Everyone needs positive affirmation in the workplace. Regardless of whether you’re a professional athlete, a teacher, or a street sweeper, there’s always going to be a time when you need kind, encouraging words from others to keep from going full Bobby Knight and having a chair-tossing competition in the break room.
My job is no exception. Don’t get me wrong: I love my job, but sometimes I find myself wondering why people forget that their caps lock button is on when sending me e-mails. So it’s the feedback from amazing Cooking Light Diet community members like Kennan Hester from Raleigh, NC, that gives me the positive affirmation I sometimes need.
Kennan reached out to us recently concerning her weight-loss struggle pre-Cooking Light Diet. It’s no exaggeration to say that her testimony, detailing her genetic uphill battle with losing weight, brought tears of joy to our eyes. She is one of the many examples of why we created this Diet. I contacted her recently to get more details on how her healthy lifestyle change is going. Here’s what she had to say. (And thanks again for the positive affirmation, Kennan!)
M: Can you tell us a little bit about your family history and previous experiences with weight-loss programs?
K: My mother was overweight for most of my life. She was diagnosed pre-diabetic and told she needed to lose weight very quickly. So she underwent lap band surgery. Then my sister–she was also overweight pretty much her whole life–started getting pseudotumors, which can be a problem in overweight white women over a certain age. So she also got lap band—she had to fix that condition because you have to lose weight very quickly as well.
[Those events] kind of motivated me to continue staying very active. I played multiple sports all through high school, which seemed to keep me pretty in shape, but then in college that kind of dropped off. So I tried Weight Watchers, I tried some juice diets, I tried cutting out alcohol. I tried Lean Cuisines right after college. Weight Watchers kind of worked a little bit, but it just wasn’t sustainable. Plus, I was living by myself, so I found it much harder to cook for one. I thought I would eat the same thing for a week.
So, back in January, I was reading Cooking Light. My husband and I had been talking about trying a juice cleanse to kind of jumpstart losing weight because we’d both gained since our wedding. Those looked extremely expensive and extremely lacking in food, so we were a little bit nervous about trying the juice cleanse. But then I saw the ad for the Cooking Light Diet and showed it to my husband, and there was a discount to try it, so we were like, “Let’s give it a try to see if it works.” And, in the first two weeks, we both started losing weight. I’ve now maintained 14 pounds of weight loss in fifteen weeks.* My whole family has now asked me what I’m doing, and how they can do it, too! And I’ve had coworkers start noticing, and I feel awesome. I’m loving it!
M: Has the Diet helped you guys cut down on dining out?
K: Definitely. We’re very social birds. We like to hang out with our friends. During the week, we have a lot of friends in the neighborhood that regularly want to go do things. But I would say, since we’ve started the Diet, we tend to say, “Oh, yeah, sure! We’ll meet you after dinner.” And so we cook at home—it’s a lot easier for us to watch the calories and be sure we’re eating healthy if we do it at home. So we try to do that, and then go out and consume “liquid calories.” On the weekends, we’re not as strict—we don’t really follow the plan to a T, but we still try to cook if we can and we’re very aware of how much we’re consuming.
M: What’s been your favorite aspect of the Diet so far?
K: The fact that it occasionally tells me to sub a snack for wine. [Laughs] I really am just enjoying how much I’m learning. Generally, for lunch, I didn’t really know what to make other than a salad or a sandwich. What else could I do quickly for lunch? Well, cooking a potato and putting cheese and delicious vegetables on top of a potato is something I can easily do for lunch. It’s awesome, and I never even thought of doing that before. So it’s really teaching me quick, easy meals that were not anything I would have ever considered before.
M: Is this something you plan on continuing to do after you’ve met your personal weight-loss goal?
K: I think it’s definitely a lifestyle change that my husband and I have agreed is something we want to do long-term. So we may, you know, not be as strict about all the recipes down the line. We might get lazy on occasion, but at this point we are training ourselves to eat differently than we have before. And I don’t think it’s something that we can go back on.
*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.