Sarah Roberts of Sarah Talks Food joins us on The SHAIR Podcast. Sarah is 10 years sober from alcohol, and ever since then has been passionate about discovering ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Her book, “The 28 Day Kick the Sugar Challenge,” guides you on a 28 day journey towards better health and wellness, while helping you develop greater self-trust, self-respect, and self-love.
Through her research, and by trial and error, she has figured out a formula that allows her to enjoy a healthy weight and maintain good energy, and she wants to share what she has learned with you!
Join us as Sarah takes us through here battle with Alcohol, the wreckage it caused in her life, when she hit rock bottom and her journey into recovery up until today.
Listen to Sarah’s story now!
Clean Date: January 2, 2007
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Sarah Roberts: I love this question because I’m not somebody who did the 12-step approach. We’ll get into that when we talk about my story. My day essentially starts with some quiet meditation. It doesn’t always look like sitting in a perfectly peaceful seating area with my hands on my knees, you know? With bells chiming in the background. It’s often honestly just a matter of waking up, opening my eyes, and saying, “Thank you for the things that I’m truly grateful for,” in that moment, that day. That’s kind of the way that I start my day. I then always have lemon water first thing, warm lemon water is my thing. I hydrate first thing in the morning. Then I love having a really healthy, nutritious smoothie. It’s pretty much my go-to breakfast every morning. Breakfast is a huge component of my day. I make that, and then I go and do a workout, and after that I get to work. I’m an entrepreneur, so I go to my home office and I work for the rest of the day.
Omar Pinto: All right, so tell us a little bit about Sarah Talks Food, and tell us about the book.
Sarah Roberts: SarahTalksFood.com is my blog, and I launched that in 2015. It was something that I had finally, I grappled with for a long time. Whether or not I would ever be able to share with the world about being an alcoholic. I had been ashamed and mired in shame for so long, that finally coming out on my blog was the scariest, most terrifying thing I could have ever imagined doing. I knew so deeply in my soul, that if I didn’t finally come out and share my story, I would remain stuck as a person. I would remain stuck in the feelings of inadequacy, and I would remain stuck just in every area of my life if I didn’t finally admit that I’m an alcoholic. I was sharing it with some people very secretively, very quietly over here, and hiding it from other people. I finally just wanted to be congruent. I wanted to be fully integrated in my life. I just made that decision to launch my blog, and I knew that the first post that I had to write would be, “Here’s the truth about myself.”
Omar Pinto: How about the book? Tell us a little bit about “The 28 Day Kick the Sugar Challenge.”
Sarah Roberts: Fast forward to 2015 when I launched my blog, and then Peggy McColl gets in touch, I do this mastermind session with her, this workshop. I go home and I’m writing my stories, and I’m writing my memoir. All of that pain starts bubbling back up, and all of those shameful stories start coming to the surface. I’m reliving them because I don’t know if you’ve read any of my writing. The way that I write, is I really go right back into the moment so that I can pull out those emotions, and I can try to connect with my readers and my audience as much as I possibly can. I was doing that, and it was pulling out all those old feelings. I started reaching for sugar again.
I’m baking up my healthy banana bread, and I’m making my healthy chocolate banana milkshake, and I’m making these chocolate-y treats that are homemade, but I mean you can still overdo it on the healthy stuff too, even if it’s using maple syrup and honey. I started gaining weight, I started feeling crummy. I realized, “Oh my gosh, I’m eating my emotions again.” I said, “You know what? I am going to do a sugar cleanse.” I had done something like that about six years prior, just because I really wanted to not have any sugar in my life. I really wanted to get lean, and I was working out with a personal trainer. I thought it would be really fun to do that, to really cut sugar for a time.
I had done a very strict cleanse about six years ago, and it worked really, really well for me. I really enjoyed the way that I felt. I thought, ‘I’m going to do that again, because I know that for me I sometimes need that kick start. I need that complete abstinence. I need that complete opportunity to get completely rid of the substance in my life, so that I can get some perspective on it.’
That’s what I decided to do. I thought, ‘You know what? If I’m going to do this, I’m going to give myself 28 days of no sugar. I’m going to be really regimented about what I’m eating, and I’m going to really decide the meals that I’m going to be preparing. If I’m going to do this, maybe some of my followers would like to join me.’ Low and behold, I had over 100 people that signed up to say, “I’m in. I want to do this thing.” It was like, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize that that many people were struggling with this sugar thing.” We all did it together. It was amazing. I realized, “You know what? I want this to be available more than just sort of every 28 days.” I certainly didn’t want to always cut out sugar forever. I wanted to write the book, so that anybody, anywhere could have access to this challenge. That’s how the book came about.
Omar Pinto: Tell us how much clean time you have and when is your anniversary date?
Sarah Roberts: First sober date was July 29, 2002 when I got a DUI. That was the beginning of everything. When I moved on my own to Ottawa, which is the city that I live in now in Canada, I relapsed for a few weeks when I moved here by myself. I know we’ll talk about you know, geographical issues, what can happen then. January 2, 2007 is my sober date. I’ve just over ten years.
NOW Questions For the Newcomers!!
Omar Pinto: First question is, what was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first attempted to get sober?
Sarah Roberts: Because really I mean, there was nothing that was keeping me from getting sober. I never wanted to get sober. I never, ever wanted to quit drinking and I never wanted to get sober. It pissed me off that I had to go through a DUI and go through all of that. I wanted my old life back in those early days, because you cannot realize what’s available to you. You cannot even imagine that life is going to be like in those early days.
Omar Pinto: At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that “Aha!” moment in recovery, when you accepted that you were powerless over alcohol, but for the first time developed a hope that you could recover?
Sarah Roberts: I would have to say that was my relapse, for sure. That was New Year’s Eve, 2007. The first day of the year. It was truly that moment where it was, you either go back there, or you keep pushing, you keep working, you keep striving. You either go back and live a life that you are going to hate yourself, continue to self loathe, continue to feel sorry for yourself, continue to never push yourself to live and work to your potential, or you can keep going over here. I know it’s fucking harder. I know it’s way more work. I know it’s way scarier.
Omar Pinto: Number four, what is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Sarah Roberts: I’m going to say it’s from someone who I’ve recently connected with. Her name is Holly Whittaker, she’s amazing. She and Laura McKowen have truly changed my life. I’ll say one quote from each of them that I absolutely love.
Holly says, “Know what you can and what you cannot fuck with.” Which I love, because you know what? It’s great advice, in early sobriety you might get that feeling of, “Well maybe I can just do this thing one more time, or maybe with this group of friends it’ll be okay.” No. Know what you can and cannot fuck with, and that’s it.
Laura McKowen’s, her saying, and she has it written on T-shirts, is, “We are the luckiest.”
Omar Pinto: All right, and finally, number five. If you could give our newcomers only one suggestion, what would that be?
Sarah Roberts: Well, and I just got to be honest about who I am. I’ve got to say, getting into health and fitness has been a game changer for me. I’m not the only one. There are a lot of celebrities in sobriety that talk about this, that if you can really start to view the body as a temple, if you can learn to love your body by nourishing it and caring for it and treating it with the dignity and respect that it deserves, because this body is the only one you get. If you can really connect with it, and nourish it, and nurture it and do all the things. Give it the sleep it needs, reduce its stress, feed it, nourishing foods, fuel it with water, and hydrate it. If you can do all of those things to truly, truly care for this beautiful vessel that gets to carry you through the rest of your life, everything changes. Everything changes. If that’s one piece of advice I could give, that’s the biggest one.
It also prevented buddies from pressuring me. I moved far enough away that I didn’t have any buddies, until I met my family at the Oxford House.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE NEWCOMER
“Know what you can and what you cannot fuck with.”
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
See you then!
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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.