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E62: There's "Rheum to Rise" with Ashley

May 16th 2022

TW: Food, Disordered Eating. On this episode, Ashley of RA Warrior Fitness sits down to discuss all the things Faith, Food, and Fitness. She shares how her journey with eating habits, learning to l... More

This is disabled girls who lift, we are reclaiming what's rightfully ours one podcast at a time. It's mary Beth Chloe and Marcia bringing you the thoughts and unpopular topics to get you out of that. A bliss comfort zone. Mhm, mm hmm. All right, let's party. Welcome to yet another episode of disabled girls who live. We're still out here. Thank you again to our Patreon, supporting us to the podcast. The folks that drop us coins every once in a while. Um because you know, this isn't free, so you know, you gotta pay the bills, appreciate you. This is Marsha sitting on Seminole tribe land in florida. She, they, I'm wearing my plain gray t shirt in front of my colorful geometric pattern wall, clear glasses, big old mickey mouse looking headphones and I'm feeling pretty low energy. I could take a nap but you know, I always have energy for conversations. So we're out here. We get energy from each other. We need radiation way. I appreciate these episodes. I appreciate these therapeutic episodes.

No, but seriously, thank you all so much. I think we're going on a year and a half, Almost two years of this podcast nonstop. We have not missed an episode and do appreciate those of you who tune in literally Within the 1st 5 Or 10 minutes of us uploading it. I see y'all, I see y'all while you make your morning coffee. I love it. My name is Lori Beth I am tuning in from northern California, sitting on stolen land wearing a teal sweatshirt in my living room, black glasses on black headphones. Um but we are super excited to bring the amazing positive energy that is Ashley Nicole of are a warrior fitness, who what she founded herself, um she is sitting on Dallas texas, Wichita commanche and Cherokee land um and really we just want to hear everything that she does in that big texas world, but I think she's from Alabama, has lived with R.

A. for 18 years and I really love something that you said in your bio, which was I decided To turn my pain into purpose in 2020 when I founded are a warrior fitness about two years ago. So thank you for bringing that to our community and you know, helping folks improve their quality of life through what is it? Faith, Faith food and fitness, those three s. That's right, that's right well, thank you all so, so very much for having me. I am honored and I feel very blessed to be here on the podcast with you all today. So as she said, I am Ashley Nicole the founder of our a Warrior Fitness where the mission is to empower women living with rheumatoid arthritis as well as other autoimmune diseases to improve their quality of life through faith food and fitness while eliminating negative self talk and strenuous exercise and so yes, I founded Are a warrior fitness two years ago, during the pandemic, actually at the very beginning of the pandemic and I have not looked back since and it's just been amazing to meet so many other spoon e sisters and to help change their lives and to help them, you know transform not only physically but from the inside out because it's more more than about you know eat this, eat that, do this exercise, do that exercise.

But you know you gotta have some mindset work in there as well and so you know it's just been amazing just to see um the women and how they've transformed, you know more than just physically and so I do this because it is purpose work for me. Um As you said I turned my pain into purpose and it has been very rewarding. So again thank you so much for having me and I can go into more oh yeah thank you for being here. Um Yeah I definitely feel like I can go on your page and just be there for hours and you have a lot of lives on your instagram and talks, it's just everything that you speak is just gold. Thank you thank you so much. I really do try to bring value when I come to social media because as you know, you know sometimes people you know I just posted just opposed and you know, but I feel like if I'm a post I will also post with a purpose and try to bring some value and speak to you know my ideal person, you know my ideal client, my avatar who I used to be, you know, because that's that's who I want to help the women who, because I know when I was at my lowest, when I was first diagnosed, there was no one else out there, you know, like me, there was no one I could look to, there was no spoon e community, you know, And so that's why I decided to create this and use my platform as a safe space where we can openly talk about our A and R challenges.

You know, of course we do have challenges and everything, but also how we can thrive with it as well. So yes, yes, try to try to keep the positivity around here because Lord knows we've got enough negativity in the world right now control the things we can control. But you know what? We love a pandemic pivot. Please Tell us more, what happened? Where were you, where did things go? What happened? Oh gosh, okay, so let me rewind a little bit. So January 2020, I think we all really liked the year 2020. It's gonna be my this this year, like, you know, I can't tell nothing. And so literally I was honestly just recently fresh out of a divorce, I had just gotten my divorce Finalized November 2019 on my birthday and so I kind of agreed that a little bit, you know, because it is like a loss.

But um I was really ready to start over in january. And so with my church, we do a fast every year, it's called the Daniel Fast, so 21 days um where we fasted and so we actually had the topic around purpose. So purpose was actually The topic throughout the 21 days. And so that's when I really set out to determine, okay, what is my purpose? You know, I went into prayer and asked God, okay, you know, what is it you would have me do, how can you use me to be a blessing to others? You know, I know I've been holding back over the last few years because I've had, you know, all this negative energy and, you know, people who don't support me and won't allow me to do what I want to do, so I'm Ready now. And so over time, he began to reveal that to me during that 21 days and I was actually in a fitness class needing a modification. Of course, I created it myself and like, it just came to me are a warrior fitness.

I was like, okay, thank you guys, that's that's what it's gonna be. So then I got my L. L. C. And I was like, okay, I know I want to do online training again, mind you, this is before the pandemic hit heavy, I was like, I want to do online and but I need a platform, I need to figure out how I can reach more people. And so one of my friends reached out to me that I hadn't talked to in a while, he was like, hey, I just created this platform where trainers can put their programs online and you know, they can get it out there to the masses. I was yes, yes, and so I was like, let me sign up and get on that. And so I started to build my website, I did a whole photo shoot, like I was just becoming this person before I even know who this person was gonna be. So I'm like, let me just see what I can do. And so then the middle of March, I was working full time at a non profit, so we ended up of course working from home, and then that was March 17th and then like I think around that same time all the gyms shut down, everything March, March was like what is happening?

And so then I was like okay, I need to go ahead and get my program set up. So literally I took a week, I zoned then I got everything set up and I launched on March 25th and I was like, Maybe I can get about 10 people to join. I Did like a 21 day Challenge for 21 dollars and I had like over 60 people to sign up, which was so dope to me, yes, because everybody was like, yes, I need to work out because we're at home, we can't go to the gym and so yeah, and so it's evolved over time, but I will say even though 2020 was devastating for so many, so many people lost their lives, so many people lost so much because I lost my full time job, I was furloughed like in april and then in july they decided just to take it off. So of course I'm like, oh my God, my health benefits, my medicine cost $4600 without insurance, what am I gonna do? So that's what I was worried about, but God provided I was able to get in on a program where I got my medicine free for a year, so that was awesome.

But um during that time, I mean I really created something beautiful and been able to help so many women, like I calculated like all of the people that have come through my program over two 100 with women I've helped in Alaska. And so my goal this year is to help another 100. So um so yes, yes, so that's kind of how I pivoted and I picked up so many other skills during the pandemic to learned it, learned how to create stuff on canvas. I've become a little graphic design. One of my friends, she had hired me to help her with her social media. So I was doing that and you know, just making a little money here and making a little money there and just making it work, making it work. And so here I am now, the program has definitely evolved a lot. Um and I'm still really trying to broaden my reach to help as many women as possible. But um the investment is more than $21 now, like got to eat around here.

It's not just the 21 day challenges for Exactly, exactly. Like I'm trying to set y'all up for life. Okay, lifestyle changes. Alright, so, so yeah, so, so that's how it all evolved. Life comes at you fast. It does, wow. But what I love about those covid pivots is you truly find what it is that you want to do long term rather than I need to do this to survive. I'm going to do this for my mental health, I'm gonna do this for my physical fitness and my heart and now you're going into your first figure competition. Like that's how that's kind of evolved for your life as well. It's just, it's beautiful. Right? Thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, it's just amazing just to see the evolution, not, you know, with the business and with my clients, but in myself as well, and I'm like, wow. Like if you had told me over two years ago that I would be where I am now, I wouldn't believe you, like an entrepreneur, are you kidding me?

Like? No, but I think the pandemic did that for a lot of people? I think it really made a lot of people's have time to think what is it that I really want to do? And like they're doing it, they're doing it. Like I know so many people who have started businesses and they're thriving, they're happy. You know? And so because it is hard work. It is hard work. I feel like I work all the time. But I would rather than for myself than for someone else. Yeah, I know that. I think that's very true. I mean there's people out there that just never had to think about like what if one day the world stopped and this is all I have. And that's what that pandemic brought for a lot of people, a lot of people For sure. I feel like I already had that moment. My mom passed away in 2018. So that was my moment. I was like, Okay, what am I gonna do with my life? Because this could go, Yeah, I'm wasting time here.

Mm hmm. Exactly. Waking up every morning is a blessing. It is. It is. And that's the first thing I do as soon as my eyes open. I I thank God for it because somebody didn't make it so many didn't make it, especially during the pandemic. Like, gosh, yeah, I know it's rough. It's definitely rough. But how does that affect you in terms of, even though you figured it out eventually? I'm sure that was a big stress in the beginning, how does stress affect your body? And oh stresses the devil stresses the devil. And I would say my Ira is pretty under control now because I do give myself a shot every week and I do take a pill every day and I just stay as active as possible, you know, I try to eat right and everything, but one of my triggers for flare up is stress and honestly, stress is not good for anybody at all.

But um for me it can be a huge trigger and so I just really try to keep my stress levels down as much as possible, focus on what I can control and just give God the rest because when I tell you God has provided in ways that only he can and has just, you know, been there and only ways that he can like, I just can't explain it, you know, because even though I am an entrepreneur, I mean I haven't like blown up or anything, like sometimes I look and be like, how, how am I making it? It's only because of him, like truly I'm like, so that's why in the beginning of the month it's thank you Lord, I was able to pay rent. Thank you Lord. I'm able to put food on the table, you know, thank you Lord, I can't pay my bills, all my bills are paid, you know, and then have some leftover. So you know I try not to stress too much because it does nothing but make my joints being happy and then being able to get that medicine for free in the last few years like share.

Yes yes. So luckily the full time job I had they let me keep my benefits until they were supposed to expire in september because they officially laid me off in in july. And like I had it all up until that point and then I I actually asked them to extend it just another month just to buy me some more time. So they extended it until october and then in the process I was talking with my doctor and so she was giving me samples to just to have on hand and she was like hey you know get with the business office they'll get you some information about this program that you know could probably help you. So the people who actually make my medicine Florencia is what I take. They have a foundation a patient assistance program and so through their foundation um you know if you if you apply and if you're within the parameters to qualify you can get your medicine absolutely free.

And I qualified you know based on what I made that year even with unemployment and honestly I don't think they told me not to put unemployment on there. So I didn't um But yeah. Yeah I mean it's programs out there and that's another thing I tell my clients and so many other people, you have to be your own advocate, you have to advocate for yourself because if you don't advocate for yourself, who else will you know? Um closed mouths don't get fed. So I asked, I'm like there's got to be a program out here somewhere that can help You've been making money off of me all my life. It's time to give literally. Exactly because listen, $4600 who has that and they don't, they don't even say that either. It's just like, oh by the way, we could pay for this totally to know you've got to go through all the loopholes before you figure that out. Exactly. Exactly. So yeah, I had it covered free for an entire year.

So so that was that was a huge blessing. And I knew I knew God was going to work it out. So he did came right on time, wow, mm hmm. Mhm. That's pretty, that's pretty crazy. But um were you able to get all the care you need it in the pandemic? Your medication was covered, but yes. Yes. Well I did have to pay out of pocket for my doctor's visits and so that was a lot. That was a lot. Um So I just had to budget for that, luckily I only have to see my rheumatologist every six months. So I only had to go see her, well I guess four times within the last couple of years and I've got insurance now. I mean it's not great but it's something, something it's something um But um but yeah, so I really have to budget for those out of pocket expenses and Honestly I'm still paying on one of the lab bills that I had last year, you know when I have to have one dang quest diagnostics, so like I'm on a payment plan with them.

So um so yeah, yeah that's still unfortunate but I'm just thankful again thankful I have the means to do it. Thank God for a payment plan could be worse. It could be worse. There's some weird stuff by states, Some states do weird things, some things aren't protected. I know I was talking to Ashley who was on um a couple of the panel of spoon episodes and she had her own episode. Um but I was talking to her offline and she said in Washington they could take that debt to a creditor and the creditor could charge you interest on the debt. What? I'm like how is that legal? Oh wow. You couldn't afford it the first time you're gonna get charged an extra 25 percent. How is that legal? I know that is crazy. Well I know one thing that has helped to is that you know the pause that has been put on the student loan now.

I would be creepy if I had to, I just saw that awful joe pushed it to, I don't just extend it another few months extended indefinitely. I mean it's been fun, right, hasn't exploded. So you just let it go. Exactly. Just let it go and I've got friends actor to that are getting there is like completely forgiven because they work like either a nonprofit like making the making the public the public loan forgiveness there. Making yeah, they're making it easier. You can also get forgiven for disability but you have to not work essentially. Like you have to have zero income basically basically. Yeah, that's not gonna work but shouldn't they have done that anyway.

But the pandemic, it's our country at work I guess. I don't know. And that's the biggest stressor in life is like paying for freaking health. You're paying for getting an education. Yeah. Yeah. They make it so hard because I was actually um someone messaged me the other day, she was just diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and she was telling me how she's been fighting with her insurance company to cover her medicine and here she is. She actually has insurance. She's in excruciating pain. I mean I asked her on a scale from 1 to 10, what is your pain level? She's like it's a 15 20 like she's hurting and she can't even get the medicine she needs. Like it's just so frustrating. So frustrating what they want to pay for the cheaper ones that like don't work for her or something. I guess one of those things. Yeah. Yeah because the one and I, and I told her exactly what I just said on here, I was like there are programs out there like I know specifically that that particular medication that she has, I've used that program assistance before.

So I'm just gonna look into that. So that's a pro tip for anybody on expensive medication finds actual manufacturer. Most likely they got some type of foundation and they still win anyway because they're paying themselves with the foundation and then the foundational facts right off they got that covered. Don't worry about them. Do not apologize for asking them for assistance. Yes, but I love how you say you're not blowing up, but you went from, I don't know how many followers, but you have almost like what 15 K followers in a couple of years in the women's Health magazine. And I saw you were on the news on time. What do you define blowing up? Well, I guess I guess I'm not, I don't know, I'm not a millionaire yet. But then again it's not for me it's really not all about the money.

It's not it's about really changing lives. I mean that's what drives me is this is purpose work for me. It is, it's just a bonus that I do get to get paid for it. Um but you know, I guess blowing up with me just being comfortable and not have to worry about anything. You know, if the student, the student loans do come back and I have to pay it okay. You know, I'll be fine with that. I'll put it on auto pay, take it, let's take it. It's just in there. It's in the bank. So, um, so yeah, just being comfortable and not to worry. Yeah, Now that I'm worried now because like I said, God, he provides, but, but you know, I'm into it. Do you, y'all watch insecure? Yeah. I didn't watch the last Season, but I watched the seasons leading up to that one. What's not that much of a spoiler, But in the first episode, she's at like a business thing, talking about her business.

And then people, they asked like, oh, how do you know that you made it? And it was interesting because everyone that gave an answer, it was like some sort of external validation. It was like, oh, I got whatever money or I got this award and then it got to east and she's like, I don't know, I don't think I made it yet. I could have made, I couldn't do this. I could do this for five more years and then decided it was a terrible idea. Yeah. But I feel like that's so real. But people will sell like the other parts of the business. Like, wow, it's so, oh my gosh, it's so great. And you know, as soon as you make this much, you have this much followers and you've made it. It was like, Mm Hmm. You'll only see one side of it folks. Yeah, exactly. Like they don't see what all goes into it. Late nights, early mornings, passion coaching sessions that can't be done without a passion. Yeah, Absolutely. So have you always been up into faith food and fitness or is that also a pandemic visit?

Well, I have always been a woman of faith, a person of faith that has never wavered. It has only gotten stronger, which is great. Um, as far as the food, um, I haven't always been conscious with my food choices. I'm not sure how much you've seen, you know about my transformation. But I was once very overweight. At least for me. Um, and during that time I wasn't officially diagnosed with R. A. But I was still having a lot of joint pain and issues and just me, I was adding to it and didn't know it, you know, by eating all these inflammatory foods that I shouldn't have been eating, drinking all the margaritas, happy hours was my thing and just feeding my disease instead of fighting it with food. So, my relationship with food has not always been great.

But when you know better, you do better. So over the years I did educate myself on the importance of anti inflammatory nutrition and I am a living witness that it truly does work. It truly does work. And it helps for sure. Um it doesn't cure anything. But you know the body is definitely more happy when I eat anti inflammatory foods basis, you know versus other things, you know like um like processed foods, you know fast food, you know too much of it, too much of it is bad. I realized that every now and then you know we might have to get what we can get cause I mean I admit I love my weaknesses, Mexican food, I love me some enchiladas, rice things, all the things and pizza, but too much of that. It's not good for anybody, you know, but in moderation and I still eat those things well not now because I'm in competition prep, but when I'm not in competition prep, I still eat those things but I try to make them myself so that I at least know what's going in it, you know, I can control the sodium and you know sugar and stuff like that.

So and as far as fitness, I have not always loved it, enjoyed it. But I realized that it does help of course, you know with weight management but also just you know the whole quality of life um especially living with an autoimmune disease, it's true what they say motion is lotion truly it is like our joints are meant to move and so that's one thing I do try to tell my clients is that I know there are some days where you might be extremely fatigued, extremely in pain, but doing something is better than nothing like if you sit still and just you know, sit there and be in pain. That's the worst thing you can do. Even if you go outside, let the sun hit you get some vitamin D Walk for five minutes, if you get tired, you come back in, sit down for a minute and then try it again later, do do 10 more minutes the next time, you know, but do something and so I eventually started to love it, but I didn't at first, so, but I did when I came up with, you know, my whole mission statement and everything, I was like, okay, so what is it that I feel has really, you know, been made an impact in my journey and Faith, food and fitness, like that's, that's it.

And I would also add mindset in there too. I kind of incorporate that with the faith, but mindset is, is huge too. So that's another thing that I try to coach on in my programs, is to make sure that you are also strengthening that mindset muscle as well because that is gonna get you through on the days when you are having chronic pain and fatigue and everything, speaking kindly to yourself and and just you know, Reaffirming that this is temporary, let's just get through the day, you know, speak kindly to yourself. So I'm with you on that. Is there anything on the food ports? So, faith, this was forever, is forever for you. But the food part was there like a lightbulb moment, what made you start paying attention to what you're eating? Um probably when I hit my highest of £225 and that was heavy For me. Everybody carries their weight differently, like to 25 on me would look different on, you know, the both of you.

But For me, I'm five four and that was just a lot. Like, I didn't even look like myself. And um, it was a couple of moments, like, one moment I went home because this at this particular moment I was living in Memphis Tennessee, but I went home to Alabama and my mom looked at me and she was like, actually, you know, I'm concerned, I'm concerned, you know? And so I was like, okay, okay. And then I saw myself in the picture, um, and I knew I was having to buy bigger clothes, but I don't think I I wasn't taking many pictures and I just didn't realize how much weight I gained. So I got a glimpse of myself in a few vacation pictures and I was like, oh God, I gotta do something. And then, um, you know, I got the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and I was like, okay, you know, I need to get some of this weight off too, because that's not helping more of an external or like aesthetic thing though in the beginning, In the beginning, yes. But then I realized that I felt so much better when, you know, I improved how I was eating what I was eating how often and all of that.

And so, you know, once I educated myself on that, I'm like, okay, this makes sense that, you know, I need to eat to energize my body and I shouldn't feel like I'm ready to take a nap and go to sleep after I eat each meal. Like, you know, why would I stuff myself like that? And plus it's not good, you know, for my inflammation and so, you know, you just kinda learn these things too as you go and certain triggers for me may be different for the next star a warrior. Um, but for me, let's see what foods trigger inflammation for me. I would say like if I eat too many greasy foods, like, you know, if I eat too much, like maybe fried chicken or um or like fried chicken wings or whatever, like um french fries, things like that like that. I just feel so bad and sluggish. But I make my own sweet potato fries and the air fryer. And so like I still eat some of the same foods, but I just prepared myself and prepare it differently, you know?

And so even my chicken, you know, I might just pan sear it in olive oil and um do it in the air fryer if I want to? So, you know, it's just when you know better, you do better. Yeah, but it takes a lot of strength to also find that really find that relationship, that healthy relationship back after, you know? Yeah. And it's interesting because I feel like I've had the opposite. Um Well I've done the like look at a picture and be like, oh my God, I'm so fat and all my family's telling me I'm fat and now I'll lose weight right? Like back and forth. That's whatever, who cares about that. Um but actually my relationship of food changing, it was the opposite when I was at my smallest, you know, cutting for competitions all the time. I had, you know, thanks to the pandemic before that hurricane before that some other random natural disaster, like getting in the way and then I was more normally good old florida and I was eating normally like, oh maybe I should start thinking about how I'm eating because you know, I was counting macros, I was slim, but I didn't feel great at all.

I didn't feel good at all because I wasn't really trying to eat things that were like amazing for me. It was just meeting numbers and meeting numbers. Yeah, it meant nothing. Nothing meant just meeting the macros. Meeting the number on the scale. That was just obsessing over it. Yeah. Yeah, I know it is different for everybody to um So what what was I'm interested, I'm asking questions now. So what was the turning point for you when you when your relationship with food changed and you begin to enjoy it better? So I would actually say starting acupuncture. Really? Yeah, so I started acupuncture. Um at first I went to a School because it was cheaper, so it was like 20 bucks. And then I would get pretty much like a new batch of students every time, and then every time I get a new batch students, first of all, they knew about my life, just from looking at my tongue, which was the weirdest thing that was like what the like, oh do you have trouble?

You wake up a lot at night, How are your stools? Are they hard? What the hell? How do you know that? So first of all they told me about my life, wow. Um and there was like, so and that was probably the first time someone was really validating, like what I was feeling, because at that at that point pretty much everyone I've been to was like, oh well it's not this disease, so you're fine. Oh it doesn't look like it's lupus, it's fine. You don't have are a, it's fine, you don't have M. S. We do the lumbar puncture your fine, I'm just like, I don't feel like um so they are the ones that opened my eyes because then that's when they're like, well, you know, if you're feeling right now, your damp, so you really do you eat, do you drink a lot of smoothies, protein shakes, Do you think hot vegetables, hot vegetables are cold, but you should eat hot vegetables, and then, like, that's weird. So I started paying attention to, like, how I feel in front of food and then how I eat it, how I felt afterwards. And so now I can gauge like, what I actually need to eat just off of that.

So that's how it is when you get your chinese medicine diagnosis or whatever, there's like a set of foods that support or don't support you. So, for me, it's like nothing was flowing, so eating something cold, soggy, wet, heavy, nothing's gonna flow. Like, I started thinking about it. I was like, damn, I was craving hot vegetables like all the time, all the time. That makes sense. That's what did it for me mary beth are you there where you are you are you love, are you in love with food? It's it's hella funny because I had a similar experience with an acupuncturist with chinese medicine, but it was the complete opposite that my diagnosis was the exact same as my fiancee's who has a completely different nutrition style than me that are tongue and said the same thing, that was like, our periods heavier flow nowadays. I'm like, no, that doesn't, like, I don't know, it was just very funny and I felt like it was like a cookie cutter type of diagnosis, but, but that's three things and he's on the list the same thing.

He tells to all women the same thing he tells to all men drinking water hot versus ice cold and all those great things. But, but relationship with food and you know, looking at the process of of our lifestyle with sports and all of these things, like, I think we're all experiencing the same thing. Just, you know, like in our own way. Yeah, it's, it's great to see like how that Changed for all three of us. Right? I will say after this competition though, I think I might give my body a little break from, from meat. I eat so much. So I'm allergic to seafood, so I can't do fish. So right now I'm eating chicken ground, turkey, beef and of course egg whites. Um, I'm good with the egg whites, but like, I just feel like I eat so much meat and it's like a lot.

I mean it's working, you know, with the macros and yeah, you got a combination of foods. You have a specific goal on a specific timeline. Yes. So I'm 12 weeks out, so I'm like, I can give my body a little break and it's funny because I've got a list of things that I want to eat like after the competition, but I know that like my body is not going to respond well. So I'm actually trying not to go too crazy after the competition. But I am going to give my body a little break from meat though. Like are you planning on cutting like water weight? Because I know there's certain classes where people do that and sometimes they don't Or just does everyone do that. Um You know, I'm not sure. But my coach did tell me I would be cutting the water like during peak week. I think like the week before I would Go from drinking one gallon to two gallons. And then as we get closer to the competition, you know, I'll be cutting mm hmm.

You are doing it water load and then cutting it. Alright. Yeah, That's not water loads. I got I just got traumatized water loads and water cuts for power lifting was it's been a while worst. It's been a while. I think I'm good. It's dramatic. Right? You're trying to lose 10 £15 in a week. Yeah, like a full week. But your body mass in total, That's like a Good 20% 15% of the weight already. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's gonna be really interesting to see how this plays out because no other plans though. Like the 12 weeks out and then you're going to do nothing for at least two weeks, Right? Please. Yeah. Well, I am thinking about doing another show that is about a month later. Yeah, I'm thinking about it. Well, So I think I've heard that, I feel like that's very common because you're like, your body is already in the state that you want it to be.

Well, what are the different levels though? Because I'm, I'm out of the like lingo what, what are the different? So like the different categories and stuff. So he got bikini figure wellness and then I think women's physique and, and then that's it. Bodybuilding and bodybuilding weight. So tell us a little bit about what you know with this new wellness category. Because yeah. So based on what I know is that the low it really focuses like on the lower body. So what you see the upper body is pretty developed. But the waist is like super tiny. But the quads and the glutes are like damn. But you're not quite zeke. No. But and then fit. Mm hmm. Figure fitness. Fitness is the one where there's like a, like you do something like Fitness. Now. I'm not familiar with that one. Or is that figure One of them has like a thing like you like do some sort of dance with me, whatever.

Okay. That maybe I'm not sure Which one it is because the show I'm doing is actually for natural gas and it's kind of, it's a good start for like beginners. Um, and it's with the global bodybuilding organization because I went to it last year because One of my friends who's 57, she was 57 and she's 58 now, she competed for the first time and it inspired me. And so she's doing the same competition again. So of course we're going to be in different classes, but I just love that we're doing it together. Um but but yeah, but seeing that of course each class, they have like a different routine that they do and everything. So you've got like your, um, what do you call it, Your mandatories? And then you've got like a routine. So the mandatory of course is like the posing where you just get a few seconds on stage and then you get, you know, a routine that you get to do. And so I know that this one that I'm doing for GPO would be different if I was doing NPC.

And so I think the next one that I want to do is NPC um but I know it's going to be more competitive. Way more competitive. That's why I'm starting with this one. That is the divisions though, that um you mentioned offline the divisions go by age or anything like that or not really. Yes, Yes. Most of them do except for like the the open. So um, so like they're the ones for the Global Bodybuilding Organization, the one that I'm doing, I know that they, they've got bikini and then they've got like the different age brackets and then they figure yeah, novice and then like if it's the open then like any any age can do it. But there's always a category. This age specific. Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm. Yeah, I didn't know that. And I learned some things about bodybuilding. Is it age specific? Like junior under 23 years old open? And then masters or there are actual like 10 year? Well, I think it varies for each one because the one that I'm doing, let's see what category am I in?

I think because I'm 30 eight. So the way they have this one set up is um 50 plus, like in each category. And then I think 20 to like 40 Maybe. And then they even have like a Team which is like the 19 Year olds, 18, 19 little babies at a bodybuilding. Okay. That's funny. I think olympic lifting is the one that ages us the most because I think their masters are in 30 something. Yeah. Yeah. Yikes. Okay, gymnastics, gymnastics, You retire at 14. Yeah, It's too late to try that one. Oh shucks. Um I think this might be a good time to take a quick little break. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Um So yeah, a moment of silence. If you have to physically go take your break, we'll be here.

Alright, I'll be right back. And this is your last podcast of the day, right? Yes, It is. This is the last one. I hope so. And the introvert in me is gonna be like, don't nobody call me All right? I'm not taking any calls believe it or not. I am an introvert. I'm like an extroverted introvert. So like, yeah, and turn it on, Turn it off. But I'm definitely, yeah, we've got we've got business, extroverted Ashley and then five minutes after the call, nothing like, yeah, this is this is why mary Beth helps me with anything that requires phone calls. I love phone calls. This is exactly. I got a call. There's no form for that. I'm not doing it. I'm not doing that. I'm not doing it for me. I just have no patience in waiting for email responses. Text responses. I'm getting I know it's more effective, but that's how I just hate doing it.

I don't want to I've got friends like that too. They'll just pick up the phone and call and they're not an unexpected facetime. Those are the words. I'm not answering that. What? That's ridiculous. No, I mean, no, thank you calling a stranger and oh my God, if you ask me about the weather, oh my God, don't ask me where I am. No, don't ask me how my day is going. Oh, please. Exactly. I can't do it. Just do not care right now. Well, I was gonna say this is your last podcast episode, but you've got interviews with the news lined up right after, right? Oh, well, you know what? I'm just, I'm going to claim that. Maybe not a hit today, but you know, maybe in the next couple of months I'll be on some more news channels so I receive it. I receive it. But today Ashley is gonna rescue. Not today. Yeah, maybe after the competition.

So I had a question right before I had a question in my head right before we went into break and just us talking about like, the relationship with food and how that changed with sport, at least for Marcia and myself and how you kind of like found that love for your foods that work for your are a way before you found figure and bodybuilding, right? Is that a little easier for you now? Like, you're not hating your prep? You're What? six weeks out and you're happy? Yeah, well, I'm 12 weeks out. Please don't rush it. Let's get that straight, relax. Okay. But honestly, I don't hate my milk prep. I mean it's, it's time consuming. That's the only thing I hate is that it, it seems like it takes forever. Like I have to block off two to three hours to get it all done. Um, but I'm so glad after I get it done. Like it's so convenient and honestly, I've gotten used to eating the same thing every day.

I feel like this is one thing I will carry with me after the body building journey is definitely prepping my meals and everything and um, and the measuring stuff, I mean, I don't know if I'll be doing that because I, I think I can kind of eyeball it now and see what five oz of meat is, but but yeah, like, I I don't, it hasn't been a huge adjustment for me, the only thing I do miss you all that I had to cut and I'm by no means an alcoholic, but I do love a good glass of wine Now, one thing I did pick up during the pandemic, I think is like, maybe having a little bit too much because I was working so much, I felt like I needed a glass of wine just to be able to get to sleep and kind of calm my brain down, because my brain was always going like, what could I do before my clients down, what can I do? And I wasn't really getting enough sleep. So I became reliant on alcohol, mainly wine, sometimes, Tito's to like, just kind of, you know, down.

And so, when I first met with my bodybuilding coach, she was like, so what, you know, what is your, what does she call it, your, your advice or whatever. I was like, you know, it's my sweet because I'm not big on sweets, I was like, it's alcohol, she was like, well you definitely have to cut that out, and she was like, if you do anything, like, you know, if you just just take a shot, just a shot of vodka, just one shot, that's it. Stay away from wine. But one thing surprisingly is that I miss it. I'm not gonna say I don't miss it, it's like I miss it but I don't miss it. Um I have learned that I can go to sleep without it, I have learned that I don't need it to have a good time because I have had to like travel and go places and stuff during you know this prep and everything because my grandmother actually passed away back in february and so that was you know the first hurdle I had to overcome, you know go in there and dealing with that and then still having to stay on competition prep and everything um and that side of the family love to drink.

So like alcohol is everywhere and so like time like that. Yeah. Yeah and so I was like okay I learned that I don't need it and even in happier occasions you know um and then some stuff I've just had to turn down, you know friends wanting to go out for brunch and stuff like I just can't right now would be after July nine and we can have brunch. Yeah. You know what makes you think of um do you do you follow Amanda on instagram? Oh my gosh, she has this thing about how she would like go out to somebody's birthday or whatever and just pull out her bag, just a ziploc of chicken and she eats it at the dinner. You know she's all dressed up taking pictures and then but she's eating her. Yeah. Yeah and you you gotta have friends that understand that too. Yeah exactly. It's serious. It's serious because early March I went to California um with a couple of friends and so we were actually there for a conference and so we had a hotel suite and everything.

So as soon as we got there I was like y'all I gotta go to the grocery store which I had had my prep food for travel, I had to eat cold food on the plane and everything. Um But I needed to prep food for the weekend and I was going to be there and so you know I was able to do that and stick to it but I'm telling you it was hard when we actually did go out to dinner um and everybody's drinking and everything looks amazing but I got through it, I got through It and and one night I actually did, I allowed Myself to have one treat meal cheap meal because my coach does Give Me one Cheat Meal A week but I still kept it, you know, fairly clean. But Even my friends they were like no, you know I was like well let me just go and get one glass of wine, it'll be all right and they were like no no I have a glass of wine, you cannot, you will have it after July 9th. Okay, one thing I did sneak and do y'all, I did sneak and I got me a cookie. Yeah, please tell me it was chocolate and not have edible now.

So I yeah, I love that you call it treat meal. Yeah, I love that you call it treat meal Absolutely. And that's the whole thing of like centering all of this around the core, which is mindset like the mindset that we need going into a gym session and like, I don't know for me like looking forward to your, like you said how I feel afterwards kind of the same thing with food. Like I don't think I've gotten there yet where I, you know, put all of these foods in a line and see how I feel afterward. I think both are experts at that. Um only only at that time of the month where you know you're craving all of those nutrients that you need to gain back period and that's the only thing I know that when you got down. Oh man, I need, I need like the thickest steak every time.

That's what I eat on and tons of salt. What's got the most iron. Yeah, I'm with you there. It's a process though. It does take a lot of and you don't have to be interested in being a bodybuilder or you know, doing anything restrictive or counting macros. But even just like what you're saying just like how do I feel when I eat this food. Yeah, exactly. And I also recommend journaling, you know, these things Journaling, okay, How do I feel after I eat, you know, these things and, and that often lets people know what maybe they need to cut or limit, you know, or add in, you know, how were you feeling this particular day when you ate this? Like there's great benefits and journaling writing things down period as a whole, you know, goals and, and, and just how you're feeling your prayers. All of that is, is legit. It helps you put the reflections on paper. Mm hmm.

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And cutting out things too. Like I feel like I can relate to in cutting out more meat, cutting out more dairy. Just feels a lot better. And although like my partner's vegan, I don't live the Full vegan lifestyle, be eating 80 percent less meat and not having any dairy separate eggs in my fridge. You know, like I do feel generally better. And as a lactose intolerant person who used to love cheese, you find a lot of amazing replacements nowadays with cashew, cashew milk, cashew based. Yeah. But even that you have to be careful though because some of that, it's like, I feel like vegan propaganda, right? Like they're trying to make everything everything and it's just like you might as well eat a big bag please. And that's what I'm saying.

She was like there is a such thing as being of bad deacon and that's eating all the fried processed foods or fake chickens, the fake that whatever. But like I'm sure those are nice, but just the fact that you're like, just figuring out how to make vegetables taste good is probably because once you take the meat out of your recipe, then you're like, all right, I gotta fill it with something else, something else. Yeah, I see the stuff you make it like, damn, I don't eat that. Damn, that looks good. I never had that vegetable before, like Yeah, and I love to experiment with seasonings to, I've become like a seasoning snob every time I go to the store and get like a new seasoning and so I always try to make sure that it's low sodium or no sodium and and that it has good flavor, but I love to use different herbs and spices and stuff and and different seasonings to make the food taste taste good. I'm into it.

I'm having a revolution with my air fryer right now. That's what it's not like the best invention ever. So sleep on the air fryer. I was like the main one hating on the air. That's dumb girl. It was the best. I mean there's so many things that I've said that are cringeworthy, but that's just one thing on the list. But yeah, I'm having, so now I buy things I wouldn't even like last week I've never in my life have I purchased butternut squash and I was just like you know what let's see what happens. I just bought like a whole butternut squash and I'll figure it out later. I don't even need the rescue right now. Air fryer. It's so good though. Roasted. It was I have to say about it honestly I don't think I've ever bought. No never. But I've never you know living an entirely different life right now you have the right seasonings and the right way to make it.

Exactly. That's funny. And what about what about lifting for you? Ashley? Like how much have you are already been doing a lot of these movements prior to finding this bodybuilding coach or was there anything new that you found that you loved? Um There were a few new things that she incorporated that I hadn't done. Especially like the pull ups. I still do the assisted pull ups because like I said the R. A. Is is in my hands and my wrists I really have to be careful. I can do more pulling and pushing but like you know like lifting like it's it's just kind of tricky. Yeah I have to be careful. But with the assisted pull up machine that's something that I had never done that. I have grown to really like a lot and my back likes it too. And so that's pretty cool and I've also figured out some things that I hate um like like the um what do you call it?

It's the leg curl when you're laying on your tummy and your curling your hamstrings? Yeah. I feel like I could never get in that machine. Right? I gave up on that. I love the leg extensions. But I hate to like girls essentially sick are the worst. Yeah. And I think it's because my hamstrings are weak. Like I need to, I need to work hard. Mm hmm yep, yep. Yeah. But other than that, yeah, she's assigned things that, you know, I have done before and that I haven't done before. And I've definitely uh been kind of testing myself and increasing the weights when I that's comfortable for my risk because she knows that I have are a and I was like, you know, I won't be able to go super heavy but I might be able to do more reps of, you know, a £15 weight. And so, you know, it's been cool to see, you know, me getting stronger and everything. And so like the evolution already has been amazing because not to sound vain or anything, but like even before I started training, like in december and before that I thought I was cool.

I thought I was good. You know, I was like, I got a nice little shape but I realized just how much body fat. Like I was actually caring. Like I look at myself now just compared to december and I'm like, mm hmm I was walking around here like I was fine and I was and I was just kidding. But you know, I was like, I thought I was, I thought I was in pretty good shape and I was, I was just carrying, you know, more body fat. Like, you know, I've always had um, you know, muscular legs and everything. But just seeing the body fat cut and and showing more the muscle. I'm just like, wow, I'm amazed. I'm truly amazed now. I know some people that have lost their butts. Bodybuilding the Yeah. But but but it's good. But it's good to be proud of your work. You know that hard work that you put in. Yeah, absolutely. I and what the body could do.

Like the body is a beautiful temple constantly feed and mm hmm You know, work on every day. So, yeah, I mean, it's just amazing. Just from week to week I noticed changes meaning week. I'm like, wow, Do you bring into the gym any, you know, like wrist straps or any. Yeah, absolutely. I actually have, I wish I had some to show. But I actually have are a warrior fitness wrist straps that I actually had branded and so I wear them all the time. All the time. Yeah. I have to have that wrist support because they're so um, my wrists have really gotten smaller over the years. And I think some of it is, you know, because of, of joint damage and then to losing some weight, but they're very delicate. So I if I don't have my wrist straps, I'm I'm not doing anything because I don't want to do anything to to hurt myself gotta protect.

So you've got an you've got an online shop as well. Or is this just branded for yourself? Oh yes. I've got him. I've got him for sale. Yes. Okay. Wow. I love it. I love to see it. Mm hmm. So, they're very helpful. And like I said, that's really the only thing that I need, you know, to, to support and compress. Um, that's the only joint that gives me issues on my hands. But luckily everything else is fine. Um, last week I did kind of notice a little something in my right knee. So I was like, I should probably put something on that, you know, to make sure it's good. But other than that, yeah, I just celebrate what I can do every single day. Nice. And has that made you, has that shifted the way that you see fitness? That's that made you like fitness? Is it the coach or is it learning how to use straps? Yeah. I mean, I would say everything, this whole process has just really opened my eyes to a lot of things.

Like you just said, just seeing what the body can do. Um, and me knowing that I've had already for the last 18 years. Honestly, like I, I, I'm really surprised of the evolution. Um, and I was also inspired by another Ari warrior. I don't know if y'all follow, make it count for Danny. Do you follow? Danny Sounds vaguely familiar. Okay. Yeah. Make it count for Danny. She is amazing. Absolutely love her. But I was very inspired by her last year by seeing her compete and everything and she's had multiple surgeries on her hands and wrists, like multiple. And she even had like a bad flare during one of her preps, but she still, she still kept going. She still kept going. And so, um, I'm just so motivated by that. And honestly, a lot of people ask me, why are you doing this? Like why why? And of course I do want to win, you know? But also I'm doing it to show that warriors can do hard things.

Even if you have a chronic illness disability, you can do hard things if you put your mind to it and you know, if it's something that you really want to do the process, it's gonna look different than everybody else. I don't get this body builder over here and be like, there's no way I can do that. I can't do that. I focus on what I can do and knowing that that's enough. Mm hmm. Yeah, that's it. He snaps in a circle for that one, yep. No, it's enough. Yeah, I mean disabled girls who lived, I think that might be lingering intention for lots of us, right? We like to do hard things and it just happens to be in the gym, but you might like to do hard things and it's like hiking a wild mountain, you know, like whatever you want to surf, go for it, go for it, Do it then absolutely whatever it is, but whatever it is and it's gonna look different for everybody.

But yeah, I think you owe it to yourself to at least try if it's something that you're passionate about. I'm with you. I'm with you on that one. Thank you for that. Yeah, you're welcome. Um, is there anything that you'd like to share back to our a warrior fitness besides website and merch in terms of like programming or um, you know, how does it work? Is ongoing? Is it my group? Yeah. There you go. That's what I was looking for. So yeah. So I'm actually getting ready to launch a new challenge. It's called room to rise challenge. And room is actually spelled like rheumatoid, Okay, Room to rise. So it's actually gonna be a five day challenge. That's actually gonna assess the clients before they go into a full eight weeks. Um, so the five days, I will do assessments and trainings on mindset, um, nutrition and like as far as nutrition, you know, what are you eating and is what you're choosing to eat is that, you know, causing your inflammation like just really bringing awareness to them about what they're eating, what they're consuming and the vitamins and combination of water, you know, is are you getting what you need and what your body needs?

You get into access Also like what people who can even buy or how they can buy things um in terms of like, you know people that are like, I don't shop in a grocery store but I have good places that deliver, you know, Oh yeah, places that don't have grocery stores, that kind of stuff. Yes. Yes. So one thing I do actually provide for my clients is a healthy food um grocery lists and meal guide and so I have a list of all the inflammatory and anti inflammatory foods and even now to the spices and all that good stuff. So literally like, you know, there's there's choices of course um but as far as the room to rise challenge, so five days and Then at the end of the five day um it's almost kind of like a boot camp, then they will get an offer to come into the actual program once they're fully assessed in these different areas. Because what I found is when clients come in without a full on assessment, seeing what has worked for them in the past, you know what hasn't um things of that nature.

You know, the medications they're taking, the physical limitations that they may have. I found that they do much better when they are fully assessed. So that's why I'm extending this assessment kind of over five days and giving them homework. We even look at their unhealthy expenses, how they're spending their money and are they spending their money on things that is actually causing them to be unhealthy? So, you know, it's just a full Range of that. And so the eight weeks once they actually go into the eight week program, um, you know, we do focus on things starting with mindset and nutrition habit coaching. So, um, different habits as far as, you know, making sure that you are drinking enough water and getting enough fruits and vegetables in. Are you eating enough? You know, looking At what they're eating? Because one thing I love about my program is that in my app that actually syncs with my fitness pal so they can log their meals and I can actually see what they're eating and kind of coach them, you know, day by day, I can actually see, I can actually see how many steps there getting in because it's the Apple Watch.

Okay? It seems like a Fitbit so I can see everything that they're doing. And so it allows me to really have a close relationship with them and of course within the community of other warriors, um, where we can just cheer each other on. So, and they can't cheat on you. They can't cheat or lie to you. It it, but, but that's so cool that you provide some of that financial support advice as well. Because a lot of us, I think that eating better costs more or less meat as a vegan vegetarian costs more. But you've got options. Yeah. We've always got options and it's, we always have a choice as well. We all have choices. Knowing making the right choice where to find it. How to get started is very overwhelming. Especially if you're just not in the position where that's easy information and you're just like you're on your own.

Mm hmm mm hmm. That's why some people need a coach. You know, so that's, that's why I'm here. That's why I'm here. So, um, so yeah, so if anyone wants to get it, if you can find me on instagram under ash nick. So A S H N I C underscore are a warrior fitness and my website is, are a warrior fitness dot com. So several ways to reach out to me. So yeah, I would love to help any are a warrior with their journey Because I love their 18 years and counting. So I've done it and seen it all. And um, that's my mission is to help other women into it. I'm very much into it. It's not even, I mean because I think a lot and a lot of people here challenges or they hear coach and they hear program, but here the mention of food and it's like, oh, this must be some diet thing or this is some weight loss. What like this is literally like get your life, get your life together. Absolutely.

And learn how to thrive everything. Even a while living with a chronic condition. I love it and enjoy it. You don't have the process. Yeah. None of it is learning how to punish yourself Now. That's a fear that you know, is instilled naturally. But I I love that you've created also that community of 200 plus women folks that you know, they can, they can find that other support and other levels of experience with. Right? Absolutely. Thank you. You're welcome. Thank you so much for having me. I've enjoyed this conversation and it's made me hungry because we've talked about food. It is time for me to eat. So please check, check back in with us after the competition. You're welcome back. You know, you're not a guest anymore. I'll give you the passcode to the nest. Yeah, come right in, blankets are on the side of the couch.

Got all streaming platforms. Come right in, there's food in the fridge. Thank you all so much. I appreciate it. Thank you. I'm excited now. Thanks for listening to disabled girls who left. We appreciate all of your support and everyone who's taken the time to show us some love. Don't forget to subscribe rate already review of our channel. We're on apple podcasts, Spotify player FM google podcasts and more. You can also find us on instagram at disabled girls who left.

E62: There's "Rheum to Rise" with Ashley
E62: There's "Rheum to Rise" with Ashley
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