CCN Challenge Hero of the Month

By Cara Busson Clark on Jun 1st 2016

Having thousands who have participated in our challenges, it's incredibly inspiring to hear their stories of how far they've come and the emotional effects of eating correctly! We thought: why hide these stories when they can inspire thousands more! SO here we are with our first ever CCN Hero of the month!

A little back story on me: I’ve been active my whole life, I played softball and soccer from 6 years old through high school. When I was 14 my mom signed me up for martial arts and I loved it. I practiced martial arts for 16 years, up until 2010 when I got hurt. Martial arts is what ignited my passion for working out, I would wake up in the morning workout 2 hours before I’d go to school, attend softball or soccer practice, then I’d go Taekwondo and take at least 2 classes, I’d come home eat and do my homework, and then work out a little more before heading to bed. I followed this routine throughout high school. After I high school my love for martial arts grew, I decided I wanted something a little more competitive, I quit Taekwondo and started training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. My passion continued to grow and I started competing on a woman’s mixed martial arts team. In 2010, I hurt my neck and it scared me so I stopped my training. I started going to a gym doing cardio and weights, it wasn’t the type of training I was use to but at least I was active and I was staying in shape. Throughout all the years of training, no one ever coached me on my nutrition. I thought I ate pretty well, I ate protein, veggies and some type of starch (rice, potatoes, etc) that is how I was raised. 

In the fall of 2010, my grandpa passed away and that is when my fitness came to an abrupt halt and my food choices became terrible. My grandpa’s passing rough on me, he was like a 2nd dad. Because of my emotions I didn’t feel like working out. I’d come home from work, shower, put my jammies on, eat dinner, lay and watch TV, go to bed and repeat. This is the rut I had been in for about 4 ½ years. In August of 2014, I personally suffered a devastating blow, I had a miscarriage and lost my baby at 17 weeks. In May of 2015, I joined Orange Theory Fitness and I felt like my passion was coming back. I started meal prepping every Sunday for myself and my family. I made the good ol’ jar salads for lunch and planned out all my breakfast and dinners. I was dedicated to working out again, I’d wake up every morning at 4am so I could make it to the 5am class. I attended Orange Theory religiously through the end of July. In July of 2015, my other grandpa fell and broke his hip. He was moved to a rehab facility near my house and required treatment for 3 months. For those 3 months my grandma came to live with me to make things easier on her. After work, my family would go to the rehab facility to visit my grandpa. I cancelled my membership with Orange Theory because I was too exhausted to go at 5 am. On Thanksgiving my family had another tragedy, my grandpa passed away unexpectedly. I tried not to let myself get the way I did when my other grandpa passed away. However, my eating habits started suffering again because my grandma likes to go out to eat. For an 84 year old woman, she is in pretty good shape health wise, she doesn’t take any meds other than vitamins. But, I worry about here because she’s a bigger woman and she doesn’t eat the best, fast food and restaurant food is gross. When she stayed with me, I wouldn’t let her go out and eat and she lost almost 20 pounds which is great. Now that she is living with me permanently it is my chance to completely change the way she eats and show her the right way.

The day I found Cara’s page on Instagram was a blessing, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I follow a lot of fitness athletes on Instagram and one of them featured something that Cara posted. I took a peek at Cara’s Instagram page and then I went over to her blog and started reading, I immediately became a fan. I ordered both the smoothie book and the family favorites book. I started incorporating some the meals into my weekly rotation and loved them all. About a week after I bought the books, I saw the post about the upcoming CCN Challenge and I knew this was my opportunity to get myself and my family back on track for good. This challenge has been a game changer in many ways. Not only are we eating healthy and providing our bodies with the proper nutrition it needs, but it has united us as well. We all take part in the meal prep every Sunday, my daughter, my husband, my mom and one of my grandma’s all chip in and wash veggies, dice produce, portion ingredients out, etc. Sunday has become a way for us to sit down together and make eating healthy a fun family activity. In just 10 days we’ve seen amazing changes. The sugar and caffeine cravings have pretty much disappeared, my clothes fit so much better, I don’t feel groggy in the morning and I pop out of bed, I feel like I have more energy and I’m not getting sleepy at 2pm like I use too, and I don’t feel like my hair sheds as much. 

Overall, I feel great and I finally feel like I’m starting to get back to my old self. The plan you ladies put together is wonderful, it is easy to follow, the meals are delicious and you feel satisfied after you eat. I can honestly say, I haven’t had a food craving since about the 3rd day of the challenge. About 2pm every day I wanted something sweet, a cookie or a piece of chocolate. I don’t find myself craving that anymore. I’m excited to take part in future challenges. There is so much to learn especially regarding ratios and making sure you pair your meals correctly. This challenge already has me thinking about going back to school and taking some nutrition classes, it would only benefit my family and me.

I’m sorry this email has been so long winded and I didn’t mean to dampen your mood with all the sad information. But, I wanted you know what lead me here and how much this challenge has changed my mood in as little as 2 weeks!!

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and for being awesome mentors!

-Sheena, Participant since 2016

We hope you will be our next HERO! Sheena, we are rooting for you and value your honesty and commitment to your deepest desires!