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?