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Leah’s story: “I was the first Australian female to cross the finish line at the NY Marathon – and I’m sugar-free!”

I Quit Sugar - Leah's Testimonial

At one stage, Leah’s eating habits were so out of control, she decided to stop eating for two weeks… just to feel better!

As a marathon runner, coeliac and mother of three, Leah transformed more than just her training regime with the help of our 8-Week Program.

Over to you, Leah!


I train a lot! Actually, twice a day most days.

And when I train, I train hard. I was running 120 km’s a week as well as strength training, yoga and core workouts, so after an evening training session (when I was absolutely famished) I’d still have to nip by the supermarket to shop for dinner. On the way through the checkout, I’d always grab a cheeky chocolate bar to get me through.

My eating habits became even worse when I began working in hospitality. I stopped eating regularly, so by the time I did eat I would be ravenous and devour the first thing I could get my hands on, which (as we all know) is never the healthy option. I just became so lazy but, I figured I was training, so what the hell?! I’d burn it off anyway.

Training aside however, I was also diagnosed with coeliac disease three years ago. I had chronic diarrhoea and was incredibly fatigued. It was terrifying because I had no idea what was wrong with me.

At one stage I even stopped eating for two weeks, because that was the only way I felt better.

I dragged out my copy of I Quit Sugar.

Years ago my husband had bought me the first IQS book so feeling frustrated with my bad eating habits, I decided to finally dig it out. I was planning on running the New York Marathon in November last year so I wanted to be at my fittest and healthiest. My target was to stay sugar-free until the race.

Inspired by the book, I signed up to the 8-Week Program.

I planned it so I would finish the Program a week before I left for the U.S. and I was confident that, by then, I’d be able to go the extra week sugar-free. Still, I was nervous about giving up my beloved daily mocha and having to drink full-fat milk after years of sticking to skinny!

I Quit Sugar - Leah's Testimonial

And so, my journey began.

When I received my meal plan and shopping list I was so excited, focused and determined! The first three days I had pretty severe headaches, but guzzling back some extra water worked a treat.

I’d also decided that my whole family would be coming on this journey with me – so for every dinner, I cooked two and a half times what the recipe recommended so we could all eat together and I’d still have enough for lunch for the next day.

I loved reading about how much sugar was in the products I used to eat and I even educated my nearest and dearest. In fact, my eight-year-old son now won’t go near popular juice bars because he knows the sugar content! And, my 15-year-old daughter was so excited by all the recipes that every night, she’d sit with me and read the content on the website.

Training soon became easier too.

I’d bounce out of bed energised and ready to run. Gone were the days of feeling sluggish and dreading training. And the few times I gave in and ate sugar. I ended up with a banging headache. It was just not worth it!

On race day I felt the healthiest I’ve ever been.

I always dreamed of running the New York Marathon, so to actually be there doing it was surreal. It was a freezing cold day, which made the run even tougher, but the crowds of people singing, dancing and screaming made the race truly magic.

I didn’t know how I had placed until I called my husband who had followed me online. He told me that out of fifty thousand competitors, I was the first Australian female over the line, 29th female overall, and I placed 3rd in my age group. I finished in 2:52:30, which was five minutes faster than my personal best. I just started crying on the side of the road because I was so thrilled at what I had achieved!

I Quit Sugar - Leah's Testimonial

I still refer back to the Program.

The 8WP taught me how to meal prep ahead of time so I’m organised and never get to the point where I’m so famished I eat the first thing in sight! My skin (and my children’s skin) has improved immensely – what I thought were ‘sweat pimples’ from training, turns out were just pimples from a bad diet. And, my coeliac symptoms have improved tenfold because I now know exactly what I’m putting into my body. I’ve also upgraded to the new 12-month membership subscription so I stay accountable to myself!

At the end of the day you’ve got to want to change and when you feel the best you have ever felt in your entire life, why would you want to go back?!

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