Facing the future with an unhealthy lifestyle and kids led Kasey Palmer, 34, of Charlotte, to make changes.
Palmer, who is the founder of North Arrow Endurance Coaching, has made a business out of healthy living.
“When we had our children, I felt the need to be an example for them on how to keep yourself healthy, and I wanted to be around as long as I could for them,” he said. “Healthy living has become such a part of who I am: it gives me energy and allows me to focus on things that are important. I don’t think I could go back to a life without it now.”
He said training for triathlons and long races dictates his days. He’s currently training for an Ironman triathlon (2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22-mile run). This put him at four to five-mile runs, 20-100-mile bike rides, up to 3,000 meters in the pool, and weightlifting.
“I have spent years building to this point. When I started five years ago, I could barely run around the block and I couldn’t swim. So it is a lot, but I’ve appropriately built up to this kind of stress.”
In order to fuel up for his training, he consumes fresh whole food, like vegetables, fruit, and meat.
“Nutrition becomes part of the training plan because of how many calories I burn, so I do need to pay attention to what I plan to eat during any given day.”
He said he sticks to the 90/10 rule (eating clean, healthy foods 90 percent of the time) and allows himself to eat other foods when he wants.
“I honestly don’t try to overcome the urge to cheat on my diet,” he said. “I think that so many people restrict themselves so much that they end up over-binging and then falling off the wagon because they feel guilty from cheating.”
He said the sacrifice for training and eating healthy has changed his life for the better. “I know it sounds crazy, but I always feel so much better after accomplishing my workout for the day. That sense of completion carries over to all the parts of my day.”