Ditching kebabs for paleo diet sees woman drop 55kg

By Lauren Croft

Elora Harre, 23, was a size 24 at her biggest thanks to a solid diet of junk foods. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News
Elora Harre, 23, was a size 24 at her biggest thanks to a solid diet of junk foods. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News

A woman who loved fast food so much she'd eat kebabs for breakfast, has swapped her fast food habit for a caveman diet, and shed an amazing 55kgs.

Elora Harre, 23, from Perth, Western Australia was a size 24 at her biggest thanks to a solid diet of convenience foods including pizza, burgers and kebabs EVERYDAY for brekkie.

But after developing headaches and sore eyes, she discovered she was pre-diabetic as a result of her eating habits, and was forced to ditch them once and for all.

Now Elora has shrunk from a size 24 to a size 12 after swapping her greasy take outs for a trendy paleo diet, and eating meals consisting purely of natural foods.

She's been so successful in her transformation, that she has amassed a huge online following and has just launched her own book chronicling her journey, called The Shrinking Violet - How to Lose Weight and Get Fit the Paleo Way.

Elora before and after her dramatic weight loss. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News
Elora before and after her dramatic weight loss. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News



She said: "I was always 'the bigger kid' growing up, because I kind of just shot up and grew out.



"I loved processed foods and especially anything loaded with carbs.

"But it was after losing my dad, at age 10, to cancer, that my issue with food really developed.

"I turned to fast food to comfort myself, and by the time I was 18, I was eating fast food every day, even for breakfast.

"Usually I'd wait until hunger set in around 10am, then would head off and grab a kebab or a pie.

"I hated that I was overweight and had tried different diets from the age of 12, but nothing stuck.

"It was only when I started struggling to see properly and had constant headaches, that I realised how bad my health was and was able to make the change."

In fact, Elora's health was so bad, that at just 19, she started to experience extreme anxiety attacks, which only made her weight problems worse.

She said: "I'd tried a multitude of different crash-diets in an attempt to lose the weight.

"You name it, I had tried it. Plans, programs, gym memberships... I'd spent thousands of dollars but nothing had worked.

"I was 19 and morbidly obese.

"After returning from a year of studying and I was unhealthier than ever and it was giving me crippling anxiety attacks.

"It was then I discovered everything I was experiencing were symptoms of type-2 diabetes and if I didn't do something soon, I could [be] in serious trouble."

Elora with what she used to eat for breakfast. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News
Elora with what she used to eat for breakfast. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News

But Elora was so accustomed to her diet of fatty foods she knew it was going to be tough.

Elora said: "I loved having a kebab for brekkie. It was my favourite.

"At lunchtimes you could nearly always find me in Hungry Jacks having a large combo meal with an extra burger on the side and something similar for dinner.

"But now suddenly, I knew I had to say goodbye to those foods for good.

"I'd read a lot about 'clean eating' and after trying so many fad diets I liked the idea of stripping my food back to basics. But it didn't happen overnight.

"I started by removing processed foods from my diet which meant I couldn't have anything with sugar or chemicals in.

"In the first year, I lost 40kgs. It took another year to lose the other 15kilos."

In fact, Elora credits her success to following The Paleo Diet - also known as the "caveman diet."

She said: "I focused on good, fresh, whole foods that aren't processed: Essentially meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.

"I also added in workouts I work out 5 days a week and mainly focus on weight lifting but do one cardio session a week. I love weighted back squats and deadlifts with my PT."

But it was a decision to being documenting her journey, six months after she began, that really changed her life.

She said: "I started my Facebook page, 'The Shrinking Violet' in 2014 just to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

"It really took off and I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support I received from complete srangers.

"As I lost more and more weight, other people wanted to do what I was doing too. When they found out I was doing it all naturally, they would ask for recipes and a book just seemed like a natural progression.

"The book came out earlier this year and I'm really proud of it.

"My favourites recipes are my Paleo Lava Cakes and Paleo Chicken Pad Thai."

However, Elora, who hails originally from Christchurch, isn't able to credit all her success to her diet alone. The now size 12 health blogger spent $10,000 last year having 2.5kgs (4lbs) of excess skin removed after her weight loss left her with saggy skin.

Elora had 2.5kg of excess skin removed. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News
Elora had 2.5kg of excess skin removed. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News

She said: "I had 2.5kg of skin removed in America and it was the best thing I ever did.

"It would hang down over my groin and would droop when I was working out. There was so much of it that I had to tuck it into my clothing!

"My main reason for getting it removed was from a medical point of view; it was giving me all sorts of problems such as skin infections and a nasty reoccurring staph infection.

"Removing it eliminated these problems and changed my life.

"I still have excess skin on my arms, underarms, upper and lower back, thighs and breasts and my goal is to one day have surgery to correct it all.

"But my main focus is nutrition and helping others."

Elora after having surgery to remove excess skin. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News
Elora after having surgery to remove excess skin. Photo / Martin Hunter, Caters News

Though Elora is incredibly proud of the 55kgs (8st 7lbs) she's lost, she also takes her role as a wellness blogger very seriously.

She said: "Food and mental health have such a strong connection and if I had of known that at the time, I am certain I would've changed my eating habits sooner.

"I've never actually discussed my before and after weights because I don't want other women to compare their weight loss journey to my own. It's important to remember we are all different.

"For me, my new and improved body made my confidence soar. I love that I'm no longer a shrinking violet."

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