How One Healthy Choice Changed My Life

Ashley Cairns

By Ashley Cairns

It’s amazing how one healthy choice changed my life and led to a lifetime of healthy choices. This is my personal story.

As many of you know, I have had my fair share of weight issues throughout my life. Always a big girl, I decided in 2016 that I had had enough of feeling so blah all the time. So, out of shape and not a fan of exercise, I did what motivated me – I ate out! Only this time, I wasn’t driving anywhere.

One Healthy Choice I made

At first, this really limited my food options to the takeaway store at the end of the road that I wasn’t a big fan of. So, I set my goal – McDonalds! But McDonalds was about a 20 minute walk.

Because of this goal, I built up my stamina walking around my local neighbourhood. I thought, if I got tired, I would never be too far from home. Then those walks got easier and easier. Before I knew it, a 20 minute walk was NOTHING!

So, off I head to McDonalds. Proudly, I walked all the way up to the counter. I never felt more like I earned that burger in my life! What a great feeling that was! What’s cool is that, McDonalds was close to other restaurants – Pita Pit, an Indian restaurant, and a sushi place. 

Ashley's transformation

More Healthy Choices

After that, I started feeling good about myself and naturally started going to healthier restaurants. Instead of that big burger at the end of every walk, it became a pita from Pita Pit or Sashimi from the local sushi place. 

From then on, I started making healthier choices as a roll on effect of my walking routine. Plus, I started a garden where I grew every kind of vegetable I liked and we ate it all! It became a bit of an obsession of ours and we often had much more fresh fruits and vegetables than we needed!

Cairns' Garden
vegetables from the garden

How my choices changed my life

Aside from improving my healthy choices, this also helped us to get to know our neighbors. The father and son who lived together next door had chickens and bees and would often trade vegetables for eggs and honey. Win win!

And just because I was gardening, didn’t mean I’d stopped walking! Because the gym was on the way home from work, I would often stop on my way for a 30-40 minute walk just for fun! 

For fun?! How did this fat girl turn into a fitness junky? I took time and less pressure on myself. I didn’t try to climb the mountain on the first day. By the time I was climbing mountains, I didn’t know I’d done it yet!

Ashley in the gym

The moral of the story?

Just try something healthy and stick with it one step at a time. Were there days I didn’t want to walk? Yes! Were there days I decided not to go for a walk? Definitely! I didn’t guilt myself into walking which was key for me.

Now, I want to hear from you! Share you story. What are small healthy steps that you’ve taken that have led to bigger, more healthy changes? Tell me more in the comments below! And if you want to read more physical health-related articles, check this out.

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