April 2013 – Aeryon Ashlie – Winning the Battle!

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We don’t know what it is about Canadian girls, but it seems like they ALL are COOL and in SUPER SHAPE. This month’s KickAss Woman of the Month is both. One thing that makes her cool is she readily shares her challenge with eating disorders that so many women quietly deal with. Major props to Aeryon sharing her battles and being a role model for others. Hope you find her story inspiring! – kaw

How did you get into “working out”?
My dad was a bodybuilder so I grew up reading the mags and watching him train at our home gym. I started at the gym at 16 years old and fell in love with lifting weights.

What let you into competing?
I was a trainer at Bally’s in Toronto and my girlfriend did Fitness competitions, I had read about them in Oxygen mag but never had met anyone who did them. She helped me with my first show, staying over weekends doing my diet, posing, helping me train, she was amazing.

Did you play sports growing up?
My mother was a figure skating coach so I did skating and swimming which might explain my legs now! I spent several years on a farm when I was younger where I had horses, so I did barrel racing in little rodeo’s and loved that.

Who is your role model?
My role model’s vary in different areas. I have my mother who went back to school at 40 to get her masters and now has the job of her dreams. I admire Oprah and her message to women and people everywhere that they should live the life of their dreams. Monica Brant has always been a fitness icon of mine as she has been in the industry for so many years, I am actually attending her fitness camp next month so that will be exciting!

You have been vocal about your dealings with eating disorders. Why do you want to share your experiences?
I want women to know they are not alone and that in this industry where people try to look perfect there is no perfection, we all have our struggles to work through. I want to be an example of how you can take a negative and turn it to a positive, that life is a work in progress and each day you try to be the best you can.

Where are you in your battle with your eating disorder?
I believe I will always have certain issues with food, so what I have been able to do is change the message in my head… as humans we are driven by pleasure and will try to avoid pain. So what I have done is change the language in my mind from “you will be fat if you don’t purge” to “you will never have the life of your dreams if you continue to purge”. It is more painful to think of not creating my dream life as I know when I am deep in my eating disorder: I am anti social, I am consumed by food, and I become depressed by what I am doing to myself, which is not the life that I have dreamed.

Is training and/or competing a good outlet for any girl dealing with eating disorders?
I have been able to use fitness as my outlet, for myself I enjoy the organization and planning, working towards goals. There is a spin off from reaching my fitness goals, it helps me feel better emotionally and mentally. I am no longer my eating disorder which it used to define me, my language has shifted and what works for me is to feel physically fit because it makes me feel emotionally and mentally better. What works for one might not work for another, but this has been what works for me…

You not only battled with eating disorders, you also were heavier at one point in your life. What is the emotional/mental battle you deal with when heavier, and having an eating disorder?
It is all wrapped up together, I become depressed for what I am doing to myself knowing that nothing positive that stems from it, and then I am upset at myself for being heavy. I had to look at weight loss in a totally different way, it became about wanting to feel better, and have more energy which lead to weight loss. I did not try to make it happen fast but for the first time I gave myself patience. I listened to my body, what it really wanted food wise, I became forgiving to myself, and I loved myself at the point I was at.

Ok, for the fun stuff. Do you ENJOY getting into a bikini and doing photo shoots, competitions, and other things to show off your work?
I do love the day of the show, when you get all dolled up and get to see how everything came together. I also really enjoy photo shoots seeing how my body has changed and developed over the past years has been amazing. I have had the opportunity to work with many wonderful photographers.

Do people treat you different as the hot girl?
I don’t believe they do, I am a business woman and I present myself in a manner that I receive respect from people I deal with. There are many hot women in the world, so I would rather be a hot smart girl:)!!

What do you like best, the attention you get from men or admiration from women? (Joey wants to know!)
I really enjoy the admiration from women, I had a woman walk up to me in the gym a couple of weeks ago and tells me she reads my blog for inspiration. So that meant so much to me that I can motivate her to believe that she can do whatever she wants to do in life, in fact I am now training her for her first show!!

What are your upcoming plans?
I am competing in the Canadian Nationals on Aug 18th, I am also going to be working at the booth at the shows leading up to that for SD Pharmaceuticals. I have some new ad for SD coming out soon as well! Spending time with my daughter and really enjoying the age she is at now, heading to the lake with her and my boyfriend this summer as well!!

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