Life changing

By JENNIFER COHRON
Posted 5/20/18

Jennifer Kaufman and her mom, Shelley Kaufman, are walking testimonials for a low-carb diet.Jennifer Kaufman, a special education teacher in Sumiton, has lost 105 pounds in 14 months. The weight loss …

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Life changing

Posted

Jennifer Kaufman and her mom, Shelley Kaufman, are walking testimonials for a low-carb diet.

Jennifer Kaufman, a special education teacher in Sumiton, has lost 105 pounds in 14 months. The weight loss has not only helped her be healthier but has also given her the confidence to embrace new experiences such as hiking, kayaking and riding roller coasters for the first time in years. 

Shedding pounds has made visits to her favorite place, New York City, more enjoyable as well.

"I went to New York with my dad in November before I started the weight loss journey, and it was difficult to walk. We took lots of breaks. I went back in October, and it was a breeze. My friend was with me, and we had to stop and wait for her to catch her breath when we got to the top of the stairs from the subway. I was fine, and she was having to tell me to slow down," Kaufman said.

Kaufman has been on a low-carb diet since January 2017.

She was trying to lose weight to prepare for a friend's wedding and was concerned that her usual methods wouldn't produce results quickly enough. 

She turned to her mom, who had switched to a low-carb diet out of medical necessity and had had success with it for over a year.

"As a nurse, she knew the general things you need to do and she did a lot of research to go along with that. If it hadn't been for her getting all the basics down, I wouldn't be where I am right now," said Kaufman, who also credits her parents with helping her build good self-esteem and never making her feel like she had to lose weight. 

Between January and March 2017, Kaufman lost 45 pounds.  

Her mother and father have lost 100 pounds and 80 pounds respectively with the diet.

Jennifer and Shelley Kaufman now lead a small group at Sumiton Church of God. Last year, the total weight loss for the group was over 140 pounds, and the most recent class had similar results. 

Kaufman, who complements her diet with exercise such as swimming, disc golf, hiking and Zumba, said that cutting out carbohydrates was the first diet she has ever tried that became a lifestyle change.

"It was something I knew I had to do because I wanted to be there for my nephew. I wanted to be able to ride on a plane without having to take my extender. I want to go to Germany for my 40th birthday, and I don't want to have to worry about if I'm going to have to buy an extra ticket," Kaufman said.

Kaufman has at least 80 pounds to go on her weight loss journey, but she's committed to sticking with the program.

"I know that sometimes surgery is the only option for people because of medical or other reasons. I'm thankful that I didn't have to go that route. My hope is that other people who don't want to consider surgery can see that it can be done another way," Kaufman said.