Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Journey Through Self Improvement

In this day and age most people are so consumed with making themselves better than they were the year before and always fall short. I am not saying I'm any different, but what I am saying is this year I am doing it differently.

This journey has had many starts. From a young teenager to my current thirty year old self. And I think I have finally figured out why the previous attempts were unsucessful. So this will be a little glimpse into my journey and hopefully it might cause someone else to become inspired. 

As a child I was always over weight. I was bigger than most of my friends and I was extremely insecure with how I looked and who I was. As an audlt, that feeling stayed the same for a very long time.

I would work out and try to lose weight. It never stuck. In college I had two years where I worked out four times a week, ate right, and was very active. And I still felt like I was missing something inate about myself.

So what happened over the last decade that made me finally feel like I was whole?

Acceptance. But it wasn't an acceptance of others. It was an acceptance of myself. It was me realizing who I am, and how much I love being me. I was never able to change who I was because I was ashamed and unable to see me for who I really was deep inside.

So now, I am working towards losing 100 pounds. My goal  that sounds like a huge task. One that a year ago I would have told you was impossible. And now, I'm 33 pounds into my journey that started Aug 12, 2013. One year is what I need, one year is what I want. And in one year, I will succeed. 

So let us break this down step by step. How am i doing this?

1- Learn to be happy with who you are. If you first are not happy with the person who you actually are then how are you going to be able to support yourself in this hard goal? Because let us fasce facts. You might have others around you encouraging you but this is a task that only you alone can do. No one can change you except for you. I'm not saying be happy with your weight. Or whatever it is that you want to work on to change. But be happy with what your essence is. Are you happy with your life? Happy with your personality? Happy with what you do on a daily basis? I learned to be happy with the woman I actually was. Not the shell that held her. I love to write, I love to smile. I love to be with my family. I had to find the things I loved about myself and focus on those for a few months. Accept myself for who and what I am.

2- Make a goal to change one thing about yourself. You cannot expect to change your entire being overnight. You cannot expect to work miracles. Picking one thing and focusing on it, that's how success will come about. You don't want to set youself up for failure. This is one thing that I remember learning in Taekwondo. Don't master everything at once. Master one thing and then move to another. So what as my goal? To lose 100 pounds.

3- Decide WHY you want to change this one thing about yourself. Every good plan needs a why. A why gives you the motivation. Are you doing this for yourself or are you doing it for someone else?  I am doing this for myself. To make me a healthier and happier woman. Some people think I am doing this so one day I could get pregnant. While of course I hope that this is an outcome it isn't my why. I want to feel better about myself and this is why I haven't been able to succeed before. I always was trying to do this for someone else. I honestly think that because it was never for myself, I was always unable to succeed.Making my husband, parents or friends happy was never a real motivation for me. It actually pushed me to do worse. Because my heart and soul was never in it to win it.

4- Decide HOW you are going to make this change. My step-mom read a book, The Wheat Belly Diet, and thought this might be something for me to look into. So I did, and, well, she was right. This sounded like something I should try. So I picked a date, Aug 12, 2013 and decided no more wheat and flour. I was going to attempt to go free of my favorite food. Remember picking ONE thing ... Flour/Wheat. That was my key.

5- Be forgiving. Don't beat yourself up over your slip ups. Yes I do the best I can to not 'cheat' and eat bread but sometimes I fail. I give into tempatation. But I don't let that get me down. I allow for weakness because I know that I will overcome that slip. And each week/month I slip up less and less.

6- One day at a time ... I take it all one day at a time.

So now, I'm 33 pounds lighter and five months into this journey. I have already decided that if I don't make the 100 mark I won't feel like a failure. Because I haven't failed. I've already done something I wasn't ever able to do before in my life and that makes me a winner. I've never lost this much weight and I've never been this happy with myself. And that makes this quest a full one.

Now today I am about to be off on my first author event of the 2014 year. I have a brand new haircut, a brand new outlook on life and a brand new attitude of success.


  1. Congratulations Ashley on taking the steps to loving and accepting yourself. Good luck on making your goals but honestly I think your already a success :-) have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement and kind words Monique.

  3. I'm so proud of you..and this blog IS definitely inspiring.. ~ you know I love ya UNconditionally anyway.. and thanks for all you do.. ~even tho I'm doing OK on my diet/exercise program.. think now I need to get up off my hiney & look at myself a little deeper & stay focused on the WHY.. the HOW.. and what I'm going to do about it ! <3 ya Bunches !!