This is part of a series to share stories about members of Team U-Haul who have committed to make healthy lifestyle choices. Here, Ashley Brick, senior clerk at the U-Haul Fulfillment Center in Kansas City, talks about her first run and her shift to a healthier lifestyle and fitness journey.
My weight-loss journey started two years ago. Being overweight was very difficult for me, as I am sure it would be for anyone. I had difficulties chasing after my toddler and had horrible back pain and fibromyalgia. After seeking treatment for my chronic back pain, the doctor told me if I could lose weight it could help with my back pain. So, I decided it was time do to something.
I started out by finding a gym and a personal trainer. I knew I needed someone to help hold me accountable. And, I had to change the way I was eating. That was very hard for me, because in my house, we love to eat! But, I looked at it as a lifestyle change, not a diet. There are days, even now, where I indulge in chocolate or pizza.
Learning about portion control and learning to love vegetables was a big part of my lifestyle change. Now, I eat five healthy meals a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. I was impressed with how much of the right types of food I could have.
Determined to succeed
The exercise part of my journey started by using the elliptical and some light weights. After a couple months, I decided I was ready to train for a 5K run. I was told I couldn’t run because of the issues with my back. But, I never like to be told that I can’t do something. My goal was to prove them wrong. I can do this!
So, I ran my first 5K. My time was almost 50 minutes. Now, I can run them in about 28 minutes. I have run more than 25 5K races and completed two half-marathons. After a year or so, I learned about and began researching triathlons. Last year, I decided I would complete in my first triathlon. My husband thought I was nuts and still does!
I have completed four triathlons, and I am currently training for a half Ironman triathlon for this year. And, I’ve decided that next year will be my first full Ironman triathlon.
I’ve gained so much from all of my work. I have lost more than 60 pounds. I can run and play with my son. My back feels so much better. And, I am no longer depressed. Working out became a great way to relieve stress and depression. I’m much more happy and confident.
Most importantly, I have gained more quality years with my family. My son likes to run in the children’s races and wants to complete a triathlon too. I love to hear him say that. He and my husband are my biggest supporters. There are still days where I’m in a lot of pain, but I know those are the days I really must go to the gym. Those are the days that working out will make me feel better. This journey has been the best decision I have ever made.
What changes have you made toward achieving a healthier lifestyle? Tell us about them in the comments section.