Hi! I’m Kelly! I’m a quirky, sarcastic, and fun-loving wife, mom, and hobby farm owner. I’m also a blogger, certified personal trainer, certified holistic nutrition coach, and I own and operate Kelly Bailey Wellness out of my home in northeast Ohio.
Life is good and I’m happy and very grateful for where I am today. But life hasn’t always been butterflies and roses.
I’m also a recovered binge eater. I’ve struggled off and on with disordered eating and exercise habits for the past 15 years.
I went on my first diet in college. I had gained the “freshman 25” and my boyfriend, an avid gym rat, encouraged me to begin working out and dieting. I became anorexic and lost a staggering amount of weight. I became quite ill, stopped menstruating, had no energy, and thought constantly about food.
Not long after this large weight loss, the binges began. I can remember my first binge on Ritz crackers and peanut butter. I ate an entire 40 oz. jar of peanut butter and a whole box of crackers.
The loss of control was devastating. It continued to happen more and more frequently over the ensuing months. The fear of gaining weight caused me to begin abusing exercise and laxatives.
Fortunately, I was able to stop taking laxatives before causing permanent damage to my heart and kidneys. I could feel that it was killing me. But I could not stop bingeing, and the binges continued until after I graduated college. I was at my highest weight ever.
Around this time, I found a job, left my college boyfriend, and moved out on my own. It was a scary, lonely, and stressful time. I continued to binge, but less frequently. Without the body-obsessed boyfriend, there was less pressure to be thin, less pressure to diet, and my desire to binge faded and eventually disappeared.
I wish I had learned my lesson about dieting, but I hadn’t…
In 2004, I met my now-husband, Mark, and life was grand. I even lost some weight without trying! I was so happy that I never thought about food…and would sometimes even forget to eat! Mark loved me as I was and had no expectations with regard to my body. We were active hiking, backpacking, and fishing together. It was an extremely happy time in my life.
We also ate out a lot and ate lots of processed and packaged foods. The weight I had lost quickly returned after the “honeymoon phase” wore off. But it didn’t matter. He still loved me, I was still happy, and my weight didn’t bother me.
I got pregnant shortly after we got married in 2009. During my pregnancy, I became deeply interested in nutrition. I knew that my health was directly tied to the health of my baby. I knew that what I ate, she also ate. I began eating many more fruits and vegetables, and cooking healthy meals at home.
I was still extremely happy, fulfilled, and had very few thoughts about my body or dieting. I was eating more healthfully because I wanted to and I enjoyed it. I was honoring my body and life growing inside. It was a lifestyle change in its truest form.
The happiness lasted until the birth of my daughter in 2010. The pregnancy was wonderful, the birth was challenging, and we ended up with our only child and the love of our lives. But I also struggled with postpartum depression and simply felt…lost.
During this time my interest in nutrition and fitness had really taken off and I knew it was a possible future career path I wanted to pursue. When my daughter was 4, I decided to become certified as a personal trainer, and soon after, a holistic health and nutrition coach. I opened Kelly Bailey Wellness in 2015.
I began to feel the pressure once again to “look a certain way”. Trainers and nutritionists are supposed to look super fit, right? That’s what Instagram says!
So I did what any normal woman would do: I decided to compete in a triathlon. What a great way to lose those last 10 pounds, right?!? Six-pack abs, here we come!
My training took my body to the peak of fitness. But I became very unhealthy in body, mind, and spirit once again. Despite achieving my lowest body fat percentage ever, I hated my body.
I was experiencing chronic fatigue, I was irritated all the time (just ask my husband), my menstrual cycle stopped, I was being plagued by one injury after another, and I began getting sick…a lot!
The binges and disordered eating habits had also started again.
This cycle of diet-binge-diet lasted for more than 5 years as I fought my body to keep every last ounce of fat at bay. But when your relationship with food is as messed up as mine, and the binges become more and more frequent, it’s a losing — or should I say a gaining — battle. My weight began creeping up and up and up.
I couldn’t believe I had let myself go back to this crazy food- and body-obsessed person.
I finally threw in the towel, when, for the umpteenth time, I dieted hard for 6 weeks prior to a family vacation. I then spent that entire vacation making myself miserable with constant food binges and being totally ashamed for anyone to see me on the beach. I ate so much that my weight bounded up by 15 pounds in seven days.
When I got home, I attempted to diet the weight off…but it wouldn’t budge. My body was done. So was I.
Then and there, I made a pact with myself that I would stop dieting forever. Even if it meant never losing the weight. Even if it meant gaining even more weight. It couldn’t possibly be any worse than living in fear all the time!
And so began my Food Freedom journey…and I’m never looking back!
Fast forward to today and I’m loving life, I feel better about my body, I’m centered around food, and I feel…normal.
I’m also still on this journey. I still have to work at it nearly every day. I still have good days and bad days. Sometimes I still feel like I should go on a “quick diet” to lose 10 pounds. But then I remember the pain I caused myself and my family. And I never want to go back to that dark place.
I’ve learned how to balance my life and you can too. You can be free of food and body obsession. I am here to help you. I invite you to contact me and check out my blog and courses. I hope I can provide you with hope and direction on your journey to healing.
Kelly received a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Ohio Northern University in 2002. After several years spent working in the environmental field, Kelly started a family and "bought the farm" (literally) in Spencer, Ohio.
Kelly spent several years as a stay at home mom to a beautiful daughter, but was eager to get back to work. Her love for fitness and nutrition prompted her to change her career path and become certified as a personal trainer. After 8 intense months of study, Kelly graduated as a CPT from the National Personal Training Institute in May of 2014.
In 2016 she earned a certificate in holistic nutrition coaching from The Institute For Integrative Nutrition.
Kelly resides on her farm in Spencer with husband, Mark, and daughter, Alea. When she's not working with clients, Kelly enjoys hiking, camping, cooking, and gardening.
Kelly is a proud member of the IDEA Health Network and the Weston A. Price Foundation.