Cassandra’s #UNSTOPPABLE Journey
Cassandra Bennett began her weight loss journey in 2018 at 245 pounds. Now, she is 180 pounds, having lost a total of 90 pounds!
According to Cassandra, she has struggled with weight her entire life. “Because I have always struggled with weight, I have also always struggled with confidence and self-love. In 2018, we booked our first family vacation to Disney World. That was my moment. My whole life, I had been ashamed (and ABSOLUTELY REFUSED) to wear shorts. I would refuse to swim (even though I love to swim), because I didn’t like the way I looked in a swimsuit. When we booked that trip, with enough time for me to buckle down and get it together, I did just that. I wanted to enjoy my vacation. That first, hard-earned vacation. I didn’t want to worry about what didn’t matter. So, I did something about it. I lost 30 pounds from December 2017 to June 2018.”
The most frustrating part of her journey was when she became restricted after sustaining a significant knee injury. “I injured myself after we took our trip to FL, and I continued to make progress in my weight loss. I ended up keeping myself in a calorie deficit, I tried to remain active, and took physical therapy as an opportunity to gain some extra mobility and movement. PT ultimately encouraged me to get a gym membership.”
The want to be stronger and worry less about reinjury pushed her toward Xperience Fitness, and working out at Xperience completely transformed her journey, once she grew more comfortable with herself and got past her own personal barriers. “I became more comfortable with the machines, more comfortable with myself as I grew stronger, and kept seeing consistent changes with my body,” said Cassandra. “Every day even now can be a challenge. It’s just about how you deal with it and move past it. Some days I don’t want to go. Some days I beat myself up for eating like crap the week before. But, every time I feel like that, and then go get a workout in, I feel so much better. So, it’s just better to keep pushing forward, instead of regretting not doing it later.”
The pandemic, while frustrating for many, benefitted Cassandra in ways she didn’t recognize in the moment. “I started running. We took more walks as a family. My fiancé and I worked out together at home. I did a lot of HIIT training on my porch, in the sun, where I could maximize sweatiness and sun exposure. These were all things I probably wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t forced to do them. It allowed me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Kind of like signing up for Xperience!”
Bennett says that because of working out, she is less tired, less anxious, and has more time for herself. “I am a full-time store manager of a pretty popular coffee shop, and I have 2 kids under 12 who are both back in school full time, and participate in sports, and we’ve just dealt with a whole pandemic…I just need the gym. I need it. For my sanity, my peace, my release; it’s therapeutic,” says Bennett.
She plans on continuing to meet her fitness & health goals by staying consistent, allowing herself kindness and grace when she falls short, and by holding herself accountable. For those starting their fitness journey, Cassandra’s bit of advice is to embrace the suck. “There’s a lot of it. Change takes so much time. And progression is never very linear. So, you have your ups and downs. Don’t allow the bad moments take away all of the progress you have made. It is so important to allow yourself to make mistakes, but to learn from them. Also, take the progress picture. Take it naked (or almost naked). Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Compare yourself as you hit your milestones. It is incredible to watch what you can do.”
Thanks for sharing your story, Cassandra, and we wish you the best of luck with the rest of your journey!