I'm Ashleigh from Waking Up In Vegas, and I'm sure as you guessed I am from Las Vegas, and I write a fitness, healthy living, and everything in between kind of blog! Feel free to pop over and say hello! I am so excited to be apart of this new Fitfluential Friday series, it is ironic i also happen to write a Fitfluential post every Friday too. =] Great minds think alike ;)
Today I decided I should share some background on myself of how I became a fitness lover!
I have been athletic for as long as I can remember, I did dance/gymnastics before i could even spell my last name! [its a true story, my last name is pretty difficult] I soon quit dance to become a full-time competitive gymnast. This meant going to the gym [as in gymnastics gym] 4-5 days a week for 4 hours a day! no joke..it was intense. I was told I was too small and needed to gain muscles but I couldn't because I wasnt intaking enough calories. I worked off way more than I ate so my muscles were thriving for more fuel! I was put on a strict diet of protein, protein, and more protein! I had to drink protein shakes before gymnastics and had to stop and have a snack halfway through practice because doctors were scared I was losing to much weight.
Insert first time I was concerned about my weight...As a gymnast you are very aware of your weight and you need to make sure that you eat healthy and stay in shape; coaches would warn you if they thought you were gaining too much. I never had this problem thankfully but you would think I did. One day I went to the doctors at the age of 11 and weighted 72 pounds. I saw the 72 and freaked out..the last time I went to the doctors I had weighted 70. I didnt take in account that it had been a year, I didnt take in account that I was growing up..I just saw weight gain and got scared that my coaches would be mad.
Fast Forward about 5 years..age 16 hits. I am in high school weighing in about 120..I was about 5'5-5'6 at the time so this was definitely a healthy weight. I had quit gymnastics and started dancing again. I was on my high school swim team (captain to be exact ;)) and I was starting my senior year. I didnt really pay to much attention to my weight at this time, I was dancing an hour a day and then had practice for 2 hours for swim team. Insert friends my friends were soooo insecure..and they rubbed off on me. I became very insecure. I started watching what I ate, exercising even more and looked up every single calorie i consumed. I was secretly developing a disorder.
um yah..I hated this picture because I thought I was HUGE.
Fast Forward 1 year to my first year of college. I was 17 about to turn 18, and was extremely insecure. Thinking I looked fat in everything. I was size 3..not fat at all. I was dating someone long distance and was enjoying getting to buy my own groceries, make my own food and being in total control of EVERYTHING. No one was there to monitor me. I soon developed some really bad habits, I would eat around 700 calories a day and work out twice a day. I would walk the long way to all my classes trying to lose some extra calories. I would do this for the 3 weeks I wasnt with my ex, then when he came up we would enjoy everything and I would act as if I was eating normally. Then once he left I would have a binge day..eating everything I saw....then go back on my crazy diet. Those freshman 15 myths never happened for me because of this. I once went on saltine diet..6 saltine crackers a day. no joke. chugging water whenever hungry. I also had a slight case of bulimia. Right before I moved back to Vegas I ate a mini box of thin wheats with salsa...and I cried. I called my mom crying..I called my dad crying..I was slowly losing control.
see how skinny i look in these two pictures.. the one on the left..my pants are so baggy...and the one on the right..well i just look pale..my hair was so brittle. I remember this was right when i moved back from Reno.
[although i do love the definition in my legs].
My grandparents came up to help me move home, my grandma commented on how horrible I looked and that I should not lose anymore weight. I just nudged it off. When I arrived home it was late in the evening, I ate "dinner" and went to bed. What did I do the next morning? Went to the gym...at six a.m. nothing was unpacked, nothing was done; but my first priority was the gym. What didnt help is that my ex LOVED the way I looked. but everyone else hated it.
My mom threatened to send me to a therapist if i didn't stop this business. I slowly started to eat better and work out an appropriate amount of time. I started to look better and to tell you the truth, I started to feel better. I gained back some much needed weight. After a couple of months of living at home I decided to move out with the dreaded EX, and that did not help any situations. We enjoyed "acting married" and we would make elaborate dinners and have movie nights on the couch gorging on popcorn and candy.
I gained some "love" pounds but quickly got rid of it the moment I realized my pants were much tighter than I wanted. I made the decision to end the relationship due to
me at my heaviest;
About a year and a half ago I met the love of my life, my boyfriend, he met me at my highest weight and fell in love with me. I realized I didn't have to be stick skinny to be loved, if he loved me at my highest he will love me even more when I lose it. But that didnt mean I felt "sexy" or happy with my own self, and I wanted to change that.
Speed forward to present time. I have lost about 15 pounds and gained about 2 lbs in muscle. I have started running, eating right and tracking everything to make sure I am giving my body what it needs. How did I start this? Fitfluential. I read a ton of fitness/healthy living blogs and it inspired me to become healthy not only for me but for my future..my unborn babies, and my boyfriend/husband. Healthy living isn't about a diet, it isn't about working out two times a day trying to drop LBs really fast. It's about setting your life up for success, knowing that small changes in diet and exercise routine can help you in the long run. It's about giving my body the things it needs to function properly.
this is me now.
Do I still get discouraged when the scale doesnt move?..sure..in fact just the other night I wanted to cry because the numbers went up by one and not down. But the definition I am seeing in my arms, legs and those little itty bitty abs are what make it count. The fact that I am able to run further than ever before, the fact that I can do more push-ups than before..this is what keeps me going. Without Fitfluential i dont know if my new healthy-living lifestyle would be going this strong. The support from fellow bloggers, the support from YOU, is what keeps me going!
starting to see definition.
work in progress.
With that I thank you for reading this ridiculously long post, and hopefully it shows you how far I have come in my life and why Fitfluential is so important to me.
Thanks, Ashleigh!! Are you "fitfluential?" Why are you "fitfluential" in your own way??
Enjoy your weekend. Get out there and MOVE. Happy Running (or whatever your movement is...)!