Cassandra shares her experience with the Green Prescription programme.
As I spin away on my RPM bike in the lounge, I Cassandra Carter want to share my story with you all, about a girl that almost gave up on life, let go of my dreams, but found hope, to come back and live, flourish and thrive.
Away from family, in a new town, becoming a first-time mum at the age of 19. I fell into anxiety and postnatal depression. Chasing my tail to be the perfect working mum and ideal partner, I really did lose myself. I shied away from friends and the public, and continued to comfort eat. Every bump in the road became a mountain and it was becoming increasingly harder to face the world in the morning. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t even deserve to be here and I was a waste of space.
But I fought, I no longer wanted to feel this way, ‘Enough was enough’; I turned my hurt into determination. I made my doctor’s appointment and I was directed to a beautiful woman called April at Sport Northland, Green Prescription. I remember puffing, experienced shortness of breath while walking up the stairs into the reception area (hahahaha). From that point on I made RPM bike compulsory once a week. My diet rapidly changed and I learnt that I had to work for that cheesecake! ‘My weakness!’ Then came Xterra running events, half marathons and working towards goals to keep that drive alive. And you know what? I actually started to enjoy my life.
To those amazing people I met along the way, they started to use words like ‘You’re an inspiration’ and I was like, are they talking to me? At that moment, I realised that this world isn’t so bad after all. I know now that I had to take ownership of my life and choices. My mum always says ‘whether it’s 4 km or 42 km, put one foot in front of the other and keep going’.
It’s been almost two years and I have successfully lost 23 kg, and have kept it off. I’m healthier, happier and stronger than ever!! I am now 23 years old, a single mum of two beautiful children and I wouldn’t change anything. As my journey continues, I learn more everyday; I have made it my mission to give back to our community. Because I now know that I could play an important role in helping someone else to succeed. So glasses up to 2018, for I Cassandra Carter have accepted the opportunity to study and walk among the community to help and support our people to become, healthier, stronger for a better Northland.