QA: 53kgs down! Stacey reclaims her life.

Stacey Featured

PROFILE

Name: Stacey Crawford
Age: 30
Location: Mouille Point, Cape Town

What do you do?
I am a Manager.

What else do you do?  [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
Making time to spend with family and friends. I enjoy going on walks along the promenade with my partner. Binge-watching Netflix documentaries and finding and testing sugar-free treats.

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
Since 2013.

How did you find Sleekgeek?
I found Sleekgeek through a work health challenge.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
The amazing amount of support! Plus the fact that everyone is walking a different journey yet we all have the same goal: health.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION 

Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
None of us has had a perfect life. We all have things that we need to deal with/have dealt with and with this comes coping mechanisms.

My coping mechanism was food. Food became my comfort. It made me feel full- emotionally full too. Yet slowly, it became my addiction.  

I would eat when I was bored, happy, sad, lonely, anxious- any excuse to eat.

I put on more and more weight and felt worse and worse about myself. I felt out of control and worthless. I felt trapped. I felt that I had so much to offer life and so much life to live yet I was trapped inside this shell that I felt no connection to.

I would isolate myself as I was so incredibly self-conscious and that created fear of what others would think of me. It always felt safer to isolate however it in actual fact, it just did more damage.

The mask I wore for the world was one of confidence and acceptance yet I was neither confident nor did I accept my body the way it was.

What ignited your initial motivation to change?
I went on my first diet when I was 11 years old. I remember standing in a line at Weight Watchers waiting to be weighed in front of a group of people. From then onwards, I have been on most of the diets out there.

I had success with some of them but I’d always relapse back to binge eating for the emotional comfort it offered me.

Eventually, I admitted to myself that I needed help.

I began struggling to get up, my body would always be hurting and I hadn’t had my period naturally in over 2 years.

I wanted to live not merely exist. I wanted to be a Mom and raise my child to have a healthy relationship with food and lead an active life.

This is when I decided to seek medical assistance.

In October 2018, I had Gastric Bypass Surgery. It has been the hardest yet most rewarding journey of my life.

I have been faced with not being able to eat my feelings and therefore have had to face and deal with them head-on. I have worked so very hard on relearning the real function of food and the importance of the quality of food I put in my body.

I now plan my meals based on protein, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. I put real effort into feeding my body to be the best and healthiest I can be.

I keep active with walks and recently a tiny bit of running. I’ve entered into a couple of 5kms and I look forward to completing my first one in August.

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
I plan and track all that I eat and drink. I make sure that anything I consume has a purpose in fueling my body.

What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
Grazing.

If you could give yourself 1 piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
I try my best to sit and eat. While eating I try to focus only on eating in order to ‘mindfully eat’. Taking pictures of everything I eat assists me in making better food choices.

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Yes! Multiple times! When I don’t hit my protein and water goals my weight loss slows down/stops. I just need to plan plan plan!

What is better since you got healthy? 
Everything! Mentally and Physically. My outlook on life has changed drastically. I am happier than ever. My body feels great too!

TRAINING

What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
For now, it’s just walking. I plan to get more into running and discover all my new body can do!

How long have you been training and how did you get started?
I have been training on and off for years however I got back into moving my body 2 months post-op.

What does your typical workout look like?
My workouts are walk/ runs. During this time I also focus on breathing and mindfulness too.

How does exercise make you feel? 
Exercise makes me feel great! Lighter physically and mentally!

How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
Not yet however I have no doubt that exercise will be a large part of my life for the rest of my life! Moving my body is a privilege. 

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?
Boiled egg, Avocado and Broccolli. I LOVE the Carrot Cake Sugar-free Protein balls from Guiltless Bakery too!

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
My famous homemade Butternut and Bacon Soup!

Favourite fat?
Avocado

Favourite carbohydrate?
Sweet Potato.

What’s your nutrition philosophy/approach? [If you have one]
Everything that I consume needs to fuel my body in the best possible way. I stay away from processed foods as much as possible too.

How many meals a day do you eat?
Four.

Do you have a cheat meal/treat strategy?
I do have treats now that I’ve found Guiltless Protein Bakery!

MINDSET

Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Went snorkelling in Bali in only my costume. Sounds pretty run of the mill right? Not for me, never could I imagine Id have the confidence to be only in my swimming costume in public,

Next: paragliding! 

Favorite quote?
“You are Kind, You are Smart, You are Important.”

Favourite book? 
“You can heal your life”
Louise L Hay

What inspires and motivates you?
Life! I have been so blessed to be given a second chance at life and I am living life to the fullest. My outlook on life has totally changed. 

Being a mum can now be a reality for me and that’s my biggest motivation.

For what are you most grateful? 
My surgery, I’m sure many people think that it was the easy way out but the reality is it was/ is a very tough journey. Having said that, I’d do it all over again. I was blessed with the opportunity to get my life back!

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
Before you start, get your mindset right: plan! Create small goals all leading up to the bigger goal.

CELEBRATE every goal met no matter how big or small.

Be kind to yourself. Positive self-talk is so important.

Also, 10 mins of mindfulness daily is so beneficial! 

What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey?

  1. Plan
  2. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable 
  3. Start NOW! Don’t delay any longer. Take charge of your life.
  4. Be kind to yourself. Focus on positive self-talk 
  5. Consistency is key!
  6. Extra one- Take tons of progress pics!