Ashleigh Frost has a hunger for success and love and it drove her to give it all up in SA and venture into the great unknown…
In my attempt to find inspirational women, because every month should be Women’s month, Ashleigh Frost caught my eye and certainly left a lasting impression.
Ashleigh is the CEO & Founder of Ashletics/Art by Ashleigh Frost & Darling Creations which will be launching soon. We caught up with her and found out exactly how she built her brand.
You’re clearly more than just a pretty face. Who is Ashleigh Frost?
Well now, where do I start!? I’m a born and raised South African now living in the USA. I’m an ABSOLUTE introvert by nature but also love meeting and making meaningful connections with women of all ages. Strange, I know!
I love coffee, all animals and chocolate chip cookies! Those are my ultimate downfall when it comes to yummy things! I’m a little bit of everything in one, which is why I don’t like to define or confine myself to the title of just “fitness model” per se, but essentially you could say that’s part of what I do and has been my main focus for the past 6 years.
I have an Honours degree in Graphic Design (Information Design at TUKS). I’m an internationally qualified personal trainer through ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) and have a nutrition diploma through SHAW Academy (UK). I am also a WBFF Pro Bikini Model, 2 x North American WBFF Pro Bikini Champion (2015 & 2016) and 2 x Cover model (Fitness Magazine SA & Krunch Fitness India).
I’m quite a clown naturally, I always find the funny side of things (when appropriate of course). I love the feeling of warm rays on my skin in the morning, beach sand between my toes and I really wish that humans would love each other more.
What is your definition of success?
While the most common perception of success is fame and wealth, I like to define success for myself as being “time rich”, being able to wake up every morning doing what I love while making an impact in other people’s lives. That saying that goes “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” – well, it’s not true. I do what I love and I work my butt off! BUT, I enjoy working hard at what I love because it lights a fire in my soul.
Are you in your high school dream job?
Funny thing about that “dream job” concept. I had ABSOLUTELY NO idea what I wanted to do as a career and the thought of having to decide scared the life out of me. Quite honestly I didn’t even think twice for myself about what I REALLY TRULY wanted to do. At that stage, being 18 and faced with one of the biggest decisions in my journey, all I knew was that I had to go to university, get a degree to secure a job for myself in the future.
I chose graphic design because I loved art and I’m a natural creative so I thought that the best thing to do was go study something because I’m good at it. I realized after 3 years in the real world that I wasn’t in love with it, nor was I passionate about doing it. The hardest realization in my life was acknowledging that just because I was good at something does not necessarily mean I would love doing it. I left the design world to pursue fitness at the age of 23.
Which challenges have you had to overcome in your career?
Ha! Where do I even start! From doubting my place in the industry, comparing myself to every other fitness coach and bikini competitor out there, not giving up when I didn’t place in shows. Another obstacle has been differentiating myself in the industry while still maintaining my authenticity and being true to myself. Not getting caught up in “likes” and “followers” or basing my value or success on those things either.
I have also encountered negativity and nastiness from other people, hearing things that have been said about me or my achievements, and it doesn’t matter how old you get, things like this are never nice to experience. HOWEVER, the older I get and the more I realize that I am the ONLY one in control of my self-talk, I control my thoughts and outcomes. What other people say is only a reflection of them and what’s inside their hearts and is not really about me.
Have there been any disappointments in your career?
Absolutely! I did a few shows without placing before I went on to win my first show, following what I mentioned above about not placing. I spent two years in a row working towards a world championship title or placing, traveled to Vegas twice and spent A LOT of money to get there and didn’t even place in the top 10. I was absolutely disappointed.
I went on in the year after those two (2015) and did a smaller Pro show which I ended up winning and then later that year placed 4th in the world championships. I competed to retain my title in 2016, which I did, making me the first and only South African fitness model to win 2 international pro titles. Perseverance always pays off.
Another example, I entered the local Fitness magazine’s “Face of Fitness Cover model search” in 2012 and made the top 32 but didn’t crack the final cut, I carried on working towards my goals and got that magazine cover 3 YEARS later, based on merit and my achievements in the industry.
Just because things don’t happen for you when you think they should happen, doesn’t mean they weren’t meant for you. It means that there are other things you need to do first. You may change the execution of your goal, but never the goal.
What has been your proudest professional moment?
Wow, that’s a hard one! Every win or magazine cover has most definitely been a proud moment at the time that it happened. All of these accomplishments are smaller parts of the whole that you all see today via my social media and I don’t think I could pinpoint one single event or moment, I’m proud of it all.
If I could mention something that has nothing to do with an event, accomplishment or a moment it would be overcoming my negative self-talk and destructive behaviour, realised my worth and potential and believing in myself. If I had never healed from those things I never would have achieved any of the big moments or events.
What is your motto in life?
I have a few because I believe they have all played an important role for me:
• You are WILDLY capable of EVERYTHING you want in this life, you just have to work your butt off (because there is no elevator to success) and have an unfailing belief in your vision.
• Always have grace with every person you meet, everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
• “Logic will get you from A to B, Imagination will get you anywhere.” – Albert Einstein
• Don’t fear doing something because of the time it will take, the time will pass anyway.
• “It is a shame for a man (and woman) to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which the body is capable.” – Socrates
• Don’t wish your life away. At 30 you will look back at age 16 and wish you had been more attentive to the moment. Be as present as possible in your life every day because you will miss the small things that make life great.
What advice do you have for young girls today?
Oh my! SO many things! We live in such an interesting time and I have learned SO many things on my journey. When I was a teenager I was painfully shy, had terrible self-esteem and as a result of peer pressure struggled for 5 years with eating disorders and self-harm. I was VERY self-destructive because I always felt like I was never good enough. Let me tell you now that it is NOT worth it to put yourself and your body through that kind of trauma. Here are the things I wish I could tell every single young girl out there.
• I wish I could hug each and every one of you and tell you that you are enough.
• You do not have to do a single thing to prove yourself to anyone.
• The wild dreams you have for yourself and your future are not silly – follow your heart but take your brain with you.
• The number on the scale has NOTHING to do with your worth as a woman or as a human being.
• Celebrating another woman’s success or beauty takes NOTHING away from your own.
• Taking care of yourself starts with your internal dialogue – if you wouldn’t say the things that you say to or about yourself out loud to a person you love, then what makes you think treating yourself that way is okay? It’s not. Have grace, love and patience with yourself.
• You do NOT have to have your life figured out at the age of 20, take a deep breath and learn as much as you can in every situation.
• People can be harsh and cruel, always take the high road and respond in love or don’t respond at all.
• Look after your body from the inside, it’s the only place you have to live.
• Look after your wellness, if you don’t, you will have to look after your illness.
Clearly this girl is going places. To read more about Ashleigh’s journey and success follow her on: