Kyra Williams may be in incredible shape now, but that wasn’t always the case. It was her college years that opened her eyes to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Find out how she went from junk food to bikini competitor in today’s fitness success story!
You may know me now as The Get In Shape Girl, but I have not always been a fitness goddess. My life-changing transformation did not begin until a few years later, but I would not be able to fully tell this story without giving up the background goods. In the year 2000 I was 19 years old, had just gone off to college and was living on my own for the first time. My social life and partying took precedence over my health or learning how to cook. My meals consisted of hamburger helper (with soy meat, I was vegetarian for animal rights purposes), tacos, cheese pizza, macaroni and cheese, cookies, chips, beer and cheap wine. I was very inactive— the mere thought of sweating was gross.
Uncomfortable physically and mentally, I was barely able to squeeze into my jeans. Alcohol and male attention were used to boost my confidence. I felt terrible about myself but I was in denial. I remember when I was getting out the backseat of a friend’s car and the inseam of my designer jeans ripped, which became a normal occurrence. I had to get patches sewn into the inseam of my jeans all the time because I was in denial that I needed a larger size. Every day I made absolutely sure that my outfits were put together perfectly, I stayed extremely tan year-round, my hair was perfectly blonde with no roots and every last detail in my appearance was perfect, because that was the easy part. The hard part was to actually do something about what I was truly insecure about.
Despite my bulging belly, I took a break from the pool one summer day at my parents’ house and walked inside to get some chips and fruit juice. The towel that was hiding my belly fell and in a very jovial way my dad poked at my belly and asked what “that” was. He was kidding around with me, but it needed to be said. All 160 pounds of me returned back to college, still in denial but things were starting to make sense. By the end of that summer, there was one day I looked down while I was wearing my favorite pink mini-skirt and I saw cellulite above my knees. It was no longer something that could go unnoticed – it was there, visible to my eyes. I knew I had to take control and it was never going to change unless I did something about it.
My mom was my go-to fitness guru. I saw her transform over the years where she went from a size 10/12 to a size 2/4. She taught me “calories out vs. calories in,” and she was always a phone call away to wipe away the tears and teach me to be patient. Looking back now I realize that I did not understand what I was doing and that it was not the healthiest way to lose weight. I tracked calories daily, careful to only consume 1000 each day. I began eating meat, but my meals consisted of pre-packaged frozen foods, fruit cups and portion controlled cookies or crackers. The elliptical was my best friend because I was intimidated by machines, free weights and even classes at my gym. I dropped 20 pounds within six months, then allowed myself to eat more but I continued to count calories and watch my portions. I also maintained a regular cardio routine, but it got boring and it was easy to slack off.
Nearly a decade later, my life changed before my very eyes. All those years I had become complacent, still unhappy with my body yet unsure of what to do. I had even hired a trainer to help get results but nothing worked. My boyfriend stumbled upon a gym in his town, began their training program and saw incredible results so he immediately signed me up for a month. Under the close eye of a strength and conditioning coach I began strength training, doing high intensity cardio, circuit training, speed work, plyometrics, etc. I had never trained like that before and because of it my body changed significantly. I thought it impossible to weigh less than 140 or be smaller than the size 6 I was. Boy was I wrong!! Between January 2009 and January 2010 I went from 140 pounds, 24% body fat and a size 6 to 130 pounds, 16% body fat and into a size 2/4!! I learned the importance of heavy lifting, high intensity interval training, and muscle confusion.
The workouts alone were challenging, but I could not have done this without the help of Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet. I had been reading about her on various websites and in magazines and thought I would give her book a try, so I picked up a copy of the original Eat Clean Diet book. Everything Tosca explained made perfect sense, like eating so as to not spike your blood sugar and only eating foods that have not been processed. Along with tracking my foods, I began tracking my micro nutrients online, and quickly found I was still not eating healthy. After reading her book, I slowly began changing my diet to make it healthier and found a macronutrient ratio that worked for me.
I felt like I learned a secret I needed to share with the world. My success through this new circuit training and Clean Eating became my healthy obsession. I felt so passionate about fitness I had no choice but to become a personal trainer so I could spread the word and help others gain the confidence I did, thus The Get In Shape Girl was born.
I have competed in several bikini competitions, as well as running in races including half marathons on a regular basis. I am currently involved with Crossfit as a competitor where I have won one local RX competition and was named alternate for our Regionals team at Crossfit Southie. I am a NASM certified personal trainer, USA Weightlifting Coach and weight loss specialist. I am a self employed online personal trainer and I have created three ecookbooks and three online workout program ebooks.
Have a fitness success story of your own? Know someone who does? Email Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in a Transformation Tuesday post!