Believe It, Pursue It
the journey to health and happiness by changing your lifestyle
Hey - I'm Kelley!
What's my story? I'll tell you everything, so buckle up and let's do this!
I am a straight up 90's baby. Seriously though - I was born in 1990.
When I say baby - I mean it, I was the baby of the family.
I am one of those people who grew up in an older family. My siblings are 12+ years older than I am.
I grew up fast and I don't regret a minute of it.
I had my first "job" at age 11. My first real job at age 16. By 18, I was working two jobs and ready for college.
I learned life lessons from my surroundings that I am beyond grateful for.
Growing up, I was at the studio 6 days a week., dancing anywhere from 2 to 4 hours a day.
I look back at photos and realize that I was in amazing shape. Obviously, I didn't know it at the time - but who does?!
It kept me so active which was amazing - until I stopped.
I went to college two hours away from home. This didn't give me the opportunity to continue practicing at my studio.
That's when I really started to lose myself.
You don't always realize the moment that you start to lose yourself. It took me years to realize that this was it.
I was in college. I was making friends. I was working 3 jobs. I was partying. I wasn't active.
I gained weight. A lot of weight. I got into a routine and it wasn't a good one.
This is when I started to mask my weight with clothes. Baggy ones, layered ones, anything to feel "good".
This was a hard habit to break, even years later.
I graduated college and started my first job in hospitality sales. I had a passion for this career and I was good at it.
I was young, living on my own, and just starting out. I put everything into my job. That meant late nights and many weekends.
I was working 60, 70, 80 hour weeks - going above and beyond to jumpstart my career.
But it worked, I was promoted from intern to admin to manager all in under a year - talk about growth!
My career was soaring, but I was not. I used all of the excuses in the book as to why I couldn't be healthy.
"I didn't have time to workout." "Eating healthy is expensive." "Meal prep takes too long." "I just have to grab something on the fly."
Plus I worked in a hotel that had the most amazing restaurant. I couldn't NOT eat the food!
So that was it. I talked myself out of everything. I didn't do anything to be healthy.
I continued to gain weight. A lot of weight. And I continued to develop bad habits.
Just because I was active didn't mean things were looking up though.
You probably hear it all the time - the first step to being healthy starts with your diet. It's true and I live by this now - but not then.
I was 24. I had just moved home with all of my friends. I was single and living my best life. We were going to dinner and the bars every weekend (and sometimes during the week). And let's be real, you can't skip it because FOMO, am I right?!
I knew I needed to make a change, so here it goes.
This is when I started ALL the fad diets. If it was popular, I most likely gave it a try.
I'm not going to name them all, but I am sure that you know most of them.
While these fad diets might work for some, they never worked for me.
They included too many restrictions, too much responsibility, and were never sustainable.
Would I lose a little weight while I did them? Sure! And I would feel great for a little bit, but it never lasted.
Did I ever keep that weight off? No. I always gained it back, PLUS more.
This was so discouraging. I was fighting a losing battle and I didn't even want to continue to try.
A lot has happened within the last 6 years of being home.
I met my boyfriend. We bought a house. We adopted a dog (who I am obsessed with, by the way).
I lost my dad. This BROKE me. Losing a loved one is never easy, especially a parent.
I gained friends. I lost friends. I switched jobs. I started new endeavors.
The last several years had its ups and downs, that's for sure. But would any of us be where we are today without them?
Yes, I know it's very cliché but everything does happen for a reason. Sometimes it's hard to find that reason, but there is always one.
So let's get to the good stuff - what do you think?
My boyfriend is my biggest supporter. I am so grateful for him. He is in great shape, which is amazing.
But when you aren't happy with your body, and your partner looks amazing - it's super discouraging.
I definitely gained "happy weight" or "relationship weight" - whatever it is you want to call it.
So I finally decided that I needed to make a change. It wasn't going to be easy, and it was going to take time, but it needed to be done.
This was the start of my lifestyle change. I finally got a hang of this thing!
In March of 2020, the global pandemic hit and everyone was affected.
My studio was closed, the gyms were closed, my classes were cancelled, and everything changed.
We went virtual and found new ways to stay active. I started walking and running, a lot. I even completed my first 5k!
The more I stayed active, the more I saw myself changing. It created a snowball effect.
I wanted to continue to stay active. I wanted to set goals. I wanted to eat healthy. I wanted to see results. I wanted to love myself.
Health and fitness became the outlets that I needed to improve my overall wellbeing. It made me feel alive. It gave me something for me.
This is the one thing that I can do on my own time, which is important when you are juggling everything in life.
This is one thing that truly makes me feel strong, both inside and out.
But we aren't done yet folks - this is just the beginning!
This year is the year that I am upping the ante - because why not?!
How many times did you hear about how horrible 2020 was? Was the world in a terrible place? Yes. But did you have to be? NO.
Life is what you make of it, and you have the ability to make the best out of any situation - and that's what I did in 2020.
I worked hard, I ate healthy, I stayed active, I surrounded myself with good people, and guess what?!
I started to become the best version of myself.
So as we head into the new year, I am building on the tools that I have been using.
This is a lifestyle change for me. This is a sustainable way that I can continue on this path and still live my life.
Do I eat healthy all the time? Of course not. Do I still see results? Absolutely.
I'm down 30 pounds from when I started. I'm down 2 pants sizes. And the best part of all - I am finally keeping the weight off!
Do I have times where I struggle to stay on track? Of course. Were the holidays tough? For sure.
Am I where I want to be? Not quite. But I am close! And I am working towards my goal every. single. day.
These lifestyle changes are what work for me. They are easy, but they take discipline.
But guess what - I did it and you can too! I believe in you!
I hope that my story inspires you to live a life that makes you happy and keeps you healthy.
So thanks for visiting, thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting me.
If you are looking to start your own transformation, I encourage you to go for it.
I am here to answer any questions that I can should you need advice, guidance, or someone to hold you accountable.
So, take a look around and see what you think. Believe it, pursue it - and let's do the damn thing!!
I can't wait to speak with you or meet you soon!
My oldest sister owns a dance studio, so I started dancing as young as I could.
Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Ballroom - I've done it all.
I have always loved dance. It kept me active, improved my memory,
created lifelong friendships, and is now one of my jobs.
But here's the thing - as much as I love dance,
it caused a lot of problems with body image.
I left my first job and started another. Then another. This finally brought me back home.
This was the first step in the right direction for me - at least in one aspect of my life.
Being home allowed me the privilege of teaching
at the very studio that I grew up in. Every little girls dream!
I get to give back to current students the way my teachers did for me.
Create those memories, build those skills, and have fun.
Not to mention - I get to be active again!
Not only that - I get to do it in a way that I absolutely love.
I started teaching in 2016 and I love every minute of it.
Currently, my repertoire includes Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop for ages 5 through 14.
I found ways to be active that I enjoyed. Zumba was one of those ways.
After months of taking classes, my favorite instructor convinced me to become licensed to teach.
In November of 2019, I became completed my Zumba training.
In January of 2020, I started teaching classes.
It was one day a week, one hour a day,
but that was one more hour of being active AND doing something that I enjoy.
Zumba reminded me that dancing is not about being perfect or being the best;
it's about the happiness you feel when you are dancing.
Zumba gives me the opportunity to inspire and help others release stress.
I love that I can do that for others (oh and for myself too!).
I am now licensed to teach Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Kids, and Zumba Kids Jr.
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