|Lisa Cooney, WLWT anchor|
Cincy Chic: How long have you been in news? An anchor?
Lisa Cooney, WLWT anchor: I’ve been at WLWT for 23 years. I started as a writer and started doing practice reporter packages on my off-time and turning them into my news director. One weekend my boss came in and told me I had to do a story because a reporter called in sick. But I would have to work a double shift because they needed a writer on the late show. Double shift? At that time in my career, I would have worked quadruple shifts to get my start.
After that day, I was given the weekends to report and six months later, I signed a full-time contract to report. A couple of years later they started a weekend morning show, and I was picked as the anchor and still reported during the week. A couple of years after that I was a full-time anchor.
Cincy Chic: Is it difficult to have a profession that’s always in the public eye?
Cooney: You get used to it. When the kids were little, they would say, “Gosh, Mom. You know everyone!” They didn’t realize that everyone knew me because of my job! We got a kick out of it then and get a kick from it now. Although I do go to Kroger looking like death warmed over and people still say, “Aren’t you Lisa Cooney?” That’s when I say, “No, I get that all the time!” Kidding! Honestly, it is a compliment when people approach me. I figure if they didn’t like me or felt I wasn’t approachable, they wouldn’t feel comfortable coming up and saying hello.
Cincy Chic: When did you decide you wanted to trim down?
Cooney: My dad died in September 2010. When Thanksgiving rolled around that year, I was really feeling out of control with a lot of things and just felt I needed something. What that something was, I did not know at the time. I was unhappy and decided to do something about it, and I guess I could not control my grief, so I decided to control my weight. I never had significant weight loss, ever. I needed was a program to follow, so I went searching.
Cincy Chic: Had you attempted other methods before trying HCG? If so, which?
Cooney: Oh, sure. Who hasn’t tried to lose some weight? But I never followed a program – under a doctor’s care, a program to hold me accountable, a program that required me to visit an office and get on its scale and actually keep track of losing (or gaining) weight.
Cincy Chic: How did you hear about and decide to try HCG?
Cooney: Julia Lutz with UniqueU Medical Weightloss knew my dad and how we got connected with the program. I honestly believe my father had something to do with it. Over the years, I would see Julia around town at events and found out long ago that she was involved in UniqueU. When my dad was sick, she would tell me how wonderful he was and how much he meant to her when she was in sales. My dad was a banker and she would call him. Julia would tell me he was just a good man and good to her and someone who had integrity.
When I hit that low point around Thanksgiving of 2010 that I talked about earlier, I knew I needed a program. I thought of Julia. “I wonder if she can help me?” But life got in the way and I just forgot about it. But my unhappiness stayed. A week later, my desk phone rang. It was Julia. She wanted to know if I wanted to try UniqueU. I was shocked and stunned. My dad was sending me a message. I jumped on board. Thank you, Dad.
Cincy Chic: How much did you lose?
Cooney: I started the program December 8, 2010. By April 8, 2011 I was down 40 pounds. That’s when I stopped the program and they equipped me with the information I needed to maintain my weight loss.
Cincy Chic: Was it difficult?
Cooney: It was a leap of faith. Starting a weight loss program right before the holidays is difficult. But I was determined. I told myself a few things: It’s only food. While you are not having things you want right now, you will have these foods again. And there is difficulty with any challenge. And I do believe my dad somehow gave me the strength to succeed. Weight loss is one of the hardest things for the average person to do. I’ve always known that, and since I have never had significant weight loss, I was very proud of myself.
Cincy Chic: How long has it been since, and how do you feel?
Cooney: My maintenance phase started in mid-April of 2011. I feel great. Being thinner is a wonderful feeling. I have more energy. I went to the doctor soon after reaching my goal, and my doctor was very happy. All my numbers were way down. They were fine to begin with, but the improvement was astonishing.
Cincy Chic: Where did you go for the HCG, and do you recommend them? If so, why?
Cooney: I went to UniqueU Medical Weightloss. I recommend them – highly. They are professional and very supportive. You see a doctor and talk to his or her staff each and every time. They were my guides and my support group. They prop you up if you have not had a good week, and they hug you when you kicked butt. And they understand what regular people go through to lose weight.
Cincy Chic: When you’re not working, what do you like to do with your time?
Cooney: I have been married to Tony for almost 22 years. We have two teenagers. Our son, Jake, is a senior in high school. Our daughter, Avery, is a sophomore in high school. They keep us very busy. We go to their games and events, and we are involved with their schools and their lives.
I’m actually kind of a homebody. I never admitted that until recently. One of my friends said, “Well, are you going to the party, or are you staying home and making up another excuse why you can’t go?” Snap! She burned me, and she’s right. So, Tony and I are making more of an effort to get out and be more sociable.
Cincy Chic: What’s your favorite thing about Cincinnati?
Cooney: Doing my job in my own hometown. I’m from Northern Kentucky and never left. We spent the first 14 years of our marriage in Park Hills. We’re in Ft. Wright now, and I grew up in Ft. Wright.
I feel like I know everyone. And to tell you the truth, people don’t say much, “Aren’t you Lisa Cooney?” Because they know my family and my cousins, my parents and my friends. My husband is from Lebanon, but this is his home, too.
I love people. I love my hometown. Cincinnati is one of those places where people might leave for a time, but they always come back.
Click here to watch an exclusive webcast of Lisa Cooney talking candidly about her dramatic weight loss.