"You guys have really put some bounce in my step, and I appreciate that."

Claudia Smith is not your typical Maine resident... in that the Colorado transplant and ordained Episcopalian priest residing in Blue Hill, ME, doesn't really care for lobster. It's just not for her, although she did offer to arrange a lobster if I ever make it up that direction (thanks, Claudia!). But while we may have differing opinions as to how utterly amazing lobster truly is, one thing we both have in common is our zest for delicious food in general. And how that fondness can at times get the better of us.

"I've probably done every diet in my life," Claudia told me. "I love food. I love the taste of it, I love the texture of it, I love to cook it, I love to dine out. I just like food, and so I had just always battled with trying to keep a reasonable weight. You know, just the classic yo-yo-er."

Another thing we have in common? Our love for the Cooking Light Diet, which Claudia says is helping her slowly, steadily win her weight-loss race. When I spoke with her, she told me why, even though it's happening slowly, the progress she's making lets her know this is more than just a quick-fix service.

"I've lost 19-20 pounds*, depending on which day you ask me," Claudia said. "The weight's just sort of coming off. It's very, very slow, and so part of it for me is that there are weeks I lose and gain the same pound throughout the whole week. But ultimately, it's headed in the right direction. I'm telling myself this is a lifestyle. But I don't feel deprived. This is not like, 'Oh, gosh, I've got to get back on a diet.' This is good stuff."

Good stuff that has surprised her from an expectation standpoint. Claudia's been familiar with the Cooking Light brand for a long time, as she let me know she remembered when Cooking Light was born from a Southern Living concept many, many moons ago. But she didn't expect the combination of foods her weekly Cooking Light Diet menus would offer up, nor how entertaining it would be to branch out in a culinary sense. Unlike other diets Claudia tried in the past, she feels like this is on the complete opposite on the spectrum from boring.

"I think without question the biggest surprise was just the things I can eat. I haven't had a banana in years, and to have a peanut butter and sliced banana wrap for breakfast, and you can lose weight doing that? Who knew?! Or potatoes. I thought you had to give up everything white—no potatoes, no rice, no whatever. ...[And] I'm eating a lot more fish, which is good. My kids are vegetarian, so I'm having a lot of fun exploring the vegetarian recipes, too. I actually grilled eggplant and tofu last night, I want you to know. That was adventurous. It was good—not the same as chicken, but there you have it."

Claudia has also reaped Cooking Light Diet benefits beyond her own kitchen, saying she's too motivated now to get carried away when dining out.

"I think because I'm enthused with what's happening to my body—I've dropped like a size and a half or two sizes—and I just feel better, that I don't want to blow it. And so I don't feel deprived like I need to blow it when I go out. So I'm perfectly happy to have a salad or something simple, and feel good about that. I don't feel deprived 'eating the right way' on this plan."

And eating the right way with the Cooking Light Diet is the way that Claudia plans to continue eating indefinitely, no matter how fast or slow her weight loss.

"I mean, this is really good food," Claudia said. "You can serve this to people and not have them go, 'Oh, gosh, she's on another diet.' I'm excited about this, and I just talk about it alot. ...[And] the truth is I'd like to lose another 20 pounds. But at the rate I'm going, that could be a year or two. And that's totally okay with me. I, for the first time, am really not at all obsessed with a scale. I do that more for reinforcement, I guess. ...This has really gotten me much more focused on what I'm doing, and what I'm planning for. This just feels like—I feel better, I like what I'm eating, I'm eating a great variety. I can just do this."

We know you can, Claudia, and we're here for you! Thanks for sharing your story.


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.

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