My Unconventional Success {The Confessions Of A Borderline Fitness Junkie}

Borderline is something I wish no one to have to suffer from.

But it has also been a blessing and unstoppable force when it comes to my health and physical transformation.
The last image on the right was me at my lowest weight, along with an acquired eating disorder due to restricting calories to 500-900 a day. I was desperate to be thin. This is a HUGE eye opener to showing the benefits of weight lifting strictly for weight loss vs calorie restriction and intense cardio.

I always tell people the same thing, you have to WANT to change. 

I’ve never expected others to hold me accountable for my fitness and health, not even my husband.

I put this collage together to try to show with photos what I have failed to explain in words to countless people.

The negatives and poison in my life fuel each work out.  

I have no set diet,

I eat burgers on the weekend and drink beer for stupid movie nights.

I am completely unconventional for the epitome of a weight loss success story.

But I pour my heart into weight lifting.

I’ve worked out I don’t know how many times with tears flowing down my face and the brim of my cap pulled way down low.

Any time I wanted to say ‘I just can’t today’ it was an excuse which I canceled out by using logic and reasoning over emotion.

Don’t you feel better after each workout?

Isn’t your mind at peace and you’re smiling when you walk out of those gym doors and head back home?

That is my life, what works for me won’t work for others.

Matthew told me ,

“don’t set a goal, if I set a goal then I’ll stop once I get there. If there is no goal, you’ll always keep moving forward and continue to get stronger.”

Find your click, roll with it. Never expect others to hold you up but ALWAYS welcome support and encouragement.

In the end, the only thing standing in your way, is you.

#fitness #fitlife #lifting #weightloss #womenwholift #workinprogress #musclevsfat #dontbackdown #nevergivein

Accepting The Faults {My Quintessential Piece To Living With BPD}

I’ve been a fuck up on so many levels.


I know I haven’t written in quite some time, but it’s not something which comes freely to me.

I am not paid to do this.

I still run this household and take care of the children while Matthew is away.

But now that I’ve a moment to sit down, I would like to write about a topic which has been weighing in on my mind for some time…

I’ve spoken of selfishness.

My selfishness with emotions and the lack of consideration towards others.

I’ve expressed the need for accountability for one’s actions. Especially living life as a Borderline (personally).

But when is it the right time to move forward?

When can one use that accountability to accept what they’ve done wrong and build a new path to walk down?

I will tell you right now, that I am nearly 29 years of age and only in the last 90 days of my fucking life, have I began to hold myself accountable for anything and everything I’ve ever done wrong to the people I care about most.

Its a shock to the system nonetheless.

To find out that your disease has made you a selfish inconsiderate douche bag is a bit unsettling.

I am truly appalled by my past ignorance.

I can talk about specific dark times,

I could elaborate on manic psychosis states,

but I choose to write about what I am going to do to move forward.

Now that the accountability part has been acknowledged, I can accept those faults and use them as strengths to become a better person.

Many times have I bantered in my own petty mind that I can or cannot accomplish this.

The ‘cannot’ is a load of bullshit spewed out by the weak person within.

The persona who’s convinced she is pathetic, and nobody will love her.

That persona also refuses to hold herself accountable for negative behaviors.

I adore and despise her all the same.

Because when I am feeling weak, she is the persona who comforts me.

I seek solace in her depressive states and desperately pursue the obsessive tenacity to isolate.

How am I suppose to get anything done in life when I allow that part of me to consume everything that allows me to function on a daily basis?

I cant.

Point fucking made.


When I am of logical mind, (meaning my emotions have not yet taken dictative supremacy over my body) I can literally SEE everything I’ve ever done to fuck up in life.

Lately, while I’m in that state of mind, I’ve been actually taking notes on particular situations and validating that accountability.

Once I’ve done that, I tell myself-

Ash- you’ve screwed up bad there. But instead of going into ‘boo-hoo pity me party’ mode, why don’t  you use that acknowledgement and accountability and tell yourself that you should be proud of yourself for seeing that.

It’s been only a few weeks since I’ve approached it this way, but I truly believe its slowly starting to resonate with me.

Accepting my faults has allowed me to see the true beauties within myself.

More days are passing within a week where I am ending a day content with how I regulated, rather than with a severe disdain towards myself.

Accept your faults.

You don’t have to be mentally ill do that.

You only need to see that your faults, are what make you truly captivating and beautiful.

But only after you’ve held yourself accountable and given closure.

Take care.

And Stay Classy.

A Letter To My Gym

You may not know me but my name is Ashley Johnson.
I’ve been attending your facilities since March of this year.
My husband and I thoroughly enjoy going on a daily basis.
The staff is very friendly and the gym patrons are nothing but polite and courteous.
I had two free 30 min sessions with G**** originally.
My goals were to administer pinch testing, monitor % body fat, and measurements.
I never set a goal for weight loss. 
See, most people go to the gym to lose weight and be fit.
I used your facilities every day to escape from the world.
I suffer from Borderline Personality.
I have social anxiety.
For the first nearly two months I walked in for cardio on an elliptical, no eye contact with anyone- hair down with a cap pulled low and ear buds blasting rock music.
To those who have seen me there the last 6 weeks…
I find more often than not that I walk in with no cap.
I don’t put my earbuds in until I start to lift.
People are starting to smile at me, and I’m smiling back.
My original intentions to everyone was to compete in a naturals competition.
That has since changed.
My safety and escape was compromised last night when I attended a training session with J***.
J*** is a very proud man. I can see that.
When he spoke to my husband and I about why we were there for him I stated G***** was administering pinch tests for me.
It was a number I just went off of to see progress for myself.
I allowed this man to distort my views on how I had been exercising and living my life in general to appease his ego.
Let me get this straight, I am a very passive person. People such as J*** who have only seen success in his life prey (unintentionally) on those who are less than adequate at being a human being.
As our session progressed far past the 30 minute mark and my husband already at the childcare tending to my fussy child, he proceeded to oil his well groomed ego by showing me workouts and explaining that if I TRIED like most people do not here, then I would see success.
Open mindedness is a key to life in my opinion.
I would have loved to have listened to him.
But instead of absorbing what he so tenaciously offered during a 1.5 hour (free 30 min mind you) session- he would not let me leave.
After many attempts at explaining that my child has a hard time in the daycare and Matthew (my husband) is exhausted from working a 15 hour day- I finally broke away once he felt on his mind perhaps, that he had hooked me into altering my entire workouts to his perception.
By the time I said please may we walk to the front while you finish your writing, he said to me
You realize I spent more time with you than your 30 minutes? I did this as a favor. If you block your husbands 30 minutes along with yours I’ll be able to train you right.
Eagerness to succeed is a great quality to have.
But it is overshadowed by people like J*** who prey on the weak. 
I won’t lie when I say that I was mortified I wasted 2 hours of my evening and created a cesspool of anger between my husband and I. 
I felt worthless and cried hard for hours. 
But I allowed him to do that.
In the end (my husband) was angry that a man decided what we had been doing the last 3 months of our lives wasn’t good enough.
Matthews after photo I showed him perplexed Jeff. When he asked who it was I stated Matthew. He then looked appalled as though I were lying and threw a rebuttal statement to ratify his confusion
“When was it taken?”
4 days ago.
It shouldn’t have mattered.
I am not asking that you pursue disciplinary action. It is not my right to tell you how to staff your facilities.
But I allowed this man to break me. 
Last night I said I never wanted to step foot inside there again because I couldn’t go there to be free.
I was now expected to think and to perfect instead of expressing the negativity.
There are many days I cry through workouts.
I realize I look crazy to people but in the end you’re all just strangers to me just as I am to you. (A point of view I’m still attempting to master)
I worry about those other gym patrons who are sucked into his narrow minded point of views. 
Bragging about being 6.5% body fat in your prime and arguing with other professionals who tell you otherwise is unappealing to me by all standards.
I do not care about a naturals competition. 
Quite honestly it is a great eye opener to that world (of fitness gurus) who care only about themselves and enjoy smashing others to the ground as sport.) However, there are also MANY builders who are compassionate and kind to others. I’ve seen them. They follow me, encourage me. See me for who I am. 
Sure he has done great things in his life with his body. I do not doubt that. 
But ask yourself this…
Would he have been as cocky and condescending had he started out obese like ourselves?
Food for thought.
Take care.

The Fitness Junkie

 In the beginning of March, my husband Matthew decided he was going to train to become a stronger, faster predator for hunting. 
He had obtained a bow. Archery is new to him; his entire life was rifle large game. 
It has been eight years since the last time he set foot into the woods to hunt. 
I feel I am the cause of that. For after we met, we began building a family.  
Both of us came from slightly dysfunctional homes (but who doesn’t have that).  
As a parent, you vow to raise your offspring better than your parents had you- so that you may prevent any repeats of negative memories which as an adult currently, (we try) very hard to suppress. (Easy parents, we still love the crap out of you.) It is a natural instinct. A thirst to prove yourself.  
For those who are not yet or do not want to have children, it may be a different path but it’s all the same to me…. 
We as human beings CRAVE success. If you’re a six figure entrepreneur, or a simpleton like me who dreamt of being a stay at home mother… 
bottom line is- We all want it. We all go about achieving it differently. 
Back to Matthew. He impressed me intensely with his drive and commitment to changing not only his diet, but committed to heavy exercise on a daily basis.  
I encouraged him to let me purchase a gym membership for him.  
He has not faltered a day attending. 
On March 19th, 2015 I decided to listen to Matthew and join the gym as well. 
He discussed the importance of sacrifice for gain. We both agreed that I would go to the gym in the evenings after he came home from work, so that the children could stay at home and I wouldn’t have to worry about being cut short a workout. (Let’s face it, my son is a total mamas boy.) 
I have missed three days in the last 35. I have lost only 8lbs but I am certain I have also gained quite a bit in muscle. 
I depend on the gym. I live for the gym. Seeing my body transform because I worked hard to do it is something that I am still in shock over to this day. 
My lungs are stronger. My legs are stronger. My heart rate is lower each time I get up for cardio. I am understanding the importance of balancing life. Specifically- mental health and physical health. 
They most certainly go hand in hand. (At least for me they do.) cardio and free weights are my Klonapen and Lamictal. Cardio releases the vice squeezing against my chest while lifting balances and nurtures my emotional stability.  
There are physical benefits to exercise. I am no Dr. But it’s easy to explain endorphins and how they affect our minds and bodies. 
Similar to exercise, endorphins released during a tattoo session are both pleasurable and rewarding.  
I have days where I do not want to go. I refuse multiple times in my head and try to convince myself otherwise. But then I call bull shit on me. 
I cart my ass down there and if I cry guess what… I’m on that eliptical fucking crying and dancing to heavy metal.  
I will not falter. 
I am not trying to lead as an example. I am merely showing where I have ended up, who I have become and who I so desperately want to be. (I have yet to figure that out.) 
So for now, I will continue to push myself. Harder, faster, and stronger everyday.  
And no one will get in my way.