Stay-Fit Buzz Interview with Kelsey Byers
Learn how Kelsey transformed herself from an overweight college student into a published model and sponsored athlete in just 2 years
Stay-Fit Buzz: Hello Kelsey. Welcome to Stayfitbuzz.com. Let’s begin at the start of your journey into fitness. Because you do have some impressive before and after pictures. And pictures like that often do have an interesting story behind them. So how did it all begin?
Kelsey: I was very active in high school… being from a small town, I was able to play all sports. I could eat like a pig and be a “string bean”. Once I got to college, my activity level decreased significantly. I also adopted some “bad habits”…like drinking alcohol, staying out late, and eating really bad food! The weight “snuck up” on me. I am a tall woman…. 5-10″ to be exact. I graduated high school weighing 132 lbs.
At my heaviest weight in college… I weighed 174 lbs!!!! I could not believe I had put on 40-42 lbs in college (in a matter of 2 1/2 years). That day was a HUGE reality check for me! I was not happy with my body… and I actually went shopping all the time… always looking for that “PERFECT” outfit to make my body look better. I finally realized that when you have a great body, everything looks great on you! Once I was honest with myself and mapped out my goals, I started making small changes here and there.
I started going out to eat less, hired a personal trainer and committed to working out 2-3 days a week (at first). It took me five years to get rid of the weight that only took two years to put on! I am now back to my high school weight (135 lbs), only with more muscle. The reason it took me five years is because I did not understand proper portion control. I started seeing a nutritionist in March 2010 and haven’t looked back since! Fitness and a clean diet is a lifelong commitment. I entered my first NPC bikini competition in October 2010 and won third place, qualifying for nationals! Clean eating and lean results gave me the confidence to get on that stage with 100 beautiful women!
I am thrilled with my results and work hard every week on challenging myself more with weights in the gym. It is AMAZING what clean eating will do for your body!
I give myself weekly goals to get in the gym and write down everything I eat in my planner. I love lifting weights, as they give me the most results! I am hooked on FITNESS and will never allow myself to look like my “college self” again! That was definitely a learning experience.
Since competing, some wonderful things have happened to me. I have become a published fitness model and a Labrada Nutrition athlete.
I look forward to my future in the fitness industry and hope my best is yet to come!
Kelsey: Well, I did compete in my first competition and won third place in my height class. Labrada Nutrition contacted me through Facebook and asked me if I would represent their brand. Labrada Lean Body for Her shakes was my meal replacement shake when I started seeing my nutritionist, so I was already using their products. I was honored that they asked me to represent their brand.
Stay-Fit Buzz: What has the ‘stage’ experience been like for you thus far? Was you nervous when you first stepped on stage?
Kelsey: I was a little nervous at my first show, but the energy on stage is amazing and surpasses any anxious feelings!
Plus, it’s a great way to meet other competitors and people in the industry.
Kelsey: I have always wanted to model, as long as I can remember. Fitness modeling is the most rewarding! I love the feeling of booking a job based on my hard work in the gym and Eating clean versus just being skinny and looking good in clothes. Fit is the new skinny!
Stay-Fit Buzz: You also hold a degree in business/marketing. Did the business and marketing traits of Kelsey have anything to do with kick starting your push into fitness modeling?
Kelsey: Well, I have been asked how I learned how to market myself so well… and I do believe it has something to do with earning my Master’s degree in Business and Marketing. School is definitely more interesting when you can apply it to your work and life. I really just enjoy motivating and helping other people, it’s my calling.
Kelsey: My job as a company spokesperson and marketing director tends to put me behind a desk most of the day. That’s why it’s very important that I am active on a daily basis. It would be so easy to eat donuts and breakfast burritos that I see at the office, but that’s so easy to do and it would put me right back where I was two years ago, unhappy with my body. I make the choice to eat clean and workout every day. I love feeling fit, even when sitting behind my desk. Lifting weights, eating clean and doing cardio gives me energy to focus on important projects. at work. I do cardio before work in the mornings, which gives me energy throughout my day- then I lift weights at night. It’s perfect for my schedule.
Stay-Fit Buzz: What are the main differences between your on season and off season diet?
Kelsey: The only difference in my meal plan is when getting close to competition, I eat a lean meat and veggies my last two meals of the day. In off season, my last two meals consist of lean meat, a complex carb and veggies. I basically eat most of my carbs during the day during competition season.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Challenges, we all face them. But have there been any challenges along the way that have really tested you?
Kelsey: I would have to say taking two graduate school classes, working full time and training for two competitions- all at the same time. It has allowed me to clearly define my tasks and practice great time management skills.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Negativity? Is that something that you’ve had to deal with on the journey to fitness success. Or negativity about competing on stage?
Kelsey: I have dealt with negativity. A few people I considered friends at one time, didn’t really understand or support my decision to compete and change my lifestyle. I understand now that it wasn’t something I was doing to them directly, but my drive made them feel bad about themselves and some people even became jealous.
Luckily, my good habits started rubbing off on close friends and their bodies started changing for the better too. I don’t allow negativity in my life anymore. I steer clear of negative attitudes and love supporting my friends with their interests.
Stay-Fit Buzz: How do you go about keeping a positive mindset for the long term? Because we all have our ‘down’ days.
Kelsey: Every morning while I do cardio, I basically make a mental note of everything I want to accomplish that day. That keeps me focused and allows me to focus on positive goals for my future. I also find that when I am consistent with clean eating and my workouts, I have a happy and positive mindset. There is no better feeling than knowing you are working your hardest to be your best. You are using every talent God has given you.
Kelsey: Oh, I have so many favorites! Here is a good one I keep in my planner.
“Every decision you make takes you in a different direction…closer or further away from your goals.
Life’s a journey, the choice is yours.”
About Kelsey Byers
Kelsey is a Fitness model and Labrada Nutrition sponsored athlete.
Connect with Kelsey on Facebook: Kelsey Byers
Photo credits: Wendi Satio
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