I’ve been working with David, then Stacey for the last year and I believe we can all benefit from their health story and ongoing journey. Enjoy!

Hi! I’m Stacey Jones (S), a smiling 40-year-old, with a history of celiac disses (diagnosed in 2015) and bottomless relationship with dieting since my teens. I spend my daytime hours working from home, aka access to the kitchen whenever I want it, for a higher education technology company, and a year ago, I took the leap, I choose me and found I was ready for true change and sought help from a professional, Kelly.

Hello, my name is David Ward (D), I’m 40 years old as well. I spend most of my time during the day as a service delivery manager of an IT company and serve in the Ohio Army National Guard. Growing up I was made to eat everything on my plate. My mother God bless her, cooked like she was feeding a platoon when was just me and my brother. I continued this eating habit into adulthood.

How has your health goal evolved with your work with Kelly? 

S: A year before I actually worked with Kelly, I bought supplements from Kelly (I highly recommend doing a detox, while it’s hard, it’s very helpful). After seeing the success David was having working with Kelly, I knew there was something to explore. 

My starting goal was to focus on losing belly fat and while it hasn’t necessarily changed, because it’s the most inflammatory place to hold extra weight, I have a more whole-body focus now. I used to just focus on calories and portions, I have broadened my scope much wider. I listen to hunger cues, manipulate my hunger with balanced meals, fasting, etc, exercise, giving myself grace, and work on the negative self-talk I’ve had for years around food.

D: I started with Kelly because I needed help in losing/maintaining my weight to stay within Army standards as I was unable to workout due to a herniated disc in October 2018. I wanted to change my eating habits and needed guidance on how to do it beyond a dieting/deprivation mindset. Now my goal is to maintain the level of wellness and lean body mass I’ve achieved and the healthy habits I learned so far. When I started this journey to a better life, my weight was 230 lbs. at 29 percent body fat, now I’m at 210 lbs. and I’m at 21 percent. Thanks, Kelly!

What is one lesson from Kelly’s work that has had a large impact on your progress and worth sharing with others?

S: Give yourself grace instead of shaming yourself. This was and is HUGE for me.

D: Recognize when I’m full, in the past I would eat so fast that I didn’t give my body time to let me know that I was full. Now I purposely slow down and enjoy my food, and when I’m full I’m done eating.

What is your outlook on your health now compared to the start?  

S: I can figure it out if I just don’t quit. In fact, this is almost an affirmation I keep in mind daily. I can lose weight without having to count a single calorie (because we all grow up thinking you HAVE to count calories) and enjoy the process as well.

D: I never thought I would be at the weight I’m at now, I am 50 pounds less than my senior year of high school weight. After years of struggling, I would see improvement but gain the weight back. Now I live a more healthy lifestyle without even trying, having regular monthly meetings with Kelly has kept me accountable. Side note, I still find enjoyment when I go out to eat and want to have alcohol. I have found a balance with Kelly, which are fueling my results. 

What is one habit that you’ve adopted that is helping your progress?  

S: Intermittent fasting, balancing meals with fat, protein and complex carbs, thinking about insulin response from food and sugar, and having confidence I can continue on this path.

D: Intermediate fasting and initially counting macros, also knowing I’m not starving myself to lose weight. It’s ironic how helpful it is to hydrate properly. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger.

What advice would you give someone else who wants to lose weight and become healthier?  

S: It’s all about making small changes that add up to big changes in the long run.  And meeting yourself where you are at.

D: I recommend anyone who is struggling like I was, to take the time and get the help, there’s more to living a healthy lifestyle than going to the gym. Having someone to talk about your health needs and being able to coach you to not only meet your goals but maintain them is essential.