Teri Kendle is a proud mom, small business owner, and advocate. Teri’s daughter, Imani, who has Down syndrome, is the inspiration behind her losing nearly 200 pounds. “…I was about 350 pounds, high blood pressure with knee, and nerve pain. I talked with my doctor and she thought bariatric surgery would be a great option. So in 2019, I started my weight loss journey,” Teri shares in her INNERview.
INNERview with Teri Kendle
YVONNE PIERRE: Before we get started, Teri, tell us a little bit about yourself.
TERI KENDLE: Hello, my name is Teri Kendle born and raised in Sacramento, CA. I’m a single mom working 3 businesses – jewelry, non-profit, and a wine consultant. Before being an entrepreneur, I worked in the nursing field. I worked in convalescent and retirement facilities. I loved working with the elderly. I believe that is my purpose and I’m amazing at it. I had to leave my job to care for my mother because she was having multiple strokes and she was bedridden. While taking care of my mother I became pregnant after 3 doctors told me I would never be able to have children. While at home caring for mom, I started working for myself and I started a janitorial service. In 2006, my mother passed as my daughter was just turning 1 year old. This changed my life forever. She was my rock but I had to keep moving because my daughter needed so much care. At birth, Imani my daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome. So, that’s a little about me.
YVONNE: The past few years you’ve lost a lot of weight. I’ve seen you share your weight loss journey online, which is inspiring. What inspired you to focus on your health?
TERI: When Imani started high school and Special Olympics, I wanted to be more active in her life. But I was about 350 pounds, high blood pressure with knee and nerve pain. I talked with my doctor and she thought bariatric surgery would be a great option. So in 2019, I started my weight loss journey. I lost close to 200 pounds and I feel amazing. The day after I had surgery, my BP was back normal and the pain was slowly leaving. So my daughter was my inspiration and motivation.
YVONNE: Most journey’s that we go down, we learn something new about ourselves. What have you noticed about yourself that you didn’t notice before?
TERI: Then, I didn’t notice that I was slowly dying day by day prior to my health journey. This has taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to.
YVONNE: Teri, tell us a little bit about, Imani.
TERI: Imani is an amazing soul. She’s caring, loving, and smart. I can go on and on about her. She’s 16 and loves school and sports. She also loves computers and recently downloaded TikTok. I didn’t even know she knew anything about it. She mostly stays on YouTube. She is a little geek. She gets great grades in school and loves school.
YVONNE: What do you find to be the most rewarding about being a mom?
TERI: I love everything about being a mom. It’s so rewarding & frustrating but I wouldn’t do it any other way.
YVONNE: Since we’re in the midst of a pandemic, how did you explain what’s going on to Imani?
TERI: Imani doesn’t really understand this pandemic, she just knows no more hugs, to keep your hands in your pockets when we are in public, and put your mask on. She misses school but when they started doing Zoom calls she now thinks this is just the way we’re doing it for now. She was pretty easy with changing the routine as long as she had her computer.
YVONNE: What advice would you give to other parents of children with special needs in regards to communicating challenging circumstances such as the pandemic?
TERI: Just make things easy as possible, don’t get upset about it, keep things normal as possible, keep the news off about it, and make things an adventure every day. We take walks and we visit grandma. She pretty much thinks she is taking care of us and that’s fine with her.
YVONNE: You mentioned your businesses, can you tell us a little bit about them?
TERI: I have a wholesale jewelry business, MeMe’s Jewels & Accessories that I often sell through FB live. My non-profit, Imani Village of Faith is really all about resources for families with children or adults with different needs. And I just started the wine business when the pandemic started so that’s on the back burner because I go to homes and do wine tastings. I just love working for myself and showing my daughter that this is the way our family makes money. She goes live with me at times and loves it.
Connect with Teri:
- FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/TeriKendle
- FB Page and Group: MeMe’s Jewels FB Page at Facebook.com/memeblingjewels and/or MeMe’s Jewels and Accessories FB Groups at Facebook.com/groups/2248460382082820/?ref=share
- Website: ImaniVillageOfFaith.org