Elena Harris used to live an extremely active lifestyle. She exercised constantly—dancing, racing 5Ks, and biking. Despite all that energy, Elena was quietly waging a battle with anorexia.
After what felt like a seemingly endless struggle with being underweight, she then found herself on the opposite end of the spectrum post-marriage: Elena could not stop eating.
“I would just eat and eat until I felt pretty sick to my stomach. I consumed way too much food.”
Then she had her daughter, Sabrina. And “everything stopped.” Sabrina became Elena’s whole focus, and all the exercising she loved was put on the back burner. The pounds piled on, and Elena found herself standing in front of mirrors, wondering where the person who used to love being active had gone.
She knew she had to do something, and a trip to Oregon finally provided the catalyst. Elena’s family had a great time, but seeing photos of herself with Sabrina made her balk.
“Those photos made me realize I needed to do something,” Elena said. “That was my ‘ahhh‘ moment.”
And so she decided to try the Cooking Light Diet. Elena had done other diets like Weight Watchers and Curves, but found neither were right for her. The CLDiet, however, “took the work out of organizing” and provided other incentives as well.
“This is real food. With Weight Watchers and Curves, I had to count everything, and I’d have meals like boiled chicken with veggies on the side. It was like diet food. The Cooking Light Diet is not. I’ve had friends come over and I’d feed them dinners off my menus, and they really enjoyed the meals.”
More than just the food, Elena loved the Facebook Community. The food was great sure, but the community helped with the mental aspects of weight loss. She relished the enthusiasm, support, and motivation from other members in the group, and the sense of community helped her to stick with the menus.
“For me to stay motivated, I have to have a group of people pushing me,” Elena said. “If I don’t have that, I don’t do anything. So the community has helped me stay on course. I love how everyone supports one another there.”
The inspiration from the online community coupled with her husband’s support encouraged Elena to start cooking more using the Diet’s menus. Slowly, the pounds started to melt away. It wasn’t an extreme change but the weight wasn’t coming back on, either. Elena was starting to feel better about herself.
Elena thought she could start running again, so she did. That in turn led to the purchase of a treadmill, which in turn led to her thinking she could do a 5K. So, she did.
That first 5K made Elena realize how much she missed running, so much so she decided to try and run one 5K a month. And with every race, she’s felt more like herself again.
“It’s really helped me get back to that energetic, running, working out, biking person I used to love before my daughter. It’s helped me find myself, back to that place where I was happy.”
Elena has lost 27 pounds* so far, and she says the beneficial effects of the Cooking Light Diet extend much farther than can be measured in pounds. Gone is the guilt Elena used to associate with eating—if she falls off the wagon, she knows she can easily plan out her next day’s menu and get right back on track to her goal weight of being between 130-135lbs. She’s learned how to cook recipes she never thought she would. Elena’s even eating a lot of vegetables, which she never used to do. But maybe the most exciting benefit of her Cooking Light Diet journey so far is how it’s influencing Sabrina’s relationship with food.
“What’s great is that my daughter is growing up with me making these foods, so she’ll sit down in front a bowl of soup with zucchini and cabbage…and she’ll eat the whole thing up. And she’s happy about it! And that makes me happy that I’m starting her on a healthy eating path—because of the Cooking Light Diet.”
Inspired by Elena’s story? Start your own Cooking Light Diet journey today!
*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose 1/2 lb. per week.