“Where do I even begin?
Like many of us, I’ve struggled with my weight for my entire life. I grew up with athletic asthma, which prevented me from participating in a lot of sports. Through my later years of high school and early years of college, I just started packing on the weight. During the summer of 2008, I returned from living in Europe for six months, where I literally ate my way through Italy, Greece, Spain, etc. That summer I peaked at my highest weight of about 215 pounds. You could only imagine the toll my weight took on me emotionally and physically.
For the next couple of years, I would make a small lifestyle change, lose a little bit of weight and then maintain that weight. Then there would be another small lifestyle change, I’d lose a little more weight and maintain. This “slow but steady” process worked for me because it seemed like a healthier route and it didn’t require me to work my butt off in a gym.
When my cousin asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding in October of 2011, I decided that I had to start exercising. For 3-4 months before the wedding, I worked with a personal trainer. It was a 2 to 1 situation, and the other lady working out with us had major modifications to exercises. Unfortunately, the program created for us did not work for me. I found that I wasn’t really physically challenged or pushed to my limit. Needless to say, my results were very disappointing and after the wedding I cancelled my training sessions.
In February of last year, my friend and co-worker, Lisa Picarello, started talking about KAIA. She signed up for a FIT session and immediately started drinking the KAIA Kool-Aid. She was so inspiring and motivating, that she convinced me to join her on the next FIT session (which started a year ago this week). I showed up for my first class, not really knowing what to expect and seriously struggled through the workout. I felt so out of shape and was so discouraged, but each day for those five weeks I showed up and gave it my best effort.
Everyone went on to start BRIK, but life got in the way and I choose not to participate for a variety of reasons. Instead I bought myself a membership at Crunch and decided that I was going to go to the gym a few times a week. Yet again, I had a million excuses not to workout. You know that saying “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.” Well that was me – I simply didn’t make exercising a priority in my life.
In May I turned 25 and decided that it was going to be the best year of my life. My goal was to seek new experiences and new adventures. I became more active and found enjoyment in hiking. Then sometime in early fall, I had an epiphany that in order to live the best life I could live, I would have to do everything in my power now to ensure that I could live the life I wanted in the future. My health finally became a top priority in my life. In August 2012, I decided to autoenroll at KAIA Fit Sacramento in time for the “Kombat” BRIK Session.
My first BRIK was an amazing experience; the support from the other girls and the coaching staff was so appreciated. In those six weeks I lost about 7 pounds. Although I didn’t lose much in inches I still felt a shift in my body and I gained muscle. That session I improved in my workouts, but slacked with my nutrition.
In my second BRIK, I had a completely different experience. My focus shifted from the workouts to my nutrition. I followed the nutrition guidelines with 90% accuracy for those six weeks. And, due to another large commitment and a nasty sinus infection, I missed a good handful of workouts. This was truly a huge testament to how much nutrition plays a part in weight loss. I’m proud to say that in the “Rock Your Life” BRIK Session I lost 15 pounds and inches all over the place.
In the last seven months, I have lost 25 pounds, and have gained strength and confidence. I have seen improvements in my workouts, in my endurance, and in my energy. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt so happy and healthy in my entire life. Last week I made the decision to participate in my first half marathon by my 26th Birthday. For seven weeks, that will be my main focus as I train for the American Parkway Half Marathon on May 4th!
I officially drank the KAIA Kool-aid and cannot imagine life without it. I truly love everything about it. I love that each class is different; it constantly keeps your body guessing. I love Balance, Strength, and KAIA; it allows you to make progress within each specific exercise. I love the coaching staff; they give encouragement not to give up and extra support beyond the workouts. I love the KAIA sisterhood; the collaboration, words of wisdom, celebrations, recipes, and encouragement that is shared on Facebook. I love the 6pmers; who I get to workout side by side with and who motivate me to strive for greatness.
I mostly love that KAIA has not only contributed to making “25” the best year of my life, but it’s laid the foundation to have the best healthiest life I can live!”
Thank you, Ashly, for sharing your incredible story! You are an amazing & inspirational part of our Kaia family! Can’t wait to see you rock that half-marathon!!
-Megan & Your Kaia Krew