One year ago, Ashley started regularly attending my Boot Camp classes twice per week. At first I could tell that she was very shy and hesitant, but over the weeks she really came out of her shell and I could see her confidence building at each session. Now, she is considered one of my “veterans,” regularly attending classes three times a week and I’m so proud to share her success story! Below is an interview with Ashley explaining how she achieved amazing results while still balancing life as a busy Mom and wife.

What was your starting weight when you first came to boot camp? And what is it now?

I was 153 when I started and now I’m 131.  I went from a size 14 to a 6.

This photo was taken shortly before Ashley started regularly attending Figarelle's Fitness Boot Camp classes (153 lbs).

When you started at Boot Camp what were your goals?

I wanted to lose some weight and gain some muscle. My goal weight then was 140.

How did you find out about boot camp and what were your thoughts going into it?

I first heard about boot camp from my friend Richelle who is a devoted trainee. She looks amazing and I was excited to try it but I was terrified! I had been through two pregnancies and had lost the baby weight but hadn’t used my muscles in a long time.

What was the most surprising thing about boot camp when you started? Did you find it easy to fit in and feel comfortable? Were people supportive?

I won’t lie; I really was expecting a bunch of super strong and fit people and thought I was going to be the only one struggling. It was so nice to see people of every body type and different abilities yet everyone was working so hard! The boot camp “regulars” were very patient and willing to help when I was confused. Everyone had such an upbeat and positive attitude.

What are a few exercises you can do really well now that you found very difficult in the beginning?

It sounds like it would be so simple but the tire jump! I remember I only could step up and was too scared to even try jumping. All I could picture was me face planting! Also the pike/knee tuck/ push-up on the TRX. The first time I tried it I could only hold in the push up position.

What kind of changes did you make to your diet at home in order to compliment the workouts you were doing at boot camp?

I learned really fast that if I was going to see the results I wanted in boot camp I was going to have to change my diet drastically. My whole life I have been a carbohydrate/sugar junky and that was the first thing I had to change. I also realized I was eating WAY more than my body actually needed so I decreased my portion sizes. I also learned how important protein is and that I need to drink a lot more water.

How has working out, losing weight and changing your eating habits helped you as a busy wife and Mother?

I have so much more energy! I work part time and I have a 3 ½ and 1 ½ year old and everyday is so busy and exhausting. I have an amazingly supportive husband but its nice having the extra energy to try and keep up with everyday things.

Do you workout at home, and if so, what do you do?

Well I wish I could say I work out at home all the time but the truth is I don’t! Every day is so busy that for now boot camp is the time I’ve really carved out of the week as “my time.” If I’m going to miss boot camp I do an accountability workout as often as possible.

What advice would you give someone on their first day at a Figarelle’s Fitness Boot Camp class?

It’s going to be hard, it’s going to hurt, and you are going to get tired but you can do it! You’re not going to die! It’s so worth it. I still remember how unbelievably sore my ENTIRE body was after my first day but all that did was make me realize how bad I needed boot camp and made me want to go back.

How did it feel when people started noticing your weight loss and giving you compliments? Did you notice the changes as well?

I honestly didn’t notice until people started to point it out. I knew my clothes were fitting better and the scale showed it but I guess I didn’t really see it. It feels awesome when people notice and tell me how good I’m looking. I’ve worked really hard and it’s nice to know it shows! I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a year a few days ago and he didn’t recognize me. He asked me what I had been doing and it was wonderful to be able to say that I’ve been eating right and exercising. No fad diets just lots of hard work!

After months of hard work, Ashley is a fit and healthy 131 lbs!

When you feel like giving up (considering you even do), what keeps you motivated to stay on track with exercise and healthy eating?

I do have times when I’m super tired and worn out and I just want to stop trying. But I’ve really started to realize how important it is to be an example to my kids. I’ve talked to my son about why I go to boot camp and how important it is to exercise and eat right to keep our bodies healthy. A few times when I have been leaving for boot camp he has said “have fun at boot camp” or “have fun getting healthy.” It just makes me smile because I know he is starting to understand how important it is!

What are your goals for the future?

I’m happy with how far I have come but if there was anything I would want to continue to improve on it would be my strength. I’m starting to see some definition in my muscles and it’s so exciting. I also have left over “baby belly” that I would love to see go away!