North Carolina Woman Sends Letter of Gratitude for Cooking Light Diet, Makes Us All Cry

June 27, 2015 | By | Comments (11)

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!)

Kennan Hester

Everyone needs positive affirmation. Just ask Stuart Smalley. Thank you, Kennan. Photo: Kennan Hester

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.

Chicken and Cheese Spud

Chicken and Cheese Spud. Lunch never tasted so good.

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.


If you’d like to know more about the Cooking Light Diet, visit, or email us at We’d love to hear from you! Have a great week.

*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week. 


Smart Diet Tips:


  1. Barbro

    Been on the CLD since 7/21/15, I’ve lost 31 pounds and still have a way to go. My weight loss these days is about 1/2 to pound a week which is just fine with me. Slow and steady! I’m 81 years old and losing weight has made me feel better and I move a little faster. It’s all good.

    February 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm
  2. Get More Involved With Your Food, Win the Healthy Eating Battle | Cooking Light

    […] North Carolina Woman Sends Letter of Gratitude for Cooking Light Diet, Makes us All Cry […]

    September 7, 2015 at 4:00 pm
  3. Ezequiel

    When heart attack or stroke does happen, they are more probably to be fatal in females.

    August 1, 2015 at 9:21 pm
    • TJean

      Mine wasn’t.

      October 4, 2015 at 1:02 am

    During your 40s, you should make nutrition a priority,
    with a focus on heart health.

    August 1, 2015 at 3:33 pm
  5. Avid Hiker Finds Diet That Doesn’t Feel Like A Diet | Cooking Light

    […] North Carolina Woman Sends Letter of Gratitude for Cooking Light Diet, Makes us All Cry […]

    July 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm
  6. Matthew A. Moore

    Linda West we actually just released a vegetarian option recently! We’d love for you to join and try it out 🙂

    July 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm
  7. Linda West

    I am so eager to try this program! Is there an ETA for the vegetarian version yet?

    July 15, 2015 at 12:09 pm
  8. Carmine

    I pay a quick visit day-to-day a few web pages and information sites to read content, however this
    blog offers quality based articles.

    July 8, 2015 at 3:01 am
  9. katrina Astley

    How can i buy this wonderful book

    July 6, 2015 at 2:20 pm
  10. Nell

    I am one day into the Cooking Light Diet…amazing amount of food and so tasty (potatoes??? I get POTATOES???). I’m almost scared to weigh in next week because I feel like I should be starving. At 62 my doctor says I have to lose this weight, 100 pounds of it, or expect to die younger than necessary. Along with a genetic disposition to weight, I am suffering from an anxiety disorder, abusive background, and general failure at any and all of the diets I have tried (dozens…). I want to do this so much, and right now I might have a chance with your diet. I hope so…I really truly hope so.

    June 30, 2015 at 10:15 pm

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