Ashley F

I have always struggled with my weight (who hasn’t right?) I was a chubby kid starting at around the second grade and it stuck. But aside from that I have always struggled with my body image, which I’ve discovered plays a huge role in how I’ve managed my weight. No one ever taught me to love my body the way it was or for what it was. So I chased the “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” motto from about the time I turned 12 and hit middle school to about late 2012. I must’ve done and tried everything under the sun: Fad diets, diet pills to basically starving myself.

I did however discover running and fell in love. Then I found kickboxing classes and spinning and for the first time I fell in love with fitness (I have NEVER been athletic before). But I was a cardio queen. Ran 9 miles a day, elliptical machines for hours at a time…. I TRULY believed that cardio was what would get me to the ‘skinny’ I so desperately desired. But it didn’t, I got myself into relatively good shape, I was definitely thin (hitting a low of 100lbs once-not healthy). But I could never keep it off. It was a constant battle, especially with food. I THOUGHT I had a good grasp on nutrition and what was healthy eating, boy was I wrong.

So what changed? What happened in 2012? I met Erik. And I met weights. Heavy weights. And exercises that I didn’t even know existed. And I fell in LOVE, real love this time. I had never felt that way in my entire life: I felt strong; in control; I picked up that iron and as I got progressively stronger the ‘skinny’ crap that lived in the back of my mind faded. I followed Erik to Iron Fit, I’d follow him wherever he went honestly, & I’m here to stay. This transformation challenge was just the cherry on top. I had already transformed my body thanks to Erik but it really opened up my eyes. I FINALLY learned what nutrition really is, what clean eating is, and what foods (that I thought were healthy) to avoid. I learned how it wasn’t a diet I was on but a lifestyle. It’s not a concept many people understand; I don’t ever say I’m on a diet. I leaned out and got the look that I’d wanted my entire life. I finally lost that last 13 lbs. from my pregnancy I’ve been trying to get off for 4 years. I built muscle, toned up, got stronger, faster, and built up my endurance. But most importantly I started to love my body. I used to chase the number on the scale and the size of my clothes. Now I chase PR maxes and care more about how I feel than look. I get asked all the time when I’m out “you work out a lot huh? You’re a trainer? Do you compete?” and I always have Erik’s cards handy to give out. ‘Come check out my gym and talk to my trainer; it’s the best in SA’. I’ve done everything from boot-camps, Crossfit, kickboxing, spin class, fad diets, diet pills, wraps, and nothing even compares to the results you get when you train at Iron Fit!

Iron Fit is my home away from home with a group of friends I consider family. Good day? Iron Fit. Bad day? Iron Fit. Even when the last thing I want to do is workout I’m at Iron Fit and I always feel 1000% better walking out. I’m a mother now to a beautiful little 4 year old, who I can proudly say, will know how to love her body and all its capable of because she has a mom who has learned to love hers. Thank you Erik. #IronFitforLife

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