Back to the Basics of Weight Loss


With all of the weight loss books, blogs, and opinions out there, it can be so easy to lose sight of what it takes for YOU to lose weight. What works for one person may not work for you.  What one person loves may not be what you love.  And what motivates one person may not be what motivates you.

This year I have really been struggling to find my voice in my own weight loss journey.  My brain has become clouded with others’ opinions about how I should lose weight.  It has been overwhelming and emotional to say the least.

Early this year I was made fun of by a reader for not being successful in my weight loss.  Based on this post, the person stated “You fail b/c you never give any of your programs a chance to succeed. You can’t find the right diet, because you stick to none of them and talk all the time about how you cheat. You gain weight, because you eat too much and too often”.  Being made fun of and cut down for what I have struggled with my entire life has honestly ruined my confidence in my ability to reach my goals since reading these words. Though I shouldn’t allow a person’s words to affect me in this way, the words of this person were by far the most hateful and hurtful I have ever heard in my entire life.

You see, I blog because I want to share what I go through daily.  I blog because I know that there are men and women who face the exact same struggles as me. I blog because I appreciate the support system, on my best of days and my worst of days.  And I blog because I hope that I can in some way help someone with my words. Never did I think that someone would write such cruel things, let alone someone I know personally.

I know that for this person, losing weight is easy.  I understand that to them, my struggle is just full of excuses and the inability to follow examples such as their own.  The reality is, my weight is a daily struggle for me!  Sadly, the words of this person have left a huge scar.  How do you get such cruel words out of your head and heart and learn to move on?  I am still not there, but I have at least had a few months to think things through and to evaluate my life, my weight loss, and my goals.

Over the past two weeks I have gone through hundreds of old photos, I have shared my long term goals, I have brainstormed about my fitness goals, and now I just need to get my diet in check! This summer I’ve realized and learned that I have to take my life back to the basics of weight loss— For ME!

For me, I have been the most successful in my weight loss with the following diet based on the Weight Watchers CORE program.  I am not planning on joining Weight Watchers, but I think it’s important for me to think about why I’ve always been successful through their program.  It’s not just the diet, it’s the community, the weekly weigh-ins, and the support system Weight Watchers provides.

The other key for me in being successful is portion control and asking myself while I am eating if I am still hungry.  When I have lost large amounts of weight in the past, stopping myself halfway through a meal to see if I was hungry was key as it helped me learn to listen to my body and to determine my level of satisfaction.

The last key for me is to continue to enjoy my workouts and to push myself daily in those workouts.  I love working out and just need to keep that fire alive!

The past 3 months have been very challenging since reading the words of that reader but I hope that I can move on from it and find a place of peace and focus once again.  Sorting through all of my thoughts and working to refocus has been good and I hope that in time it leads to great success in working towards my goals.

Have you lost sight of what works for you?  What will it take for you to get back to or stay at a place that is conducive for weight loss/management in your life? 


  1. says

    I’m sorry your feelings were hurt. If those are the most hateful/hurtful words someone has ever said to you, you are LUCKY. I’ve had people say much, much worse things to me – my entire life…Just a few weeks ago, I was driving and a man yelled at me, “move your fat a**. You c-word.” I’m serious. I learned at treatment for my eating disorder that you can: take what the person says into your soul as truth, push it away (it is not your truth), or put it on your shoulder and think about it.

  2. says

    Don’t listen to nasty bitches on the internet. They’re called trolls for a reason. (Easier said than done, I realize.) We all struggle. Even people who have been in maintenance mode forever still have to watch what they eat. It’s human, it’s real, and you are not alone. Hell, I lose sight of what works for me every damn weekend when I order a pint of beer instead of a water or a side of fries instead of a salad.

    What makes you such an inspiration (to me, especially, but I’m certain to many, many others) is your ability to brush yourself off and try again. Sure, you’ve gone through a lot of diets and read a lot of books. So have I! So have the majority of your readers. But you keep learning, you keep trying, and you keep moving toward your goals. That’s the hardest part and yet you handle it like a pro. I admire your tenacity, I truly do, and I’m so glad to have stumbled upon your blog many months ago. Your spirit is infectious and it’s pushed me toward my own goals more times than I can count.

  3. says

    I really wish I could say, “to hell with the haters!” but I know it’s so, so hard not to internalize their shittyness.

    This is going to sound so cliche, but yoga and weight lifting have really grounded me and helped with body issues. They help me remember that I’m NOT doing this to look like supermodel (’cause I never will), but that I’m doing this to be strong and healthy.

    Also, you didn’t “fail” because of any reasons that asshole said. You momentarily hit a road bump and just needed a moment to brush yourself off. There’s always time to make good decisions.

    I love reading your blog. Keep up the great work!

  4. says

    Some people are just idiots, plain and simple. Don’t let their words get you down. You know what works for you, all you’ve got to do is do it, and then do it again. xo

  5. Laura says

    although this does not sound positive, people are miserable. Do not let the words of one bring you down. I am right there with you. I have tried all diets, I workout, and struggle with diet, I watch what I eat and struggle with my workouts. This is my struggle. I think what is important is that we continue to work at it. You inspire me and help me see that we all have difficulties. Please keep up the blogging, because I look forward to your words, journey and learning about who you are. You are wonderful. :)

  6. says

    I started blogging for those same reasons and have attracted some amazing readers who leave such nice, supportive comments. I honestly don’t know what I would do if one of them left a comment like that directed towards me. I’d likely let it effect me more than it should and would carry it around with me like you have. It’s so hard to ignore bullying remarks and insults.. it’s like being in grade school all over again.
    I hope you can move past that comment and remember that you have some awsome followers that read your blog for motivation and inspiration. I look forward to reading your blog every time I see new post :)

  7. says

    I agree with all of the comments above and just want to echo again that you have NOT failed, in any way. Unfortunately, words do hurt, and I really, really hate when stupid people have that much of an affect on someone so wonderful.
    You are one of the most amazing women I have ever met- and will be a friend of mine for the rest of my life! I 100% identify with you and your struggles- and know how difficult it is. And yeah- for some people, it’s really easy. And I guess you have to think from that standpoint- exercising in really easy for you and me- it’s something that we generally have no problem doing because we have the motivation and we love it. But for some people (many people) it is NOT at all. Just think about that.
    There is a solution out there- I’m sure of it. My post tomorrow is actually ALL about this (with a little inspiration from you and our last few conversations). Never give up. You rule.

  8. says

    First off I love the new site re-design. It looks gorgeous! Congrats on all of the fabulous changes and new beginning.

    Yup I am there right with you. I have been struggle with weight loss, living with an eating disorder, addicted to dieting and yet seeing how I am constantly sabotaging my efforts.

    I love what you said its about looking at what works. I was thinking back about my experience regarding Weight Watchers for me it was the accountability that worked well along with portion control. I am also looking back at what works in the other areas of my life for instance when it comes to more energy what foods works for me? Greens and veggie juicing comes to mind but it’s hard because that’s expensive. Exercising regularly is good for me as it releases the happy endorphins but I have to say it all gets in my head.

    The dieting and restriction for more than 2 decades really messed up my system more than I would like to agree. This is going to take some time before it completely heals.

  9. says

    Ashley… this post was so powerful. Honestly, I almost started crying reading it. The things you were saying are a lot of the same things that I feel and have been feeling for a while. As another overweight healthy living blogger, the hardest part for me is that I’m constantly comparing myself to others and not feeling like I measure up. Some days it feels like I’m literally the only one in the entire world who can’t lose weight. Especially because a lot (if not all) of the blogs I read are written by people who have incredible weight loss success stories, or people who never had weight to lose in the first place.

    I think you should know that you are one of my favorite bloggers, and this is one of my favorite blogs. I feel like I can relate to you SO MUCH. And I feel so badly about what happened to you. I’ve never had any readers come outright and say mean things to me about my weight, but I’m constantly worried that they will be. I’m worried that I look like a fraud and that somebody is going to call me out on it.

    I hope that you don’t let their words get inside your head too much. I say that because I know it would be impossible to ask you not to let them bother you at all – even though that’s really what I wish for you. I look up to you and respect you as a person and a blogger so much. I look forward to reading your words every single day. Please continue to be the amazing person that you are, and keep blogging about your trials and errors with weight loss. I want to hear about those things, because that’s what I’m going through every day, too. Just because one person doesn’t “get” you, your struggle with weight loss, or your blog doesn’t mean that there aren’t a million people who DO.

  10. Lisa says

    You are simply amazing Ashley. And you are your mother’s daughter. Please do not forget that. Your tenacity to continue to re work your plan while keeping your eye on the goal is nothing short of inspiring. You are stonger and healthier because of it. For every cyber hater you have tens times that pulling for you. Enjoy this happy time as a newlywed. Rework the plan and continue to be you. PS just a few days ago i had a conversation with a coworker about the ikea hemes dressers. She said that in order to really secure the drawers for the weight of the clothing you put in there, you should use wood glue to really strengthen it. You might want to see if you can add this to your Honey Do list. Sounds like it might be worth the extra effort.

  11. says

    Ugh, Ashley, I’m sorry that butthead made you feel badly about yourself (I like to call people buttheads now because it a) makes me feel 13 years old and b) makes me laugh). After I found out that I was going to have to have surgery because my thyroid was most likely cancerous, one of my coworkers said “Oh, well at least it might help you to lose weight now?” Ummmmm, thank you butthead!!? I don’t think she meant it maliciously at all, but it has really stuck with me since then (and it did not, I’d be glad to tell her. I have to lose weight by eating less and working out, not from a pill!!).

    I’ve said it time and again that I truly find your workout-ethic and work ethic really inspiring. I’m one of those people who has to really get in a rhythm with working out and losing weight – it doesn’t come easy to me – and I think if someone has never experienced the need for a diet or weight loss, they really aren’t going to understand what you’re going through. I’m feeling that same way you are lately – just going back to what works for me (lots and lots of clean eats, minimal carbs, not as many sweets) and NOT focusing on the latest “way to eat.” (Paleo, vegan, etc). As everyone else has said, we heart you! :)

  12. Alison says

    I’m just going to go ahead and not comment about the post but about all of the amazing women above^. I mean… wow.

  13. Cheri says

    I appreciate your honesty and openness so much. I can relate on so many levels, because I have lived with the same struggles all my life. But I have also had people in my life who did not, and could not understand. It is very hurtful to have people be so judgmental, if only they could “walk a mile in my shoes”, right? Let it go. Do not let it change your walk or make you bitter. You are beautiful, and your vulnerability and ability to encourage others is awesome.

  14. Tracy says

    I am so sorry that you were hurt by someone so thoughtless. I have been in the same situation as you and I know how much it hurts. It’s one of those things that stings and keeps on stinging. I want you to know though that you are such a huge inspiration to me and are one of my favorite bloggers. I just found your site a short while ago, but I’ve read through a lot of your old posts so far. I can relate to your blog and that’s what I love about it. I have the same weight loss struggles and feel at times like I’ve lost my way too. You keep it real. Keep doing what you’re doing and forget about the haters. You are an inspiration and an amazing woman! Never forget that!

  15. Becky says

    I’m late on the reading and the reply, but better late than never. It’s easy to say to ignore certain buttheads but it’s harder to do. What really matters is the dozens and dozens of people in your life (self included) who find your dedication, perservance, and attitude inspirational and positive. I never leave your blog feeling unmotivated or depressed. Also, maybe we can integrate some exercise into our Ashley-and-Becky time- just like we first started. =)

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