Hello all, and welcome to my blog!
(Note: this section is not up to date–more to come soon!)
My name is Ashley and I’m a self-professed health and fitness nut who just so happens to adore writing, being a newbie vegan, and rocking the perfect pair of stilettos. I have wanted to somehow blend my background in journalism with my love of exercise, nutrition, positive body image, and overall healthy living for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized I could either sit back and wish for something to eventually happen…or go ahead and manifest my reality.
I decided to take action, and writing a blog seemed like the perfect place to start!
I can’t even begin to tell you how many “blogs-to-be” I sat down and started to work on before becoming frustrated and giving up because they just weren’t “right.” I have a type-A personality, which means I’m a complete perfectionist, and this little trait was the main culprit behind my writer’s block. For someone with a degree in communications & journalism, the fact that I couldn’t nail down something as seemingly simple as a blog blew my mind. I read blogs everyday and I wanted so badly to contribute to that world. The truth is– blogs REALLY aren’t that easy. They require a lot of time, energy, passion and web skills. Props to all of you daily bloggers out there…seriously, YOU ROCK!
Now, I may not have all the time in the world…but I certainly have energy and passion. So what’s the problem?
Well, when I turned 25 years old something changed. Now, I don’t know if a 25 year old can really have a “quarter-life crisis”…but if that’s an actual condition, allow me to diagnosis myself. Before you think “STOP IT! You’re still young!” let me to explain…
I don’t want to seem selfish, so please don’t get me wrong. My life is pretty great. I live in Boston with my wonderful boyfriend who I met back in college and love dearly. I have a full-time job at a company where I work with amazing, inspiring people everyday who make me feel appreciated. I have a loving family and fabulous friends and although I don’t have everything I’ve always dreamed of achieving by age 25 (a penthouse in NYC, a big wig TV job, a weekly column in a famous fitness/wedding magazine, a book deal…hey, a girl can dream can’t she?!) but I have been blessed to have enough to be content and get by. Yet, for some reason, I couldn’t help but feel a little twinge of anxiety on the night before my birthday back on that winter night.
I still felt like something in my heart was missing.
Somewhere down the line I lost that light inside me that used to shine through and signal HI! THIS IS ME! I KNOW EXACTLY WHO I AM! I guess you could say I lost myself and got sucked into the daily grind of well, living.
I was breathing (though not properly), eating (though not well enough), working (though not relaxing), and sleeping (though not as much as I should have been) and as a result, I wasn’t fully experiencing life in a way that gave me a sense of purpose and focus. Now, I know we all need our jobs and money and and income to survive, and most if not all of us not have the opportunity to walk away from what we have to chase our dreams right NOW (we have bills and rent to pay people!) but we certainly can take the time to MAKE the time to create a place where we can be our true selves. For some people, this may be learning a language, or taking a new fitness class…for others this may mean getting back into painting or setting aside time to read every night before bed. Whatever it is, it’s so important to find that something that brings a smile to your face and is only YOURS.
For me, that something was health, fitness, and nutrition. I spend most of my free time reading, researching and pursuing these passions…but it wasn’t always done in a healthy way. These exact three things were my obsessions a few years ago while I was battling anorexia in college.
The sickness took over my life.
I became so deathly ill that it forced me to drop out of school after my freshman year and devote my life to recovery. After spending the majority of my time in and out of hospitals, inpatient treatment centers, and transition programs for about two years, a miracle happened. I don’t know where the drive came from, but I suddenly had the will to fight. I had the desire to get well and go back to school an get back the life I knew I was supposed to lead.
The old Ashley was still capable shining through, even though ever so weakly.
With the support of my family (especially my mom) I began my road to recovery and eventually was cleared to go back to school. I transferred to a new college and started a new life. Don’t get me wrong, even five years later every day is still a struggle… some more than others. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t preoccupied with my body image and weight to some degree but the only difference now is that I have learned how to manage it with all the right tools. The most important thing I learned is that I need to treat my body with respect and love, because when you do, I PROMISE, miracles will happen! I’ve stopped taking diet pills, starving my body, and eating fake, “diet” foods, and now I work with a nutritionist and follow a healthy vegan lifestyle that focuses on eating whole, natural, and nutritious food that will benefit and nourish my body and soul inside and out.
Throughout my journey, I’ve learned a lot of really fabulous stuff, so I thought…why not share what I’ve found actually works to make you feel and look happy, healthy, pretty, and fit with the rest of the world?
That night before my birthday, when all that doubt started creeping back in, was exactly when I honed the motivation to start this blog. I told myself to stop worrying about whether or not people would read it, whether my articles and posts would be interesting and worth writing, or if this was going to be one big failure. I closed my eyes and tried to think of one thing that would make me happy. Writing a blog and sharing my passions was just that thing.
More importantly, I reminded myself that this is supposed to be FUN.
Sure, this blog may not be the best one out there, and it certainly won’t be perfect, but that’s just fine. Life is too short to be anything but happy. It’s finally time for me to do ME, and now I hope my my blog can inspire you to do YOU too! After all, everyone has the ability and hard-earned right