Get to Know the Most Optimistic Person at SparkPeople


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

You said you'd love to know more about SparkPeople, so we launched a new series: Meet the SparkPeople Team. Over the coming weeks and months, we'll be interviewing various SparkPeople employees. The behind-the-scenes folks here are really excited to tell you a little about what they do at SparkPeople!
Paul kicked off "Meet the SparkPeople Team." Now our perky, generous and hilarious office manager, Kelly, is continuing it. Get to know a little bit more about the woman who keeps this office running!

Name: Kelly

Position at SparkPeople: Office Manager and Message Board “Resident Expert”

Age: 34

Family: I am married with two wonderful daughters (and two pet frogs!)

How long have you worked for SparkPeople? 5 years

Tell us your proudest accomplishment at SparkPeople or a fun fact about your job: I don’t know if there is one moment for me. I feel like I have the best job in the world. I wake up in the morning happy to come to work. I work for an organization that wants to educate people on how to create lasting healthy lifestyles for themselves and their families. I get to make people smile on a daily basis since I am the person responsible for sending out the majority of the promotional items. I enjoy helping members with questions on the message boards and learning from the members, too!

How do you stay in shape? I make time each week for fitness. I stepped out of my comfort zone this year and we joined a family gym. Where I used to prefer just using my treadmill and free weights in the basement, I have really come to prefer being around other people at the gym for my workout. Something that I have found very useful to making sure I stay on target, is printing out my fitness each week. I scratch it off when I am done – it helps me feel as though I am accomplishing items on my list of life’s things “to-do.”

What's your favorite food? Pizza…or maybe it’s just the melted cheese ;o)

What's your favorite indulgence? Spending money on a great book

How do you feel when you exercise? Awesome! I know it sounds cliché, but when I have finished my workout for the day, I feel relaxed and focused and have more energy than when I entered the gym. It feels very rewarding to know that I am taking care of my health and teaching my children healthy habits too without saying a word.

What do you do to de-stress? Honestly, it depends on the stress. There are days when the elliptical helps me relieve stress, and there are days that my journal is my best form of mental clarity. There’s just something about putting my thoughts on paper the old-fashioned way that allows me to make sense of the situation at hand. I also really love reading. I try to read a new book each month.

What is your passion in life? Hands down, my daughters. They make me want to be the best form of myself that I can be. In teaching a child how to be their best self, you have to lead by example and walk the walk. I really want to teach my daughters how to be strong, independent, kind and generous women. So each day I try to make choices that will help them with their long-term goals in life.

How has working at SparkPeople affected your life? Working here has taught me so much about fitness and nutrition. I have always been an active person, but working here has allowed me to learn so much more about taking care of myself than just walking on the treadmill a few times a week.

Have you gained or lost weight since starting here? I have lost weight but in all fairness, when I started here 5 years ago, my youngest daughter was only 8 weeks old and I had pregnancy weight to purge! I think it’s safe to say that SparkPeople has really been instrumental in helping me get in to the best shape of my life (both inside and out).

Have you started any new habits? My greatest healthy habit that SparkPeople helped me achieve was to give up smoking. It was always something that I would do either socially or when I was “overstressed.” It was my crutch…and while I knew it was a horrible for me, I never felt that I was brave enough to finally kick the habit for good. So, one Thanksgiving Day, I was reflecting on everything I was thankful for in my life. I knew that if I continued to smoke it would kill me and I wasn’t teaching my children anything to be proud of. I made a commitment to myself to stop reaching for the cigarette and start reaching for a healthy replacement.

When I would get a craving, I would drink water or do jumping jacks to distract myself. I also found simply writing in my journal helped, too. I would really think about what was stressing me out to make me feel that smoking would be any type of solution – turns out, it was a lot simpler to quit than I thought it would be. I didn’t use the patch or pills to quit…I just made the effort to be aware and “in the moment of the craving” to figure out what worked for me to choose a healthier alternative.

I have also implemented fitness in to my weekly routine. I eat much more balanced meals and I have all but given up soda. I used to drink caffeine free Coke like it was my job. ;o) When I started working here, I learned how important water was to healthy living. On a challenge, I gave up soda for a month and after the challenge was over, the taste of it was sort of just lost. I will still have an occasional Coke but it’s nothing that I crave on a regular basis.

What's your favorite breakfast cereal? Grape Nuts or Frosted Mini Wheats

What did you eat for dinner last night? A chicken, spinach and mandarin salad! It’s so yummy ;o)

Do you have any hidden talents? I’m not sure they are hidden, but I am probably the most optimistic person I know. I can somehow find the positive in just about every life event. I believe that there is a path for all of us and even on the down days, there is a reason to keep smiling.

What are some of your goals? Aside from physical goal that I have set for myself this year (working on my core), I am really making an effort to volunteer my time more. I help co-lead my daughter’s Brownie troop and I recently began volunteering at my church each week in the office to help out.

What's your favorite SparkPeople feature? The Nutrition Tracker. I am always so surprised to see how quickly things add up through the meals. It really helps you get a sense for portion control and shows where changes can be made in some choices.

What do you think about our new series? What questions do you have for Kelly?

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  • 87
    You sound like a terrific person, Kelly, and I love your positive attitude! I envy you your job :) - 7/19/2011   11:30:42 AM
  • 86
    It's good to see the people that work hard to give a healthy platform for many! Glad to meet you. - 3/13/2011   11:44:45 AM
  • 85
    It's good to see the people that work hard to give a healthy platform for many! Glad to meet you. - 3/13/2011   11:44:43 AM
  • 84
    Great site. Thanks for all your work. - 8/24/2010   6:04:53 PM
  • 83
    I enjoyed this. - 8/24/2010   6:32:29 AM
  • 82
    I love this new blog and enjoy getting to know the people behind this wonderful web site/system. I'm in my third week and have already gotten so much out of it!
    (as well as losing 7lbs) - 10/27/2009   8:57:31 PM
    I enjoyed learning about Kelly and what she does at SP. This is a great addition! - 10/27/2009   12:57:30 PM
  • 80
    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Kelly for all you do for SP and us!
    "Glass half full" is the best way to be! LOL . . . Deb or dhspark - 10/17/2009   3:06:20 PM
    Now the team is starting to feel like real people. Welcome Kelly , thanks for shring your story and good luck on all your future goals. - 10/17/2009   11:43:15 AM
  • 78
    It is wonderful to get to know the staff of Spark People. Spark has helped me change my life in so many wonderful ways, it is probably not an overstatement to say that Spark has saved my life.
    Every day I am thankful for it and I marvel at the fact that there are no fees. I am constantly amazed at how many tools I have and how many wonderful people I have access to. Thanks, Kelly, for being one of those people who has saved my life.
    I thank you, and my family thanks you. - 7/29/2009   4:35:32 PM
  • SHERI1969
    Kelly, like you, I have various things I do when I feel stressed. I walk, write in journals, crochet or work on some other of my dozens of crafts, listen to music, have a nap, call a friend or the crisis line, talk to my mom and dad etc. It's always good to have a variety of things to do when you are stressed. Nice to meet you. - 7/5/2009   12:58:58 AM
  • 76
    Hi Kelly,

    It is really nice to meet you. I really enjoy learning a little about all of you. Congratulations on quitting smoking. I am working on that too, and doing pretty well. However, after 45 years of it, I am relying on the patch and pills. I am now off the patch but have two weeks left of pills. After that I rely on Spark People support. I want to do this soooo bad. I have been a member for quite awhile but just recently came back on line.

    Thanks again for the opportunity to know you a bit. - 5/16/2009   10:23:14 PM
  • 75
    Spinach, chicken, and mandarin salad - sounds GREAT! - 5/12/2009   10:59:22 PM
    I love this new feature! Nice to "meet" you Kelly! :-) - 5/11/2009   11:11:12 AM
    Nice meeting you Kelly. Like this new series. Thanks for all your hard work helping us. - 5/11/2009   12:25:42 AM
  • 72
    Thanks- for all you do Kelly! - 5/10/2009   5:26:05 PM
    Nice to meet you Kelly. - 5/10/2009   8:52:54 AM
  • 70
    So fun to get to know the SP staff! Thanks for sharing!! - 5/9/2009   7:39:26 PM
  • 69
    Is your optimism natural? or a learned behavior? I would appreciate a lesson! I'm trying to develop a more optimistic attititude and would appreciate a walk-thru! Right now I'm working hard on refraning from uttering negative thoughts and saving the energy for the positive words. Do you have any words of wisdom about how to make the leap into mostly positive thinking? - 5/9/2009   6:10:14 AM
  • 68
    Hi Kelly,

    Nice reading about you.

    Keep up the good work. It's nice to have a job that you love to be at. I have a job that I'm also glad to be at.

    You're the one that keeps things moving along.

    Great work. - 5/9/2009   1:28:38 AM
    I've always wondered about the people behind the scenes! Keep the articles coming...I love it! Nice meeting you, Kelly! - 5/9/2009   12:37:44 AM
    Hi, Kelly--It's nice to meet you and learn something about what goes on behind the scenes.:) - 5/8/2009   8:39:44 PM
    This new series is a winner!! It's nice to meet the people behind the scenes. - 5/8/2009   5:22:33 PM
  • 64
    This is a great series and I look forward to meeting the next Sparkpeople employee. - 5/8/2009   2:13:03 PM
  • 63
    Wait - theres someone more positive and optomistic than me? That can't be right I'm positive about that. That's what I learned at Spark People relentless positivity and I love that positivity at Spark People is welcomed and appreciated. That's MY comfort zone. When I am not positive. I am also not happy.

    - 5/8/2009   1:40:59 PM
  • MARYK5000
    Hi to all the optimistic people,

    I used to think that I was a realist until I realized how negative a realist is. When my mom got Parkinson’s and dementia, she never found anything to be grateful for. I started down the path to start looking everyday for one thing to be thankful for.

    About a year and a half later, I was in a very bad car accident. I am very blessed to be alive. When I was forced to look at my own mortality just before the impact, it was family and connectedness (love) were the things on my list. No house, car, furniture, possessions or Status came to mind, just the people I loved the most. I started to tell as well as show the people I care about just how important they are to me. I look for the hidden blessings in all circumstances. Trust me it is hard but with practice, it is possible. I have a choice; I can either find the bad or find the good and focus on it. I choose the good!
    - 5/8/2009   12:40:48 PM
    That was just the article I needed today. I try very hard to be optomistic, but sometimes its hard. Today I was havin a funk and thanks to that article, I see the light. - 5/8/2009   12:19:15 PM
  • 60
    Sorry Kelly! I called you Kathy! - 5/8/2009   5:45:32 AM
  • 59
    Hi Kathy! Thanks for all you do for our SparkPeople family! What an awesome tool! - 5/8/2009   5:44:25 AM
  • _MAOMAO_
    It's great to meet you, Kelly! What a neat job, getting to send neat stuff to people. Congratz on quittting smoking. That and being fit will sure change your family tree! - 5/8/2009   3:49:49 AM
  • 57
    Hi Kelly, nice to meet you! You are very inspiring! Thank you for what you do! - 5/8/2009   3:48:23 AM
  • 56
    Nice to meet you Kelly! I agree that Spark is wonderful...thanks to people like you! Keep it up. - 5/8/2009   2:22:19 AM
    Hi there!
    I just finished watching the program about optimism that Michael J. Fox created for ABC. According to MJF, optimism is what's mostly responsible for the grace with which he's handling Parkinson's Disease. The more optimistic a person, the better he/she can stand up to the tragedies, struggles, and injustices of life. If you are blessed to be one of the world's optimists, you have been given a great gift. And SparkPeople is lucky to have you...we all are!
    Linda - 5/8/2009   12:45:25 AM
  • SGARD94513
    Thanks for sharing your info and healthy life style. After 53 years of smoking, I just gave it up last Thanksgiving Day. I gain ed back the weight I had lost, but you have inspired me to get back on track. Thanks again - 5/7/2009   11:26:33 PM
  • 53
    Great reading, very inspirational - 5/7/2009   10:53:18 PM
  • 52
    Hi nice to meet you Kelly. It's always nice to find people who love their jobs and lives. - 5/7/2009   3:54:54 PM
  • 51
    Hi Kelly, nice to meet you. Love your positive & happy attitude. Keep up the good work! Love this series and getting to meet all the great people that makes Sparkpeople so special. - 5/7/2009   2:36:12 PM
  • 50
    I love the new series! Nice to get to know you, Kelly! :)
    What a wonderful environment to work in!! How fortunate are you!! - 5/7/2009   10:22:12 AM
    Good Morning, Kelly! Thank you for sharing YOU with me/us! It really nice to get to know the 'behind-the-scenes' SparkPeople! :) Sooo GLAD you STOPPED & DROPPED the smokes! BLAH! I know how HARD that was- went 'cold turkey' myself (two years ago... well, almost, June 25, 2007) and it was really REALLY hard, LOL!! but I'm SMOKE FREE!! WooHoo!! hehe!!

    Anyway, you mentioned doing CORE (which is my physical goal) and thought I'd ask you if you have any specific exercise in mind for that... sooo... do you? ;)

    Alright-y then... I'd better scuttle off and get busy! Thanks again for sharing (I hear ya' on the Coca Cola... sometimes... an icy cold one can't be beat... okay, well maybe it can... haha!!) Take care!!

    ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·´ *Annie

    - 5/7/2009   10:22:05 AM
  • DENISE0310
    A pleasure to meet you, Kelly! It's so wonderful to have a "best job in the world" ... you've made excellent choices in your life & your daughters are so very fortunate to have a Mom who walks the walk!! Thanks for all you do, I appreciat it so much!
    Denise - 5/7/2009   9:45:35 AM
  • 47
    I actually like reading this new series; it's refreshing to know that people are truly enjoying there careers. WTG! - 5/7/2009   9:40:42 AM
  • 46
    So inspiring!! Thank you for sharing Kelly! - 5/7/2009   9:39:09 AM
  • 45
    It's awesome that you love your job! So many people hate going to work and that just can't be a good thing when they're spending 40 - 60 hours per week there : (
    Thank you for the great work you do with SP, and within your community too! - 5/7/2009   9:26:32 AM
  • 44
    Thanks for all that you do for each and every one of us here at Sparkpeople. I am glad to see that above all you put your family first and that you also find the time to volunteer for your church. - 5/7/2009   9:23:01 AM
  • 43
    What a terrific idea - behind the scenes at SP! Thank you for allowing us to get to know you better! I would imagine each and every one of you love your jobs there - you are really changing lives every minute of every day. Keep up the good work! - 5/7/2009   8:35:37 AM
  • 42
    Love the new series!

    Thanks for sharing your Spark experience with us, Kelly! :) - 5/7/2009   8:14:00 AM
  • 41
    I love this blog series! Kelly sounds like a great person to have working for SP. I'm so glad she shared with us. - 5/7/2009   8:02:58 AM
  • 40
    Great post - love the series, and I can tell Kelly is the perfect person for the job. What an inspiration! - 5/7/2009   7:43:19 AM
  • 39
    I liked reading about you and see similar circumstances in our lives. I decided to give up smoking 5 years ago and just like that went cold turkey because of my deacons praying I got my will power back to quit, which I did. I also like grape nuts and Frosted Mini Wheats. I don't have a frog but I have 2 girls. I feel connected to someone like you. I like the stories about different people who work there. You Rock! - 5/7/2009   6:34:14 AM
  • 38
    Amen to a healthy person that ministers to others! Great example! - 5/7/2009   6:28:24 AM

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