Holistic Weight Loss: Embracing Real Food And Mindset Shifts with Kelsey Wickenhauser

Holistic-Weight-Loss- Embracing-Real-Food-And-Mindset-Shifts-with-Kelsey-Wickenhauser

May 29, 2024

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I’m excited to introduce you to one of my long-time students, Kelsey Wickenhauser. Kelsey is a weight loss accountability coach, a physician’s assistant, and a coffee lover. She also homesteads and loves lifting weights. This conversation is so precious and packed with insights.

Kelsey is the host of the Kingdom Fit Moms community and podcast. She is on a mission to help women break free from the constraints of diet culture and reframe their approach to health and weight loss. Her perspective aligns perfectly with my commitment to health and well-being.

In our chat, we dive into her journey and the incredible work she’s doing to empower women to think differently about their health. We’re discussing how Kelsey manages to juggle many responsibilities, including being a mom and running a business. This conversation centers around a topic that is on the minds of many women: body image, weight, and health.

“She is on a mission to help women break free from the constraints of diet culture and reframe their approach to health and weight loss.”

Listen Below For The Entire Episode On The Systemize Your Life Podcast

Balancing Family, Homesteading, And A Weight Loss Mission

Kelsey Wickenhauser is a remarkable woman who juggles many responsibilities. She is a physician assistant by training, but about four years ago, she took a bold step and left her job to start her entrepreneurial journey. It’s been a crazy ride for her, helping Christian women lose weight for the last time by uncovering the root causes of their struggles.

She is also a dedicated mom to three wonderful kids, aged 7, 5, and almost 3. On top of that, she and her husband are diving into the world of homeschooling and homesteading. They’re about to get chickens, and they’re busy cleaning out their barn, figuring out how to possibly live off the grid. It’s an exciting and ambitious endeavor, and Kelsey admits she’s a bit skeptical, but eager to see how it all unfolds.

How Kelsey Wickenhauser Manages Her Busy Life And Weight Loss Coaching Business

Reflecting on my conversation with Kelsey, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, that’s a lot to manage!” Kelsey really checks all the boxes and juggles so many responsibilities. I wanted to know more about her business and what it’s been like for her. How does she even find the time for everything? What exactly does she do? Is she working directly with clients? While we all have an idea of what homeschooling entails, Kelsey also has house projects and has left her nine-to-five job. At one point, she was managing both, which must have been quite challenging.

I asked Kelsey to paint a picture of her daily routine and how she fits everything in. A big part of this involves systems, as Kelsey has utilized many of the ones I’ve developed. This is just a small part of why I wanted to feature her, but it leads into a larger conversation about women’s health, weight, and their thoughts on these issues. Before diving into that, I wanted to understand how she incorporates these elements into her life. What does her day look like? What does her week look like?

Kelsey shared that every day is a bit different for her. She helps with a homeschool co-op a couple of days a week. They receive invaluable support from grandparents, who take care of the kids a few afternoons each week. During these times, Kelsey focuses on her business. Additionally, she works in a prompt care facility one day a week. She also emphasized how much her husband contributes, doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to keep everything running smoothly.

How Systems Transformed Kelsey Wickenhauser’s Approach To Weight Loss Coaching

Kelsey shared that before she started working with me and learning about home and business systems, she lacked a solid organizational structure and what she had wasn’t very effective. She often found herself tackling whatever seemed most urgent at the time. Now, she can enter her workday with a clear plan, knowing exactly what needs to be done. 

I’ve also helped her with hiring an assistant, which has freed up her time and allowed her to reclaim her creative space. This change has enabled Kelsey to focus more on the intricacies of her clients’ needs, rather than getting bogged down by emails and the day-to-day minutiae of her business.

As far as her weekly routine goes, Kelsey usually spends one day working in medicine. She tries to homeschool her kids a few mornings a week, then fits in her business tasks in the afternoons and occasionally on weekends. Amidst all these responsibilities, she also makes an effort to have a little fun.

Breaking Free From Diet Culture

Kelsey’s dedication to working out amidst her busy schedule is a significant part of her story and the work she does. This aspect of health and fitness is something I find incredibly relevant right now. In my own life, I have a close friend who spent years navigating diet culture and her relationship with food. Her experiences have highlighted some key issues for me. Additionally, my macro coach has extensive experience working with women recovering from eating disorders.

These insights have been invaluable as I consider how to raise my two daughters. I also reflect on my own relationship with food and body image. Everyday situations, like going to the pool, often bring these thoughts to the forefront. This is a crucial conversation, not just for me, but for many women who struggle with these issues. Understanding and addressing these concerns is vital. Kelsey’s perspective offers profound insights into breaking free from the constraints of diet culture.

The other day at the pool, I found myself releasing so many of those intrusive thoughts about body image, and it felt liberating. This makes me even more excited to share Kelsey’s expertise and open up a conversation about these critical issues. 

What is it like for women dealing with these concerns? How do we have conversations with women about body image and health? What has Kelsey’s experience been? How do women rewire their thoughts to live healthily without being obsessed with the numbers on the scale?

Understanding Women’s Weight Loss Struggles

Kelsey emphasizes the importance of having open conversations about what women struggling with weight are truly thinking. Often they feel isolated in their experiences. She has had thousands of these conversations, and it’s heartbreaking to see how pervasive these thoughts are. In her community, they refer to it as recognizing what the enemy has stolen from them.

Many women are plagued by negative self-perceptions and fears. Some will avoid family pictures because they don’t like how they look. Others feel too exhausted to keep up with their kids or are too embarrassed about their weight to volunteer for activities. These thoughts and feelings are all too common. Addressing them is crucial for helping women reclaim their confidence and well-being.

Kelsey’s Twofold Approach To Weight Loss

The need for empathy towards these thoughts and situations while also taking back the territory that the enemy has stolen is key. It’s a twofold approach: recognizing that where they are isn’t where they want to be, and understanding that there’s something they can do about it.

A significant part of Kelsey’s program involves breaking down the many lies that society has ingrained in us through marketing, government policies, and financial interests. She points out how these influences have shaped our perceptions of what is considered normal for food and diet. By uncovering these misconceptions, Kelsey helps women reclaim control over their health and well-being.

It’s crucial to understand the lies we’ve been living under and then move into the freedom that is available to us. When someone enters her program with the desire to lose weight, she uses a visual of a target with three concentric rings to illustrate the process.

The outer ring typically includes methods like Weight Watchers, counting macros, medication, or calorie counting. While these tools can be helpful in certain seasons, they are not necessarily the ultimate solution. To often they don’t end the perpetual diet cycle or the constant preoccupation with body and weight. These methods are often temporary fixes rather than lasting solutions.

Embracing Real Food: The Sustainable Approach To Weight Loss

The importance of replacing that outer circle with the concept of eating real food and restoring the glory of God in our dietary choices is also important. Kelsey encourages instilling this understanding in children as well. For example, teaching them that eating carrots can improve eyesight due to vitamin A, or that fish provides Omega-3s that help brain function, fosters a sense of awe and wonder around food.

She acknowledges the complexities involved in this shift—how to cook real food, how to enjoy it, and how to get your kids to love it too. The goal is to move away from temporary diet solutions. Instead you want to move towards a sustainable, nourishing way of eating that celebrates the benefits of real, wholesome food.

Integrating Health Into A Busy Life

Kelsey then talks about moving into the next layer: time management. She explains that you can schedule your success with weight loss by having systems in place that help you meal plan, get your workouts in, and ensure you have time for rest. It’s different from being a 20-year-old without responsibilities; you have to find ways to integrate health and busyness.

The key is to make sure that being healthy and being busy are not mutually exclusive. With the right systems, you can manage both. This approach allows for a balanced lifestyle where health and wellness are seamlessly incorporated into your daily routine.

Kelsey is deeply passionate about helping women understand and identify thought errors and the lies they believe, which often influence their thinking. She wishes she had learned earlier in life that not every thought that pops into her head is reality. This awareness is crucial for breaking free from negative self-perceptions and building a healthier mindset.

Reflecting on this topic, I remember hearing a profound statement from either Mel Robbins or Angie Lee, who are quite different individuals, but both impactful. They said, “Your negative thoughts are not facts.” This concept was revolutionary for me. I had spent decades believing that negative thoughts were absolute truths, while positive thoughts seemed less likely to be true. This shift in perspective was eye-opening and challenged my long-held beliefs about the nature of my thoughts.

Transforming Your Thought Patterns For Weight Loss

Kelsey shared how transformative it was for her to learn about reprocessing thoughts and understanding the connection between emotions and thoughts. She explained that it was eye-opening to realize that you can change your thought patterns. For instance, feeling stressed might trigger thoughts like “I’m a terrible mom” and lead to unhealthy behaviors like emotional eating. However, by recognizing and stopping those negative thoughts, you can learn to rewire your thinking. 

Many of us resort to these patterns because we haven’t been exposed to the tools and education that can genuinely help us. Understanding this connection and having the right tools can make a significant difference in managing emotions and behaviors effectively.

When you start to notice patterns—like always heading to the pantry when you’re stressed—it’s important to dig deeper into those thoughts. For example, if you frequently feel inadequate, you need to identify where in your past, often early in childhood, you started to believe that lie about yourself.

Uncovering The Roots Of Weight Struggles

A significant part of Kelsey’s work with her clients involves uncovering these deep-seated issues, or “bad roots,” that contribute to their weight struggles. This can involve addressing past trauma or abuse, where weight may have become a protective mechanism. In other cases, if you experienced love from your parents only when you performed well, this might lead to a constant drive to be busy and never take time for yourself. Understanding and addressing these underlying issues is crucial for breaking free from unhealthy patterns and achieving lasting health and wellness.

There are many reasons why people remain stuck in the diet cycle. Until you dig up and address these root causes—often through reflection, prayer, and healing—you’re likely to remain on the diet roller coaster. Simply working with a macros coach or counting calories won’t solve the underlying issues.

These deeper issues, the “sticky thoughts,” need to be understood and healed. Without addressing the root causes, any attempt at weight loss will likely be temporary. The real solution lies in uncovering and resolving the fundamental reasons behind the struggle, allowing for a healthier, more sustainable approach to weight and health.

My Personal Journey With Weight Loss And Health

From my own perspective, I find it fascinating how closely I can relate to Kelsey’s approach through the journey of a friend of mine. Her process began years before she could even focus on the athletic aspect of health. It took about three years of working through the very issues Kelsey addresses—uncovering and healing from those deep-rooted causes.

I’ve also navigated similar challenges, transitioning from being an athlete to turning 40, and realizing how things change as you get older. Now, with my daughters in the mix, I’m even more committed to learning how to discuss these topics. Understanding and addressing these underlying issues is crucial not only for my well-being but also for setting a positive example for my girls.

I love what Kelsey said about the importance of understanding food, as it’s something I’m passionate about as well. Years ago, when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at 19 or 20, I read a book called “The Maker’s Diet.” It delved into the true purpose of food and its effects on our bodies, which profoundly changed my perspective.

The more I educate myself about the food I’m feeding my children, the better I can talk to them about its actual impact. We discuss what it means to feel full versus hungry, using a sliding scale to gauge these feelings. We also talk about the difference between being hungry and being bored. This approach allows us to have meaningful conversations about food and our body’s design, rather than focusing solely on appearance. It’s a very different, and much healthier, conversation.

Kelsey’s Approach To Weight Loss And Parenting

Kelsey shared an encouraging perspective on how we talk to our kids about food and health. She emphasized that the conversations we have with our children are creating a legacy of health. By equipping them with knowledge about food and their bodies, we set them up to make informed decisions once they leave home. This approach, combined with connecting to their hearts and making them feel worthy, helps ensure they don’t use food as a coping mechanism.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Keeping these conversations simple and genuine can make a significant impact on our children’s relationship with food and their overall health.

If you’re ready to embark on a journey to lose weight for the last time, the first step is to invite God into the process. It’s crucial to start by getting curious about your relationship with food. Ask yourself questions like, “Why do I use food for comfort?” and “Why is food my coping mechanism?”

She also highlighted the importance of being willing to be vulnerable and real about what’s going on in your life. Sometimes this journey requires working with a counselor to explore these deeper issues. Being open to this level of introspection and support is key to making lasting changes.

Embracing Whole Foods For Lasting Weight Loss

Kelsey pointed out that when it comes to the weight loss part, many people find lasting freedom by simply switching to a whole food diet and learning to love it. Eating the food that God made can be incredibly liberating and sustain you for life.

She stressed that as humans, we tend to overcomplicate things, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Embracing the simplicity of a whole food diet can make a profound difference in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Embark on the journey of healing by understanding why food has become a coping mechanism and then transitioning to real food. Once you’ve made that switch, integrating a structured approach is key. Programs like Systemize Your Life can help you fit in meal planning, ensure you’re moving your body every day, and manage your overall routine. It’s about creating a holistic system that supports every aspect of your health and well-being. I absolutely love this comprehensive approach to achieving lasting health.

Wrapping It Up…

Kelsey loves engaging with her audience through her podcast, Kingdom Fit Moms, and invites everyone to join the free Facebook community of the same name. You can also visit her website, Kelseywickenhauser.com, to explore all the resources she offers.

I’ve known Kelsey for a really long time, albeit mostly through Zoom. She has worked with other students and individuals, and I’ve seen the positive impact she has on them. Kelsey is incredibly dedicated to her work and her mission, making her an invaluable resource. That’s why I’m excited to connect you with her and share her insights and expertise.

If you do end up putting any of these tips into place, I’d love for you to share them within our vibrant Facebook community or come over and visit me on Instagram. Not only will it serve as a piece of accountability for you, but it will also encourage other moms who haven’t yet taken action on what they’ve read. And remember that we would LOVE to see you inside of Systemize Your Life as a VIP student!

Thanks so much for being here with me!


Frequently Asked Questions

I need to start a new journey with food. What are some other ways I can get information on this?

Here are some other ways you can dig in. Check out some other similar blog posts that can be helpful like: Fast Healthy Dinners – The Top 5 Favorite Meals I Make to Save Time & Have Less Clean Up or How to Make A Healthy Meal Routine As a Busy Work From Home Mom.


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