GUEST BLOG: THE T.H.U.G. LIFE
I’m excited to share with you a guest blog by Ashlete Aundrea P. This young lady is a joy to be around and is one of the most determined and hardest working people I know. In this entry, she shares with us insight on her incredible journey of weight loss, finding fitness and self-discovery.
Let’s face it, the T.H.U.G. life isn’t for everyone. Six months ago, I didn’t even believe it was for me but now I am convinced that I am making Tupac proud. (For those of you who do not know me, my OBSESSION with Ashley and her program is only paralleled by my obsession with Tupac!) Now I don’t know what comes to mind when you hear the word T.H.U.G., some may associate it with gangs or violence, while others may believe that it stands for “thick hips and ugly glutes”. However, when I say T.H.U.G., I am referring to anyone that has a tough heart and an unrelenting grind in achieving their goals. I did not always have a T.H.U.G. mentality mindset, however it was a necessity in starting my fitness journey.
Six months ago, I remember leaving Ashley’s place feeling defeated and embarrassed, and surprisingly it wasn’t because of one of her workouts. I had made the decision to commit to a weight loss journey that would require me to adhere to a custom meal plan and cross training with Terry in conjunction with my private sessions with Ashley. However, before I got started, I had to get on a scale to see where I was starting. (I would have rather completed all of Ashley’s ab workouts rather than hop on that scale). I saw the number and my heart dropped, it was the biggest I ever recall myself being. Immediately, every decision that led to that number flooded my mind. From breakups, to poor eating habits, to past training/trainer woes, putting the needs and wants of others before myself, to social and work obligations. I had neglected myself on so many occasions, but I made up my mind that I would try this new workout program with an open mind and a new mindset.
The first month was the hardest for me and it was a period of purging and breakups. No more “unnecessary” social hangouts, no more wine, no more fast food to replace my lack of meal prep. Nothing could have prepared me for my breakup with Braum’s, their fries are my addiction! (Disclaimer: For the first month, I didn’t completely get rid of Braum’s, I would cheat from time to time…. however, I ended this affair, shortly after finding out that my trainers are psychic and can tell what you have consumed just by looking at you. The chances of getting caught were way too risky!) I restricted myself at company outings, and it was tough, considering that the food and drinks were free and unlimited. I skipped out on birthday outings and other social events that conflicted with my training times and the goals that I had set for myself. At times, I was ridiculed and guilted by people who were so use to me being there for them 24/7, but their words didn’t deter me, I continued to follow my meal plan and training schedule.
By the second, third, fourth, and fifth months, I had gotten into a comfortable routine. I still wasn’t a fan of the meal plan, but I started loving my workouts, Ashley and Terry’s unconventional training methods, my new friends, and my new mindset. I started noticing a change in my mindset and my body, and apparently, so did others. I started feeling myself soooo much that I decided to sign up for my first PSO competition. (Yeah sometimes we make rash decisions without thinking them all the way through.) Instead of getting easier, everything became a lot harder, I had to find creative ways to balance training, weight loss, pole practice, work, and studies. It wasn’t easy, there were times when I would cry and curse out my chicken and broccoli meal because I was tired of eating what I was told to eat. Some days, I felt tired, exhausted, hangry, angry, happy, sad, regretful, and disappointed and Lord forbid Ashley say her infamous line during one of these moods, hearing “you got goals, right?” would send me over the edge. Despite these feelings, I kept showing up to practices, kept asking questions, and kept looking for inspiration and the silver lining in every training session. In my mind, if my trainers could dedicate their time to invest in me, then I had to find the will to keep going.
By the end of the sixth month I had lost more than 27 lbs. and I found myself gracing the PSO stage for the first time and winning my first competition. Winning was an honor, but what most people do not realize is that I had already won so much before I even took the stage. I had gained new friends, a new mindset, and new body, and new mentors, which was as equally as rewarding .
The successes that I have and continue to experience reflect my developing T.H.U.G. mentality and the people who continue to support me through all of this. No matter what your goal is in life you must have a tough heart, protecting your emotions and feelings from those who may try to discourage you along the way. You must also have an unrelenting grind and never give up on your goals or dreams no matter how hard the journey may seem
Lastly, but most importantly you must also surround yourself with people who motivate you, want to see you succeed, and put your best interest at heart. As I learned from Ashley, “people are either helping you or hurting you”. I am lucky enough to have the privilege to train with both Ashley and Terry. They are literally like yin and yang with different training styles, but they both effectively change their dedicated clients for the better, both inside and outside of the gym. No, we do not always see eye to eye, but I keep showing up and keep seeking their expertise on various subjects that extended beyond the realm of fitness. We laugh, we disagree, we cry (Thug tears of course), we name call, we work hard, and we get results.
I am equally grateful for the support and encouraging people that I have met along the way. Every kind word and compliment served as motivation to keep going! I have also befriended two other young ladies, who are on their own personal weight loss journey, and we encourage, text, and uplift each other every day. Your tribe and the people you surround yourself with are of great importance to the success of you meeting your goals. Being a T.H.U.G. may sound a bit savage on the surface, but essentially, it’s all about being selfish and investing your time and energy into being the best possible version of yourself so that you may in turn help others reach their full potential. It doesn’t happen overnight, I’m still a work in progress, but it does get easier every day. Here are a few of the most motivating, funny, and inspirational quotes from my trainers, friends, and family that have helped me throughout my journey, and hopefully they encourage you also:
· “People are either helping you or hurting you”
· “I can’t want it for you more than you want it for yourself”
· “The key to being successful and to getting results is to keep showing up”
· “You have to be selfish in order to be selfless”
· “You become a slave to the things/people that you cannot deny”
· “Time is more precious than money, once it’s gone you can’t get it back, so choose wisely who gets your time”
· “Focusing on yourself, will show you the people and things that are meant to be in your life”
· “Stop trying to take shortcuts and do the work, if it is something that you really want, you will invest the time, energy, and money in it.
· “You have given me what no other person in life has given me and I think we should just be together forever” – me to Ashley