November 21, 2011

embrace the journey

Lately I've been browsing photos from the past 18 months.  Partly because I love to see my sweet girl as a baby (I'm pretending she isn't turning two in just over four months!) and partly because I have WAY too many photos and I need to delete some.  It is fun to look back, and also incredibly tough at the same time.

When I see photos of myself I cringe a little bit.  Mad at myself for letting my body get that way.  Cursing myself for eating too much junk and never exercising.  It flat out sucks to hate SO many of the pictures of myself from even less than I year ago.  I love photos and memories and all that, but I get embarrassed for myself just looking at them.  Why did I let that happen?

But I'm trying to stop kicking myself about it.  I am a completely different person than I was just a short while ago.  I have a lot more motivation for everything.  Of course I still have my lazy days, but in February something inside me clicked and I simply wanted so much more out of life.  It has been exactly one year since my 'before photo' was taken.  My how things have changed in a year.

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In five and a half months I lost 33 pounds and changed my life for the better.  I'm so much healthier, so much happier, so much more driven.  I still struggle from time to time to keep my chin up, but I can honestly say my life is probably the best it has ever been.  So even though it is all too easy to be mad at myself for not taking control of my life and my body sooner, I am learning to embrace the journey.

I never would have gotten where I am today in regards to my health without this blog.  All of you readers pushed me to succeed.  Other blogs inspired me to keep going, keep reaching higher.  I can sure as heck tell you that I would never have run a half marathon, more than likely I would have never started running without all of you great ladies out there inspiring me.  And every time I hear that I've inspired one of you?  My heart soars, and I know it has all panned out exactly as it should.

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24 comments:

Faith said...

you are such an inspiration! you look amazing!

(amy) said...

I think the fact that you can look back and see that you're not the same person you were a year ago is a true sign that you will never be there person you were. I think it helps having those pictures of ourselves at our "worst" is the best reminder of who we do not want to be and where we don't want to go back to. I almost think we need those to realize how much we've changed -- inside and out.

Congrats on your journey and good luck in the future. :)

http://littlebitofamy.blogspot.com/

Bobi said...

Congrats! It's been wonderful to watch your journey and inspiring to say the least.

Anonymous said...

You look amazing! And I love your outfit...where are your boots from?!?

Jami Nato said...

dude, this is crazy. hot mama. good job.

Libby's Life said...

You look amazing! What an inspiration you are to women out there! :)

Chelsea said...

You look AMAZING! Great job... you're seriously so inspiring :)

Lindsay said...

You look just amazing!

I will tell you that you have inspired me. Although I haven't talked about it on my blog, I'm currently in the process of training to run my first 1/2 marathon in June...or first running event EVER! I also just signed up to do the 5k Turkey Trot on Thursday. Although it's just a little jaunt, I have NEVER spent Thanksgiving EXERCISING or have I even wanted to. Your blog has been inspiring to me even though you don't even know it. Thank you so much for that! :)

Beautiful after picture and keep up the amazing work!

Jeane said...

WOW... that's all I can say!!! You look amazing and your journey is SO inspiring!!!!

Meredith said...

WOW. Ashley, you have so much to be proud of! What an incredible difference!

Mrs. Williams said...

You look amazing! Thanks for posting this, it was the little pick me up I so needed!

Jennifer said...

you look amazing...congrats!

Melissa said...

oh ashley, you look beautiful, and you can see such a difference! You are an inspiration, and I never thought you were one who needed to lose weight, I always thought you were beautiful. You inspire me to do better for myself, and for my son! Congrats on all your hard work!

B Walker said...

You are so inspiring! It is SO hard to 1. realize that you need to make a change and 2. to really do it and stick with it! You did both!! I do the same with my 'fat' pictures, no thanks to freshman year in college - eek! I know it's hard, but just look back and be proud of all the things that you have done. Knowing that because of that you ran a 1/2 marathon, have an ADORABLE daughter and look freaking amazing!! I hope that I have the courage and the strength to look that good after having kids!
XOXO B

Anonymous said...

You look great! I am new to your blog, so I was wondering, how did you lose 33 lbs so quickly? I am still struggling with my baby weight, 15 more lbs, and those last 15 are so hard! Congrats, you look great!

Kim said...

I needed to read this today. I'm pregnant and scared I won't find it in me to take back my body after the baby comes. You look amazing. And please don't be embarrassed looking at your past photos - you are human, you had a baby and your life change drastically. You just needed a while to work things out and get back to yourself. That is natural and it takes some women a lifetime after their babies arrive. You deserve to feel so incredibly proud.

Jessica said...

One of the reasons I felt like I could start running again, even if it wasn't an immediately rewarding process was from reading your blog! It was so inspiring watching you go from running just a little bit to running a 1/2 marathon. Thanks for sharing your story, it really does make a difference!

Mindy G said...

You have totally motivated me through this blog! I started running with the C25K because of you, and found myself actually enjoying it. I wasn't out to lose weight specifically, but I knew I needed a healthier lifestyle that I could maintain. I tried counting calories as well for a while, just to get an idea of what I was taking in. Somehow, without a consistent effort to do anything other than gain a healthier lifestyle, I am at my lowest weight (ever?) and have lost about 10 pounds from my former "skinny week" weight. I know exactly how it feels to look back and think "How on earth could I let myself look like that, and why didn't I do this sooner?" Thanks for being so open and honest through this!!

Dana said...

Props girl!!! You look amazing!! I know from reading you run alot! But I was wondering, you are always cooking up some awesome yummy looking dishes. Do you make sure you cook healthier? Any secrets you have learned? Or do you just cook and eat whatever since you run? :)

Krissy said...

You look AWESOME!!!!!

Sharstin said...

You look so great and have gained so much in the journey! You are fab girly~

mandie lane said...

Looking hot, mama! Good for YOU!

Real Housewife in MN said...

Congratulations!!! You look amazing!

Ashley said...

Thanks so much ladies! I will touch on a couple of the topics that were asked about next week, but for whoever was wondering, the boots are Steve Madden. I think I got them at Nordstroms at the beginning of the season. SO COMFORTABLE. Seriously, I wear them almost every day.