Transformation Tuesday - It's a Real Thing

It has taken me a really long time to get right here, right now. Has it been easy? Oh HELL no, it's been a lot of hard freaking work. When people make comments to me like "I want your arms", "Your waist is so tiny", "You must be able to eat anything you want, right?" it takes every ounce of strength in my body not to shake them and be like... it's work, really really hard work! 

Let me say this again... it is NOT easy. 

My weight and body image have always been a struggle. For some it may come as a surprise because I don't talk about it, but figured now is a good time to start talking. 

Looking back at high school, the moment I stopped doing sports and focused on my social life (ugh what was I thinking) my body image went into a spiral. The guy I dated on and off throughout high school sent my emotions on a ridiculous rollercoaster. Being a teenage girl I thought if I was skinnier, prettier, tanner you name it, he would break up with HER and date me again. Oh girls, it sure as SHIT doesn't work like that! Engrained in my brain is a moment when he put his hands around my waist and said "Ashley I can feel your ribs!" That right there was an internal slap to the face... What was I doing? How could I let myself get to this point? Why was I letting the attention and adoration of a boy effect MY life? 

I'm not about to tell you this long, drawn out story about an eating disorder but to tell you we all go through moments of "what the hell am I doing?" and somehow come out in one piece. 

My fitness journey has been EXACTLY that... a journey. College, woof, every time a photo from those years pops up, especially after turing 21, it makes me cringe. We did not know how to eat well in a college town. Surviving on late night pizza, delivery, easy mac and many Jimmy John's orders was not a recipe for healthy living. Thinking about it now, we rarely COOKED dinner. There is no wonder when I moved back to Minnesota after 3 years in Iowa I was at least 20 pounds heavier than I was when I left! 

While living in St. Paul I stepped on a scale and saw a number I never want to see again. THAT was my game changer. I started working out, eating better, drinking less and trying to be a better me. Almost 10 years later, I'm close to the best shape of my life because of where I've been and the REALLY hard work I put in every week. 

Here's my little secret... I really love working out. It is my mental escape from the world where I can throw in my ear buds, turn the music up loud and be surprised with what my body can do. Every week is a challenge physically and mentally, there are weeks I don't want to be at the gym or at Pure Barre. I would rather be eating pizza, donuts and sitting on the couch. Want to know what? Some times I do that... I workout so I can enjoy those things in life because it's all about BALANCE! 

Find something you love to do whether it's running, walking, hiking, climbing, lifting weights, Pure Barre, Yoga, boxing etc. Do it. Start today because why wait?