Inspiring Health Pros
Kim Whittaker – Fitness Trainer
I am so excited to be launching the Inspiring Health Pro Series! What a perfect time to introduce this series in the beginning of a new decade… 2020. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded with people who live healthy and inspiring lives in the industry I am in since I am a fitness trainer. And since I get asked a lot about what specifically I do to live a healthy life I thought we should pull more health pros to chime in with their answers as well. Everyone is unique and different and what works for one person may not work for another. So I am hoping that by launching this series many of you will be inspired with new ideas to try to live a healthy life. My number one goal in my career is for each client to have a positive change in their life. That change can look a lot of different ways for each individual and I pray that whoever reads this series will be able to take some of the advice and be successful in applying it into their own lives. Let me know if you love the series. I am super excited it’s finally here.
When I was planning this series and thinking of who to interview, the first person to pop into my head was Kim Whittaker. Kim is the reason I am a fitness trainer today. I met her in 2009 after I signed up to be in her local boot camp. I was hooked after day one. After a couple of years, I decided to get certified and Kim was my number one supporter. She took me under her wing and showed me the ropes. I am super grateful for her and her expert knowledge in the fitness industry. She currently is the head trainer at a beautiful and prestigious country club, The Grove, located in College Grove, TN. If you live or are a member at The Grove you should definitely be sure to get a session with Kim Whittaker. You. will. not. regret. it. Thank you, Kim, for your time to share your tips on how you live a healthy life.
What is your occupation?
Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer at The Grove Country Club
How did you choose this career?
I fell in love with working out. Growing up I was always active and played many sports throughout junior high, high school and college but I actually disliked the gym. It took a bad breakup for me to find the gym. Funny how I had to give up a bad relationship in order to find myself and my new love of working out. I have been working as a personal training now for sixteen years and have no plans on breaking up with gym! 🙂
What do you love about what you do?
I get to make a positive change in the lives of my clients and see their confidence change as their body changes. It is so rewarding being a part of someone’s journey to living a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes it is hard to remember the shy, insecure, out of shape and unhappy person that first walked into the gym and having had worked with someone for months or years and seeing them transform their body, mind and entire being! I can’t believe how blessed I am to play a pivotal role in someone’s life like that.
When you first started living a healthy lifestyle, did you have a mentor or did you find more success doing it on your own?
I had several amazing mentors. From hiring a personal trainer to shadowing successful bootcamp and group fitness instructors and then being hired by them. The time these individuals poured into me and took me under their wing was priceless and something I will never forget.
What pushes you out of your comfort zone?
Training medical doctors and post surgery patients. Doctors have so much schooling behind them that i sometimes get intimidated. I don’t have any fancy degrees or letters behind my name, but what I do have are my certifications and lots of years under my belt working with a variety of clientele from teenagers to seniors. Within the past five years I have worked with numerous amounts of clients that have had hip, knee, shoulder replacements to back and neck surgeries. Along my journey I have made friends with Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Medical Doctors, Dietitians and Nutritionist. Those relationships have helped me learn how to take care of the many people who walk through our gym doors. My philosophy is to be in a room filled with people who know more than me.
What kind of workout do you do, how many days per week do you workout, and for how long?
I do a PUSH/PULL training split. Push exercising one day, pull exercises the next and keep rotating that for 5 days. I train five days out of the week. Monday through Friday is the plan, but sometimes I take a day off during the week and throw in a weekend workout. I try to keep my workouts to under an hour.
What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
Breakfast: water, black coffee and more water
Lunch: Brussel sprout and kale salad with asparagus, green beans, chicken or lean beef and ranch dressing.
Dinner: cauliflower rice with chicken, cheese and a big side of mixed veggies
Snacks: Protein Shake, walnuts, almonds, yogurt with berries or apple with almond butter.
What inspires you to live a healthy and active life?
My family and clients inspire me. I want to live a life that inspire others to be healthy, not only in body, but mentally and spiritually. I’m sure you’ve seen this Pinterest post but this sums up why I want my life to inspire others: “I want someone to look at me and say because of you I didn’t give up.”
How do you stay motivated on a daily basis?
I listen to a lot of podcasts or YouTube videos to get me motivated and going. I need to hear messages that remind me that it won’t get done unless I get up and do it.
How do you handle unhealthy cravings?
If it’s not time to eat I will drink a big glass of water or carbonated water and that usually keeps the cravings at bay. But if I find myself struggling, I will make a protein shake and add sugar free chocolate chips to it, some ice and blend it all together like a milk shake.
What would you say is the key to balancing it all?
Not being so legalistic to your diet, workouts and timing. Yes, you have to have a game plan and get into a routine. But once that routine is weighing heavy on you and you find you don’t have time for anything else other than grocery shopping, meal prep and eating then you can quickly lose the joy in your day.
What is your favorite workout apparel?
Zyia Active and Lululemon
If you could only pick one exercise or movement to do everyday that would be amazing for your body, what would it be?
That’s a hard question to answer because there are so many great exercises, but if I had to pick one I would pick a lunge while wearing the TYE4 Pilates harness. Tye4® is a sleek, wearable workout resistance and assistance system designed to make any exercise more challenging and effective. The Tye4® bungees add 30 pounds of resistance training to your workout, so you feel and see results more quickly. Tye4® harness will help anyone find connection when doing Mat or Standing exercises. Great for golfers, dancers, ballet conditioning, or anyone!
What advice would you give to people to be their healthiest and best self?
You are in it for the long haul – refuse to allow any one “miss” here and there to prevent you from acknowledging and appreciating your “hits” or sticking with your goal.
Please share your favorite healthy recipe.
Kung Pao Chicken Meatballs
Author: Lee Hersh
For the Meatballs:
-1 pound ground chicken
-⅓ cup yellow onion, finely diced
-¼ cup garbanzo bean, almond flour, whole wheat flour (any kind of flour)
-⅓ cup ground rolled oatmeal
-1 tablespoon sriracha
-¼ teaspoon sea salt
-¼ teaspoon ground pepper
-2 teaspoons minced garlic
For the Kung Pao Sauce:
-2 tablespoon sriracha
-2 tablespoon chili paste
-2 tablespoon honey
First, preheat oven to 400ºF and spray a baking sheet with coconut oil cooking spray. Set aside.
Next, prep meatball mixture by placing all ingredients into a large bowl and mixing until combined.
Using a tablespoon cookie scoop (note: these are bite-sized, not giant!), scoop out mixture and mold into a ball with your hands. It works best if your hands are slightly wet with water. Place on cookie sheet.
Bake meatballs at 400ºF for 25-28 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden brown.
While the meatballs are cooking, prep the kung pao sauce, by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl.
Once the meatballs have slightly cooled, toss in sauce. Serve hot over cauliflower rice or mixed veggies!
Serving size: 1 meatball
Kim, you are the perfect example of an inspiring health pro! I hope you all enjoyed her interview. Please share, like, and comment if you enjoyed!