Tracey Haider-Sprague, a homeschooling mother of two, is also the Training Director for Small Beginnings, a Lay Ministry Training Organization in Seattle, Washington where she researches, writes, teaches and counsels. She, along with her entire family, began their low-carb lifestyle in April 2003.
Tracey posts as ‘Mamasita’ on the Talking Low Carb Forums, where she proves an inspiration for us all!
"Doing the best at this moment,
puts you in the best place for the next moment."
— Oprah Winfrey
Throughout my entire childhood I was chubby and at one point downright fat. By the age of
nine, my well-meaning mother put me on a diet. Metrecal was its name, and I believe it
must have been the precursor to Slimfast. She bought the chocolate flavored shakes,
froze them in little containers, and I ate them like ice cream for breakfast and lunch.
I then had a "sensible" dinner. I lost ten pounds. Everyone was happy. I was happy because
everyone was happy. But within a couple of weeks of being released from this
chocolate prison, I gained every pound back plus more.
Copyright © August 2003 Tracey Haider-Sprague and Low Carb Luxury
Looking back, there were times when I was allowed to eat as much as I wanted of whatever I wanted,
and times when my weight — which had been stowed in the backseat — was grabbed, and thrown into
the front. It became so much a part of my life, that I began to see it as "normal." Not only
did I feel this wave-like movement regarding my weight, but I was also caught in a rocking
motion between my parents.
My mother (whom I loved deeply), was shapely and beautiful. She wanted the best for me.
For those of you who are old movie fans, she looked like actress Merle Oberon as a young woman. She
was feminine and demure and I can't tell you how many times she told me to act lady-like
and cross my legs. She told me I that I had "such a pretty face," and that if I were
"slender" I would be a "knockout." So I spent my life thinking that I had to attain
"knockout status" or I had completely missed my potential.
My Dad, a devoted father, showed love by providing for the family. He loved surprising
us and giving gifts… especially food. If we said we were hungry, then by Jove, we MUST
be fed! I remember at the age of seven, sitting at our kitchen table with a full bag
of Oreo's that dad must have bought for myself and my brother. My mother was fixing
dinner and I asked if I could have a cookie. "Sure!" came a reply from my dad. "Not
before dinner", came the warning from my mom. The two of them haggled and I was
allowed the cookie. Within half an hour, I kid you not, the entire bag was gone.
I can't fathom how it happened, but it did. I then ate dinner and most nights I
My father showed love by giving me things... and food. One of the ways my mother showed
love was by trying to help me look good so that I would succeed in this world. I
believe that they both loved me very much, and except for the food fiasco that I
endured, I had a loving, stable home. I am forever grateful to them for all
that they did for me. I received so much from them that makes my life today so
It took me years — until my late 20's, actually — to sort this whole pattern out.
Now here I am forty years old, and only now finding out that I have beaten my body up
with refined sugar and flour. No wonder I was so craving-ridden and continually
hungry as a child!
I remember sitting in my fourth grade class with my vinyl lunch bag on my desk. It was half
an hour before it would be time to go to lunch and I could only think of my ham
and cheese sandwich inside. I was so obsessed that I would absentmindedly chew hard
on the looped handle as the teacher continued the lesson for the next excruciating
Who knows what he taught at that point? My mind and body were consumed.
Once I had my first son, at age 28, I was determined not to repeat this pattern.
Despite my very best intentions though, the wave-like motion began. Food became something to
be enjoyed and reveled in and I wanted to give my son everything good. At the young age of four
he had a tummy, and it gained a little more each month. He was round faced and
adorable, and little kids wear those elastic-waist jeans anyway. No problem. He'll
grow out of it. I'm not letting him eat a whole package of Oreo's! He's safe.
As he grew older the chubbiness was not dissipating and I began to be fearful for
him. Relegated to the husky section at the local department store to find him jeans,
I horrified myself by almost channeling my mother's voice in the dressing room. "You
have GOT to lose weight!" "Look at this! You're up a whole waist size in two months!"
(Never mind that I, myself, was over 60 pounds overweight.) I looked up as I was
kneeling on the dressing room floor rolling up his pant leg and I saw his face.
THE face. The one that looks fearful and sad at the same time. The one that doesn't
want to try on any more clothes or look in the mirror. The one that wants to go home,
put on some comfortable sweat pants and eat a box of pop tarts. I almost cried right
there. I had become BOTH my mother and father in one fell swoop.
Luckily I had the presence of mind to apologize immediately. We found a pair
of jeans, and left the store as quickly as possible. I sat with him in his room at
home, and for the first time I explained how messed up I was concerning food. I
told him it wasn't his fault and that this pattern had been in place for a long
time. He was shocked at my experiences growing up and I think he came to understand.
He and I stumbled around for a couple of years diet-wise. We tried eating more
veggies. We both tried Weight Watchers and counted our points. We both lost absolutely
no weight. Once I decided to do Atkins, to my eternal amazement my entire family
decided to do it too! We had immediate success and are finally rid of our
cravings. I feel as though powerful ropes have been torn apart and we can live
our lives without being yanked around by all consuming thoughts about food.
We've been freed from a delicious trap.
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Wouldn't it be nice to have a low carb store in your town?
Wouldn't it be nice to have a low carb store in your town?
Why not open your own Castus Low Carb Superstore? Find out about
franchise opportunities at