Ashley was born in California, but she has lived in Las Vegas since she was five months old, so Las Vegas has always been home to her. A licensed cosmetologist, she is currently a stay at home mom with her five-year-old daughter, Hazel. She and her husband Nicolas celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in December. When we asked her about her hobbies outside the club, she enthusiastically replied, “Shopping! I absolutely love shopping. I don’t care what it’s for or where I shop. As long as I can scan each aisle for the newest clothes or nut butters, count me in!”
LVAC: What was the catalyst, or ‘last straw’ that motivated you to change your diet and lifestyle?
Ashley: In November of 2013 I injured my back while cleaning my house and the injury required that I be hospitalized. Because of my weight, I had to have multiple hospital staff members help me while in the hospital. When I got home, I had to sleep on the couch because my husband couldn’t carry me up the stairs. Once I was able to walk, I got on the scale and I was in complete shock. I actually weighed 287 pounds. In that moment I knew I needed to change my life.
LVAC: What type of exercise and workout routine has helped you to succeed?
Ashley: Let’s be honest here. I am not a fan of exercise and never really have been. But I know that it’s crucial to having a long and healthy life. I walked as much as possible in the beginning and am now in a love/hate relationship with the StairMill! I follow a weight training routine and make sure to get cardio in 3-4 times a week.
LVAC: What types of foods did you eat before, and what specific changes have you made to your diet?
Ashley: Before embarking on this weight loss journey I had a bad relationship with food. Whatever I wanted to eat, I would eat. I ate out of sadness and happiness. I craved processed carbohydrate foods and ate them at virtually every meal. I then made a complete 180° turn in my eating habits. Now my daily calories come from lean meats, veggies, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fruit. I cut out all sodas and I try to drink a gallon of water daily.
LVAC: Tell us about the benefits you have experienced because of your lifestyle changes.
Ashley: I have so much more drive in life. I used to merely exist, almost waiting for my life to pass. Now, I fill my days with healthy activities and I am excited to go out and enjoy each and every day. I used to live in constant pain and discomfort and now I feel so light and free. My back and knees haven’t ached in months and I have the energy to stay active without reaching for Tylenol every 4 hours. My life has changed for the better in so many ways. I have the stamina to keep up with my very active daughter. I am able to pick up and go to the park on a whim without having to plan my day around when I would have enough energy to get out of bed.
The relationship between my husband and I is the best it’s ever been and he has recently started on his own journey towards a healthier life. I am so proud of him, and so grateful we are able to instill a desire for a healthy lifestyle in our daughter. Life is so good. I have lost a total of 137 pounds, and I will never allow obesity to take over my life again.
LVAC: What are your favorite things about being a member at LVAC?
Ashley: My favorite thing about LVAC is the people. Gyms and active people have always intimidated me, but I have yet to meet someone at LVAC that makes me feel uncomfortable. Everyone is so caring and approachable that it makes you feel like you’re working out with friends. I also love the pool and spa. Nothing like relaxing those muscles after a hard workout!