Author of international bestsellers andHolistic Health Coach Tracy Dejardinsconnected so much to the conversation of challenges like sugar addiction, emotional eating, body image challenges...etc.
Tracy's book, The Diet-Free Diva, was written as she began her recovery from sugar addiction and emotional healing through food. She talks about her life as an overweight child and teenager and how she developed binge eating disorder and dieting for years, constantly failing. Until he discovered the missing pieces of health.
Hear Tracy's inspiring story and learn her top tips as you break free from sugar bondage.
You can also hear more from Tracy onLeave the Sugar Dome.
table of contents
- Causes of teenage obesity
- The role of the media in the food lifestyle
- Get out of sugar addiction
- Five step method to end sugar addiction
- Build a healthy relationship with food
- Returning to Our Values
Causes of teenage obesity
[00:00] Emma: My name is Emma Martin and this is the Lazy Keto Mum podcast. If you're looking for keto and low carb help, you've come to the right place. Good Tracy. Hello. It's lovely of you to join me so soon. What time did you say it was?
[00:22] Tracy: It's ten to six in the morning. I am. On the east coast of the United States.
[00:28] Emma: And where are you?
[00:29] Tracy: I'm in Maryland, in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Beautiful.
[00:34] Emma: Is it cold in there now?
[00:37] Tracy: It's a little cold. Yes. You can see how dark it is in here. It's very early in the morning.
[00:42] Emma: Well, thank you. I really appreciate you waking up so early in the morning. Thank you very much. Because it's 9:00 pm here so we're crossing moons I guess.
[00:55] Tracy: I love being on opposite sides of the moon together.
[00:59] Emma: And it's amazing, isn't it, when you think about the people you can meet through a clean eating and nutrition journey and the people who exist otherwise. So, folks, I was lucky enough to meet Tracy a few weeks ago when we were talking about the Quick Sugar Summit, which is going to air very soon, probably right around the time you start hearing about it when it airs. And I'm just going to read her bio because here's a very talented and inspiring lady and I'm excited for you to hear from her. So Tracy is an international health coach. Tracy, how do I say her last name?
[01:37] Tracy: Desjardins.
[01:38] Emma: Desjardins. Then. It's a French pronunciation. From the garden. I should have asked before we started. So, Tracy is an international health coach, body nutrition coach, fitness professional and writer who specializes in holistic wellness training for women through her own past struggles with overweight dieting, binge eating, sugar addiction. and emotional feeding challenges. I think most of us can relate to that. Tracy shares a compassionate space with other women going through similar trials.
Her professional work focuses on helping women discover their own transformative steps towards finding sustainable peace. I love that. With food, body and yourself without restrictive diets. Beautiful. Trace is also the co-host of the Quit Sugar Summit, which is really exciting. He's from the US and it's a biannual event where he interviews a range of experts in the field of sugar addiction and helps find solutions to curing yourself of the addictive powers of sugar, flour and processed foods. And you wrote a book. So the book that Tracy wrote is the no-diet diva. Now, folks, if you're listening, does this sound a little like our story? Absolutely.
In the book, Tracy describes her life story as it relates to her battle with dieting to lose weight and offers an effective and innovative approach to healing the emotional challenges of eating. Tracy guides readers through five simple, sweet steps that help women connect with their inner diva. I love what they must be like when they're not struggling with diets and they're living their best life. And we'll put your links in the description of this bio. My God. Incredible. So where do you start? What prompted you to write the book?
[03:39] Tracy: Wow, Emma, it's so interesting when you hear the details of your own biography and feel like, yeah, all over again. And what drove me to write this book is essentially getting a little productively upset about my own food war, I mean sugar, and this emotional eating thing, which I really don't think gets enough attention.
I think a lot of people struggle with this and I got to a point in my life where I thought, okay, I'm going to spend the rest of my life in this war and then I'm going to fail and war and restart the goals, diet again. , exert yourself, fall off the wagon and then come back? Is this all I'm supposed to do with my life? So I became really open and curious, and I call that face really flat on the ground with my diet, I restrict binge eating, I exercise, I bounce back in my own private shame. I was fed up with it. And my inner spirit was like, Tracy, come on, we have a life to live. We really have to admit that we need help here and this is really a problem.
So I really dug into why I was eating sugar regularly after my best attempts to eat clean and restrict my healthy foods. What the hell was I missing? And I've been doing that, Emma, for so long, and no doubt many of her listeners can relate to that.
I was a slightly overweight kid growing up in the 1970s in America when the processed food revolution hit the scene. And I had a sweet tooth and I loved my candy and snacks and all the processed sweets were really great. And I always felt like I always wanted more than my friends for lunch. I was always like, are you going to finish that Twinkie? can I have? I always wanted more at birthday parties and I didn't know why. So I felt like I had flaws and I was a little overweight and then, you know, there's one.
[05:33] Emma: Sort of, yeah, you know.
[05:34] Tracy: The kids have fun at school and we remember I'm 52 and I remember that. Yes. And I started to realize that, well, I was able to put my body together as a twelve-year-old, redhead, and wear nice clothes. And we talked about it and a part of me didn't care. Part of me was like, hey, these pants are stretchy, they're comfortable. What is the problem? Until the hormones started to change and I believed I was a fighter and would fit in no matter what. And I noticed the magazine coverage. I noticed what's on TV. She didn't have the complexion of Charlie's Angels and Barbie dolls, but she was going to try to fix that. So I took that energy that God gave me, that energy, that passion for being alive, and I put it in my diet.
I bought this and was going to work on it, because that's what we teach you. Work hard, use willpower. If you miss, you eat a Twinkie, you fall, you eat five Twinkies, well, by God, let's get out of this, get up. We will continue on the same path. And that's what you lose on the diet. Just keep going. Try this one and try that one and try this one. Forget pondering what we're missing here. I played that game for over 35 years and evolved into group fitness for aerobics. And it was fun. I love music, I was terrible at sports, but I thought aerobics was fun. And that led me to being a fitness pro in the world of group fitness and personal training. And I was still trying to exercise my binges in private. Of course, I'm not going to tell anyone about this because no one is really talking about this embarrassing thing about anyone doing what I do with scans, just on my car, stuff like that.
And I met Mike Collins in the With Quit Sugar Summit group. And I met other people later in my years. Emma, I mean, I had been playing this game for a long time and I found that there were other people like me who had the same challenges. My heart softened. I opened up, and during the pandemic, I took a deep dive with my own coach. I had to put my ego on here. I've been a health coach for years, but I never felt worthy of doing so much because I had this sugar problem. And that really makes me a great trainer because I understand this issue so much. And I was open to learning what I was missing.
When I figured out what was missing, which wasn't about the food, I picked it up and moved on. And now this is my life's mission. I closed my personal training studio. I still have a foot in the door with exercise because it's part of a holistically good life. But I wrote the book because I felt like, well, I found what I was missing. Other women need to know this. So my heart, blood, sweat and tears are in this book of mine, Diet Free Diva. And it's my first book, and I hope to write more. But I've never felt more fulfilled in my work than writing this book and not working with amazing women and meeting amazing women like you who are helping others, doing your coaching and helping style. And that's basically my story and what drove me to write the book?
The role of the media in the food lifestyle
[08:54] Emma: Yeah, there's so much stuff you played there. God, how inspiring. I'm interested to know what the turning point was. So obviously you might not remember but a long time ago when you were a kid you knew something wasn't right but thought it was your willpower problem. When was that decisive moment where that?
[09:17] Tracy: There's been a shift, like, in terms of, is this not working? You mean it?
[09:25] Emma: What did you feel? What did you do back then?
[09:28] Tracy: Yes. Well, I really believe that God puts us to certain tests for certain reasons. To answer his question, the redheaded age of twelve was when I started my first diet. And that moment you're asking me about didn't happen until I was 50.
[09:43] Emma: Really? So you have this 30s or I can't do the math, but you have this huge story of feeling guilty and ashamed that you don't have enough willpower. And now we know that's not what it was about. Maybe it's the food pyramid we've been given. Maybe it's about social media. What do you think is the main contributing factor to us feeling like such failures?
[10:10] Tracy: The media. It's maddening. If you look at it, I don't know what it's like in Australia, but that's how it is in the United States. For example, the holidays. We have Christmas, all the rubbish is thrown away. Either you have to make the gingerbread, you have to buy the cookies. All of this is front and center. You have to buy this and do this or you will lose. Like, the holidays are all about sugar and glut. And you deal with that around December 26th, even, maybe the 24th. They carry Slim Fast, all the diet products in current pop culture, they're front and center in the supermarket. So you're lured in at the right time and we all buy.
Why? Because it's been right in front of us all along. The commercials with the celebrities, with the fake food on TV, they're going to spend all that money and you're going to be like that. I mean, how can we not run away from it? We are smart people with a purpose in life. And we got to a point where, okay, I'm tired of this feeling that I can't trust myself. I know something is whispering to me, whispering to me, like come on Tracy, we probably know what to do.
But we've spent so many years struggling and failing and struggling and failing that we can't trust ourselves. So let's buy this plan. Let's do what our neighbor Betty is doing, that she just lost 20 kilos doing it without thinking if it resonates with us. Let's just do this, swipe the credit card, and find the motivation to start getting really uncomfortable fighting the food. And that's not how it's done.
Get out of sugar addiction
Photographer: Kindle Media
[11:50] Emma: You're right. So I think we're in that cycle of feeling guilty. Failure. Well I failed again. I failed again. I failed again. And there the key was lost. So when you found out you might be addicted to sugar, what did you do? How did you get off the sugar? Because it's quite addictive.
[12:11] Tracy: Oh my God, amma, let me tell you this. I was the fitness girl who was knowledgeable about baking and clean eating. I had all the recipes. People came to me. I am organizing workshops. And my truth was that I was too scared to admit that I was still consuming healthy stuff and that I had a problem. It was like she was in denial because she needed him as much as she needed comfort. That the idea of living without my dark chocolate banana bread or little things to chew on or whatever it was was very scary to me because I didn't know how to cope and feel happy, feel comforted, it was kind of medicinal. , but festive at the same time.
The thought of it, he couldn't even comprehend. Here's the thing, Emma. When the pandemic hit, I would be 52 months later and thought I would be my best, which meant I would weigh 130lbs. I'm not 130lbs.
[13:17] Emma: Is she okay?
[13:18] Tracy: But that's what the height and weight charts told me. And that stuck in her head. So I had it. Here I go again with my clean eating tactics with all the right stuff. And I was trying to trick myself with the sugar, and I was eating again, like it wasn't working. I didn't know what I was missing. So I had. I had tears in my eyes because when the pandemic hit I had to close my business.
They were all at home. I lost it. And I went back to my binge eating days. Hormones skyrocketed around 40. I couldn't get away with the amount of bingeing I used to, but I still did some. I was very smart and cunning. Well, I go back to my college binge days, where I'm going to Ben and Jerry's for a beer for dinner every night during the pandemic, I put my hands in the air and I felt God telling me Tracy, c'mon, c'mon. We have space. We have time to think and be, we are at home. Can you hear me now? There is a problem. I can help you, or you can keep doing things your way and you won't do so well for the rest of your life. That was my moment.
[2:26 PM] Emma: So how did you get rid of the sugar? What have you done?
[2:32 PM] Tracy: I found this amazing place called the Quit Sugar Summit. Everyone is online. Like, what is the sugar spike to quit smoking? I have a sugar problem and I want to talk about it. I found other people who are talking about it, so I stopped eating it. Emma made mine first, and she had my heart and my humility. My ego is here now because I don't know what I don't know. And I was open to not putting it on my body. No flour, no sugar. Because I started with 30 days and started noticing how I felt for the first time. It wasn't a fight. It was an experience and I enjoyed it. I started to like how I felt. I started to like what was going on here and here and oh my god. It was like this was my moment. Emma, I was not ready for this before in my life because I must help other people now. I needed to understand this. I needed to be there with him to understand. But the bottom line is that I started to change my relationship with him. I like who I am better without it. I learned to trust myself with what was out of the way. And that led me to write the book.
[15:44] Emma: That's amazing. So how do you feel now?
[3:49 pm] Tracy: I feel empowered. I feel like I have my life back. I feel like I've grown. In my book, I talk about the princess. The princess is always trying to get the outside world's approval based on her body, weight, and all the things we sell through the media. I'm not 130 pounds. I don't get on the scale. Emma, because I'm not going to empower him. I like how I feel in my body and I have become the mature woman I was meant to be, and I have. I had to do this to get out of the sugar haze and get over those addictive cravings. You have to get it out of your body if you want the cravings to go away. I strongly believe in that. And it's not easy, but one day at a time. It's simple. We can do 24 hours of something.
[4:39 PM] Emma: Absolutely. So you mentioned that when those sugar and craving things kick in, what do you replace them with? Replacing?
[16:50] Tracy: I loved that I started replacing it during the detox, to test this out. That was part of the experiment. Whereas, if anyone can identify who is listening, my challenge zone was 3pm. m. At 18:00 m. As if I had ruined my dinner. I would give up dinner. What is happening? For me when I forgot all my promises and said fuck you get in my car and go get the sugar. What was this? I needed help with this. So what I started doing is giving myself a space in that three-P window. Three at 6 pm. Mike Collins resigned from Sugar Summit. He taught me that. He said, Tracy, our brains are at their lowest point at this time of day. We've been up all day. We've been working hard. Type A personalities. Go, go, go. We need a break. This is not the time to insist on more work. Something up here. That's in my book. I had to increase productivity. It wasn't enough unless I was doing all my work and getting a head start for the next day. It's not like this. I needed a break from this.
So giving myself permission to do something fun or lying with my dogs on the couch for 30 minutes is what I really needed to tune in. To tune. What do I really need? I was always trying to fill myself with energy to keep going. Well, do I really need to move on? Not really, really. So it was all of that, really Emma for me. I was tuning in to what I really need. Am I hungry even at 3 pm often? I am not. If I am, I have a healthy snack. I love that. And I'm gone, I don't have cravings anymore because I've learned to tune in to my body's wisdom. What's going on and what do I really need?
[18:39] Emma: Yeah, and I love that you said so many things there. And we are often just as busy as mothers or women. We are taking care of houses, taking children from one place to another. We're taking care of the dogs, we're trying to take care of everybody. And we often stay in the background and don't take care of ourselves. And Stephen Covey came to mind. What are the seven habits of highly effective or successful people? And sharpening the wound is one of those habits. But why don't we think it's okay to do this? What happened in our society that we really think it's not good to take time out for ourselves? And there's some guilt around that, I think you mentioned that as well. Sorry, do you want to add something?
Five step method to end sugar addiction
[7:26 PM] Tracy: Too fast? Yes. Chapter one of the Free Diva Diet talks about this. It's called discover and write her gastronomic history. Why is this? Why do we feel or think that we have to chase before we get where we want to go in terms of food, body, self, to get the results we want to have peace, have freedom? We have to look back with love, with compassion, at where we've come from to examine this history and say, oh well, look at this and look at this. This is my favorite part of the training, helping me walk through the history of food and see the steps we came from. No victimization, no blame, all compassion and validation. Where do you come from? What's your story? Let's talk about it. And we can connect these dots, which are clues.
[20:14] Emma: Yeah, and it's interesting that you mentioned that as you were talking about it. My mom. I don't remember this, but my mother told me a story about always loving someone else. We call them cupcakes. I don't know if it's the same as the panic in Kindy. Kindergarten. I'm four and I've always wanted another one like the one you mentioned. I never felt like I had enough. And my mother scolded me. How is she? Well, Emma? No. And she was making me feel guilty. And I carried that guilt around for 45 years. So it becomes so ingrained. Oh no, I'm a failure. Oh no, I shouldn't be doing this. So you have to call it the Great Unveiling. You have to untangle all these webs. You mentioned chapter one, but I'm really interested in the five steps we mentioned. When I read your biography, these five steps, would you mention them?
[21:12] Tracy: Oh, I'd love to. So, step number one, discover and write your food story. Let's take a compassionate look at where we came from, what you mentioned about your relationship with your mother, many of us can relate to that, and there are reasons for that, and the reasons are very, very valid and part of who we are today. , and they deserve a little smoothing, an examination.
Step number two is also very important. Identify your top three personal values. We have to discover who we really are innately and our soul, which is really important to us. Then I help women to write why they do this work and to be open to discovering their answers, their solutions, with food, with their bodies and with themselves.
The third step is so exciting because it talks about the mind, body and spirit triad and the healing mind. What's going on up here? We have voices. We talk about those voices and then we talk about promoting a certain voice and recognizing another voice and silencing it to work on that healing.
And step number four, finally, let's talk about food, shall we? I don't prescribe food. I'm not a nutritionist. You won't have a meal planned in my book, but I will help you prepare yours on your terms and whatever works for you. So we talked about cleaning things up. It's an experiment. A 14-day natural food cleansing experiment. And then I talk a little bit about exercise, let's call it joyful movement of your body. Do you like to dance? Great. Do you like to swim? Great. I hate running. I will never run. What do you like to do? And that's fantastic.
And then, step number five, we put everything together about how to be in society. And look, when Slim Fast comes out, what your neighbor Betty is doing, you're passing Dunkin Donuts, whatever it is, the triggers in society that will tempt us to back off. I'm talking about things like putting on our special glasses and stepping inside our queen and living our lives on our terms. And trusting that and living that narrow path one day at a time, and that really brings it all together.
Build a healthy relationship with food
Photographer: Mikhail Nilov
[23:25] Emma: I love it. I love the Joyful Movement stuff because we've been told to eat less, move more, and that's so wrong. Whereas, if you're going out and you're doing the Joyful Movement, you go for a walk and there are birds, or you're listening to music that you love, and I call it Dancers on Broomsticks. So you put the music on and make a playlist with Abber and the Bee Gees or I'm showing songs my age now. Good. It's like, you remember dancing, doing, I don't know, housework or whatever, but I think that kind of exercise, which is not exercise. You're right. It's a happy move. And I think creating those endorphins and getting all the hormones going like that, the joy and letting go of what we should be doing. So I love these steps.
[24:23] Tracy: Can I say more? First, I put on disco music and clean my house. It's amazing. It is a therapeutic good. But the other thing too, and that's a lot of what we could be talking about here, but as I mentioned, I come from a fitness background, and anyone who's heard this and, oh, it drives me crazy. Eat to fuel your body. That, to me, sounds harsh, sounds cold, sounds ego-driven. That drives me crazy. Well yes, let's eat to feed our body. However, emotional eating is not a bad thing. Why? We must really like what we are eating. We must find pleasure in what we are eating, which can be confused with fueling our body. Because that sounds like, okay, fight back and eat healthy.
I come across so many women who struggle to eat healthy and overeat on the weekends because they don't know how to enjoy food. They feel like, okay, I need to stick to this healthy plan. And when we don't appreciate our food and don't understand how and aren't afraid to enjoy the food we eat, then we are setting ourselves up for disaster. I work a lot with emotional eating, and there's a difference between checking in with food and checking in with food.
[25:46] Emma: Really nice of you to say that. And I was thinking about one of the biggest changes, I'm keto but I'm lazy. keto. So if mangoes are in season here, I eat them because they are in season. And we have taste buds for a reason. We must enjoy our food. That's why they gave us these things that you can taste all these delicious flavors and so why not enjoy them? But you are correct. I think many of us grew up with these guilty pleasures. Why do we call it that? Because that's what they told us, maybe our mothers or our teachers called it. But you are correct. We've enjoyed food for millennia. This is how we communicate with people. We sat down and had a feast. Why are we so afraid of this? Maybe we are eating the wrong food.
[26:46] Tracy: Well then, when you add in the restrictive diets, there are many out there who create this zone of, let me give up my own wisdom and let me believe in the plan. I do not know anything. I cannot trust myself. This, incidentally, seeps into other aspects of our lives. We pay that price a lot. That's part of it. Whereas we are born with this natural appetite for whole foods. I'm with you. I love mango. Like, now it's winter in America. Pineapple tastes terrible. It looks terrible in the sun. So I make a lot of soups and stews. Sweet potatoes are calling my name everyday. I know they are high in carbs, but they call my name everyday. They make me feel full, and that's really, really important.
[27:38] Emma: I don't know if sweet potatoes are really that high in carbs. It has tons of fiber, which feeds your entire gut microbiome. If they're calling you and you know they're real food, I think you need to hear this. I'm keto but not lazy keto. I don't find it restrictive, because I just don't eat processed foods anymore. I don't eat packaged food. I don't eat refined sugar and I don't eat refined flour, and I think that's liberating.
So to get off that blood sugar rollercoaster and really go, you know what? If I want to crush it, I'll eat some healthy fat to slow the blood sugar response. And I think you're right. We ignore restrictions because that's human nature.
[28:31] Tracy: Yeah. And what you just said, everything you just described is very intuitive. You've learned to trust your inner wisdom and become intuitive, and that's really what you and I are helping people to do, because we've traded that for the false promise of diet programs or this style of eating. And this is so important for you to describe how you feel.
And when we learn to identify and notice how we feel based on what we eat and connect with that, the lost pounds that shouldn't be on our bodies, you start to get into clothes. And that's an added benefit of being healthy and tapping into your inner diva where you know what works for you, Emma, you're a mega diva.
[29:18] Emma: You're a diva.
[29:20] Tracy: You're living your best life on your own terms and you know what works for you and you're helping other people figure that out. I can't think of a more fulfilling and heartfelt role to play as a woman alive on planet Earth right now.
Returning to Our Values
[29:34] Emma: You are so right. I love that you said that. Thanks. Diva. back to you When we spread it and we. Show people that you can be a diva without a diet by using your phrase, it sets them free and frees them from traditional diets. And you're right, we have to teach people what happens to sugar and what flour does to your body? So they still need the practice. But what I love about what you're doing is you're dealing with so much mentality, like giving them space to think, well, well, who am I? What are my values? In fact, what are your top three values?
[30:15] Tracy: Thanks so much for asking. He is well. My top three values, and it took me a while to think about that. I do workshops. This is the hardest part. Good. Mine are health and wellness. Number one, obviously, my decisions in my life have to align with this high value of health and wellness. Very important to me. Number two, independence and freedom. I don't like the rules. I don't like being told what to do. I am a creative soul. This is very important to me. Don't try to put me in a box.
[30:44] Emma: And that's me.
[30:45] Tracy: Independence and freedom are categorized there. And the last number three in my life right now, fulfillment and fulfillment. My purpose to help other women is very, very important in my life, and I need to align my daily work and decisions to match that. I'm so glad you asked this because I've spent a lot of time helping women identify, well, who the hell are you? Forget the shots. What people are saying to you must matter. What is important to you at this point in your life? At your age? Now in your life?
[31:19] Emma: Absolutely. Well I love these values. And what I see of you represents that, like, you're sending these ripples out to the whole world right now, because I don't know if you're listening, but I can feel it. So thank you for being so true to yourself. It is wonderful. Now, if people want to communicate or buy your book, where will they find it?
[31:41] Tracy: Yes, I'm on Amazon in the US, but you can also visit my website, which is The Holistic Divas.com. You will see a link that will take you to where you can buy my book. And I also have a free, downloadable, very colorful and fun workbook to get you started with the five steps we've looked at. It's on the front page of my website,www.theholisticdiva.com.
And I have your free downloadable workbook that accompanies my book. And I also recorded it on Amazon Audible, with my own voice, which was really powerful and harder than I thought. That comes out in a few weeks. I'm really excited about it. Thanks so much for asking. Emma, this is wonderful.
[32:24] Emma: Well you should go over there and get a copy of this and get the audio on your way out. Well I hope you get off this podcast while listening to it. That would be great. But this cheat sheet, I'm going to download it. So if you want more information, you can check below. All the links will be there and you can have a look, listen, chase and read.
And you can also find Tracy on Facebook which is great. So thank you very much for her time today. You are an absolute ray of sunshine. I really appreciate you getting up so early in the morning to talk to us.
[33:00] Tracy: It was wonderful, Emma. And that's really fun because now you're getting ready for bed and I'm getting ready for work. I am so grateful and honored to be on this amazing podcast with your guests.
[33:11] Emma: Well thank you very much. Let's talk soon and see you at the Quick Sugar Summit.
[33:15] Tracy: I'm looking forward to it.
[33:17] Emma: Thank you so much, Tracy.
[33:19] Tracy: Thanks Emma. She hello.