If you don’t yet know much about Kali Burns, you’re in for a treat. Kali is a qualified personal trainer, fitness model and social influencer with a huge following behind her.
At just 20 years old, Kali has accumulated a wealth of wisdom and knowledge in health, fitness and mindset. However it hasn’t always been easy for Kali, who grappled with severe bullying from a young age.
In the following Q&A, Kali shares her story with Mets Analin, CEO of Titan Fitness. Here, Kali opens up about how she stays true to herself and her purpose despite facing social media pressures and negativity from others. Kali also stresses the importance of living a balanced life and offers her advice on how to achieve your fitness goals in a healthy, sustainable way.
Mets: “For those of us who don’t know you, can you please tell us a little bit about who you are and what got you started on your fitness journey?”
Kali: “I was always active as a child. Mum put me into dance and nippers and I loved all of that. I was quite an outgoing kid but then when I got to high school, I was severely bullied to the sense where I pretty much lost who I was. To remove me from that situation, my mum moved me to a performing arts high school where I was surrounded by positive, like-minded people. This helped pick up my spirits.
Outside of school I had no focus, no friends and no direction. To keep me out of trouble mum bought me a gym membership and I was there almost every afternoon. I didn’t really know what I was doing but I enjoyed the positive, empowering environment.
rFrom there I learnt off others. I spoke to Personal Trainers, did classes and basically transformed as a result. I was a brighter happier person and alongside that obviously came the aesthetics. I started to see my body transform and as a result found this amazing passion.”
Mets: “Having gone through that period where you were bullied, how do you look at the social media pressures that the fitness industry brings out and how do you work through those challenges?”
Kali: “My skin has definitely thickened. I have learnt that when you are in the eye of social media you will get people who like you and are happy about your journey but you’re also going to get haters. I guess you have to try and avoid taking on their negative opinions because it’s not going to help you grow any further.”
I just do my own thing, focus on my journey and what I’ve got to do. I’m lucky enough to have such a supportive family and small group of friends. My mum is my rock. She’s given up so much for me to be where I am today.”
Mets: “What’s your ultimate vision for yourself in the fitness industry?”
Kali: “I’d love to tour the world and do boot camps. I would love to incorporate a training, nutrition and mindset aspect and just focus on being the most holistic, positive person I can and trying to spread that.”
Mets: “What advice would you give people who are new to the gym and looking to start training?”
Kali: “If there was someone who I aspired to look like and they were in my area, I’d find out where they were training, who they were being trained by and go from there. I remember when I first started out I would reach out to quite big social media personalities.
One person, Sophie Guidolin replied to me and I really admire her for that. So I’d definitely advise beginners to reach out to someone who you aspire to be like and see if they have training plans.”
Mets: “What do you say to young girls who aspire to be like you and are finding it very hard to actually get to where you are?”
Kali: “Focus on your journey and never compare yourself to anyone else. I think in the beginning I did that quite a lot and I’d get angry at myself for not achieving what others already had. It really got to me.
One day I decided to push that aside and write down my goals and what I had to do step by step to achieve them. This process made it a lot clearer and easier for me to understand exactly what I had to do to achieve my dreams.
It’s about staying consistent and enjoying the process. If you’re always worried and angry at yourself for not achieving what others have, you’re never going to appreciate or enjoy the journey for what it is.”
Mets: “You make staying lean look very easy, I know it’s not easy but you make it look easy. There’s a lot of young people that seem to starve themselves to try and look lean. What advice would you give others who are going through that?
Kali: “To start it off I went through that myself. When I wasn’t so educated I was eating very minimal carbs and binging like crazy. I started to make myself throw up and went through this crazy cycle where my health really suffered as a consequence.
My Personal Trainer Moody actually helped me get my life back on track. He taught me how to nourish my body correctly by eating the right amount of carbs, proteins and fats. He also helped me to understand the nutritional value behind what I was eating.
In my opinion, it is very important not to be so addicted to calculating your food. Calculating everything that goes into your mouth can really mess with your head. Focusing on eating wholefoods and nourishing your body is the best way to be.”
Mets: “I can see that grappling with these challenges has helped you grow. Sometimes we need obstacles to help us become a better version of ourselves. Do you look up to anyone in the fitness industry?”
Kali: “There’s one lady in the states who really pops out to me. Her Instagram is ‘Hardcore Ainsley’. She is incredible. This woman is all about balance. She travels, she eats good food, she trains, she’s just so positive. I believe that’s a path that I’d want to go down.
When I wake up in the morning, she’s the first person that I look at. As soon as I see her feed or watch her Instagram story it gives me this whole sense of motivation and really picks me up and starts my day.”
Mets: “How important is mindset to get up and do all the things you do?”
Kali: “For me, my diet and training have become my routine. I don’t even second guess it. My alarm goes off, I get up, get myself dressed and go to the gym. Its habit and I enjoy it. I know that when I do that I start my day efficiently. After my training I have a lot more clarity and I know it’s going to be a good day.
When you’re just starting out it’s so easy just to hit that snooze button and roll into bed, but then when you do eventually get up, you’re going to be angry at yourself. That isn’t a positive way to start your day. You have to be tough on yourself from the beginning and find your reason why. If your why is extremely powerful, you’re going to do it regardless.”
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