I remember walking into the hospital when I was in labor with Cooper.
My shoes were squeaking with every single step I took.
I had one of those water breaking scenes from the movies. And the water never stopped coming!
At that point, I was anxious. Nervous. Scared. Terrified.
Yet, I was excited, happy, and surprisingly calm at times.
The labor nurse made me walk up to the scale the moment I arrived on the floor. I had avoided the scale and even closed my eyes at doctor appointments.
Out of sight.
But that number was not out of my mind.
I looked at the number on the scale this time.
I kept seeing that number flash before my eyes.
How did I let myself climb up to almost 300 lbs?!
Pregnant or not, that number just completely blew me away.
I didn’t have time to fret over the number.
In fact, I barely had time to decide if I wanted an epidural or not.
Yes, I got one.
And yes, I’m thankful I did.
I often look back and think of Cooper’s birth as one of the happiest days of my entire life. I can almost remember every single detail of the day – starting from the time I woke up at 3 am with contractions to the moment I finally held him in my arms later that evening.
I remember just starring at him in complete amazement. And I remember making a promise to be the best and healthiest mom I could possibly be…
But that promise would be hard to keep if I weighed nearly 300 lbs.
Nearly 10 months later, I am proud to say that I’m nearly 60 lbs lighter! I’ve lost 20% of my body weight since the day I had Cooper.
But when I go back and look at my pictures of “heavy Ashley” – I see the smile on my face, but I know it was mostly pretend.
291 didn’t feel great.
291 didn’t feel happy.
291 didn’t feel healthy.
Instead, 291 felt like failure.
Yes, I was growing a human. And that was incredible.
But I had reached the most unhealthy point of my life.
But as Chris Powell said tonight in Extreme Weightloss- that number doesn’t define me.
No number will.
You just need the courage to step on the scale and find your starting point.
The courage to transform.
The courage to fail.
The courage to be honest.
Last week, I was looking at old pictures and found a selfie of me in a swimsuit. I remember feeling so proud about getting into that swimsuit.
I remember feeling so fit and happy.
And guess what, I’m pretty darn close to that 2011 pre-baby body!!!!
I feel so proud.
I feel so inspired.
I feel so strong.
And I feel so excited about the future.
My transformation is far from over. But I know that my past is shaping where I am going.
I hit a low point. And I reached a weight I never want to see or feel again.
And that inspires me to be better.
To be healthier.
To be stronger.
My hope is Cooper will always remember my determination and courage. I want him to fight for anything and everything he wants in this world. And I want him to know that his dreams are possible if he has the best attitude, determination, and courage!
Yes, I want to change for him. To be healthy and happy for him.
But more importantly, I want to change for me!