Suffolk University - Bachelors of Communications
National Academy of Sports Medicine - Personal Training and Weight Loss Specialist Certification
The realization that she was unhappy with how she felt in her body led Kyra Williams to trade her quintessential collegiate existence of beer, ramen and late nights for one of whole foods and dumbbells. While it wasn’t an easy transformation, it was one that had a pretty dramatic effect: thirty pounds lighter and in love with her new lifestyle, a similar realization helped Kyra leave an unfulfilling corporate world to work for herself as a trainer, motivator and all-around good health guru, aka: “The Get in Shape Girl.”
Kyra’s no-longer-9-to-5 career is focused on coaching women to their best bodies and minds through her website, thegetinshapegirl.com. “ … Knowing I’ve done something positive in just one person’s life gives me the warm fuzzies,” Kyra professes. “I’ve always known being my own boss was the only way I’d be able to truly live happily.”
Be more present and mindful … I make a point to stop every so often and just appreciate the now.
How did you discover your current job?
I used to sit behind a desk, where between answering calls, I would cry. All I wanted in life was to do something related to fitness. I’d dash out of work to make it to yoga before I went to spin and I’d blog about how eating clean changed my life and helped me lose 30 pounds.
During spring 2010, my company was affected by the economy and I was laid off. At that point, I knew it was now or never. Within three months of my last day of work, I had studied for—and passed—my personal trainer’s certification and had a new job as a personal trainer, with clients, at a local gym.
As I began training, I kept up with my blog and Facebook page, educating and inspiring my followers through what I was learning and witnessing each day. Soon after, a couple of out-of-state friends asked me to write up workout plans for them to lose weight. Two turned into five and then my boyfriend, the ever entrepreneur, realized we had an amazing opportunity on our hands. At that time, we hired a developer to create a website where clients could sign up online to pay for personal training with me. And the rest is history.
What responsibilities do you have in your role?
Everything! Accounting, marketing, public relations, social media, creating new recipes, interacting with followers and callers, maintenance of systems operations, creating workout plans, creating meal plans, coaching clients … the list goes on and on!
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
I can get bored very easily, but this job keeps me on my toes. Not only do things stay interesting because I wear so many hats, but my clients keep me occupied and are always challenging me to be the best coach I can possibly be. And because I’m literally obsessed with nutrition, I can’t stop talking about it. I love learning about all of the different amino acids in proteins and when I find out there’s sugar in something you wouldn’t think there was sugar in, I feel like a detective who has just solved a crime!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
It’s the fact that I’m making a difference. Between the clients I coach, the people who follow me or someone who hears me speak, I’m impacting a lot of lives. Maybe it’s me who tells you that if you eat more avocado, you’ll crave less sugar and that helps you make better choices. Or maybe through my recipes and advice, you’re able to lose two dress sizes and feel truly confident as you walk down the aisle. Or perhaps you actually become my client and you learn all of my tricks and you’re able to lose 40 pounds and get off your cholesterol medications. Whatever the case may be, knowing I’ve done something positive in just one person’s life gives me the warm fuzzies. And it’s something I am lucky enough to get to experience quite often.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
Honestly, I sleep like a baby. Between the grueling workouts I put myself through and how busy I am, there’s no staying awake at night.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Work can easily take over my life. I work from home and I love what I do, so I spend most of my day on Get In Shape Girl-related things. But the good thing is that my clients are my friends, so when I speak to them on the phone or via e-mail, it’s kind of like talking to a friend.
The one thing I will do to maintain balance is scheduling my workout times and sticking to them. That is my time to release and let go—and nothing gets in the way of that.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
In some ways, I’m still waiting for that moment. I’m never satisfied. That said, the day I handed in my notice at the gym to work for myself full-time was a pretty huge moment. I’ve always known being my own boss was the only way I’d be able to truly live happily.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Take care of yourself and your needs first. If you can’t take care of yourself and make yourself happy, healthy, etc., then how do you expect to do the same for others?
If you never give up, then you have no choice but to succeed.
Eat clean, unprocessed foods—with some treats in moderate amounts—and move daily.
Figure out what your heart wants. If your head’s telling you that you want six pack abs but you really, truly enjoy having wine with your girlfriends on the weekends and ice cream a few nights a week, then own that! Don’t complain or make excuses for not having whatever it is that your head wants.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
A certain level of patience and understanding—while also being stern and having high expectations—is important. When coaching clients, I make it clear that I’ll train them for success, but they have to put the work in. I also tell them there will be times that things don’t go as planned and it’s important to be patient and sympathetic of those circumstances. You have to be able to help them understand that they need to be patient as well. Typically, when we decide we want something, we want it yesterday, and you have to remind people that nothing good happens overnight.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Be more present and mindful. You have no idea how many times I think to myself that I wish I were in my early 20’s again, living it up. Then I realized that later in life, I’m probably going to look back on these days and wish I could re-live this. So now I make it a point to stop every so often and just appreciate the now.