"You're fat because you're happy!"

Yeah.... sure. I love that we tell ourselves that we are happy and that is the reason for the overweight-ness. I'm not sure exactly when it hit me... but I have recently realized I got fat. There really isn't any other way around it. I have gained a net of 30 pounds since I graduated high school 5 years ago. I was too embarrassed to go to my 5-year reunion because I looked like this:
Yes- that's an ice cream sandwich in my hand. Go ahead and judge me. This is the actual day my 5 year high school reunion took place. I arguably had more fun in Chicago with my husband's amazing family riding segways than I would have at the reunion, but still, it's a good visual aid. I am calling this "Fat Ashlea". (I even saved the bmp. file under that title) I am writing this post about my struggle with the hopes that I can accomplish some life-changes in the next year and hold myself accountable to this journey since I am putting it out there for the world to see. It is important to me to make long-term, lifestyle changes, so that I don't just put the weight back on once I manage to lose it.

So, here are some of the things I struggle with:

1. FOOD. I eat horribly. Carbs are my fav. Chocolate is my friend. I can watch my husband down an entire plate of brownies and think that having 3 isn't that bad. Family gatherings also center around yummy and so bad for you food. (chocolate chip cookies to celebrate the Emmys? Sure I'll come over!) 
I also have ZERO self-discipline. I am trying to give up soda in No-Pop November (except for Sprite. so sue me) and my goal is to have a Don't-Do-Lunch December and brown-bag it everyday that month. I read somewhere that if you can do something for 21 days it becomes a habit so I am hoping the no pop and brown-bagging lunches stick with me for good. That's the idea anyway.

2. Stress. It's a killer and eating bad food makes me feel good. I was having an awful day at work today, so instead of eating my brown bag lunch (it wasn't all that healthy- Ramen...) I went to Target and got some breaded chicken tenders. The stress also causes fat producing hormones or something... I think it's called Cortosil... there's an informerical.

3. Excersise. Now, I legit try with this one. I just feel like there are better things I could be doing with my time, like shopping, crafting, playing with my pups, or reading a book. :) See #1 for self-discipline skills.

Now, how am I going to fix it? My main motivation is my own self-esteem and my health. I want to feel healthy and gosh darnit- I want to feel sexy! I am a newlywed (kind of) for crying out loud- I should never want to have clothes on! Another motivating factor is a future family. I want to be healthy before my body is housing another person and I want to be able to establish healthy habits for my munchkins from day one. 

 So, in a 2-birds-with-1-stone effort, I have taken a pole-dancing work-out class. The entire class is designed to make women feel sexy and confident.... and shed a few pounds along the way. By the end of 8 weeks I learned an entire routine! Now that is over and I am starting another fun work-out class tomorrow night: belly dancing! 
I hope to supplement these workouts with some weight-lifting at the gym at work and another 2-birds-1-stone effort: yoga. I love doing yoga and it is all about centering yourself and letting go of the stress in your life. I really carry my stress with my physically in my very tight neck and shoulders. I want to be able to release my body from this and increase my flexibilty and tone my bod at the same time. I did get a great deal on Groupon for a 2 month unlimited pass for Bikrim yoga, but am going to save that until it's colder outside. In the meantime, I am looking for a local yoga place that's not too expensive. I would ideally like to do it once a week for now.

So that's my rough plan for the stress and the exercise. I am taking baby-steps with the diet because I really want to have some lasting changes. My first goals are going to be to have healthier breakfasts, incorporating granola, yogurt, and some protein into the mornings instead of my much-loved Count Chocula. I have also started taking a multi-vitamin and picked up a probiotic supplement to hopefully help my digestion issues. 

And now I feel like I have officially bared all of my insecurities to the blogosphere. Feeling a little raw and discouraged... maybe I will go eat some oreos. (just kidding.... maybe). :) Be gentle with me.


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