HEALTHYASHLEY   20,870
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Baby Steps to Changing My Life

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Today I took the first scary steps and I ordered some books about how to start my business and my first goal is to start my business plan this weekend and begin researching recipes and a menu format. Yes, I am scared but SO excited. Last night I was chatting with my manicurist and she owns the company. She is 27. I asked her about when she and her boyfriend bought it and was it scary for her. Her face said it all. She said it was terrifying but as each day passes it gets better and she is still really happy she did it. I was so happy to hear that and it made me feel more confident.
There is a non-profit in Boston that helps culinary businesses get off the ground. You have to submit your business plan and if you get accepted they help you get all set up and permits etc. They even provide a kitchen to work out of in the beginning. That is going to be one of my starting points.
This past 2 weeks have been hard on me and I have been starving and feeling horrible. It is the first time in a long time I was scared I might fall off course but I have kept fighting it. After my review Friday I had the strongest desire to go buy a pint of ice cream and wallow. As soon as I thought it I pushed it out of my mind and didn't even consider it. I am proud of that. I am proud that I am living the life I want to live and making healthier choices in the face of adversity. There is no shame in maintenance. Just because I haven't lost weight the last week and a half does not mean I am failing. To get through what I have just gotten through and still be standing is amazing and each day I am going to wake up and tell myself I am valuable and I am worth it and to be strong. To keep fighting. You can do it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REDLACED 4/13/2011 11:09PM

    Very inspirational!

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REBEKAHJOHNSON 4/13/2011 5:02PM

    I am a culinary student at the Art Institute in Tucson. I have owned businesses before but because of the huge failure rate in restaurants, I want to be in the business for at least 10-15 years before I consider opening a restaurant. (My businesses were not culinary related). One day I will though. I want to hear how this goes. Maybe you can give me pointers when my time comes.

emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/13/2011 5:03:23 PM

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DBFBILLY 4/13/2011 6:30AM

    You go girl emoticon You rock and your idea sounds great..i remember reading about it in your blogs before...it sounds like you have a supportive husband and that's half the battle..can't wait to hear how your progress goes..maybe my son and I will get to come visit your restaurant someday..

YOU ROCK!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AEBROWNSON 4/12/2011 3:04PM

    You ARE worth it...hang in there!

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LANAIDAMERON2 4/12/2011 2:48AM

    Not only CAN you do it, you ARE doing it. You are taking the steps, girl. Just keep moving forward. *HUGS*

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ALICIAT32 4/11/2011 11:25PM

    keep your head up! sounds like you're doing good!

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MACLEEEEE 4/11/2011 10:53PM

    Super encouraging. Knowing you can stay the course during the worst times makes it that much easier.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher."

Keep it up :)

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KISSIMS19 4/11/2011 9:16PM

    GOOD LUCK! How exciting to start a business :)

Side note, I just came back to spark people after a 7 month weight gain (gained it all back +4)... I thought to myself "PLEASE let Ashley still be blogging" and here you are!!!! I loved your blogs so much - they were always so inspiring... I'm so glad you are still posting them and THANKS!

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MIZZZMO 4/11/2011 9:09PM

    emoticon

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JSPIN74 4/11/2011 4:00PM

    emoticon

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STORMYVAWN 4/11/2011 1:24PM

    I know you will be a success..



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LARISADK 4/11/2011 12:46PM

  Keep going! You'll get where you want to be.

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LARISADK 4/11/2011 12:46PM

  Keep going! You'll get where you want to be.

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LARISADK 4/11/2011 12:45PM

  Keep going! You'll get where you want to be.

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THEIS58 4/11/2011 6:54AM

    emoticon

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NINNY165 4/10/2011 8:50PM

    emoticon on putting some action into your plan. when we plan for something the universe seems to open up for us!!!!

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MELLYBEANS0919 4/9/2011 3:23PM

    Congrats!! You will do awesome!

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AARONSGIRL420 4/9/2011 2:08PM

    I wish you the greatest success. I know that if you apply the same strength and determination to your business as you have to your health transformation, there is nothing but greatness in your future.

This is so exciting. Yes, scary a bit, but I am happy for you.

I wish you the greatest luck.

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TERRYT55 4/9/2011 1:55PM

    Excellent! When I read your blogs I always feel inspired! I intend to visit when you open your cafe! I've always wanted to see Boston........You can do it!

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RAGIONERE 4/9/2011 1:46PM

  You are inspiration on many levels! Thank you!

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FRIEDAVP 4/9/2011 12:25PM

    I loved reading your story, it is such an inspiration. keep up the good work


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JLEMUS1 4/9/2011 9:28AM

    Your amazing!!! Stay strong spark sister!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAURIE-RN 4/9/2011 8:48AM

    Congratulations on taking the steps toward getting your business started. I am so excited for you! And, great job on pushing the ice cream thought from your mind. Baby steps are helping you on this journey. Keep up the great work!

Laurie emoticon

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ILOVEDOLPHINS73 4/9/2011 7:25AM

    Great attitude Ashley! Pursue your dreams and go all out. There's only failure if you don't try! I'll have to keep tabs and take a special trip to your place once your dream is realized! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRAWRS 4/8/2011 11:59PM

    SO PROUD OF YOU!

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ANGIEN9 4/8/2011 5:47PM

    I love reading your blogs!! You really put your heart and soul into them!! I wish you the best with your future business. emoticon You will do great!! emoticon Angie

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PHEFEY 4/8/2011 12:04PM

    You should be proud because you are absolutely amazing! Be proud, stand tall, and fight for what you want!

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BROOKDOESLIFE 4/8/2011 9:56AM

    That is so great Ashley. Congrats on taking that first step. This is very inspiring. It's inspiring see you chase your dream. I'm so happy for you!!


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GODDESSLIL80 4/8/2011 9:51AM

    You're going to be great. Take that leap.

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PATTILYNN224 4/8/2011 8:46AM

    Best wishes on your new adventure.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 4/7/2011 9:15PM

    I love your story, your determination, and your drive. You are successful and I love being your friend.

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SEESTARS 4/7/2011 8:43PM

    You are amazing and brave and very very strong. Keep at it and I'm wishing you all the best with you business.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 4/7/2011 7:00PM

    I'm behind in reading and just catching up, so I'm going to do it all in one shot here... :-)

Whew - so glad the review finally happened and that it wasn't worst case scenario! Because as you are deciding, now the ball is in YOUR court and you can do whatever the heck you want with it! I admire your strength for not caving into cravings and the desire to wallow! You are going to come out of this the victor and that is AWESOME!!!!

Sounds like you are well on your way to making the rest of your dreams come true! Nothing is holding you back so get out there and GRAB THEM! Way to go girl!!! Keep fighting!

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POLSKARENIA 4/7/2011 6:35PM

    Well done - just keep going. Maintaining your current achievements is great, exactly what I've been doing lately. Stopping to appraise and consolidate is not failure; it is the preparation for further and future success. You just keep on keeping on - you're doing great!!

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NUTS4NUTELLA 4/7/2011 5:05PM

    I adore you for your strength and positivity. It oozes out of blogs like this one.
Good luck with your business ventures. I KNOW you will succeed!
emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/7/2011 5:05:45 PM

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SMOCKON 4/7/2011 8:50AM

    I can't wait to see where you go with this business idea!

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PELESJEWEL 4/6/2011 10:41PM

    emoticon Fantastic way to take action!!

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SDJOLLY 4/6/2011 10:20PM

    That is fabulous! Congrats on taking that first big step. You're going to do fine! And maintaining is a win all in itself. I'm so proud of you!!

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ME_FIRST 4/6/2011 7:55PM

    If you are going to bust your @ss for someone, why not let it be for you. You'll never know how successful your company will be unless you try. You will succeed because you are strong, determined and smart. You can make your dream happen. Yvonne

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KERSTIN814 4/6/2011 7:44PM

    Go for it. You are young enough that even if it doesn't work, you have a life time to make something happen. I think a lot, maybe most, of successful entrepreneurs failed and tried again. It is part of the game and you learn from it.

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ZANNACHAN 4/6/2011 6:43PM

    Fantstic! You are doing such a great job of setting your goals and pursuing them. That's great.

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ECONLADY 4/6/2011 5:46PM

    Fantastic! I'm proud of you!

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HANNAH_CALM 4/6/2011 5:44PM

    Good for you, you've got the winning attitude!

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GIANTMICROBE 4/6/2011 5:34PM

    I am soooooooooo excited for you, when you open your restaurant I'm so coming to Boston. Yes yes yes emoticon

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GINA180847 4/6/2011 4:37PM

    Oh Ashley, I am so proud of you. You are taking slow but positive steps to make the life you want for yourself. I wish I had had the courage you are showing when I was younger. Yes, I know you are scared but that does not mean that you are not courageous, just the opposite. I will be waiting with baited breath to see how it all works out. Aren't you glad to be living in a city and country that is helpful to entrepreneurs. A young friend of mine started her own business but she did not listen to good advice(a bit of a haughty attitude) and it failed. I think you are more open to listening to well meaning friends and will make good decisions because of it. I just sense that about you. It is hard to hide who you really are in the written word.

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SLIMTHICK2 4/6/2011 4:19PM

    It's great that you are taking the first step to own your business, it'e even better that you have not given in to emotional eating, congratulations. All the best. emoticon

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ALOFA0509 4/6/2011 4:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon = To your Boss

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon = To the controlled diva who is making it Happen!!! Cheers 2U!

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ROCKMAN6797 4/6/2011 2:50PM

    Great attitude Ashley, you are so right, there is no shame in maintaining. I have been on the slow road with regards to losing my final ten pounds but I am most proud that I have maintained my weight, worked on getting stronger, and stayed on the healthy eating path!
Good luck on your quest to open a cafe, I wish you the very best of luck!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 4/6/2011 2:50PM

    emoticonyou got this!!!

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MOONBIRD 4/6/2011 1:18PM

    That is so great you are not turning to the ice cream to cope with your stress. I know you will be able to do anything that is important to you. I think sometimes maintaining for a week or two here and there is fine and to be expected, because sometimes things just come up, like if you get sick and can't work out, or just anything. You're doing great!

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Saag Paneer

Sunday, April 03, 2011

One of my favorite foods is Indian and I have to say I have been eating much less of it because I know that it is prepared with lots of cream and clarified butter. Last night I decided to try my hand at one of my favorite dishes, saag paneer. When I saw a recommended recipe I almost died. It called for a full cup of heavy cream and finishing the dish by covering it in butter. YUCK. I knew I could cut the calories but not sacrifice the flavor and I was successful. Here is the recipe. I thought it tasted better than the restaurant version!

Serves 4
1 Large Onion
6 Cloves Garlic
1 oz Fresh Ginger
1 lb Frozen Spinach, Thawed (I used fresh)
1 c. Plain Yogurt (I used Greek)
4 oz Skim Milk
2 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional, we like spicy food but if you don't leave them out)
3 tsp Garam Masala
1 c skim milk
6 oz Paneer, cut into cubes (you can substitute any white farmer's cheese)
Salt to Taste

Grind onion, garlic and ginger into a fine paste in the food processor or blender

In a medium saucepan combine the paste, spinach, yogurt, 4 oz skim milk, chili powder, red pepper, and garam masala. Simmer on medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Mash with a potato masher. Add the rest of the milk. Simmer until the mixture has a creamy consistency 15-20 minutes. Add the cheese and simmer a few minutes more. Season with salt.


Here is the paste you make with the garlic, onions and ginger

When you start simmering the spinach and ingredients together.

The fresh cheese, I used Colombian fresh cheese so I could use it for other things but it is traditionally made with real paneer. The substitution worked fine for me and I thought it tasted the same because they are so similar.

After it simmers for 20 minutes and then you add the rest of the milk.

When you add the cheese, so you can see the consistency.

The finished product. I was proud of myself! Now I can eat something that I love and know that it is made in a healthy way! Woot, cooking at home is the best. I hope you like it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUGZZZ 7/26/2011 1:11PM

  MDH has a good masala mixture for shahi paneer which I used for my spices.

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MUGZZZ 7/26/2011 1:11PM

  I'm of Indian origin and saag is my favourite dish. I always thought my dad was the best at making saag but I beat him with your recipe. My local Safeway does not carry paneer (which I love a lot!) so I tried ricotta cheese and it really worked. I guess I should try making my own paneer though. My grandma would be proud! Also, instead of naan I used a pita bread and got the same satisfaction. My whole meal worked out to less than 500 calories too so I didn't get ripped off at all!

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CNIANE 5/9/2011 5:11AM

    I cannot wait to try this. Thanks for posting this. If you have any other Indian recipes you've altered please send them to me. I love to make interesting foods that are not what I'm used to eating.

You rock! Keep on altering those recipes!

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SHORTSGIRL 4/15/2011 3:25PM

    Looks yummy! emoticon

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_UMAMI_ 4/13/2011 2:20PM

    NOM NOM NOM! emoticon
I am a total spinach and saag paneer fiend.
Thank you for posting this recipe!! (and *yikes* at how many calories in saag paneer I must have eaten in the past...)

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SIMPLE_TAILOR 4/13/2011 9:36AM

    Kudos for making the adjustments on a favorite!!

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NEEBREW 4/11/2011 10:07PM

    Looks GREAT! I have been wanting to try an Indian recipe and I'm going to make this my first! I'll let you know how it goes!

Renee :)

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MELLYBEANS0919 4/9/2011 3:24PM

    That looks super good!

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NUTS4NUTELLA 4/7/2011 4:27PM

    Oh my that looks delicious. I think I need to go grab a snack now, hehe.
emoticon

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SMOCKON 4/7/2011 8:53AM

    OMG! We LOVE Indian food, but I've been avoiding it because of the huge calorie counts. I'm definitely trying this recipe. THANKS!

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KRISKECK 4/6/2011 10:22AM

    MMMm I am definitely trying this one! I've been doing curries lately, there's a good crock pot veg curry in the spark recipes, and the most fattening thing in it is coconut milk...I added shrimp and I LOVE it!

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250STRONG 4/6/2011 9:38AM

    OHHHHHHHHHH sounds SO yummy!!

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FLY0NTHEWAL1 4/6/2011 9:01AM

    Dude, I have totally given this recipe to no less than three people- one of which is my Indian colleague who owns his own restaurant. All of us in the office are trying to live more healthfully and I know he's trying to avoid extra fat. I can't wait for him to make it!

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KATHLOW 4/6/2011 5:43AM

    I have never eaten this! i am trying it out soon, i'll let you know...

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BETHV10 4/5/2011 8:42PM

    The recipe sounds good. I've never eaten Indian food.

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JAZOIE 4/5/2011 8:06PM

    Oh...I'm *drooling*! I'm bookmarking this imediately.

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SASSYSUNFLOWER 4/5/2011 7:11PM

    Way to go! Your photos are great, I love seeing each step of the way. I read it to my husband and he said it looked really good.

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NEENSTER1 4/5/2011 7:02PM

    emoticon looks so good!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 4/5/2011 7:00PM

    Yeah just like the restaurant. Better actually lol

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ROCKMAN6797 4/5/2011 6:46PM

    This looks real good! Was it?

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MADEMCHE 4/5/2011 6:28PM

    Looks awesome! I haven't made paneer in ages at home, maybe I should and give your recipe a whirl! Thanks for sharing.

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PAMATX 4/5/2011 6:18PM

    Thanks! Can't wait to try this! Now I need a tikka massala lite version, please. :)

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RAVENSONG37 4/5/2011 4:54PM

    Sounds delish!

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FLY0NTHEWAL1 4/5/2011 3:46PM

    my sister loves this dish, and I am going to share this with her! thanks so much!

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REM-CYCLES 4/5/2011 8:10AM

    My wife and I both love Indian food - thank you for a well though out saga recipe !

We love chicken tikka masala

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KAMAPERRY 4/5/2011 12:52AM

    Never had indian, but that looks good!

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NANHBH 4/4/2011 10:50PM

    Oooo, you're making me hungry! Looks delicious!

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MIZZZMO 4/4/2011 10:17PM

    emoticon I love the recipe makeover and am going to steal it from you! Good job!

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ZANNACHAN 4/4/2011 7:21PM

    oh yum!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 4/4/2011 3:09PM

    Hey Ashley, that looks GREAT! i LOVE Indian food, but like you never eat it because it is so heavy in fat and calories. do you have any idea what the nutritional break down is for this? calories is my major concern. i rarely max out on my fat intake. my husband though, i have to watch his fat intake. that is probably what helps keep mine so low.

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MKT-PLAN 4/4/2011 12:14PM

    I love Indian food too! Thanks for the recipe!

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MAIA2011 4/4/2011 10:23AM

    I wish I lived in Boston so I could eat your cooking. I LOVE Indian food.

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LADYAMAR33 4/4/2011 9:38AM

    looks yummy! i love indian food, looks like a definite must try..

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HAPPYSOUL91 4/4/2011 9:27AM

    Looks like you did a great job on making your favorite food more in line with your program. Way to go!

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ONEWAYSTREET 4/4/2011 8:46AM

  Looks fantastic..

By the ingredients definitely a dietary winner.

I cheated with cabonara the other night..

One of their favourites & they didn't even notice... YUM mum...

emoticon keep inventing! You are doing brilliantly!!!

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GREENCAT1 4/4/2011 8:20AM

    Yum!!!!!!!

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COOKWITHME65 4/4/2011 6:45AM

    Thanks for the recipe!

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ALOFA0509 4/4/2011 2:07AM

   
Love Indian Food, and Saag Paneer.. YUM-- Thnx for sharing, must try!!! emoticon

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TISHA80 4/4/2011 12:34AM

    That looks delicious! I've never had Indian food, because I live in an area where it's not available. I like all different kinds of food and I like spicy things. Thanks for posting the recipe and the wonderful pictures with the directions! :)

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JESSIEJUICE 4/4/2011 12:19AM

    It looks gorgeous!! I love the step by step photos :)

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CALIKIKI 4/3/2011 11:39PM

    I love Indian food and ust try this! (and I must get a food processor nad a blander, too!)

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 4/3/2011 11:06PM

    That looks yuummmmmyyy... wish I knew the stats on it.. you know macronutrient breakdowns and calories... as for not posting to sparkpeople recipes.. I've had a couple of recipes destroyed by a couple of folks.. one ripped the recipe apart a mere 5 minutes after it was posted so they hadn't even made it! They just ripped based on what they thought it would taste - wh wh wh what??? Then I pretty much thought screw them... seriously? They have a problem... and it was an opportunity in this virtual world to work on building my thick skin and recognizing that it's not my problem.. it's theirs.. what horribly negative lives they must lead.. and then I send up a prayer for them and MOVE ON!
Thanks for sharing this YUMMY sounding recipe!
Annie

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ROSIEP7 4/3/2011 10:55PM

    Indian food is absolutely my favourite and I find I have to cook it from scratch because it has so much oil in it here in the US. Your saag paneer looks fabulous! And I'm someone who has eaten a LOT of curry in my time!

Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 10:56:27 PM

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HIPPICHICK1 4/3/2011 10:53PM

    Looks delicious! Did you use Spark Recipes recipe calculator? If so, what are the Nutrtion Facts for this dish?

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ECONLADY 4/3/2011 10:45PM

    I never knew the Indian was that fattening. Thanks for sharing your recipe! It look delicious!

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AARONSGIRL420 4/3/2011 10:09PM

    It looks absolutely divine. Sadly, my palate is not sophisticated enough for spice. I tear up from MEDIUM salsa....sigh

Way to go for making over something that you love. I do that all the time. And regarding posting recipes, I add mine and I do it for MY convenience. If someone hates on it, so what. It is still there because I will make it again and then it is much easier to track it :)


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GRACIEGAL7402 4/3/2011 9:55PM

    Thanks for the offer on the list of things to try! I will take you up on it sometime!!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 4/3/2011 9:44PM

    YUMMMYY! I still have zero self control for cheese! Someday!!! emoticon

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HEALTHYASHLEY 4/3/2011 9:39PM

    Nothing to forgive! We all have to start to learn somewhere. You could serve it with brown basmati rice or regular brown rice. Indian food is often served with a flat bread called naan that I love. You usually just kind of scoop it up with the bread as the food is traditionally eaten with your hands. If you do find a place you want to try email me and I will give you a list of suggestions. The texture of this recipe should come out like creamed spinach.

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GRACIEGAL7402 4/3/2011 9:27PM

    please forgive my lack of knowledge on Indian food - not really any places locally to try and not knowing much about the food I wouldn't go without someone who could suggest something to order -

The dish looks interesting- my DH & I love spicy food - do you eat it with something else or as is?

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

The Plan

Sunday, April 03, 2011

This weekend was one of the strangest I have had in quite some time. It was spent in constant thought. Friday night my fiancé took me to one of our favorite places in Chinatown and I just kept staring off into space blankly and I felt bad. He said he understood and it was ok and we did a lot of talking about what we want for the future and on what time line. I broke down on the ride home and sobbed uncontrollably and told him he could leave me because I am a mess and it is my fault we have financial problems and if he blamed me it was ok and I love him enough to want him to be happy even if that means it would be without me. He got upset and told me I need to stop thinking that way and that he loves me and is in this for the long haul.
Saturday we went out and ran errands and decided to just spend the day at home as we are trying to spend as little money as possible. I made a delicious dinner of homemade saag paneer that I lightened the recipe, IT WAS SO GOOD, steak for him and lamb for me. It was nice to sit by candle light and just talk. We really enjoy each others company and we have so little time together that I always savor each moment. Earlier in the day we had a big talk about my work situation and he told me he supports whatever I choose and also saw the good and bad of each decision. That didn't help me so much. However the thing he did tell me was that he sees me be afraid to stand up for myself and be tough with people and that is something I need to do. That he knows I am capable and can do anything I set my mind to and I have to stop being afraid and he is 100% correct. Fear kept me fat. Fear keeps me from working on my business plan. Fear keeps me from writing. Fear keeps me at jobs I hate because I am comfortable.
My new personal mission is stop living in fear. I will not be able to live the life I want if I keep on this path. So here it goes. I am going to write a time line for finishing my business plan this week including meeting with individuals who can help me fund said business ie groups who help small business get off the ground or offer funding to women owned startups. I am going to rewrite my resume tonight and start sending it out to new jobs and see what is out there. I am going to go to work tomorrow and tear the place up and prove them wrong. NOBODY tells me I am a failure. NO ONE. Even if I am going to leave in 2 months I am going out on a bang. I am going to do it on my terms if they don't like how I am doing it, they can fire me. I let them control this whole review process and they showed me little to no respect and that is what this is about. Respect. So, they get me on my terms from now on. Enough is enough. I really could care less if they like me. This is about doing what I want to do and what is healthy for me and my family. I am going to work as much as I want. Period. None negotiable and if they don't like it, oh well. They have no right insinuate I owe them more of myself when I get nothing in return. Not going to happen. I am done living on someone else's terms.
I lost 95 lbs, I can do anything. When I open my café, I better see sparklers coming in and showing me the love! Thank you all of you for the support over the last 2 weeks. I love you guys so much. You will never know how much your support meant to me during this, you kept me holding my head up high and that is what true friends do for each other. It is pretty amazing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HMCKINNEY30 4/20/2011 2:23PM

  Good for you!!!! :) :) emoticon

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PARISBABY 4/16/2011 11:50PM

    Wow, I could have written this post!

I also had done the "too scared to move from the comfortable prison" for so many years, and you're right, it sucks. Companies will definitely take advantage if we let them.

Looking forward to reading more about your successes, trials and tribulations along the way to realizing your dream!

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SHORTSGIRL 4/15/2011 11:58AM

    Sounds like you have the fire in your belly! Opening a business is one of the scariest things you can do, but it is also one of the most rewarding. It makes you realize that you are stronger than you think you are. emoticon

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CIVIAV 4/15/2011 8:22AM

    emoticon

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LCHADBOURNE 4/12/2011 2:43PM

    You are so amazing!!! I love this blog! I was dying to hear how you made out last week with all that was going on and I'm so glad that you decided to grab the bull by the horns and take control of your life and go after what you want and what will make you happy. :D

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MELLYBEANS0919 4/9/2011 3:25PM

    If I lived near you I would certainly come to your cafe'! I am happy you are doing something you want to do and going for it!

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PINK-PEONY 4/9/2011 9:55AM

    You are on fire! We teach others how to treat us, and you have called class to order. Reading this blog brought a tear of joy to my eye. You are so going places!

Melissa

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RONOSOF 4/9/2011 7:17AM

    I WILL BE IN YOUR CAFE! I am a Boston sparkler, keep me updated:) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHRINKINGDANA 4/6/2011 11:38AM

    You're doing so awesome, it's wonderful to witness your journey.

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KATHLOW 4/6/2011 5:46AM

    Good for you! I am literally smiling as i read this.

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ROCKMAN6797 4/5/2011 6:45PM

    Yeah!
Be strong and stick to the plan Ashley!

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FLY0NTHEWAL1 4/5/2011 4:01PM

    This sounds like a whole lot of WINNING! to me!

You go girl!

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DOGSHOETAT 4/5/2011 3:44PM

    Good for you! I'm so glad you're taking this step for yourself!

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MADEMCHE 4/5/2011 3:19PM

    I am smiling from ear to ear, I am so proud of you! You can do this. You are a strong, capable woman with a great business sense and it will be their loss. You DESERVE respect. And so demand it, shout it from the rooftops! As soon as that cafe is up and running I will be the first one in line, I promise! Love you girl. You are amazing, if they don't get that it is their problem. A knows, he knows you are amazing. And you are great together, and you will get through this, and so much so for the better!

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CARMINACG 4/5/2011 3:02PM

    Im so happy that your hunny is so supportive. Being in a career that damages your selfestem each day is just toxic. Im glad you are taking some next steps to propell you in the right direction. Im sure through your networking and contacts you might be able to uncover some help and open a few doors for your idea! Good luck hunny!

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MARATHONBOUND 4/5/2011 11:10AM

    Ashley, I am so glad you have such a supportive & loving partner..it makes all the difference on your outlook! I think your plan sounds very well thought out! You're right, you lost all that weight, you can and WILL do this! Good luck, you're in my thoughts emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/5/2011 11:10:55 AM

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GODZYFAN 4/5/2011 10:53AM

    Just believe in yourself and you can do anything! Any chance you will have some vegan offerings in your cafe, cuz you know VEGANINSALEM and I will totally be there!!! Keep it up and don't stop working towards your dreams. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NANHBH 4/4/2011 10:50PM

    Ashley,

You have the MOST AMAZING fiance! What a guy -- just the kind of man you deserve. You better send out grand opening notices when you open your cafe!
emoticon
Nancy

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KTTAYLOR21 4/4/2011 8:34PM

    When I come to Boston (during the summer only smile) I will defintely patronize your Cafe'. And you best believe we love you back!!!

You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. One of my favorite quotes says: You will never be what you want to be by remaining who you are.

You metamorphosis began 95 lbs ago, why stop there?!?!?!?

Go get'em Ash!!!!



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ZANNACHAN 4/4/2011 7:21PM

    Right on!

There is a quote from the movie Strictly Ballroom that has become one of my own personal mantras:

A life lived in fear is a life half lived.

I don't want to live a half life. So I'm not going to live a life in fear.

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2BEHEALTHYAGAIN 4/4/2011 5:36PM

    YOU GO GIRL!!! I'm so proud of you!! The decision you made was one I was hoping for--you're too good for them, and to have the support of your fiance means that NOTHING can stop you now!! I have no doubt in my mind that your business will be a success. With your determination how can it be otherwise? Fear does make us do things that we don't want/like to do, and by taking control of your fear you will be UNSTOPPABLE!!

You can bet that if there's any way possible I will travel your way and stop by to see you!!

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LITTLEONEJLC 4/4/2011 3:36PM

    Sounds like you have a good, clear mind now, and a good plan. I'm glad you didn't lose your job at the review. Always nicer to leave on your own terms. I've never been to Boston. When you open the cafe' I'll have reason to come! emoticon

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LIVIN2LOVE1 4/4/2011 3:23PM

    Awesome!! I love your attitude! You can do it!

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DEVILICI0US 4/4/2011 2:53PM

    Abso-freakin-lutely!! You and I are in a similar boat. Living in fear is a rough way to go, but it is our decision to continue to let it control us. It ends here, it ends now!!

Women are more powerful then anyone gives them credit for, and determination is just that, power!!!

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MKT-PLAN 4/4/2011 12:20PM

    You can do it! Hugs!

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DAISYTERRI 4/4/2011 11:28AM

    Love, love, love your DETERMINATION!!!

Wow, 95 lbs. Yes, you can do ANYTHING!!!!

Believe in yourself! It sounds like there are a lot of people who already do believe in you!

Good Luck and God Bless You!

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TIME4AMY 4/4/2011 9:52AM

    Go get em'!

I'll travel into Boston to visit your cafe'! That's a promise, my friend! emoticon

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CSERF09 4/4/2011 9:40AM

    Good Luck!

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MJCLARENDON 4/4/2011 9:20AM

    I can feel the strenth in your blog- keep it up! You can do this. I wish I lived closer, I'd stand in line to eat anywhere you're cooking!

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COOKWITHME65 4/4/2011 6:50AM

    Great Plan Ashley! I will be one of your first customers!!

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LANAIDAMERON2 4/4/2011 12:31AM

    Way to go, girl. You show them!! :)

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TISHA80 4/4/2011 12:23AM

    I'm so glad you have a plan, now. emoticon emoticon

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SDJOLLY 4/3/2011 11:51PM

    emoticonYou go, girl! emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 4/3/2011 10:57PM

    You GO GRRL!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TERRYT55 4/3/2011 10:43PM

    I will join REDDIRTRUNNER when she flies from CA to Boston for the opening of your cafe!

Your boyfriend sounds like a sweetheart. You are blessed to have each other!

Good luck this week......You'll be in my thoughts.

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F1AMEDIVA 4/3/2011 10:37PM

    Way to go! Get your business plan in order cuz I know you will do awesome! If I lived near the Boston area I would definitely go there. Good luck! emoticon

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PRETTYLILHEFFER 4/3/2011 10:12PM

    you are simply amazing! emoticon

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REDDIRTRUNNER 4/3/2011 9:54PM

    I will fly out to Boston from California to come to your cafe! Seriously! I believe in you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OJIBWEEQUAY 4/3/2011 9:52PM

    YES!!!!!! emoticon

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NINNY165 4/3/2011 9:48PM

    We teach people how to treat us based on our actions or lack of actions. Teach them that you deserve respect & are not the sum of their ideals. Peace be with you, Ashley. You can do anything that you put your mind to.....Just believe & the rest with action on your part will follow!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 4/3/2011 9:25PM

    I am so glad that you have the support of your honey and you can have those great talks that build a great marriage for the long haul. I understand how frustrating work can be and I hope you are able to follow your dream and be successful with it. You can do anything you set your mind to. Fear be damned yo!

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KARVY09 4/3/2011 9:08PM

    That's the spirit. I gotta say, you're like a different person when you talk about work. You don't have the same spirit in you... I feel the same way about my work. I know it's not always possible to GTFO right away, but I think you know what you need to do eventually... follow your dream!
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LMB-ESQ 4/3/2011 9:07PM

    For what it's worth, if you have a law school in your area, you can check and see if they offer free legal services to people wanting to start up new businesses. Your advice will come from students working under the supervision of law professors. I'll be working in a law clinic like that in the fall and I can't wait! I'll be helping people like you!

Good luck! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 9:07:38 PM

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DIVA14K 4/3/2011 9:00PM

    What a nice boyfriend you have. Just let me know when you open that cafe. You know I'm in Boston too. I work near Chinatown.

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IBSHAUN 4/3/2011 8:52PM

    Atta girl Ashley! Your terms - your way!

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LJOHN44 4/3/2011 8:45PM

    Good plan! I really like that man of yours, he sounds like a keeper!

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SPARKEYMAMA 4/3/2011 8:32PM

    Good for you! You go Girl we are all behind you!

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DEANAC20 4/3/2011 8:22PM

    Good for you! Hold your head high and don't let anyone push you down! You can do it. emoticon

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ALOFA0509 4/3/2011 8:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Atta Girl!!!! You got this.. emoticon

Hugs,
Alofa

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HOPE2011 4/3/2011 8:13PM

    Go you!! emoticon

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The Review

Friday, April 01, 2011

It finally happened this morning. It wasn't horrible and it wasn't good. No, I didn't get fired, they never had any intention of firing me. Pretty much they feel that the last 6 months I have been really negative and not making as much of an effort as I was when I started. They feel that pretty much they have done nothing wrong and I don't take enough initiative or have good follow through. That I am the one isolating myself because I talk too much and people don't like me. Apparently they have had numerous complaints about me talking too much. No, they did not have any documentation of said complaints. The positives where that they like me and think that I am very intelligent, capable, and have a very good grasp of the field. They pretty much feel that my insecurity and lack of confidence is the cause of all my work issues. They want me to work more every single day than the 10 hours I already work if I have to and I have to say that isn't sitting well with me. That and I don't dress professionally enough for clients. That made me furious. I make almost nothing and can't live on what I make. With how fast I am losing weight I just can not buy new professional clothing every weekend. Consignment shops in Boston are a joke. That might work if you are smaller but not still a plus size and the stuff is almost as expensive as new clothes at some of those stores.
They asked if I still wanted me job because they don't want me to leave. When the male owner left he asked me if I was coming back on Monday and I laughed and I could tell by the look on his face he was serious. I am not that type of person. I meant it when I said I did want to try to make it work but as the day has worn on I am starting to think this is not the job for me. I am exhausted and can barely get in my workouts as it is. I do not want to live to work. I want a normal job and have a personal life. They expect me to be a workaholic. They actually said those exact words. I already am, how much more can I give without it being detrimental to me and my health? I am at that point now.
I still have to talk to A about the whole thing and see what thinks. Ultimately the decision is mine and he will support me but we discuss all big decisions like this. I am going to think about this all weekend and make an ultimate decision of keep trying or move on. If I move on I am going to leave sales entirely. I just need to do some soul searching regarding what is good for me and what I want.
Dinner last night was interesting. The food was FABULOUS. I had wild boar with housemade fresh pasta and we all shared a bunch of starters like pork rillettes, charcuterie, chicken livers in pastry, lamb tartare (my favorite), and fried artichokes with aioli. I couldn't finish my dinner. We were all food people and very critical and it was a fun evening. 4 Wine pairings, a martini and too much food led to me not feeling well today. That is more than I drink in a month. What was the most interesting was that socially I realized how much goes into being successful in business. This kind of BS corporate hobnobbing. The air kissing and socializing. I surprised myself with how good I am at it and it was the first time I felt like I fit in. That I can swing with the rich and refined. I felt like I looked really really good and men were staring at me like crazy. A shocking amount. It was the first time I felt like I wasn't the fat girl anymore. I was the hot girl and it is exciting and terrifying all at once. When people stare it is disarming even when it is with approval. This is something I will have to learn to adjust to over time. I need to stop feeling like it is vain and shallow to know I am beautiful and to feel good about that. To be proud of all I have done to get here and know that I will continue to look better each and every day.
I think the ambivalence I have been feeling about my diet this week is a form of self sabotage and it has been very sneaky. It came right in and made me stop caring and I didn't even see it coming. The difference is now I am much more in tune with my day to day habits and caught onto it sooner. This whole experience with my job would in the past have been derailing but now I will not let that happen. I will continue to fight even if it means quitting my job to find balance. They want me to be strong and self confident. They have no idea what they have gotten themselves into. It is on.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOIN4GR8 4/10/2011 10:32AM

    You took these words right out of my mouth:

"I am starting to think this is not the job for me. I am exhausted and can barely get in my workouts as it is. I do not want to live to work. I want a normal job and have a personal life. They expect me to be a workaholic. They actually said those exact words. I already am, how much more can I give without it being detrimental to me and my health? I am at that point now."

I've been fighting this battle in my mind for close to 2 years now at my job. What I'd really love is time to start up my own thing right NOW, while I still have a paycheck and benefits, so that by the time I'm really ready to quit, I have my other thing already rolling. Trouble is, I'm so mentally exhausted when I get out of work that it's hard to do anything at all. So ... I continue on daily, wearing the "golden handcuffs" and trying to sock away some money so that if I ever do actually get fired (which in my case is more apt to happen because my skills have become obsolete--I'm a computer programmer--than because I'm not performing adequately), I can be happy about it knowing I now have time to focus on something that I *really* want to do.

Sounds like you're heading in the exact right direction to me! It's both scary and VERY exciting. Believe in yourself, work hard, and it'll happen--I'm sure of that. You've proven over and over what a strong, introspective person you are.

I'm watching with great interest and cheering you on!

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PATJOONWW 4/7/2011 1:40PM

    Good luck with your decision!
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SMOCKON 4/7/2011 9:09AM

    Let me just say from 35+ years of work experience, things will not get better at this place. The tension you've felt from waiting for a review will pass and the bosses will be happy for a couple of months, but then it will start all over again. I can also say from experience that most jobs will take and take and take--as many hours as you give them. You have to set your own limits.

I totally agree with the other Sparkler who said this is a good example of not knowing how to conduct a proper review.

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WOMANCHEF 4/6/2011 9:08PM

    I'm glad you didn't get the sack. It seems like you are stepping out in the right direction. Good for you!

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HANNAH_CALM 4/4/2011 2:32PM

    Being a workaholic on purpose sounds unhealthy.. Work on your business plan, Ash! And getting your resume out sounds like a good idea too. A lot of people would love to have you working for them, you just have to get the word out.

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COOKWITHME65 4/4/2011 6:43AM

    A little late in reading your blogs Ashley. It's now monday am and I'm dying to see what you have decided. 2 more of your blogs to read. Maybe they will reveal an answer!

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NANHBH 4/3/2011 6:10PM

    Ash,

I have always said that an employer cannot pay me enough to be frustrated on a daily basis. I applaud you for doing the soul-searching to decide if this job is for you. You have got so much to offer to an employer -- or perhaps to start your own business. You ROCK, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
emoticon
Nancy

PS - I just read EMMANYC's post. Great advice for all of us! Thanks, EMMANYC.

Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 6:13:57 PM

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EMMANYC 4/3/2011 2:10PM

    Ashley - It is really rough to work in a soul-sucking negative work environment. What they said to you was hurtful, and when the comments are combined with the delay in which they delivered it, it must be particularly frustrating. I think you're doing the right thing to consider your options.

That said, one thing I'd suggest that you consider doing - after you've let a little time pass so that you can get over the anger and hurt - is to do your own dispassionate assessment of your work but from several different perspectives: yours, your bosses', your coworkers, your clients, and your suppliers/business partners. Essentially, what you're going to try to do is a somewhat imaginary 360 review of your own work. It might go something like this:

- If you don't already have one, write a job description that identifies responsibilities (what you're supposed to do and deliver) and the attributes that a person who does the job well should possess. It doesn't need to be exhaustive, but maybe list 4-5 responsibilities and 4-5 attributes.

- Do a self-assessment against this job description. What did you do well this year? What are the things you need to work on? What are your strengths? What are the areas you think should be developed? Maybe consider doing an online personality assessment like Myers-Briggs or something similar, which can give you some insight into your working style.

- Take the weird, quasi-psycho feedback you got from your bosses and do two things. 1) Try to imagine how they are perceiving your work (and why). Don't judge them - just try to put yourself in their shoes. What is motivating them/pushing their buttons? 2) See if there might be any tiny grains of truth in what they said - at least in the sense that a disinterested third party watching you work and watching them might have said something similar (less exaggerated, but similar). 3) If there are any tiny grains of truth in what they said, are these items you're willing to work on (either in terms of improving their perception of your work or in terms of the actual substance? If these are big issues for them and you don't believe you can or should address these points, then you have your answer about whether you want to continue working there.

- Collect some feedback from a few coworkers, clients and suppliers/partners you trust. Prepare 3-5 questions you'd like to ask them. Tell them that you're working on enhancing your skills and performance and would appreciate their feedback. For example, your questions could be along the lines of: a) Describe the qualities/work habits of a person you like working with (i.e., question for coworkers and suppliers/partners) or of a person who provides services to you (for your clients). b) Against that standard, what do you think I do well? What do you think I can improve on? Do you have any suggestions for me in terms of how I can build on my strengths or address areas you think I should work on?

That dialogue with others is very likely to give you a lot of positive reinforcement, which will dissipate some of the bad feelings you have about the snarky bosses' review. The process also likely will give you a few ideas for areas where you can strengthen your skills, and that will help you boost your confidence and get better at what you do. Overall, the process will help give you control over your career - and that should help reduce the stress, even if you there are some critical elements that surface.

Good luck - and remember that we're here to support you.

Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 2:12:08 PM

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ERIN4771 4/3/2011 2:01PM

    ahh...the sandwich theory review...hate these..the you are so good at this, but not at this, but yet you are at this, and not this...you walk away not knowing what the h*ll just happened...mostly it's people not knowing how to conduct a review, proven by lack of documentation usually...the expectation that you will give up your life, for a job is ridiculous...there has to be a balance, and sadly a lot of bosses don't get that concept...ultimately you have to do what's right for you, and remember, your job is not who you are, just like your weight or the number on the scale isn't a definition if yourself either...dream big my friend, you are definitely capable of great things!!

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REBECCAMA 4/3/2011 11:39AM

  Well I just saw your status update and came in here to see what was going on. It sounds like this could be a mixed blessing. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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CYD1057 4/3/2011 11:35AM

  Corporate mind games. This reminds me of a review I was once given - they said I was poorest at all the things I performed best. There were points where I knew I was weak and they told me I performed these very, very well. Huh? Crazy-making at its best. Then I found out they did this to most of the employees. Same as you - no documentation of the negatives. There must be a manual out there for strategies managers use to conduct reviews to avoid giving raises. They have a plan, don't kid yourself. They know they are pushing you to the limit, particularly if you are already working impossible hours and they want more. They know they have no grounds for firing you, by the sound of it, and don't want to pay unemployment by laying you off. The comment "are you coming back on Monday?" speaks volumes. Remember: You know you have what it takes to be successful. You know how to behave and are comfortable with the cream of the crop clients. You have made LOTS of connections at this job. Let those connections help you get what you want. Be careful about saying too much to those connections as you plan your exit. Extract as much information as you need before leaving. Bide your time and go on your own terms. Keep us posted!!

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CINDERELLA_MAN 4/3/2011 2:11AM

    I agree, this doesn't sound like a good job and in the end not worth it no matter how they promise you if you just jump through their hoops you'll be successful. It sounds like you know what you gotta do, and have the confidence to do it. emoticon

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CIRANDELLA 4/2/2011 10:33PM

    It's obviously not the job you'll remember with satisfaction... Good thing you've given the whole picture an honest and thorough appraisal. Their gripes sound bogus, trite, and vague, so more than anything, I question what's passing as genuine "leadership" there. The fault lies not with you.

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EMMANYC 4/2/2011 10:23PM

    LIVIN2LOV1 - I'm curious about what you mean by saying that you "can't stand workaholics". What is a workaholic to you, and what does it matter how someone else lives his or her life? I work 55-60+ hours a week. My job is very stressful in some respects (e.g., high profile, time-pressured etc) but I love what I do. I feel fulfillled in my work, I work with great people (the people I manage and the people who manage me) who all work as hard as I do, support me, recognize my hard work and laugh with me every day no matter how rough the job is. I don't have kids, so there's no issue of my work hours affecting them. My husband's hours are shorter than mine, but he's doing a master's degree so it's a challenge to spend quality time together but we manage it. Does this lifestyle make me a workaholic? I certainly work hard and my work is a lot of who I am, but it's a positive element, not a negative one.

I also grew up in a family where my dad worked very long hours - only 9-5 at the office but then he worked at home in the evenings and on the weekends. And you know, he was an amazing, loving father who was present in our lives and set a good example, even if he did work 60 hours a week. He was also an active member in the church and took care of his mother in our home as she lived through a recurrence of her cancer. And my mom worked, too, and sometimes went to school, full time.

My sister used to work 50+ hours per week as an ICU nurse while raising a lovely daughter and while her husband ran their farm. In her spare time, she trained horses.

Are all of my family members workaholics? We all have worked (or worked and gone to school at the same time) for more than 40 hours a week. Can you "not stand us"? What have we done wrong?

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LUCKYDOGFARM 4/2/2011 9:12PM

    Ashley, this is Great, sort of.....
have you taken the time to figure out 1) how many hours you work a week 2) how that equates in to what you get paid, IF you were paid by the hour?
there are TONS of hourly jobs available. Especially for someone as motivated and experienced as you are. Even if you just went to work at McDonalds, you would make at least minimum wage and they would provide your clothes!

It is so wonderful that you are finally able to appreciate your beauty and that others are seeing it too. if you don't treat yourself as a beauty, it makes it hard for anyone else too!



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LIVIN2LOVE1 4/2/2011 10:44AM

    Follow your heart.

Personally, I can't stand workaholics. I'm a mother of 3 and a wife and I know that they are the constant source of goodness in my life... not my job. I see so many people put their job first but claim to spend "quality" time with their families. Folks, it's just not possible. Your kids need you. I know you don't have children but it seems you are so unhappy in your job, yet so happy with your life. Your job seems to be holding you back. I wish you the best in whatever decision you make.

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LJOHN44 4/2/2011 10:01AM

    I'm glad they finally had the stupid review! They were making me crazy and it's none of my business! Whatever you do, don't do anything rash. I completely agree with you that you don't want work to be your life. A lot of people I work with are workaholics, the company eats it up. They say they're all about work/life balance but at the end of the day they glorify the people sending out emails at 11pm on a Saturday, the workaholics don't get anything out of it at the end of the day except recognition- they don't get promoted and they don't get raises.

I think you should cut back your hours to 8-9 a day, dedicate the time you need for working out and the rest of the time formulating your plan of escape.

Be bold and dream big! We're rooting for you!

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 4/2/2011 9:48AM

    Thinking of you... my comment is this.. think about it.. all of it... give it true consideration... weight it.. measure it.. examine it from all sides.. after that, discard the parts your think are crap... and learn from the others... make your decision.. and move on...

Annie

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RIGBY31 4/2/2011 8:29AM

    ALOFA509 had an interesting comment... if you ever started your own business you'd kick their booty. Maybe not a bad idea? Necessity is the mother of invention. Dream big, girl.
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DBFBILLY 4/2/2011 6:34AM

    I'm sorry this is going on for you..you are doing the righ thing, think about it and do what is best for YOU...if they are expecting you to be a workaholic..this may not be for you..and you know what? i'm tired of hearing employers tell the employees they don't have enough self-confidence..i think it is a cop-out on facing somethings that need to be faced or changed on thier end, and they just don't want to do it, for whatever reason.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.. emoticon

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KATHLOW 4/2/2011 4:24AM

    I hope you come to a decisison that you can get behind a 100%. And yaya on looking good and hobknobbing with the best of them!



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ALOFA0509 4/2/2011 3:16AM

    Gaawwdddd. They are Fkin Pathetic!! your boss is soo jealous of you. She has to try and break your spirit, your confidence.. She pushed all the right buttons with those comments, praying that you retreat into some hole, and blame yourself for such behavior.. B.S.- she need's you to feel inferior becuz if you ever wanted to start this kind of biz you'd kick their @ss..

-- I had to step a side, and do some shadow boxing cuz your boss get's me fired up!!!LMAO---

Always cheering 4U girl emoticon

Hugs,
Alofa

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CSERF09 4/2/2011 12:41AM

    I wish you luck in your decision making this weekend. I've always felt that I needed to enjoy the work I did. I graduated from college with a BA in English Education. Yet I've never been a teacher. I realized when I did my student teaching that it wasn't the job for me. So I found other work that made me happy and I've never regreted it.

Good Luck!! emoticon

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2BEHEALTHYAGAIN 4/1/2011 11:43PM

    Whatever your decision, it must be of benefit to YOU and no one else. One thing I learned in life was to NEVER hold on to a job and take a bunch of sh** because "we need the money". If that's the only reason to stay, that's no reason. Best of luck with your decision--try not to let it ruin your weekend.
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TISHA80 4/1/2011 11:09PM

    It sounds like they are giving you mixed messages. They say they don't want you to leave, but they treat you terribly and expect you to work all the time. Is it possible they want you to quit so that you can't get unemployment? If they really do want to keep you, they have a funny way of showing it. No one should be expected to be a workaholic. I can't believe they actually told you that. Regardless of whether they really want you there or not, you should do what you feel is best for yourself. Your health and happiness are far more important than a job. Best wishes!
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SDJOLLY 4/1/2011 10:29PM

    Whatever your decision, I wish the very best for you. You deserve to be happy.

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MADEMCHE 4/1/2011 10:26PM

    I hope that you make a decision this weekend that benefits you and A. I agree with you so much that there is so much more to life than work. And people that don't recognize that are unhealthy. it took me long time to realize that, but it is true. You work crazy hard and any one asking you to do more is nuts. I am so happy for you that you have so ontop of your own habits that you can catch things that might derail you.

Just want you to be happy and somewhere that appreciates how amazing you are!

Love you!

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LILDIESEL426 4/1/2011 10:11PM

    This was an awesome post. What is great is that you didn't let the negativity break you. It's never fun to be put down, or to be criticized. In the end you just have to pick yourself up, no matter how tough that might be.

I'm from Boston originally, so I understand how finances can be pinched considering how pricey things are out there! If you need to look professional, but need a cost effective way to do it, shoot on over to Filene's Basement. Believe it or not, the close are not bad there, and it is easy to revamp your wardrobe without emptying your pockets completely.

Who knows, you may indeed be better off without this position. Sales is definitely a promising career field, but it has it's challenges as you have come to experience. Do you have any background outside of sales? It may help to explore that realm to see what is out there. Depending on what your educational background is along with the accumulated experience at your present employer, you may even be able to look into marketing/sales based positions with larger companies that take more care of their employees.

You will find your way soon enough. It's instances like this that lead you to push harder and succeed in the future. You will get there, and all of this will become an afterthought. Everyone here has your back!

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TIME4AMY 4/1/2011 9:42PM

    I hope the road you choose leads you to happiness, my friend! You deserve it...
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OJIBWEEQUAY 4/1/2011 9:31PM

    wow how obnoxious were some of those comments eh? dress attire, confidence, talk to much? You think hard and the answer will come! emoticon emoticon

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IMIN2GENES 4/1/2011 9:08PM

    Glad to hear your dinner went so well! I'm also glad to see how determined you are. I hate to say it, especially given the state of the economy, but it sounds like it's time for you to move on to something that fuels you not exhausts you.

Good luck with your soul searching this weekend. It sounds like you're in a good frame to do it. You're strong, confident and able. Don't forget it!

Chris emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/1/2011 9:09:15 PM

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REDDIRTRUNNER 4/1/2011 9:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You simply deserve SOOOOOOO much better!! You have been on this journey of discovery and now that you are diving in deeper, your dreams are coming forward because they CAN. You can do this girl! Can't wait to hear what you decide!

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IBSHAUN 4/1/2011 8:49PM

    Wow, it does sound like you have a lot to think about this weekend. I cannot believe they would ask you, even consider asking you to work more than 10 hours a day and to become a workaholic. What is wrong with those people? Ultimately you have to decide the pros and cons and then decide what is best for you - but you already know that. My 2 cents? Put your resume together and start making plans to find an employer who appreciates your value. That doesn't mean bail out on them (not that leaving wouldn't be the right answer either... 'cause I'm not so sure I'd go back...) but it means you are better than they realize and you will find a better job.

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ECONLADY 4/1/2011 8:47PM

    Could there be jealousy about your weight loss?

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GINA180847 4/1/2011 7:49PM

    Cripes, way to make a person feel inadequate! What ever you decide will be interesting for your future. Imagine coming right out and saying you should be a workaholic. I am floored! Sounds like you are not letting it get to you too much though I don't know how you can avoid that. I once told I was "oficious" I had never heard of the word before and had to look it up in the dictionary. That job was soon in the toilet.

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PELESJEWEL 4/1/2011 7:31PM

    emoticon Eerie...I had a similar 1:1 today too and confidence came up...

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SLIMTHICK2 4/1/2011 7:28PM

    Good that you are up for the challenge, hope you think through the decision to leave or not and that you come up with the best decision that will ultimately benefit you. All the best.

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REDHEADMOM2U 4/1/2011 7:23PM

    Hugs to you!


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REDHEADMOM2U 4/1/2011 7:23PM

    Hugs to you!


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GIANTMICROBE 4/1/2011 7:19PM

    They actually said they expect you to be a workaholic. Wow. Just wow. That is BS of the highest order. And what's in it for you exactly?????

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/1/2011 7:01PM

    I'm sure you'll come to a decision that's best for you and your lifestyle. The dinner sounds amazing!

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KAMAPERRY 4/1/2011 6:39PM

    (((((((((((Ashley))))))))))) wow. You do have a big decision. You have to do what is right for you. I can't beleive they expect all of that. Glad you enjoyed the dinner!! Remember, you ARE beautiful, inside and out! emoticon

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MELISSAT123 4/1/2011 6:26PM

    Sorry that they said that to you. If you're putting in 10 hours day and making almost nothing then you're right, it's probably time for you to move on. In the end you have a great head on your shoulders and you'll make the right decision.

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AARONSGIRL420 4/1/2011 6:26PM

    I love the fighting spirit of this blog. Go get them, take them on and show them what you are made of. They will miss you when you are gone (if that is your choice) and realize what fools they are.

The male boss was right to look concerned. They have no clue who they are dealing with :)

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KERSTIN814 4/1/2011 6:25PM

    I think with your special skills you should not have a problem finding a job in some aspect of the food and entertainment industry. Maybe they do want you out but they don't want to have to pay you unemployment by firing you so they will make it so miserable you will leave on your own?? Of course if you can tough it out, you will have some way to support yourself until you find a job.

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GRACEISENUF 4/1/2011 6:24PM

    I would not want to be a workaholic either....life is way too short.

Hoping it all works out and your "stress load" is lightened real soon Ashley. I also hope you have some fun this weekend.

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RAD062010 4/1/2011 6:23PM

    Wow.... I feel for ya. They want what they want and they, of course, expect you to do it for next to nothing with a smile on your face.

Keep positive, do NOT let this derail you... (but look for another job), I am not feeling that you are appreciated where you are.

Best of Luck to you!

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RAD062010 4/1/2011 6:20PM

    Wow.... I feel for ya. They want what they want and they, of course, expect you to do it for next to nothing with a smile on your face.

Keep positive, do NOT let this derail you... (but look for another job), I am not feeling that you are appreciated where you are.

Best of Luck to you!

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Do you ever feel like a fake?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I had forgotten about a business dinner I have tomorrow night with a vendor we use. I personally don't use them but the rest of the company does so it will be awkward none the less for me. They had not told us the restaurant until this afternoon and it is this shishi French place on Beacon Hill. I like that kind of food but rarely will spend the money on it personally so it will be a nice experience but I am feeling insecure about the whole night. Yes, I will go over calories and no this is not the kind of establishment that posts nutritional information lol. I am at peace with that. Life can not be lived in a bubble and sometimes we will go over calories.
What makes me insecure is sometimes I feel like I am playing grown up. Do you ever look around you and feel like "whose life is this?". I have friends who tell me they look at their own kids and feel that way sometimes. Like who are these little people? There are times I sit in a business meeting and want to laugh because this is the life I always wanted and you know what? I kinda hate it. I wanted to wake up and wear a suit and go off to my big important job. I thought that made me somebody. That made me important.
I had a job tomorrow for 450 people and it was all my responsibility. Do you know how scary that is and I am good at this. You can make a mistake and screw up something for 450 people. It is intimidating. Luckily I have a good team and we all play to our own strengths and watch each others backs. The client called today and CANCELLED THE PARTY. Yup, you know how you just said "Are you f-ing kidding me?" That was the reaction every single person at work had. They actually postponed it to next week but when you get the adrenaline going that gets you through an event like this it is hard to come down before you planned for it to happen. I have felt really off all day.
There are times on SP I feel like a fake too. I am who I say I am but when people email me and tell me I inspire them I just don't feel inspirational. I don't feel like I have done anything special and I will admit I am angry with myself for needing to lose this kind of weight. How could I get so huge? I have lost almost 95 lbs and I am still fat???? How does that HAPPEN?! People look at me and I am still considered huge and I am on the verge of losing 100 lbs. I guess when I hit the hundred lost mark I will feel like I have accomplished something because that has been a big goal of mine since day one. I will have 60 more to lose.
Please don't see this as a cry for attention or that I want to have my ego stroked. It isn't about that at all. It is about getting out what I am feeling and it isn't always positive. Acknowledging all feelings, good and bad, it a big part of this. It is how we work through them that matters. I have improved my self esteem tremendously since I started and that is not in any way fake. I do like myself now. I do believe I can do anything now. When I started I was faking it but now, it is a habit and it feels good.
Wish me luck tomorrow night because I have to get all dolled up and use my big girl manners. I actually am rather refined but I get a kick out of not being that way all the time. It bores me. Truthfully Kate Middleton can be queen. Her life seems rather stuffy and pretentious compared to all the things that are possible for my future.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DBFBILLY 4/13/2011 6:50AM

    Happy Wednesay... emoticon

I have a different perspective on this one....I never feel like a fake..I've always been a down-to-earth girl, and i think i've always been an authentic person, never feeling the need be "showy"..I usually don't get along with most women for this reason..I don't get into the business of trying to outdo someone or show them up, or point out their faults...and at my job, i've realized in order to make it in management, you have to be a BIG SMOOZER and be unrealistic about expectations...Now, this is just my opinion in what i've observed in my life...

I feel like being a hard-working, authentic girl also tends to be intimidating to other people, and it's taken me a lot of time and ALOT OF HEARTACHE..to realize how people are..My mind doesn't work that way, and now that i've really, really been burned a few times, it's opened my eyes on people's behavior..

So, this past 1.5 years, i've pulled back from ALOT of people, got out of a mentally abusive releationship, and have taken the "high" road, and realizeing I"m BETTER than what's been offered to me. emoticon

I WILL NOT let myself be "played" anymore by men for Love and affection and it leads to this: emoticon

I will not continously try to be understanding with people and their broken plans/friendships..if they want me, they know where to find me emoticon

I WILL NOT let myself be intimated by people anymore...alot of people will sense your insecurities and use that against you emoticon

This past year i've learned to not settle...I told my therapist taking the "high" road is DEFINATLEY a more difficult, lonely road at times..and she said that's why a lot of people don't travel it..but i find I sleep better at night and am a happier person now..

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GOIN4GR8 4/10/2011 10:38AM

    I also feel like a fake all the time, at work. I work in software, with a bunch of "kids" who are 15-20 years younger than me, and things change so fast in software that it's not funny. They're better than I at picking up new things just by reading about them. I always feel like I have to work longer and harder just to keep up.

This feeling is so common it's known as "the impostor phenomenon".

It's been great to hear here how many of us feel the same way. Someone here said we just feel that way because we're more familiar with our own shortcomings--that's a great insight.

I always appreciate your honesty. Lets me know I'm not alone.

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ZANNACHAN 4/4/2011 7:19PM

    Yeah, I feel like a fake all the time. I don't feel like a "real" adult, an inspiring sparks member (how did I ever become a motivational member? me?). I actually posted about it once, and found out a lot of people feel that way. More, we are still inspiring, still successful--we aren't fakes, it just sometimes feels like it because we're all too aware of our own weaknesses and insecurities. But the fact that we are still going, still working, still doing stuff--that's the important thing. Not the insecurities, the fears etc.

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ERIN4771 4/3/2011 2:06PM

    dude...i turn 40 next week and am waiting for the grown up to enter the room!! i think when we are growing up, we have these expectations that things will just click into place, and "voila" we are a grown up...doesn't happen that way, truly disappointing i must say, but hey, you navigate through life the best you can, enjoy what you have and surround yourself with the ones you love...that's what's important...i have to agree, kate can be queen...that involves too mush dressing up and weird hats for my taste emoticon
keep on rockin my friend!!!

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CYD1057 4/3/2011 11:12AM

  Your ability to stick to this weight loss thing and see it through is an inspiration. Your honesty is an inspiration. I agree with Lisa2021 - your words help many of us not feel alone because you articulate our own experiences. I think we all feel fake at times. I know I am uncomfortable when I find myself feeling fake, but it seems to be a sort of survival mode when it happens. I hate to admit it, maybe there is some truth to that old saying of "Fake it 'til you make it!"

Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 11:14:33 AM

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CSERF09 4/2/2011 12:31AM

    I have been lurking on your sparkpage all week waiting to see what happens with your job. You are right you have to come to terms with all of the emotional issues that caused you to gain the weight. You also have to forgive yourself and go on to the next step. Just you putting yourself out there for everyone to read about what is happening to you and how you handle it is inspirational. You never know when something you say will spark something in one of your readers. I know I have read a few things here on SP this week that yes technically I knew, but hearing it in the particular way this person said it just clicked with me at that time.

Just keeping going day by day. I hope you had a good dinner. Now I'm off to read about your review.

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MOMMYROCKS2 4/1/2011 1:54PM

    Hope you had a great time! I've lost 110 lbs and I have to say it feels like I'm in someone else's body. For someone to say, "you're a size 10 jeans or that shirts too big just get the medium tshirt" -- I'm sorry but that is just ABSURD! I've been heavy my entire life and now I don't know what to do with this body. I keep asking DH - 'who's body is this?! but then again, I'm not giving it back!' I know what you're saying.....Keep on going - you're doing great! emoticon

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NANHBH 3/31/2011 11:31PM

    Ash, you are TOTALLY real! Nothing fake about you, my dear! Glad that your big dinner tonight went well!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 3/31/2011 6:29PM

    Yep - I definitely feel like a flake sometimes too...I think we all do, if we are honest with ourselves.

Hang in there and just know that perhaps the event getting postponed is actually the best thing that could have happened! :-)

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CHRISTINECAN 3/31/2011 6:06PM

    I am heading for 60 and it's only recently that I feel authentic! So it looks like you are not alone in this.

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RAVENSONG37 3/31/2011 5:18PM

    I get you...I feel like a fake all the time...I think we both need to learn that we are who we are and it's just perfect that way.

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MELLYBEANS0919 3/31/2011 1:40PM

    Great blog. I totally feel like a fake in terms of being an adult. I often wonder about how did I get to where I am paying rent, bills, married, working? I do not feel grown up at all and I will be 27 this year. Maybe it will never really hit me/us? *shrug* Glad I am not the only one who feels like a fake :-)

As for posting negative feelings, that is what Sparkpeople & blogs are for. I love your honesty.

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MELISSAKOREN 3/31/2011 11:33AM

    you rock.

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LISA2021 3/31/2011 9:58AM

    I love your blogs and look forward to them. The biggest reason I find you inspirational is simply because you are open with your battle and I can relate to your challenges and feel I am not alone. Good luck with dinner and enjoy your sophisticated evening! I look forward to hearing all about it tomorrow! take care. Lisa emoticon

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ABAKER34 3/31/2011 8:11AM

    You are inspirational, don't question it at all. As long as you inspire one person, that's all that matters, and the wieght loss that you have done so far definately inspires me! emoticon

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TISHA80 3/31/2011 3:48AM

    I really love to read your blog, because you are always so honest. I have also wondered how I let myself get this fat, but we can't do anything about the past. We can only change the future. You have been doing a great job! The weight you have lost is a big accomplishment and you really are an inspiration to me. Never downplay your accomplishments just because you think you shouldn't have been in that situation to begin with. You have to be a strong person to change your life like you have. Getting healthy is hard work. You can do it!

Good luck on your dinner!

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KATHLOW 3/31/2011 3:21AM

    This happens to me a lot too!

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LILLYPILLY24 3/31/2011 1:18AM

    Great blog expressing something I think most (all?) of us can identify with. I get scared sometimes at the responsibility and reality of my life. Yet ... here we are doing it, living it.

I hope the dinner exceeds expectations.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 3/31/2011 12:18AM

    Ashley, I am 50 and i still feel like i am playing at being grown up! honestly, i feel like a kid in an old-lady suit!

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SKYEPHOENIX 3/30/2011 11:42PM

    DEFINITELY feel fake...most of the time! Lol! I keep wondering when I'm going to 'grow up' and be one of the 'big girls'...and I'm almost 40! :o Good luck tomorrow and hope you enjoy your dinner. :)

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IBSHAUN 3/30/2011 11:05PM

    Enjoyed your blog tonight - and how real it is. Enjoy the dinner tomorrow and playing dress up. :)

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PELESJEWEL 3/30/2011 10:30PM

    The business equation is this:

INSPIRATION = being real = ASHLEY emoticon

Have a fantastic time at client dinner! Enjoy every minute!!

Sparkle!




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OJIBWEEQUAY 3/30/2011 8:59PM

    Enjoy dressing up!!! Wear some smoking hot pumps and the new clothes you rock now!
I know what you mean about letting yourself get to your starting weight loss point. When I was 165 I smugly thought, oh not me, I will not gain tons of weight with this pregnancy! I am fit, so I would never! Um yeah, 50 pounds later!!! Then 11 months later at 185 I said no way I will not gain! Maybe 20 and that's it...Uh yeah 35 pounds later! It's hard to be at the point realizing that you had control and you didnt take it! I learned the hard way!!
I am doing better and so are you!!! Yay to us for finally taking CONTROL!! emoticon emoticon

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1TRULYBLESSED 3/30/2011 8:54PM

    OMG, I SO know what you mean! You know how they say "fake it 'til you make it"? Well, I've been "faking" it for over 30 years now, and I STILL haven't made it! I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, and I'm going to be 50 in less than 2 months! Yes, FIFTY!! I've learned how to handle being with groups of people, but no one knows how much it still terrifies me. They don't know that it's a challenge for me to just leave the house each day, or that the house pulls me like a magnet to return even if I've just been out doing the grocery shopping. There are times when I feel like my 16-y.o. son has it more together than I do!

But, like you said, faking it gets to be a habit, and even can start to feel good. The more you face down your fears and put yourself out there, the easier it gets, and the stronger YOU get.

So, yeah, I sometimes feel like a fake. But I also know that the love I feel for others, the desire I have to do good in this world, the pride I feel for my husband and sons, the pride I feel for mySELF for having overcome my fears and persevered through all the many obstacles placed before me...all that is absolutely, 100% real!

Thanks for reminding me of that.
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WMMCCRORY 3/30/2011 8:43PM

    Good luck at the dinner! It sounds yummy and fun. I wrote a blog today and was thinking the same thing, not about my life necessarily but about my weight...how did I get here? Neither DH or I were lazy people, we were both very active when we moved in together. So what happened? It's hard to pinpoint for me..and it's something I want to reflect on and figure out so that I can prevent it from happening in the future. Was it an emotional time? Was it that we were bored? What was going on? I am not one to dwell on the past and we know what we need to do to be healthy but we still have to take necessary steps to stay healthy, and for me one of those things is figuring out what happened to prevent it from the future..
Good luck, you really are an inspiration!

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ITZGOTIME 3/30/2011 8:27PM

    I know exactly how you feel. I look at my kids and husband sometimes and I'm like "Is this really MY life?", "Is this what I'm supposed to be doing ?"

I guess all we can do is keep our heads up, eyes forward, and focus on where we want to be and hope that the rest of it all falls into place.

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1WOMANCRUSADE 3/30/2011 8:27PM

    I like you. And yes, sometimes I look around and wonder how I got here and when the hell did I become a grownup? Its pretty hilarious. Then I wonder, Does the president think this? Does he think, "Holy Crap how did I get in the White House?" I bet he does.

And I think the best role models are the ones who are surprised about it. You've inspired me because it never dawned on me to post about being shocked and disappointed in myself for gaining so much weight. That's freaking taboo to talk about, but here you've put it out there and made it inspiring and funny and touching. Wonderful stuff. Don't look but you are remarkable! Thanks for that.

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DEBBIE19580 3/30/2011 7:39PM

    emoticon to ashley, for being you!!!! emoticon

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SEESTARS 3/30/2011 7:14PM

    Have a wonderful dinner. I'm very jealous. And I also feel awkward when vendors/supplier take me out for lunch. In my case it is usually because they just don't want to eat alone, but I still feel bad when I hardly know them & don't buy from them. Just go AND have a great time.

I totally don't get grown ups. I have a hard time taking anything really serious, especially work. It cracks me up when the higher-ups at my company get all in a panic about the stupidest things, when life is so not about that. Just like your self esteem building exercise of "fake it till you make it". I've been working on being less serious and more relaxed about life. And it has worked. There are still some subjects that I freak out over. Mostly having to do with holding myself to WAY higher standards than anyone else in my life. But... hey... one more thing to work on.

And I always feel like I'm not fooling anyone when I dress up real fancy. Who's clothes are these anyway....?

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DONNALIZ67 3/30/2011 7:13PM

    Now I suddenly have that Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime" stuck in my head.

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
You may ask yourself, "Well, how did I get here?"

(If you don't know what song I'm talking about, I'm going to feel really old...)

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TRACEEAST 3/30/2011 6:54PM

    You are a silly, silly girl. Just kidding. You are one of the most real people I've "seen" on here. No fluff, just honesty. And you ARE doing a great job, and you ARE an inspiration to me. A lot of us are where you started, and we want to get where you got. Don't sell yourself short. You are awesome!
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SHRINKINGDANA 3/30/2011 6:53PM

    Just by admitting that you feel like a fake sometimes makes you an inspiration.

Good luck at the dinner!

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SLIMTHICK2 3/30/2011 6:46PM

    All the best!

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CIRANDELLA 3/30/2011 6:43PM

    Ashley, your thoughtful candor is as refreshing as it is inspiring! Let me be among the many here who've congratulated you :) I suspect many of us deeply admire you, too, for your authenticity. As the bumper sticker I see now and then suggests, "Question reality." Is it reality-show reality or something that resonates with you - Ashley? I've always been my own person, too, and do not regret any of my against-the-iconoclastic-tide decisions. I suspect you won't, either. The struggle inherent in this situation can only ultimately strengthen both you and your sense of self.

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KERSTIN814 3/30/2011 6:35PM

    You will have a riot. Don't worry about the calories, just check out the delish food.

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ROCKMAN6797 3/30/2011 6:19PM

    Another insightful blog Ashley.
Thank you for sharing and good luck tomorrow night!

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MARLARELLA 3/30/2011 6:10PM

    Good luck!!

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ALOFA0509 3/30/2011 5:54PM

    I can see how soo many find you inspiring. The weight loss of course, but you are so very REAL. Your victories and struggls are soo relateable. I'll read something from you and I'm always nodding my head, and thinking Mmmm.Hmmm you got that right sista!!! That's what makes you soo unique, you have a way of eloquently putting what many of us are thinking and feeling in these passionate blogs.. I think your just Super-Dooper!!!

emoticon emoticon Hugs,Alofa

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BLYNN710 3/30/2011 5:45PM

    I completely understand and relate with what you are saying on all fronts. I understand what you mean about feeling like a fake. The point is that you are making the changes for you and you are making progress. Where I understand the struggle with sometimes being told you are an inspiration when you still have a ways to go (okay I haven't had that problem of being told I inspire people but I digress) the point is that people see you as an inspiration because of the attitude you put forth. You keep going forward when things get tough and you have come so far. You acknowledge you still have further to travel on this journey but you stick with it despite when things get hard.

You are doing great. Keep up the good work and have fun tomorrow.

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LIVIN2LOVE1 3/30/2011 5:32PM

    "...sometimes I feel like I am playing grown up. Do you ever look around you and feel like "whose life is this?".

All the time! I feel like a kid in an adult's world with responsibilities and big important things to do.

Somedays I would much rather be a kid.

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ERIKA05 3/30/2011 5:29PM

    Ashley... You're going to hate this, but I found this post really *inspiring.* I am completely serious. I find you to be such an inspiration, but I know that you're also a person, just like me. One who sometimes stumbles. Who makes mistakes. Who gets overwhelmed and, absolutely, who sometimes feels like they're faking it. I think everyone feels this to a certain degree at different times... For me it just sneaks up, like when I'm walking out of my office towards my car and I think 'What grown-up drives this? It has 4 doors!' or when I have to give a big presentation at work and think 'Why are all these people listening to me? I'm, like, five years old!'

Occasional moments of doubt don't gobble up hours and hours of purpose and certainty. They don't have time. They're here, and then they're gone, and you're you again. The girl who worked hard to get here, to have the career with the power suit and the important clients (and hopefully even better opportunities to come), to lose almost 100 pounds and keep right on going. That's you, girl. For real.
emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/30/2011 5:38:55 PM

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SLEDBETTER41 3/30/2011 5:26PM

    Girl, I've felt like that almost every day for the past 10 years. First with my job, now with my kids. I feel like I'm living someone else's life that I'm not 100% qualified for or deserving of. But the show must go on, ya know?

Hang in there! Good luck tomorrow night! You will be fine! Sometimes, I find that a night out not watching calories actually benefits me more in the long run. If you don't splurge every once in a while, pretty soon you lose all sense of fun and enjoyment :)

HUGS!

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ANNASBF 3/30/2011 5:25PM

    What a great blog. I think you have crystallized what a lot of Spark-folks are feeling. I suppose it is easy to get stuck on "how did I get this way" and not take enough credit for what you have accomplished... the almost 100 pounds lost. I know you are not trying to get attention... it is obvious in your blog that you are intelligent and sensitive as well... and your question is valid and meaningful... and hopefully one that doesn't linger through the day in a discouraging way. I often wonder where the best motivation comes from. I know, folks look at my page and see I want to lose 30 pounds or so and therefore, I'm not the same as they are... but I'm very short and planning to be realistically smaller, not tiny like I was in my youth (106 pounds). I also wonder how I didn't "notice" how my body was changing... yes, I have a disease that contributes, but I still didn't "notice" what I should have... and yet, it doesn't help (motivate me) to chide myself. I have noticed now and I'm working to deal with it... but it is very difficult. What do I do? I look at pages like yours with amazing accomplishments and feel possibilities flowing again... that is the gift you give. I hope you can allow yourself the feeling of deserving the warm feelings you have earned so far. This weight loss/self-esteem stuff is so complex. We are bummed to be overweight, we are bummed to lose so slowly, and, on many pages, we are bummed and lost when we lose the weight because the goal has been met and it is not the be-all end-all we expected it to be... we graduate, in a way, and need to figure out "What's next"... well, I for one enjoyed your honesty, your expression of valid frustration with the cancellation of the event, your wise exploration of what it means to be grown-up yet not feeling so.... and generally felt that you communicated well with a lot of kindred spirits with this blog. I'm glad I happened upon it.

P.S. someone I know.... who has a very dangerous, responsible job... does amazing things in dangerous places... and says he still has that unreal feeling of being too young or a fraud inside... and, in those moments when he thinks about what he actually does, wonders how the heck he does what he does and why they let him... even though he is superior at what he does...

and somehow I think it must relate to believing :

If I'm the one doing this, and I am doing well at it, then anyone probably could do it because I'm not ready to take pride in it because I haven't learned to feel good about things that I do because it just me doing it and I feel this way because..... (this is the part of the narrative I'm not sure how to finish... in regards to myself I mean)

but I'm glad you broached the conversation. I'm going to give this some thought, thanks to you.

Good luck with your event and your dinner. Perhaps unnecessary self-consciousness is one of the culprits... not sure... best of luck!

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THECRAZYMANGO 3/30/2011 5:22PM

    I can definitely relate! People tell me I am inspirational but I don't feel inspirational. Maybe we don't have to be inspired by ourselves... It is still an awesome feeling to inspire others even through I don't feel like I did anything huge besides focusing on one pound at a time! emoticon

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EMMANYC 3/30/2011 5:19PM

    I remember once working on an emergency research project relating to a very large transaction. It was when I was a 2nd year lawyer. Basically they asked me to figure out, overnight, whether they could close their multi-billion dollar deal. I did the research and wrote a memo that proposed an answer. The deal closed. I felt great. And then my mentor sent me a copy of my memo with a little note in the margin saying "Isn't it wonderful to know that billion dollar decisions are being made solely on the basis of your advice?" Yikes. Um. No. Now that you put it that way. I definitely had a big "I'm a fake" moment there.

By the way, I could tell that my mentor (a very nice guy) wasn't being mean - he was just making a couple of points (1) way to go, but 2) also keep in mind that people are relying on you) in a funny way.

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RUNNER12COM 3/30/2011 5:16PM

    A very insightful blog, my friend. Often, I find myself thinking, "how did I get here and really, am I the one in charge around here?!"

It's life. If we are living it right, we should be surprised by it all the time. Sounds to me like you are doing it right!



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ECONLADY 3/30/2011 5:14PM

    I know what you mean about asking is this really my life. I do it frequently. It's good to step back once and a while.

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MUSTANGMISSY 3/30/2011 5:01PM

    That sucks about the cancellation! But you know what, you do what you do and you're great at it. And yes, regardless of anything else I do think that you're a great inspiration! Almost 100 pounds?! Hell yea, girlfriend, you are definitely inspiring!

About your "whose life is this" moment, oh yeah, I've been there. Quite often. Usually when I'm looking at my kids and realizing how big they're getting. Sometimes I feel like I'm just stepping in until the real mom comes back.

So, recap:

Ashley=INSPIRING!

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CTTAGENT 3/30/2011 4:56PM

    The best wishes for tomorrow for you.

I am glad that you have mentally come to a new point and outlook.

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CARMINACG 3/30/2011 4:48PM

    Well you cannot control what clients will do, or foresee all problems that arrise at work.

Its knowing that when you have the chance you do your job well and to the fullest extent and that is what makes you successful.

I've had the moments where I catch myself and ask "Whoa, is this me? Is this my life? And if its somewhere you want to be then yes - embrace it! If not, jump ship and get the heck off the ride!

I think you should go enjoy yourself at dinner and know that when this event does happen you will rock it as you do everything else! As for reaching the 100lb goal - it will happen. You are an inspriation to many, and to me. Keep being who you are!

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