Nothing inspires me more than seeing others who have reached their goals or well on their way to reaching their goals. I can seriously browse Instagram for hours and hours looking at people’s transformations and feeling so proud for someone I don’t even know. With that said, I have decided to start Fitness Friday and showcase awesome fitness warriors in all of their glory!
For my first introductory post for Fitness Friday I have decided to showcase the first person to ever inspire me to run. No one who first starts running wants nor enjoys running. Its something you convince yourself to do then it takes off and you become addicted! Ashley Bailey however inspired me with seeing how far she has come. I knew Ashley at her largest and to see how much ass she has kicked to get were she is today is incredible.
How old are you and please can you share your health and fitness journey to date? Im 27 soon to be 28 years old. I started my fitness journey when I was 25 at 210lbs. I started with the Beachbody program INSANITY and replacing one meal a day with shakeology. My husband was serving his 5th tour overseas with the Army at the time and I made it my goal to lose the weight and surprise him when he got home with my transformation. I succeeded and even won $1000 in the Beachbody challenge for my story. All throughout my journey I have worked out at home with Beachbody programs. I lost 84lbs in my first 16 months with the following programs: Insanity 3x, Turbofire, Les Mills Pump, Insanity Asylum and a few months of P90X. As luck would have it after reaching my goal weight and finishing Asylum I found out we were expecting our second baby! I continued to stay active working out at home and eating as healthy just like before, I gained a healthy 27lbs during my pregnancy and delivered a beautiful baby boy named Zarek on June 3rd 2013. As soon as I was released to workout again I was back at it like I never left. This time using Les Mills Combat to get back in fighting shape. It wasn’t always easy to fit in my workout with a 4 year old and newborn but I found the time either during his nap or after everyone else had gone to bed. My next challenge was to build muscle and become as strong as I could. I started the 12 week program Body Beast lifting heavy weights with little cardio, I found my love for lifting weights and built some impressive muscle if I do say so myself. I’m back to my pre pregnancy weight and clothes and feel amazing!
What made you decide to change your life? My wake up call was right after my daughters 2nd Birthday. I saw the pictures from her party and didn’t recognize myself! I couldn’t chase after her without being out of breath, I didn’t want to take her to the park on nice days for fear I would see someone I knew or the people looking at me. I was a prisoner in my own body and I had no one to thank but myself. The last straw was the day I was in Old Navy buying maternity jeans because I couldn’t find pants that fit me anymore. A nice lady who was actually pregnant asked me how far along I was, I lied and said 15 weeks. I cried the whole drive home and vowed I would make the changes I needed to. It was all uphill from there. I was introduced to my coach Elena just a few days later via Facebook. She helped me get started with Insanity and the rest is history!
What was the catalyst that sparked your lifestyle change? The bully inside my own head. You know the picture online that says
” If you spoke to others the way you speak to yourself, would you have any friends left?”
That was me! I couldn’t pass a mirror or eat without that mean girl in my head ripping me to shreds. I was a horrible way to live. I looked at my 2 year old daughter and didn’t want her to grow up in that kind of toxic self talk. I didn’t want her to struggle like I had for so many years. I wanted her to have a role model, a mom who never called herself fat but instead lived by example with a healthy happy outlook on life.
What’s your favorite energy booster? That’s a hard one! I love a quick scoop of peanut butter if I’m dragging before a workout since I currently can’t take pre workouts while breastfeeding. I get my morning started drinking my daily Shakeology for a nice boost and all the vitamins and minerals I need to take on the day.
What types of foods did you used to eat? What’s changed since then? You name it I ate it! As a family we loved to eat out which can really add up in calories! I was never mindful of serving sizes and would eat until I was full, not knowing what it really felt like to be “full”. While we still eat out from time to time now I make smarter choices. Looking up the meal with Myfitnesspal an iPhone app. When cooking or just getting a snack I’m mindful of what a serving size is whether its a treat like cookies or fruit and veggies. I’m able to control my cravings with Shakeology which is really helpful when the late night chocolate cravings hit!
What are the biggest positive changes you have noticed as a result of your lifestyle change? Myself and my family are so much happier and healthier! The ripple effect of my choices have touched all of us! From our little family making healthy choices daily to my parents taking the challenge to regain their health.
How did you stay focused and motivated? I visualized my goals and kept them upfront and center each day. My biggest motivation was and will always be the girls I coach. They are the funniest, smartest, most motivating group of women and Im lucky to have them on my team. When we have a bad day we hop on our group page and talk it out. Its hard to feel defeated and want to give up when you have over 300 girls uplifting you and reminding you how strong you really are. How has your health transformation affected the health of your family? When I started I had no idea that by me taking charge of my health I would inspire so many people in my family to do the same. From my Father losing 28lbs since the beginning of 2013 to my Mom coming in second place in her works Biggest Loser contest. My daughter working out along side me jumping around and asking for healthy snacks and not junk food. Even the smile and giggles coming from my son in his swing while I jump around kicking and punch. We have all been effected by my journey and Im so thankful.
What are some of your dreams/goals you hope to achieve over the next 12 months? My goal for the coming year is to start my personal training certification. To branch out and touch more lives. What tips would you like to share with my readers about your transformation? Set small goals, it’s too easy to get overwhelmed with your ultimate goal and give up looking at how far you have to go. Chip away at it little by little and don’t forget to celebrate all the little victories that add up to your big goal! Find what motivates you and use it to help fuel your fire! Also take a good hard look at who you surround yourself with. Are they helping to uplift you and support you? Do they bring happiness to your life or drag you down? We are a product of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with the right ones!Feel free to support Ashley or follow her along her journey! She’s always willing to give advice and help any way she can!