Updated: Fitness & Diet- a different kind of transformation

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Hey all!

I’m back with some of my updated fitness and diet habits that seem to be working for me right now. I thought I would share as I do have people message me a lot about this stuff, and I honestly don’t post about it a lot.

Just remember that everyone has different goals, which means certain things won’t work for you that work for me.

You should know that my fitness has looked VERY different over the past 5-10 years. I played soccer my entire life and play 1 year of D1 College soccer and then quit after having my 3rd major knee surgery. From there I immersed myself in the competitive sport of CrossFit. I did that for about 5 years and was VERY into it. I worked at a CrossFit box, trained around 6 times a week and competed. I did’t hate what it did to my body- but I didn’t love it. I was really strong, but I could never find clothes that fit me and it was so frustrating. Some ladies like having the “jacked” look, but I was growing to dislike it and I didn’t feel very womanly(I’m not throwing shade- just speaking from my own personal perceptions). I also didn’t love the obsessiveness and ego that came in to play, especially in the people I was closest to. It was a tough call, but I left CrossFit all-together. Again, this doesn’t represent all people in CrossFit, but it was my experience.

Here are just a few glances at my physical shape when I was doing that.

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Again, there were days when I felt ok about my body. It performed really well- I could lift, run, jump, do pullups, muscle ups- but I just felt like I was losing the point of it all… to feel good about myself ALL AROUND. I was also worried that if I quit CrossFit that I would never be in good shape again(I know, it was a horrible mindset).

When I moved to California (Fall 2016), everything about my fitness and diet changed. Instead of putting myself in a box of bars, weights, and machines, I found challenges in nature. These challenges completely changed my body, mind, and heart.

I decided to learn to surf- which is NOT easy as an adult.

The ocean is so grand and intimidating. I had to realize I was not in control, and that I need to coexist with nature. You could say it was just as humbling as Crossfit. Once I started doing that, I saw my body becoming this beautiful machine that actually looked and felt really natural and amazing.

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The benefits of Surfing:

  • Builds core strength. Y’ALL… my abs are freaking strong.
  • Tones arms, shoulders and back without bulking because you’re doing cardio and it’s not fully constant like swimming laps in a pool.
  • Helps with balance and coordination.
  • Works the legs and butt if you’re able to get on a short board and do crucial turnsunnamed-9.jpg

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I’ve also taken to mountain biking and hiking a lot. I realized that the more time I spend outside active, the better my body will look and feel. I’m mentally in a better space than I’ve ever been before. I feel more confident in my abilities even more than when I was doing CrossFit.

It helps having a super outdoorsy husband who is also EXTREMELY handy. He custom built this mountain bike for me in hopes that I would go ride with him more. You could say it worked. Mountain biking and hiking are probably the hardest for me.

There’s SO much mental fear that comes with mountain biking-

it’s just THAT scary when you are flying down a single track with cactus on either side and the hard dirt and rocks below you. I love that it helps build the booty and legs. It’s also GREAT cardio. Virginia Beach didn’t have any mountains near by so I was very limited there. Zack and I have a million different mountain trails within 15 minutes of where we live now and it’s truly opened my eyes to all of the possibilities.

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FULL disclosure. I don’t have a gym membership. I got one right when we moved to California and noticed I wasn’t using it. I honestly just LOVE being outside and it was so hard for me not be experiencing that. When the waves are off or it’s rained and the trails are wet, I will either do yoga, an at home workout, or a workout at the park.

A surfer I follow recently had a baby and said that she spends most of her time doing hill sprints and squats… So I thought, I need to do that- mainly because she’s a total hottie. As a surfer, I feel like my goals could be similar to hers- which is a great way to help you figure out where to start.

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A park workout will look something like:

1 long gradual hill run (this one is a slow burn)

Lunges up steep hill

Banded crab walks (look up banded workouts on youtube- they are great for people who have had knee surgeries. I got my bands on amazon)

10 Up down plank pushups

25 situps

1 steep hill SPRINT

Repeat 5x

Air squat burnout (do as many as you can until your legs collapse- I try to do over 100)

Activewear that I’ve been wearing: MPG Sport

Captivate Perforated Light Support Bra 

Banff Cropped Hoodie (on sale right now)

Revitalize High Waisted Signature Leggings

Check out Iaera Surf to see what I wear in the water!

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Unfortunately, all of the above activities won’t do a thing if your diet is crap. Just letting you know, my diet isn’t perfect by any means… there’s definitely some crap in there- like the Del Taco Churro Milkshake. Ugh.

For a good amount if time when I was doing CrossFit I ate a perfectly clean diet with only 1 cheat meal a month. IT WAS BRUTAL. I was definitely very toned. It was a very TOUGH lifestyle though.

The biggest constraints I put on my diet are dairy and gluten.

I try to avoid dairy to help with my digestion and keep my skin clear of breakouts. I try to avoid gluten as it supposedly can trigger migraines.

Things that make the biggest difference in my body:

– Eating veggies EVERY day. I enjoy raw peppers, cucumbers and carrots. 

Green smoothie 3x a week. 

– Substituting homemade paleo cookies in for other unhealthy desserts

– Avocados. They are SO filling and perfect as a snack by themselves. 

– Simple dinners. 1 protein and veggie side or sweet potato side.

– BLACK coffee. If you can last 2 weeks without putting cream and sugar in your coffee, it will transform your tastebuds and you will actually enjoy it. I promise.

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I know that was a lot to digest (haha), but I truly believe the combo of what I’m doing has changed my body for the best. Sure, I don’t have as much muscle as I did a few years ago, but it can’t just be about the numbers.

Not only do I feel better, I love the way my body has transformed.

I have real curves, but I’m not overweight. I still feel VERY athletic and have so many more new abilities now. I also love that I can go to a store, try something on and don’t have to worry about my lats popping out the back or not being able to pull my pants past my quads. For once, everything feels so balanced.

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(Not sure if you can see them, but I have stretch marks on my thighs from gaining muscle from soccer and Crossfit. It’s just another wonderful imperfection I’ve accepted)

I always say, do what works for you,

and I have friends who do all kinds of fitness. This has been what has worked for me. You don’t need a gym membership to be dedicated to your health. Some mornings I’m up before 6am to go surfing. Or I’m practically shedding tears trying to get up a huge hill on my mountain bike. There are SO many ways to push yourself. There are also SO many different diets and fads. Choose what’s best for your body.

You will see a difference, even if it takes awhile.

I hope you learned a little something from this- or maybe just feel encouraged in any kind of way. My body as been through the ringer. But believe me, if I can do it- so can you.

xoxo

Ashley

 

 

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