I’ve Come A Long Way

I was talking about ice cream with my friend Bekah yesterday. I love ice cream. And cake! Truthfully, I love all sweets, but I mainly struggle with cake and ice cream. I struggle with cookies too, actually. BUT….back to the ice cream! I love ice cream! In fact  I love it so much, that I stopped buying it a while back. That’s weird, right? Why would you stop buying something if you love it so much? Easy. Because I couldn’t say no to it once it was in my home. There was a time in my life when, if I bought a container of ice cream, it would be gone two days later. Not purchasing it anymore seemed like the best alternative. So that’s what I did.

However, a little over two weeks ago, I was about to make a trip to Publix when Benji told me he wanted some ice cream. I originally planned to “accidentally” forget it while there, but then I felt bad for being a food nazi and decided to get some. I was nervous about buying it because I was afraid I’d eat it all. I know y’all probably think I’m joking, but I am not. I was seriously afraid I’d eat the whole container.

But you know what? I didn’t!

That container of ice cream stayed in our freezer until last night. It lasted over two weeks and I rarely thought about it while it was here. This is a big freakin’ deal, and I’m excited about it!

It just shows how far I’ve come over the past two years. Food no longer has power over me. I credit prayer, my children and a couple of health-minded friends for helping me to break the chains of food addiction.

I think back to right before I found out I was pregnant with Harper. I was eating a diet made up almost entirely of processed/packaged foods. I was extremely overweight and was very unhappy with myself. I felt like a prisoner in my own body, and like I’d never be able to change my habits. I remember meeting with a nutritionist in early February of that year. She asked about my vegetable intake and I listed instant mashed potatoes as one of my vegetables. Seriously. It was bad.

Fast forward to the present and my diet has completely flip-flopped. I eat lots of real vegetables, and limit my processed food intake.  And you know what? I feel so much better. I’m still not at my goal weight, but I actually feel good about myself. Even at my current weight. I don’t think this is a coincidence. I think I feel better (emotionally & physically) because I’m eating better!

So yeah. I’m happy with the way things are going in my life, health-wise. :::::happy dance:::::

I wanted to share a few things I’m doing differently and a couple of my new favorite food things, in case anyone is interested. Here goes:

  • Coconut Oil

I added it to my diet. The benefits are a mile long, so I use it for everything now – diaper rashes, moisturizer, cooking…I even put it in my coffee. It’s yummy, healthy and aids in weight loss. So….there you have it.



Costco has the best deal on it. They have a 54oz container for sixteen bucks. One container lasts us about a month.

coconut oil

  • I stopped doing Weight Watchers.

It’s true. I was obsessing with numbers, and it was stressing me out. Weight Watchers did me a favor in teaching me moderation, but it was seriously making me angry that eating an avocado would cost me nine points when eating a bag of chips would cost me four. Shouldn’t they encourage me to eat the avocado?! I decided to stop doing WWs because I felt like sometimes I would choose something with a lower point value that wasn’t as healthy as an item with a higher point value, simply to stay within my point range.

I haven’t counted calories or points since early April. I’ve lost nine pounds since then.

  • Real food for the win.

I’m letting myself eat whatever I want, as long as it’s real. Even candy. My new favorite product is this:

unjunked candy

They have an unjunked version of just about every candy under the sun – M&Ms, Snickers, Reese’s, Twix. Oh, and did I mention that these are delicious? I actually like them better than M&Ms! And the ice cream that I mentioned up above? It was real too. I’m trying my best to stay away from fake food products. If it has a bazillion scientific-y sounding ingredients, I don’t buy it. If it’s bleached, or enriched, I don’t buy it. If there are artificial dyes in it, I don’t buy it. My body wasn’t made to process junk, so I’m doing my best to stay away from fake things.

  • No more stressing about food

One of my lovely, health-minded friends (hello, T!) sent me something profound a couple of months ago. It basically stated that if you’re stressing about your weight, it doesn’t matter how healthy you eat…your body is going to respond to your negative emotions and process that food differently. This article says it best:


Seriously. It was life-changing.

  • And on a similar note: I am loving me. 

No more self-hate. I am giving myself a break, and accepting where I am right now. Whenever I catch myself thinking negative thoughts, I immediately change them to positive ones.


  • Exercise 

I’m active every day. I walk two miles with some mom friends every morning during the week, and my new job keeps me on my feet too!

  • Water

Do I need to elaborate? I’m drinking lots of it.

So those are just a few things that I’ve started doing differently. I’m really excited that I’m still losing weight while not counting calories. It’s effortless and that’s a first for me. It’s proof that being positive and loving myself is making a difference.

Also, I went back and looked at this picture today, and it made me so happy:

WW ProgressIn that first picture, I was miserable and had no confidence in myself to lose weight. But then….I did it. I’m currently about 15 lbs away from the picture on the right. I tried those jeans on this morning though, and they fit. Not really sure how that works, but I’ll take it!

And here’s the most recent picture of me:


I’d honestly like to drop a few more sizes so that I can shop at Abercrombie and Fitch. Hahahaha. NOT. I’m just excited to be feeling good. It may take me a decade to get to a “normal” weight, but I’m okay with that. I’m happy with who I am. Finally.


9 thoughts on “I’ve Come A Long Way

  1. Jane Mc says:

    My relationship/journey with food has been so similar! First of all, I can’t resist ice cream– I prefer to eat it from the carton so it doesn’t melt… Recipe for disaster! So, I never buy it. If I want ice cream, i have to buy an individual size so I can’t over indulge. Or a pint, which is hard to justify since a pint is like 4 or 5 bucks.
    I started transitioning to a whole foods diet about a year ago. I love it. Any time I have a temptation to buy/eat something horrible, like Chips Ahoy or regular candy, I just read the ingredients and I can’t bring myself to do it anymore, knowing how bad that stuff is for me. I was so excited to find UnReal candy (which I called Unjunked)! I love the M&M’s so much better than real ones! After having Unjunked m&m’s, actual m&m’s taste like sugary nothingness.

    Anyway, I guess I don’t have anything to add. I just wanted to make a “me too!” comment. 🙂

    • martianbaby says:

      Thanks, Jane! I love knowing that I have friends on this journey! I saw your mom at church on Sunday and we talked about you! I didn’t realize your due date was so close! You must be excited!!! I will be praying for you. This is such a precious time (even though I know it doesn’t feel like it lol)!

  2. Jane Mc says:

    I meant to add that you look great!

  3. Rob says:

    You are beautiful.

  4. Candace Cook says:

    I’ve been meaning to write you a letter for a while now and just haven’t done it, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you that you are one of the most beautiful people I know. Seriously. You’re smile, because it’s beautiful AND because it’s so Jesus-filled, trumps even Julia Roberts 😉 I so admire the purity of your life and faith. Like when you saved money for a vacation only to have the car need that same exact amount of repairs, you didn’t gripe and complain, or go charge it on a credit card. You simply saw it as God’s way of providing for your needs. I love that, and it moved and encouraged me so much more than I can tell you.
    Love and miss you so!!
    Candace Cook

    • martianbaby says:

      Candace. I’m sorry to just now write back. Truth be told, your comment made me cry and I didn’t really know how to say thank you for it! I still don’t actually 🙂 So…I’ll just say thank you, even though it seems to fall short. You have always been such a kind, and shining light to me. I am so blessed to call you my friend! I love you!

  5. Gay Gann says:

    Ashley, you are looking great and I,m proud of you. I came across a free website that really helped me get on track. In case you have ever heard of it, check out sparkpeople.com. It is really a wonderful tool and doesn’t cost anything. Keep up the good work!


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