My Journey - June Corrie
"You are an Ironman".... These 4 words were my mantra for 14 months. I breathed them every second of every day. They kept me alive!
There are two parts in my journey to Ironman that I want to share
- You are not your past.
LCHF/Banting is not expensive.
You are not your past
Crossing the finish line at Ironman South Africa 2015 was my Everest Peak. A symbol that anything is possible once you put your mind to it.
By age 13, I have been continually molested for years by my brother, stepbrother and stepfather. For me sexual abuse became the norm. How I was loved and accepted. If not sexually abused, I was told over and over how ugly I was.
By age 21, I was pregnant with my son, by 23 my daughter was born. The guy turned out to be a boxer and me the punch bag.
By age 27, I was probably the lightest ever; just on 55kg and I looked like a skeleton. I spent some time in an institute for the mentally disabled due to suicidal notions and was put on anti-depressants.
Then started the emotional healing. Cigarettes, pizzas and copious amounts of alcohol was my fix. With those came all kinds of diet pills I could get my hands on as weight kept on coming. All the time, I never once thought I was worthy of love, and that the only way for someone to love me was by being sexual. My thirties were pretty screwed up and I was FAT!! Like a beached Whale.... That is what I thought when I looked at myself.
Emotional abuse and sexual harassment in the workplace was next on my list of challenges and bullying.. Yes it doesn't only happen in schools. At the age of 33 when I was at my heaviest, wearing a size 16, any form of Self-confidence, Self-worth and self-esteem did not exist.
In 2010 I made a decision to change my life. Me, Myself and I! - For you to make that decision is most important. No-one else can make it for you. So I started training. My eating habits, as well as drinking and smoking did not change though. A year and half down the line I didn't look much different and my body fat was still over 30%.
Then came my life changing shift. December 2012. I stopped smoking and drinking and started eating clean and green the LCHF way. I did train insanely.
It became an obsession, because maybe if I had a 6-pack I won't feel so ugly and someone will love me for me. In May 2013 my body fat was down to 11.8%, I had my 6-pack but my self-esteem was still non- existent with self-confidence as low as ever.
Since then my training shift has changed, my obsession is less, my body weight is consistent. So what have I learned?
- Getting your mind right first is more important than weight
- You Choose! You don't have to end up in the gutter because
you were told you will end there.
- Throw away the crutches of self-destruction - they don't
- Love yourself for the unique, amazing person you are.
Cut yourself some slack in your metamorphosis - physically
LCHF/ Banting is not expensive
September 2013 - I walked out of a company who had not paid me a salary for 6 months. Both kids in matric at private schools and my mom's pension invested in said company. Challenging!! A friend offered that we could stay with him. His lifestyle didn't fit in with
mine. I was training for my first 70.3 Ironman in East London January 2014.
By January 2014, my kids and me, were homeless and penniless. My son started a degree in Visual communication in Centurion and my daughter took a forced gap year and had to move to granny. My son and I got to move in with acquaintances. I had a small bedroom and his bed for the next 14 months were the couch in the living room.
I completed Ironman 70.3 in 2014. The rest of the year all I focussed on was crossing the finish line at Ironman in 2015.
For the 2 of us, I had about R50 per day on a good day to feed us. Any one that is training for a triathlons knows about the wolves after some training sessions. So eating nutrient dense foods became of paramount importance! Making the best choices with what you have.
In August 2014, 1 year after I started training for triathlons, I came 2nd in my Age Group at 5150 Bela Bela and in November I placed 3rd at 5150 Germiston. (5150 is Olympic distance events).
That is when I got a sponsorship to train with Coach Lucie. There were no slow warm ups after that!! Having to keep up with her team tapped every bit of energy from me.
I had no money for nutritional products. I had to find ways to replenish spent energy with my own concoctions. My bottles were filled with rooibos tea, some MCT Oil and honey. I started making my own protein high fat food bars. Dates became my go-to superfood on long weekend training sessions. And Moringa................................ If ever anybody was close on overdosing on Moringa, it was me!
Through all the months of hard training and incredible stress, I never once got sick. I never once missed a session because my body was filled nutrient dense food.
With a lot of miracles and some Angels that entered my life, I made it to the starting line of Ironman South Africa 2015. My breakfast on race day:
- Pea and Hemp Protein pancakes, with coconut oil, almond
butter, honey and Moringa
My race fuel
- Bottles - rooibos tea with Pea and Hemp Protein, coconut
water, MCT oil and honey.
- Food bars - 100% Organic superfood bars which included
some dates, homemade.
At 120km into the cycle leg I was in the top 10 of my age group, not feeling fatigued at all and having the time of my life. In my mind I was an Ironman already. Then came the crash! I lost an hour on the bike and had no nutrition left. The last 60km and the marathon I only had water - did try a coke but all that sugar did not agree with me.
I finished in just over 14 hours and the words "You are an Ironman" will forever ring in my ears.
The journey to get there was much more difficult than the race. Once you are focussed on your goals, once you get to lift the fogginess from your brain (benefit of Banting), life becomes a song!
What I have learned!
- Don't compromise on your goals and your lifestyle choices.
- LCHF/Banting is easy and affordable. People complicate it.
- It is about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy every moment.
Learn and Grow.
- Don't take life so seriously. Today's worries steals today's joys!
And they add no value to your life.
- Once you focus on your goal with passion and desire, the How's
will take care of themselves
June's Top Tips:
- Keep it simple! Stay away from replica foods - they not going to
help you at all! Simplicity really is key.
Write down your goals. Take before pics. Draw your outline on
paper - You will need to convince your mind eventually of how
far you have come and seeing is believing!
- Cut yourself some slack. Talk to yourself in a loving manner -
don't beat yourself up.
- Enjoy the journey! Don't become so focussed on the end that you
miss out on the blessings of the journey.
- Eat clean - If you have to ask if it is allowed, it is not. If it has
ingredients, it is not food. Real food does not come with an
- Be informed. Listen, ask questions, Learn. Don't ever follow
It is your body, your life.......... Be in control.
- Take your Moringa Daily!
- There is no band wagon to fall off from!! - increase your level of
consciousness and don't stuff your face mindlessly. The more you
are aware of what you eat, the more you will feed your body with
what it needs.
- How do you eat an elephant?? One bite at a time. Make small
changes every day. It is the compounded effects of small changes
daily that brings about big life changing results.
- Don't EVER give up. Always remember why you started on the
journey in the first place.
June has been an inspiration to me and an awesome example of what can be done if one just sets one's mind to it.