IMG_2805-664602122-1546228443947.jpgTell me a little about yourself and your background?

My name is Kath, I’m 21 years old, and I’m from the beautiful state of North Carolina. Honestly, it’s so weird to answer questions about myself like this. I got my degree in communications, so I’m usually on the other end asking the questions!

There are so many things I love, and even though I’m young, I still feel like there’s so little time to do everything I want to achieve. I’m trying to invest my time wisely, but it’s hard when you have to go to work and get caught in the daily grind. I love scuba diving, backpacking, and being outdoors in general. I love to read and write. I’d like to pick up cooking and baking. I’m trying to find a way to fit everything I want to do into a career, so there’s a lot of dreaming and imagining how that could happen right now.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

Fitness has opened so many doors for me, doors that I never knew existed. It’s shown me the amazing fitness community, and how good it feels to have a supportive group of people who genuinely care about your wellness. But most importantly it’s taught me how freeing it is to love yourself, to cherish where you are in life, and to just move, whatever that movement is. It’s such a blessing to know what your body is capable of.

How long have you been into fitness?

I’ve been into fitness for about two and a half years now. I started my journey in July 2015, and I haven’t turned back. It’s been wonderful, even the hard times.

How did you get into fitness?

Health and fitness was never even on my radar until right before I started working out. It wasn’t even something I thought about. I used to think that fitness and going to the gym was only for athletes and people like that, maybe I thought they were super-humans, or something like that. But not people like me. I never really knew that normal, everyday people worked out until I found the fitness community on Instagram. But it wasn’t the big, famous accounts that showed me the value of fitness. It was every day women like me who were just dedicating a few minutes every day to better themselves and keeping their bodies healthy. Most of them just worked out from home, like I still do today. I found Kayla Itsines’s account, and started going through the accounts of women whose transformation photos she’d shared. I was so inspired that not even a week later I decided to start Kayla’s Bikini Body Guide, and the rest is history. I thought, if those women can change their lives, why can’t I? So I started and never stopped.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

I realized that for years I had neglected my body and treated it so poorly, and that I deserved better. I deserved to say kinder things to myself. I deserved to use my body as it was intended — for movement! I was definitely self-conscious about the way I looked, but it wasn’t enough to change things. Real change happened when I decided I wanted to transform from the inside out.

How has fitness impacted your life?

It really has changed everything, from the way I see myself to the way I interact with others. Because I love myself more, I have more love to give to others. It’s taught me to appreciate myself, appreciate my abilities, and appreciate my body. It’s taught me to focus on what I can do, not what others are doing. It’s taught me that I have all the strength I need within me. Sometimes you just have to work hard to let your magic out.

 What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

Don’t be intimidated. Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Don’t confuse yourself with complicated fitness plans and big gym memberships and restricting meal plans. Do take it one step at a time. Do find a simple fitness plan that you know you can dedicate yourself to. Do trust the process and know that sustainable progress takes time and dedication, not quick fixes. Do rely on dedication, not motivation, to keep you going. Motivation fades, but being dedicated and determined keeps you on track.

Instagram: @courageouskath

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