This interview is part of the Real Talk Real Women interview series, where we bring you the life-changing, heart-warming and inspirational stories behind the most successful women in health and fitness. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest interviews! For this installment, we are joined by Randi Kennedy.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
My name is Randi Kennedy, I am 24 years old, an international lifestyle and transformation coach, sports nutritionist, CBBF National bikini competitor and content creator. I have been active my whole life but I have started taking my fitness seriously within the past 5 years.
I got involved in fitness because I was a very petite small girl growing up, I was underweight for my height, very skinny and with much strength - I wanted to change that! I idolized women like Amanda Latona that portrayed such a strong, healthy, powerful image. I wanted to be that type of woman! I started working out with home workout DVD's in my room at the age of 18. I started with Insanity, Les Mills Pump, and moved on to Tony Horton's P90x.
During this time I was researching and teaching myself proper form and tips on how to build muscle and how to increase strength. I started to fall in love with this lifestyle, how it transformed me mentally and once I started to see physical changes in my body, I was hooked. I then moved on to training in a gym atmosphere with all of my self taught knowledge. I would say I was pretty good at it from doing all of my homework, I was excited to put it all to good use!
Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation comes from KNOWING I CAN do more, be more and accomplish more. Knowing that I can become more and achieve more than I currently have or am. I know from experience that I can accomplish absolutely ANYTHING I put my mind too with hard work! There is no limit if I'm willing to work for it.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion - what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
The biggest stumbling blocks was my parents wondering why I wasn't going to use my degree for what I went to school for. They were very adamant on me living a "normal life", working in an office, using my education to build my life. At first they didn't understand or see how I could be successful any other way.
Once they saw my heart was in it and I was successful at what I was doing, even if it was a slower start (starting your own business is taking a leap of faith and believing in what you want) they understood my vision. At first it was a pay cut and an adjustment to my lifestyle and change of plans, but it was the best change I have ever made! I wake up every single day LOVING what I do, loving the people I meet and experiences I have had. The feeling I get from the goals my clients and I achieve together is the most humbling reward.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
Self care is SO important! You need to take care of yourself in order to be the best version of yourself, for you and everyone around you. When you are truly happy, healthy, and living the life you love, you inspire those around you to do the same.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
The biggest misconception about women lifting weights has been the one about "getting bulky" if you lift heavy! Women think that they will become as big as a female body builder for some reason! I'm happy to see this one is slowly dying down though... That is next to impossible without physique enhancement drugs. Muscles are grown with heavy weight and resistance. By lifting weights, you will tone, sculpt and transform your body in ways you CAN NOT do through cardio alone.
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
I believe the behaviour of under-eating or not eating at all in order to achieve goals of losing weight and becoming skinny came from social media and media stars that are exceptionally thin. Those that are not educated will automatically think they are not eating because they are much smaller than the rest of the population. This is the easiest thing to assume and method to achieve those results than putting in physical work at the gym.
What they don't know is that not eating at all, and overeating are EQUALLY as detrimental to your health and reaching your goals. Starving yourself may work at first but then years later of not being able to maintain under eating due to lack of nutrients and extreme hunger, you have harmed your metabolism to a point much more severe than it was before you 'dieted' and you put on 2x more weight.
What they don't know is that it's not about eating LESS it's about eating MORE of the right things! Knowledge is power! I strive to teach everyone I come across or have the pleasure of coaching that. I teach them that food is made up of macronutrients (protein/carbs/fat) and that they can eat food with portion control and reach their goals at the same time.
I think more people need to learn and teach - especially the younger generations - how to make healthy food choices, portion control, the difference between fast digesting carbs (white bread, pasta, candy) and slow digesting carbs (sweet potato, apples, beans) and how they affect the body.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
The importance of stretching and warming up! Until two years ago, it wasn't something I really took the time to do. I quickly learnt how important and beneficial it is, even if it doesn't seem like much fun.
Being an obsessive person with absolutely everything you are eating and not skipping a single day at the gym - then feeling bad or experiencing major self guilt if you slip up is NOT the way this healthy fit lifestyle is suppose to affect your life.
That is taking a really good thing and making it negative. The goal is to make yourself proud. Workout to make yourself feel good, eat healthy because you love it, but also live your life outside of the gym and tupperware containers!
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
I work hard, being self employed I don't have specific work hours. My work hours are from when I wake up, to when I close my eyes. Balance for me is making sure that I take care of myself physically and mentally along the way so that I can continue to be my best for my clients and those around me.
I make sure that I get at least 8 hours of sleep most nights, not looking at emails until I read one chapter in a book each morning and getting my workout in each day. Once in awhile I have to take a full day to myself where I'm not on my phone or laptop, to de-load and do a couple things I love, like seeing my friends, go for a massage, go to my favourite coffee shop or a day not leaving my pyjamas!
I eat according to my goals 80% of the time and the other 20% I enjoy things like my favourite ice-cream or a nice dinner out with friends. I work hard but I also know when it's time to give myself a much needed break, that keeps me refreshed and on my toes!
How do you stay productive?
I love my day planner! Every Sunday I sit down and write down everything that I need to get done for the week ahead. I'm a huge list person! I love to cross things off once they are done, I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in that. I like to make the most out of my time so I plan things strategically… Write things down! It will help you not forget and most likely increase your productivity.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Don't wish for the time to go by faster, because the older you get, the faster it goes by!
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
I train to be a well rounded athlete! I want to be able to run fast, be strong, lift heavy and feel good! I train and eat according to that. I eat enough to fuel my body for performance.
My current training split is;
- Plyometrics/Conditioning work
I like to keep my foods as wholesome and nutrient dense as possible. I have very temperamental digestion so I keep processed foods, dairy and gluten to a minimum. I share all of my food and workouts on my YouTube channel for free.
What are your biggest life goals for the year?
To name a couple, I am launching a couple ebooks! I want to be able to reach and target more people than just those that can afford my customized online coaching. I do that through my YouTube already (posting multiple workouts and recipes each week) but I want something a bit more structured that you can follow for months and achieve awesome results! I want to build an army of empowered, motivated women that inspire others to change their life as well.
I want to push myself harder than I ever have before and accomplish new heights with my body and mind. I may be competing in a couple national competitions if I feel it is the right thing to do when the time comes!
I will be looking to buy or build a home very soon! :)
Where can people go to learn more about you online?