Katie Wells is the Founder and CEO of Wellness Mama and the Co-Founder of Wellnesse. With a background is in research, journalism and nutrition, Katie's mission is to provide simple answers for creating healthier families through practical tips, real-food recipes, beauty and cleaning tutorials, natural remedies and more. Katie is a mother of six and she's also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.
Tell us about your journey to starting Wellness Mama. What inspired you to commit to this work?
Almost 14 years ago when I had my first child, I read that “for the first time in centuries, the current generation of American children will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.” Holding my perfect newborn, that statistic was so shocking to me that I vowed to change it. At the same time, I was experiencing some strange health challenges that I would find out (years later) were the result of Hashimotos Thyroiditis.
These two things led me to draw from my background in journalism to start researching solutions, and I chronicled what I learned on WellnessMama.com. The powerful community of moms that has grown there over the years is one of the biggest gifts of my life and I’m so grateful everyday to know so many other moms who are working to live healthier lives in their own families and improve things for future generations.
What have been some of the most transformative moments in your life?
The one I mentioned above when my son was little was a pretty big one, but I’ve found that often the most transformative moments appear to be small and somewhat insignificant until the results are noticed much later on. For instance, I had a series of moments with friends and healers that led to a massive transformation in my life but I only saw the significance in hindsight.
One example of this: for years, I struggled to lose weight, partly due to the thyroid disease, but this took up a lot of my mental energy for a long time. I had this unspoken script in my head that if only I could lose the weight, then I’d be happy. One day, I noticed my daughter notice how I looked at myself in the mirror and vowed that I would do whatever I needed to do to break that cycle of disapproval of my own body so that I wouldn’t pass on that prison of the mind to my daughters. That day ended up being the start of a massive transformation that would take years to fully happen. During that journey, another pivotal moment was the day I broke the script that “if only i could lose the weight, then I would be happy and learn to love and accept myself,” by realizing that I could just choose to be happy and love and accept myself starting at that moment. It took some time and practice to really start feeling that way, but that shift in mindset made all the difference, and ironically, also made it much easier to lose the weight!
How would you describe yourself as a woman? As a mother? As an entrepreneur?
These are always the toughest questions to answer and the easiest commonality is that I’m a work in progress in all three and strive to improve just a little in each area daily. I’m guessing you wanted more than one sentence as an answer, so more specifically:
I am a women on a mission to improve health and education outcomes in our country.
As a mom, I’m on a mission to raise self-sufficient, problem-solving adults who make the world a better place and who I’m proud to be friends with. I work to do this by striving everyday (in school and in life lessons) to help them build skills like creativity, critical thinking, willingness to ask hard questions, learning from failure, and thinking outside the box.
And as an entrepreneur, I work to build and improve businesses that help accomplish those first two missions.
What are some tips you can share for carving out and maintaining a wellbeing practice?
Especially in the busiest times, schedule the most important things first. The most important things are never meetings, email or to-do list items. The most important things are time with loved ones, sleep, fueling and hydrating, movement, and opportunities to learn. Those things go on my schedule first each day and work fits in to the times in between… not the other way around. I also apply the 80/20 principle to most things in my life and constantly evaluate the 20% that produces the majority of the results so I can focus on those. For example:
- What 20% of dietary changes leads to me feeling the best.
- The 20% of ways that I spend my time that lead to 80% of happiness and fulfillment.
- How can I remove the 20% of activities that are causing me 80% of the stress?
Do you have any daily affirmations?
Not that I’m good about saying them everyday, but when things get stressful, I turn to one I learned from my friend Tina: Everything will work out perfectly for me.
I’ve also found that it isn’t always affirmations but the internal questions we ask that make the biggest difference. Here’s what I mean: Often, we may catch ourselves asking inner questions like: “why is this so hard?” or “ why can’t I lose the weight?” or “why am I always so stressed?:” When we do, our mind does it’s best to answer those questions by reminding us of all the reasons things are hard or we aren’t losing weight or we are feeling stressed.
If we turn this on its head and start asking positive and empowering questions, our brain starts looking to provide us the reasons that all those things are true. Questions like “Why is this so easy and fun?” or “Why am I the luckiest person in this room?” etc.
In this time of uncertainty, what do you know to be true?
That “everything will work out perfectly for me,” and that when it seems like I can’t control anything and that everything is uncertain, it’s a perfect reminder that I, in fact, can’t actually control anything beyond my own actions and responses, and that everything is in fact uncertain. This year has been a tough one for a lot of us, but also a great teacher and opportunity for growth.
What does “wellbeing” mean to you?
To me, wellbeing is the choice of inner calm and joy that leads to the outer expression of health and happiness.
What are your favorite Prima products?
Right now, I’m loving the R+R Cream thanks to some muscle soreness from pole vaulting.