Instagram fitness queen Kayla Itsines has never eat at McDonalds, but she insists she has had a cheeseburger.
For anyone who has followed Itsines journey to becoming an international phenomenon worth a reported $46 million, that tidbit may come as a surprise. After all, the 26 -year-old( whose name is pronounced Its-See-Ness) has seemingly maintained her media profile picture-perfect to fit her role: online personal trainer to 12 million adherents on Facebook and 7 million on Instagram. Not to mention, she is an inspirational figure to the countless women whove bought into her buzzed-about Bikini Body Guide, a 12 -week fitness and nutrition plan thats set off a slew of hashtags on Instagram, including #bbg( tagged in 5.8 million posts) and #bbgcommunity( tagged in 2.6 million posts ).
Does she drink alcohol? Its poison, Itsines has been quoted telling. Has she ever had chicken nuggets? Nope, she told Fox News. Favorite pizza? Supreme with lots of veggies and, in Australia, where shes from, pineapple.
What shed be if she wasnt a personal trainer: A educator! she called. What kind? Fitness!
Original? No. But when you get to know Itsines in person, theres no question she’s passionate about her work.
Check this out, Itsines said, pulling out her iPhone and showing off her newest program, BBG Stronger, on the SWEAT app, for which shes collaborated with trainers Sjana Elise and Kelsey Wells, two other rising stars in the fitness world.( Itsines program teaches women how to incorporate weight machines at the gym into their workouts .) As a huddle of female colleagues passing by congregated around her post-interview, Itsines giddily scrolled through the different features each move features a digital demo by Itsines, complete with a timer to help users stay on track prompting fulfilled oohs and ahs.
Forbes recently named the Adelaide native the most influential fitness personality worldwide a title shes earned through promoting her diet and fitness programs, volumes, in-person bootcamps, and custom merchandise, like yoga mats and foam rollers, on her site.
Itsines fame, she told Fox News, has grown organically through an online community of women who inspire each other. On her social media accounts, you wont find body shaming or recommendations to cut carbs( one of the biggest missteps Itsines ensures American women construct ), but instead, you will see inspirational quotes fostering self-love, her adherents side-by-side transformation photos, and snapshots of fruit plates and Itsines rock-hard abs. Suffice it to told she’s helped result the charge for the growing body-confidence movement on Instagram.
Ive been a female-only trainer my entire life I started out at a female-only personal educate centre, told Itsines, who got into the industry just before her 19 th birthday. I know girls, Im a woman myself, I know what they want, I know how they think, I know how they feel.
Fox News: You dropped out of college to become a personal trainer, started working at a small gym in your hometown of Adelaide, and joined Instagram on a whim after your business partner and boyfriend, Tobi Pearce, promoted you to do so. But at what phase did you know that you had really created something big?
Itsines: World Tour in 2015 was huge because I got to hear people narratives who followed my program, and I got to hear how I changed “peoples lives”. As a trainer, you sort of think, Well, you did that because you put in the hard work and you put in the effort. But they were so adamant in went on to say that, No, Kayla, it was you. You gave me the confidence, you gave me the strength. I was standing there guessing, This is amazing. This is changing people lives.
Fox News: How do you stay grounded?
Itsines: My family grounds me so much. Theyre a big Greek family, and I live a minute from my grandparents, who dont speak any English. They know what I do, but its almost like they dont intellect. They dont think of me as anything special or as Kayla Itsines from Instagram. Its just that Im their granddaughter. They still yell at me when Im late!
Fox News: Youve transformed millions of womens lives. What has that been like?
Itsines: Thats an indescribable impression. I dont know if youve ever experienced someone coming up to you and telling, Youve changed my life, but you can feel that emotion, and you try to hard not to sob and not to hug them forever.
Fox News: How do you pick the person or persons to feature on your Instagram?
Itsines: This is something I expend a lot of time on, and its not inevitably someone who appears a certain style or talks a certain route. Its someone whos super inspiring, and I have to be able to go on their profile, should be noted that theyve done the program, should be noted that theyre a positive person, and should be noted that they actually have a journey that other women can follow and be inspired by.
Fox News : What are some of the biggest blunders you assure women stimulate when theyre trying to change their bodies?
Itsines: One of the biggest blunders Ive considered women attain in America is the cutting-out-carbs thing. Its, I want to look like this when actually, they should focus on how they feel rather than how they appear. It should be: Im gonna do this to build myself happier, so in turn, I feel beautiful. Thats truly a mindset Im trying to teach women.
Another mistake girls build would be going too hard too fast. As females, we have stages where we get this sudden motivation, we want to do everything Im so motivated, Im gonna go to the gym, Im gonna work out for hours and hours and they work out, theyre super sore, they cant maintain it, and they become unmotivated. Its just about taking things step by step: maybe doing a seven-minute workout and turning it into a 14 -minute workout the next week. Its about slowly constructing your workout up until you feel good rather than pushing it too far.
Fox News: Whats your advice for someone who is working out and trying to get more physically fit, but is not watching results?
Itsines: Take a step back and check that theyre comfortable with their training regime, eating the right foods, and drinking enough water. Sometimes, its just about eating more and doing less thats something thats a very hard theory to pushing to females, especially here in the U.S.
Fox News: Have you always been strong and fit? And if not, what challenges did you overcome to achieve the body you have today?
Itsines: I have always been fit Ive been into basketball since I was 5 years old. But to its implementation of strength, that took a lot of building up. I did that through basketball training and training in the gym. However, Ive always been really, really happy within myself, and thats what I try to push to women that I believe the more you do slowly, the very best you start to feel.
Fox News: Any advice for women struggling with body confidence?
Itsines: We could have the best bodies in the world, but if we dont feel good on the inside, it doesnt matter. I always say to people, Believe about the most beautiful person you know. Theyre not beautiful because they have a beautiful body! You dont say, Oh my best friend or the person I love the most is so beautiful because her body looks a certain way. Its because she makes me laugh, because shes smart, because shes there for me. Beauty comes from the inside, and the more that women start focusing on that, the more beautiful people become, including themselves.
Fox News: Your plan is actually based on helping women become strong , not skinny what would you say to anyone who doesnt suppose strong is sexy or attractive?
Itsines: Strong is always sexy and attractive! And the word strong what does that mean? Because strength comes from within, and BBG Stronger is a program that promotes females walking into the gym with confidence and feeling confident as they walk out. When youre confident within you, it constructs and it radiates, and it shines out of you.
Fox News: Your Instagram is a serious source of inspiration and supporting. Can you speak a little to why having that sort of support is so important for people who are on a fitness journey?
Itsines: The transformations are truly relatable you can go onto the page and find someone who looked like you before, or who eat the style you do, or lives in the same country you do. I think that relatability is really nice to have, so you are not looking at one particular person thinking, Well, I cant feed that or I cant do that.
Fox News: Your programs are big on balance in that they involve weight educate, cardio, stretching and resting and, on the nutrition side, even dessert! Why is this mix so important for producing outcomes?
Itsines: Balance is important in life. It keeps us sane! Why, as girls, shouldnt we be able to have our dinner and eat our dessert? Why shouldnt we have that? For example, last night I had some pasta and chocolate after, and I dont feel bad because I eat healthy and I work out. Everything in moderation!
Fox News: Do you ALWAYS feed healthy? Whats something you enjoy feeing that people might not expect?
Itsines: Greek cakes! Theyre Greek pastries with honey and walnuts.( Itsines mothers are from Kos, Greece .)
Fox News: You turned 26 in May, and youve already accomplished more than most women your age. Do you ever feel like, Where do I run from here?
Itsines: No! My clients are the perfect example that age means nothing. Some of them are 40, 45, 50 years old and have the energy levels of a 20 -year-old. For me, whats next is helping more women and learning how I can do that to its implementation of getting feedback from the community and with BBG. Its just so exciting.
* This interview has been edited for duration and lucidity .
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