know when to be there for one another.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 2/1/2011 7:50AM

    I'm so happy to read this, not for your pain, but for your growth and insight. You are amazing.

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KATHLOW 2/1/2011 5:50AM

    such a big step. I can never stay mad, but i'm glad at that. Life's too short to hold grudges whan you could be working out, amirite?

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MISSSTONE 2/1/2011 1:49AM

    I love this blog, sounds like you are on to something. I to hate arguments and tend to react badly to them. I think I will give your technique a try..

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TEACHDIANN78 2/1/2011 1:45AM

    Awesome!! It's so hard to make that step especially when you're angry. You did great!

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NANHBH 1/31/2011 11:02PM

    Ash,

That is really BIG to put your needs first! Such amazing personal growth you are having! It's awesome to see it in you!

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WHOVIANPRINCESS 1/31/2011 10:33PM

    This is a really great blog. It is awesome when we really start to see the changes we are making in our lives, outside of our physical health. Emotional and mental strength is just as important!

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HANNAH_CALM 1/31/2011 10:24PM

    Good for you! Glad your day turned out okay. =)

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MAMADWARF 1/31/2011 9:57PM

    That is soo awesome, Ashley! Hooray for you. I am so proud of the two of you for picking such great partners who are both willing to work on things. It really does take 2. But first it takes you and you are doing great!

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PELESJEWEL 1/31/2011 9:04PM

    emoticon Working out promotes clearer thoughts, a sense of calm & confidence! You made the perfect choice!

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DUSTYGIRL25 1/31/2011 8:21PM

    Good for you! I do believe that putting ourselves first in that situation is a hard thing for most of us to do.
So good for you for going and exercising and making yourself feel better first, then going home and working on the problem.

Good lesson for everyone.

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BRANDI.FEY 1/31/2011 7:53PM

    Good for you!

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AMOHAME2 1/31/2011 7:35PM

    Great blog! When you're upset it's so hard to get a workout in, but sometimes it's just the thing you need to clear your head and confront whatever is upsetting you. I'm glad you managed to work through your anger and resolve things with your fiance!!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 1/31/2011 5:58PM

    Yay Ashley! that is such an accomplishment, to be able to choose yourself! keep up the GREAT work!!

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CARILOUIE 1/31/2011 5:48PM

    This is awesome. I'm glad to hear you resolved everything AND got in a workout!

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CALIKIKI 1/31/2011 5:32PM

    Amazing progress on you AND your relationship! So proud of you!

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STEPPYSUE 1/31/2011 4:40PM

    You may just be DONE!!!!!!!!!
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DIANA_IS_BACK 1/31/2011 4:33PM

    I love this blog!
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Diana

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VITASANA 1/31/2011 4:24PM

    I love that, "pick you."

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GRACEISENUF 1/31/2011 4:22PM

    Good advice. Hubs and I have been "working at it 21 year".
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I am doing this because this is the person I want to be

Friday, January 28, 2011

It really isn't much simpler that that statement. I want to be strong, focused, confident, athletic, toned and healthy. Focusing on the negative things you don't like is easy but to put into words WHY you want to lose weight and get healthy is harder. There is no magic place that will make you happy. I talk to so many people who believe weight is the only reason they are miserable, have few friends, no love life but I see many overweight people in happy love matches so that can't be true. Being happy is something inside you that you have to find. A boyfriend can't give you self esteem. Believe me, I tried that. It doesn't work. Self acceptance is when you stop looking at all the things you dislike about yourself and it spurs you to change them. To make yourself better. When I complete a work out or eat foods that are good for me. That is what makes me feel good about me. That I set a plan in motion and I executed it. Plain and simple. Do I have to be perfect? NO. But if I gave it my all and worked really hard than I can never fail. Lying to myself about why I overeat and skipped a workout. That is what chips away at self esteem. Because it is that simple. It is a lie and you know it is a lie and it makes you feel bad. You let down yourself and you let down people in your life that try and support you. I don't believe in "cheat days" because that implies that foods are intrinsically bad and something that you have to sneak around to enjoy. That idea couldn't be farther from the truth. When you work hard and take care of yourself planned indulgences are a healthy part of life. I don't want to live in a world without some chocolate goodies in it now and then.
Sitting down and taking an honest look at myself was the hardest part of this entire process. It is painful to admit sometimes ways that you behave are less than flattering. Hiding and sneaking food creates shame and embarrassment. It is one of the big reasons I was unsuccessful in the past. I was unwilling to look at the emotional root of why I had those behaviors. My mother worked 3 jobs when I was a kid and so I took care of my brother and myself. Being so young I just fed us whatever we liked without true regard for balance or nutrition. The more we were alone the more we would eat out of control. It became comfort. When she was home she cooked healthy meals and I can remember her asking my father what he fed us for dinner and he didn't even know what we ate. Most of it came out of a box or the freezer.
The person I want to be now is someone who eats and enjoys food for its value. Who doesn't eat away emotions but process them in a healthy way. A person who finds pleasure in a good workout and being active for the joy I get, not because I see it as a way to be thin. To have a body that is strong and healthy and have that be my ultimate goal rather than just a specific number or pants size. To be able to look in the mirror and not just be pleased with my aesthetics but also RESPECT the person who looks back at me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELLYBEANS0919 2/1/2011 1:05PM

    Wise words.

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MAY1787 2/1/2011 11:13AM

    "It is a lie and you know it is a lie and it makes you feel bad. You let down yourself and you let down people in your life that try and support you."

Lying to ourselves is terrible. Its enough that other people can lie to us, but lying to ourselves is like self-abuse akin to cutting or self-imposed starvation. We wouldn't want other people to do it to us, so why do we insist on doing it to ourselves?

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KATHLOW 1/31/2011 9:11AM

    hmm. *goes and takes long hard look at self now*.

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DBFBILLY 1/30/2011 8:48AM

    Loved the blog...i've been working on self-acceptance and it's hard..especially when my EX, (let me repeat..EX!!) boyfriend would play mind games and focus on your insecurites.., and deny when he did it...i was such an emotional wreck..that I had to walk way..VERY hard for me to do for many reasons, but did it and am GLAD I am a DONE GIRL emoticon emoticon emoticon

And, it's been getting me thinking about why i never pursued running/jogging...Ex took me out a few times, and, since was used to be a Marine, (which attracted me to him in the beginning) and when we got done, i was like one of the people gasping for air and felt like i was going to be sick.. emoticon and it wasn't enjoyable to me.....but since being on Spark., and going at my own pace., and doing what I WANT TO DO, it's much, much better....I jog for .25 then walk for .25...not much, but it's a start for me....Now, if ex-Marine was still in my life, I'd hear: Well, that's not really going to do anything for you" and i'd stop...so it was comments like that constantly that made me not to want to "move" anymore because i felt nothing was good enough unless you were moving like a *****ing tornado!!

Sooo, loved the blog....have a Super Sunday emoticon

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BELLALUCIA 1/29/2011 11:26PM

    Great sentiments my dear!

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 1/29/2011 7:03PM

    Amen!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 1/29/2011 5:47AM

    Ashley, i love this "A boyfriend can't give you self esteem" Nothing could be more true! that is why it is called SELF Esteem! WooHOO! You got it, hit the nail on the head. I just had that talk with a person the other day.
I am SO glad that you know YOU are Worth The Work!

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HANNAH_CALM 1/28/2011 10:06PM

    You go girl! It sounds like you are doing an excellent job re-parenting yourself. And it's very cool that you enjoy working out!

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HEALTHYONE2008 1/28/2011 8:39PM

    emoticon emoticon
Like LEANNROCKS said-rub some of that spirit off on me!

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LEANNROCKS 1/28/2011 5:19PM

    Super Blog! Hope more of this rubs off on me!

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BTRTHANEVA 1/28/2011 5:00PM

    You are wise beyond your years. Excellent blog, Ashley!

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RIGBY31 1/28/2011 4:27PM

    Self respect, achievement ... I love that feeling at the end of the day more than anything.

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NANHBH 1/28/2011 12:39PM

    Totally awesome blog, Ash! Gimme a little of that respect!

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MAIA2011 1/28/2011 12:33PM

    You have captured the zeitgeist again with this one. I like how you are honest about your reasons but you stay on task of doing this for you and your health and your own respect. Consistency and planning and reconciling the difference between what you THINK your priorities are versus what your actions SHOW your priorities really are is what you are doing.

It's a struggle but not all of us can express it the way you do!

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JENN26POINT2 1/28/2011 12:33PM

    Great blog!

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KATFOSTER11 1/28/2011 12:29PM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your blogs! You are doing fantastic and help keep me inspired.

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CYNDERROSE 1/28/2011 11:51AM

    Awesome! Thank you, I needed something like this today. emoticon

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LILMISSRED79 1/28/2011 11:50AM

    Awesome blog! Very honest and beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

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MAMADWARF 1/28/2011 11:28AM

    GREAT BLOG, Ashley. Soo true and I totally agree. Im with ya, sister!

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SUZYGREENBERG94 1/28/2011 11:27AM

    Once again, hitting the nail on the head....are you sure you're in the right industry? I'm thinking motivational speaker or therapist would be a great route for you, I read so many comments by other members who say you're writing exactly wheat they're thinking/feeling. Like, you're dialed into to our general stream of consciousness!

Have a great weekend, spark on!

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WILLIAMV3 1/28/2011 11:04AM

    I totally agree. Way to go! emoticon

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SHELLEY147 1/28/2011 10:54AM

    Great blog Ashley!

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LISSIEONE 1/28/2011 10:18AM

    Great attitude! A healthier you is a happier you! :) Spark on!

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TERRYT55 1/28/2011 10:16AM

    Another great blog, Ashley. I want to know how you manage to write so many of the words that are in my mind. You write so well!

In the past I always thought that when I lost weight all of my problems would magically be solved. Not true. I am within 30 pounds of my goal weight now and I am so much happier; because my attitude has changed my life has changed. It's the way I react to life not the other way around. I love myself now and that makes it so much easier to love everyone and everything around me.

I don't have cheat days either.........if an opportunity to eat a little something outside my plan presents itself and I want a taste I have one.

I especially love your last paragraph.........that is what this my journey is about.

Thank you for taking the time to blog.........you so often write what is in my heart and mind.

Take care and have a great weekend.

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4MEYEHEALTH 1/28/2011 10:10AM

    Awesome! Thanks!!!

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CARMINACG 1/28/2011 10:04AM

    Awesome blog! Keep making the right choices for you and your health!

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