Elizabeth Ashley Stockdale has one amazing weight loss story to tell – but it goes so much farther than that
This is the story of a true Body Spartan, written by Elizabeth herself.
Eighteen months ago, I started my journey to become fit.
I had tried several times before with little to no success, always seeing the weight creep back up after small victories that just didn’t stick. My highest known weight was in 2009 after having my third child, and I weighed 217 pounds, and at 5’1″ tall that’s a lot of weight to carry around.
Toward the end of 2013, I decided that it was time to lose the weight. I tried to eat less, I did hours, and I do mean hours, of cardio. I was spinning my wheels and seeing no results. Within a month I had quit again. Then early in 2014, I started having health problems, I knew I needed to do something about it but knew that if it hadn’t worked for me before, it wasn’t going to work for me this time. I was on Twitter one day when I saw a tweet from Gabe Tuft talking about his new book, Body Spartan: Genesis. I figured that I had nothing to lose, and ordered it as soon as it had become available.
Once the book had downloaded, I read it cover to cover without stopping, I even took notes. That’s when I discovered the biggest thing I was missing in my journey, and that was my WHY. In the past I knew I had wanted to do it, I knew I should do it, but I didn’t have that one big driving force in my head that I needed. I wanted to be able to pick my kids up, to play with them, to be able to walk around the zoo or an amusement park without having to stop, or having to tell them that no I couldn’t carry them. I’d been doing it for the wrong reasons in the past. I did it “to show an ex” or to “look hot”, and while those are reasons, those are the type of reason, that when the feeling passes you don’t care any more. The need to be here for my kids, and to be able to care for them, that’s a reason I couldn’t give up on.
Over the first 12 weeks that I ran the Body Spartan program, I lost down to about 155 pounds, I took a few weeks off, relaxed my diet while still exercising, and started the program back. The second 12 weeks of the program, I lost another 20lbs which took me to 135 pounds, my original goal weight. I felt 100 times better. Between the weight loss and lifting weights, I had gained strength and energy and was doing all of the things I wanted to do with my kids.
August 1 2014 was a huge turning point for me
This was the day that my “why” started to change. I went to my first bodybuilding show and I fell in love with it. The idea of competing, was turning in my head and it was something I really wanted to do,but I had one road block – I was a mom of 3, that at this point had lost around 70lbs. The thought and idea of loose skin absolutely terrified me. I had stretch marks, and I knew the more weight I lost that this would be a possibility and I was very bothered, by what other people would think.
Late January of 2015, I was approached by Priscilla Tuft to enter a Body Spartan challenge group, and I decided to join in
One of the assignments I was given, was to think about something that was holding me back, and what I was going to do to overcome it. The first thing that came to mind was my skin. I don’t know what clicked, but something did. My skin tells my journey, it tells about my pregnancies, my children, my hard work and determination. It didn’t matter any more what other people thought of it. The only opinion that mattered is my own and I am the person in control of that opinion. That was the day I decided that nothing was going to stop me from competing.
As I am writing this, I am now 8 days away from my first competition, and in total, I have lost 102 pounds.
I decided months ago, that it doesn’t matter where I place, because this is a me vs. me journey. Every day, I strive to do better than the day before. If I slip up, I don’t get mad at myself. Instead, I sit down and I think about why did this happen and what can I do better. Visualization and positive thinking have been a huge part of this journey. Once you find your why, you can do anything you put your mind to.
Over the last 18 months, so many things have happened besides the physical changes, when I look back at all my pictures, you can see my confidence grow and my whole attitude and outlook on life has changed.
I don’t hide behind a camera, I don’t turn away from having my picture taken, I smile most of the time.
I never say that I can’t any more. I told Gabe once that I would never wear a bikini again and he told me I would by August, that first bikini picture I posted, was taken in July. If you want it bad enough, if your why is great enough, you can make it happen.
Update – Results of Elizabeth’s competition
Elizabeth proudly took the stage in an official NPC competition for the women’s bikini contest. Her results are below and we couldn’t be prouder of her. A big congratulations to Elizabeth from Team Body Spartan!