How I Lost 30lbs Accidentally: Lifestyle Choices

Challenge & Revelation, Life updates

Once I moved from overseas to America, I hit the gym as soon as I recovered from jet lag. My Mom became my personal trainer and I pushed through the frustration of re-gaining ground I had lost. 

When I set foot in Chicago on my own, I had no car and walked over a mile a day. Running up flights of stairs every day to catch a train took its own toll.  I made the resolution when I moved out on my own not to have junk food in the house because I saw the weakness I had towards mindlessly eating. Eating out was a rarity since my budget didn’t allow it and I purposefully chose low-in-fat recipes.

I accidentally lost weight by setting standards for myself. I didn’t intentionally workout and kept eating out to a minimum. It’s not a magic pill, it wasn’t easy, but it made ground that I was able to continue going harder after weight loss and the fit image I had for myself.

I am in control of what I put in my body. Choosing healthy foods to consume rather than eating out every week is a choice. I don’t eat organic but I always eat a home-cooked meal. Packing my lunches also keeps me from over-eating or over-indulging. It’s about the small steps. Working out keeps my body fit but eating well keeps me healthy.

  Once I discovered how much weight I was losing, I reconfigured my budget and joined a gym. During my consultation the physical trainer gave me the most haunting advice that I will never forget. “The fat on your body is from unhealthy, processed food you’ve consumed.” You know what that told me? I am responsible for what I put in my body. I am not controlled by what I eat. Or how I look. Or how I feel. Once the weather warmed up, I began to ride my bike to work, a 12 mile trek. That was hard at first but it soon became something I craved! Weight training at the gym continues to build the muscle I need and the cardio I do during the day provides the necessary exercise.

Waking early in the morning ensures I work out and making it a priority has been a huge lesson in discipline for me! I don’t work out to fit a size; I work out to stay fit and healthy. 

In my first post in this series I talked about how my mom was my inspiration to start losing weight. I had thoughts of insecurity and was upset about how my mom was going to be smaller than me. There is nothing wrong with that. The thought was a subconscious revelation of the jealousy I felt at how happy I saw my mom had become. She was no longer controlled by her desire for food, or to be skinny! She was simply living healthy and working towards being fit.

Going through photos of myself and discovering my journey through pictures was hard. We all love the before and afters but what about the durings? Seeing my low valleys and high mountain tops saddened me a little. It was hard to see and remember how I had felt: so uncomfortable in my own skin because I had already seen my potential. I didn’t understand why it was so difficult to lose weight and accounted it to not being able to go to the gym.

If you’re just starting this journey or my story has inspired you to live a healthier lifestyle, take baby steps and stay firm.  Allow cheat days and if you’re not ready to go it alone, bring a friend! Most gyms allow guest passes and LA Fitness gives ten of your friends a two week membership at the gym for free! Don’t get discouraged and keep an accountability partner to kick your butt in gear when you fall a little off track. 

How I Lost 30lbs Accidently: Misconceptions and Inspirations

Challenge & Revelation, Life updates

The perception of my body image and weight has been a struggle all my life. I was never a “skin and bones” kid and that alone made me feel fat. When I transitioned to High school (which came with its own battles,) I began to eat out of boredom. We’ve all been there. Nothing wrong with a little snack once in a while – but I found myself eating to stay focused. I grew more insecure and reserved (certainly not the real Ashley!)

My weight loss journey really started with my mom. She took action and decided to ditch the diets and hit the gym. My mother will always be an inspiration to me in how she sets her mind on a mission and doesn’t get side tracked until it’s accomplished. Wow. (Read her short testimony, here! It’s inspirational.)

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My mom and I on May 10, 2015

When the reality sunk in that my mom was about to me smaller than me (and more in shape!) I said, “Heck no!” The summer of my sophomore year in High school I went to the gym every day and in 9 months went from a size 14 to a size 6. I had never felt better.

But school started back up and as my schedule filled, staying fit became less of a priority.. (Tune in on Wednesday to see how I’ve arrived to where I am now!)

Rule With Peace, Stand Against Strife.

Challenge & Revelation

A few days ago there were several times I encountered mothers with misbehaving kids. Both times I had to remind myself not to become irritated because the situations were beyond their control. One was a fairly new mom with a cranky two-year old. He didn’t want to eat and the circumstance resulted in her having to leave the restaurant. I’ve never had that happen to me, but I’m sure it’s humiliating. The second scene was a little different.

Kids at the table across from me were arguing about who was in charge. Their mom quietly entered the conversation, “those who are in charge, keep the peace.” The children fell silent realizing their argument amounted to nothing.

Way to go, mom.

Instead of yelling at them for arguing, one single thought brought silence. I was proud that she hadn’t added to the noise.

This week, the Lord is working on me with keeping the peace. Many times, I aggravate the situation with my words. I’ve never been one to hold my tongue, unless I didn’t know what to say. In a heated situation it can be hard sometimes. You want to throw something back in their face because you’re hurt and angry. But that never makes any situation better.

I woke up this morning to a verse a friend sent that really helped me.

James 4:1 {MSG}

“Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves.”

Strife is partially wanting your own way and doing anything to get it. Peace isn’t not caring how things go, it’s being okay with how things turn out and trusting God that He is going to make good of every circumstance.

So how do we keep constant internal peace? Instead of letting every little thing get under your skin, you make a choice. Let His peace reign through you at all times. With the phrase “constant peace” my mind is taken to a verse I learned at a very young age.

Isaiah 26:3 {AMP}

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind {both it’s inclination and it’s character} is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on you, and hopes confidently in You.”

This verse is so straightforward that you can’t help but think, “Why didn’t I remember this in those stressful scenarios?”

The point is, every part of our being reflects the God we serve. With the distracting things that surround us, it may be hard to continually think on His Word and promises, but the more we let Him pour into us, the easier it gets.

Have a great week, guys. That’s all I have to say for now 🙂