Just Go Left


Choosing Joy, Healthy Living, On My Heart, PersonalAshtenComment

“Ma’am, you’re in Texas. If you want healthy food you’re pretty much out of luck.”

I’m standing at concierge desk of a hotel on yet another business trip and I really need a salad. You know, something that isn’t fried or lathered in BBQ sauce or butter……something refreshing and tasty that won’t make me hate myself.

But I’m in Texas and apparently I’m shit out of luck.

I have to work at 6:30pm and this is probably the only thing I’m going to eat for the rest of the night. I worked late the night before and the latte and hotel oatmeal I had for breakfast aren’t going to hold me much longer. I am tired of fattening hotel food, pretending to be healthy and  TexMex fajitas caked in oil. I just want a salad with some protein.

But I’m in Texas and apparently I’m shit out of luck.

I opt for the next best thing: a gastropub down the street from the hotel but their healthy options are limited, leaving me with half a giant ass sandwich and a measly salad….oh and dessert because a co-worker wanted it. (ok fine, it was me. I wanted it.)

Everything isn’t just bigger in Texas, it’s massive, and after that meal, so was my waistline. Or so I thought.

I wish I could say this was the first time I’ve been in this predicament, but sadly this is my reality: 18 hour days, hotel food or shoving a few bites of anything in my face before running to the next event and no time (or energy) to work out.

I’m only complaining a little bit here, I am very lucky to have a successful career, and the ability to see so much of the world for free. After a while, though, that kind of lifestyle takes a toll on not only your body, but your self-esteem.

Side note: at my job, we are always on a diet.

“What did you bring for lunch today? I have pre-made meals. 400 calories!”

“Oh shit, a vendor sent us cookies. NO ONE EAT THEM.”

“I can have this cookie, though. I worked out today.”

“My healthy lunch was really good, but now I need something sweet. Anyone want to head down to the cafeteria and get some ice cream?”

“Today is my cheat day.”

Don’t you break that diet, or you will be shamed!

Walking back to my hotel room after my Texas-sized lunch, I felt my self-esteem spiral downward. I cheated on my office diet. How could I have eaten all that food? What is wrong with me? I’m probably going to be in photographs later….and I’m going to look like a whale in them! Gosh Ashten, you’re such a fat cow. You already have a double chin and a muffin top and you HAD to order dessert? So much for willpower…and you’re not even going to work out later, and the calories! THINK OF THE CALORIES!!!!

Seriously, I said all of this to myself. I would NEVER say this to a friend.

I dressed for work in the baggiest shirt I could find, because now I am 100% convinced I am the size of a mobile home. I cover up my natural curves; the ones Kyle loves so much and always compliments me on, I dress up my lack of self-esteem with a statement necklace and hide from any/all photo opportunities for the rest of the evening.

All because of one meal.

I awoke early the next morning, thinking about all the horrible things I said to myself the night before. I attacked myself in the worst possible way, all because of one meal. I attack myself again, and again, and again because I am at the mercy of my travel, my diet and my limited options.

If I were my friend? I would hate me. If I were dating me? I would break-up with me. Why? Because I say HORRIBLE things to myself and I allow myself to accept them as truths.  My diet is like being in a bad relationship, and it’s time for a break-up.

Today, I’m breaking up with the scale.

Today, I’m breaking up with the calories.

Today, I’m breaking up with the guilt.

Today, I’ve decided to be free, finally.

I will never be a super model, but I am vowing to be the happiest, healthiest and most free version of ME.

Thanks to my friends Paige and Simi, I have been introduced to “Finally Free”; a program designed to empower women to listen to their bodies, to have a good relationship with food and break up with diets for good. The 12-video series allows me to go at my own pace (because hello, change takes time), provides hand-outs to keep me on track and gives me TWO amazing health coaches to guide me along the way. (Among other things, like the freedom to eat a cheeseburger without guilt!)

Hello, I am in love with this idea.

Now, I’m a “group work” kind of gal (call me crazy, but I love collaborating), so I’m asking you to join me on this journey of freedom from dieting. I would love to take this adventure with people I know, love and who can relate to me in this struggle of self-acceptance and healthier living.

Finally Free includes: 

For more information on “Finally Free” and to purchase, click here!

Enrollment ends on September 14th! 

Ps: these are my friends (and new health coaches), aren't they the cutest?