The Reason Behind My “Fitness Name”

I’m sure a lot of people see my username or page name and think it just means “Work that A** “. They’re sort of right….well almost.

If you’ve read my “Why I Became A Coach” or my bio on my Beach Body Coach page, you’d know that I developed an eating disorder when I was 16 that could’ve taken my life. Thankfully, it didn’t. During the course of my eating disorders, I was a runner. I guess I became a runner in the hopes that I could run away from the problems I was facing and I could always control how many miles I clocked.

It was during my running days, that I injured myself. I still remember the exact spot where I felt the sharp pain radiate through my hip and had to slowly walk myself home (luckily, I was only a few blocks away). The pain subsided and stupid me, kept running on it even if I did feel pain. It soon got to a point where it hurt to even just walk and sit.

I eventually told my pediatrician at the time and she suggested I see a sports medicine doctor. He couldn’t find anything wrong on x-ray, but he did determine that I had a severely overworked hip flexor, so he sent me to physical therapy. Let’s just say that 7 weeks of physical therapy in the summer is not fun, especially when the building has glass windows everywhere. It was during those 7 weeks of therapy, that my therapist told me that I had what they liked to call “no butt syndrome.” To sum it up….I didn’t use my butt muscles. Not when I ran, walked, and barely not even at all. I compensated for not using my butt muscles by using my leg muscles.

Those 7 weeks of therapy resulted in a visit back to my sports medicine doctor and then it was 6 weeks on crutches and was not supposed to put weight on my left side. I started my senior year of high school on crutches and used the elevator until days before I graduated. (  I still have the elevator key lol).  My therapist had suggested that I might have had a stress fracture, but nothing showed up in the x-rays nor MRI. When I went back to see the SM doctor, that wonderful man made a phone call to his friend who was a hip specialist and got me an appointment for the next day. He ordered another x-ray and didn’t find anything. Back to the drawing board.

The hip specialist finally ordered an MRI with contract…aka I cute little old man shoved a really long needle into my hip before I got to listen to music in the MRI machine. And guess what?! After many months of crutches, therapy, and tests, they finally found an itty bitty teenie weenie labral tear in my hip. It was such a relief to finally know what was wrong with me. About a month later on December 6th, 2012 I had an arthroscopy to repair the tear and they shaved off some of my bone since I also suffer from hip dysplasia.  My doctor/surgeon told me that I should be back to school the following Monday (I had it on a Thursday), but I was out of school for a month and didn’t return until after Christmas break. Doesn’t help the healing process when you’re still in the midst of an eating disorder. In them fixing my tear they had to cut my tendon completely to get to it. Lifting my leg has not an easy task and to this day I still have some trouble keeping my leg straight while on my back.

I ended up going to therapy in the same building as my SM doctor and she was my absolute favorite. What did we work on? Using those butt muscles nearly every therapy session. Talk about soreness after you finally start working a muscle you hadn’t been using for a while. But in the process, I not only gained muscle in my butt and all over my body, I became stronger mentally as well. I did therapy for several months and ended up having to stop, I was at a place where it was okay to do so, but expenses were getting to be too much. After going through all that, I started weight lifting on my own. Let me just say that learning how to do everything on your own is harder than you think.  Where was a coach when I needed it back then? Lol I became PROUD of the body I had created. I became PROUD OF MY BUTT. There, I said it. I am proud of my butt. I worked my butt off to go from “no butt syndrome” to a nice ole’ peach over the years. 😉

Another reason is that my name is Ashlie and I have so many nicknames such as Ash-wipe, Ash-tray, Ash-it, and my favorite for some to call me…Ash.

That’s why I chose Work That Ash as my fitness name. I worked my ASH to get to where I am and I couldn’t be prouder.

 

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Why I Became A Fitness Coach

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I know that in today’s society a LOT of people and companies feed into people’s insecurities to get them to buy their products because “losing weight equals happiness”, right? Wrong. Losing weight will not make you happy. YOU can make yourself happy just the way you are. If you aren’t happy now, what makes you think you’ll be happy is you lose weight? Trust me, I tried that years ago and you know what that resulted in? Me almost dying.

I was diagnosed with the Anorexia in 2012. My disordered eating habits started in later 2011 and carried on into the next few years. I still remember the day I was diagnosed and saw “Diagnosis: Anorexia” on the copy of my checkout slip from my pediatrician (I was 16).  The ED (eating disorder) was jumping with joy and like a kid in a candy store because I was finally getting to my goal. Me? As in the real me….I felt like a failure.

I had a lot going on in my life and my confidence and self-esteem was never high back then. I just wanted to be in control of the things happening in my life and there was just no way I could gain that control. That was until I realized I could control myself and what I ate (or didn’t eat for a better reference).  I thought that maybe if I lost weight that I’d be happy, people would like me more, the guy I was crazy about would like me for sure(really wrong on that one I might add), and I’d be like one of those happy people I was always seeing online….I was dead wrong.

In wanting control, I only gained an eating disorder and lost control of everything in my life and within myself.  The ONE thing I did have control over was how many crunches I could do every day and how many calories I actually ate.  I ended up also being diagnosed with depression and anxiety  and it was like living in my own personal fiery pits of hell.

I used to eat 500 calories or less a day (less was always better to me though). I’d spend HOURS looking up low calorie recipes that I would NEVER actually make because….let’s get real. It involved food and I didn’t want to even walk in my kitchen. I’d wearing exercise belts to make me sweat even more. I’d run in almost a hundred degree weather and even 20 degree weather. Nothing would stop me. If I couldn’t run, I’d put on my exercise belts and hit a workout DVD and then do hundreds, and eventually, thousands of crunches a day. Trust me….it won’t get you abs. I’d become angry at my friends and family because I was hungry and needed food, but didn’t want to eat. I was irrational and,  I hate to say it, hateful towards others because their lives seemed better than mine.

After having to go through treatment, I then became Exercise bulimic. From my period of not eating and everyone telling me I had to eat more,  I began to eat EVERYTHING. This is when exercise bulimia kicked in. I once ate 4 whole pizzas, brownies, salad, and cinnamon rolls in one setting at Cici’s….I’m surprised that don’t have my picture on the wall (lol), but I went home to run 13 miles. I’d consume thousands of calories (usually before noon) and then go run and run and wouldn’t eat anything after I got back home from my run.

Flash forward several years: I’m FINALLY RECOVERED and can say I kicked Anorexia’s butt! Anorexia is the most fatal mental illness and I BEAT IT. Was it ever easy? HECK NO. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I had my friends and family routing for me and I joined the ED community on Instagram and they are wonderful supporters. There was a LOT of trial and error in my recovery. I saw a counselor who was AMAZING. Jessica McLeod, you are my life saver.

However, many people who have had eating disorders stick to living an active/healthy/fit/etc lifestyle. Why? Well, you live with an eating disorder forever. You will have good days (which are most frequent), but you’ll also have the bad ones where you don’t even want to look in a mirror. In living an healthy/fit/etc lifestyle it gives you a sense of comfort in knowing you’re healthy and gives you comfort that you are in control again and this time it’s a GOOD thing.

I decided to join beach body as a coach, because I was already spreading body positivity and encouraging and supporting others, so when someone offered this opportunity to me I took it. I was COMPLETELY hesitant at first. Like…..what I am getting myself into?! I’ve only been considered a coach for a few days, but let me tell you….I’m already LOVING the people that I’m meeting and especially my team! If I can even help ONE person realize that they are AMAZING and that they want to get better for themselves and to help them love themselves along their journey and give them motivation and encouragement…. It will have made my heart so happy. I love helping others and if I can be a part of someone else’s fitness journey that would be amazing. I decided a few years ago after being “released” from my eating disorder diagnosis, that I wanted to major in psychology to help others in the way that I was. I don’ want anyone to have to go through what I did, think the things I did about myself, and lose friends like I did.

Some coaches may just be trying to sell you a product to make money, but that’s not what coaching should be about. It should be about motivating, encouraging, supporting, and helping someone reach their goals. There’s clearly an obesity and eating disorder issue in this world, and I want to fight it. I want people to see that they are worth it, they are enough, and that they can do whatever they set their minds to, especially fitness related.

I will never EVER find an insecure person and feed off of that to sell any product. I want them to become secure and confident and have a great mental health and then a physical one. Rome was not built in a day and nether are any of us. We are our own bodies, living our own lives, with many different stories and pasts…..but we can all benefit from helping, encouraging, and loving each other along the way.

That is why I became a coach.