Kelly Coffey may physically be half the woman she used to be, but this buzz-worthy entrepreneur has a larger sense of happiness and passion than ever before. Find out how this wellness guru makes a difference in the lives of her clients and why Strong Coffey is a very, very good thing.
Name of your company: Strong Coffey
City/State/Country: Northampton, Mass.
What year was your company founded: 2007
Number of employees: 1
What do you do? I’m a personal trainer, coach and teacher. I help people get happily grounded in healthier habits.
Tell me a little about your background in wellness? I’m certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer. I’ve also taught wellness and group exercise at Smith College.
What makes your company unique? I have a history of seriously bad habits, and my body, my health, and my life reflected those habits. By the time I was 18, I was an unhealthy 300+ pound equal-opportunity addict. No vice was off limits, and ‘moderation’ wasn’t in my vocabulary. I’ve yet to meet another wellness professional with a history like mine, never mind someone who overcame so many of the obstacles to getting healthy that many people have when they seek help from a wellness or medical professional. I don’t just preach. Getting healthy against all odds isn’t something I have an academic appreciation for – it’s my life. Because I’m living it, I’m a terrific guide, support person and resource for folks trying to get healthier. And because I am and will always be a pleasure-seeker, my focus is on the pleasure we get out of the habits that makes us healthier. This focus helps people stay committed and make sustainable, enjoyable changes to their lifestyle.
Tell about some of your programs and what people get out of it? People all over the world want to work with me, but there are only so many hours in the day, so I developed an online course called Pleasure Principles. It’s a 4-week immersion in how we get healthy, how we change old patterns, how to get and stay motivated, and how we make strong, sustainable choices around what we do with our bodies. It’s like How to Treat This Beautiful Human Body in the Short Time You’re on This Beautiful Planet 101. People get a lot out of it, and many choose to keep working with me after the fact in an exclusive, ongoing group that I administer.
At what point is a client at by the time they seek your services? Most clients come to me having realized that they aren’t physically capable of doing the things they want to do in life. They know that I was there, and they see that I’ve completely turned my life and my health around, and they know that I will give them good, solid, practical, useable guidelines to follow so they can heal, get healthy, and live a fuller life.
What are some misconceptions you think people have about weight loss and what you do? The biggest misconception people have about me is that I specialize in weight loss. I lost 170 pounds, so I don’t blame them for jumping to that conclusion. But my goal is to guide and support the folks that work with me to be more active, more comfortable in their own skin, and to treat themselves with care. Some clients lose weight, some don’t. Some keep it off forever. Some stop worrying about their weight because they’re too busy enjoying themselves. So long as they’re taking good care of themselves and they feel good, I’ve done my job.
Why did you get into this type of work? I default to self-abuse and addiction. I’ve accepted that I always will. In order to stay healthy, I teach what I need to learn. Every time I help someone get happily grounded in healthier habits, I feel on stronger footing in my own journey.
If you could give health advice to readers who want their physical body to resemble their success in business, what would it be? Whether it’s a business or a body, what matters is how sustainable it is, how smoothly it operates, and how much the owner’s enjoying themselves. If it’s here to stay, it works well, and you’re happy, you win.