Growing up, I was always incredibly involved and was definitely an over-achiever. I started working as a professional actress at a young age, and fell in love with dance. I loved my career and think it taught me some very valuable lessons, although it left me very busy. My days were long, but they were filled with activities I loved so I didn’t mind it.
Even though I never ate well as a teenager, I was blessed with good genes. Plus, I was incredibly active. I danced for about two hours a day in class in addition to rehearsals and show choir. I also had a busy part-time job that kept me moving around for hours at a time and I taught dance classes at my studio. I worked out regularly and lifted weights to supplement my dance classes.
I was accepted at the University of Virginia where I double majored in English and Drama and minored in Dance. Even though I still danced and worked out regularly, I wasn’t nearly as active as I had once been. I also started drinking alcohol for the first time, and before I knew it, I started to gain weight.
I was having a great time at first, but as I gained weight my confidence started to deteriorate. The summer after my third year of college, I did the South Beach Diet and lost ten pounds. My clothes started fitting a lot better and I looked great! However, trying to maintain a low-carb diet was difficult work. I was still acting and dancing, and I found that I didn’t have enough energy to last through my classes and rehearsals.
I started researching and teaching myself about nutrition. I eliminated a lot of processed foods from my diet. I gave up all soda, artificial sweeteners, and fast foods, and limited my alcohol consumption. I taught myself to cook and discovered a passion for it. Learning to cook taught me how to make healthy foods just as appealing as their unhealthy counterparts. I also kicked my exercise up a notch. I started running and completed my first half marathon in August 2009. I hope to complete a marathon and a sprint triathlon in 2010.
I currently live and work in Washington, DC with my boyfriend, Pete, who is very active as well and is very supportive in my efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle.
I’m very passionate about eating seasonally and locally. I shop at the farmers market regularly, and buy organic whenever feasible. I aim to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. I do count calories, because I’m still teaching myself to eat intuitively, however I don’t have a set-in-stone goal for each day. I don’t think calorie counting is a perfect science, yet I aim to be “calorie conscious” of what I eat, since I believe it’s effective, and gives me the freedom to sneak in a glass of wine every now and then. I love food and being healthy, but I don’t let it consume me. Life’s too short for that. I give myself regular cheat meals and make sure to enjoy my food and workouts!
If you ever have a question or just want to chat, shoot me an email at SuzanneECasey@gmail.com or follow me on twitter. Thanks, and please let me know what you think!