Why 'dancing through life'?
Originally this blog was called Ashley's Staying Active & Maintenance Blog and was intended as an additional resource for my Weight Watchers members. When I was diagnosed with Crohn's a lot of things changed in my life, including my eating and the blog became more about my lifestyle than just weight maintenance. I also wanted the blog to seem accessible to all people - not just those who were trying to lose or maintain their weight.
How have you reconciled your current weight with your state of mind? How did you finally come to terms with your new body vs. your former one?
Oooh interesting question. It took me a long time to actually realize that I had lost 33 lbs. I used to see the same girl in the mirror and I think it's something that happens to a lot of people after they lose weight. We're so accustomed to seeing ourselves in the mirror, probably every day! So it can be challenging to see the day to day changes, even when we've lost a lot of weight.
I found the process of becoming a Weight Watchers leader to be incredibly helpful for my state of mind. My trainer really helped me with this issue and helped me to see that I had changed and that my body was different. For me now, it's a lot about the behavioral changes that I've made. If you had shown me five years ago the way I would be eating and living my life, I would have told you that you had gotten it all wrong and you must be looking at a different person! I'm so proud of all the changes that I've made and the choices that I continue to make each day. Am I perfect? Far from it. But I know that I'm being proactive in helping to create a healthier, stronger me.
What do you eat?
I try to keep things interesting around here. You can check out some of my weekly meal plans or recaps to see some of the things I have for dinner. I LOVE trying new recipes and have a ton of cookbooks in my pantry. Breakfasts usually consist of gluten free cereal with almond milk and berries, smoothies, gluten free toast with nut butter or gluten free hot cereal with almond milk and agave. I try to take my lunch to work at least 4 days each week. I often have leftovers from the previous night or a giant salad. For snacks I like to have larabars, nuts, rice cakes with hummus or nut butter, veggie slices with hummus, berries, or dairy free ice cream.
What do you do to exercise?
I am not a gym person. I know that about myself, so to keep active I like to do a variety of things. I've been taking belly dancing classes for a year now and I love it! It's a great medium intensity workout and I have so much fun that I don't feel like I'm "working out" and actually look forward to my class each week. I try to take other dance classes when I can as well. I also like to practice yoga either in classes or on my own at home. Last summer I enjoyed playing on a softball team. I walk a lot. I go for runs. And on June 8th I'm starting boot camp!
Do you still count Points?
I do! Some weeks I'm definitely better than others, but I do practice what I preach. Counting my Points keeps me accountable and on track with my eating. I've been doing it so long that I know the Points values for a lot of things, but I find that writing it down in my little notebook really helps me to maintain my weight.
How do you get Joey to eat everything you eat?
Joey met me the very week that I joined Weight Watchers, so he has always known me on program! I moved in with him soon after we started dating, and so I started cooking pretty early (which was probably a good thing, since when I moved in all that was in his fridge was a box of leftover phad thai, some vinegar and some ramen noodles in the cupboard!) Joey almost always eats what I eat at home, just usually in a bigger portion than me. I don't cook separate meals. He's been very willing to try new things with me and now enjoys things like curries, tofu shirataki noodles, brown rice pasta and coconut ice cream! Since going gluten free/dairy free/ etc. he has continued to eat whatever I make, but has a few special things in the house that he has on his own (bran, whole wheat flax bread, cheese, sour cream etc.) When we bbq or dine out, we'll order different things or make different versions of the same things (I'll have a veggie burger and he'll have a meat burger) I'm so grateful that he has been so supportive of everything and I know that he is healthier as a result!