Thursday, March 15, 2012

Casey the Courageous: A happy, healthy Snooki (look alike)

Hi everyone! I have a great post tonight!
One of my greatest friends, Casey, has a great
success story. She wasn't feeling so hot so she took 
matters into her own hands... and feet! She started
the old fashioned way- eating right and working out.
Yeah- no quick fixes here folks. So I asked her I if I could
ask her some questions for my blog. My wonderful,
beautiful and incredibly intelligent sorority sister agreed.

Here is her story.
(Here is a happy, healthy and Snooki like Casey!)

Q1- What made you want to get healthier? 

I was a pretty steady weight throughout college – but traveling for work the year
after I graduated really took a toll on all of my habits. My turning point was when
I hit 160 – I didn’t feel healthy, my clothes didn’t fit – I took a good hard look at
myself and realized I had developed some pretty bad habits. I knew it wasn’t about
a diet – I needed a lifestyle change and I needed to do it then when I was 23 – I
didn’t want to wake up one day when I was 33 or 43 and have it be too late.

Q2- What changes did you make to your lifestyle? (at home? at the gym?)

For me it was a slow start – I was my heaviest in October of 2010 and I dropped
the first 10 lbs. that fall and winter. I wasn’t hardcore about the gym at that
point so I  pretty much started just by changing my eating habits.
Honestly, I really just cut out the junk I was eating – I cut my calorie intake to
1600 calories a day and started eating healthier, drank more water, etc. It wasn’t
until the spring and early summer that I really kicked it into high gear with the gym
and lost the next 20 lbs. I started doing cardio 4-5x a week and, paired with my
better eating habits, the pounds started coming off – when I incorporated strength
training that’s when the last bit melted off pretty quick. I was always afraid of
strength training, but now I swear by it – it really does make an insane difference.

Q3- What does a typical day look like for you?

Right now, I typically wake up at 5:30 am and head to the gym to lift. 
I’m at work from 8:30 to 5:30 and then try to fit in 30 minutes of 
cardio after work, if I don’t have plans or Pi Phi stuff. Right now I go to 
Zumba once a week – but my new gym has classes so I plan to go to 
those in the morning/after work when I can, I’m really excited to
try Body Pump and Bar Sculpt (and add in more Zumba!). On weekends it’s a bit
harder to make it to the gym, but if I have a morning free I’ll go.

Q4- What does a typical day of eating look like for you? Do you have some
favorite snacks/meals?

I am such a grazer, I get full really quick and hate the feeling so I prefer smaller
meals. Plus, I think speeding up my metabolism by eating 4-5 small meals a day
really had a positive impact on my weight loss, and has helped to keep it off. In
the mornings, I have a protein shake right after the gym and then oatmeal, cereal
or toast with peanut butter once I get into the office. Plus coffee or green tea –
can’t forget the caffeine. For lunch I’ll eat salads, veggie soup, 
cheese and crackers, raw fruits/veggies, etc. – pretty much in any combination. 
I just buy a lot at the beginning of the week and mix and match throughout.
Dinner is complicated because I’m not always home on the weeknights – 
but when I am it’s usually a veggie burger and vegetables which I keep stocked 
in the freezer. If it’s a night at the gym I try to have a small carb/protein 
snack on my way home. For snacks in general, I eat anything from almonds
 to Greek yogurt to fruits/veggies. My main thing is that I try to keep my 
portions small, lots of protein, eat carbs earlier in the day and eat clean.

And if I’m splurging – anything Mexican. You know how I feel about Zuma.

Q6- How much weight did you lose? How are you keeping it off? How does
it feel?

At least 30 lbs. I’d like to shave off at least another 5, but right now I’m less
focused on weight than I am on how I look/feel and my measurements – since I’m
focusing more on lifting now, I know that the muscle mass will affect how much I
weigh. I’m keeping it off by making sure I stick to my gym routine and eat healthy
– I’m definitely a bit more lenient with myself now that I’ve lost the weight, but I
try to keep to my regimen as much as possible. It feels AMAZING. You don’t realize
how good you feel until you’ve made these lifestyle changes. I never really thought

I felt bad – but now I have so much more energy, I sleep better, I just feel better.
And when I do slack – I notice that I don’t feel as great. It’s great motivation!

Q7- I know you love TJ's as much as me, what are some of your favorite

Oh God, I’m obsessed with TJs – it’s a problem. Guilty pleasure – their goat
cheese log with honey, unreal! (and their single serve goat cheese medallions too)
especially with their rosemary and raisin crackers. I’m also a huge fan of their
almond butter, Greek yogurt and veggie burgers. And guacamole hummus, yum!

Q8- I also know you love to partake in adult bevs once in a while. What's
your drink of choice?

My drink of choice is vodka redbull. I am a beer girl though, Blue Moon,
Stella and Guinness are my favorites – but I tend to end up drinking Bud Light
because it’s cheaper. Clearly I haven’t incorporated my healthier habits into my
drinking habits – still trying to get there, haha. Work in progress.

Leave some love for my girl. She is incredible.
Look at these before and after photos.
Way to go Casey! Look at that babe!
Far Left: October 2010 Right: January 2012

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