Each month, we like to highlight a local entrepreneur, chef, or business doing great things in our community. A couple years ago we featured Chef Ricky Webster after he moved to Spokane from Los Angeles and revamped the menu at Hotel RL. He has since moved on and this season he found himself as a contestant on Hallmark Drama’s Christmas Cookie Matchup! With this process, he recognized he wasn’t looking or feeling his best so he turned to Spokane Weight Loss and here is his journey…

Guest post by Chef Ricky Webster

In the past three years, I’ve slowly been packing on the extra pounds. I stopped holding myself accountable and ultimately paid a price. Let me set things straight… I’ve never been a thin person. I am a Chef who loves food and loves what I do. However, that doesn’t mean my relationship with food has always been a healthy one. I found myself turning to food as comfort in times of heightened stress or emotion (the main culprit being sugar). I also struggle with some anxiety issues, and last Winter a bout with seasonal affective disorder almost took me back up to my highest weight ever, 290 lbs. Believe me I felt it. My knees and ankles were sore and feeling the strain. I didn’t have energy and I also found that I wasn’t sleeping great. All of this was taking a toll and I felt stuck.

During this season, I also competed on Hallmark Drama’s Christmas Cookie Matchup. I participated in the competition during the beginning part of August. After the challenges were said and done and I was heading home to Spokane, I had time to reflect. I’d seen some clips and pictures from the filming and although I was SO happy with the show and the experience, I wasn’t thrilled with the way my clothes fit and my overall appearance. I also noticed that after days of competition my knees and ankles were sore. (Not that it wouldn’t be somewhat normal to experience tired joints or muscles after a full day running about a kitchen to meet the challenge requirements in the allotted time constraints, but this was excessive.) So, I decided it was time to make a change!

Initially, I heard the Spokane Weight Loss Commercials on the radio and thought, “This is too good to be true!”. But, I decided to do some research of my own. I knew Dan Roberts was one of the major success stories, so I started there. I also went on to Spokaneweightloss.com and read all the available content to try and understand how it all worked. After my deep dive, I still had questions and now even more than before, so I reached out!

I set up a call and had my consultation with Dr. Werner Marksfeld (Creator of Spokane Weight loss). I thought the program sounded awesome. I fully started to grasp what it entailed, and the ads are true… no chemicals, pre-packaged meals, HCG, or even excessive exercise. The program is based on eating real, clean food, combined with intermittent fasting and all-natural supplements. I felt Dr. Marksfeld believed in me. He asked me how much I wanted to lose and when I told him 50 lbs, he had no doubt that I could do it during the nine-week program. Nine weeks and fifty pounds? I didn’t fully believe him and wondered how it could be, but as I sit here on day 63 (last day of the program) I am ecstatic to say, “I’ve achieved my goal!”.

In nine weeks, I’ve dropped fifty-one pounds, and my energy levels and stamina have skyrocketed. Within two weeks of being on the program, I realized I was jogging downstairs in the morning to get ready for work. This was not normal for me. At this point I had lost about ten pounds, sure a good start, but not so much as to relieve that much pressure off the joints. I discovered that the biggest cause of inflammation in my body is sugar.

Eliminating the sugar wasn’t a piece of cake (literally), although it was made much easier with the use of the program provided supplements. Still, I had a slip up with sugar at about the four-week mark. It was not pretty! I got this insane headache and had a horrible time sleeping. The next day I woke with a feeling of being hungover even though I hadn’t consumed any alcohol the day prior. I was seeing firsthand that sugar is like a drug and this is what it does to me. If that wasn’t motivation enough, I don’t know what was!

I can’t say enough great things about Spokane Weight Loss. It’s a wonderful feeling to be walking around fifty-one pounds lighter! On top of that, I feel more motivated, my mind/ skin/ eyes are clearer, and I’ve ressurected clothes from deep within my closet. Feeling these things, has me never wanting to let myself lose control again. I now have the desire to be more active and feel that I can without the worry of sore knees and a tight ankle.

I am walking away with so much more knowledge today than when I began this journey. I am now a huge fan of intermittent fasting and will practice this lifestyle as I find it extremely effective. It had never occurred to me that the body spends most of its energy digesting food (especially if we eat so many small meals and snack throughout the day), rather than having time to focus on repairing and healing other areas. There is little science on this subject, but all I can say is that I feel the difference and that is enough for me.

In addition, I have now confirmed that my body doesn’t respond well to sugar. This is tough news, especially with a background as a pastry chef, but that’s not to say that I won’t indulge in the occasional cookie. After all I am the Christmas Cookie Guy! I also realize just how many different foods out there contain sugar that we don’t even think about. Limiting the processed foods is key. If I am wanting to celebrate with a treat, so making it myself is the way to go. If you’ve ever wished to drop some weight quickly and effectively this is a program worth considering! Mention me (Chef Ricky) when scheduling your consultation to take $100 off the program fee.

As far as Christmas Cookie Matchup goes, If I had it to do all over again today, I can’t say I’d do it anything differently, but I can say I’d feel so much better doing it! Tune in to Christmas Cookie Matchup only on Hallmark Dram Wednesdays beginning 11/13 at 9p/ 8c (check your local listings).