Fitness...Taking it All in Stride!

You are the epitome of a workout guru, have you always had a passion to work out? When did you realize this would become a career for you?

Being maybe five or six, I’d always see my dad using the stationary bike and free weights to exercise, so I remember wanting to be like him and trying to follow suit (although I could barely touch the tip of my toes on the pedals). That seed grew into becoming a high school Freshman using the Elliptical for 30 minutes for sake of feeling confident in my dance or cheer team uniforms, which turned into learning to use free weights and equipment, taking group exercise classes and finding my confidence around the gym. Friends began to see me as the go-to for workout and healthy eating advice, and after moving from my hometown to the ‘big city’ of Seattle as an ambitious 18-year old, I decided to continue paying it forward by beginning to train and coach others.

Who is Kelsey? What is it about you that makes you unique?

I love this question; it’s the kind we should all be able to answer in confidence – and one I’d stumble around on for most of my teens and early twenties. I’m just someone learning how to be the best me I can and trying to add value to as many lives as possible along the way. Outside of being someone in the entertainment or fitness space, I’m not much different than most people. I love and care deeply for my friends and family, enjoy the simple things in life like meaningful conversation, fun food- and a lot of it, sleeping in, making memories with great company and challenging myself to do more of what I love. I’m also a wife to a Jesus-loving police officer who was previously active duty in the Marine Corps, and that has definitely shaped much of my life. I’ve been told numerous times by ‘important industry folks’ to be less candid, less modest, less faith-centered, less husband-centered. I have no interest in following any of that advice, and know those are some of the reasons I’m unique from so much that’s out there.

What inspires you to work out?

Personal accountability to simply feel and function well at the things I do. The backbone of #makefitmatter is about taking care of your temple and making fitness a lifestyle component so you can operate better in whatever it is you do- and that’s really good accountability for me to stay committed to squeezing a workout in where I can and being in motion as often as possible.

What would you say to encourage someone who isn’t motivated to exercise?

Face your why- the reason having a fit and able body matters, and having an answer to the question of what does it matter if you don’t? Usually the honest answers boil down to reasons like overcoming deeply rooted self-esteem issues, lost time feeling less than their best, or being able to keep up with their kids or grandkids, who they are to their loved ones –the things that matter most, and being fit and able can add so much value to all of it.

We believe that everyone is uniquely fashioned, what are some different ways someone can enjoy working out?

If it has to be a gym, then definitely keep it fresh by avoiding the same exact exercises in the same exact order every workout. Using a variety of free weights, machines and cables (if available) can help steer clear of the mundane. I’m a big proponent of utilizing bodyweight movements, even in a gym, so the more someone can incorporate those, the better the odds are of enjoying their sweat sessions rather than dreading some sort of repetitious routine on the same equipment. It’s so important to remind others that a gym isn’t required to make fit matter, and condition their body. We were designed to move, fashioned – really, to be active, so that could be anything from gardening, brisk walks, hiking, cleaning the house with a few bodyweight squats thrown in, riding a bike, horseback riding, water sports, playing with the kids, parking further away and incorporating more steps throughout the week, taking the stairs… I’m sure I could keep going, but you get the gist!

You’re probably up and up and in the know about workout trends – what are some of your favorite workout trends that you’ve found to be effective?

Trend is such a funny term, so I’ll say that anything promoting anything other than putting in consistent work, staying in action and taking total ownership over the outcomes, is just that – a trend, or something with enough hype to have people’s attention, but not something that will teach someone how to obtain and sustain long term results. Stay away from that stuff.  I’m all for anything that promotes working hard enough to reap some kind of benefit through an elevated heart rate and a body in motion. I don’t know if I should categorize it as a trend, but home workouts have really powered through to the masses over the last 5-years, and what I love about that is more people can experience a stronger, healthier and more conditioned mind and body without the variables of gym memberships, commutes, time constraints and daunting crowds.

Your five favorite workout moves or exercises?

Pushups, Lunges, Shoulder Press, Starfish Crunches (you’ll have to workout with my ab/core videos to find out what that is), and Burpees (google ‘burpee’ – I think I’m still somewhere towards the top with a tutorial video)!

You hear different things about how frequently someone should work out or how long they should get their heart rate up on a daily basis. What is the bottom line for these numbers?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer since we all respond differently to activity levels and nutrition variables, but for general conditioning, 3-5 days of focused exercise lasting anywhere from 30-60 minutes is a great and practical range. That’s the frequency and duration I follow, but am also intentional to plug in other ways to be active, doing things like riding, hiking and squeezing in extras like taking the stairs and avoiding up-front parking.

Anyone who knows you, knows of your love for animals- what is your spirit animal and why?

This is debatable depending on who you ask, but I’d say it’s definitely… a cat. Let’s keep it real- if I could be pet, fed, snuggled and allowed to sleep at my leisure, with the occasional outbursts of unexplained energy, I’d take it! Not to mention, cats are super agile, but sturdy – you know? They can ninja off rooftops without breaking into pieces. That’s pretty aspirational.

 In the world of fitness, there is probably a lot of pressure. What are some of the pressures you have faced in this fitness industry and how did you overcome and/or survive those pressures.

So much, of all sorts. I’m definitely not the rock hard body, the year-round spray tanned type or the ultra-done-up sort of girl in push up bras and booty baring shorts that rack up the most attention in the fitness space. I’ve been turned down for on camera jobs for those reasons, and have been sent feedback from potential brand partners or casting directors that I’m too modest, my photos or videos need to be edited or manipulated to be more marketable, I’m not lean enough, even that I talk too slow. It’s unbelievable that those are even ‘issues’, and I’d be a liar if I said there haven’t been moments I almost convince myself to veer into those categories until I realize there’s nothing of any real value to be gained (by other people, or me) from doing so. It is insanity how much deceit and self-idolatry plagues society, and I want to be accountable to not contribute to it.

You generate a very positive image that goes beyond just being skin deep. Anything you’d like to say to those who make that their sole focus?

Just going back to what we just talked about in overcoming pressures, you really have to get real with yourself and ask if what you’re doing, what you’re focused on and what you prioritize, actually adds real value to the world. If we keep it simple, we’ll be less likely to scoot around and start making justifications for behaviors that just mimic the most meaningless parts of society.

Some of your health and fitness role models and why?

Since the era of Mariah Carey, Shania Twain and Britney Spears, I haven’t had any mainstream sort of role models in any industry. I admire a lot of great people, but as far as a health and fitness role model I’m just inspired by humble people who are committed to taking care of themselves for no reason other than being better at whatever it is they do. My heart really lights up when I see older folks being active or making good food choices, or someone with significant weight to lose taking action to become healthier- I love that so much. Those are the people who really inspire me.

What causes you to wake up every morning?

This might come off a little cheesy-cheese, which I usually am, but God's grace. The fact I get another chance to make the most out of another day, no matter how awesome or terrible I’d been the day before, always fires me up enough to get out of bed and get moving.

What are you most passionate about?

God, my marriage, my role in other people’s lives, the welfare of those hurting or forgotten.

A time in your life when you remember being incredibly discouraged – how did you get over that?

Well, there have been many, and although there have been times or even seasons of fighting gut-wrenching heartache or discouragement, I always consider what I’ve experienced in the past that I’d been convinced was the end of all hope, yet came out stronger for it. We’ve all walked through ugly terrain, self-induced and circumstantial, but we’re still here, and that says a lot. We always have the choice to respond in ways that move us forward in directions we want to go, even if there were moments of reaction or pain that felt like they’d wipe us out.

Advice you would give someone who is having a difficult time sticking to a workout program.

You and the people you impact are worth you being strong, confident and able. Just keep moving forward. This isn’t do or die.

The biggest factors in being fit? Toning? Losing weight? Maintaining?

Time and consistency. If you’re doing things right, fueling your body with enough good food and nutrition, staying active, sleeping 6-8 hours each night and saying no to more of the things that don’t move you toward your goals, the results you’re after will come, unless you give up or always ‘start over’. Don’t self-sabbatoge the progress you make. Celebrate the seemingly small successes, over and over, because they compound to create the big ones.

What is the key in remaining focused on goal setting and getting results?

Remembering (and realizing) you are the variable in your level of success. I hear people complain about their situations- all the time. Rarely do I see people doing what it takes to change them, or at least not for the long haul. It’s easy to get impatient, or create unrealistic deadlines, so being transparent enough with ourselves to recognize we are human, life happens, and things take time help to avoid self-sabbatoge.

 What keeps you grounded?

Knowing I’m here for purposes bigger than just myself. Being adopted from South Korea, and having been planted in my hometown of Kennewick, Washington into a family who loves me unconditionally and getting to pursue and do what I love here in Orange County, California is serious accountability to do more of what matters most. There have been plenty of pitstops and lessons learned, but praise the Lord for mercy and grace.

What is it you love most about what you do?

Being able to help develop or strengthen a person’s confidence and ability to just feel and function better. And if I can encourage someone to just keep moving forward and become the person they’re designed to be, I’m grateful and encouraged to keep doing what I do.

Sushi or tacos?

Why not both? I could live off either.

Frozen yogurt or ice cream?

Frozen yogurt, because I’m all about that soft serve with fun toppings like cookie dough balls or strawberry mochi.

TOP beauty essentials you can’t go a day without on your mark, get set go!

Facial moisturizer and mascara, for sure. I’ve been loving Tarte mascara and bb cream for a few years now; I’m a sensitive skin sort of gal, so I’m particular on what goes on this face.  I’m also all about that coconut oil life for adding a little sleek and shine to hair.

Is there anything you have been afraid of but went after it anyways?

Everything. Seriously, fear can be one of those monsters that sneaks up on me at the most ridiculous times, but, choosing fear is like telling your victories you don’t really want them, and I want them.

Best day of your life?

I think this is a toss-up between getting baptized in youth group and our wedding.  

Favorite songs on workout playlist?

All things TobyMac.

Where do you think your fashion sense comes from?

I always get a good laugh when someone says they like my ‘style’, because for as long as I remember, my fashion sense has been non-existent. Maybe that’s why some people appreciate it, or maybe they’re just being nice. Comfort and function are really the only things I’m interested in, so throwing things together like mis-matched patterns, awkward socks and bold shoes totally works for me.

Top three fashion must haves?

Loose fitting tops, comfortable leggings, and headbands.

There are some really cute work out lines, which are your favorites to wear?

My current favorites all come from Iron Lily, since it each piece is so performance based – there’s just something about really high quality clothing you can move and sweat in. You can also use my code, “KELSEY20” for twenty percent off.

Final words of wisdom?

Do more of what matters most, and less of the things that don’t. Time is life, so spend it well.

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Remember, you are amazing, so be good to you...because you ARE worth it!

With love!

Fashioned Magazine


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