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Monday, January 19, 2015

healthy, happy, you 2015 - strong mom KellyAnn Jarrett

This strong mom feature is what it's all about - she's hard working, fiercely determined, ready to take on anything, and a fighter. She will not give up her goals or time to make herself healthier. She is doing everything she can to be the best mother to her boys, and I think her story is really inspiring, you'll love this one. Thanks to KellyAnn Jarrett for sharing her tips for how to make your life healthier (write down your goals, work with others who can motivate you, exercise with the kids, etc.). She has a lot of great advice. What a great read!

Thanks, KellyAnn, so proud of you!

All images from KellyAnn Jarrett

My journey to becoming a better version of myself started about four years ago and is still a work in progress.

I gained a lot of weight prior to my first pregnancy, I was misdiagnosed with depression at 31yrs old (I found out that food was causing those symptoms). In three months I gained 30lbs on top of the 30lbs I had gained since college and then learned I was pregnant. I packed on about another 20lbs being pregnant and by the time I had Riordan I was completely disgusted with myself. It makes me sad to be that honest about how I was feeling, but that is the truth. I was also in a career that was no longer fulfilling and it contributed to my "depression". To say I was in a slump would have been a gross understatement.

The program I live by helped me find what foods were causing those symptoms but also I know some of that depression was situational. I wanted to be more present in my baby's life and with my husband, instead I was overworked and underpaid as a social worker, along with having a part time job on the weekends just to make ends meet.

I knew something had to give because I couldn't keep going like I was. 

The loss of my social work job was a blessing in disguise. Scared but also deciding there were no other options that were going to give me the life I felt that my son deserved,  I started my own business. As part of that business, I learned about an entirely new way to fuel my body with food.

I never really thought I had bad eating habits, I know now I lacked knowledge and information about so many things! I was definitely duped (like many of us are) into believing what the food industry says I need to eat to be healthy. I also carried so much guilt about being overweight. Society in general says if you are overweight it must be because you don't eat right and are lazy. Neither of those things were true of me, so why was I so heavy? 

I was so frustrated and discouraged when it came to my weight. I did different "weight loss" plans; Weight Watchers and other caloric restricted plans, cleanses, shakes, low carb, low fat, 21 day challenges, the list goes on and on. I know now that there are elements from all those plans that can be beneficial however,

YOU DON'T LOSE WEIGHT TO GET HEALTHY, you get healthy and you lose weight. 

The other incredibly important thing was even when I did lose weight with some of those plans (I either plateaued or got so bored with it I would quit and put weight back on, it just wasn't sustainable), I still had several other health "inconveniences". I developed eczema in my mid 20s out of the clear blue, depression like symptoms, constantly fatigued regardless of how much sleep I got, gas and bloating, severe mood swings, frequent headaches, several sinus/ear infections each year, the little bumps on the backs of my arms and tops of my thighs (that feel like chicken skin!), zero sex drive (it's a miracle I got pregnant!) I think that about sums up all the things I was living with and dealing with DAILY. I had no idea that food was at the root of all of it. 

When I first implemented this eating plan, the first thing I noticed was that I had a huge surge in my energy level. I quickly lost over 20lbs of weight that had been clinging on since I had my first son. But the crazy thing was, my eczema went away, I didn't notice I didn't have gas any more until I just didn't have it (TMI perhaps but I seriously never ever have gas now, ever), my skin on my arms and legs was smoother. I haven't had a sinus or ear infection in a couple years, I rarely get sick at all. The sex drive came back and right when I was on a roll, I learned I was pregnant with my second son. I ate the same way while I was pregnant and I gained less than 20lbs with Deaglan. I also followed the same plan while nursing for two years, there isn't a safe healthier way to fuel your body or your baby.

This way of eating has stuck with me for the last few years. Then December 22, 2013 everything changed. I was in a funk again, I had cleaned up my diet but there was still so much head junk that was keeping me where I was in my life, my weight, my relationships, my business, etc. My diet was the same more or less, I didn't allow in certain foods just because I felt like crap when I ate them! But I wasn't looking how I wanted to look, I wasn't the wife or mother I wanted to be, I wasn't the leader my team deserved.

I wasn't living, I was existing. 

I don't know what you believe, whether it is in God or the Universe, but on December 22, 2013 I remember crying out, "I need something, please bring something into my life that will change everything." I didn't even really know what I was expecting, I don't think I could have even pinpointed exactly what wasn't working in my life other than, me, I wasn't working. 

The very next day I got an email from my company, they had asked several thousand people if they would like to be part of a study to be test subjects for two new weight loss products (I started using these in addition to the eating plan I follow). We were asked to submit a video and a couple pictures. More importantly they were looking for us to answer what being healthy meant to us personally.

As I was recording my video I had a realization that this was the only video I had of me, and that I didn't have any pictures of me and my boys that were not done by a photographer in the last 4 years. I shared all that on my video that I didn't want something to happen to me and have this be the only video my kids will ever have. I certainly didn't want them to remember this mom who was ashamed of herself; too ashamed go to the beach and to go to pool dates or play outside at all. 

I stopped thinking about myself and started thinking about them. We hear so much about "you have to love yourself first" and I don't know that I completely agree with that only because I think we do love ourselves already. My point is you wouldn't stick your hand in fire because it would hurt, if you have a toothache you would go to the dentist, that is all part of self love. It is funny, the less I thought about needing to love myself and shifted my focus to loving them, the closer I got to the mom and wife I want to be.

The people you love deserve to have you at your best.  

Three hundred consultants were selected, and from there 25 were chosen to be part of this study. I remember getting the email that I was selected and sobbing. My prayer was answered and I promised that I would do this challenge 110%. The first thing I did was also to go to work on my brain and what I was feeding it. 

My mentor said to me once, "how you do one thing is how you do all things."  Some other things I have picked up over the last year that keep me focused are; If you are persistent you will get what you want, if you are consistent you will keep it.

The words you say after "I am" are what will shape your current circumstances and also your future, so choose them wisely. I stopped saying, "I am so tired, I am so busy, " etc. Fact is, everyone is busy and tired, we all have the same 24hrs in a day. I also started looking at what was keeping me "so busy". How much of it was self imposed? 

I also started looking at the way I rewarded myself. For example, did I really "deserve" to have that glass of wine? Did I "deserve" to sit and watch Netflix? Did I "earn" having a dessert?

First, I am not a dog so I do not reward myself with food, that habit died quickly as soon as I put it into that perspective. I also set goals, I didn't just say them, I wrote them down. Studies show that only 3% of people write their goals down, and coincidentally 3% of the population controls 99% of the wealth in our country. Harvard's study on goals said that just by writing your goals down you are 200% more likely to achieve them even if you never look at them again. I wrote mine down but I also reviewed them daily. My goal last year was to lose 30lbs, start exercising, and run a 5k. I had accomplished all three. I finally found that sometimes exercise got me excited, but I still wouldn't say I love it. It is a necessary evil for me.

Back to "rewarding" myself I really looked at that closely, EVERYTHING you do is moving you closer to your goals or further away. Did I deserve to watch Netflix or did I deserve to reach a goal I had set for myself? Watching Netflix isn't feeding my brain what I need in order to be the person I am growing into, it will also make it harder to get up tomorrow which is another day closer to my goals! 

I put into practice a few new routines. First I have a POWER HOUR every morning. I started setting an alarm to wake up at least one hour before my kids. This was absolutely the hardest thing to do. I now look forward to this time every morning. I needed to sacrifice a little sleep (I sleep on average 5hrs a night) in order to become the person I wanted to be because who I was was no longer working for anyone! Honestly, I am no more tired now with an hour or so less than I was before, trust me, it can be done.

We get closer to success when we choose to do the things we know we need to do even when we don't feel like doing them. 

I took ownership of my life and my current circumstances. I was in the shape I was in and my life looked like it did because of every single decision I had made up until that point. I realized that feeling like I didn't have enough time, energy, money, etc was not only true but a result of decisions that I had made.

If I wanted more energy, more time, and more money I needed to change! If you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you have been getting. One of the most empowering things you can ever do is take ownership for everything in your life. Once you own that you have made decisions that have brought you to where you are, all you need to do to have something different is make different decisions. 

Start with your thoughts, thoughts control feelings, feelings control emotions, emotions control how you respond to your circumstances.

The POWER HOUR is 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of reading (something in personal or professional development), and 20 minutes of meditation. 

I didn't leave my house to exercise in the beginning, sometimes it was a yoga video on YouTube on my phone on a towel in my living room, or walking up and down my basement stairs. There are opportunities to exercise everywhere. I love to read so that wasn't too hard. I choose books recommended by people in my life who had reached a level of success I strive for, leaders are readers. Meditation was very new to me, but I learned that if you can worry, you can meditate! You just have to change what you worry about into affirmations; "I don't have enough time to do what I need to do" becomes, "I have all the time I need to do the things that matter most today."  The tough part of meditation for all I am sure is keeping your mind quiet; I think about this, I am going to hear a secret. You are going to hear something that is going to impact your life if you can just get quiet enough. You may not hear it right at that moment, but once your mind is clear enough it can come to you at any moment during your life! 

My 2015 health goals are to lose the last 20lbs I have gained since college and to embrace a daily "3 or 30". 3 miles (I "rewarded" myself with a used treadmill after my 5k last spring) or 30 minutes of working out. The workouts happen when I can get them in during the day.

With the focus on my goals I have started earning more so I have been able to afford to get a personal trainer. The difficult part of that is getting to the gym as often as I would like. If I am working out at home, (with an awesome routine she has set me up with!) I sneak in that time while the boys (now 4yrs and 2yrs) are playing. I am often hit with toys while on the treadmill but they also like to do lunges and push ups with me. 

One of my other goals is also to continue to evaluate myself often, and see what is in me that I can improve that will get me closer to the goals I have for this year and for the next five years. I think goals can't be limited to weight and health. I know now that even with a great eating plan, if your head junk is still there you won't be your best version. BUT eating the right foods IS the best and quickest place to start!

One of my other goals is to continue to teach classes in more locations about this program in order to empower others to change their health as well. Currently it is taught monthly at CoCo Cheveux in South Portland, New England Chiropractic, LifeWorks Chiropractic, several gyms and fitness studios, and in the last three weeks I have had the honor of teaching at Cape Elizabeth Community Center and A Healthy Life Holistic Health Coaching.

Our closed FaceBook group has over 1,200 members that are following this plan! What I truly love about all this is that food, health, and weight are incredibly personal intimate matters. Our whole lives are so dependent on how we feel phsyically and having the opportunity to help a mom find out why she has plateaued in weight loss or WHY her baby has eczema (not just recommended a cream to clear it up) is the most fulfilling job I feel blessed to have. I think that is the social worker in me, I have always cared a lot about helping other people. Shoot I did it for years for 26k/year! You've got to love what you are doing to work for that kind of pay!   

We need goals for everything that is important in our lives; goals around your finances; how much do you want to make, how much do you want to save and invest? how much do you want to have for retirement? Relationship goals; what kind of mom/wife/friend/co-worker do you want to be? date nights? Personal development goals; what contribution do you want to make to society? those who may never be able to say thank you? Also, where do you want to travel? what part of the world do you have to see? what hobbies do you love?

You have to have goals for anything that is important and I recommend having those goals by your mirror in the morning so when you are brushing your teeth you see them every day.

I love talking about my goals to the boys and when we get to check things off our list! I think it is an incredibly important thing to teach them! So instead of checking FaceBook when you are in the bathroom, spend 3-5 mins writing in your Notes (iPhone) or in a journal what 2-3 things you can do that day for each goal to get you closer to achieving it. 

Finally, you don't need to know how to achieve a goal when you write it down, you just have to be committed to it and once you have made that commitment, who knows, maybe you will also get a life changing email that will be disguised as an opportunity that looks a lot like hard work. 

If you would like more information about the plan that has completely changed my life, please feel free to email me at Please mention that you read this blog, I have something special for the moms from our group!

1 comment:

  1. Wow such a powerful and uplifting message Kelly. You are such an amazing leader and mentor!!