The idea for FeelGood Calgary sprung from Ashton’s curiosity about what makes people feel good and how can we find these factors locally. How can we improve our lives, get healthy and be happy in our community from the comfort of home?
Having battled with obesity and struggled with anxiety and bouts of depression himself, Ashton knows firsthand how difficult and intimidating it can be to find the resources and motivation it takes to pursue healthy change. After learning the fundamentals of healthy eating and introducing a regular exercise regiment, Ashton lost almost 90 pounds through dedication and hard work at the gym. This personal lifestyle change sparked an interest in working in health and wellness and he became a trainer and marketing consultant for a number of Calgary-based gyms.
There was a deeper problem, though. Ashton still dealt with anxiety and depression. The only way that he knew how to deal with moodiness and to calm his manic mind was with alcohol—it gave him the temporary confidence he needed. But balancing the gym, work and an addictive lifestyle soon resulted in everything tumbling down.
As the stresses of life increased, so too did Ashton’s alcohol consumption, smoking, insomnia, unhealthy food choices and, as a result, rebound weight gain. He was hospitalized with deathly-low oxygen levels, fatty liver, obstructive sleep apnea and risk of type 2 diabetes. Ashton knew it was time to make a change; one more closely linked to his emotions and letting go of his past. He knew he had to work towards what truly made him happy: working with people, but first he needed to help himself.
In order to control and conquer his addiction, Ashton had to investigate deeply into where his passions lie and who he truly is as a person. To get healthy it was important to not only focus on physical fitness, but also the work to calm the mind, have a healthier type of fun, socialize with people who had common creative goals and, most importantly, hold on to a belief that things can get better.
It took time and patience to rebuild, but Ashton is now on the sober path and is dedicated to giving back to his hometown. He wants to share what it means to feel good and work together with like-minded individuals to create and share a positive wellness-focused community. A Calgary that helps its citizens become healthier and happier: A FeelGood Calgary.