what ever happened to that fitness thing?

this time last year, waytogogals.com was in full effect. For those who don’t know, I had started an instagram account (@waytogoash) to share a side of myself I had never explored – daily pursuing physical fitness and intentionality in how I treated my body. I had a trainer, went to the gym an average of 2 hours a day, ate paleo, and lost a ton of weight real quick. This pursuit quickly became about something that wasn’t just for me, but that I ultimately decided to share with other women. It became a movement and hundreds / thousands of you dear women followed along and even joined in, starting your own @waytogo____ accounts. Then we quit social media last march and I dropped the responsibility of publicly campaigning for health.

fast forward to this time this year. Waytogogals has expired. I got a message from the hosting service we use a couple of weeks ago saying that the .com was expiring and that I had the option to renew it or let it expire. I chose to let it go.

I was at a party this past weekend with some fantastic women, a few who had followed my journey and been inspired by it, and voiced that they missed my voice in their heads on this issue. I have received emails and texts from other women over the past handful of months saying the same.

As an all or nothing gal, I do a really great job of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I don’t want to do that here. I’m tempted to but the reality is that some really beautiful stuff happened as a result of that health journey, both for me and others. Since the domain has expired and I have no intent of renewing it, I wanted to state a few parting thoughts, just so there’s no confusion as to where I stand and why.

I believe our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, by God, for his glory.

I believe making healthy choices with what we eat and how we exercise can be a worthwhile investment in the gift we have in our mortal bodies.

I don’t believe, however, that exercise is paramount or crucial to a women’s happiness or closeness to God or her identity as a beloved child of God and worthy member of the human race.

I believe exercise and eating, just like the other choices we make with our lives and our time, can be a vehicle to experience surrender to the Divine and trust in something besides our natural, self-indulgent bend.

I don’t think one’s fitness journey needs to be, or should be, the focal point of one’s life.

I regret the self-glorifying selfies that I posted in my bra. There. I said it. It was a mistake. I have no need to see other women in their bras showing off their growing four-packs, and no one needed to see mine.
I did it because I wanted more attention, more praise, more likes.

I regret the times I made other gals feel guilty because the “failed” at their goals that day. grace, grace, grace is what we all need from one another on every front.

My worth is not wrapped up in how many sizes I dropped or what my final weight is. After all that happened with Rhabdomyolysis, I have accepted the ups and downs as a part of life and the current status of how tightly my jeans fit is of little concern to me.

I believe placing your self-worth, joy, and identity in anything that can ever be taken away from you (ie: your health, your size, your ability to diet/exercise, your children husband or friends, your status, etc) is a pursuit that ultimately disappoints.

so there it is. baby still in the bathwater.
work out if you want to and let it drive you to wonder and marvel at the gift that is life, health, and connection to the Spirit. Let your eating choices do the same. You won’t do it perfectly and you will be tempted to place your worth in it when you do well and hate it when you don’t. Resist the temptation to be polarizing. Win some, lose some, accept grace in all things and extend that grace to others because we are all in such need of grace.

To everyone who followed along, I send you an honest and heart felt thank you. Truly. I mean it. T H A N K . Y O U . So many of you not only followed along and joined in but you became sisters to me through this. Even though I don’t see your faces in front of me every day, I carry your kindness and your support with me, and I send mine right back. for those of you who dropped dress sizes with me, quit sugar, ran miles, and cried on treadmills while listening to worship music, thank you and I love you. Way to go, gals. Good things happened and stupid things happened, but it’s all a part of our journey and it mattered.

xo,
ash

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