Embarking on a weight-loss journey can be a lot like starting a new relationship. If you’re looking for something quick and easy, it’s not likely to last. But, if you’re mentally prepared for a long-term commitment, you’ll see lasting results. That was the case for Melissa Kahn who lost 70 lbs on the Jenny Craig diet. Her weightloss journey took her from 208 lbs and lots of pizza to 138 lbs and a triathlon, all while inspiring thousands with her resilience through her steep transformation.
She attributes her success to the Jenny Craig meal plan, her consultant Cindy, and a simple saying from Muhammad Ali that kept her going through each and every struggle on the uphill road to a healthy body, mind and spirit.
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In the grand scheme of things, what is a year? Especially if it is the time it takes to completely change your lifestyle and behavior? That’s how long it took Kahn to shed the pounds, and now she has the rest of her life to live with healthy nutritional and physical habits pounded into her daily routines.
“Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion” – Muhammad Ali
Kahn repeated this statement to herself everytime she found herself face to face with a donut—one that would inevitably stare her seductively in the eyes. Then there were those sweaty morning at the gym when she was lacking sleep and self-confidence.
“It’s scary too because when you’re one of the larger people at the gym it can be very intimidating. Everybody there is fit and fabulous and you’re not feeling so fit and fabulous,” Kahn said in a one-on-one interview with ConnectWithLife.com. “It nearly killed me in the first 10 minutes. I was by far the heaviest person in there. People were staring at me. Probably snickering, thinking they’d never see me again. I kept cycling.”
Having a history of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity in her family, Kahn had also been overweight her whole life and was worried that she was putting herself at risk for the same conditions. Her turning point came when her husband sat her down to voice those same concerns. “You’re beautiful no matter and I love you,” he said. “But you’re NOT healthy, and that really scares me.”
“I really took that conversation to heart” said Kahn.
Having tried multiple “quick weight loss” diets and seeing little lasting success, Kahn went to Jenny Craig knowing it had worked for others. She dedicated herself to a meal plan and met with a consultant every single week to do a weigh-in. Cindy, who had also gone through a weight-loss program with Jenny Craig, was very supportive, pushing her through those tough moments.
“She was and continues to be such an amazing support system for me,” said Kahn. “You know, we’re all human. We all have good days and bad days, and I can call her and say ‘talk me off this ledge, I’m looking at a cookie.’”
The meal plans were great, but they did affect Kahn’s social life. Over a year of only eating from a dedicated meal plan really limits your time with friends and family – going out to dinner, attending parties, and grocery shopping all start to look very different.
But, Kahn powered through, noting that the Jenny Craig food was so good that she still eats a lot of it today.
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“The Jenny Craig food that’s still my favorite to this day is the pizza. I think I lost 70lbs eating pizza for dinner every night. It really does not suck,” said Kahn, adding “It tastes good and you feel like you’re indulging, it’s amazing.”
Kahn didn’t start adding physical exercise into her weight-loss plan until she had lost about 20 pounds simply by sticking to her meal plan. That success set off an inner fire to push herself to achieve more and more physically. Having completed her first triathlon in March, I think it’s safe to say Kahn has made it and is a champion.
“I realized that this is a healthy lifestyle for a lifetime. It’s not just a diet. This is a ‘long haul’ approach to health and greater happiness, and I can tell you one thing with certainty, it is WORTH IT!” said Kahn. “Every penny I’ve spent on Jenny is worth my own smile. I can finally look in the mirror and not be ashamed. I am proud. My husband and children are proud, and at the end of the day, if I can inspire just one person – I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought possible.”