Casey’s Journey

casey As I’ve mentioned, I want to include posts from friends, family, and blog readers who have had their own health and wellbeing experiences that are so amazing they have to be shared.  Casey is one of my best friends.  She is an amazing running partner, friend, and support system.  I’m so lucky to have her and her family in my life.  She is one of the most caring people I have ever known and her story is something that many of you will resonate with.  It’s beautiful and heart-breaking, hopeful and empowering.  Enjoy Casey’s story in her own words…
Casey’s JourneyThe journey started for me a time ago… I was always an athletic, in shape girl, who ate whatever I wanted, and even in those college years, I did gain those “freshman 15”, but when you go from 100 pounds to 115, of muscle, I actually looked better! I had my first baby when I was in my early 20’s and still did okay with my weight. I probably got with within 10 pounds of my goal after I had him and again, being in the 120’s was “more” than what I was used too. My real journey started after I had baby number 2.

I was a young Mom of two beautiful children, working fulltime, husband who travels a lot for work, and all a sudden the days of bring a gym rat were hard to find again. Does anyone else feel guilty about working fulltime, kids in daycare all day, then taking them for another hour plus to the local gym at night when they are already in bed by 7? I’m not making excuses for this at all. I did take them with me in the stroller when it was nice out; I did work out at night when they were playing or asleep. The problem for me is I always have been able to do what I wanted; now I have responsibilities that dictate me and I felt so trapped.
The part I didn’t realize, (although I heard a thousand times!) is “You don’t take care of yourself, you aren’t good to anyone else” is actually true… Who would of thought? It took me a lot of years and tears to see that difference today… If you ever heard that before and need help to see it, I hope this helps…
Now fast forward after loosing the same and gaining the same 20 + pounds, about 4 times in the last 10 years and yes today, I can finally say I am done. Done with the self hate, done with the guilt of the kids needing to actually not have something “their way” for once, because “I” need to get my run in… It’s been such a long road of what I would just call self loathing… You ever sit there; think about the things in your life, where things turned? What has worked in the past? Where you went wrong, or right? Still for the life of you, you can’t figure out how to get out of it, out of the rut, out of the fog, out of the feeling sorry for yourself. You want “you” back, the person you were when you were happy, and the person who took care of themselves… This is how I did it.
I actually put myself first…
My newest, hardest journey for me started in September. I was sitting in the living room with my husband, staring at him, knowing what I have to say is probably going to make him twinge, but I had too… I had to have the courage to start that night and do it for me. I told him that I am at a point in my life, and it was almost a do it or stop whining mentality. It was hard to think of what I wanted to accomplish AGAIN! I just ran a half marathon in October of 2009, a year to the date, and with the same 20 pounds back on, and what it took to get it off, what going to require serious intervention. I wasn’t joking… No smiles were coming out that day, and it wasn’t like I had been thinking about it for a long time, it was a light bulb went off, I knew what it would take, and that was that!
I sat there across from the table from him, told him… “I’m signing up for Black Clover Fitness tomorrow.” You all might be thinking, so what, but I again, knew what it would take for me and that was a trainer, 3 days a week, and end of story. I have done boot camps in the past, other training type workouts, and that defiantly was what I needed, but I was in such bad shape, that I was scared to start there, without working up to it. Without a blink, he said, ok. Huge weight off my shoulders and the healing started immediately…
That was 4 months ago… 20 pounds lighter and endurance like never before. Running 10 milers with Carrie? I know she is running “with” me, but still… NEVER would of I thought 4 months ago would I be here… I am right back to where I was last year at that half, and I know I have more to go, but the real question is, what made me lose sight of this and put the weight back on again, and what I have I learned this time around, that I won’t fail? Light bulb moment… That’s easy…my diet.
I ran that half last year in 2:07, and at 155 pounds. Now I am not saying that 155 pounds is good or bad for anyone, just speaking for me, I knew I could do better! Because even if I was someone who was 130 pounds, healthy and strong at one point, those extra 25 pounds I carry on my frame today are not for me. I knew the only thing that I did then was work out and run a lot, and ate whatever I wanted. Well, being older now, that isn’t working out for me anymore. My diet changed. Not overnight, not in a week. It took me a month, and 2 months in I am still eating and changing things up.
I started first by keeping track of everything that I ate. I mean everything. If it was 5 crackers, I put it down, cheesecake, a few beers, pizza, turkey sandwich, and holy crap was I shocked to find out how much the calories were adding up… Then the opposite happened… I started eating healthy, still writing down all my food, my trainer at Black Clover, (Peter and he is awesome by the way!) told me to be around 1400 calories a day, and I was only getting in around 800-900! I wasn’t eating enough! This is crazy! I need to eat more? Healthy foods are fewer calories and you really need to eat up, to get the calories in, that your body needs to function! Huge portions, many times a day… I was able to eat every 2 hours. Funny thing is, the cravings stopped… When you feed yourself like you are meant to, I never felt like l wasn’t getting what I needed… Certain things I still have, because after all this is a lifestyle change and I am from Wisconsin! We like to watch football, hang out, have bonfires, and I wasn’t about to not let myself have the things I love over a “diet”. I just tried variations of things… But what I found out is when I did eat certain stuff that was bad, I wasn’t feeling well… That’s when I realized I did it. I finally figured out the missing link in my healthy life… Easily understood and put to me like this… “You are like a machine, high functioning sports car… Would you put that bad “stuff” in your gas tank? No…..then why would you think it would make your “engine” run?” Ahhaaaa….
That’s when the real me kicked in. The feeling good, the fogginess going away, the knowing that this is going to be how I am forever and that I am able to change the small things in our home to help my now 12 and 9 year old children grow up to be strong, and healthy and not battle the same issues I have had to overcome. I know it seems like so much to accomplish when you look at the end goal. Start today by writing your foods down, drink a glass of water, go for a walk, sign up at a local gym, or honestly sit there when you are done reading this and really, really think about what you need and please do it for YOU!
sinz I don’t regret a single thing. I am happier, my family is happier. Funny how people around you, mimic what they see and what they vibe off. My family is so proud of what I have done. My oldest son just beams with excitement when I tell him that I ran 10 miles. He understands the dedication it takes and he puts that in on the court and baseball field too. I’m teaching them how to take care of themselves, how to make sure they are a priority in their life too. My daughter just had me sign her up for Girls on the Run, and I am so excited… If they can carry on their passion for what they do, just all from me taking care of myself… You can see how it’s never the wrong choice, (within reason, not ignoring your responsibilities) to put you first… The whole world around you will follow suit and you are making a positive imprint in those you love… ~ Casey

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