Name: Kimberly Jennings
Hometown: Lima, Ohio (Bean City Baby!)
Job title: Research Safety Technician at NCH
Organizations involved in: Columbus Young Professionals, Komen Young Professionals, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., More Than My Brother’s Keeper
Passions: Giving back to others. I didn’t make it where I am without someone there to help me along the way. I want to make sure others have that same support so they can reach their full potential.
Q: How would you describe your current state of health and wellness?
A: An ever evolving fun filled journey!
Q: Have you always been healthy… or did you “flip” your life? If so, what was the catalyst for change?
A: I have never been truly unhealthy but I have had a lot of unhealthy moments! However, the thing that really pushed me to make a change was my mother being diagnosed with breast cancer. I learned that my lifestyle choices could impact my chance of getting cancer or if I had it could influence my outcome.
Q: What helps you make your change “stick”?
A: Knowing I am doing whatever I can to reduce my chance of becoming a statistic. Plus seeing my family make their own lifestyle changes is inspiring. Since my mother’s death the whole family has revamped how we think of health and wellness, my sister has even lost 46 pounds!! So they truly are my inspiration to continue.
Q: Having lost a loved one to cancer, how has that impacted your opinions about fighting the disease?
A: I know the pain of not having my mother or grandmother here and I don’t ever want another young person to feel that way. I constantly push myself to work harder to make an impact, to change a life. If I can educate or encourage just one person it makes the fight easier.
Q: It’s great to get advice from experts; But it’s more important sometimes to hear advice from ordinary people that we can all relate to. So… what’s your advice for someone that wants to make a change in his or her life?
A: Make the change in your life because you want to do it not because someone else wants you to. Set small goals that won’t discourage you along the way. I knew it would be hard to reduce my coffee intake so I started with the goal of not drinking coffee for 1 day. Once I accomplished that and realized how easy it was I made it 2 days, which eventually turned into 21 days followed by 6 months. I broke my dependence on coffee but it all started with setting the goal for 1 day. Finally once you start on your journey find people that will encourage and support you. We weren’t made to live this life alone so don’t force yourself to do this without someone who can inspire you to continue.
Q: Inspiration is a powerful weapon in our fight against cancer…. Help us pass it on. Who is someone that inspires you that you believe would be a good fit for our next INSPIRE interview?
A: Darlene Matthews, owner of Beauty All Over Salon