This article was first seen on the Huffington Post. For this installment, we are joined by Kimber Kiefer.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
I am a health and fitness lover, Magnum Nutraceuticals Athlete, adventurer, ocean lover, and so much more. I was born in Michigan, but I have lived in Texas most of my life. I consider myself 100% Texan and proud of it. I love being a southern girl where most of the year is warm bikinI and beach weather.
January 2012 was the start of a new me and when I began learning and understanding more about living a healthy fit lifestyle. It started with a fitness bikinI competition followed by a dream photo shoot. What better motivation than knowing you would be walking on stage in a tiny bikinI in 5 inch heels with other gorgeous girls to be judged? This was completely out of my comfort zone.
It was such an amazing journey from beginning to end. I learned so much about myself mentally and physically. It was the motivation I needed to push myself and truly learn about nutrition and exercise. It built my self-confidence and made me realize I have a passion for fitness. I know competing is not for everyone. Competing is life consuming and it takes some major dedication, motivation and willpower.
You have to find something that motivates you to push yourself and be a better person. I strongly encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and set goals. You will have to put in the work to achieve them and it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I have continued to live this lifestyle ever since growing and learning along the way.
I am on a mission and soul searching for my personal unique path in life. I am learning who I am and taking the time to understand my soul and what it needs. I love the camera, fitness, fashion, ocean, adventuring, meeting new people and building new relationships.
My goal is to find ways to combine all of the things that I love. It gives me the opportunity to express myself. It builds my self-esteem and confidence and makes me a better person.
My husband and I have a passion for the ocean and underwater photography. My husband is a professional award winning underwater photographer.
He and I work as a team to create a unique underwater experience together and for our clients. We are passionate about our lifestyle and love motivating and inspiring others to live the life they want. All this has made our relationship even stronger and healthier.. We love it!!!!
In your early twenties you developed some bad eating habits and started gaining weight. Later on you were diagnosed with a thyroid disease. You overcame all of those struggles and I think it’s safe to say that you’re now in the best shape of your life, can you tell us about your journey?
I was always on the thinner side growing up and never struggled with my weight ..until the age of 20. I started to struggle with weight gain. I didn’t really think too much of it. I just figured I needed to start working out harder. I had started dating my husband and we were eating out a lot. I started pushing myself in the gym and paying a little more attention to my food hoping to get some results.
Well the weight kept coming on. I went to the doctor for a physical check up for my scuba diving certification. She felt my thyroid and asked if I had ever had my thyroid checked? I said no.. why? She said it felt enlarged and recommended I get it checked. I did and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). It is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys its own thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone regulates metabolism and the way body uses energy and affects almost every organ in the body.
I realized this is serious business and time to get my health in order. It was time to make healthier choices, minimize the eating out and start pushing it in the gym. I had no idea I was struggling with this disease and was so glad that my doctor found it. Honestly, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had these symptoms: low energy, tired, weight gain, always cold. I didn’t put it all together. I wasn’t that in tune with my body and health, like I am now. I have had ultrasounds, biopsies etc. I take a pill everyday and get blood work done every year to keep my body healthy.
I don’t allow my health issues to hold me back or use them as excuses in life. They drive me to take even better care of my body and live a balanced healthy fit lifestyle. I want to educate others and make them aware of the importance of taking care of yourself starting when you are young to minimize illnesses and diseases.
I remember reading that there was a time where you felt very uncomfortable wearing a bikini, do you ever feel insecure or uncomfortable today and how do you deal with that?
You know I have learned to be more comfortable in my own skin on a daily basis. I have found more balance in my life and have learned to have more self-love. I think this comes with age and learning to not compare yourself to others in life. Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time and energy because everyone is different. We all have imperfections and stubborn areas and what works for one may not work for another. You need to learn to love yourself each and everyday in a healthy way. Honestly it really doesn’t matter what others are doing just focus that energy on improving yourself, your mind, heart and body.
Like you, when you were younger, a lot of people think that the more cardio they do the fitter they would look – why doesn’t it work like that?
I used to be a complete cardio junkie, overtrained and never lifted. I was what you call “skinny fat”. I had no muscle tone. I always wondered why I didn’t’ have that toned fit look with all the working out I was doing. WOW, I have learned so much in the last year. Girls don’t be afraid of lifting weights. It increases your metabolic rate (muscle burns more energy than fat and allows you to burn more calories throughout the day), increases your strength and gives you more muscle tone and it helps prevent injury. Don’t worry ladies, it won’t make you man-like and bulky, just curvy and sexy!
On your website you state that it takes motivation, dedication and willpower to get fit and stay fit. What do you do when you catch yourself a little bit demotivated or off track?
I always have goals set: short term and long term to keep myself accountable and focused.
I encourage people to set their own goals and start taking steps to make them a reality. It can and should involve you getting out of your comfort zone. We grow and learn when we get out of that zone. First and foremost you must believe in yourself. Know that you are capable of anything you put your mind to is key. Guess what? It will be scary, but don’t allow that fear to hold you back. Second you will have to put in the work. It isn’t going to just fall in your lap. I wish it was that easy, but it isn’t. You have to take the action and start working towards your goals.
Believe in yourself, put in the effort and it can and will happen. Achieving your goals/dreams is great feeling of accomplishment.
1. Create a solid support system.
Reach out to friends and family for support. It is a must to be successful.
2. Keep it fun and interesting.
Don’t allow yourself to plateau and get bored. Switch up your workouts and try new things. Continue to challenge yourself daily. Just find things you enjoy and that involve some type of physical activity.
3. Hire a trainer or follow some type of workout plan.
I use an online trainer that I check in with weekly. She helps me reach my goals and stay on track while maintaining balance and flexibility in the lifestyle. Be sure and do your research to find a knowledgeable trainer that knows their stuff and has your mental and physical health as a priority.
Don’t get down on yourself if you have a bad day. We are all humans and have our good and bad days. Remember tomorrow is always a new day to start fresh.
Motivating and inspiring others to live a healthy fit lifestyle motivates me greatly. I want to be a positive role model and have positive effects on the lives of others .
I know how thankful you are to be surrounded by positive people and to have the support of your family and friends, have you ever had to deal with very negative people and how do you handle them?
Dealing with negativity has actually been one of the biggest obstacles I have dealt with once deciding to live a healthy fit lifestyle. It is important to remember to keep your priorities in check and balance in your life with family, career, and living a healthy fit lifestyle. Others supporting your lifestyle and choices; does not necessarily mean they have to conform to your ways.
Although we hope that we influence people in a positive way, we don’t want to force it on others. You might have to help the important people in your life understand how important this lifestyle is to you and how positive it can be. If they are not willing to be positive and support you, you might have to reduce contact and/or disconnect completely.
Communication is always the best way to deal with an issue. Figure out where their negativity might be coming from: jealousy, misunderstanding, or concern. Express your feelings and allow the negative people the opportunity to understand where you are coming from and the importance of this lifestyle and the new you. If they are not willing to accept you the way you are, you don’t need them in your life.
Negative people are negative because they lack love, positivity, and warmth in their life. You can make some effort to put some positivity in their life, but don’t waste too much time and energy if they are not accepting. People that love and care for you will always support you and want you to succeed in life.
It is a must to surround yourself with people that are positive and encouraging of your lifestyle and choices if you want to be successful at anything you do. I am thankful for the support from my friends and family in my life journey. I am very blessed.
What has been the most difficult thing for you to overcome this far as part of your fitness journey and how has it made you stronger?
I stated this above, for me the biggest obstacle was dealing with negativity. People not being supportive of me and the new lifestyle I wanted to live.
There have been some major changes in my life since I started living my healthy fit lifestyle. I was forced to get a new job and made the decision to remove myself from a negative toxic training environment. It was upsetting and a hard decision to make, but it has helped me learn the importance of finding and focusing on the positive even in the negative situations in life. Remember there are lessons to be learned and growth to be made in every situation. It is what makes us who we are today.
We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we face challenges.
You are also a sponsored athlete for Magnum Nutraceuticals. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
I have been a sponsored athlete with the Magnum Team since 2015. I love representing a company that treats their athletes like family, has top of the line quality products to fuel the body, gives back to the community, and a has a spiritual and positive leader that focuses on long term health in the industry.
Magnum carries a full line of pharmaceutical grade sports nutrition products that help fuel your body to reach your goals. Supplements combined with proper nutrition and exercise help to increase strength, build lean muscle, shed a few pounds, or simply looking to improve your overall health. I am very thankful to be part of an awesome team and extremely grateful for the fun unique opportunities that come my way with the Magnum team.
The idea is to live your life in a way that makes you feel lit up, alive, full, beautiful and complete. Know and find what nourishes you inside and out and build your world around that.
Can you share some of your goals for 2017?
I am currently in the process of creating goals for 2017 and if you follow me on social media you can follow my life journey and see where life takes me. I hope to have lots of adventure in the ocean and pool. Creating art and bringing awareness to the need to preserve our natural world.
This has been a growing thing for us and we don’t plan on stopping. We are constantly growing and learning. We will be pushing and set more goals for 2017. And growing more with Team Magnum.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?