Body Goals: The Fitness Journey That Changed My Life

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”

In the latter part of 2017, I felt a strong urge for change that would require me to develop mentally, emotionally, and physically. God wanted me to become stronger from the inside out. I also knew it was time for me to achieve the best level of fitness of my life. That meant working to achieve my maximum potential and becoming my own body goals. I wanted to be a better version of myself, for myself. I wanted to be healthier and see physical results, but little did I know my fitness journey would yield so much more. I would gain mental strength, self-discipline, and self-confidence like never before!

Taking it to the next level

My fitness journey initially began in 2011 after graduating college; therefore, I was not new to the “fit lifestyle”. I meal prepped almost every day during the week and I went to the gym at least 3 times per week. However, I would also “cheat” a lot on the weekends, indulging without any restraint. And of course, I hated doing cardio so I wasn’t making up for my mistakes. Needless to say, my fitness results waxed and waned over the years. I knew it was time to take it to another level if I wanted to be the best version of myself as I had set out to be. And I knew I could no longer “talk the talk” without “walking the walk”.

Bring on the Challenge

In December of 2017, I decided to participate in the 90 Day Fitness Challenge sponsored by Reggie Collier of RC Fitness in Houston. He was known to produce amazing transformations, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. But, when it was time to sign-up, I was nervous and fearful of committing. I knew it would be a life-altering process. I was afraid it would take over my life (it did), be too hard (it was), and that it would take me to the next level of accountability in my health and fitness that I knew I needed (it has). I also doubted myself and didn’t believe I had the self-discipline to follow through with it since I’ve never been able to hold myself accountable before. My trainer, however, saw something in me that I didn’t see and asked me to join the challenge. I said yes.

Left: December 23, 2017 and March 30, 2017

The Ultimate Sacrifice

From January 2 to March 30, I was tested both physically and mentally like never before! It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I guess I didn’t realize how hard the process of “becoming” would be for me. Sometimes I cried during workouts (on the inside) and once I got in the car (on the outside). It required a commitment, fire, and grit that I’ve never had to display. From strict meal plans to skipped brunches, lunches and happy hours I learned the value of self-discipline. From waking up at 430am for fasted cardio and spending 4-5 hours in the gym every night for almost 6-7 days a week, I learned the value of hard work and sacrifice. And from juggling grueling workouts, a new business and my personal life, I learned the value of commitment and consistency. It was the ultimate sacrifice for sure!

No Magic Pill

I literally felt every bit of this transformation and proved to myself that I could complete the unthinkable naturally. Instead of waist trainers, I trimmed my waist running heart-wrenching incline treadmill sprints (my worst nightmare!). No fat burners, just fasted cardio. No protein shakes or supplements, simply a solid diet with natural sources of protein and nutrients. And of course lots of weight lifting and squats instead of butt shots (LOL). No shade to those who did it the other way, but it takes another level of discipline and dedication to achieve results with no shortcuts or “magic pills”. I am very proud that consistency and sacrifice yielded the best results for me. I also understand that I will need even more discipline and dedication to continue pushing myself to maintain my goals long after the challenge is over.

The Biggest Breakthrough

The biggest breakthrough, however, was the mental strength that I gained during the process. On days I didn’t want to go workout, I pressed on because I remembered that quitting was not an option and I had goals to achieve. I couldn’t let myself down this time; I had to prove to myself that I could do this. That I was stronger than what I thought I was all along. I realized that my mind controlled my body, instead of my body controlling my mind. I couldn’t allow how I “felt” to prevent me from unlocking my potential. I had to intercept those negative thoughts pretty quickly, so that my body wouldn’t follow suit. Charged with purpose, I got up and went to the gym—muscles aching and all! I told myself “no” during times when I desperately wanted to cheat on my diet and was tempted by the things I knew I couldn’t say “no” to before. I declined lunches, brunches, and other advances that I never would have because I knew that self-discipline was the number one barrier that prevented me from actually achieving my goals before. At the end of the day, the power of God, the weight of purpose in my life, and the support of loved ones closest to me kept me going.

Self-acceptance Over Everything

I also learned how to accept and love me unconditionally. No matter how I transformed physically, if I didn’t love and accept myself for who I was, then I would still be unhealthy. I learned to not envy other people’s bodies, but to enhance my strengths and embrace my flaws. I learned not to get caught up in other’s expectations and perceptions of me, but to set my own goals and smash them. I could decide if I wanted to be thicker or leaner on any given day, month, or year as long as I am healthy—both mentally and physically. And last but not least, I learned that I am everything God says I am—fearfully and wonderfully made.

The Butterfly Effect

I hope you understand that these same results are achievable, but with consistency and sacrifice. No time is “the right time”, except for NOW! Focus on becoming you own #body goals by enhancing your assets and embracing your flaws. You can do this, but it starts with one person… YOU! So many people want the convenience of a transformation, but don’t want to be inconvenienced. There is no secret sauce or pill. The key ingredients are hard work, dedication and the will within yourself. As you begin to see yourself transform physically, you will realize that the person you are becoming on the inside is far more powerful than any physical result could yield. Yes, I feel and look amazing and I am in the best shape of my entire life! I am beyond proud that I finally surpassed my personal goal weight by losing 15+ pounds and 6% body fat, but I am more excited about the immeasurable mental, spiritual and emotional strength I gained. I finally realized my full potential. I am a conqueror. I am powerful. I am unstoppable. I am my own #bodygoals.


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Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post! Comment below if you have ever been on a fitness journey or thinking about starting one! I want to hear from you! And don’t forget to share this post on your social media using the share icons below! 🙂

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  1. Niya Key
    April 10, 2018 / 6:08 pm

    So proud of you! I know it took a lot to get to where you are! Let’s continue to motivate each other, workout together and be our best selves!!

    • Ashley Cockrell
      April 10, 2018 / 7:13 pm

      Thank you so much Niya! And I am equally as proud of you! Yes, we must continue to encourage and uplift each other during this journey! Its a continuum and not a destination for sure! 🙂

  2. Gerianna Kneeland
    April 10, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story! You are continuing to inspire other women around you!

    Love you chica

    • Ashley Cockrell
      April 10, 2018 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you so much Geri! As I told you before, you were definitely one of my very fist fitness inspirations! I appreciate your kind words and support over the years! I am rooting for you as well! Love you too 🙂

  3. KC
    February 10, 2019 / 4:48 pm

    Now that you are your own body goals, what does your workout and eating regimen look like? You look fabulous!

    • Ashley Cockrell
      February 14, 2019 / 5:51 pm

      Hi KC! Thank you so much.
      Now, I definitely eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks.
      Breakfast- Ezekial bread, banana, almond butter OR steel cut oats and turkey bacon OR egg white and spinach omellette
      Lunch- Lean meat (chicken, ground turkey, fish), good carb (sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice), and any green veggie.
      Dinner- Same as lunch, but maybe less carbs
      Snacks- Smart pop or skinny pop, fruit, piece of lean meat, or tuna

      Workout- weight training 4 days per week. 30 min cardio (stairmaster, treadmill sprints, or HIIT) prior

      Hope this helps! 🙂

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