Spotlight: Living a Healthy, Happy Life with Fitness Expert Kylie Gilbert
A dear friend of mine introduced me to Kylie earlier this year, and I was immediately blown away by her strength (physical and mental), determination and beautiful soul.
In this interview Kylie shares how she found the strength to fight an eating disorder, how she built a successful personal training business, what she eats in a typical day, and top tips on living a healthy, happy life.
1. What words do you live by?
You only live once and everything happens for a reason!
2. You are incredibly passionate about health and fitness - where does your passion come from?
It’s been a long journey full of ups, downs and a lot of self-discovery! I haven’t always been into my health and fitness … far from it in fact. I was a healthy, active and slim kid/teenager but as I hit my twenties I noticed I was starting to lose the slim body I had in my youth and started to get ‘skinny fat’. At the time I didn’t have the knowledge to know that I could have achieved what I wanted through a balanced diet and exercise, so I ended up simply cutting calories and as a result I developed an eating disorder in my mid twenties which lasted until my early thirties. I have a very obsessive and controlling personality (don’t we all?!) so controlling my food seemed an easy answer to my problem. It lead to me being around 42kg at my lightest (I am 165cm) and eating around 500 cals a day.
It took me a long time to realise I needed to make a change, but finally I admitted I had a problem. Still at the time with little education or knowledge around food and exercise I thought all I needed to do was start doing cardio and I would be able to eat more food and keep my slim body. After a few years I finally got myself out of my disordered eating but substituted my obsessive behaviour for obsessive exercise – in particular cardio. The problem was I was eating what I thought was healthy, doing tons of exercising but had done a full circle back to skinny fat where I started!
It wasn’t actually until I started training as a PT that I discovered weight training, and the rest is history! I realised that having your dream body didn’t have to mean excessive exercise or massive calorie restriction, you could in fact eat A LOT of food, exercise relatively little and actually sculpt your body to how you wanted.
It was a massive wake up call and I made a pact then and there I must spread the word! I see so many females repeating the same mistakes I did and it breaks my heart. I want to empower women with the knowledge to be able to avoid the same mistakes I have and become the best version of themselves they can be – which is how Female Fitness Method was formed.
3. Tell us about the Female Fitness Method
Female Fitness Method is about bringing together a community of women who are passionate about living the best life they can and not settling on second best. They want to be the best version of themselves they can be for the long term, and understand this means educating and applying themselves to whatever they do.
Female Fitness Method is based off the idea that a method is a way of doing something in accordance with a definite plan and I incorporate this into women’s lifestyle, training, nutrition and most importantly mindset to make sure they make long term changes for the right reasons.
4. How has your focus on strength training helped you with your own health?
Strength Training has enabled me to have a healthy relationship with my training, nutrition and most importantly my body. It sounds cheesy but it’s given me the ability to train because I love myself, not because I hate myself.
When I used to do cardio I was doing it for the soul purpose of trying to ‘burn’ calories. It led me down a path of reward (food) and punishment (exercise). Now I weight train to make my body as strong and healthy as it can be, now and in the future. I now view my food as nourishment for my body, mind and soul and love the feeling of fuelling my body with good stuff so it can perform to its optimum in all areas of life.
5. What does a day on a plate look like for you?
I am a massive carnivore (although in the height of my eating disorder I was a vegetarian for 5 years) and my diet is mainly based around single ingredient foods. Believe it or not my favourite way to start the day is with a juicy steak at 5.30am!!! Don’t knock until you have tried it!
My meals are then pretty similar throughout the day ... lean meats, lots of greens and either some sort of fat like coconut oil or pesto or carbs which are based around my training (usually rice or potato). I have a very sweet tooth so dark organic chocolate is an every day and non negotiable for me! I eat 5 meals a day + a protein shake on the days I train so it’s definitely not the right diet for everyone but it works well for me and my lifestyle.
6. Do you have a morning routine or daily wellness habits?
Yes for sure! My non negotiables every day no matter what are:
- Rising Early; Even on my days off the latest I get up is 6am,I love to catch the sunrise whenever I can!
- Starting my day with a glass of warm water, fresh lime juice, a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar and a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt; The lime improves your acidity levels first thing in the morning (we can get very acidic at night while our bodies are resting and recovering from the days events), the salt provides minerals and electrolytes to help keep up hydration and the ACV is of course known for awesome gut benefits.
- A 30 minute walk outside in the morning; It clears my head and set my intentions for the day before it al gets too crazy!
- Meditation every day; Even if its only 5 minutes I usually meditate just before bed; it helps me sleep like a baby!
7. What are you 3 top tips for living a healthy, happy life?
Move every day! Prioritise your health and body and stop making excuses that you don’t have time. I tell my clients to switch saying they don’t have time for ‘it’s not my priority’ and it changes their whole mindset.
Be true to yourself; life is too short to be living a lie. If you are unhappy takes steps to do something about it; life shouldn’t just happen to us; it should be our own unique creation.
If you don’t know where to start; invest in an expert! I swear by doing this in whatever area I need help in; health, fitness, business, finance or self-development. And I say invest because you will make return on your investment in the long term; even if it feels like a lot of money to give up in the short term you will always make it back ten fold.
8. What do you think is your greatest achievement so far and why?
Moving from the UK to Australia when I was deep in my eating disorder, and now 8 years later working my dream job as an Australian Citizen. When I first came to Australia I hated it here but I knew I would have a better quality of life in the long term if I just sat with feeling uncomfortable for a few years and didn’t give up. It paid off and now I am so proud of myself for not giving in when times got tough.
9. What do you love to do when you're not training?
Eating, Sleeping and Walking! I am basically a dog! I love discovering new cafes and watching the world go by with my beloved coffee, and walks along the beach are something I couldn’t live without – they soothe my soul ☺
10. Who or what inspires you?
I take inspiration from every person I meet, what I have realised in my years in people facing roles is that everyone has a story to tell and everyone has their own stuff going on. If you take the time to really listen to people you can learn so much and take so much from their own stories and experiences. It amazes me every day how lucky I am to be surrounded by such amazing people and how the universe keeps showing up for me adding more amazing people into my life!
11. At CSK, we're all about finding ways to live the happiest life possible. What is happiness to you?
Happiness to me is about appreciating the moment you are in, and being content with where you are at that exact moment. We spend so much of our lives planning and goal setting which is great, but it can lead us to easily forget to appreciate the journey we go on to get there.
Even when we are in a moment of happiness or in a good place in our lives it can be tarnished by negative thoughts that it won’t last forever or things could change. We need to learn to be truly happy in the exact moment we are in; that is true happiness to me.
12. What's next for you and Female Fitness Method?
I absolutely love collaborating with similar women who align with my brand so currently planning 1 day workshops educating corporate females how they can live a healthier, more authentic version of themselves.
I am also very excited to be developing an online platform of Female Fitness Method for all the women not based in Sydney who want to join my community.
You can follow Kylie on:
If you enjoyed this article, sign up to our weekly newsletter! It’s full of health and wellness tips, happiness hacks and plenty of inspiration to live the best life possible.