Category Archives: Ashley

Just Do It

ac·count·a·bil·i·ty                                                                                                                           noun: accountability                                                                                                                                        1. The fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do for which we are accountable.” – Moliere.

I’ve been realizing success does not come to you, you go to it. This is a fairly easy concept to understand… much harder to execute. I have also decided that I need to be held accountable for my actions (and mostly, my inactions).

I don’t know what it is, but I seem to have this perpetual habit of quitting. I am a quitter. All talk. Unrealistic about my goals in comparison to the amount of effort I am actually willing to put in at times. I get on a roll and right before I am about to breakthrough that plateau… I stop. I am not completely defeated, I do reach goals – just very inconsistently.

I think that I thought that I would suddenly find something that motivated me, a muse if you will. I want to inspire people, and to feel inspired! So how do I do it? How do I stop letting myself down? How do I stay on track and not give up on my dreams and goals when things get tough? How do I stay ACCOUNTABLE? First thing’s first… let go. I am an emotional woman. I let things get me down and they literally get the best of me, so this is my first challenge – Let go of the guilt, the bad day I had, my relationships with others, the way I feel when I give up on myself, etc. Just. Let. Go. OK, check.

“The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.” ― Steve Maraboli.

There are so many reasons not to do something. It is often too tempting to make excuses and take the easy way out. I know firsthand this “easy way” is not all it’s cracked up to be. Nobody feels good when they’re not in shape or living a healthy lifestyle. I understand it is a journey, and you learn and become stronger along the way. I love the journey, but I am ready to break this pattern and reach that peak. I know it will make all the difference, in every single aspect of my life.

VISIONBOARD

So here are some tips I will be incorporating into my life; some I have used before – and they work for me, and some are new things I’m going to start doing;

  • Take measurements:  I do love the scale because for me I know when I am slipping and it’s usually a big wake up call to get me moving. I do know it does the complete opposite for other people. Measurements are a great and effective way to track progress without making you feel badly if you are gaining muscle and the numbers go up.                                        
  • Buy new workout wear:  I don’t know about you, but a new pair of Nikes or workout gear always makes me excited for that next run.
  • Log your Food: Tracking what you are eating on a daily basis is so important. Most of us don’t realize how much we actually eat. When you have to write it down, you will most likely think twice about those bad choices.
  • Visualize your success: I LOVE vision boards. They aren’t for everyone, but I think they are an amazing tool. Make one with all of your favourite pictures, quotes – anything that inspires you, and post it where can see it every morning. Seeing really is believing. ❤
  • Enlist a workout buddy: It is always easier with a friend. It’s science.
  • Hire a trainer: This can be expensive, but they definitely are worth it if it helps you reach your potential.
  • Make time for YOU: Make your workout a priority. Schedule it in your calendar or phone if you have to – It will make the rest of your day much more enjoyable.
  • Sign up: Whether it’s a team or a run, etc. Knowing you have to be ready for something makes you more likely to stay active. I enjoy team sports. You can still workout and have fun at the same time!
  • Challenge yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself:  Allow yourself to make mistakes without feeling completely defeated, and always just keep moving forward.

I know I promised Insanity results, so I am going to deliver. These tips are going to help me get there. Consistency is the key! #DIGDEEP EVERYONE!!

Ash xo

Beachbody? Yes Please.

These past few months I have been going through what I would like to refer to as a ‘quarter life crisis’, though the fact is the average life expectancy in Canada is 80 years old, which means this is realistically more of a ‘third life crisis’ and that really stresses me out.

I think we all have our own perception of what 30 was/is going to be for us. I know for me I thought most certainly I would have an important power position at work, married, kids, 2 dogs, white picket fence, I mean I will be OLD!!! Flash forward… I sit here writing this and as I am fortunate enough to have a great job, I am single and live in a tiny condo downtown, by myself. I still feel like I am 21… how did this happen? It feels like yesterday I was being told, `you are so young, live your life’. These days when people ask me how old I am, it is more often than not followed by “Oh wow”. It’s all happening.

That being said, I am embracing this upcoming milestone (that’s what they all say, I know) and I have decided since I have all of this independence and freedom, I am going to challenge myself and get into the BEST shape I can by my birthday – July 17th. Typically, whenever I say I am going to do something like this, it lasts about 2 weeks and then I have a cheat day, which leads into a cheat month. Not good. This time is going to be different. Consistency is going to be the key to my success. In order to maximize my time, I will have to put my abs and booty in the trusty hands of Shaun T.

This guy does it all, choreographer and fitness expert, he really knows how to motivate you and most importantly – he gets results. I had the great honour and privilege of working out with Shaun here in Toronto last year. It was such an incredible experience. Talk about a man who is genuinely passionate and kind. There were hundreds of people there and he stood for hours after the group workout and took pictures and spoke to each person individually about their experiences. He is a real inspiration to me.

shaunt

Insanity is a Beachbody program created by Shaun T. It claims to be the hardest workout ever put on tape, and I believe it. Using nothing but your own body weight, you do endless push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, suicides, burpees, you name it… then the warm up is over. WARNING: This program is not for everyone. If you are extremely out of shape or afraid of hard work you might want to try something less intense, this will prevent injury and you will be less likely to get discouraged and quit. “It’s get fit, or get out people”. On days when I am tired, I literally dread it. BUT, it gives you equally as dramatic results. I did this program for the first time about 4 years ago, I was out of shape, lethargic, and had every single excuse in the world as to why. Let me tell you, as that version of myself, Insanity was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and in retrospect one of the greatest. I lost 50 pounds and gained a new appreciation for everything and everyone around me. Amazing things happen when you push your body past its limits and take back control of your life. There is no better feeling, for me at least.

What you can expect from Insanity

They were not exaggerating when they named this program. Each workout is done at a very strenuous pace (if you have any lingering joint issues be extremely careful). Insanity is based on the ‘Max-Interval Training’ principle which is essentially the opposite of traditional HIIT workouts, meaning you work hard for 3 minutes and rest for 30 seconds.

Month 1 – consists of 5 videos that are scheduled differently each week.

If you can make it through these 4 weeks, it is then followed by a week rest phase that consists of 1 video. It is very important to get this much-needed recovery. Trust me.

Month 2 – is really tough, these 4 videos are much more demanding and longer than the first month, but at least now you can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the results are motivating and exciting.

An easy to follow schedule and eating plan are also included to ensure you are eating properly to get the most out of all of your hard work. Abs are made in the kitchen!

I am a huge supporter of Insanity and Shaun T. It will not be easy, but if you are up for the challenge I promise it will push you out of your comfort zone and throw you into a pile of your own sweat on the floor. You will get insanely incredible results but you will have to work for them, and hard.

So here I go again. If you think you have what it takes, please join me!

I am currently on Day 4/60. Day 60 being my birthday. I will be posting my progress every 2 weeks (with pictures, at the end). #DIGDEEP everyone!

GET INSANE

Ash xo

The skinny on B12

They say you don’t really know what you’ve got until it’s gone… and in this case, no truer words have been spoken.

What is B12? Well, if you ask Wikipedia (and they are always right) it will tell you  – Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood.

Sounds important…

 

I think I was 14 when I decided I didn’t want to hurt cows anymore, or pigs, or spiders – come to think of it, Charlotte’s Web must be responsible for this. Anyway, I felt I had a moral responsibility, and wanted to save allllll the animals (Except for chickens and turkeys apparently, but that would eventually come a few years later). I was never really interested in dairy. The thought of eating eggs completely freaked me out, and I am probably a very rare breed of human being who genuinely finds cheese and milk repulsive. It seemed like a no brainer – I should become a vegan! It will be so easy. So I did.

What they don’t tell you – it is not hard to become a vegan. I mean, vegans can eat FRENCH FRIES!!! It is, however, not easy to maintain a vegan lifestyle properly. Properly meaning, supplementing for all the vitamins and minerals of which you’re not getting sufficient amounts through a plant based diet. Vegetables were once a (mediocre) source of B12 because it was found naturally in the bacteria that pesticides have now made non-existent. We live in a world of supply and demand, which has a HUGE affect on quality.

As a vegan I gained a whopping 80lbs! Yes, 8-0. Sounds outrageous, and it was. I was not only fat, but also tired, depressed, unmotivated, insecure, anxious – you name it. I will spare you the horrific details of how I got to this place and how I crawled out of it – that is a whole other story.

After numerous blood test and doctors’ appointments, I was diagnosed as Vitamin B12 deficient. I had never really even heard of this vitamin, and considering the symptoms I had were starting to mimic those of MS I was shocked that they didn’t think of this sooner. I started getting B12 shots monthly, and after the first one I felt like new person – Or the way I feel when I buy a new pair of shoes – ALIIIIIIIIVE!!!

 

B12 Deficiency Symptoms – just to name a few:

Strange sensations, numbness, or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet

Difficulty walking (staggering, balance problems)

Anemia

Anxiety

A swollen, inflamed tongue

Yellowed skin (jaundice)

Difficulty thinking and reasoning (cognitive difficulties), or memory loss

Paranoia or hallucinations

Weakness

Fatigue

…And they only get worse.

 

Some great benefits of B12 include:

Increases energy levels. (It makes you less lazy, yes you.)

Helps maintain healthy regulation of the nervous system, reducing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage – I know a lot of people who could benefit from this last part

Helps maintain a healthy digestive system

Protects against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels, protecting against stroke, and high blood pressure

It is amazing for healthy skin, hair, and nails

Helps protect against the C word in many ways – including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer

 

Vitamin B12 is found in most animal derived foods, including fish and shellfish, meat (especially liver – yuck), poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products.

I would highly suggest taking a B12 supplement, even if you eat an adequate amount of these foods  (This is especially important if you are a vegetarian/vegan, smoke, are pregnant, elderly, suffer from anemia or celiac disease).  B12 also aids in maintaining a healthy metabolism – which is awesome.

Lucky for you, you can find this little miracle just about anywhere.

 

Ash xo