Transformation of the Day: Ashley 171 pounds by working out and changing her eating habits. When very high blood sugar and high blood pressure rendered her temporarily blind, she knew that she had to turn her life around. With the help of a diabetic counselor and a will to reclaim her health, she has transformed.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
In January 2019, I became very ill. I went to the doctor and had a glucose reading of over 500 and an A1c of 12.9. I also weighed about 511 pounds. I had almost completely lost my vision due to high blood sugar and blood pressure. My most favorite thing to do in the world is reading, and I couldn’t do that because I couldn’t see the words. I literally had to sit in my living room and listen to my tv because I couldn’t see it.
I also had absolutely no energy and had a difficult time standing or walking for long periods of time. Sleeping comfortably was a challenge, as well.
I decided that I needed to control these health issues before they controlled me or even worse… before I lost my life and left my husband and loved ones. This was also my motivation for not giving up: I want a long, healthy life.
I also do not want to feel as helpless as I did back in January 2019. I couldn’t see nor could I work, and at the time, I was a preschool teacher. Eventually, I want to join a kickball and/or softball league in the new year.
How did you change your eating habits?
I began to see a diabetic counselor (whom I still see), and we talk once per month about things that I’m eating. I also downloaded the Lose It app, which has helped tremendously.
I try not to exceed 1200 calories per day. I mainly eat vegetables and protein, such as chicken, fish, and turkey. I also eat A LOT of leafy greens and vegetables, such as broccoli, lettuce, kale, etc.
I try not to eat a lot of carbs. However, carbs are a source of energy, so I’m learning to find good carbs and eat the recommended amount of fruit per day.
What does your workout routine look like?
I do lots of cardio. I joined the gym back in March 2019, and I work out between 5-6 days a week. I don’t limit myself to just the gym. I go to the park and walk/jog for 3-4 miles. I work out at home by pulling up YouTube videos by Pop Fitness, Leslie Sansome, or Paula B. Fitness. I also walk during my lunch break and do several 5k walks around my city. I get between six and eight hours of physical activity a week.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 511 pounds, and my current weight is 340 pounds.
What is your height?
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started this journey in January of 2019 up to the present day. I always started and stopped in the past, but that major health scare opened my eyes.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
No, I have not had any surgery or procedures done. I am also not taking any medication. In the beginning, I had to get my blood sugar and my blood pressure down. I am currently off all medication. I still have to test myself, but I do not have to take anything.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Take Your Health Seriously, even if you’re young. I just turned 30 in November 2019 and did not take my health seriously until January 2019 at 29 years old.
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
Listen to your body. When you feel that something is wrong, it usually is. I had been feeling sick for about two months prior to January, and I did not pay it any attention until I’d gotten very ill at work and could barely move or see.
This is the most challenging thing that I’ve ever had to do in my life. It is not only a difficult physical journey but an emotional one as well. Planning is everything, even down to the days you will work out and what you will do during that time.
Find other ways to deal with stress besides eating and drinking alcohol. Try not to let your emotions get the best of you and take you to a place where you find comfort in food. Go for a walk, do a quick meditation, talk to someone, write it down, or simply cry it out. For me, working out works best.