Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Do You Want to Run Six Miles for That?

I've been dreaming of a chicken quesadilla from Taco Bell for about four days straight now.

Four full days of craving that cheesy goodness.

So when I got off work today, I shamefully took the route home that would pass Taco Bell.

Then I saw someone running.

A random dude. That's when it hit me.

A chicken quesadilla from Taco Bell has 530 calories.

In order to burn off those calories, I'd have to run between 5 and 6 miles.

Do you want to run six miles for that chicken quesadilla, Ashley? 

That means I'd have to run for more than hour for something I can easily eat in less than 4 minutes. Maybe 3 (because I was INSANELY hungry).

"Screw that noise," I said out loud in my car.

But then the inner fat kid in me said, "No one would have to know...just don't write a blog tonight."

Then I pictured the old Ashley.

195 lb Ashley
My goal weight for the year.

The thinner Ashley.

193 lbs

The motivated Ashley.

About 202 lbs

The fitness inspired Ashley.

About 187 lbs.

And I thought of the beach.

And how I wanted to look good for our upcoming summer vacation.

"Even if no one else knows that you caved - you will know that you messed up...and you are most important," I reminded myself.

I turned up the music, pushed on the accelerator and kept driving.

I fuel my emotions with food.

I eat when I'm sad.

I eat when I'm happy.

I eat when I'm stressed.

I eat when I'm bored.

 But I'm trying to change my relationship with food.

And it will happen one step at time.

Speaking of steps, I started training for my fourth half marathon tonight.

I did 2 miles with an average pace of 11:32!


My last half marathon was about 13:40 or so.

My first half marathon was 14:30 something.

Maybe Sabrina and I will finish the race in under 2:45 (which has been our goal every single time).

I have a sneaky feeling this will be an amazing race for us, Bean! :)

So, I'm taking this one day at a time.

I am celebrating every single victory.

And soon enough. I'll be posting pictures of the new, healthier Ashley.

Much love,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Because Yesterday You Said Today

I dialed the number, but then I immediately hung up the phone before he could answer.

You would think I was calling an ex-boyfriend.

But I wasn't.

I was calling a man, but I didn't know him by name.

But he knew me by order. I was calling the Chinese restaurant.

Even though my order isn't SUPER unhealthy (shrimp and broccoli with white rice), I knew it was just taking a few steps back. A few steps back to old habits of eating out without thinking twice about it.

And then I remembered...

Yesterday I said I would start today.

 "I'll do better tomorrow."

"I'll eat better tomorrow."

"I'll run tomorrow."

No. Not tomorrow. 

"I am going to start right now," I said out loud in my car.

And with that, I drove past Taco Bell (which can I tell you how desperately I wanted a chicken quesadilla) to Meijer.

Strawberries, bananas and pineapple for my side.

And for the main course? A buffalo chicken wrap - made with grilled chicken, bleu cheese crumbles, lettuce and tomato with a splash of light mayo.


I came home and cooked dinner myself (for those of you who do not know-  the fact that I cooked another other than boxed mac & cheese with hotdogs is a huge accomplishment).

I've been playing wife all weekend since Justin is poor sick, which completely breaks my heart. I'd do anything to trade places with him, mainly because I'm certain he has lost 8 lbs in the last two days. The flu diet works like a charm.

This morning, I woke up and had a Jimmy Dean D-light breakfast sandwich.

Only 210 calories.


The old Ashley would have begged Justin to take me out to breakfast. And no, I am not the type to order fresh fruit and toast without butter. So that 210 calories is a perfect change of my pace for my diet.

Lunch was at Panera with Justin. We literally went to 3 places in desperate search of Chicken Noddle soup, which is all that Justin has eaten in about 48 hours (minus a few fruit Popsicles). And he still only had only a few bites. Poor guy...

And for me? Well, I passed up my weakness (broccoli and cheddar soup). Instead, I ordered black bean soup and a side salad. 370 calories. The panni I usually always order is almost 800 calories. I'd consider that a good change of pace.

I was proud. And while driving home, I had to vocalize my proudness (if that's even a word).

"I'm going to do this you know," I said to Justin, who looked like he was going to puke out the window. "I'm bringing sexy back!!"

"You will baby," he said-  trying to smile. "I believe in you."

And at that moment, I was extremely thankful.

Thankful that I have such a loving and supporting husband.

He was so weak, tired and sick - but he still made an effort to comfort me.

To make me feel better. 


Later on, I went for a run in my new running shoes.

Run Happy.

In case you are wondering, they are Brooks Trance #11. I AM IN LOVE! I felt like I was flying on my run (I did half my run at the YMCA and half it outside with Bandit). 

Meet Elvis. I mean Bandit, my running partner.
I felt amazing on my run. Probably because I've been fueling my body with healthier food.  Probably because I've watched Sex & the City and movies all weekend and RELAXED!

I feel refreshed.

I feel happy.

I feel like me again.

Maybe I'm not bringing sexy back.

But I'm definitely bringing Ashley back.

Much love,

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation."

-John Wooden

It's easy to dream of becoming like someone else. Being faster, better or stronger than them.

But at the end of the day, you're truly only competing against yourself. 

Much love,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Fresh Start

 "You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." 
-Mary Pickford 

Excuse #1 - I left my running shoes in Decatur three weeks ago.

Excuse #2- I sprained my ankle on an outdoor run (in my old running shoes) two weeks ago.

Excuse #3- I'm not currently training for a race.

Excuse #4- I'm way too busy.

Excuse #5- I'll run tomorrow.

Excuse #6- Did I say I was way too busy?

Excuse #7- I'm too tired.

Excuse #8- I'm too full.

Excuse #9- It's too cold outside.

Excuse #10- The gym is too crowded.

My list of excuses for not working out could keep going and going.

And it certainly did.

 Every single day I was justifying my laziness.

I was fine with just staying in and doing nothing.

What was wrong with me!?

I did not like who I was becoming....exhausted, stressed, annoyed, etc, etc.

My lack of motivation and drive to become healthy came crashing down on me yesterday afternoon.

I went shopping.

My favorite hobby.

But not yesterday.

Yesterday was awful.

Yesterday I cried in the fitting room.

Yesterday I couldn't find a SINGLE PAIR OF PANTS that would button without giving me a muffin top.

And I absolutely refused to buy a size larger.

I tried on two dresses.

Both of them a size large.

Both of them were so tight on my arms I truly thought I was going to bust out of the shirts Hulk Hogan style.

Shopping is only fun when you are skinny.

Or at least when you are using shopping sprees as a celebration of weight loss.

It's not an unsolved mystery episode. I know what happened.

I've been eating like crap and not working out. Plain and simple. I gained all my weight back.

Prior to my fitting room disaster, I was craving a sweet tea. I couldn't stop dreaming about a cheeseburger.

But instead of hitting up a fast food restaurant and hiding the evidence in the trash when I got home, I grabbed Bandit and took off running.

I ran as FAST as I could to the end of the road.

My heart was beating fast.

My emotions were running high my quick feet.

I felt like I was going to cry; it was the most emotional run ever.

Bandit kept looking back at me, encouraging me to keep going.

I reached the end of the road and looked down at Bandit.

I could hardly breathe, but I said, "Mommy's back, buddy."

And yes, I talk to my dog.


Later that night, I went to the gym and had a great workout. No one is going to stop me now, especially because the only person holding me back before was myself....

This morning, my motivation was high again. I woke up early so I could finish up a project for work, and then Justin and I went on a date to the indoor rock climbing place.

All dressed up for my date.

A year ago, I could barely make up a single wall.

Today, I pushed myself up 4.5 walls. The .5 got me because it was a slanted wall, and my upper body strength just wasn't all the way there toward the end.

I did some bouldering on a few other walls (which I NEVER did before). 

When I reached the top of the first wall, besides thinking of the camel-toe I probably had hanging 20 feet in the air, I realized how far I've grown over the last year.

Sure, I weigh more than I would like.

And my pants are tighter than I prefer on any given day.

But I have confidence.

More confidence than I've had in YEARS!

I believe in myself.

I push myself to new limits.

Instead of saying, "I can't."

I say, "I'll do my best."

Tomorrow, I start training for my fourth half marathon.

Next month, I'll compete in my first race of 2012 with my mom and brother by my side. 

And thankfully, I have a lot more "miles of motivation" posts to complete. I'm not giving up on those, even though the posts took the back burner for a few weeks.

In the meantime, I'll do my best to catch myself before I fall into the deep valley of excuses and self-pity again.

I have a fresh start.

And it feels good. 

Much love,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recreating Our First Night

The night that I met Justin, I was NOT looking for a relationship.

I was still recovering from the scars of a previous relationship.

My heart was guarded.

I was guarded.

In fact, this song sums it up perfectly...but I'll highlight a few of the lyrics:

"I never thought that you would be the one to hold my heart,
but you came around and you knocked me off the ground from the start.
You put your arms around me and I believe that it's easier for you to let me go.
You put your arms around me and I'm home."

We are different people. Worlds different.

I often describe our relationship as a hurricane.

He is the eye.

And I'm the storm.

He keeps me balanced.

He makes me realize that it's OK not to have plans.

He inspires me to become a better person.

He challenges me. Even when it ticks me off, he challenges me.

He encourages me to reach for the stars.

He tells me I'm beautiful EVERY single morning. In his sleepy voice and barely open eyes, "You're beautiful," he'll tell me when I kiss him goodbye.

Sometimes he will get even cuter and say something about my nice booty, "Damn girl, don't hurt em!"

"Ms New Booty!!!"

And I love it.

But like all relationships, it's not always easy. It's not always fun. Our differences can sometimes get the best of us...but WE WORK ON IT! We talk about it. WE LISTEN to each out. We make CHANGES.

Recently Justin told me, "Ashley - we are in the hardest, full time job of our lives right now. Marriage. But it will ALWAYS workout if we continue to talk about things and work on things, together."

And that quote brings me to my most important point, WE NEVER GIVE UP ON EACH OTHER!

No matter how mad. Or upset. Or furious. Or sad we are, we never give up.

Jason Mraz sings it best here in I Won't Give Up

Justin - thank you for being my BEST FRIEND! You make me smile every single day...I'm getting butterflies just thinking about you coming home to my surprise!!! :)

So tonight, I'm going to re-create the night we first met.

I've got the beer bong table set up.

Bring it on, J-Sieb.

At first, I couldn't find any beer pong balls.
So I thought a small red potato might work.
Don't worry, I found one ball.

I'm wearing the same shirt.

No wonder he fell in love with them, check out that cleavage.

I've got the 2006 playlist ready, which includes songs such as:

  • Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake
  • Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It by Dem Franchize Boyz
  • Everytime We Touch by Cascda
  • Hips Don't Lie by Shakira
  • Maneater by Nelly Furtado
  • Dance, Dance by Fallout Boy
  • You and Dat Booty by E40 featuring T-Pain
  • SOS by Rhianna
  • Pump It by Blacked Eyed Peas
  • Temperature by Sean Paul
And then for dinner, a $6 heart shaped pizza baby!!!

It's going to be awesome over here at the Sieb house.

Much love,

Childhood Views on Valentine's Day

Growing up as an awkward, tall and chubby kid, you can imagine how much I loved Valentine’s Day.

That's me at the top of the stairs.
Wearing a crazy headband.
Throwing up the peace sign.
Rocking out my PIPE jeans for "husky" girls.
Be jealous.
I loved it about as much as the spinal examine at school.

“Bend over like you’re touching your toes!” the school nurse would say.

Please, please don’t let me have this, what it is you’re checking for? I would pray inside my little head.

I loved this holiday as much as getting picked for a team in gym class in grade school.

I was only picked first for basketball, mainly because I was tall. But then they quickly realized I’m as fast as a cow and have the coordination and grace of a drunken stripper in high heels.

I loved Valentine’s Day as much as a random lice check at school, which I always feared the worst.

“You’re good,” the nurse would say and push me along.

PRAISE JESUS, lice free another year.

I loved Valentine’s Day as much as I loved the cold, square pizza with fake pepperoni dots on it.

It wasn’t my holiday. I never got a heart shaped box of candy, even though I begged and pleaded that I would. Just once. Or even a small teddy bear that said, “I LOVE YOU VALENTINE!” or “YOU’RE ONE SEXY VALENTINE!”

I was the chubby Carrie Bradshaw of the fifth grade school at Northwest Elementary; love was all I wrote and dreamed of when I was that age. I was not as stylish and beautiful as Carrie…but my Grandma Kaye would tell you that I was the most beautiful girl in the whole school, which is a crock of rotten milk. God love her for trying to make me feel so special growing up. It DID make a difference, Grandma!

Years and years would go by before I ever had a Valentine. But even then, the holiday just never felt special to me. I mean, my whole life I associated this holiday with spinal examines, head lice checks, traumatizing gym classes and nasty school pizza.

Do I think that Valentine's Day is a national holiday that is overrated and makes chubby fifth graders sad? Yes.

But, do I think that it's important to have a day that reminds us all to celebrate our love for someone? Yes.

AND I would like to add, that you shouldn't just celebrate the love you have of your significant other.  I know some extremely happy single people who celebrate the love of their friends and family. 

And what is the biggest lesson I've learned about Valentine's Day now that I'm older? You shouldn't limit yourself to only showing someone how much you love on one day.

You should celebrate love daily.  

  • Send a cute card for no reason at all (I'm looking at you, Sarah Frey)!
  • Buy someone a cute pair of earrings just because you know they'd rock em' so well (I'm looking at you, Meggie)!
  • Buy someone Starbucks and leave a cute message on their cup.
  • Drop off cupcakes as a sweet reminder that you care about them.
  • Write a letter to someone...and send it in the mail like they used to do in the "old days."
  • Compliment a complete stranger on their glasses, shoes, smile, beautiful eyes, outfit, purse or even hair style. You'd be surprised how ONE small compliment can change a person's entire day around...I'm living proof.
  • Smile, at every single person you meet.
I'm ending this blog post with a special picture + message to my everyday Valentine:

Much love,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Let's Get Physical: Bachelor Workouts

At the start of the show...say a prayer at Courtney goes home tonight.
Have your dog pose awkwardly next to you while doing so.

Do 10 second side planks for every time someone cries.

Do 10 abs for every rose given.
Be ready to work your abs hard during the rose ceremony.

Do 10 jumping jacks in your superman snuggie
every time someone says, "I'm really falling for..."

Make a snarky face back at Courtney if you want to.
I clearly won't judge you.

Do 10 chair dips every time someone talks crap behind someone else's back.
Make sure your dog is chewing his / her bone right next to you for moral support.
Do 10 backward leg kicks during every commercial break.
Rotate legs each commercial. Or do both so a total of 20.
Squeeze your cheeks!!!!!

If you aren't inspired by any of these awesome moves, just drink a beer and live tweet with me.

Much love,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


"Within each state of us is a hidden store of determination. Determination to keep us in the race when all seems lost."
 -Rodger Dawson

Never give up.