• Morgan Hart

Smoke and Mirrors: Saying Goodbye to her TV Career and Yes To Her Dream – With Kristen Crowley

Anyone can live the dream. We see picture perfect images that surround us at every turn. We have so many options on response to those tiny squares, advertisements, magazines, even TV stars. We can judge, criticize or self-deprecate. We can reject or dismiss. Or we can encourage and empower. In order to move into the last heart set and mind set – the one that would be freeing and fulfilling – we have to first face the internal placement of our own being.

Today’s podcast guest is the girl wearing heels on the motorcycle…but before you judge…she’ll also slap on her boots and get dirty on the farm. She’s been a farm girl, horse trainer, a fashion merchandising specialist, a bartender, a TV show host, a Cooking YouTuber – and newly stepped into the entrepreneurial journey of following her passions and placing her family and health before everything else.

And what I love most about her – as you know my thoughts around titles – is all of the things that she has been are not what define her. She is a no BS kinda girl and after only a couple hours with her it is apparent she is a force to be reckoned with. And I have no doubt by the end of it, whatever immediate response you had to her heels, her stellar fashion sense, or her “quote on quote” perfect squares – you might reconsider your view of all of the perfect we are faced with.

Kristen Crowley Smoke and Mirrors

Connect with her here:

SHOW NOTES: Saying Yes to Her Dream

Tamra: We see perfect picture images that surround us at every turn. We have so many options on response to those tiny squares, advertisements, magazines, even TV stars. We can judge criticize or even self-deprecates, we can reject or dismiss, we can encourage and empower. In order to move into the last heart-set and mindset, the one that will be freeing and fulfilling, you have to first face the internal placement in our own being. If you’re judging, are you judging yourself? If you’re empowering, are you empowering yourself?

Today’s podcast guest is the girl wearing heels on the motorcycle, but wait before you judge, she also will slap on her boots and get dirty on the farm. She’s been a farm girl. She is a farm girl, a horse trainer, a fashion merchandise specialist, a bartender, a TV show host, a Cooking YouTuber and she’s newly stepped into the entrepreneurial journey of following her passions and placing her family and her health before everything else. It’s pretty awesome. And what I love most about her as you know, my thoughts around titles is all of those things that she has been are not what defines her. She has a no BS kind of girl and after only a couple hours with her, it is apparent that she is a force to be reckoned with. And I have no doubt by the end of it, whatever immediate response you had about her wearing heels on her cycle, even her stellar fashion sense, even her quote on quote perfect squares that you’ll come across, you might reconsider your view of all of the perfect squares we were faced with. Hope you enjoy.

I’m so excited to announce today’s guest. This is Kristen Crowley.

Kristen: Hi.

Tamra: She is a new fast friend. We’ve kind of just been passing in the night really because it’s in the evening at a bunch of networking events…

Kristen: True.

Tamra: Recently, but specifically, most recently I actually attended one of her networking events, which is way more than a networking event, so I’m excited to share what that is. But I’m just excited for you guys to learn about her. It’s been incredible just in literally the last 30 minutes…

Kristen: 30 minutes already?

Tamra: Yea, I don’t really know.

Kristen: Yeah, it’s been about 30 minutes so…

Tamra: We was just talking and I’m like freeze, you have to share this with people, this is so cool. So, I’m so grateful to have you here.

Kristen: Thank you.

Tamra: I know your schedule is bananas and all over the place so making time for this was so impressionable for me.

Kristen: Thank you.

Tamra: And I’m so excited to see where your journey is headed because there’s been so much epic change in the last really last month or so. So, I don’t even know where to start with all that, I guess you introduced yourself, where have you been in the last year and then I’ll ask questions.

Kristen: Okay, we’re going to just wing through it. Yeah, so Kristen Crawley I spent the last 12 years working at News Channel Three here [inaudible 04:05] Hampton Roads friends over at WTKR and that was a big part of my life. And this year I celebrated my 40th birthday and made a huge decision to put my health and family and passions over my career. And I decided to leave and I quit on August 23rd so it’s been just over one month.

Tamra: Yes, that’s so crazy.

Kristen: And I decided to launch the WellFit Social, which is an event that kind of brings together all aspects of wellness. And we’ve talked about that too because wellness is mental, internal and external.

Tamra: Absolutely.

Kristen: So, it’s movement, it’s nutrition, it’s feelings, it’s mental health and it’s all of it. And I think there have been some scary things that have made us really realize that lately. So, I just felt the push to do it, so I did just leave…

Tamra: [Cross-talk 04:54] so, the event [cross-talk 04:57]

Kristen: Yeah, thank you.

Tamra: So great. I didn’t have any idea what to expect because like you… you branded it well, you were saying the first of this and it really was unlike anything that I had been to. I love seeing… my biggest happiness point was seeing the different like generations that were represented. And I am so big on diversity and I loved being in a space where there were different colors, there were different genders, there are different age groupings. So, bringing all of them together, I was like, all right, this girl gets it.

Kristen: Trying, thank you.

Tamra: That’s so important to me. And so, I don’t think that it’s, well-represented in our area where this huge melting pot, I mean, you’d go to D.C and you see it everywhere.

Kristen: Oh yeah.

Tamra: There’s a blanket everywhere, but you come here and, in some instances, I don’t see it. And so that’s one reason that I valued my church so much having 14 different nationalities come to one place for worship service…

Kristen: Oh wow, that’s amazing.

Tamra: It is so awesome. And then when I left and we started our own church, I’m like, all right, where are the sisters?

Kristen: I need everybody.

Tamra: I did, I need everyone to be here because we represent a different piece of Jesus and God’s heart and with only one sector of person you’re not expanding. So, I’ve connected with so many women since that event. And I’m just grateful that…

Kristen: That’s awesome, I love to hear that.

Tamra: Yeah, what you’re doing already has made an impact.

Kristen: Well, I know, and we have and I am, I’m a part of some women’s business groups that are all women, which I absolutely love, I mean, that’s my heart, I love helping other women. But when I thought about this event, I wanted the thing with the fitness community in general, a lot of on the West Coast, they do it very well. They have very… they support each other, it’s a pretty open network, but here we don’t have as much of it and I think a lot of people, I mean, we’re in the wellness and fitness community, so we think it’s normal, but there’s 90% of the world out there who doesn’t participate in it because it is intimidating. And they feel like they’re excluded from it because you have to look a certain way or you have to feel a certain way or you have to go to the gym.

Tamra: Dress a certain way.

Kristen: Yeah. And I was a big proponent of that after my… especially after my second pregnancy, I had two very high-risk pregnancies. So, I was on full bed rest for the first one, could not move a muscle for three months and it was horrible, but bounced back weight-wise better after. The second one was not as easy as getting back in shape. And it wasn’t that I felt bad because I was still on TV and I felt good in what I was wearing, I was probably… I was 40 to 50 pounds heavier.

Tamra: Wow.

Kristen: But I was able to at least work during that pregnancy, but the weight, I still couldn’t be physical so it took me forever to get it off. And when I went back to the gym was when I felt some of that intimidation myself and I was like, I’ve done fitness my entire life. And I just feel kind of… because I didn’t feel good about how I felt or looked. And it wasn’t, you know, again, I was fine with how I looked in my clothes, I sure feel good…

Tamra: Yeah, sure, it’s so true.

Kristen: And it wasn’t weight, I had postpartum depression with my second child. That was the only thing that worked. The only time the symptoms went away was in the gym or at hot yoga.

Tamra: Wow.

Kristen: The only two things that worked because I hated the medication, I hated everything they tried to do to you. And so that was my therapy. And so, once I realized that I was like, you just have to make people feel comfortable. And I mean, I’m the person like at the gym, if I see anybody that’s in… I’m like, Ooh, those leggings are those shit.

Tamra: I said that.

Kristen: Like I’m complimenting everybody because I mean, I know how it felt and I don’t want anyone to feel that way. So, the event, when it came to be was, I wanted it to be inclusive. So, the speakers, you know, I want everybody to speak to everyone, there’s a little something for everybody. And we did.

Tamra: You did.

Kristen: We had a really crazy mix of people.

Tamra: It was awesome.

Kristen: And there were only probably 10 to 15 actual personal trainers or people in fitness.

Tamra: Which I thought was really cool. I did not know what to expect.

Kristen: Yeah. So, I loved it.

Tamra: I really liked that part. You don’t know who you’re drawing when you’re doing stuff like that. But now from there knowing that you’re going to have another one in January, it’s kind of like, Ooh, like now I know that I can target this person or I can talk to these people because there were so many different types of people…

Kristen: There was it was amazing.

Tamra: That’s the most valuable part of bringing people together is when they have one connectivity because they’re there. But now I get to explore what else do we have in common and that then grows the depth of your relationships and your friendships and the concepts like you were saying was eventually like …the point was for collaboration for us to not have this, oh, you’re a personal trainer? Oh, I’m a personal trainer. Oh, you’re a nutritionist.

Kristen: We can’t touch each other people, oh my God [cross-talk 09:26] competition.

Tamra: It’s not the same. And the biggest part for me coming, and I loved the fact that there was so much faith represented. You could just feel people’s entire energy vibes, whatever it is that you believe in for me, I was like, Oh man, Jesus is all up in this room I’m so pumped right now because I signed up and like… even just the name of my company Fit in Faith, I’m always like, I wonder what people think about that. And yet I had so many people come up and were just curious about what I do and that wellness piece at the end of the day with the mind-body, soul, or mind, body, spirit, or mind, body Jesus, whatever you want to call it, people are starting to get it. And I just loved that being there, I saw that people were in that place.

Kristen: Yeah, and I had a lot of feedback about you because your name came up the most.

Tamra: That’s awesome.

Kristen: When I asked people like who they talked to.

Tamra: That’s amazing.

Kristen: And they remembered their conversations with you, which was really cool.

Tamra: That’s really cool.

Kristen: And a lot of my girlfriends connected with that. Because again, it’s hard to find balance when you’re doing business in general but to learn that, I mean essentially, we are all the same. And I just think that we’re more connected than we think we are. And in all of my years, I was in the restaurant business before television and I found that I could find something to talk to every single person about if I just kept asking questions. Because I had a crazy life…

Tamra: And I [cross-talk 10:52] going to tell them

Kristen: A very crazy life. I’ve worked in almost every facet of industries except like law and medicine because I won’t touch that I don’t have enough patience to sit in school that long, but I’ve learned so many businesses and so many different personalities that I always like… I mean, I can find someone that I can relate to at a truck pole and I can find someone I can relate to on Fifth Avenue in New York at a…

Tamra: That’s so cool.

Kristen: An Oscar party. So, I’ve always…

Tamra: So cool.

Kristen: I like just finding ways to fit in with people because I didn’t really have a lot of friends growing up. So, I had to try and fit into all these groups. And…

Tamra: Interesting you’re finding different portions of yourself because I had had this post recently about how the fact that we can be both hands, you don’t have to be segmented into one area. And we were just talking about that about the niches of our business too. Like you get to be more than what they say you can be.

Kristen: Oh yeah, definitely.

Tamra: And so own that part of yourself. If you’re interested in cars and you wear high heels, like put it together, let’s see what you can come up with, there’s going to be people interested in that.

Kristen: I’m going to tell you, I used to actually ride my Harley in stilettos.

Tamra: Stop it, that does not surprise me. Can you please get a really amazing photo of that? [cross-talk 12:06].

Kristen: That was about probably, oh gosh, between kids.

Tamra: Oh, that’s crazy.

Kristen: I sold my bike a while ago, but because we would go out and I’m like, well I’m not wearing crappy shoes when I go out, I’m going to look cute. So, I’d have my cute little leggings and my heels on…

Tamra: That’s awesome.

Kristen: And I’d be the one on the bike with heels or flip flops because wherever we were going, you’re going to Duck-Inn, well it was back in the day…

Tamra: Oh gosh, that’s so [inaudible 12:28]

Kristen: You had to look cute. I was the one who I’ve always been, that’s all bull side, I hate being pigeonholed. That’s like my biggest thing is underestimating me. Don’t underestimate what we’re capable of.

Tamra: Absolutely, that’s so good.

Kristen: So that’s one of my big things.

Tamra: So, I love… so you’re saying that you didn’t fit in when you were young yet you’re surrounded by so many people all the time now, which is so cool but the two things that stick out to me is farming and fashion. So please explain to me and them how did that come to be and where does that stem from.

Kristen: My mom is a horse trainer and I grew up on a horse farm in Michigan. So, my mom was an entrepreneur. She did real estate full time, trained horses full time, judge horse shows on the weekends, and ran our farm. So, we would have anywhere between 38 to 45 horses at a time, borders and so on and so forth, horse people understand it’s a grind. And I told you, I’m an only child so I was the only labor my family had. It was me and my mom and my dad until they got divorced when I was in middle school. So, we ran the farm and so every day you are expected to work and so every morning you’d up before school and in Michigan, it’s freezing in the winter.

So, you’re outside in five layers and you’re busting water out of water buckets and you’re trying to get these horses in and out and you’re sliding and falling on the ice, it was a very tough life in general. Never went on a family vacation in our lives, never took a break, never took a day off. So, I was raised in that culture of working and I was used to hard work that doesn’t bother me manual labor all day.

Tamra: I got it.

Kristen: But I was super creative as a kid, so I would always design Barbie houses and I would design them build them out of carpet remnants and I liked being creative. And so, my mom encouraged that too. And when I got into high school, there was… actually, I was not a good traditional school person that you’d imagine.

Tamra: I love it.

Kristen: So, I wanted to do something different and they offered a program outside of school for half the day, which here they call them like vocational schools, and they went there and I actually was going to go into auto-body.

Tamra: O wow.

Kristen: And I was going go into auto-body and design repair for cars because they offered that program and I love cars and trucks and motorcycles.

Tamra: That is so cool.

Kristen: So, I was like, Oh, that’d be fun. So, we went and toured the school and I stumbled upon a class that was called the visual merchandising class and so it was visual merchandising and store design. And so, for my junior and senior years of high school, I went to this course half the day and they taught you nothing, but this was back in the day with like Corel drawn, like Adobe probably 0.01, well, we had floppy discs. So, it was floppy disk days that we had to design and we had to build entire storefronts and we had to build point of sale concepts and we had to literally hands-on we learn how to do all this stuff.

Tamra: That’s incredible, I don’t feel like they have that.

Kristen: They don’t.

Tamra: That’s amazing.

Kristen: And it was amazing. So, I technically got my degree in fashion merchandising and store design in high school.

Tamra: That’s awesome.

Kristen: And so, I always loved crazy clothes, but I was the kid who would go to school one day in cowboy boots and a belt buckle and jeans, and the next day I’d be in a purple satin suit. Like I was the weirdest and that’s…

Tamra: That’s so cool.

Kristen: Probably why I didn’t fit in because I was so quiet and I was so shy.

Tamra: Like I don’t know how to jog with her.

Kristen: Nobody knew what to do except I was on the equestrian team so the horse people were my friends. I was just so quiet I didn’t speak for most of middle school, which is hard for people.

Tamra: And now you’re all on tv.

Kristen: I had a fear of public speaking. I was bullied at the end of elementary school and middle school so I stayed really quiet because I just didn’t want to be noticed. And I ended up obviously overcoming that…

Tamra: Yea, clearly.

Kristen: But it took a while, but it was, yeah. So, the fact I’d always just liked designing stuff. So, I’d redo my bedroom all the time as a kid and stuff like that, but it was always so drastically different. And my mom was like, you’re all over the place and I’m a Gemini, so I am all over the place.

Tamra: Yeah, that’s normal.

Kristen: And I just ended up going into design for Lord and Taylor so I opened and formatted and designed all of their stores and did their window displays and holiday.

Tamra: Nice.

Kristen: But I was like a hundred percent redneck and I just felt like, you know, some days you feel like you’re just putting on the outfit so, I was a person who you dressed for, who you wanted to be.

Tamra: Absolutely.

Kristen: And I was that persona wherever we went. So, if I was going to work, it was tahari suits and I cut my hair to look older back then because I was 19 years old running a department store because they thought I went to college.

Tamra: Sure, because you have all this information.

Kristen: So, I was their youngest manager ever to take over and I ended up staying with them until they closed down here and that’s what brought me to Virginia Beach.

Tamra: Yeah, wow I remember you were at the mall.

Kristen: So that’s how I got here.

Tamra: It’s crazy. And then what made you transition from that TV? That’s a big difference.

Kristen: So…

Tamra: I mean obviously people but…

Kristen: Yeah, but yeah, and I mean, I’ve always been like the horse stuff is still part of my life and I don’t do it as much anymore because of time and it takes a lot of time. But obviously, I still am the one who still drives a pickup truck and that will never leave my system, but I followed that path and was actually had taken jobs, you bartending in the area to meet people because I didn’t know anyone here when I moved here, I was underage, so I couldn’t go out. And I ended up working like at the beach, get to know everybody.

Tamra: Connected.

Kristen: Yeah. Just getting out and meeting people. And I overcame a lot of my fears because it was a new city. You can kind of start over.

Tamra: Start new.

Kristen: And I just figured, I was like, you have to stop being so quiet, just be yourself because people will accept you eventually but I was always afraid of just being rejected. And we just went through the process and then I started went back to the restaurants after Lord and Taylor closed and it was actually one of my bar customers who drug me kicking and screaming into live television. I didn’t want to do it because I was petrified of public speaking, petrified. The first commercial I ever did, they had to put me behind a bed because my legs were shaking so bad. And that was…

Tamra: One after another, after another you like…

Kristen: You just get use…If you want to overcome it, you will overcome it. And the mindset for me, I had done photo modeling and I was like, you don’t have to talk or smile.

Tamra: You can’t tell my legs are shaking.

Kristen: I love designing shoots, I love that stuff. So, I was like, oh yeah, I can, I can model, and I did it when I was in my early twenties just to build confidence. And then ended up like, I love media and I love entertainment and I love television so if I’m going to do it, I got to do it.

Tamra: So awesome.

Kristen: So, I did. I mean, I was literally out of the people who applied for my job, I was the only person who did not have journalism experience.

Tamra: I love that, I love it. Well, and to know what you brought to the table has so much more depth what I think [cross-talk 19:28].

Kristen: So much.

Tamra: Do nowadays, right?

Kristen: Yeah.

Tamra: Like I feel like we…I talk about this all the time with my husband because he has cultivated this incredible company and I love listening to him. And I’m like, people are always like, where did he go to school? Well, he actually doesn’t have an Alma Mater, I have an Alma Mater, but he doesn’t. And we’re really okay with the fact that if our children grow up and don’t want to go to college, I would rather you follow your passion because your passion is going to be what leads you to happiness, which will lead you to financial blessing.

But if you’re trying to segment yourself into law and you don’t even like it, you’re just doing it because you want to have money that a lawyer has, or you want to be a judge. It’s not going to make you…

Kristen: Not going to make you happy.

Tamra: It’s not going to satisfy you. So, to see that you kind of overcame the obstacle, you did what…

Kristen: I did it.

Tamra: You could do. And then you’re like, okay, where… you did it for 12 years, that’s a pretty long time. But not like full-on like, some people retire at their 20-year-end mark. So, you were like, okay, I’m 40. I’m done. What was the…I know that there was like a finishing point, what did that look like?

Kristen: So, we talked about this because… and I know everybody’s guilty of it so you can never say you’re not, but about a year or so before, I mean, I was getting really run down because I went through both pregnancies on air. They were high risk, it was difficult, I didn’t sleep, I was still trying to have newborns and be on that schedule of four hours of sleep at night.

Tamra: Oh gosh.

Tamra: So you know you go to bed at 10, the baby would wake up at 11. I’d go back to bed, the baby would wake up at one, then I’d get up at three and go to work. So that was my schedule for a while, both kids were little and it was really hard. It took a lot to maintain, but again, because I had grown up literally working morning till night, my whole life, I was able to handle it and no matter what my outside stressors are, I’m always pretty happy and positive. I don’t let that stuff get to me.

So everybody always thinks you’re fine. You’re fine, you put on makeup and I always joked because I was like, it’s smoke and mirrors. Because I go home at night and I’m like, Oh God, I can’t look at myself, you know, you’re like purple you just look… And they’re like, you don’t get bags under your eyes. I’m like, yeah, I don’t get puffy bags, but they’re there when I take the makeup off. So, I think we, again, in this online community, we think everything’s perfect and I’m pretty transparent in most of my postings because I’m like, I’m exhausted or like right now struggling, losing water weight with fitness because my stomach after kids, you have loose skin and people in pictures don’t think you have it, but it’s because you’re sitting like this like it’s not normal.

Tamra: And then now the new pants are getting higher and higher which is amazing.

Kristen: Yeah, it just covers it all up which is great.

Tamra: Yeah, so good.

Kristen: Yeah, but we always put on the best face because that’s what we’re always taught to do.

Tamra: It’s true.

Kristen: So, I was getting really burnt out and I had a couple of health scares over the past year that was really eye-opening. But before that I had asked for signs and I would have my own private conversations on the way to work where I would be like, okay, God, I need a sign, what is the sign going to be? Is it going to be direct? Am I going to know, when am I going to know what’s the right time? Do I give up my career? Do I give up my status? Do I give up all this stuff? That’s bringing me an opportunity that I can’t take because I am locked in a job that doesn’t allow you to be creative.

Tamra: Oh gosh.

Kristen: And so, I got the signs, that’s what I was saying, everybody’s done this we ignored the signs. I ignored the signs, ignore the other sign and it would finally get me to one point where I was driving to work, just crying because I was so emotional asking for help and still felt really scared about the decision. And I finally… and I actually shared this, we did our little going away podcast at News Three…

Tamra: Oh nice.

Kristen: And my kids, you know they write the little papers about you, like for mother and whatever?

Tamra: Yeah.

Kristen: So, the last one, last year in May, before I made this decision, I didn’t make this decision really until summer. I knew I was thinking about it, but I had not made a decision. And kids both wrote one of them… they were filling the blanks and one of them wrote my mommy is, and then it was dot, dot, dot, and the answer was always tired. And then the other one, the younger one no, that was the younger one. The older one was, I wish my mom could and it said, get more sleep.

Tamra: Oh my gosh.

Kristen: So, it got to the point where…

Tamra: There are signs.

Kristen: They were noticing it and I like, yeah, I always get here. But I like, God, they really see how tired I am. So is it worth showing them like my mom did, to me, you work till you kill yourself because you want to be a strong woman and you want to show that you can make it on your own or do you decide to take a step back for your health and your wellness and your family and see what else is in store for you. And so, I pretty much, I think shocked everybody. Because I went in there and I was like, I just… I’m done its time.

Tamra: Wow.

Kristen: And it…

Tamra: Wow.

Kristen: I can tell you that day was really hard and every person I told at that station cried, which was… meant a lot to me. Because again, you don’t know how much of an impact you make until you leave sometimes, which is sad.

Tamra: And they don’t either honestly.

Kristen: But every reaction was people just crying and I had viewers crying and I had viewers writing to me saying you helped my dad get to chemotherapy every morning because you helped us get there safe, letting us know if I could get them there on time, and you helped prolong his life for like two years and he just passed away.

Tamra: Oh my gosh.

Kristen: I got those kinds of messages.

Tamra: Wow.

Kristen: And I was like… So, the last few weeks at work were probably the most emotional, like it was a lot.

Tamra: Yeah, and here you are like asking for signs and then you get the answer after you finally say yes to the answers because I know signs not all the time and it’s if our eyes are open and our willingness.

Kristen: Yes, you have to be there to accept and receive them.

Tamra: Exactly, because he’ll give them to you all day long, but we’ll fly by them [cross-talk 25:22] is that you’re dealing with all the emotions of, oh my gosh, did I make the right decision? And I think knowing your why and knowing that your children and your health if you don’t have those things and your family, you’re not going to have all of the goodness that you even have in store for you later. So recognizing that, and it’s so interesting just today, and it had nothing to do this podcast, I was just syncing, talking to my girls from Core Creatives and I wanted to post on there, what is one thing you could do for your happiness barometer today that would increase it?

Posted it and I was like, man, that’s a really good question. Let me self-check, let me find out what my answer is before I just give it to the world, which is what I did.

Kristen: There’s a reason I ask that to them.

Tamra: Then I posted on social media and as I was sitting down to get ready for you being here, I looked and three people said, quit my job.

Kristen: Wow.

Tamra: Two people said sleep and one person said meditation. And I was like, wow, we’re so driven for achievement and the expectations that we put on ourselves are so high and we don’t know any better, it’s usually subconscious. It’s not something we even realize that we’re doing until you get to the place where you have no choice and you say, oh man, something’s going to break. And for you, it was your body and potentially, your relationships…

Kristen: My mental capacity.

Tamra: Yeah, [cross-talk 26:46]. So, when you said, I’m out and you already knew, you had already been cultivating your passions for some time, fitness was one of them, wherein that timeframe was your mental health coming into play and your spiritual journey?

Kristen: So, it’s kind of hard because it was such a long process. I think that the overall part of that transition was probably about two years ago because I was at a point where I was using the gym physical fitness as therapy to deal with the postpartum, so I knew that it was medicine. I was also dealing with auto-immune viruses, I was dealing with a lot of food intolerances, everything I was eating was making me sick.

Tamra: Gosh.

Kristen: So, there were a lot of things that happened prior to the bigger health scare. So, there were signs prior to, and I had gone to specialists to find out what was wrong with me, or I had all my hair falling out, things like that had happened several times. And so, I went to them at work and I said, listen, I am a creative person I need to have a creative outlet. So, I’m going start doing this, my food recipes for healthier eating because I devise recipes that were gut-friendly for anybody because a lot of the problem is…

Tamra: Yep, gut.

Kristen: Most people will eat them, and I don’t believe in keto. I hate keto, I hate paleo, I hate all the diets that are specific. Because again, they’re still not specific enough for you, but I’ve gone through and dwindled through a lot of foods, found the ones that everyone can pretty much tolerate like squashes. There are certain things we can all eat that don’t bother us that are not a night shade and they’re not…

Tamra: Yes, interesting

Kristen: There are certain things. So, I started to create videos for YouTube as fun, I was like, I’m going create these recipes because I cook, I was in the restaurants, I love food, I think that we are all connected by food.

Tamra: Yes, Totally.

Kristen: Even if you can’t work out like me, you can cook like me because we can all cook.

Tamra: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Kristen: And I love…I think breaking bread together is something that obviously we’re supposed to do. And we don’t do enough of because we’re in such a rush anymore.

Tamra: So true.

Kristen: But there’s a way to do it and it tastes good because I hate food that tastes like crap.

Tamra: And people always will ask me like, ugh, why are you eating that? I’m like, have you tried it? Don’t go ugh. Just because its beets don’t mean it’s gross.

Kristen: Doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s how you make it. So, I’ve used all these background things to make recipes.

Tamra: So cool.

Kristen: So, I started doing that and then I fell into the fitness world via friends and found a photographer who we talked about, who is my mastermind coach who is James Patrick. And he is one of the top 10 fitness photographers in the world.

Tamra: So cool.

Kristen: He’s incredible and he kind of was brought into my life by someone else. I worked with him and then he came back into my life on his own…

Tamra: Awesome.

Kristen: And invited me into this group. It was a selected group, they hand-selected everyone in it and we were invited and we were put together and we were literally put together for a purpose. Because I’ve never walked into a room, and I think any woman that’s listening will understand this, you walk into a room of 11 other fit alpha mentality females, usually not the most inviting space or the most like open space. I kid you not, I have never walked into a room where I have felt more able to be myself.

Tamra: That’s awesome.

Kristen: Because we share the same struggles, we like… again, everyone you see, and most of these women have been published in national publications, we are not just that persona online. We all struggle with the same thing…

Tamra: So true.

Kristen: We all think we look like crap. You have days you feel bloated af and you’re like, I can’t even get my pants on. These people who see in magazines that you’re idolizing thinking, I can never be like that, they’re not like that all the time.

Tamra: Right. You’re just seeing a one millisecond.

Kristen: You’re seeing a picture and that’s why, I mean, I use my nice pictures online, but again, I don’t pretend to be that way all the time and I’m not because I like my life and I like food, so yeah. So that just started it. And he brought me into the group and I didn’t really know what the reason was at the beginning of the year and the WellFit Social actually came out of our first retreat that we did.

Tamra: That’s amazing.

Kristen: It was me saying, I don’t want to be just like… I don’t want to go into personal training, I don’t want to just do nutrition coaching, I always want to do it all. I want to do it all and how can I help everybody else do it too? And that they helped me come up with the WellFit Social event and like you said, it was the first of its kind here like that because it’s multiple speakers, all different stories, multiple vendors, everybody’s invited, it’s not just for fitness professionals. You know, the conference I’m going to of his, is for fitness professionals, but it’s targeted to that.

Mine, I was like, I just want it to grow as a network and we just need to support each other more. And that’s where it came from. So, when I was leading into this year, that came to me in spring, my 40th birthday was in June and I said to myself, I’m 40, I feel better than I ever have as far as physical looks. I love having muscle, I like being curvier and I’m not trying to be like the back in the…

Tamra: Sure [cross-talk 32:14] Yeah, I got it.

Kristen: Day we were doing two hours of cardio and [cross-talk 32:15] so bad buns of steel videos.

Tamra: That’s so good, so true.

Kristen: We all did it and I didn’t want to do that anymore. So, I was like, you know, there’s a way to tell everybody that this is inclusive and we can all be a part of wellness. You don’t have to be running a marathon, you don’t have to just do CrossFit, you don’t have to just do yoga.

Tamra: Or just a certain diet or just the… none of those things.

Kristen: Everything is specific to individuals and I think that we’re realizing that now more through science as well, like your own individual bio, and what your DNA triggers. I mean, we all, like they say that what you do is pull the trigger on your illnesses and mine, or went back to stress and lack of sleep.

Tamra: Absolutely.

Kristen: I had nothing else wrong with me. I did every test under the sun.

Tamra: That’s crazy.

Kristen: I mean, I did every test for hormones, I did every test for thyroid, I developed all these lumps in my throat that they thought were cancerous. It wasn’t, it was all stress.

Tamra: Which is so interesting because my mom recently had something similar in lumps happening, where it looked like she got hit in the face to be honest.

Kristen: Oh my gosh.

Tamra: But she had like golf ball size knot cheek.

Kristen: Wow.

Tamra: And I remember her coming out and she had like a compress on it when I saw her and I was like, oh my gosh…

Kristen: Like what happened?

Tamra: She’s has little babies; she has a daycare and preschool in her home.

Kristen: Oh my gosh.

Tamra: So, I’m like, what happened to you? I was thinking of all the things, could it go wrong? And she was like, I don’t know, I just woke up with this. It’s so sore, it hurts, I think it’s just the beginning of a stye. Well, styes usually are here, not like on your cheek.

Kristen: Yeah, not out here on the bone.

Tamra: Right.

Kristen: Oh my gosh.

Tamra: So, two days go by, it started turning like black and blue was not going away. She got checked out and the doctor literally was like, it’s just stress. It’s stress-induced here’s meds, right.

Kristen: Of course.

Tamra: And so, she’s like, no, she’s always been an advocate of no, don’t do that. Thankfully, I took that and ran with it very strongly because the amount of meds that we could have been, taking on so many different levels. For me, physical, mental, I wish they had a spiritual med, but they don’t, we need Jesus pills, but they don’t have does yet, standby [cross-talk 34:24]

Kristen: Here’s your million-dollar idea.

Tamra: [Inaudible 34:32]. But seriously, I’m so proud of her for saying no. And she’s like, okay, like this is a sign, and this was prior to her coming into her faith. And so, she was just like, I need to slow down, all of the things that are weighing me down there is a reason for it and I need to address them. And again, that’s going back to the root cause, and if the root cause is deprivation of sleep and depriving yourself of joy because you’re so stressed that you can’t even feel other emotions, even if you’re putting on a happy face. And I know firsthand, I was the best at that. I was just talking to a girlfriend. I’m like, you know, I felt like I had so many friends and yet I had no friends because I wouldn’t give the depth of my soul, I was just giving the front.

Kristen: Yeah.

Tamra: And I didn’t purposely do that, I didn’t walk through life thinking like, I had these surface-level friendships, I can’t tell them that I can’t share that, I just did it. It was what I was used to since I was little, you just bring them along for the ride and it’s going to be a great party. I was the party planner; I was always wanting to bring everyone together. Yeah, you got this, this is great, let’s go. And it came crashing and burning. And when it happened, I had two little ones as well and was dealing with not just… it was almost like I never dealt with the first postpartum depression that I had with my son, I just suppressed it and kept going and kept being busy and started a new company and did more things that I had another baby. Because that’s the American dream, right? You have a boy and then a girl and the white picket fence and the nice car and the two businesses and all of that.

And from the outside, looking in, it was all picture-perfect. And then I made a lot of wrong decisions in that time and a part of it was trying to strive so hard to have wholeness that I completely broke to the point of almost losing my marriage. And I noticed it again, how you did through your children, where they started needing Daddy more than they needed Mommy.

Kristen: Oh wow.

Tamra: And I literally, physically saw one day came home, we were at the edge of the driveway, Dad was home talking to the neighbor and they were with him. And I’m like, hey guys. And instead of them like running up to me, little, teeny, tiny toddlers, my daughter had just started walking, they went to daddy and said, no.

Kristen: Oh wow.

Tamra: And my heart broke.

Kristen: That is do hard.

Tamra: And I was like, I’m making wrong decisions. In this very moment, I’m making the wrong decisions. And so, I just always encourage people, the decision that you made, all these people trying to increase their happy barometer, you know the answer.

Kristen: Yeah. You do.

Tamra: You know it [inaudible 37:11], and yet we’re avoiding it. And so, to face it head-on, it doesn’t mean it’s easy, it doesn’t mean that all, everything becomes rainbows and butterflies afterward, but boy, are you a step closer. So, to know and see the joy that you experienced on the day of the WellFit Social.

Kristen: It was incredible.

Tamra: And do you even got to be on the camera because News Channel Three News came out which was awesome.

Kristen: That was the biggest surprise.

Tamra: Oh, that was a surprise?

Kristen: It was a surprise.

Tamra: I didn’t know that,

Kristen: I didn’t arrange That. The one thing that I can say and most people like, we’ve said, don’t know a lot about TV News, you see what you see or you have a perception of, which is not very true. Most people they’re not wanting to come to your house after something bad happens trust me. Because we have people crying and breaking down after they have to do it, but it’s part of their job so they do it anyway, which is what we all do, you do it anyways. But that station, when you typically… if you ever leave a news station, you are out.

Tamra: Yeah, you’re old news.

Kristen: Your security, your photo up, you don’t belong here anymore, we’ll see you later type thing.

Tamra: Oh my gosh [cross-talk 38:19].

Kristen: I mean, because you’re obviously, you’re not under contract and you’re not an employee. But because I had such a good relationship with them and I wasn’t leaving to go to a competitor, I wasn’t leaving to do something else in TV News. They were so supportive to the point where it was eye-opening for me because again, my entire 12 years I had seen them be pretty cold with most people.

Tamra: A job.

Kristen: It’s a job and you’re replaceable. I did fine because I put my whole heart into it. I was on 24/7 no matter where I was, I was on, I was representing, I was answering, I was talking, I was helping people. And the one good thing out of that, despite burning myself out with that I did make a lasting impression with them and I did actually touch them in an emotional way which are people that I’ve worked with for a long time they’re all my family. But it was for them to send that, that day to put my little event on the news that, again, they usually, once you’re gone and they write you off, to still be included like that was really overwhelming and I got pretty emotional when I saw that.

Because Jessica was like, they’re here, they’re here. And I was like, oh my gosh, they actually care how I’m doing. They actually cared as a company and they’ve been extremely supportive. So, I’ve been back, I fill in like, I’ve done Cost Live and I get to host still.

Tamra: Awesome.

Kristen: So, I’m still allowed in the building, it’s one of those things.

Tamra: You weren’t totally kicked out.

Kristen: I’m totally…I wasn’t kicked out.

Tamra: That’s amazing.

Kristen: But it’s… yeah, it is. It also goes to show that if you… I’ve always been a firm believer in that of… I’ve never asked anyone to do something I wouldn’t do myself when it comes to work or management or jobs, I’m the first person scrubbing the floor or the first person taking out the trash. But I think if we all led that way, that we again are all connected, we’re all on that same level, there is no hierarchy really, we are all on the same level.

Tamra: Absolutely, yep.

Kristen: We cannot doubt that.

Tamra: No.

Kristen: And I just think that the way you treat people at your jobs really does foresee your future with it because I still have all these great connections.

Tamra: Well, even in your bartending, like you said, like some of these bartending people not only helped you now they’ve helped your husband get to start his company. I mean, I think that… they always say like, don’t burn a bridge, never burn a bridge. If you can help it never burn a bridge.

Kristen: If you could help it. There are people who deserve it. [cross-talk 40:45].

Tamra: They’re burning from [inaudible 40:49] so if you don’t do something to your side, you’re going to catch on fire.

Kristen: Yes.

Tamra: Totally get that, totally believe in it, but if you can help it, that’s where the focus is just being kind and generous and the more you are, the more you receive in that. And it’s not always easy, it does take energy to do that and doing it for everyone, probably not the best, so learn your boundaries because boundaries are really important in that. Probably something as you’re transitioning that you’re still trying to figure out because you’re like, okay, how do I say no to certain things and yes, to certain things. And they want you to go full force with everything right now. And you’re like, hold on.

Kristen: Everybody did.

Tamra: I need to just breathe for a second, I haven’t even enjoyed what I said no for. Enjoy the kids, enjoy…

Kristen: Let me be home.

Tamra: Yeah, just hold on and get your health in check. Here you are sharing about wellness, like you want to continue and pursue that testimony so that you can say, we’re all on a journey and there’s never like a finite point I don’t think until you’re in heaven and you’ve got that full wellness but we’re in pursuit of it, what does that look like six months down the road? What does that look like a year from now? Where you can say I sleep soundly for seven hours a night. that would be [cross-talk 42:06].

Kristen: That is my [cross-talk 42:08]. Please God, let me sleep for more than six hours at a time.

Tamra: I pray that too and if I’m up, I have back issues, my daughter comes over to me and she still needs me to help her pee at night and then [cross-talk 42:08] I just want to sleep. Luckily, I think it’s like twice a week, I’ll get like a full six hours, no interruption and I’ll wake up and apologize to my husband.

Kristen: Something is wrong, something happened.

Tamra: How many times did you wake up last night? Because I am so sorry, I was done, I couldn’t do it. I felt horrible.

Kristen: I’ve done that too.

Tamra: And he’s like, no they actually slept, I’m like, oh, [cross-talk 42:38].

Kristen: There’s your little bit of relief you’re given. You’re given a little bit of relief.

Tamra: Just a little bit.

Kristen: Not all of it, but a little bit just to know. But I think our health is our biggest blessing because once your health goes, we’ve seen everybody, that’s when most people either turn to God or they repent on what they’ve done is when their health goes.

Tamra: It’s so true, it’s true.

Kristen: That’s the biggest trigger for people. We don’t educate people enough early on to protect that value. It’s that once you get to that point, then there’s all this regret. I don’t want to have any regret. My life has been amazing. I’ve worked my butt off. I have blood, sweat, and tears keeping family businesses going and I am grateful for every single ounce of it, which is probably why I’m fairly joyful overall. And we didn’t go to church through my childhood because of the fact that…

Tamra: You’re working.

Kristen: We had the business. We had live animals to take care of. And there’s nothing that teaches more responsibility than a live animal.

Tamra: Than something alive.

Kristen: Than alive because you can’t… yeah, you got to go feed it, you can’t just not feed it.

Tamra: That is so true.

Kristen: And my mom started leaving me on my own to care for the farm when I was like 16. So, I was in high school working two jobs, managing the farm, going to horse shows every weekend. And that’s why it’s hard for me when especially our kids are spoiled.

Tamra: Oh yeah.

Kristen: They’re spoiled.

Tamra: Totally.

Kristen: Like flat out tell my kids they are spoiled all the time. You have like one chore, barely do that.

Tamra: Can’t do it right.

Kristen: And I had…

Tamra: They wouldn’t even know what to do.

Kristen: Hours of chores, but it was like you said, you go through, it’s not in your path unless you can handle it. So, I was just that kind of person. I was very responsible as a kid, never got into trouble, always got good grades. I was so focused on becoming a strong woman and being independent that, I went right into the workforce. And so, literally, I have been in the workforce with no less than two jobs for 25 years. And I’m only four… but because I started…

Tamra: So young.

Kristen: When I was 15 with my first job, I was driving when I was like 11, I was driving a car.

Tamra: Your Mom was like just saying its farm life…

Kristen: Yea it’s farm life.

Tamra: That’s just what it is. You [inaudible 45:11]

Kristen: You learn to drive, you got to drive everything. I was driving a tractor.

Tamra: Tractors, heavy machinery.

Kristen: I had the Four-Wheeler, yeah, I could… I had the spreader; I could do the…

Tamra: Oh my gosh, that’s awesome.

Kristen: Brush hog and cut stuff. I was a little kid and I look at my daughter, who’s 11 now I wouldn’t trust her to drive down the street.

Tamra: Not even to hold the blower.

Kristen: No, she scares the crap out of me she would not take out a fence and be like, Hey, like just take a picture of it and keep going. She wouldn’t care. She’d be like, oh, it’s a fence hey. That’s what would happen now.

Tamra: Let’s put this on YouTube.

Kristen: I guess you either have work ethic or you don’t, that’s a big thing. And I’ve always had it, which is my blessing that I’ve always been able to work and I’ve enjoyed it. So, I loved every job I’ve had, but they all were put in my path that I could come to this place.

Tamra: I totally agree [cross-talk 46:02].

Kristen: And I can be in this space now. So, literally, they all come together and it’s weird because I have worked in so many different jobs. I mean, I’ve done construction, I did cable buries when I was in high school as well as a part-time job, I did the hardware store and learn how to do plumbing, electrical, painting.

Tamra: Not something you would do in school which was very feminine [cross-talk 46:22].

Kristen: And then I was doing fashion stuff during it.

Tamra: So cool.

Kristen: So, I always, I don’t know, I think that we need to always learn more and I think that we need to be more than who we think we should be because we’re all capable of it.

Tamra: Absolutely.

Kristen: And we’re all capable of, they joked me at work because my thing was Wonder Woman because that’s what they always said I looked like.

Tamra: Totally yes.

Kristen: I felt my mom looks like Wonder Woman; she looks like Linda Carter.

Tamra: Really, yes. I’ve seen a picture, she does. That’s awesome.

Kristen; She’s very, very Wonder Woman ass. And she’s got like, my biceps are small compared to my mom.

Tamra: I bet.

Kristen: That’s probably why it was such a good kid she scared the crap out of me. She had lunch whips and we had 40 acres you weren’t going to find me if I did anything wrong as a child, I was going outback.

Tamra: That’s awesome.

Kristen: So, she was Wonder Woman to me.

Tamra: That’s amazing.

Kristen: And so, when they started that nickname at work…

Tamra: Kind of crazy.

Kristen: It was, yeah. I mean, you don’t want to ever be like… you always say, I don’t want to be my parents, but I’m totally my parents. And I am like, wow, I guess, you know, I can see the correlation and then I started having more fun with it as I got older and so now, I’m like, I think that was a thing. Everybody has that little superhero…

Tamra: Absolutely.

Kristen: That we can totally channel and do more with and we just have to actually do it.

Tamra: I love it, it’s so important. And I think so, honestly, people just don’t know, they don’t because of the negative self-talk that we give ourselves so commonly, whether it is about your physique, whether it’s about your mentality, your capability, are you enough? So often we’re constantly telling ourselves the world will tell you all the time, but if you’re also telling yourself you’re not good enough…

Kristen: I’m guilty,

100% guilty.

Tamra: It’s like, well, how can I stop this? And changing that mindset and looking into the places of our hearts, where we are capable because we are. And so that’s kind of where we are now, you’re starting a mastermind. I love masterminding with women, I think and anyone really, but women specifically, because I feel like that’s where my heart starts with myself. And so that’s where I want to start to give that back to share with people that are coming.

Kristen: It is coming.

Tamra: I want them to know about it. It’s part of you being here.

Kristen: It’s crazy and I told you I was the one who would never say that word. I don’t, because I think it… again, we’re so inundated with social media, that there are so many people who haven’t lived life who promote themselves as coaches or business, people like that. They haven’t experienced anything outside of Instagram and social media. So, my thing with it, and it did take me a long time to get to this too, is how can I help people, but also have a little bit of an income, because I’m going to have to have something next year.

Tamra: Of course.

Kristen: And it was to create those. So, mine is going to be more of the accelerated business growth over probably like a six-week program, but it’s going to be a very select amount of people. So, between 10 and 15 people only at a time, and I’m only going to do it post events, so January.

Tamra: Cool, smart.

Kristen: And so, it’s going to be… we’ll do it in cycles, but it is going to be focused mainly on PR and media, finding your perfect pitch is your business even pitch able? Are you media worthy? Pretty much everyone is, but there are certain aspects that will get you media attention that you may not know. And then using the people who helped me with the branding in those things coming in saying, what are you wasting your money on? Because again, none of us have a budget to start this.

Tamra: Right no.

Kristen: We don’t, no one has the money.

Tamra: People was like, oh, I have… she’s just got a pocketbook no, I don’t have a money tree. I don’t have a purse filled with money.

Kristen: Nope, I wish.

Tamra: My child might think so but that’s not the case.

Kristen: And so, there are things that you can save money on. There are things you should spend money on. So, the people I have for the other four weeks of that program will be focused on that. And that I do have all of these resources now through the mastermind that I did, which was a year-long, it was a huge commitment for me. And it was scary because it meant me actually saying what I was going to do out loud which I was not…

Tamra: Yes, and having other people, keeping you accountable.

Kristen: And accountability is huge for me because as much as I work, I’ve always worked for someone and I’ve always had a schedule. So, I know I have to be here from 3:30 AM to 1:00 PM.

Tamra: Interesting.

Kristen: 1:00 PM to two I’m at the gym from two to four, I get the kids and then we go to… I thrive on a schedule because I have no choice. Then I’m pretty lazy when it comes… to probably because I have worked so much, I just about to sit there, I don’t want to do anything. I want to veg out on my phone and be like a 12-year-old preteen, I don’t want to do anything. So, the accountability has been huge for me this year. My accountability partners have changed several times throughout the year but I want to obviously include that where we’ll have a lot of accountability and a lot of homework and a lot of growth stuff.

Tamra: That’s awesome.

Kristen: So, it’s more so people in our realm or are more of our age group, I should say. Because they see people who haven’t accomplished anything, but I want them to know there are people out there who are willing to help them, who’s actually been through it.

Tamra: Yeah, that’s good.

Kristen: And I refuse to let anyone down, but I also no BS. So, I don’t sugar coat anything when it comes to what I’ve experienced or what I’ve done to overcome it. And we could talk for hours about just crazy but there are ways to deal with it. And sadly, we are still in a very corporate world.

Tamra: Very much so.

Kristen: It’s not just social media. So, there’s a lot that you still have to do outside of social media, which is television radio, those kinds of things.

Tamra: Absolutely, and that’s a cool thing, I think about bringing it into something that’s accessible to the community and doing it locally and starting local and not to say it always stay that way because I think your network’s going to grow nationally.

Kristen: I hope so.

Tamra: Internationally. Come on, Jesus. Is that you, you know, you get to actually have that face to face interaction and actually grow with somebody’s heart and it’s not through a screen, which we’re so inundated with already. And then from there, just like when I create these retreats for women to bring them together. I want…

Kristen: Which is amazing.