Last year, Ashley AKA ladyblithe reached her weight loss goal and was featured as a Success Story on our blog. But maintaining weight is often more challenging (and scary!) than losing. In the first of our Where Are They Now? series, we check in with Ashley, find out how she’s kept the weight off, and her advice for how you can do it, too! Also, follow her on Instagramwhere she posts photos of the outdoors, yummy food, and her yoga poses!
Refresh our memory, what was your “Aha moment” which inspired you to lose weight in the first place? On my 25th birthday I decided enough was enough: It was time to get healthy and happy! It was the best birthday present I could have ever given myself.
How did you decide what your weight loss goal should be? I calculated what my BMI was at the time, and then figured out where I needed to be in order to be in the “normal” range. From there I set my weight loss goal at 50 lbs. Thirteen months later I reached that goal!
Were you worried about weight maintenance? What did the transition look like from weight loss to maintenance? What helped you during that time? The part that I struggled with the most was being okay with the fact that I no longer needed to have a calorie deficit. My mind automatically thought that if I didn’t have that 500 calorie deficit, then I was going to gain! Experience showed me otherwise. What really helped to keep me on track during that transition was the outpouring of support that I received from my family, my friends, and the Calorie Count community when my original “Success Story” was posted. That support has helped to keep me motivated every day since.
What are the most challenging aspects of maintaining your weight? What aspects are even more difficult than during a weight loss phase? Over the course of this past year I married the man of my dreams and started a brand new job. Life has happened. And sometimes when life happens, weight gains tend to follow. I’ve gained a few pounds, but for the most part, I’ve been able to lose those few pounds as well. It is so ingrained in our minds, that when it comes to our weight, we are either losing or we are gaining. Maintaining is very rarely talked about. Because of that mentality, I have found that maintenance, at times, is almost more challenging than losing!
Have you ever been tempted to renounce your new healthy lifestyle? Do you still log your food? How do you stay motivated? My “new healthy lifestyle” is now my “forever lifestyle”. I still log my food every single day; it’s just become a part of my daily routine. I love being healthy; I love eating good, healthy food and I love being active and working out regularly. All of this is just a part of who I am now. One of my biggest motivators has been setting a good example for those who want to make this their “forever lifestyle” as well. In January, one of my best friends at work began eating healthy and working out with me four times a week after work. Being able to share tips and recipes with her and help motivate her has been a huge motivator for me to continue on this journey that I’ve begun. Since January, she’s lost 25 lbs and three pant sizes. Witnessing her accomplishments has brought me so much joy. With the knowledge that I’ve gained from Calorie Count, I’ve been able to help others and to me, that is the true sign of success.
How has Calorie Count been instrumental in helping you maintain a healthy weight? I could not have done any of this if it wasn’t for Calorie Count. My life has completely changed. Calorie Count gave me the tools that I needed to learn what it meant to be healthy and how to continue to be healthy for the rest of my life.
What new healthy habits have evolved in the past year? What else can you tell us about your journey? Becoming healthy has given me the guts to try new things. This past year I tried yoga for the first time and ended up falling head over heels in love with it. I now incorporate yoga into my daily routine. It has helped to not only increase my strength and flexibility, but also decrease my levels of stress and anxiety. It’s been life changing. More recently I have also started running. This coming October, a number of Calorie Count members will be attending the Runner’s World Half and Festival Weekend in Bethlehem, PA as a sort of “Calorie Count Meet Up”. I’ve registered for the 5k and I’d love to meet as many of Calorie Count’s members as I can! So if you’re available from October 18th – 20th, register for a race or two, or three and come meet me!
What advice would you give to people as they are losing or maintaining weight loss?
I’ll stick to the advice that I gave a year ago because it has proven to serve me well:
Drink TONS of water everyday.
Hold yourself accountable and log everything you eat.
Workout regularly, but don’t stick to a single routine. Switch things up!
Allow yourself to splurge every once in a while and NOT feel bad about it.
Always remember that this is not a quick fix, it is a lifestyle change and these things take time!
And most importantly: Love yourself and acknowledge your accomplishments. Don’t ever lose hope. You can and you WILL achieve your goals.