September Member Spotlight: Getting Un-Stuck with Kelly Summersett

By Sabie Crowder

It’s 6 a.m. and Kelly is already halfway through a workout with her small group in her home gym.

If you’re anything like me, being up and sweating at that hour sounds like a bad joke or wishful thinking.

But after spending time with toned and glowing Kelly, I realize that first and foremost, it’s not about exercise. It’s about happiness and ultimately helping women get to their next levels of it.

Born and raised in the Monroe, Michigan, Kelly received her Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Eastern Michigan University. She worked for UMI coordinating events and an unplanned relocation brought Kelly and her family to Chattanooga nearly 19 years ago. Now she is proud to call herself a Chattanoogan as the Scenic City’s innovation, investment, and national attention has continued to grow.

She continued as an independent contractor doing trade shows and events for several years after the move. When the recession hit and work started to slow, Kelly got the opportunity to reevaluate her future. She decided to follow her long-time passion for wellness and became a Certified Personal Fitness Coach.

Why coaching? Well, surprisingly, Kelly and her clients often don’t even work out when meeting. She focuses instead on digging into the “why” behind her clients wanting to lose weight by uncovering the root of their obstacles. And the root is typically related to outdated, limited, and critical ways of thinking about themselves and their life situations.

Old mindset patterns are the #1 reason the majority of people feel stuck, over-think, stress out, choose unhealthy ways to cope, and have difficulty achieving their goals.

“Women over-do, people please, compare themselves to others, strive for perfection…and it’s never enough,” she explains with ease. “Our culture has taught us how to accomplish, but we’ve never been taught how to live right.”

With her life coaching programs, Kelly helps clients get “unstuck” for good and, with that, they lose weight and tone up, thrive in their relationships, and choose bold career paths that are aligned with their new-found values and goals.


A Case Study

An example Kelly is particularly proud of started as a four month pilot program. She approached a local, small business with women ranging in age from 20 to 50. Being sedentary at a desk all day, getting them moving was going to be quite a change. The women gave up their lunch hour for 3 days a week and exercised with Kelly in an outdoor carport for four months. Then another four months. And another. And soon the experiment completed at a full year. The business owner saw results like happiness, employee camaraderie, compassion, lower stress, better attitude and higher productivity. He even ended up gifting each of the women a gym membership because they gained the knowledge, skillsets and motivation to put it to use. Kelly calls this a major success for the women and a great example for business owners, no matter how small.

Tricks of the trade

It’s all about mindset. “What we focus on grows,” she simply states. One of her favorite quotes is from Wayne Dyer “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Seems simple right? But how do we start?

Kelly believes in The Power of Smalls – small, positive, consistent steps to a better you. If anything, consider your healthy habit an experiment. Whether it’s 5 minutes of walking every day for two weeks, or packing a healthy lunch for a month, small actions can kickstart the “new lifestyle” you’ve been saying you want. And calling it an experiment is a positive and healthy way to approach your goal because it turns you into the inventor and objective evaluator versus the person who feels stuck in the all or nothing or “have to” approach.

“When you’re up-leveling any habit it’s with effort at first so be kind to yourself, focus on what’s going right, and forget the ‘all or nothing’ mentality because it never works.”

Kelly has lead The Power of Happy series for CWLI throughout 2017. Be sure to catch the remaining sessions! Kelly is a mother of two students and proud wife to a Veteran. Learn more here.