I’m Cassie (formally Cassandra). I’m almost 24 (eeeek!) years old and live in Newcastle, Australia.
Let’s go back to where it all began…
I was born very premature and spent my first few months of life scaring my parents in hospital fighting for life. Considering this, I did pretty well to have come out without any serious birth defects other than small toes and a lack of coordination. Some seriously basic things in life were/are hard for me to learn or do. I remember I couldn’t ride a bike until after all the other kids, and even to this day I can’t ride a road bike with no hands. It never stopped me as a kid though. I tried all the sports I could, though I guess it explains why I never stuck with any of them. Little Athletics, Gymnastics (balance is not a strong point for me either), Swimming, Dancing, Tennis… the list goes on. I actually really liked tennis and stuck it out for the longest. I was a kid though and fickle, so when my coach/instructor left, so did I.
Despite my lack of physical talent, I was always pretty lucky academically (if you don’t count writing my words and letters backwards in kindergarten) and I am very, very grateful for that. Reading and learning got me through some of the hardest years of my life and stopped me from feeling completely useless.
As I got older, I stopped trying new sports or doing sports at all, and I grew pretty quickly. I was always chubby with a pot belly but it wasn’t really until I got into high school that it ever bothered me. My high school years were super awkward for me and there were times when I just felt completely and utterly lost. Luckily, they didn’t last forever.
Fast forward several years, including a several year long stint as a vegetarian that saw my weight drop to unhealthily low numbers too quickly, and eating whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it combined with a lack of physical activity meant I was piling on the weight. About two years after starting a job in Sydney and commuting 4 hours a day (which I still do), I was miserable, obese (when I started weighing myself I was 82.5kg) and seriously unhealthy. Something needed to change.
In March 2012, I decided to change my life and join a gym. I can’t really say what spurred the decision, other than realising how crappy my lifestyle was making me feel (and look). For the first few months, I stuck to mostly cardio until I convinced myself to not care what others thought and start weight training. Throughout this time though, my diet/nutrition was still below par. I was losing weight, but I was wasting a lot of time trying to out-exercise a bad diet.
September 2012 marked a nutrition revolution. The constant takeaway foods and unhealthy snacks were replaced with smarter choices and I began to learn a lot more about how the human body works. It was the start of a new hobby and the opening of a whole new world to me.
In total, I’ve said goodbye to around 15kg of fat that had dragged me down for way too long. I’ve learnt so much about myself, my limits and my body. For the first time in my life, I feel as though I can be good at something and that I can prove everyone who doubted me wrong. I’m certainly not going to be a fitness model or personal trainer any time soon, I may not look the best in the gym and I may look like an idiot sometimes, but I’m sure as hell trying, and that feels pretty good. I am determined to not let a lack of coordination and lack of naturally fit physique stop me.
So this journey is for that look on people’s face when they see the ‘new’ me. It’s for the extra energy I’ve found in every day. It’s for that feeling after an amazing workout. It’s for the extra time I’m adding onto my life expectancy every single day. And most of all, it’s for me, and my self-confidence. After all, I owe it to little premature baby Cassie to fight and not waste a life I had to fight to keep all those years ago.