Hi my name is Ashley Witter. It has been almost a year and a half since I attended Structure House. Since my stay at Structure House I have lost 95 pounds total. I never thought in a million years that I could do something like this, but I did and now I want more than anything to help others. After my stay at SH, I have been inspired to dive head-first into changing my career and following my passion which is now Health & Wellness. I have gotten my ACE certifications in Personal Training & Health Coaching, led weight loss challenges at work, became a brand ambassador for Fresh & Fit healthy meals, and was also asked by Kennesaw State University to be a Continued Education Health Coach Instructor. To say the least Structure has changed my life in such a positive way.
Leaving Structure House can be scary! You feel safe with your peers, your healthy meals being prepped & counted for you, your nutritionist, dietitians, personal trainers, psychologist and ALL the tools necessary to promote healthy weight loss. So how to you continue the process once you leave this safe haven? How do you continue losing weight the “healthy” way? I will tell you what worked for me.
After I got home I knew, based on my BMI levels, what weight I needed to get to and I was determined to get there. I treated every day like I was still at Structure House. I recorded my calories, cooked the same food I ate at Structure House (was very repetitive on what I ate every day), weighed myself daily, increased my physical activity, and, most of all, was mindful of what I was eating every day. I stopped looking at food as “comfort” but as “nutrient dense energy” that fueled me throughout the day. Within the next 9 months, I lost close to 70 more pounds. I couldn’t believe it…”It worked…I figured it out!” Once I hit my goal weight, I lost a little more and then I pretty much stopped losing. I knew this is was my body telling me that this is where I am supposed to be. I then began focusing more on building lean muscle which actually weighs more that fat. My goals changed a bit but in a good way! I was less concerned about the scale but more concerned about my % body fat. When I measured only a month ago I was at 24% body fat. This puts me in the active/athletic range for women and has been a huge win for me as well as helping me maintain. I now weigh myself less on the scale and don’t record my calories as much. I have reintroduced some of the unhealthy foods only occasionally and in moderation. I am aware of what Structure House calls our “antecedents” and/or trigger foods. I make sure and dissect why I am over-eating based on if something in my life correlates with stress, boredom or habit. I am AWARE and MINDFUL and that makes all the difference.
I also believe that maintaining involves having a strong support system. My family, friends and boyfriend are all supportive in helping me maintain my healthy lifestyle and all want to better themselves as well. Also, I find teaching my students at KSU the most wonderful experience and this helps keep me accountable. I believe that we all need to “practice what we preach.” Whenever I feel off or unsure, I know I can go back to what I learned at Structure House and get back on track! Weight loss is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix. We all have to keep it going and stay motivated every day!