0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

LIVESTRONG Success Story: Ashley Donahoo

Ashley Lost 137 Pounds and Has Kept It Off for 3 Years.

by
author image Kelly Plowe, M.S., RD, CSSD
Kelly Plowe is a registered dietitian and the senior supervising producer for LIVESTRONG.COM. She received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics and kinesiology from Michigan State University. Plowe went on to work in Boston as a clinical dietitian while pursuing her master’s degree in advertising from Boston University.
LIVESTRONG Success Story: Ashley Donahoo
Photo Credit Andrea Mabry/LIVESTRONG.COM

Two years ago, my life was completely different from what it is today. Back then, I couldn’t even walk down our city block. I was pushing 300 pounds and battling major depression. At the urging of my husband and my doctor, I finally turned my life around and dropped 137 pounds -- and I did it with just one pair of shoes and a few workout DVDs! Now I’ve completed two 5k's and even took second place in one of the races.

If I can offer one piece of advice to everyone, it’s this: Track all of your food and exercise. I had no idea how much I was eating until I saw the numbers for myself.

Ashley Donahoo

My Turning Point

Ashley wearing a pair of her "before" jeans.
Ashley wearing a pair of her "before" jeans. Photo Credit Andrea Mabry/LIVESTRONG.COM

When I was 25 years old, my depression took a turn for the worse. I was dealing with suicidal thoughts, felt completely hopeless, and was often out of work. My doctor was worried that I was going to die and my husband was equally concerned. One day he pushed me to do a lap around the block. I didn’t even reach the first corner before I was out of breath and had shooting pains in my feet, legs and back. I finished the walk, but I was in tears for most of it. From then on, I resolved to make a change.

My Support System

Ashley's husband was a major source of support during her journey.
Ashley's husband was a major source of support during her journey. Photo Credit Andrea Mabry/LIVESTRONG.COM

My husband was my rock. He was the one who pushed me to start walking, and he gave me the emotional support I needed to keep going. My aunt was another huge help during my weight loss journey. She had recently lost 100 pounds, and I looked up to her for encouragement and advice.

My Biggest Challenge on the Road to Success

Ashley has completed two 5k's since starting her journey.
Ashley has completed two 5k's since starting her journey. Photo Credit Andrea Mabry/LIVESTRONG.COM

The truth is I’ve had many challenges over the years. A few months into my diet, I lost my job and went back to school to get my degree. I also underwent two surgeries that landed me on the couch. I was also still battling depression. There were a lot of hurdles to overcome, but I took it one day at a time -- celebrating what I had accomplished -- and eventually overcame them all.

My Secret to Success That I Hope to Share With Others

One of Ashley's tips is to enter all of your recipes into the MyPlate Calorie Tracker.
One of Ashley's tips is to enter all of your recipes into the MyPlate Calorie Tracker. Photo Credit Andrea Mabry/LIVESTRONG.COM

If I can offer one piece of advice to everyone, it’s this: Track all of your food and exercise. Let’s face it -- it’s too easy to underestimate how many calories you’ve eaten and overestimate how many calories you’ve burned. I had no idea how much I was eating until I saw the numbers for myself. There are lots of excuses to not eat healthy (and we all have them), but just think of it as a lifestyle change -- not a diet.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media