Here is a guest blog from a client of mine Cassandra. Please please take the time to read it and I hope you find it as inspiring as I do.

The journey of Enlightenment, but not as we know it…

If I go back about 21 years and look at whom I was then, to whom I am now; a lot of people would tell you I am a completely different person. I’d even push to say that some people don’t even recognize me. I know what you’re thinking ‘yes, we all change over time’ but what if I told you that when I was about 16, I looked about 25 and I’m now 32, going on 33 and I now look younger than I am (hey! I’m not blowing my own trumpet, I still get ID’d! Ha!).

Age 11, I started secondary school – supposed to be the best start of your life, right? For me it was a different story; my parents at the time were going through a divorce, I was going through puberty, I was starting a new school with old friends and new friends and everything at the time, well, pretty much sucked. I was far from confident; I may have acted it, all a front.

I lost count of how many of the boys I fancied, but weren’t interested in me. Why? To console myself, I took comfort in food. I was that fat kid. I was labeled. But, least not forget… ‘I had a great personality’. Back around that time of our lives, it was hard, it was different, there wasn’t really guidance – my Mum did the best she could, she tried to help, I was becoming a teenager, I knew better and rebelled.

Fast forward from 11 to 16, my weight crept and to top things off I hit being a teenager, I was going into 6th form – this is when it all went from bad to worse. I had friends, and friends who are in my life to this day and they know who they are. Magazines, media, weight loss, celebrities… I think it could have been possibly worse back then than now. I was at my wits end. I wanted to be slim, I wanted to be beautiful, I wanted to have millions of boyfriends who chased me and me not constantly having to chase them…I tried everything from one diet pill to another and then I decided on an easy option and that’s went my bulimia started.

It went on for a while and then my Mum found out – it was then I thought “what the Hell am I doing?” I’m hurting her more than I am myself and ironically, it wasn’t the damage I was doing to myself that made me stop and think, it was more what I was doing to her that made me have a reality check and with that, I fought it… and fought it hard.

So my first boyfriend when was I was 17 – that was for 4 and half years, however, it was during that relationship when I was about 19? I realized how big I’d actually gotten. I went to try on some clothes with my Mum and nothing fit and I remember sitting in that changing room with her crying. Just crying – we got home and I weighed myself and I was the best part of 19 stone (266lbs, 121kg) and it was at that moment I needed to do something.  So I started eating healthy, by the time I was 21 (and I look back at what I wore and cringe to this moment!) I’d lost a bit, not much. I started working for the Guardian Newspaper and it was about that time the Atkins diet came out; I worked in Media, everyone was doing it! On the Atkins I lost 3 stones, which I never put back on and low and behold I was 16st (225lbs, 103.4kg) by this point, I could not, not have fruit so I decided to ditch Atkins, but thanked him every so much. After that, my relationship with my boyfriend took a turn for the worse – I was losing weight, he was losing me, I was beginning to find myself as person.

I started college and I remember an old friend who saw my transformation (but not to this day, I don’t think she’d recognize me, in fact, she wouldn’t – she walked straight past me at the station last year!) and one thing that stuck in my mind was “when I first met you, you always hid in your coat” because I hated how I looked, despite losing some weight, I wore a black long coat, ALL the time to cover me. It never really occurred to me, until I look back now and think ‘Er, wow, ok’. In any case, onto the next diet, yay! Weight Watchers – this worked for me, I lost 3st with Weight Watchers and the gym. When I say ‘the gym’ I use it loosely. I had no idea what I was doing, no PT, dance classes, Tao Bo etc. The usual classes back then! I even worked in a leisure centre which helped my incentive to go as well.

For, I don’t know how many years after that, I was a ‘stable’ 13st (182lbs, 82.5kg) if I ever got down to 12st (168lbs, 76kg) it would be the best feeling on earth. Between 2007 and 2010 I had the best of my life, finally, the tables turned. I enjoyed life, I dated…boy did I date! I was a dating machine, but deep down I still wanted 100% happy with myself.

My weight was between 13st-12lbs up until I went travelling, this was in 2008. Probably the best time of my life. By the time I came back, I was between 12.5st and 11st (175lbs/154lbs, 79kg/69kg) and I started working at Sport England.

It was here my outlook on sports, training and fitness changed – for the better. I was never sporty at school; the only good thing I did was come second at shot-put! Couldn’t get more of a stereotypical sport for someone of a ‘larger’ size if you try! Ha! But I loved sport, or indeed watching it. When I started Sport England, I was the slimmest I’d ever been. I had great friends, a great atmosphere and a better understanding of so much more.

2010 I met my boyfriend, who is now my Fiancé – we’re getting married next year! By this time, I was a stable 12st. Gareth underweight my rollercoaster of ‘I look fat, I’m fat, I hate that I look fat..’ emotions, but he stuck by me. He’d just done London to Paris with the boys and I decided to get a bike as we’d planned to do all do it the following year –due to babies arriving, it never happened. But, he was my rock and would help me and stand by me, even if he never thought I was fat and loved me regardless of my toys out of pram moments. Anyway, prior to him and me meeting I’d joined Gymbox in Holborn (Best. Gym. Ever.)

I had taken some classes etc etc, blah, blah. Went to fitness events because I loved boxing/kickboxing (I had done kickboxing in the past) and one day my ‘office hubby’ and one of my close mates asked me to come boxing with him – I was like ‘WTF’ so I gave it a go. I never felt so out of my comfort zone in a long while. A ring full of guys and…me. Woaaah. Only girl, wtf… at the end? I wanted to die. I was incredibly unfit. But I loved it. Finally something that I looked forward to going to! After a while, I’d befriended the trainer and he mentioned his brother taught Muay Thai on a Wednesday and more girls go as it’s all over body training, so I knew I loved kickboxing so thought why not?  I then befriended his brother… and his other brother… then the team, well, you get the picture.

I trained for a year and half and without even thinking about it, I dropped 2 stone. I had been the slimmest I’d ever been before I was 11! I was a size 10, I weighed 10st (140lbs, 63.5kg). I was the fittest I’d ever been and it was the best feeling in the world. It was here my outlook, not just on me but on weight loss and fitness changed. It’s not all about getting slimmer, we all want that, it’s about getting fitter – everything comes within time, it’s a marathon not a sprint and with the right people in your life and the right training and nutrition a lot can be achieved.

Anyway, due to Gareth’s new job, we moved to Vienna, Austria 2013 – no gym, no training… my life was over. I was addicted to training and exercise, wtf was I going to do!? I found a Muay Thai gym as quick as poss, which turned out to be an anticlimax. I started running (Austrian’s are very sporty/fit people!) and using my bike and then joined a gym. In –between that time, SO MANY PEOPLE were raving about Insanity, I did the 60 days… regained my fitness and found a new love for HIIT training and how progressively brilliant it was. Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments with how I look and clothes and weight,  but given the journey I’ve been through any sign of tight clothes, putting on weight, not looking good…well you can understand why I freak out, right?

It’s taken me a long, long…LONG time to know about DOMS, to understand my body, to realize that muscle weighs more than fat.

Well, now, I’m getting married. Christmas has come and gone, engagement has happened – I put on about half a stone over Nov/Dec 2013… then I joined a group called ‘Shred the Fat 2013’ which is run by Meg and Dan. Now Dan is my Fiancé’s cousin’s friend, so I jumped straight into that group and hit up Dan – I want to get a weights plan sorted! We discussed and decided to do Shred the Fat first, which has probably got to be the best thing I have done this side of 2014.

Never have I met so many likeminded people, had someone at the touch of a button to answer the most stupidest or complex of questions, who is there to guide and help you and more importantly a group that knows exactly how you feel one way or another. My eating habits are now not a ‘diet’ it’s my lifestyle.  Within 2 weeks I’ve lost just over 5inches and for the first time in my life, I don’t want to lose weight. I want to get fit and be toned, build muscle and look good…for me.

Having Dan, Meg and the gang in my life has probably been one of the best decisions, apart from saying ‘Yes’ to Gareth asking me to marry him.

So there you have it. My journey… it’s just begun and I look forward to more achievements.

Much love to all of you who have been a part of it or still are.



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One Response

  1. Hi Cassie my darling!

    You kept this quite!

    I’m Cassie’s fiancé cousin, in the time I’ve known Cassie she’s transformed in both appearance and personality. The commitment and determination in Cassie’s day to day life has been unbelievable.

    For the last year or so we have exchanged emails across the pond discussing different techniques and supplements, we’ve sat at Christmas family party’s and been told by relatives “you two be careful with what your doing” both of us saying we would to keep them quiet knowing they don’t understand what were doing. Smiling away knowing were look amazing.

    Well done Cassie, I’m so proud of you, you’ve come such a long way and I no your only beginning.

    Move back home so we can train together tho!

    Miss you lots big hugs and kisses so proud of you xxxxxx

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