Thursday, August 28, 2014

New things are happening!

My boys are at such a Fun age. They are like little sponges soaking everything up!
I LOVE it!!! Both thirsting to learn new things and try new crafts.
So i decided I was going to run with it. Since we don't eat in our dining room except 
a few days a year (holidays or when we have guest), I have started transforming it.

It is becoming a Bright, Fun, Very much used part of our home. 
We are creating a space to teach, explore and learn new things with our kiddos.

I have a lot more I want to do. 
But I am adding to it slowly and as I can buy more ink for my printer. Lol

The boys love it and I can't wait to really get all my ideas done and get things rolling.

Here is a sneak peak…

Don't forget this was our dining room and the table will stay but I do have some stuff to replace 
and a few things to still change! I love it though and so do the boys. It's a winner so far!!! 

Shine on Lovelies,
Ashley M

Saturday, August 23, 2014

30 day update!

Crazy to think that it has already been 3 months
 since I decided making a lifestyle change had to happen.

It has been hard. I have cheated many times.
 I have also pushed myself harder than I knew I could. 

I still have a ways to go, but holy moly am I proud of how far I have come!! 

This was the day I started Piyo                   And today a month later 

In the last month I lost a combined all over 13 1/2 inches and 7 pounds.

And simply because I was curious and seeing the results really help me….

When I started                                          and today!

Total down so far 35 pounds!!! 
Clean eating more than not and lots of pushing myself and working out at least 5 days a week.

On that note I am about to do PIYO: Core!

Oh, if I can do it. YOU CAN!!! 

Shine on Lovlies,

Ashley M

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Learning to love myself

I suck at being nice to myself. I am so hateful and talk to myself in a way that makes me sad.
I don't see pretty, I see fat. I don't always see progress, I see how much more I need to do.

This has been the hardest part of getting healthy and taking my life back. 
Learning to love myself has been so difficult. 
All of my underlying issues have started to make sense to me now though.
Everything I have questioned about how I feel. How I push people away.
I get it. After all how can I expect someone else to like me if I don't like myself.

Letting myself get to a place of this much hurt once seemed impossible. 
I am learning how to let that go though. Allowing myself to accept the compliments.
Even enjoy them. I am forcing myself to find the positive. 
To find my beauty in myself and not just in my weight loss. 

To be the person who loves me for me. 
Who doesn't let others get me down.
The girl who truly cares for herself and finds happiness within.

Slowly but surely each day I get a little better. 
I feel that light shining from within trying to get out. 
I guess that has to be my most favorite part of this whole journey.

Finding my Joy in the Journey. 
Finding my inner love.
Finding me.

Shine on Lovlies
Ashley M

Monday, August 11, 2014

Overcoming food addiction.

As a child growing up, I witnessed first hand what 
alcohol and drugs can do to the people you care about. 
Your told not to drink, smoke or do drugs because it is bad for you. 
Yes these are real addictions and what is sad is I new this, but never once realized how true this 
was for food until just a few years back…. Okay things are going to get real so hold on tight.

I was a typically teenager who started to drink for fun way younger than I care to admit. 
It was just for fun for a while. While visiting me at college, my grandmother passed away in my apartment. I can remember the exact moment that my drinking for fun became a problem. 

It was no longer fun. I no longer drank occasionally with friends or had to be with anyone to do it.
I would drink a lot alone, at a bar, by the pool, at the beach, on a boat, 
in the bathtub, before work, in my car. 
And no this doesn't end like a cute Dr. Seuss book. I would drink all the time anytime of the 
day until I would black out. I would not know where I was or who I was with. 

It is simply a miracle that God decided to keep me safe and around. I learned how to function as a drunk. Heck, I was even fun most of the time. But you know when it gets real?
When people stop wanting to be around you. I pushed away family. 
I would start fights with people I loved and during the time when I should have been 
spending the most time with my daddy who was dying with cancer. I was drinking.

Thankfully, God sent me an amazing man who pulled me out of the bottle I was drowning myself in.
And boy did he send him at just the right time. Literally 6 months before the hardest thing I had ever went through in my life. Losing my daddy to cancer. 

I had another very rough 6 months after I lost my daddy. Where I was farther away form everyone I loved and who loved me then I have ever been. Then I almost lost the man who I loved more than anyone in my life. I watched a dear friend die in the lay brain dead in a hospital bed from drinking and driving. It took a lot to jerk me out of this awful time. But once this happened I had no other choice than to wake up and quit the nonsense.

I started finding my way out of my alcohol addiction. 
Not once did I realize I was replacing it with a food addiction until years later. 
7 years later, 2 children,  almost 80 pounds heavier and I finally realized how much food controls me.

So here I am still fighting food daily. I give in way more than I would like to. 
I am weaker way more than I feel strong. 

But, here is the thing. I am still pushing forward. I am working on becoming healthier one day at a time.

It amazes me how easy I can cave still.
 Especially seeing the results I am seeing since I started just 2 1/2 short months ago. 
I think that makes it harder sometimes though, it's like I justify how good I am doing so I reward myself with pizza, or a cheeseburger, or french fries! I mean seriously how in my delusion mind is that a reward?! I am just putting myself in the same situation as before.
 I know I am human and that eating stuff like that in moderation is okay. 

But when did that just become okay? Why is putting that stuff in our bodies okay? 
Why am I allowing myself to be so unhealthy that I am risking a heart attack or risking losing time with my children? Why is food addiction pushed under the rug so much when it can be just as bad as 
any other addiction we over indulge in?! 

This post is not to make anyone feel bad but to do the exact opposite. 
When you are struggling know that what you are going through is a real issue. 
You are not the only one who feels this way and goes through this. 
Try and look deeper. Why do you really "NEED" those cookies? 
That pizza, that cheeseburger? 

Finding your starting point and begin there. Take it one day at a time.
Work through your issues mentally and then push yourself. 
Workout, cut the crap from your diet, find people who motivate you. 

Do it for you. Do it for the people you love. Do it for the people who love you.

You are better than that cheeseburger. 
Remember that! 

Ashley M 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Clean: Mexican Sweet Potato Casserole

Clean Mexican Sweet Potato Casserole

I wanted to share another recipe that I recently stumbled upon and tweaked a little.
This will definitely be something I make often. I loved it and so did the family! 
Plus, who knew eating clean would be so pretty. 

1 pound ground turkey, cooked
1 cup quinoa, cooked
2-15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large sweet potatoes thinly sliced or grated
1-12 oz jar salsa
1 cup frozen corn
3 tbsp diced jalapeƱos (more or less depending on how spicy you like things)
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 cup Mexican style low-fat cheese, shredded (I did half with cheese for my hubby, no cheese for me)
1 sliced avocado, for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and then thinly slice the sweet potatoes
Mix quinoa, beans, onion, asparagus and salsa with sweet potato and spread into a 9×13 pan. 
Top with cheese and bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes prior to serving. 
Serve with sliced avocado and enjoy!

This turned out yummy and was full of awesomely healthy stuff.
I ate the leftovers for days and it just got better as all the flavors continues to mix together more!! 

Let me know what you think if you try it! 
Ashley M

Monday, July 28, 2014

Before and after my 30 day challenge

When I decided to begin my personal 30 day challenge I had hit a plateau. 
My weight loss had stopped for a few weeks and I wasn't working out 
as much as I could have been. 3 times a week at max and I wasn't seeing any true results that way.
 I decided I would workout everyday for 30 days straight  for at least an hour each day. 
There were days I didn't want to and even one day (day 26) that I didn't. 
YES I missed day 26, literally 4 days from finishing. 
Who does that?! I was a little hard on myself and felt like I let myself 
down but I pushed through and added a day. =) 

In the end I am super happy with my results! Not only did I start losing weight again.
I lost 13 pounds in those 31 days.
I wish I had taken measurements, but I didn't. I did however lose another pants size.
Went down a bra and panty size. Plus another shirt size! 

I pushed myself hard. I rotated weights, cardio, workout videos, jogging and yoga.

Some days I didn't want to. Like Really. Didn't. Want. To! 
However, I did. Each time I did I felt better. 
Each day passing I get a little stronger. 

Now that my 30 (31)  day challenge is over, I probably won't continue to workout everyday. 
I will be working out at least 5 days a week! 

Some of my favorite things about working out:
How great I feel afterwards
Sweating. Yes I said sweating. It is great to know I am getting somewhere and working hard.
My energy level
The adrenaline it gives me
How much better I am sleeping
Getting stronger 
Feeling better about myself
And the best part… My clothes all getting too big! 

June 25th is the left and July 26th is the right!

When you think you can't remember you can and push yourself. 
Push hard and you will start seeing the results you want and 
don't stop until you are where you want to be! 

Much Love,
Ashley M

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Waking to positivity

If you know me it is no surprise that I am not a morning person.
 I stay up late and would sleep in everyday if I could. 
Well my kiddo's like to rise early which put me waking early and dragging around to get ready. 
Most times not in a great mood. 
I decided to make my half bath (where I get ready each morning) a little more happy! 

I took some old light wood frames that I had and spray painted them fun colors I already had at home.
Then I found some FREE printables with some positive happiness.

I framed the printables and Ta-Da!!! 

You can't help but smile when you go in there now. 
My little spot in the house and I love it! 
Mornings just got a little better. =)
Don't hate on my sink and toilet. I love them, too! 

Shine on Lovelies,
Ashley M