Having babies can change a lot about you. For me it was my body. I just didn’t seem to bounce back as quickly after my second daughter was born. I actually don’t think I ever really recovered after the first one. Body parts shifted, things sagged. My mirror was playing tricks on me. I went to the Harris YMCA all the time but never really saw a difference. I would watch other in shape moms in the fitness area and wonder what they were doing differently.
One day, I saw Ashley there working out with Paul Sklar, the owner/head trainer for Prescriptive Fitness. She looked amazing, strong, athletic and fit. Little did I know then that she had spent that year studying to get her Personal Training certification. When I saw that she was now a full-fledged trainer, I apprehensively approached her and asked if she could train me. That was three years ago and I can say I have seen such a transformation in my body thanks to a lot of hard work. Not only does she push me physically but mentally as well. I should pay her extra for the therapy. You can find her at the Harris Y transforming people daily, and if you are lucky enough to see her workout, you will be in awe.
Lets get to know more about Smarty Mom, Ashley Smith!
Ashley’s Smarty Mom Stats
Married to: Aaron for 12 years
Mom of: Morgan (8) & Charlie (6)
Hood: Beverly Crest
Years in Charlotte: 8
Hometown: Knoxville, TN
What made you decide to become a personal trainer?
I have always been very involved in sports. I swam, ran cross country and played tennis in high school. I am not happy unless I am active…ask my husband. It’s really hard for me to sit down and just relax! After having two kids, I was ready to get back into really good shape. So, I enlisted the great team at Prescriptive Fitness to get the job done. After working out with Stephanie Hucko and Paul Sklar, I was amazed at how A LOT of hard work combined with a healthy diet could completely change my body…and my life. This type of training made such a difference in the way that I felt about myself and my body that I wanted to do this for others. So, I hit the books and studied for over a year while continuing to work out with Paul and learning as much as I could from him. Thankfully, he trusted me enough to hire me and off I went. It has been 4 years now and I love my job. I spend my mornings training my clients and my afternoons are spent with my kids. Best of all, my clients have all become some of my best friends.
Has there ever been a time in your life when you haven’t exercised?
No, for as long as I can remember I have been active. I spent summers playing tennis and swimming in the pool with friends. In school, I was always playing a sport and just trying to beat my older sister. Competition was key for me. Now, I see so much of that competitive spirit in my children. It’s fun to watch.
Sometimes your workouts are like my therapy. Why do you think we as women have such a terrible time with our body image? I know that I am one such woman.
Yes, I do consider myself half trainer and half therapist. As women, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to have the perfect body, to be the perfect wife and the perfect mom. But, too often, we spend so much time being so perfect for our families that we forget about ourselves. We just become exhausted! With that comes a poor body image and low self-confidence.
One more point…I believe that the media puts a lot of pressure on women to be thin, but I am really seeing a slight shift lately. I think we are seeing more strong women on TV and in magazines. Strong is definitely the new sexy!
What is the biggest transformation you have witnessed with your clients?
I can honestly say that I see a transformation in all of my clients. I think just getting in the gym and having other moms to talk to and exercise with works wonders mentally for many women. I see my clients getting stronger, leaner and smiling a lot more after only a few weeks! I do have one client that completely transformed herself in less than one year. She made a firm commitment to eat healthy and train with me three times/week. She was one of those ladies that was afraid to start this program, even afraid to walk into the gym. But, no matter how difficult it was, she stuck with it and lost 40 pounds in 8 months. I not only see a transformation in her body, but a huge change in her attitude and self-esteem.
What would you say to someone out there who is reading this sitting on the sofa and thinks that they are too out of shape and overweight to go to a gym?
It is never too late to start! I know that walking into a gym is so frightening. Even when I try something new, I am intimidated. Recently, I completely stepped out of my comfort zone and tried hot yoga. I just tried to remind myself that no one was looking at me in those mirrors. Everyone is too interested in looking at themselves! When you try something new, take a friend with you. It’s so much more fun and less intimidating when you work out with someone. I would challenge you to try one new activity a week with a friend and start slow. Try yoga, spinning, Pilates, indoor rock climbing or swimming. Or, just get out and walk with a friend! Don’t make excuses. You have to make time for yourself. Go to bed early and get up early while everyone is still asleep. It’s not going to be easy but the results will be so worth it!
Your husband Aaron is hilarious. What is the craziest thing he has ever done just to make you laugh?
I have known Aaron for 18 years and I can honestly say that he makes me laugh every single day. His proudest comedic moment was probably when he took me to a movie and walked down the aisle with a large popcorn and drink in hand. He called out “Ashley where are you? Its dark in here.” and then purposely fell flat on his face, throwing his drink and popcorn into the air and tumbling down the aisle. I don’t know who was more embarrassed for him…me or the guy that quickly offered a seat and said “Quick, sit here. Maybe no one noticed”.
I know you will exercise even when you are 80, what do you think your workout will look like?
Hmm…that is a tough one. Hopefully, the same just a little less strenuous. We have clients in their 70s and 80s and they are still rocking it!! So, why not?!