Kelly shot to fame and into the hearts of thousands around the world after the viral hit of Netflix' Love is Blind. We chat about everything, from her eating disordered eating, finding love on TV, and just why we must stop hopping on fad diet trends.
Cosmo ME: You’ve been open about how you struggled with body image in the past. Tell us about that.
Kelly: Of course! In my 20s, I was always very petite; I’m only 5’2” and weighed about 49kg.
My weight journey began in 2013 — I’d say I had an eating disorder. I blame this on two things: First, a former boyfriend and I had conversations about me doing a bikini competition. When he ended our relationship, I think subconsciously my mind went to ‘well if I do a bikini competition and look ultra toned, then maybe he’ll want to be with me again’. It’s so crazy what our brains do!
Second, because I was nearing my 30s, I also had all the beliefs of ‘once you hit 30, you won’t be able to eat like that.’ I had a fast metabolism and always ate a lot of healthy foods.
So in between the heartache and the subconscious thoughts, I decided to Google everything bikini competition, like nutrition plans and fitness plans.
Cosmo ME: What happened once you started the bikini competitor program?
Kelly: I actually wound up losing weight, because of course I was stressed emotionally (heartbroken), and because I was cutting calories/restricting even fruit from my diet! Insert eye roll now. I hit 45kg and continued that restrictive diet.
But by the end of 2014, I had gained only 10kg.
The number on the scale kept inching up and up. The food kept getting less and less - the workouts more intense. I was at my heaviest of 61kg on my 30th birthday.
Image: Marla Orgeron
Cosmo ME: How did you change things around to find more of a healthy balance?
Kelly: I was approached by a virtual health coach who educated me on eating more and working out less.
Literally that was it, that was the kicker.
By eating so restrictive for so long, I actually had slowed my metabolism down to a snails pace, and because I was working out so aggressively, that added even more stress to my body. Although I ate healthy foods, I was not eating enough, and my body converted everything to fat to keep me alive.
Once I began to adjust my mindset, let go of people and things not serving me, and focus on self love activities, that’s when I was able to lose the unwanted weight. I’m so much happier with myself all around because of the love that pours out of me! I always honor myself first. We can’t give love to others if we don’t truly love ourselves.
Cosmo ME: What’s something massive you learned through this journey?
Kelly: That we as women have to stop believing everything we hear and read about ‘life after 30, what fad diets are saying, or what the latest workout trend is telling people.
Ladies, you have to make sure you’re eating enough of the right foods to keep your metabolism and all of your bodily systems functioning properly. And most importantly, self care is so, so important, otherwise disordered eating and negative body image struggles will continue to pop up.
Cosmo ME: Ok now lets talk about Love is Blind, that must have been a huge shift!
Kelly: When I was pitched the concept for Love is Blind, I was very intrigued. Honestly, my friends had told me for years that I always date these model looking guys who typically turn out to treat me poorly. I referred to myself as a fixer - at the time I didn’t think anything was ‘wrong’ with me, I just thought I could fix men from their struggles and then they’d love me, and we’d live happily ever after. Haha!
So when the show was presented to me, I thought three things: I’ll prove to my friends that I can find love without ever seeing the guy. Two, even if I don’t find love, at least it’s a great opportunity to meet people. And three, there’s no way I’ll make a connection, I’m too picky. Haha!
So I took the leap of faith.
Me being a participant on Love is Blind was the catalyst to my deeper self-love journey. We had to get very real, vulnerable and transparent with the men we were dating in the pods, and then even more so with who we connected with. For me, that was with Kenny Barnes.
We had conversations about finances, having children, family life, career challenges, among other topics. We went deep real quick. This experiment created an opportunity for real communication. Since the show, I have been able to communicate more effectively with others guys I’ve dated since the show, and more importantly, with myself. I take time to sit in silence now and listen to my inner dialogue.
Today, I am more confident, empowered, and am ready to offer the same healing to other women around the world.
Cosmo ME: You’re a health coach now. What does that mean and what do you do?
Kelly: I help women love their bodies, relationships and careers by means of health and empowerment coaching.
We dive deep into their beliefs and in turn create new beliefs that will move them forward in life, improving their confidence, self-love and self-worth!
Cosmo ME: What’s one thing every woman should know about empowerment?
Kelly: Empowerment stems from being extremely self-aware of your fears and limiting beliefs, understanding how to overcome them, and standing confident in your new mindset.
When you’re empowered, you can empower others!
Cosmo ME: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Kelly: I would tell my her to listen to my mom. Seriously. I think many of my challenges in relationships as well as financial could have been prevented had I listened to my mom more. Additionally, work with a coach/mentor who can help build your confidence, empower you, and ensure you’re living a healthy lifestyle.
Cosmo ME: Any advice for young girls watching you?
Kelly: Awareness is the key to change. I recommend everyone read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and The Miracle Morning.
These are two incredible personal development books that will improve your awareness, which is key to change and healing.
Keep up with her @ChaseLifeWithKelly