Working mum Jessica Poolman relied on sugar in times of stress, only to find her anxiety and waistline expanding. After joining the 8-Week Program she found a new way to manage her mental health - and it all starts with eating real, satisfying food.
"I’d always been a closet bad eater," Jess admits. "I'm also a perfectionist, so I hold myself to really high expectations. Needless to say, as soon as I was stressed, I’d head straight for the sugar."
During her pregnancy, Jess indulged in a lot of ice cream and baked goods, leading to a significant weight gain of 18 kilos. Determined to shed the weight postpartum, she adopted a mostly Paleo diet and engaged in intense exercise routines twice a day, and though she lost the weight fast, this rigorous regimen proved unsustainable, and Jess found herself feeling sluggish and inevitably succumbing to sugar once more, regaining about 4 kilograms and facing emotional turmoil. With a stressful managerial job and a young child, it's not hard to understand why this Aussie mum was overwhelmed.
That's why she turned to the 8-Week Program for long-term, holistic results.
"I don't think I could've done this without the Program," Jess reflects. Seeking the accountability and support she craved, she decided to join the I Quit Sugar: 8-Week Program. "I’m the type of person who needs accountability, so I really enjoyed connecting to others around the world doing the same thing as me. When I felt stressed, I’d hit the Forums. Everyone was so supportive."
The result? Jess say it was nothing short of transformative.
"I’ve lost 6 inches around my body and 4 kilograms in total," Jess beams. "Also, though I've always had relatively nice skin, now it's almost like it glows!"
Through the program, Jess gained invaluable knowledge about the pervasive presence of sugar in everyday foods.
"That's another reason why I'm glad I joined the Program rather than just try it on my own. I'm so much more conscious of the food I buy and the amount of sugar in it," she shares.
The abundance of recipes and meal ideas provided a welcome change to her eating habits, with favourites like our delicious burgers becoming staples in her kitchen.
Yep, we eat burgers on the 8-Week Program!
Beyond physical changes, Jess experienced a remarkable improvement in her allergies, which had plagued her since birth.
"After the Program, when others were suffering during the summer with pollen, I had zero allergy issues."
Ultra-processed foods, laden with artificial additives, preservatives, and high levels of refined sugar, can trigger inflammatory responses in the body, exacerbating allergic reactions and compromising the immune system. Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats - all of which we have in spades on the program - are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that help to reduce inflammation and support immune health. We also know these foods contain natural histamine-lowering properties, which can alleviate allergy symptoms and reduce flare-ups. By prioritising real, unprocessed ingredients, Jess provided her body with the tools it needed to combat allergies and strengthen its defences against environmental triggers. And it doesn't have to be boring! We've got everything from brownies to lasagne.
But perhaps the most profound change was in how Jess coped with stress and emotions.
"Before I quit sugar, I would typically go to the dessert shop down the street from work and get a brownie or piece of cake as soon as I felt stressed out," she recalls. "Now I realise those only give me maybe five minutes of satisfaction, whereas going for a walk, cooking a delicious nourishing meal for my family or reading a book give lasting benefits."
Through quitting sugar, Jess discovered healthier ways to manage her emotions.
"I’ve been trying movement, meditation, and colouring books," she says. "While I'm not perfect, each day I'm building my sugar-quitting muscle. And it's getting stronger and stronger."
Feeling inspired? We’ve put in the hard yards so you can enjoy the benefits of an extensive, wholistic program that covers everything from learning how to manage nutrition and mental health to social situations. When you join us for the 8-Week Program you’ll have exclusive access to expert guidance, nutritional planning and support every step of the way. Take a peek at what’s on offer: