“I had severe anxiety and spent hours looking up symptoms of miscarriage. I would binge eat in front of the TV and at work I would have a stash of chocolate just to help me get through the day.”
Corinne was diagnosed with numerous conditions – including early Lupus and Hashimoto’s – an autoimmune thyroid disease – which explained her sudden increase in appetite and debilitating depressive thoughts.
The birth of now 3-year-old Seth sent the Melbourne-based mum further into her dark hole, causing her weight to dramatically increase to 101kg.
“[Seth] didn’t sleep at all, and would wake up every 45 minutes,” Corinne recalls. “I was severely sleep deprived and … I was eating just to have the energy to stay awake. All day, every day it was blocks of chocolate, lollies, chips and cake.”
In the months that followed she suffered severe panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder, discovering much later they were a result of her underactive thyroid, not postpartum depression. Having reached rock bottom, Corinne woke up one day and decided to take matters into her own hands.
“The doctors were pushing hormones and steroids onto me but I refused to take them,” she says. “I wanted to try it my own way first and decided I would try the Paleo diet. I went through the cupboards and fridge and threw all the bad stuff out, and went to the grocer and butcher and in one day I was on my way,” she says of the diet that advocates eliminating all dairy, grains, gluten, legumes and refined sugars.
“I was now eating things like quinoa porridge with a plant-based milk for breakfast, a wrap for lunch made of egg filled with salad and meat, and dinner would be a portion of protein and vegetables.”
She instantly saw a massive shift, not only in her waistline, but her moods as well. To better manage her health, Corinne gradually moved towards a Paleo-Keto way of eating, and with diet changes alone, has lost almost a third of her weight, going from 101kg to 65kg, and a size 16 to 6-8.
“Paleo is about eating clean, whole foods without calorie counting. When you follow Keto, you put yourself into a state of ketosis by carbohydrate restriction. I mix the two. It made sense to me with the health issues I have, because dietary fat helps to regulate hormones.”
Now a proud mum of three, with 16-month-old twins Lola and Nate joining her young son, Corinne says it has been easy to adapt for family meals.
“I’ll choose a protein and add quinoa or couscous and root vegetables to theirs, perhaps with a tomato based sauce, and for me I’ll have the protein and a green vegetable.”
Corinne has not only kicked her sugar addiction but her mental health has improved just as much as the numbers on the scales. And she already feels like she’s won the best prize of all – being the mother to her kids she always wished she could be.
“I’m not sitting on the sidelines anymore,” she says. “I’m present and part of their life.”