Ashley Darby, Author of “The Bollywood Obsession,” on How She Lost 100 Pounds

When you have a long-running obsession with a fictional character, an eating disorder is bound to follow. For me, that fictional character was Bollywood actor and heartthrob Vivek Oberoi. From the first time I saw “Jab We Met” in 2007, I became obsessed with the actor. One of my early memories as a teenager was watching the movie and singing along to the angriya scene.
As a result, I started losing weight at an alarming rate. I would often binge on ice cream and fast for hours to manage my cravings. Over the next few years, I managed to lose about 90 pounds. But then Bollywood came calling again and I became sucked back into the world of Bollywood.
It was then that I realized I had a problem. So, I turned to a fitness trainer, who helped me set realistic goals and take responsibility for my actions. That’s when I discovered the fitness industry and became a personal fitness trainer. Today, I lead a team at an exclusive fitness club in NYC, and write about holistic nutrition and fitness as a lifestyle blog. To learn how I lost 100 pounds, keep reading…

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder comes in different forms, from anorexia to bulimia, and can cause many health issues. Eating disorders are a mental illness that can have drastic physical effects.

What spurred you to start speaking out about your struggle?

I started speaking out about my struggle because I wanted to help others with their own struggles. I know how hard it is to go through a similar struggle, and wanted to help others lift themselves up.
I’m also speaking out now because of the #MeToo movement. The #MeToo movement has helped women feel empowered and emboldened like never before. We’ve seen powerful men finally held accountable for their actions, which led me to start writing more and more about my story.

Be 100 percent honest with your self-talk

Self-talk is an important part of staying healthy and getting results. By using self-talk, you can recognize your triggers, build coping skills to deal with those triggers, and ultimately develop a plan for what you want to achieve.
Here’s how it works:
1) Identify the trigger
2) Create a strategy for dealing with that trigger
3) Rehearse that strategy through visualization
4) Bring your plan into action

Recognize your triggers

The first step to solving any problem is recognizing it. For me, the moment I missed my workout was when I watched a Bollywood movie and ate ice cream. In that moment, I remember thinking about how much I wanted to be skinny like the actors in the movie but knew I wouldn’t ever be able to do it because of all my flaws. That’s when my obsession took hold and it all unraveled from there.

Don’t beat yourself up

I was always told that if you want to lose weight, you have to do it slowly. But I wanted a quick fix so badly!
Although I never had an eating disorder, I did have an obsession with Bollywood. That obsessed me into losing weight too quickly. So please, don’t beat yourself up because your obsessive love drove you to lose weight too fast. Let it go; it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Just keep moving forward and let the past be the past.

Get support from people you trust

I was never one to seek out professional help. I always felt like my weight problem was something I could fix on my own. When I started working with a personal fitness trainer, I finally knew that it was time to seek help. This is because the person who helped me get on the right track wasn’t someone in the fitness industry; rather it was an old friend and trusted loved one.
After talking to this friend, I decided to take an honest inventory of how much weight I wanted to lose and what exactly would happen once I reached that goal. It has been almost two years since then and I have lost 100 pounds!
With support from people you trust, it will be easier for you to stay motivated and achieve your goals.

Look at the good in your life

No matter how much you struggle with an eating disorder, it’s important to remember that you have something to be grateful for. When I caught myself thinking about my weight as a problem, I would think about all the things that were going right in my life. “I am healthy and able to do things like walk on my treadmill and work out,” I told myself.
Losing weight is difficult, but recognizing the good in your life will help you stay focused.

Conclusion

In the spirit of honesty and hope, Ashley shares her journey of self-discovery and self-love.
Ashley Darby is a writer and speaker who has written for The Huffington Post, SheKnows, Babble, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson, and has been interviewed in People Magazine and USA Today.

The article discusses how Ashley Darby lost 100 pounds, with her writing and speaking about her struggle with an eating disorder. She discusses the importance of self-talk, recognizing your triggers and how to get support from people you trust.

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