365 Days Ago- My Fitness Transformation

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” 

December 8th, 2016 marked the start of a transformation that I had dreamed about ever since I was an obese 16 year old girl. Wondering and visualizing how life would be if I could love my body and be comfortable in my own skin. The concepts of self-love & self-acceptance were far to unfamiliar to me. Honestly y’all I didn’t know what it meant to be unapologetically myself. Looking in the mirror and picking at all my flaws and imperfections was an easy default. An endless cycle of hatred and self-loathing was what my life consisted of up until last December.

Looking back at these 365 days always makes me really emotional. I can’t help but cry at times (tears of joy, of course) to see the trajectory of my personal growth going straight up. Sometimes I wake up and life feels like a dream. With the utmost confidence I’m here before you. I count my blessings and am grateful from the depths of my being that I made a choice to move forward in life. No more holding onto pain and negative perceptions that others have inflicted on me. I chose to empower myself, be my own cheerleader and assure myself that I’m going to do whatever I need to in order to live my dream life.

December 8th, 2016 was my first day back in the gym on a training program. The 6 months leading up to that day were marked by extreme anxiety which ultimately fueled my bad lifestyle habits. Amongst these habits included binge eating after late night classes and avoiding physical activity. I hadn’t been to the gym in months at this point and I didn’t have any willpower to step into one either. My spirits were at an all time low and I felt lost.

Where I started:

  • 168.8 lbs | >30 % Body Fat | 29.0 BMI | Diet consisting of fast food & microwavable dinners | Sedentary lifestyle

Boom..boom..boom…. my heart was pounding against my chest like the beat of a drum, my face was flushed and I could barely walk back to my car. I nearly fainted that morning after finishing my first workout. Pain slithered through my body like a vicious snake and I was in disbelief at what I had done to myself. This wasn’t the life I wanted to live.

Many people can relate to the dreadful feeling of working out after a prolonged state of a sedentary lifestyle. Your whole body goes into shock and so does your mind. Sore today, strong tomorrow. We all have priorities in life, so when are you going to make your health #1 on the list? Start today, friends. Whatever fitness goals you have in mind I’m here to tell you that they are achievable. Through consistent effort discipline and a growth mindset you can live your dream life too. Be the best version of you because everyone else is already taken.

3 months later – March 2017 

Milestone number one! At this point in my journey I was consistently training twice a week and slowly incorporating other forms of physical activity (i.e. hiking, group fitness classes, etc…). My mood was improving as well as my overall energy levels. I no longer dreaded long days at school/work followed by late night studying and preparation for the week ahead. Around this time I also began meal prepping and eating a plant-based diet. Youtube was my best friend and the kitchen was my sanctuary. Cooking my own balanced meals and knowing exactly what went into them was extremely gratifying. All the hard work I was putting in at the gym was equally matched with my diet. Like I mentioned in my road to health- 50 lb weight loss blog (linked below), exercise is 20% and diet is 80%. Fueling my body with the nutrition it needed was my way of practicing self-love.

Vegan Meal Prep 101-Planning & Recipe Inspiration

Road to Health- 50 lb Weight Loss Journey

6 months later – JUNE 2017

  • 150 lbs | <29% Body Fat | 25.6 BMI | Eating a primarily whole foods plant-based diet| Training 3x a week | Gaining mental clarity 

A slight bump in the road. Post-graduation trips, summer class, longer days at work and an injury. Upon returning from my study abroad trip in Guatemala I woke up one morning with excruciating pain radiating from my tailbone. I’d felt a pain similar to this in the past and instantly knew that it was a reoccurring issue. The whole month of July was like a nightmare. I was addicted to ibuprofen to manage my pain, went to the ER twice, could barely sleep and was still attending school to finish my last class. It was hell on earth to be honest. During this dark time in my journey I felt detached and lost once again. I was scared that the progress I had made up until that point would slip away.

July 21st I underwent surgery on my tailbone and soon after that I was in recovery mode. One of the worsts things I heard from my surgeon was that I couldn’t lift anything heavier than 10 lbs for a month. My spirit was crushed. That meant a month off training and a month off continuing to reach my goals. But, every dark night brings with it an equally brighter morning. This period of healing taught me to be grateful for my health and that I wasn’t hurting anymore. I learned to look at this set-back as a chance to reflect on how far I came. Yes, there’s always more work to be done and you can never be satisfied with where you’re at. But those 30 days away from the gym taught me to listen to my body and learn to be okay with spending time in a restorative state.

“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” – Tori Ames 

12 months later – DECEMBER 2017

Wow! What a year it has been. 365 days ago I made the choice to improve my life and it has transformed me in ways I had never imagined. Today I feel joy and comfort in knowing that I gave this process my 100% day in and day out. Yes, there were days were I faltered and then picked myself up again. But the key to my success was that I never gave up. Don’t stop when the process starts to be more challenging. Everyday celebrate those tiny victories – whether its making time to go to the gym, reaching for the healthy option  rather than swinging by a drive thru or losing a few inches even if you haven’t dropped the pounds yet. Celebrate every success, no matter how big or small it may be.

  • 143 lbs | <25% Body Fat | 25.0 BMI | dedicated to a strength program 3x a week | mindful plant-based eating & meal prepping | loving myself |getting stronger mentally & physically 

“And suddenly you know… It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.” – Meister Eckhart 

Best wishes on your journey ahead…

With love & light,

Ashna

XOXO