Addiction is a lonely place.
How do I know this? Because I am a sugar addict. I always gone through phases of bingeing and then “dieting” for as long as I can remember.
Every Monday started with a diet and so it went for years.
The first time I realized that I was getting a high of sugar was after eating a very large Pavlova and becoming slightly euphoric and giddy.
When I was stressed or depressed the quickest way to numb that was with sugar. I would eat until I was slightly over full. I would feel sluggish but there would be this sense of calm that I was very comforting. Unless you have experienced this you may not be able to relate. You can literally push emotion down to the pit of your stomach with stodgy food.
Anxiety can be silenced with a few slices of bread, I could heave a sigh of relief and a sense of relaxation would wash over me.
And the cycle was vicious. A lot of people can’t really relate because they assumed it is simply a lack of self-control and discipline but there was something else going on with me.
I found no comfort even in my own family. Food was my only solace and also my biggest poison. It is sad because your family is supposed to be your soft place to fall. They just didn’t get it. I even started to eat in secret.
The bigger I got the worse it got because not only did it affect my PCOS and the more sure sugar I ate the more insulin resistant I was becoming. I was miserable and felt so out of control.
I had no idea that I suffered with generalized anxiety until 2 years ago when I finally went to see a psychiatrist about my emotional eating.
When I decided I wanted to share low carb success stories with my readers, I had no idea how much self reflection each story would bring to my life.
I don't think I would have been able to explain my own addiction to sugar had I not done this interview to share Shana Groblers low carb success story. Her addiction struggle story struck a chord with me because sugar can be just as addictive and can be just as damaging to our health as any other drug and freely available,.
It’s easy to lose control if you have an addictive personality and doughnuts soon control your life.
Shana became real with herself, and stepping into her new life every day. Although she is not yet where she wants to be, she sure as hell is a lot further than where she was.
Here is my interview with Shana about her low carb journey.
My interview with Shana about her low carb journey
LB: Tell me a little about yourself and what brought you to low carb living?
I am 28 years old a mother to an 8 year old little boy and a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. I am just over 2 years clean and sober. When I stopped using drugs and alcohol I started smoking 3 boxes of cigarettes a day, so I stopped smoking, then I started drinking 14 cups of coffee a day with 4 sugars in, so I stopped drinking coffee... then I completely cross addicted to sugar and carbs! It was my new Crystal Meth! It was acceptable to eat pizza 4 times a day topped with 4 Bar-Ones and 3 Monsters.
It was better than doing drugs, right? When I stopped using in 2014 I picked up altogether 25kg and my body fat doubled! I only seriously saw the light last year on the 5th December 2016.
LB: What kind of limitations did being so much heavier cause?
I struggled to do hikes with my boyfriend and my friends and my boyfriend is a body builder. Our Sex life started to suffer because I felt disgusting and I knew he felt it too. I started self-loathing and hating myself and my behaviour was terrible... I was miserable and almost lost my boyfriend because of how I treated hum.
LB: What types of struggles have you dealt with while trying to lose weight? What have been your greatest obstacles?
I'm coming off of a food addiction! It's been Torturous it seriously has because I crave sugar and carbs constantly, when I go to the shops to buy my chicken and veggies I have to stand in that disgusting chocolate Isle which is just pure torture... if I have a cheat meal I'd fall completely and go into a 3 week binge! The time is horrible lol I want to lose weight NOW... so it's so hard not seeing results immediately.
LB: Which Low Carb Philosophy or lifestyle do you follow?
I am currently on a Ketogenic Eating Plan with a Re-feed meal allowed every 14 days. I don't like the words cheat meal, because of the negative connotation of cheating. Technically I am not cheating, this is my lifestyle now. I'm working with a Coach from 180 Degrees, who is also a recovering addict and knows my limitations. So for now I have cut out all sugar, dairy and carbs.
LB: What other breakthroughs have you had?
I haven't had a binge since coming off my last one in November. I am no longer dependent on food to make me feel good... that's the most amazing thing I could ever ask for.
LB: At what point did you finally decide it was time to start losing weight and getting healthier?
I've been trying for the last year and a half. I joined the gym and was eating as healthy as I could (except for my 3 week binge every now and then) but almost pushing my boyfriend out my life, causing a root between us because of lying about what I was doing with our money and just gaining so much weight, I decided on the 4th December that if I go through one more festive season saying NEW Year NEW Me, I would never change and I would be stuck! I thought that if I could get through just 1 December healthy I could do it for the rest of my life.
LB: How do you think people need to change their views about weight loss?
It's not a diet! It's not going to happen in 2 months! It has to be a forever thing... this is now my lifestyle!
There is no space for maybe I'll start on Monday again! Food hits the same part of my brain that the Meth did! So it's just another drug!
LB: What specific changes have you made that are working for you?
I've cut out all sugar, carbs and dairy and I'm on more a protein based eating plan. It's amazing at the moment because it's taught me to live without thinking I need those things to survive.
LB: What has been keeping you motivated lately?
Honestly, I've joined a group on Facebook and the amazing people on that group with their amazing stories uplift me every day! I was not able to stay motivated alone and how can I because my brain I am programmed to sabotage myself when it can.
LB: What do you want other people who are struggling to lose weight to know?
Rome was not built in a day! Nor was it built in a year! I took years to damage my body and pour on the weight! It's going to take time, consistency, dedication and discipline to get up every day and say Today I will beat the voice saying I can't.... and I WILL!!!
LB: What is a day in your life like?
I wake up at 6am and down 500ml ice water to kick start my metabolism, I then cook 4 egg whites and have that immediately after. I get dressed and get to work by 7am.
I deliver the cleaning ladies as I work for a cleaning company and then I have breakfast at 10am which is a Tuna Salad. I'm then desk bound and usually you'll find me chatting away on Facebook by 12pm. 1pm I have lunch and still work, 3pm I have a snack, Tuna Salad or Egg whites. Then I go home a 4pm. Start prepping supper and our breakfast and lunches for the next day.
Then I hit the gym for an hour and a half, then go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and come home, shower and get into bed next to the most amazing man ever and read for 25 min and go to bed. Tomorrow we do it all over again.
LB: Give us an example of your daily workout or meals.
6am: 4 egg whites with Omega Oil and Himalayan Salt and Chayenne Pepper
10am: Breakfast - Tuna Salad or 3 Egg whites and salad
1pm: Lunch - Peas and 150g chicken or hake or with any other green steamed veg
3pm: Snack - Tuna Salad or Egg Whites
6pm: Gym - 50 minutes Cardio and 30min HIIT Cardio or weights. I don’t skip one day.
8pm: Supper - 150g Hake or chicken with a salad and green steamed veg.
LB: Can you share your favourite recipe with the readers?
I love to mash Avocado and add brown vinegar to it with Himalayan Salt and Cayenne Pepper and then I boil 2 or 3 eggs and cut them in half and then take the yellow out and stuff the empty holes of the eggs with the mashed Avocado, add cut up onion, tomato and spinach on the side and it's the perfect meal that's filling, nutritious and done in 15 minutes
LB: Do you take any supplements?
I actually don't. None at this point. My coach may introduce Whey Protein at a later stage.
LB: When it comes to meal planning what are your top 3 recommendations?
- Don't say tomorrow I don't need to plan! Just get up and prep!
- Buy many lunch boxes. I mean many! So there is job excuse!
- Prep daily! I know lots of people will say prep for a week, but I've found it keeps me consistent and disciplined if I know every single night I have to prep my meals for the next day!
LB: How did you manage to alter your eating patterns and accommodate the rest of your family?
My boyfriend is a body builder so I'm very fortunate, he embraced my healthy lifestyle choices.
LB: What is your favourite form of exercise to do and why?
I love weight training legs! I feel super strong and burn so much Korea fat than a whole hour on the treadmill. Cardio is great but for that lean muscle and strength I love my weight workouts!
LB: Do you work out at home or at a gym?
I do both! If for any reason I can't get to gym I do 40 min of HIIT Cardio which is like Burpees, Mountain Climbers, Squats, Ab exercises, Lunges and jumping jacks. Brilliant work out.
LB: What is your best piece of advice for those just starting to exercise?
Do what you can! Even if it's 10 minutes at a time it's something! Nothing changes if nothing changes! If you have no time then make time at home because there is no excuse!
LB: What is your goal for this year?
This year I want to reach 65 kg I'm currently 80kg and I want to tone my body and get a nice little tummy ☺
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