HEALTHYASHLEY's SparkPeople Blog HEALTHYASHLEY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Progress Report Since my last blog life pretty much exploded. Tons and tons and tons of stress. More than I could have imagined. Despite all this I pushed and pushed until I was able to start my plan with my doctor on May 14th. To date I have lost 20.4 lbs. I feel fantastic. I can really see a difference in my body. One of the most interesting parts of this process is how your body chooses to change differently each and every time. You wish it would leave all your most hated areas but it doesn't. For me anyw... Tue, 31 May 2016 15:04:58 EST The false positivity promise The greatest myth I am told over and over again is "just to be positive'. You see, as a pragmatist and I confronted time and time again with the notion that if I simply am positive things will go my way. The cold hard truth? Just being positive is inaction. Opportunities exist for those who show up to take them. Not those who stay positive and wait. Now some of you are reading this and nodding. You know what I am saying is true. That those times you dug deep to the core and pushed for what yo... Tue, 26 Apr 2016 19:57:15 EST What have I been up to since the big loss (wedding pic) In a tale as old as time I regained all of the weight I lost with SP 5 years ago. I wish I had some amazing reason but a death, emotional eating and a sense of a loss of control led to apathy and denial. It is sadly not a unique story. Along the way there were many broken promises. Starts and stops. Self professing blogs of starting anew. Each with a sense of foreboding as I doubted my ability to follow through. <BR> <BR> April 2 I married my fiancé of 7 years! He has been on this roller c... Mon, 25 Apr 2016 18:31:03 EST Third time's a charm The first few weeks of a mammoth undertaking (no pun intended) usually involves a significant amount of self reflection. A comment on my post yesterday spurred the realization that this will be the third time in my life I have attempted a large scale weight loss. The first time I lost 60 lbs. The second time 99 lbs. Quite literally I was half a pound from a hundred down and I spiraled. (Another sparkfriend kindly had warned me this could happen and she was right) <BR> <BR> My fiancé has been... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 20:51:39 EST How did I get back here? Haven't we all asked ourselves this question? <BR> <BR> It doesn't just apply to health. <BR> <BR> Bad relationships, bad job situations, bad mental states it goes on and on. <BR> <BR> Three years ago I lost almost 100 lbs. I felt good, I looked good. I felt happy. Happy because I took charge and accomplished something. I was no longer in pain daily. Then I had a death in the family and I slowly lost my way. It wasn't a conscious decision. It happens slowly. One less day at the gym here.... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 15:04:48 EST Big promotion at work! My broker asked me to come in for a meeting today. I was hoping it wasn't something bad as she rarely asked me to come in for unidentified meetings. Well it was anything but bad. I was asked to a member of the governing board of our office. It is by invitation only and there are only 12. It is the elite of the company and there are a lot of perks and privileges that come with it. The best being that I can to spend a lot of time with the best of what I do. It is rare for such a new agent to be... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 19:58:53 EST Dyed my hair red today (pic) I needed a change and as a natural blonde my options were platinum or go darker. Thank goodness for my amazing hairdresser who gave me the perfect color ! It feels like this me was always hiding in there. New hair, new life, new start. Rather symbolic. Go out and do something for yourself that makes you feel good. Do it only for you because you are what matters. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 18:25:23 EST Start Stop Start Stop....Start This is the last 2 years of my life with SP after the lose of 94 lbs and regain of close 60. The great baby convo coincided with my first week back to tracking. I have decided to let go and move on from the pain of the regain. Enough punishing myself. Enough hiding from it. Enough coming on SP and making false promises and then disappearing in shame. Start stop start stop. I am determined to just track honestly and stop punishing myself. I am not perfect but I am honest. So that is what I wil... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 20:31:15 EST Honey, I want to have a baby That sentence came out during a rather intense discuss about something entirely different. My fiancé is not a big communicator. He tends to think of things on his own for a long time and then just blurts them out mid conversation just like this. I stopped talking. It takes quite a bit to make me stop talking. We have discussed children. It wasn't a surprise that someday we would have some. However I didn't realize his sometime was now. Apparently he feels he is has reached his age of wanting ... Mon, 19 Aug 2013 18:05:01 EST The positive side After feeling sad yesterday I thought a lot about the positive people in my life. I am lucky to have several amazing people who are true friends and are very excited to help me with anything in my life and are thrilled to help me with the wedding. I feel blessed to have such special people in my life. I have a business I love and my relationship is at the best point it has been since we met. I am very lucky. I am also on my way being healthy again. Packing my lunch daily for work. Making bett... Thu, 27 Jun 2013 09:44:15 EST Feeling sad I finally started planning our wedding. Ordered his ring. Two days ago I am pretty sure I found my dress. Started talking to vendors. So why am I sad? Because neither of my parents are being supportive. They actually acted like they had no idea I was planning a wedding. As a side note to this I have been engaged for 5 years and we knew we wanted a long engagement but it was never "not happening" as they keep saying. I don't understand why someone would want to kill a person they loves happine... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 12:00:33 EST I am happy A big part of my regain was feeling out of control. My fiancé and I came very close to splitting up. I was starting a business. I was eating to compensate for great sadness and frustration. So I made a lot of changes. We worked on our relationship and it is better than it is has been since we met. I got a mentor at a new agency and immediately sold a house and listed 2 others. I started putting my friendships back together. The eating better just followed. Once I made myself happy I wanted to... Wed, 22 May 2013 11:27:23 EST Taking charge I had an enough is enough moment last week. I feel like crap. I look like crap. I can accept it or change it. I choose to change it. SOOOOO <BR> <BR> I gave up pretty much all alcohol. Now I was never a heavy drinker. A couple of beers on Friday and Saturday but when I added the calories of my favorite craft beers up it is a lot. A lot that I can easily do without and won't miss. It was a social thing and if my social activities are making me unhappy well then a change has to be made. Nobody... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:52:49 EST Are you training to win or just showing up? I arranged with the manager at my firm to get one on one career coaching as my new business hasn't taken off the way I need or want it too. I have been feeling very down about myself and eating like it is a full time job. The manager offered to coach me and I have reached a point of desperation so I readily agreed. My AHA moment today was when she said "am I training to win or am I just showing up?". I have been just showing up and assuming results would follow. I wasn't consistently working ... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 19:41:48 EST Sometimes the universe gives you a sign I have been doing a lot of baking. All kinds of baking. Grew my own sourdough starter and baked my first loaves of bread last night. Started working on my brownie recipe for my business I dream of opening. Well to avoid eating all of said brownies I have been giving them away to a friend who took them to work. The first was a chocolate brownie with toasted hazelnuts. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. One of his employees tried to steal it they said it was so good. He told me he had to defend ... Tue, 24 Apr 2012 13:45:10 EST What is Your Victim Story? I was watching a show the other night about a young man who lost 320 with lapband surgery. He was sure when he lost the weight he would be happy, but he wasn't. Then it was the huge amount of saggy skin. He made excuse after excuse to not have the surgery but was convinced when he did that would make him happy. It didn't. Now he was heavily scarred and still felt like "a freak". So there he was 3 years later still as miserable as when he started and still turning to food for comfort but scare... Mon, 16 Apr 2012 20:51:41 EST Inspirational words My mother gave me this card for my birthday and it brought tears to my eyes because it was so poignant. I wanted to share it with all of you. <BR> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <BR> Daughter <BR> If I were your age again, I'd spend a lot less time examining what's wrong about me, and a lot more time enjoying what's right about me. <BR> <BR> Because, you know what? You're already perfect enough. <BR> <BR> So, live life on your own terms. Be who you are and love what you love. Reserve... Sun, 1 Jan 2012 20:00:40 EST Sometimes we need a slap in the face At least I do now and again. A woman in my office is having a health scare with a lump in her breast and it has thrown me for a loop. I truly believe in my heart we are what we eat and let me tell you as of late I am a pile of white flour and white sugar. I know that is why I collect weight around my middle. I know that is why I am exhausted and irritable. I know if I keep eating this way I could end up with my own health problems. Food is fuel. Would I pour whatever chemical I felt like it i... Thu, 3 Nov 2011 12:02:12 EST Things I learned about myself today I value honesty and loyalty above everything else. I found out that my bosses have been lying about his having a serious illness. It was all a lie. I am not going to go into what is really going on but I am furious and I am disgusted someone would make up a story and make people worry about them and play our sympathy. She sat in meetings and cried and it was all a lie. I can forgive people for mistakes but once I don't trust them anymore I can never get it back. It is just how I am wired. I a... Wed, 2 Nov 2011 18:32:58 EST I am excited This weekend was a good one for me. Saturday I had planned a long day of activities for me and my fiancé. We haven't had a lot of time together the last few weeks. It seems like every single weekend something is planned or we have obligations. We got up early, went to the final farmer's market which made me a bit sad. Then we went to meet my father for lunch. My relationship with my father is complicated. It was bad for a very long time. One day I decided to not be angry anymore but that is n... Sun, 30 Oct 2011 17:01:57 EST Last Farmers Market Tomorrow I will admit it. You ready? I am addicted to the Farmer's Market. There, I said it out loud. There is something about the thrill of the hunt. The wonder of finding something new. The sites, sounds, colors and textures. The promise of new, exciting and healthy meal that I just need to pluck from the piles and head home to whip up. All of it local, organic, and delicious. I live all winter dreaming of the first weekend of June when it returns and I am upset any weekend I can not go. I missed on... Fri, 28 Oct 2011 15:22:59 EST Make one small good decision Now do it over and over and over again. Every single day. Tonight was one of the most difficult events I have had in a long time. Many staff not showing up. The ones who did where difficult, lazy and combative and the rental company forgot the only piece of equipment that was crucial to the entire event. Then they were not able to get it to me in over 90 minutes and we almost couldn't get the event together in time. When I left after it started I walked out into the icy rain and saw a coffee ... Thu, 27 Oct 2011 19:10:42 EST New Opportunities So a friend of mine has purchased half a local catering and takeout restaurant. It is owned by a much older gentleman who has been hanging on consistently losing money because his food is so behind the times that nobody goes there. He is at a loss how to fix it but doesn't want to sell because he pretty much can't do anything else. It is a very sad situation to see someone in. My friend is around the same age as my mom but has been working for high end catering for a long time and is much mor... Wed, 26 Oct 2011 09:18:46 EST Last Meal This is one of those diet ideas that many people don't like to talk about yet many of us do it. This weekend was a last hurrah of sorts. Maybe it works for some to pretend they can have whatever they want in moderation but I am not one of those people. It is an all or nothing thing for me. The more relaxed I am with myself the more and more difficult this gets for me. Simple is cleaner and more precise and that is what I need to do. Back to basics. Drink my water, avoid sugar, etc. That is wh... Sun, 23 Oct 2011 16:35:12 EST Changing my goals I decided last night part of the whole "New Ashley" is realistic goal setting. I get so focused on the end that I get frustrated and overwhelmed. SOOOO, I decided to set my first ticker goal for 100 pounds lost. Truthfully that has been my major goal all along. What seemed like an impossible feat. I got so close. Just 6 pounds away and then had the regain. If I did it once I sure can do it another time and beyond. Seeing my running girl so close to that goal is remarkably motivating instead o... Fri, 21 Oct 2011 09:13:59 EST Helping Myself I have said this from the very beginning. I do not believe sustained weight loss is possible if we do not address all aspects of ourselves with brutal honesty. It is not fun and it is painful but it is, at least for me, the only way I will find the root of why I eat. Why I seek solace in food. Why I will stuff myself until I feel sick and then wait with anticipation until I can eat again. I know intellectually it is unhealthy emotionally and physically but the desire still exists. <BR> I ord... Thu, 20 Oct 2011 16:46:15 EST Taking responsibility I have reached that point. Another enough is enough moment. I am tired of all the drama and excuses. I can make them all I want but if I don't freaking knock it off I will be 300 lbs again. That is a fact. I am eating like I used to again and sitting around feeling sorry for myself. Yes, some good habits have stuck but not enough of them. I am eating too much in general. I let my business and food blogs dream slide because it didn't happen right away. As soon as I had obstacles put in my path... Wed, 19 Oct 2011 11:38:53 EST Giving myself a mulligan I realized last night I am almost at the exact same weight I was at last year. At first I was upset. Then I decided I am taking a mulligan. One year of staying in a relative weight range is not a bad thing at all. I had a lot of ups and downs starting with my grandmothers death that will be one year ago next month to the day. The year is over. The negativity is over. I am cleaning house. I am actively taking steps to change my career. It isn't just a job but the industry that makes me happy s... Wed, 12 Oct 2011 12:34:13 EST Time to let go My fiancé took me shopping this weekend. I had no clothes for work since I got rid of everything last year that didn't fit and I was wearing the same 2 outfits to work everyday. People were starting to notice lol. I am lucky I have someone so supportive in my life and he went with me and was really honest with me about what fit and what didn't. I got a little upset because things are not fitting the way I want them too and the way they were just a few months ago. I had a big aha moment. I hav... Sun, 9 Oct 2011 19:27:56 EST We all need a reminder So I guess one of the good and bad things about my job is my connections to amazing food and wine people. I tried this fantastic wine at a restaurant and called my sommelier and got his stamp of approval. I felt pretty awesome I picked out a standout wine on my own. Looks like I am learning something! He could get it for me but it was expensive. My other distributor could get it for me at a ridiculous discount and sent a case to my office. When it arrived I thought "wow, I am so grown up ord... Fri, 7 Oct 2011 12:48:01 EST Constant Anxiety and Self-doubt I haven't been sleeping well for weeks. I keep waking up in these fits of panic but have no idea why. Almost like I feel like someone is watching me. Yes, there is some life stress like having to have the clutch done in my car but that hasn't been going on for close to a month. Most nights are filled with nightmares and I don't really know why. Today I am definitely nervous that I will get a call from the mechanic that it is something way worse than the clutch but I am trying to stay positiv... Tue, 4 Oct 2011 10:30:00 EST Why regain hurts the most This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. Why we quit as soon as we make a mistake and it is so hard to get back on track. After a lapse in my vigilance and then an unexpected illness I found myself having regained 22 lbs. That hurt more than I ever could have imagined it would. It hurts more than being 345 lbs did. Why? We have short attention spans. Rarely do we remember how awful something truly was. You know how they say if women truly remembered how awful childbirth was ... Thu, 29 Sep 2011 11:24:00 EST "Ranking" my sparkfriends Last night I was looking at my sparkpage and something really bugged me. I hate the ability to "rank" my friends. It feels very childish to me. The reason I gave in and did it at all was I wanted to be able to actually find the people I interact with the most but there are certainly more than just 6! It makes me feel bad when I go to someone's page and I see my picture on their top 6 and I can't do the same. There are probably 20 or more people I would love to put on my page that I speak with... Wed, 28 Sep 2011 12:19:23 EST Made a self-discovery I keep trying to figure out why I self sabotage. I get super into healthy eating, lose weight, have great results and then slowly start to spiral back down. Why? Then I caught myself being angry that I am calorie counting and putting a lot of thought into what I eat. That I am becoming one of "those people". You see for most of my life I couldn't stand the girls I knew who obsessed over every bite and calorie. Who worried so much about their appearance they were nothing more than a pretty she... Tue, 27 Sep 2011 19:18:31 EST You are what you eat Last night I had to attend one of those industry networking events that is truly the worst part of my job. Let's feed a bunch of restaurateurs and food snobs horrible hotel food and be fake nice to each other. Fun. What was fun was that the EcoCzar and Local Forager for the Northern Atlantic Region from Whole Foods was there and he gave a talk about local and sustainable foods. This is something my company has focused on since before it was trendy but I was happy to see that it has become ver... Thu, 22 Sep 2011 09:52:17 EST Back to blogging I have been very inconsistent with my blogging mostly because I got tired of being lectured by people who knew nothing about me and stopped by, read 2 paragraphs and decided they knew about me in my life. One too many suggestions of therapy or had I tried journaling my food sent me over the edge. I made my page private for awhile which I didn't want to have to do. I wish we could block people on here but for some reason SP seems to resist this feature regardless of how many times I see peopl... Wed, 21 Sep 2011 11:17:50 EST I cried outside the gym Today was the first day I was allowed back to the gym so this morning I excitedly packed my gym bag and headed off to work. When my fiancé saw the bag in the back I saw a look of pride in his eyes that made feel like a million bucks. He loves when I workout and I feel better when I do as well both mentally and physically. He told me he was proud that I was getting right back to it as soon as I was able. <BR> After work I felt scared but I still went. The closer I got the more nervous I felt ... Tue, 20 Sep 2011 18:49:33 EST Am I happy? This is a question I have been pondering all week. What is happy? Well my definition anyway. I have been in a funk since vacation feeling like I am in a holding pattern. Waiting for surgery, waiting for when I could get back to weight loss and working out. These are the conclusions I have come too. <BR> <BR> I am in the best relationship I have ever been had in my life. He supports me, we communicate well, we fight fair and end disagreements quickly and we share a deep love that is the kind ... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 19:03:05 EST Facing low self-esteem There is never a day I wake up and feel beautiful or special. Ever. Having a hot fiancé doesn't help. Deep down having someone that attractive want me made me feel special but it did and still does make me feel inferior. That people look a me like how could he want her. I love clothes and fashion but have rarely made any effort because it is like lipstick on a pig. That I look like a fool because none of my adornment makes me look better. Nothing. No matter how positive I try to be it always ... Wed, 14 Sep 2011 21:08:08 EST Being the person I want to be and new boot pics! When I started on SP I think the biggest lesson I learned was that I needed to live the life I want to have, not live waiting to have that life when I was thin. Once I started living for myself in the moment I became a happier and more confident person. I began living the as the healthy person I wanted to be. Following through on the things I needed to do to be that person made me feel good about myself. Then I had a string of difficult times this past year that derailed me and I let them be ... Sun, 11 Sep 2011 17:20:32 EST Normal now and normal back then Yesterday I heard the pop of a can of soda in my office and immediately thought. Who would be drinking a soda? Then I realized, I am one of the only people in the office who doesn't guzzle diet soda. I don't guzzle any soda for that matter. I have had one soda in the last year and it tasted so gross I couldn't even finish it. Apparently this revelation makes me "weird" to my coworkers. They stared at me mouths agape. "You don't drink soda?" "Really?" "Why?" "OMG I would die!" It surprised me ... Fri, 2 Sep 2011 10:30:11 EST I am angry I am angry that I finally got everything going in the right direction again and was being consistent and I am having it ripped out from under me. Again. It isn't right or fair. I am angry that have to go through all this. That I have to go to work and tell them I need to take time off. I hardly ever take personal time. I have not called in sick, ever, at this job. I pride myself on my dependability. Frankly I can't afford to take any more personal time unpaid because we are trying to save mon... Sun, 28 Aug 2011 17:52:20 EST Illness and a change in priorities I haven't been feeling well most of the summer. I also despite actual serious effort have not been able to lose any substantial amount of weight. We decided to return early from vacation so I could take some tests and we received some very upsetting news on Wednesday. I am not going to go into it anymore on here than I need to have some surgery and the doctors feel that should take care of it and I should not need any further treatment if it all goes according to plan. <BR> Needless to say we... Fri, 26 Aug 2011 12:52:33 EST Today, I put myself first We leave on vacation first thing tomorrow morning. Because I am from this area vacation planning etc is always left up to me as my fiancé doesn't know where everything is and I have always let it be that way. I like to make plans and itineraries so it hasn't bothered me. What bothers me is that I will spend days before running around gathering items we need to pack, buying healthy snacks to take etc and in general stressing myself out. I never ask him to help me I just do it and them seethe w... Fri, 19 Aug 2011 08:44:14 EST Arrogance can be dangerous I was reading a blog today that really annoyed me. I am not going into to details because I truly believe everyone is entitled to their opinion whether I agree or not. However it made me think of this blog so something good came from it. Arrogance is a very dangerous animal. It is easy to come on SP and have some success and suddenly think you are a guru. I have seen people using the site for 2 weeks lose 10 pounds and are suddenly lecturing people who have lost a 100 about how 3,500 calories... Wed, 17 Aug 2011 15:04:24 EST Feeling Desperate I haven't felt desperation in awhile. It feels strange and unfamiliar. Like being in someone else's body or the uncomfortably snug jeans that fit just a few months ago. This is standard protocol for me as I attempt weight loss. <BR> Now before someone inevitably only reads into this what they want to read. I am not saying I am going to quit. Yes, I know it is a process. This is about working through feelings, all of them good and bad. <BR> I wish I could say I don't care about losing weight... Tue, 16 Aug 2011 20:27:34 EST 4th straight week of consistency I am proud to report I have kept up with all the goals I set 4 weeks ago about being consistent. I have worked out a minimum of 3 days, most weeks 4, every week. Both strength training and cardio, as well as some ab work etc at home. I have brought my lunch every single day except once that I planned not too and I didn't go crazy and tracked everything. I have been making consistently better food choices and planning ahead. I even went to 2 different supermarkets this weekend to get different... Mon, 15 Aug 2011 10:04:09 EST Something amazing happened to me today We stopped for coffee on the way to drop my fiancé off at work this afternoon and for the first time EVER I had zero urge to order anything. Baked goods are my weakness. Especially muffins and donuts. I rarely eat donuts anymore but even when I know intellectually most muffins are about 3 serving sizes and are horrible for us I still have the urge. Today there was no urge. I actually was kind of repulsed by the idea. This is HUGE for me. I don't think that I will ever be 100% over the desire ... Sun, 14 Aug 2011 19:51:07 EST Why my new name? I have never been someone who could come up with a cute screen name for anything. Never. Sometimes I read people's choice and I am amazed at their quick wit or how they identify with a part of their life so strongly. Our names say a lot about who we are. ASHLEY1977T was lacking in saying a lot about who I am. My name, birth year and future last initial. Big woop. That doesn't say a lot about me and truly it has been a pretty good metaphor for the last 33 years of my life. I never felt like I ... Thu, 11 Aug 2011 09:11:56 EST I missed me I realize this morning that as I struggled and floundered I was missing something. Me. I liked the new Ashley. The person who was taking responsibility for my health and fitness. Who was finding joy in healthy eating. As I got more out of shape again and started to regain I felt desperate and alone but forgot the most important part. I had the control all along. Instead of being scared I was reverting to the old me I had the power to put on the breaks and stop it all. I had created the new As... Wed, 10 Aug 2011 10:36:55 EST