Strong is the New Skinny Blog Tour: Group Fitness

Monday, January 11, 2016


Good morning readers!! So... it has been a pretty long while. Life has happened (like it always seems too lol) and alot has transpired over the past 6 months, but today is not the day when I get into too much detail. Today, I am on a fabulous blog tour hosted by Free Notion, that is all about aspiring Health and Wellness in 2016. My post for you today is about "Group Fitness", something that is oh so near and dear to my heart, and something that has seriously changed my life. Are you ready?! Then let's get started :)





All the pictures you see above are me... Ashley. The Ashley that gained 80lbs with both of her pregnancies. That person was, and IS beautiful. But she was so scared; scared of being overweight forever; scared of dying young due to heart disease... UNCOMFORTABLE in her own skin. 

I don't know if you have been there... but I have, and it is truly such a dark and depressing place, that I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. 

In and around July of 2014, I came across this blog post. Her name is Kim of Eggo in the Oven, and this post was the starting point of my lifestyle change. That post, Kim, saved my life, my health, and most of all, allowed me to finally accept myself. And, not going to lie, I had to accept the fact that I was overweight, and needed a change. 

The post on Kim's blog was about this YouTube channel created by Briana Christine, the founder of Bikini Body Mommy, or otherwise known as BBM. Want to know something funny? For one whole month, I sat at my laptop and watched these videos while eating some really unhealthy food thinking "One day I'll be ready to commit to this... one day...". 

Well, that day came in September of 2014, when I committed myself to changing not only my fitness lifestyle, but my eating lifestyle too. So..... in one big commitment, I started BBM and Whole30... and all I can say is DAMN!!! 

I tried the first round of BBM for me, which was 3.0.... and I failed lol... miserably haha. I did lose 16lbs from the Whole30, but I was still nursing and didn't want to risk drying up. 

I also didn't do what Briana suggested in all of her videos... GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER!!!!! SERIOUSLY... DO IT!!!!! This ties in the whole "Group Fitness" for me, because without this woman, who is named Megan, my INCREDIBLE ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER, I am pretty sure I would still be overweight, eating BonBons and watching the workout videos like I used too lol. So Megan, I want to THANK YOU too, because without you and I communicating, I honestly can't imagine where I would be. I love you!! Even though we have never met in "person", I know you, and you know me, and we have walked through some amazing life events together, with many more to come!

So... are you ready to see?!?!? Well I am ready to show :)




There you have it! I was committed to changing my health... and it has been the best change I have ever made. Was it easy? HELL NO! It was one of the toughest things I have had to do in my life... ever. Even over childbirth... no joke. Losing weight once you are overweight is a mental mind eff of highs and lows, but it was all worth it in the end!! I also need to thank Briana of BBM because till this day I still do her workouts; 6 days a week, even when I don't want to! 

Ok, so onto what I made! I decided to sew up the Aires by Seamwork, and they were a very quick and satisfying sew. I used a spandex/lycra blend black cotton from Joanns, with an upcycled workout shirt for the color blocking. The fit was overall well, but I will shorten the inseam just a tad as well as do another method for the waistband. But they do have a "crotch gusset" which I wasn't expecting, but was super excited because all of my workout bottoms have them built in; Score! So below are the photos of myself in the Aires, with the courtesy of my fiance for taking the pictures for me :) Not the best, but they will do lol Thanks babe!






I wanted to thank Becca for having me on this tour! And I hope this post was inspiring to at least one woman (or man!) out there. BBM seriously changed my life, and I don't know where I would be without it and my workout partner Megan. Like I said, making the commitment to change my fitness and eating lifesyle was anything but easy, but the end result has been so worth it. My journey is far from over though! Our wedding is in April (FINALLY!) and I really want to have a "bikini body" by the time that comes around lol Wish me luck! And good luck to the people who commit to changing their life; it will be the best thing you will ever do for yourself... I promise!


Make sure to stop by all the other incredible and inspiring ladies on the tour!!!! I guarantee they will leave you inspired to start something new :)


25 comments :

  1. THIS IS AMAZING! You are such an inspiration! And accountability partner - such a great tip. I have an inner sloth in me, and someone's gotta call me on it :P

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  2. Thank you Becca! This was such a wonderful opportunity for me :) I enjoyed every minute of it!

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  3. Ashley you totally just made me cry.... again. THANK YOU for finding me and sending your sweet message. Thank you for reminding me thst the hard work is worth it. Thank you for the honesty about how freaking tough it all is. Thank you for reminding me that what I have to offer (me, my honest truth) could be worth something to someone out there. Thank YOU.

    You look amazing - the BIGGEST thing I see is the joy in your eyes and I can FELL your energy through the screen. The weight loss and AH-MA-ZING muscles are truly impressive too!!! ♡♡♡

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  4. Ashley you totally just made me cry.... again. THANK YOU for finding me and sending your sweet message. Thank you for reminding me thst the hard work is worth it. Thank you for the honesty about how freaking tough it all is. Thank you for reminding me that what I have to offer (me, my honest truth) could be worth something to someone out there. Thank YOU.

    You look amazing - the BIGGEST thing I see is the joy in your eyes and I can FELL your energy through the screen. The weight loss and AH-MA-ZING muscles are truly impressive too!!! ♡♡♡

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    1. Kim, as I said, your one post kick started my amazing journey of health and fitness, and I am forever grateful! Seriously ❤️ It is hard work, and it's not always fun lol but it's so worth it in the end! And I'm so glad we re-connected!!!

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  5. I love BBM and did her workouts for a while. It's a great option and kuddos to you for finding an accountability partner! That is totally key to long term commitment! Great post!

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    1. Thank you Jaime! And she has most deff been key for a long term comittment that's for sure :)

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  6. Great job on your weight loss and getting so strong! It is a mind thing to finally do it. I have been watching my weight creep up over the last few years and am trying to get it back down. It is hard work!

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    1. Thank you Stacy! And yes, as I said, it has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. But a little motivation and effort goes a looooong way!

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  7. You are always so inspiring. And you are beautiful in any size, but you can see how incredibly happy you are fit and healthy. I've loved watching you on this journey because you slayed it! Thanks for being a source of inspiration for me, my friend. It is just the kick in the ass that I need to get motivated to get back to what I know I can be.

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    1. Thank you Melissa! It's crazy to know that you have watched this whole thing transpire; how wild :)! And you can do it! Because, you deserve it my dear <3

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  8. Do you know whenever I end up in conversations about weight loss, I find your pictures on Instagram and show them. I think you're inspiring more people than you realise. Well done you. That smile says it all. And blimin' eck lady, THOSE BICEPS!!!!

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    1. Olu! How I have missed you, and they way you speak :)!!!!!! I am so glad that my changes have helped you show others too; that's stinking awesome! And I can say I'm FINALLY comfortable in my own skin, and that has been a 26yr battle of crazy lol

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  9. An accountability partner sounds amazing -- just what I need! I will check out the BBM as I'm a big home exerciser.

    Love seeing the Aires sewn up in the wild too :)

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  10. An accountability partner sounds amazing -- just what I need! I will check out the BBM as I'm a big home exerciser.

    Love seeing the Aires sewn up in the wild too :)

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    1. Katie, having Megan as a partner changed my workout life lol but also, do check out BBM!!! I didn't go into detail, but it's a 90day free program on YouTube, six days a week, and with a 14-22min workout, that makes you sweat like a crazy lady. I just love it!!!! No need to go to the gym here :)
      And thank you! I love the Aires; great pattern and now my daughter said I need more :)!

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