The End of Whole30, and the start of something new.

It felt like as soon as my Whole30 journey began, it was over. It was a fast month, and the time flew by like nothing, leaving me realizing more than ever: you can do anything for 30 days. Excited by my changed body structure/composition and weight loss, I set out for the next step in my journey. How was I going to take myself to the next level? How was I going to maintain this new, healthy lifestyle?

My blood results showed great improvements in my T3 and T4 levels, as well as my TSH. I definitely cannot stop with this lifestyle. I have removed gluten, and incorporated a mass amount of fresh, organic (wherever possible) fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. I have re-introduced dairy, non-glutenous grains, and sugar (yikes!) with no problems. My journey is far from over.

Although I had formed all these new, healthy habits, I was beginning to dread making my way to the gym, bearing the cold outside (it’s still very much winter here), and trying to plow my way through some form of routine. I ended up dreading every second of it, and coming out feeling like I could have put in way more effort. I hated that feeling. I mean, come on, you just gave it your all for 30 days..who are you? After hearing all the hype about Shakeology (and researching the heck out of the ingredients), I decided to try a Beachbody Challenge. One week in and I knew it was going to work for me. I am SO EXCITED that I found this. So, what does this have to do with anything?

If you’re interested, please head over to my new blog: https://healthhypefitness.wordpress.com/

My first blog post explains the “WHY” on my new decision, and I have a lot of exciting information for you. I am so excited to get in the best shape of my life (and only have to work out 30-minutes a day 😉 )

If you’re interested, contact me today and we can chat about your goals! I can even become your free coach! If you want more information on Shakeology, or the Beachbody programs, here are a few links to help you get started:

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/astefanson

https://www.facebook.com/healthhypefitness

Your (new!) Beachbody Coach,

Ashley

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Long weekend = short week

I tried to get J to tell me which he was more excited for, the long weekend, or the short week. Apparently, according to him, they’re the same thing (Uh, no). Although today is Tuesday, it’s really my Monday (thank you, holiday Monday!) and I feel blessed I got to skip the typical Monday blues. ❤ Happy, happy, happy.

We had a Thanksgiving dinner (non-traditional style) last night.  I made my very first ham, homemade mac n’ cheese (J’s request), roasted root veggies, broccoli, homemade buns, and blueberry pie. My cousin’s girlfriend (my cousin is the only family I have here, other than J, of course) brought a pumpkin chocolate cheesecake. J’s friend from back home came, also. The 5 of us (and the three pups, of course), had a good time, and it was nice…it still isn’t quite the same being away from my family (will it ever be?), but we are getting to the point where I don’t cry on holidays.. 😉 Also, my ham turned out PERFECTLY, if I may say so myself. I think everyone was in a food coma when they left, and I was very happy that I was already at home…no travelling on a full belly for me! 🙂

On another note: I woke up bright and early and started a new gym. I always have trouble getting out of bed for morning gym sesh’s.. Usually (9 times out of 10) I make up some kind of excuse as to why re-setting my alarm and getting two more hours of sleep is a better plan….

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Not this time! My new gym is SO cool! It’s actually a lady who lives just down the street (a 2 minute jog) who has made her basement into a full gym! It has a private entrance, and you’re given a key with your membership. You book your 1.5hour time slot in advance, and you are the only person there.. you can bring up to 3 other people with you for no additional fee. It is AMAZING. Working out alone, in a full gym, with a private bathroom, two TV’s, your own stereo, ipod hook-ups, workout dvds (MANY of them) and an area to do them?! Oh wow, why didn’t I think of that? Also, booking in advance means that even if I don’t show up, I am still paying = I am actually getting out of bed.

Yay, yay, yay yaaaaaaaaaaaay. I am a happy camper.

 

xo

Ashley

Monday, Monday, Mondayyyy..

I usually spend a good 2 minutes trying to think of a witty blog title, but today this just seems fitting.. because it’s Monday and that is all. I don’t like Mondays (surprise)… I’m just not destined to be employed (bahaha…I wish).

Friday I met up with my trainer. I weighed in at 2.5 pounds lost (nevermind that this morning I am back to my regular, static weight that just won’t budge), and I lost 0.9% body fat. I am pretty sure that the margin of error is greater than 1%, but I’ll take it.. small victories.

As for my measurements, someone please try and explain THIS sequence of events:

My last round of measurements (with one month difference in between):

  • Gained a 1/2″ around my chest.. I found a way to be happy with this (what girl wouldn’t be?!)
  • Lost 2″ around my waist (woohoo!!)
  • Gained 3/4″ around my hips (I have been squating like CRAZY and I had virtually zero bum to begin with…so I also found a way to accept this..)

This month of measurements (as taken on Friday with one month difference in between):

  •  Lost 1/2″ around my bust
  • Gained 1″  around my waist ( 😐 )
  •  Lost 3/4″ around hips

Okay, what in the hell is going on?! I swear I go into these weigh/measure/body fat days and I am feeling soo great, and then I come out wanting to cry (and being SO confused).  I don’t have a copy of my pictures yet, so I will post them as soon as she sends them over..but part of me doesn’t even want to look. UGH!

Part of me wonders if I am simply not working hard enough, do all these girls that look amazing really work THAT much harder than me? I mean, I work out to the point of absolute exhaustion and wanting to puke AT LEAST 4 times a week (I aim for 5-6), and I eat PRETTY FREAKING GOOD!! I dont want to make excuses and thyroid this, thyroid that..but I just don’t get it..

Well, I sucked it up and resisted the urge to go home and cry in my bed. I went home, got my gym stuff on and headed out. In order to combat my I HATE CARDIO attitude, I have been running to the gym and getting Jamie to pick me up after he’s done work. This gives me a solid 15-20 minute run, and a good 45-60 minutes at the gym. Friday night workout = lots of space at the gym. I was literally the only girl there. I was lifting hard and angry, I was sweating like crazy and I had a sad, empty feeling in my stomach. I had taken up shop in the corner of the gym and I was hoarding gym equipment in a cute little array next to me on the bench (in a way you can only do on a Friday night), when a guy started walking towards me. Oh god, I thought, I have too much stuff….I’m an ass. *panic*. BUT GUESS WHAT HE SAID?!?

“I don’t know how to say this in a non creepy way…but I saw  you here a few months ago and you are looking REALLY good. I have really noticed a big change and you must be working really, really hard.”

Seriously, I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face. I must have said thank you 15 times.. I NEEDED that. I probably needed that worse than I’ve needed it in my entire journey. 70+ pounds lost and this was the time that I really, really NEEDED to hear this…and it happened.  I definitely took it as a sign that everything is going to be okay.

HAPPY MONDAY everyone! Thanks for reading.

Oh, and just because I love this picture, here’s Ben yesterday with his new bandana.. Can you say crazy dog lady??

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Hi, I’m Ben and I’m a model.. 🙂

 

Fancy Friday and Body Fat Testing

Good Morning! It’s Fridayyyy!

Usually when I wake up on Friday’s, my first thoughts are:

  • BABE!! We can stay up LATE tonight and SLEEP IN tomorrow
  • Tomorrow is cheat day and I’m eating Indian food (I am addicted and it’s my ‘cheat’ choice every single week)
  • I get to wear jeans today

Point 1 and 2 were right on time…however today I decided not to wear jeans (our office has been letting us wear jeans for the past week to celebrate the Calgary Stampede). Instead, I have opted for a Fancy Friday..hehe. My mom bought me this dress in Vegas, and I have to fight not to wear it a few times a week (in love). I don’t have a lot of ‘expensive’ (the dress was about $100, so only really ‘expensive’ to my small-town budget) clothes, and I think I just love the way the fabric feels. Oh, and it makes me feel fancy –hence Fancy Friday..Ben really likes it too, as you can see. He spent the entire morning following me around, flopping down, and licking my ankles (weirdo).

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After work, I am meeting with my trainer getting my measurements done, progress pictures taken, and body fat tested. This will be my second test as I did another one exactly one month ago. I’m pretty nervous. I’ve been working so hard, and I really hope the number has gone down. I don’t really feel like I look any different. With my luck, it’s probably gone up a few percent.. haha.

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These are my previous progress photo comparisons. These photos were taken one month apart, I was working my ASS off and eating clean, clean, clean. As you can see..I look exactly the same.In fact, I may even look worse in the front facing one.. lol 😦 Boo!!!! But I didn’t give up!! I am still working out 6 days per week, eating careful, and remaining hopeful.

P.S. I know I don’t need to loose any weight. But I do want to build muscle and tone my body. 3 years ago I was 220 pounds, and I’ve fought HARD to get to this stage. I’ve sweat, and cried, and thrown up from working so hard. It’s been a serious struggle…but I made it to this point. Maybe someday I will post “220lb me” photos..but not today.

 

FINGERS crossed for tonight!!! Wish me luck 🙂

 

 

Crazy eyebrows and lots of snuggles.

Last night was just like our average, every day night. I got home from work, went to the gym with my fiance (I can bench 65 pounds, but I still can’t do a pull-up!), came home, did our Costco run, ate dinner (yay for green smoothies with protein and flax..lately I have not been feeling solid meals for dinner) and relaxed for a bit. Oh, and we had our first dance class for the wedding. I definitely have two left feet and a very, very hard time ‘following’. Apparently I need to let go of all control…not something I am good at.  But all in all, it was a great night.

After we got home and I showered, I perched in my usual, comfy spot on the bathroom counter and begun on the ever so tedious task of plucking my eyebrows (which had been neglected for far too long). Well, guess what? They’re falling out. The edges used to be full, and now they’re falling out. They’re pencil-thin and it’s not from plucking. This made me sad. My skin is also getting even drier. The inside of my nostrils is cracked and raw and has been for months, but now it’s spreading to my cheeks and forehead, as well. This has been one of those symptoms that no doctor can explain. It could be from the Hashimoto’s, and it could be from any number of other causes. Oh well, all I know is that I look like a lizzard and it hurts.

I ran downstairs to my fiance and asked him the question he has to receive at least 3 times per week… “Is it too late to call Grandma??!” (she is in another time zone). Grandma is my go-to for times like these, she always seems to understand. I think we are ‘soul sisters’, or whatever you want to call it. She just understands me. Even when I’m being crazy, she has a special way of making me feel like she knows exactly what I am going through. Well, despite his answer of “probably”, I decided to take the risk. Sure enough, Grandma was sleeping. I’ve made this mistake before and had her groggily answer the phone, knowing I’m the only one who would call that late, but luckily this time I did not interrupt her. Grandpa and I had a quick talk, but I didn’t want to keep him from his Baseball game he was currently watching on PVR (oh, to be retired..). I called my Momma and gave her my sob story. She worries about me and told me to go to the doctor. Blah, the doctor cannot do anything for these crazy brows. I said goodnight, got off the phone, snuggled my fiance while I felt sorry for myself for a bit, and forced myself to walk upstairs to bed. Goodnight eyebrows, you a-holes.

I woke up this morning and felt great! I wasn’t bloated, or tired. I actually felt skinny (yayyy for no bloat!). So I thought, what the hell, painted my eyebrows on (hehe) and jumped on the scale. Afterall, I’ve been WORKING MY ASS OFF at the gym AND eating out of tupperware. Oh scale, I hate you. I hate, hate, hate you. Every time I think maybe I lost a pound or two you squash my hopes and my dreams and bring me back to reality. I can feel like an absolute supermodel looking in the mirror, and as soon as I see that stupid number I feel like a beached whale. Psychological abuse, I’d say.  I know, I know, it’s ‘just a number’. But why can’t it be a number that is 10 pounds less?! So, I concluded that I need to stop weighing myself…which I probably will until two weeks from now when I am feeling SO great that I must have lost weight.. 😉 and so the vicious cycle begins again!

 

Go pink plaid!
Go pink plaid!

 Today is going to be a good day. I am waiting for a cab to take me downtown to our office’s annual client barbeque for a “Stampede celebration”– I live in Calgary, so this is a big week for us! It is supposed to be almost 30 degrees and I will be downtown all day mingling and watching others enjoy delicious BBQ steak (while I eat salad and lean turkey breast from a tupperware container)…but hey, I won’t be at work! Enjoy your Tuesday, everyone!