Biggest Loser Challenge: Starting Line

A friend of mine posted on Twitter and Facebook a few weeks ago inquiring if any of her friends might be interested in a weight loss challenge this summer. She said it has been a goal of hers for months to lose some weight and get back into shape but that she needed some sort of challenge to push herself. She needed the push for positivity, accountability, and fun during her journey to a more healthy lifestyle.

Her post rang a bell inside me. Truth be told, I’ve gained more weight over the past six months than I care to admit. Where most brides attempt to lose weight for their weddings, the stress of planning my Big Day actually caused me to gain enough weight to bring the scale to the heaviest I’ve been in years. Not only is the scale glaring at me, but my own reflection is too. I can see the weight gain. I can feel it in my clothes. And I can feel how my confidence levels have shifted and the changes in the way I carry myself — I’m slowly resorting back to Old Ashley. Someone I do not wish to meet again.

Unlike the old days though, I know what caused my physical change. Even though I was keeping to weekly meal plans, my weekend habits hung me over a cliff and my scarce workout sessions threw me off completely. While some may fast during stress, I tend to overcompensate by snacking. I also allowed myself to have one (or a few) beers each night to “calm myself.” All in all, my healthy habits have been on a standstill for 2018.

Fortunately, choosing one’s health can never come too late. And today begins a six week journey with 26 other people towards the starting steps of losing weight, gaining fitness, and getting back on track. Today begins our own Biggest Loser’s Challenge.

And I aim to win.

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Next Steps: An Intro to CrossFit

My first impression when I heard the word “CrossFit” was that it was a crossing of different passions with fitness. Thus I had high hopes there would be wine involved, friends. (Because wine is a passion for everyone, obviously.) So when I attended my first outing at a local CrossFit box I was dismayed to find multiple bodies lying on the floor, heaving and sweating, and not a single bottle of Cab Sauv…

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Cauliflower Fried Rice

I can barely lift my arms to write this post because of a great triceps workout yesterday. I’m suffering through though to bring the blogosphere one of my most healthy, simple, and desirable dinner options: cauliflower fried rice.

I wasn’t planning to make this dish until next week, but G was craving it and I wanted to oblige. As I wait for the broccoli to roast before moving forward with the rest of the stir fry, I’m sharing this healthy gem with you. With our running program beginning Monday, the need for meals packed with protein and good carbs is a must. Plus I LOVE fried rice but always feel so guilty after eating Chinese take-out due to the ridiculous grams of carbs and sometimes greasiness fried rice can have. So this recipe is a win-win-win in my book!

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Back to Basics from a Once-Upon-A-Time Runner

It happens to many runners: you start running, you push your body faster, you go farther, you dream about PRs and distance goals, you watch your intake meticulously, and suddenly you see possibilities you never had the courage to dream before. Then BOOM! Something stops you in your tracks. Perhaps you get hurt. Or you get busy. Or you burn out. And as quickly as you gained mileage, fitness, and confidence, it all disappears.

This was the case for me two years ago. In Spring of 2013 I began running. I was at the heaviest weight I’d ever been and knew I needed to do something to fight the Freshmen Twenty (plus an additional two years of college eating). I had never run prior and knew nothing of the sport, but I jumped head-first anyways. Joining a local running group, I trained for my first 5k. Following an extremely successful first race, I moved forward and trained for my first half marathon and completed this race only five months after I began pounding the ground in my running shoes. Not only did I lose more than fifty pounds during my first year in the sport, but I also gained a confidence I’d never felt and milestones I never believed I could achieve. When asked my hobbies, running was always my first response and I identified myself as a runner first and foremost.

Two years ago I completed the RunDisney Glass Slipper Challenge — a 10k and half marathon back-to-back in Orlando. However, upon my return home I hung up my shiny new medals along with my running shoes. It is about time for me to wipe the dust from the shoes though and hit restart on my running regimen.

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Strength Training to Become a Fit Bride

I hate to admit it but it has been some time since I’ve regularly hit the gym. I play volleyball twice a week and go to a spin class about once a month, but it has been a few months since I’ve actively gone to the gym to workout. The lack of sweat has become apparent now that the holidays are far behind me, and I’m starting to become uncomfortable in my clothes and self-esteem levels.

Instead of getting down and out, though, I have a cheerful solution: get back into the game!

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Fitness & Health: Part 2 – Self Esteem & Weight Issues

Nearly a month ago I wrote and published Fitness & Health: Part 1. To the many friends who not only encouraged my challenges but also gave advice on how to approach my goals, thank you! I am feeling much happier and healthier over the past month due to a variety of reasons: better nutritional choices, more daily exercises, and no more heartache. It’s amazing how much a month can make a difference in your life.

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Fitness & Health: Part 1 – The Overall Goal

I ran my first 10k last weekend. And by “ran” I mean, I pushed on for the first 5k and then about died the next 5. I came in last place… but I still finished. My dripping, heaving, beet-red self jogged over that finish line like it was nobody’s business.

Yet even though I was proud of completing this new challenge, I was a bit embarrassed. I mean, I call myself a runner and here I am, not training on a daily basis, eating horribly, and almost killing myself (figuratively, of course) by not being prepared for a race I paid to run. Heed the wake up call!

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5 Resolutions Worth Setting

I’ve never been one to make New Years resolutions. I tend to stick with yearly goals, holding more accountability to my success rather than making a simple statement of something I want to do in the new year. One way to do this is by taking baby steps rather than resolving to make drastic life changes. Any progress is good progress, so start small and consider the aspects of life which will help you reach your goals in the long run. Here are five resolutions I believe are worthy to be set every year:

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