The idea for Shake and FeelGood Calgary sprung from Ashton’s curiosity about what makes people feel good and how we can find these factors locally. How can we improve our lives, get healthy, be happy, and support our local community?
Having battled with obesity and addiction, 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. He 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, kidney stones, obstructive sleep apnea and risk of type 2 diabetes. He knew it was time to make a change; one more closely linked to his emotions and letting go of his past and 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 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 created FeelGood Calgary in 2015, which is a positive wellness-focused community. The goal is to share what it means to feel good and work together with like-minded individuals and practitioners to create and share events throughout the YYC. These events have been well- received and serve as an entry point for those curious about their health and making positive life changes.
But Ashton isn’t done yet. In 2017 he is launching Shake – for those who don’t just want to tiptoe or dabble in general health and wellness. Shake is for those who want to – sometimes need to – make transformations, be happier and find out more about our community. Shake is for the bored, the stuck, the anxious and the fearful. In Ashton’s experience, these were all symptoms or feelings of being unfulfilled in life.
Shake’s new concept acknowledges these common feelings and offers to ‘shake things up’ by providing new group events, classes, workshops, and date nights catered to those who want to have more fun, move their bodies, celebrate nourishing food, flex their creative muscles, appreciate the arts, and mix it up; with a goal to help make life more enjoyable, interactive and wholesome.
If you want to learn more about Shake and the programs being offered, please visit: www.shakecanada.com