I get asked quite often what started this wellness journey of ours. I would say it was a series of unfortunate events that lead to the very best God journey, in a beauty for ashes kind of way. I was a very active kid growing up. I was the one who could not wait to get home from school, slip into my play clothes and bolt outside to find the other neighborhood kids riding bikes, playing football or climbing trees. I started playing competitive fast pitch softball when I was 12 which became an obsession until I was a senior in high school. Because I was so active, I never had to worry about what I ate. My sister and I would leave practice, run down the hill to the “Hot and Now” where we could get a burger, fries and a large coke for 39 cents each. We would devour that entire meal in the car before heading home to eat whatever my mom made for dinner. Don’t tell my momma. She never knew! That was the beginning of my fast food and soda addiction that followed me into adulthood. When I graduated from high school, I completely stopped playing sports and just became a social butterfly. Before I knew it, I had put on the freshman 30 and found myself unable to fit into my clothes and unhappy with the way that I felt. It was then that I discovered my mean girl. You know, that girl. The one in your head that tells you you are fat, that you should quit shoveling junk into your mouth and starve, living on carrots and celery and punishing yourself in the gym. I would listen to her, lose the weight, then go right back to my old habits, gaining and losing the same 20-30 pounds over and over again. During my first pregnancy, I gave myself the license to eat whatever I wanted and I indulged heavily in the modern American diet. Boy that was a big mistake! That is one of the many things I wish I could have a do over on. I worked full time running an after school program and would bring McDonalds to work just about every single day. I would get the two cheeseburger meal, large fries and a large coke and definitely the hot mustard to dip my fries in. I mean you can’t eat fries without hot mustard. Then I would go home and watch my pre recorded soap opera, Days of our Lives, and eat Turtle Tracks ice-cream while I watched Stefano come back to life for the eight millionth time. At that time in our lives, Les and I could not rub two nickels together so he would go from his job at the church to delivering pizzas for Pizza Hut at night. And then you know what would happen, right? I know, you can see the writing on the wall. Pizza is and always was my absolute, all time favorite food and because I had given myself the license to eat whatever I wanted, he would bring home an entire New York style, LARGE pepperoni pizza that I could shove in my pie whole all by myself. Not even kidding! This lifestyle choice that I had made, added a whopping 75 pounds onto my frame while pregnant and caused me to develop high blood pressure and landed me in the bed for the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy. I wish I knew then what I know now about food. I had no idea that what I was eating was not even real food. I had no idea that it was negatively affecting my body and the body of my sweet kiddo.
Anna Kate was born with severe eczema and allergies and by age two was diagnosed with asthma. I am convinced my food choices as well as the doctors putting cereal in her bottle too young for acid reflux, played a huge part in this junk that my sweet girl has to deal with for the rest of her life. With that being said, we know that “all things work together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose” and we rest in that. I am thankful that AK knows how to eat and what to eat. I am thankful that she knows the difference between real food and fake food and I am absolutely thankful that this journey lead us to Young Living, that has changed our lives and the lives of thousands and thousands of others on my team for the better.
Through out AK’s life, we went around and around, over and over again with infections on her skin from eczema. I cannot even think about the mounds of steroid creams and antibiotics that she went though over the years. We taught her how to take care of the sores when she got out of the shower as a 12 year old. The problem was that she had developed a very high pain tolerance from hospital visits, needles and creams that stung and it just didn’t bother her like it used to. In the fall of 2012 she walked into our family room with shorts on and was covered in infected eczema on both of the backs of her legs and had the beginning stages of cellulites setting up. My heart sunk and I began to panic. Her doctor had told her several times that she could not continue to get that infection anymore because there were only two antibiotics that would treat it and her body could become immune. I just knew that was this time. However, God has a different plan outside of modern medicine.
I joined a community of wellness advocates who were armed with knowledge I didn’t have. I started researching food. The more I dug, the more I read, and the more I read, the more angry I became. I really honestly could not believe how far away from the seed of God we had gotten, the very one who created each an every plant and animal that we were provided with to sustain life. It’s unbelievable we think we know better than he does. What I realized is that what we were putting in our bodies was not even food at all! Then I moved on to personal care products. I had no idea this industry was not regulated. I just blindly assumed that if it could be sold, it had been tested and approved to be safe. But the truth is, the beauty industry is just as bad as the food industry. Researches are finding endocrine disrupters in breast tissue, products in hand sanitizer that the FDA is finally saying causes cancer and they are giving the company SEVEN YEARS to put something safer in its place. Go take the 3 cabinet challenge. Find 3 items from you pantry, personal care and medicine cabinet and find a word on the ingredients list that you cannot pronounce. Then, Google… Dangers of __________. This will get you started down this path of self education. You have GOT to be your own advocate for your health and the health of your family.
So here I am almost 5 years later, and have grown a team of thousands upon thousands of wellness warriors, who like me, want to spread the word, teaching others what we know. We also provide products for consumers that will replace most of everything in your home that is toxic and allow you switch it out for something that is clean and safe. You can see what products we have to offer HERE.
It’s funny. I never knew when I went to college to be a teacher, that I would end up teaching adults how to live well. I was supposed to be a first grade teacher! HA! I love helping others be their best selves, pointing people back to the creator of all things through a holistic lifestyle.
If we could all just get back to eating God’s food, and using his plants for as many things as we possibly can we would all be better for it.
Thanks for hanging out with me today! Come find me on Instagram @helloitskelli