Profiles in Recovery
Today people seek his expert advise when it comes to health and nutrition, however, it was only a few years ago that Chef Stephen Sicola was near death because of his alcohol addiction. A graduate of the Culinary Academy of Austin, where he studied the Le Cordon Blue Culinary Art, Sicola was on the fast track to becoming the Who’s Who of the Austin culinary scene. He served as exclusive chef for the beautiful De La Rosa Estate Wedding Venue on Lake Travis. After deciding to go into business for himself, he founded Sicola’s-A Culinary Experience. A gourmet catering and private dining facility in northwest Austin.
Long nights, rich food and wine began to take a toll on his body. “I was 75-pounds overweight and sick to the point that I could not go a day without drinking because if I did I felt like I was going to die. I ended up having seizures due to alcohol and spent 3 days in ICU. I lost my health, my wife and my business.” Sicola recalls.
This was the wake up call he need to check into treatment. Sicola changed his lifestyle from “the inside out”. He turned his focus to: Faith, Family, Fitness and Food. “While managing clients I have found a way to marry both my passion for food with my knowledge of fitness nutrition.” What’s next for this single father of two? “My goal is to teaching people to cook and eat clean healthy meals that taste amazing! I am relaunching a company that is geared toward that concept.”
What I lost to addiction:
I lost my health, my wife and my business. I had a successful catering company and had to shut it down due to my addition. I was hospitalized and almost died due to complications with alcohol.
What worked for me:
I went to treatment and totally submerged myself into the program. I found my love for fitness and healthy eating/cooking and changed my lifestyle from the inside out.
Advice to my younger self:
Don’t try to rush things. Be patient, open and humble. Allow people, places and things to entire into your life.
Rules I live by:
One day at a time.
Follow your heart.
Never stop believing in yourself.
I think being grateful is one of the biggest keys to success. I am grateful for the good and the bad. In the end it all works out for the good if I stay the course.
What I value most in recovery:
I value the life I get to live in recovery. It is such a blessing to wake up sober and free; to not have the gilt and shame of my addition. I am grateful that I have two beautiful boys that I get to raise and spend time with, a supportive family that is always there for me and a strong support system of people I can talk to daily.
On my bucket list:
I wish to travel the country and the world, teaching people to cook and eat clean healthy meals that taste amazing. I am relaunching a company that is geared toward that concept. Change Your Food, Change Your Lifestyle
At my worst, I was:
I was 75 pounds overweight and sick to the point that I could not go a day without drinking because if I did I felt like I was going to die. I ended up having seizures due to alcohol and spent 3 days in ICU.
What I learned about myself:
What I learned about myself is that I am way stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. My addiction taught me that I can accomplish great things if I let go and let God take control. It’s also taught me how to be more compassionate towards others. I can better understand, listen and help, if needed. Lastly, it taught me that I don’t have to feel guilty for my past. I can live each day sober and free one day at a time with God by my side.
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If you’re a person in long-term recovery who wants to share your insights, please contact us at [email protected].