Next Fitness Star Finalist (and Beautylish Columnist!) Kit Rich On Fitness and Self Confidence


You've probably already read one of Kit Rich’s articles right here on Beautylish. But what you may not know is that Kit is responsible for a lot of the bodies you see on the red carpet. Or that she just returned from a world tour training Ke$ha. And right now, our resident fitness expert is a top 5 finalist for Women’s Health Magazine's Next Fitness Star competition, a nationwide search to find the star of the publication's next fitness DVD series. We're so excited for Kit! 

Help make Kit “The Next Fitness Star” and by voting for her right here. You can vote for her every day through August 5, 2013. In the meantime, we got to learn more about the woman behind our outFIT with Kit column. Read our Q &A below, and go vote Kit! 

How did you even get into fitness?

I started about eight years ago, right out of college, when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was waitressing and writing—I was a terrible waitress!  But there was always a part of me that knew my future path would involve inspiring women. One random day, I decided to take a Pilates class and the owner pf the studio thought I would make a good trainer. I don’t know why, especially since I was so out of shape! But she said it, and I decided to go for it. For no other reason than—why not? Out of nowhere, I was in it and totally had a knack for it. I understood everything about it, like second nature, and was able to be creative, too, like writing for Beautylish! I loved how I felt. I loved how I changed women’s bodies and improved their lives. I was hooked. Then like wildfire, my career just kept growing. But I think that's the nature of passion right? Passion is like fire—it moves quickly and expands.

You often talk about how you've suffered from body insecurities. Can you tell us a bit more about this?

When I became a trainer, I had no idea its higher purpose for me. Yes, I was helping people. Incredible. But I didn’t realize how much I actually needed the help myself first. I always suffered from body image disorder, but never quite thought it was a problem. It was something I always had, so it was my nature to be like that, and I never questioned it. Of course I hated my body. Of course I had to cover myself up completely. Of course I didn’t get the guy or the job because my body was ugly. Or so I thought. Then suddenly, here I am, in front of hundreds of women training them and staring at me. I’m telling them what to do for their bodies, and how to love themselves. I was such a hypocrite! It was a huge wake up call. I spent a lot of time in the beginning years of my training just trying to work through the layers upon layers of insecurity embedded in me. Truth is, I'd never felt I deserved anything good. Ever. And no matter how fit I was, it was never enough.

How did that change?

Whoa, big question so little time. Two main things: one, working out, and two, taking a bird's eye view on insecurity. The simple act of exercise (even just a few minutes of pushups) changes your brain chemistry and improves your mood and perception of yourself. Years ago, before I worked out, I was so negative about my body. After? Complete shift. It was instantaneous and I took notice. Especially with Pilates. The concentrated core work really makes you go deep within yourself, unlike any other fitness medium. It teaches you compassion, patience, and understanding that then carries over into your life outside of the gym. It’s therapy and fitness all in one! It also helped slim me down 25 pounds! Ha!

Secondly, the bird's eye view. When I use to get insecure about my body and self worth, I'd get lost in the negativity. I’d be in a bubble. So I've trained myself to create the separation as though I am looking down at myself from above. That separation helped me see that the insecurity was a perception—something I was attached to, but that wasn’t really who I really was. There was a better me that I needed to tap into. Over time, I've managed to quiet the insecurities and continue to move forward. To say I never struggle with insecurity today is ridiculous and just not true. But it's how I choose to relate to the insecurities that has made all the difference. I smile through. I have compassion for that girl that never felt she deserved anything. And I choose to step into the woman I know I was meant to be. Bottom line: happiness is a choice.  

Why do you think women will relate to you in the Next Fitness Star competition?

Because I get it. I have hips, small breasts, and a butt. I don’t have typical, perfect proportions. But I work out. I’m healthy, balanced, and I take care of business. And I really focus on the internal work that coincides with working out. Look, I can get you fit. I can make your body amazing. But what will keep you consistent so that you body does change? That’s internal, and that's what I focus on with my clients. That’s the work I had to do for myself.

At the end of the day, we all want to deeply understand how valuable and special we are. We want to love our bodies. We want to live it, breathe it, and know it so deeply. We want to fully experience our own beauty and potential. And it exists for all of us in our own ways. And it's not about the size of your jeans. It's something so deep within you, it can’t move like weight on a scale.  But you need tools—such as fitness—to get there, so that it becomes easier and easier to understand your inherent amazingness. I want to help women get there. That’s my goal.

How often do you workout and for how long?

I work out five days a week, about an hour a day. I switch up my moves all the time to keep my body excited and constantly challenged. But I mainly train myself outside or at one of my gyms. I do my Pilates Circuit training technique. It blasts fat and keeps you lean while giving you all the other benefits of Pilates.

What is your favorite healthy food?

I absolutely love 3-4 ounces of steamed salmon with olive oil and herbs, half a baked yam, and slightly blackened roasted broccoli with a splash of salt. Now I’m hungry!

What would winning this competition mean for you?

What competition? Huh? Just kidding! It would be such an incredible way to get the word out there about what I do! My routines are so effective and they make you feel powerful. But I have so much more to do than just fitness. I am ready to change women’s lives in every way, internal and external. I’ve been through the trenches, I’ve learned from my battles. I’m ready to share, inspire, and help. But I do understand that everyone has their own time to shine. So I have no idea if I’m going to win. But I will say, if I do, it would be amazing.

Remember to vote for Kit here!

Kit Rich is Los Angeles-based fitness trainer with endless exercise and nutritional know-how. Hollywood's hottest stars are addicted to Kit's unique, multi-disciplined approach that combines cardio, yoga, Pilates, and weight training. Kit's clients are immediately taken by her funny and honest approach to health and fitness. She treats her clients as she treats herself, "with a hard challenge, sensibility, sensitively, and a good laugh." Follow Kit on Twitter @kitrichfitness.