Sherene Kershner is the founder of Evolve 180 Weight Loss, providing weight loss solutions in the Pacific Northwest. Since losing a hundred pounds, Sherene Kershner has guided over 1700 clients to their own weight loss success.
Totally inspired by this interview with Sherene…
Evolve 180 Weight Loss
Can you describe what your business does, and your role?
Evolve180 helps people lose weight healthfully while re-balancing their metabolism.
It’s very helpful for people with pre-diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.
Our claim to fame is the industry’s best Maintenance Program.
I founded the company under a different name in 2012 to share the successful methods I’d found for my own weight loss. Since then, my understanding of what works best has evolved a lot and so have our methods – hence the company name change.
When did you first feel successful?
Evolve180 is my 2nd entrepreneurial adventure. Both times I started a business, I was married to someone with a W2 job. I had a safety net which gave me courage and enabled me to take bigger risks getting my businesses started.
However, when I got divorced (amicably) and my income from self-employment was suddenly my ONLY income, it was kind of scary. I’d never fully depended on income from my business before. I had to just put the fear aside and keep doing what I’d done to grow the business, and trust in myself.
As time went by, I realized I was not only fine, I was thriving! That’s when I really felt successful.
Integrating Keto into Family Life
Given your background in food and nutrition, how does that affect the meals you prepare for your family?
My fiancee, Travis, brought 2 amazing kids into my life back in 2016. Before that, I didn’t have children of my own. It has been an amazing and heart-expanding adventure learning to “mom!”
The main thing I’ve learned in general about nutrition for children is that there are a lot of things we could be doing starting at a young age to keep kids’ body from forming the metabolic imbalances that lead to excess weight gain later.
The most important thing is always ensuring kids eat enough protein to balance out any carbs they eat. Just like any parents, Travis and I have a constant battle to the get kids to eat things that are good for them, rather than the super-concentrated, hyper-palatable carbohydrates they crave.
Things like macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza, grilled cheese, tomato soup, goldfish crackers, desserts – all the things our society defaults to giving kids because they will eat them – are nothing but fat and carbs. Eaten alone, those super-carbs are triggering epi-genetic changes in the kids’ bodies that signal their body to begin chronically storing fat.
Getting picky kids to eat protein and veggies after years of hyper-palatable foods is nearly impossible.
Travis and I have learned to be sneaky in the ways we work protein into their diets. Low-fat cheese sticks, hard-boiled eggs, tasty protein bars, protein-enhanced hot chocolate or smoothies… These are our go-to proteins.
We insist they have a protein BEFORE whichever high-carb food they want. If they eat string cheese, they can have the crackers they asked for. If they finish their eggs at breakfast, then they can also have cold cereal.
Protein FIRST is our motto.
We do this because we know protein acts as a speed-bump for the carbohydrates entering their bloodstream – slowing them down and avoiding big spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
It mellows out their metabolic response which is a good thing. And it also ensures they are actually hungry when they ask to eat more – i.e. if they aren’t hungry enough to eat a cheese stick first, they aren’t hungry enough to eat more goldfish crackers.
Have you ever had an occasion where you were feeling guilty for giving your business more attention in a moment than your kids? How did you respond?
Absolutely. In the last two years, and without going into a lot of detail, Travis and I have had a LOT of extra demands on our time related to things the children need – outside of school and such.
At the same time, we re-named and re-launched Evolve180 as its new incarnation and have been riding an amazing, time-consuming wave of new success. The business and personal demands are in constant competition for our time.
My strategy is to remind myself that the time I give the business CAN be the most beneficial thing I do for our family — IF I’m efficient, strategic and effective with everything I do.
It makes me super focused and dialled in to ensure the time I’m spending on the business is dedicated to high-value activities which grow and support the business, and that I avoid time-wasters like excess social media, meetings, or brainstorming on future projects that don’t need to be implemented today.
When I’m super busy, I also really try to ensure that my time with the kids is just as focused and strategic. For the bursts of time we spend together, I try to put everything aside to focus on them – so they really get my attention while we are interacting.
If I don’t have a lot of quantity of time to give, I try to make sure the time I do give is quality-time.
When I’m present, I’m present. When I’m not, I’m not. It helps to ensure that at least a couple times a day I put everything aside and focus on them exclusively – even if those time bursts are short.
Do you have a plan to limit your cell phone and email time when you’re with your kids?
Yes, none of us has our phones out when we are eating a meal (breakfast and dinner are the main meals we eat together). We put phones away when we play card and board games – which we do 3-4 times per week after homework and dinner.
We have a solid bedtime routine where we spend a good half-hour transitioning and saying goodnight and all of that time is focused on high-quality interaction.
I’ve learned that if you have enough quality in your short interactions, the length of time you spend can become less of an issue. I work from home a lot which means I have to explain when I’m in “work mode,” and need them to pretend I’m at the office.
I do have a home office with a door which makes that a bit easier, but sometimes they wander in and start chatting when I’m in the middle of work.
We gently explain that when grownups need to work, they need to be allowed to focus.
I tell them when I’ll be available and stick to that.
It helps me be consistent when I realize that they are watching me to learn good boundaries around work time and home time. I want them to learn good habits and it helps me to have good habits, too.
Do your kids contribute to your business?
Not really – they ask about it, but are rarely at the office or involved in our day-to-day operations.
They do hear us discuss situations related to work – and they get to ask questions.
For instance, when we’ve had a difficult situation with a staff member or a customer, they can hear some of the ways we discuss and think about it.
One fun thing I noticed with our daughter was that about 2 years ago, she shifted in her make-believe play with her dolls and LEGO to pretending she was the owner of shops and restaurants and businesses, rather than working there.
She is now always the boss, and the rest of the dolls or toys are her employees. That was super fun to notice!
I think watching one of the women in her life have a position of responsibility and authority empowered her to imagine that for herself.
If one of your kids wanted to work at your business as a profession, what would be their first job?
We would probably offer them a summer position receiving and stocking inventory, or perhaps cleaning the office.
We have had a few talks with the kids about the saying, “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”
The short summary is that one generation builds the business up from nothing, and the next two gradually run it into the ground due to a sense of entitlement rather than the original drive that made the business successful.
They understand that the business is a manifestation of our passion and drive and that it is fueled by our desire to help others.
That can’t necessarily come from just anyone, so while we don’t rule out the possibility that they might want to be involved someday, we have emphasized that they should explore all kinds of ideas for their future and decide what makes the most sense for them – aside from what our business does. There is no pressure.
In fact, if anything, there is pressure to look for their own path in life. Travis and I both believe that building something of ones’ own – whether a great career or starting a business – can be the most powerful path to growth and self-awareness that exists!
Sherene Kershner is the founder of Evolve 180 Weight Loss, a Ketogenics weight loss business located in Bellevue, Washington.