Looking Back…

Happy Tuesday!  I’m going to take a break from Trainer Tuesday this week and share something else I had on my heart for today.  You can look forward to some Trainer Tuesday fun next week!  Until then, feel free to get some workout ideas from my Workout Page.

Once again, thank you for all of your sweet birthday wishes this past weekend!  I really can’t say enough how much I appreciate each and every one of you.

My birthday this year brought back some memories of my previous birthdays within the past few years.  Most of them were great memories of celebrating with family and friends, but some of the memories weren’t so great.


[circa 2007]


[circa 2009]

Looking back to a few years ago, my relationship with food was entirely different.  I would eat “perfectly” all week and then give myself a “cheat day” one day a week and binge on whatever I wanted.  This cycle would repeat pretty much every week.  Just thinking about it makes me cringe.  How did I ever do that to my body?  There were wayyy to many nights that I remember going to bed feeling hungry and unsatisfied.  Then there were the nights of my “cheat days” that I felt absolutely disgusting, sick to my stomach, and uncomfortable.  Sounds pretty awesome, right?  Uh yeah, not at all.

Because of my distorted relationship with food, I used to think of my birthday as my biggest splurge day of the year.  It was “MY day” after all… I should be able to treat myself to whatever and how ever much I wanted, right?  Um, no.  Bad idea.


So did I indulge this year for my birthday?  Absolutely!  I enjoyed my frozen yogurt on Saturday night.  I ate every last bite of the French toast I ordered for brunch on Sunday morning.  And you better believe I had a piece of a red velvet-cream cheese roll for dessert that night.  Along with enjoying a few more indulgences than I normally would, I also balanced it out with some healthier eats throughout the day.  I made sure that I didn’t let myself get out of control as I was enjoying my treats.  Today I got right back on track to how I normally eat, and I didn’t look back once at the indulgences I allowed myself to have from the weekend.  It is so refreshing to be able to look back on my birthday weekend this year and know that I was consciously enjoying my favorite foods without it turning into an out-of-control binge fest.


Needless to say, I am SO glad I am past that phase in my life.  I absolutely still struggle and some days are extra hard, but overall, my relationship with food is at a much healthier place than it used to be.  I thank God, Cody, my family, and my closest friends for supporting me and encouraging me through that not-so-fun phase in my life.



  • Have you ever had (or do you have) a skewed relationship with food?
  • Do you allow yourself to indulge more than you normally would on your birthday?
  • What would you choose to have as your birthday dessert?
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  1. says

    Great post girl! I really feel like almost every girl I know has had some sort of issue with food. I went through a period where I would eat super low calorie and would be starving by the end of the day, hence occasional overindulgences that were not fun and felt a little out of control. After I started eating more calories and adding in healthy fats, I got my relationship with food back on track!

    • Ashley says

      i love funfetti cake too! we used to always make each other funfetti cakes in college for our birthday since it’s cheap and easy to make. delicious too! 😉

  2. says

    I definitely allow myself to eat a little cake and a special dinner, but I’m like you and incorporate my normal healthy foods throughout the day. I would choose a piece of cheesecake or some ice-cream:)

  3. says

    I completely feel you on this one and I’m definitely still working on it! I feel so much better the days I eat enough but don’t have a crazy binge. It’s all about finding a good balance! My favorite birthday treat is cake with plenty of frosting!

  4. says

    I’m so glad that you have a healthier relationship with food. You live and you learn right?! I definitely eat some dessert on my birthday and what I want but I don’t go balls to the walls crazy haha. I would definitely choose frozen yogurt or gelato for my birthday dessert :)

  5. says

    This is such a great post! Good for you! In college, I used to obsess over calories during the week, eat junk on the weekends, and then workout 7 days a week (way too much) to “make up for it.” Now I know the importance of balance, and I’m so glad that I’m no longer counting calories and obsessing over food!

  6. says

    So so happy that you were able to enjoy yourself this weekend without worrying about it! I’m starting to feel like this cleanse that I’m doing is restricting me a bit too much and making me miss my regular foods so I may end it today, which is two days early. I don’t know. I feel a bit guilty for doing that, but I also don’t want to deprive myself and self-induce feelings of restriction!

    • Ashley says

      i wouldn’t feel guilty… you gotta do what’s best for YOUR body and the only person that knows that for sure is you. you eat healthy anyways, so i wouldn’t worry about a couple days. 😉

  7. says

    While I definitely don’t go bananas on my Bday (or haven’t in recent history) with food, I’ve definitely overdone it with the drinks… But this year was without question the best. I got normal amounts of my very favorite things, and made sure to keep up the walking (on a bar tour downtown!) And I even tried a few new things. It was tasty, but it wasn’t OUT OF CONTROL which made the day AFTER my birthday much more enjoyable (and not like a day of death and hangover.)

    • Ashley says

      yes, not feeling hungover (with food OR drinks) is a much better feeling! strong work this year! 😉

  8. says

    Thanks for this post! i am still struggling with food a little bit but getting better. For a while I got way too obsessed with staying under a certain calorie goal when that was not enough for my activity level! I was also under the impression that there were certain NO NO foods that if I ever ate I was a bad person. I’m learning that it’s all about moderation, listening to your body, and fueling yourself to perform you’re best.

    for my birthday I would def have cheesecake!! :)

  9. says

    I definitely binge at holiday dinners or special occasions… it can get a little out of hand sometimes, but I generally don’t feel too bad about it as long as it’s only once in a while.

    My favorite dessert is a black forrest cake… devils food cake layered with whipped cream and cherries, yum!!!

  10. says

    I’m glad you’re feeling more comfortable with yourself and with food. I have to admit, I do eat extra treats on my birthday, but I don’t go overboard. If I had my way, I’d go out for a nice Italian dinner, enjoy some wine, and have a couple soft, chewy (preferably large) cookies. Mmmm! (Birthday cake’s good and all, but it’s not my go-to sweet fix.)

  11. says

    I usually eat normally on my birthday, but I do enjoy a nice big piece of cake! And I love having the leftover cake for a few days afterward. I’ll admit, though, that it’s hard for me to stop at one piece–I’m a frosting fiend!

  12. Megan says

    I used to do the same exact thing with Sunday being my “eat whatever I want” day. Such an uncomfortable day overall. Not fun. Good for you for enjoying your birthday in a healthier way. I am still trying to deal.

  13. says

    Great post! That’s so good that you’re in a healthy place! I know I have some similar issues, but I guess I kind of hide them away. I’m better than I used to be.

    Happy belated birthday!

    • Ashley says

      thank you emily! i’m glad that things are better than they used to be for you. it’s definitely a journey, and not always an easy one! keep it up!

  14. says

    I totally over indulge on my birthday! Haha, it’s totally worth it. However, I think overindulge and overeat are two different things. I don’t feel good overeating…but overindulging on desserts…yup, I’m there! 😉

  15. says

    Excellent post Ashley and what a perfect time to reflect on these past issues! You of course know my own experiences with all of this, and I can’t to reach the point you are at! You look so perty in your post :)

  16. says

    I loved this post, Ashley! I can definitely relate to the “all or nothing” mentality…I used to severely restrict my calories during the day and then give myself a free pass at night, gorging on the foods that I’d deprived myself of. Definitely not fun! Now, when I’m tempted to fall into that way of thinking, I remind myself that a balanced lifestyle means occasionally saying “yes” to treats and “no” to deprivation. I CAN eat cake during the day. Heck, I can eat two pieces if I really want to! :)

    I’m so glad you had such a wonderful birthday, and that you were able to use it as a time to reflect on how far you’ve come! I love the old pics–so cute (and pretty, of course!) Lots of fun memories! xoxo <3

    • Ashley says

      yes, that “all or nothing” mentality is bad news!!! thank you so much for the continuous encouraging comments you leave. :)

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