I’m Kathy McKelley Statham, a location-independent holistic nutrition and wellness coach based in Austin, Texas. I hold certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and am an active member of the International Association for Health Coaches (IAHC).
My own journey to wellness began several years ago when I was looking for a way to maintain a recent 20-pound weight loss. I knew that continuing to starve myself while at the same time running myself ragged with six days a week of strenuous exercise, which is how I lost the weight, was not sustainable as a lifestyle. And frankly, I wasn’t sure I could choke down one more dry 100-calorie bag of crackers or watery microwaved meal consisting of a half-cup of pasta, three anemic broccoli stems and a few scattered crumbs of alleged “chicken”. Nor was I willing to continue scheduling six days of my week around exhausting hour-long workouts.
My efforts to maintain this weight loss without all the nonsense that had gotten me there led me to real-food nutrition. Eating all I wanted of whole, unprocessed foods seemed like a sustainable solution. I immediately ditched processed grains and refined sugars and instead turned to small amounts of whole, unprocessed sources of carbohydrate — fresh fruits and starchy vegetables — along with plenty of fresh non-starchy vegetables, clean protein and healthy fats. Yoga, meditation, weightlifting and good old-fashioned sleep replaced the chirpy and exhausting workout videos I’d been using six days a week. Functional movement became a routine part of my day. As my body felt better, I wanted to move it more often!
At the one-year anniversary of having achieved my goal weight doing all the wrong things, I realized that a year of doing all the right things had not only kept the weight off, but sparked other changes that hadn’t even been on my radar. I had suffered with IBS, anxiety and depression since childhood and been diagnosed several years before my weight loss with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. But as I neared the one-year mark of eating clean and moving in a more functional way, I suddenly noticed that my IBS was under control. My chronic fatigue was completely gone. My anxiety and depression hadn’t reared their heads in months. And most miraculous of all, my fibromyalgia seemed to be in some form of remission; whereas my base level of daily pain had been around a 4 or 5 on a scale from 1 to 10, now it was a 1 or 0. And while flares had previously sent me into a 7 to 9 pain range, now I only reached a 3 or 4 on my worst days!
I did all of this just by eating food! No pills, no shakes, no watery microwaved meals, no trainers screaming at me that pain is just fear leaving my body … just real food that can be purchased at any grocery store.
My success in not only achieving and maintaining weight loss but in improving my fibromyalgia, CFS, IBS, depression and anxiety symptoms so dramatically led to my desire to help other people achieve their own health goals. In 2014 I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I was trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. I’m now able to help others find their own “roadmaps to health” by learning to listen to and trust what their bodies are telling them about the foods they eat.