Video: Meet our featured Best Health Challenge participant

Kelly Mathews is ready to make over her life with the Best Health Challenge

Video: Meet our featured Best Health Challenge participant

Source: Best Health Magazine, Sept. 2011. Photo by Michael Alberstat. Video by Nick Perry

Take one woman, motivated to live better and feel great. Add ‘a personal trainer, registered dietitian, life coach, and beauty and fashion consultants at her disposal. What do you have? A whole-life makeover for our featured Best Health Challenge participant’and your invitation to join her as she transforms her life.


Come along with Kelly Mathews as she reignites her passion for fitness with help from personal trainer Bruce Krahn and adopts healthier eating habits with advice from registered dietitian Sue Mah. Plus, with the ongoing support of life coach Susan Biali, she hopes to discover the work-life balance she craves. And she’ll be getting expert advice for a skincare and beauty regimen, and tips for dressing to suit her body type.

Kelly, a vivacious blonde with an infectious smile and quick wit, has a bounty of friends, a tight-knit family (including a fraternal twin sister she calls ‘the love of her life’), a fulfilling relationship with her boyfriend of six years, and a diverse career background.

But Kelly, a native of Chilliwack, B.C., who moved to Thornhill, Ont., in grade school, feels she has ‘lost’ the person she once was. The former field hockey athlete’and member of the provincial team’used to be athletic and 50 pounds lighter up until her late 20s. ‘But even at my leanest, I’m strong, not skinny. I describe myself as a Clydesdale,’ Kelly quips. ‘I’m the worker horse you want around!’

After graduating from York University with a degree in kinesiology and health science, Kelly began a career that combined her love of an active lifestyle with her skills in event and project management, working for Tennis Canada and Ontario Place, among others. Then came a three-year stint with the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), where she was director of the Ontario Camping Program for youth. Working for months without a day off, she saw her activity levels plummet and her diet suffer.

‘I loved my job, but I had put myself on the back burner,’ says Kelly, who resigned this past March to become a consultant (she has done work this year for Reader’s Digest, which publishes Best Health). Whereas before she’d played softball in adult leagues, and enjoyed running and boot camps, she has simply stopped exercising. Breakfast consists of only coffee, she eats lots of simple carbs‘and, of course, her weight has gone up. ‘I’m disappointed with myself,’ admits Kelly. Her partner, Kevin, an ex-football player, is active and recently bought her rollerblades so they can go out on the weekends. ‘He’s incredibly supportive. What drives him crazy is hearing me talk negatively about my body. He just wants me to be happy.’

Now she feels that all the stars are aligned since being chosen as this year’s featured participant for the Best Health Challenge. ‘I’m going to make the most of this experience,’ says Kelly. Among her objectives are a desire to lose weight, get toned, run a 5K in less than 30 minutes and join a softball team. She also wants to learn to make healthier meal choices and learn to love eating breakfast.

**Register for the Best Health Challenge to get tips and advice on how to live your healthiest life. Plus, follow Kelly’s journey on her weekly blog, Diary of a Challenger.

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