BELLA Chats with Fitness Expert Katie Austin

 

Fitness and health have always been a big part of Katie Austin’s life. Growing up playing sports and watching her celebrity trainer mom on camera, the now 24-year old quickly became adapted to her mother’s lifestyle and is making her passion a career of her own. Katie has a blog, her own “Get Fit With Katie” website, fitness app and YouTube channel, and is planning to open her first workout studio in Southern California. Katie is making it her mission to inspire girls to feel the best they can in their body, and to help them on their very own fitness journey.

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Having a fitness icon for a mom (Denise Austin), can seem intimidating. Growing up, did you always love working out, or how did you find your own way into fitness?

I never really realized who my mom was until I was about 10, when people would come up to her at the grocery store or airport and say “Omg Denise Austin, you’ve changed my life!” That’s when I started to realize what she does and that she’s known for it. I never knew I wanted fitness to be a career, I just always knew I loved it. I’ve been an athlete my whole entire life. I played tennis and lacrosse, and got a Division 1 scholarship to play lacrosse at USC. I grew up watching my mom do her job, travelling with her since six weeks old. Ever since I was a year old, she said I would sit and stare at her filming, and she knew that I would grow up to love the camera. So in my heart, I always knew that I wanted to be a TV host. I auditioned for the morning sports show at my college station and hosted it for two and a half years, so I combined my love of sports and fitness with hosting. When I graduated in 2016, I went full force at it and now it’s a real career!

Many people dread working out. Did you always enjoy working out or was it something you had to overcome yourself?

Playing lacrosse in college, I had a coach and nutritionist who pushed me. But when I quit lacrosse, I didn’t know what to do, so I started running. I didn’t want to go to the gym, so that’s all I did. I started shedding off a lot of muscle when I quit, so in-home workouts are what I turned to. I loved watching YouTube videos and had to motivate myself in a way. That kind of inspired me to start my own thing.

What is one piece of advice you would give to people that want to get fit, but struggle to stay motivated?

In the beginning of my fitness journey, I was very intimidated. That’s usually what a lot of people feel like. They don’t find the time, they don’t want to hurt themselves, or they don’t think they can do it. So my main advice would be: start small, with just 10 minutes a day. Then just add up from there, there is always room for progression. You don’t have to do anything strenuous on your body. Start with a 10 to 15 minute walk and some small toning moves, something basic that you can do. Make it realistic! When you make it realistic and practical for you, you can do it. That way, it will be easier to stay motivated. Make the workouts harder over time, but start with something easy that makes you say “Oh, I can do that!”

How do you balance eating and working out, do you restrict the types of food you eat?

I really don’t restrict myself too much. I always say that I work out to be able to eat the foods that I want (laughs). But we all know it’s 80% what you eat and about 20% fitness. I really indulge whenever I feel that I can, but I do eat clean most of the time. It’s all about balance. For breakfast, I usually have egg whites with avocado toast, for lunch I’ll have a salad or quinoa bowl, and then for dinner I’ll have a bigger, but guilt-free meal. I like to experiment with hearty recipes, like bolognese pasta or mac and cheese, but in a healthy way. Right now I’m not eating meat, but I usually eat chicken breast with brown rice and at least three vegetables a day. I really don’t ever go hungry! I have tried many different diets. I’ve tried being vegan, dairy-free, paleo, and I’m actually vegetarian right now, but I don’t plan on staying that way. I try these different diets for about one or two months to see what my body feels like. I think that every single person needs different types of food. So a diet might work for you, but it might not work for the next person. You should find what works best for you. Another tip: meal prepping. That is huge for me, and everyone can do it. It only takes one or two hours and you will have a healthy meal at work every day, instead of getting that Chinese takeout that you might have gotten otherwise.

As you become more successful, do you ever find yourself slacking in your own routine?

I am very hard on myself. My mom always tells me to stop beating myself up so much, but I am really OCD about my business. If I miss a day, I am really hard on myself, and that is something that I need to work on. That’s just my mentality, having been an athlete for my entire life, with someone constantly pushing me. Now I am kind of my own coach. But my advice, that I need to follow myself, is not to be too hard on yourself. If you miss a workout, just go back at it the next day. Make sure to find a balance between pushing yourself and not being too hard on yourself.

Everyone struggles with self-doubt sometimes, especially being a public figure.  How do you handle negative comments, for example, and social media’s pressure to be “perfect”?

I personally think that Instagram has changed in the last year. I feel like it’s becoming more real, and I love that. The girls that used to be so perfect on Instagram are now showing the real sides of their life, and that’s helping other girls a lot. Two years ago, I think Instagram was bad for many girls because everyone tried to be perfect, but now all of these influencers are starting to show their real selves and that is so awesome and spreading a good message. When I feel low, I leave my phone at home and go for a run. Working out is not only about the physical part, it will also boost your self-esteem and will make you feel amazing afterwards. Tell yourself positive mantras, name three things that you love about yourself. Realize that everyone has flaws and gets self-conscious sometimes, even Victoria’s Secret models! Realizing that you’re not alone is so important.

Your website and app offer a monthly fitness subscription featuring home workout videos and recipes– is your program suited for everyone, beginners and advanced?

There are a lot of videos to choose from. To be honest, it’s mostly designed for girls, but it’s perfect for every situation: if you’re in college in a small dorm room and are intimidated to go to the gym. If you don’t really know what to do, or if you just want a quick workout on the go. I have anything from 10 to 45 minute workouts, but never more than that because I like them to be quick but efficient. There’s a workout for every day, and if you feel like one is too difficult, you can pick and choose what you’re in the mood for, like yoga, pilates, HIIT, dance, abs, or booty toning.

In your opinion, how does being fit affect your overall happiness in life?

Being fit truly affects my confidence and happiness. Being happy with yourself makes you happy with everyone else. Once you find that inner peace and self-love, you can radiate that onto other people and it definitely shows. It’s not all about the physical part, having a six pack or a perfectly sculpted booty (I don’t have that either!), just get fit within yourself. A lot of it comes from eating healthy and working out, but not in a vain or physical way. It’s in a mental way, and I truly believe that. When I wasn’t happy with my body, I wasn’t my happiest overall. Once I found a way to love my body and give it the nutrients that it needs, I found that self-love. But it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a while. So be patient, and don’t give up.

How do you define beauty?

Beauty is not what you see on the outside, even if that’s what people think of when they hear someone say “you’re beautiful”. They think it’s about the looks. I think it’s all about your inner soul and who you are. My mom taught me that. People always say that she is so beautiful and pretty, but she’s not beautiful because of her looks. She’s beautiful because of her soul. When you meet her, she is the nicest person in the world, and no matter who she is or who they are, she never thinks that she is superior or better. And that’s something that she has taught me in life. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how pretty you are, looks can only go so far. It really matters how nice you are as a person and that you spread kindness. She always taught me to be myself, be real and genuine, and to stay true to myself. She still teaches me that today and keeps me grounded. Surround yourself with good people and beautiful souls and that will keep you grounded.

If you want to get fit or mix up your fitness routine with fun workouts, check out Katie’s website and app for over 70 videos, recipes, and more cool stuff! Get more information on www.GetFitWithKatie.com and follow her on Instagram @katieaustin!

Photos by Rowan Daly

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