Ashley lost 27 pounds. Newly divorced and dealing with the current pandemic, she decided to focus her time and energy on getting herself together financially, physically, and emotionally. This Delta Sigma Theta soror was ready for a change and determined to be an active mom for her son.
What was your motivation?
I wanted to lose the weight for my son Ashton and for myself, of course. Ashton is six, and I’m newly divorced at 35 years old. If you had told me I would be a single mom and divorced at 35, I would have laughed.
Over the last few months (especially since Corona), I had nothing but time to get myself together financially, physically, and emotionally. Let’s face it; everyone wants to be attractive. Towards the end of my marriage, I did not feel it or look it. It’s simple: If you don’t like it, change it.
In the white dress, I weighed 203 pounds. I now weigh 176 pounds at 5’5″. I weighed 176 before I got married (how ironic). I know my heart is healthier. My organs are not working overtime just to keep me alive, and it’s a satisfying feeling to know I took charge of my life and did the work.
When someone gets good and tired, they will change. I wanted to be ready when my six year old wants to go outside and play or run around the house. Boys are very active, so I need to be able to keep up as a single mom.
How did you change your eating habits?
I changed my eating habits by practicing moderation and cutting out junk food. Listen, I’m a country girl. I like my neckbones and Church’s chicken, but I know now that I have to keep them at bay and not have them every day. I switched to more water, less juice, more fruit, and less cake. I literally cleaned out my cabinets.
Also, I want my son to be healthy. We have too many obese kids in America, and I don’t want him apart of the statistics. What I eat, he eats most of the time. I don’t deprive him of childhood goodies, but I talk to him about the importance of making healthy choices. I watch what he eats, as well.
Another thing I did was incorporate intermittent fasting into my routine. It clears my mind and sets the tone for my eating habits during the day. I fast for at least 12+ hours during the week and eat only in a 4-6 pm window. Cooking my meals at home during this pandemic has not only improved my cooking skills, but I am more aware of what is actually in my food. Eating out was a major problem for me in the past. Using fresh ingredients and challenging myself to eat more veggies has been amazing. What used to be Friday night pizza is now grilled chicken and vegetables or at least a veggie pizza.
Tell us about your workout routine.
I have all this time due to the pandemic and working from home (which frees me up more), so I walk every day! 3-6 miles is always the target. Anything less is unacceptable. I take Ashton with me. He rides his scooter/bike, and I jog alongside him. I also took advantage of FREE virtual workouts that were offered by Reginald May of Loft Fitness Club in Atlanta, GA.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
This major transformation, which happened in the last three months, has taught me to go get what I want. Live a life you deserve. My divorce doesn’t mean I’m damaged. It means I can start over (mentally, emotionally, and physically), and get to a place of peace and joy.
I actually enjoy the sweat and hard work it takes to look this good. It’s a mental challenge for me that I enjoy. Do I want to get up every day and go walking? Nope, but I know I’ve come too far to stop, and my testimony is inspiring others. I am determined to keep the weight off.
I will continue to do the work. It truly IS a lifestyle that comes with challenges, but it’s worth it. My self-confidence is on “10” now, but I keep the “other girl pictures” on my phone to keep me humble at all times.
What advice would you like to share?
Black women are amazing in every aspect, and we need to let each other know the weight can be lost. You can have that inner joy and peace that everyone desires. Losing weight is important, not just for vanity but because we are taking back our health.
I am so very thankful that I am in this position, both physically and mentally. People are asking me for tips! I tell them to take it one hour at a time, make sure you do it for you and keep going. Every day is NOT going to be easy. Some days, it will feel like you are getting nowhere. Trust God in everything you do, and he will direct your path.