TC10k Feature Athlete – Carly McNeill

Carly TC Athlete

Tell us a little about who Carly is and what she loves best

I’m 25 years old, moved to Victoria in September 2010 to attend the University of Victoria. My hobbies include cooking, recipe testing, hiking, running, exploring all the little one-off shops that Victoria has to offer and spending time with my friends and family.

You have an inspiring but truly amazing health story. Do you mind sharing your story?

Thank you so much.

My whole life I was heavy and struggled with my weight. My relationship with food was one that I could never really get a hold on. In April of 2016 I had a realization that I could still have a great relationship with food, I just had to adjust my lifestyle. I started to follow some amazing ‘whole-food, whole-30, paleo’ based food bloggers who taught me that YOU CAN EAT ALL THE FOOD YOU WANT… just to eat real food, with real ingredients, enjoy some chocolate and peanut butter here and there… and get outside and sweat a little everyday. Before I knew it I started dropping the weight, it got a lot easier to do the hiking and running that I always aspired to be able to do and exactly one year after doing my first ‘big hike’ on April 10, 2016 – I had lost 135 pounds.

You have an amazing Instagram called “What Carly Ate” with healthy recipes and cooking ideas. How did you find your passion for cooking?

I found my passion for cooking, believe it or not, when I was quite young. Most kids when they were in elementary school would get up and watch cartoons in the morning… not me. I would watch the Food Network and take mental notes as to what my favorite chefs were cooking, how to cook it, and what went with what. My favorite chef growing up was Micheal Smith on “Chef at Home.” I always found his recipes to be easy to make as he used ingredients that people usually have kicking around their homes already. As I’ve grown up I’ve found more passion for cooking by following other food bloggers who have the same outlook on food that I have. I love seeing how people put together ‘basic’ ingredients into amazing dishes.


You are planning to run the TC10K what made you decide you were going to Rock this event?

I actually have walked the TC10K the past two years, so, last year when I walked it I had just started my weight loss journey and I made it a goal to be able to run it this year. It’s something I’ve always had in the back of my mind through this process. Not to mention it’s a beautiful (and fairly flat!) run.

What’s your favorite thing about running?

I love being able to see the little improvements in my own running on a week-to-week basis. For example, not feeling like I can make it all the way up a hill on a run one week, and then the next week being able to do it no problem. I also love being able to just zone out while running and go to another place in my head. It’s truly relaxing (I never thought I’d be able to say that!).


What tips would you give to people running the TC10K for their first time?

Well, I’m running the TC10K for the first time so I can’t say I have much advice. However, I’m going into the race with an open mind without any major plans and I’m just going to have FUN! Just enjoy yourself, stay positive… and wear comfortable supportive runners!

If somebody wanted to find a healthy lifestyle what would you recommend they do to find that path?

First – You need to make sure you are truly ready for that lifestyle change. Once you’ve decided you will REALLY need to commit. You will need to realize every decision isn’t going to be easy but it is going to be worth it. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family, clean out your fridge and pantry of all the old junk, and spoil yourself a little and buy that fancy granola from the grocery store. Remember, you’re investing in your health, your future! Don’t try to pinch too many pennies.

Carly James

What makes you so POWERFUL?

I wouldn’t say I’m powerful, however, my determination and drive stem from the support and love of my family, friends and my amazing and supportive (new!) fiancé (who has also lost over 100 pounds with me!). Without the amazing support system in my life, I don’t know if I could have gotten to this point in my journey.

Where can our readers follow you on your journey?

They can follow along on my two Instagram profiles:

My personal, fitness, life and food-ish Instagram: @carlyfaym

My food, fitness and meal inspiration Instagram: @whatcarlyate

I also have a food blog that I’m going to be revamping in the next few months called: where I post recipes and reviews of some of my favorite restaurants.

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From TC10k to Ironman triathlon. Just believe in yourself and your dreams will come true. It begins with one step forward and compassion for yourself.