Describe yourself in 3 words…
You very rarely miss a gym session at Starke Fitness. How do you stay motivated?
I just love the feeling I get after a really tough workout. It’s such a good reward, physically and mentally.
The endorphin rush that I get after a tough workout, with the knowledge I’m doing great things for my body and health… there’s nothing better!
Regularly reflecting back on my ‘before’ photos is a great way to keep motivated. I find that reflecting on where you’ve come from and where you are now is such a positive and motivating activity, in all aspects of life, really.
It’s a combination of those two things that keep me coming back and keep me motivated.
I’ll be the first to admit that there are some days that I really feel like I can’t be bothered! That’s just human nature.
But, if you just stick to your routine and push on through, you ALWAYS feel better for it.
But make sure you don’t feel guilty during those down days where you just don’t feel like it… that’s natural!
Your favourite exercises?
Dead lifts; they’re such an amazing full body workout! All of the pain and struggle is definitely worth it in deadlifting!
Banded squats; these take something great and booty-building (squats) and making them even more effective and challenging!
Burpees and Chin-ups; there’s just something about those two that, when I see them on the board to be completed, I cringe a little!
But, it’s those least favourite that usually give you the best results! So, you’ve got to stick at them. No one ever got anywhere by taking shortcuts! ;-)
Describe your workout diary for a week?
I will try to train a minimum of four times per week.
A pretty standard breakdown of my workout week might look something like this:
Monday: A morning, 45-minute semi-private group training session at Starke Fitness - Strength & Conditioning
Tuesday: A morning, 45-minute semi-private group training session at Starke Fitness - Dirty Cardio
Wednesday: An afternoon, 45-minute Bikini Body Burn Bandbook workout
Thursday: An afternoon, 45-minute Reformer Pilates session at KX Pilates
Friday: A morning, 45-minute semi-private group training session at Starke Fitness - Strength & Conditioning
Saturday // Sunday: Depending how energetic I am feeling, I may do another Bandbook session, or just go for one or two beach walks with my partner and puppy.
I try to scale back on the weekends as my weekday life can get so hectic... I like to ensure that I make time for a break, not just for my body, but also my brain!
Why did Bikini Body Burn begin?
BBB was a pretty natural progression for myself and Moana Bikini.
As Moana Bikini grew, customers became curious about how to get the bikini body they were after; they wanted to be the best version of themselves they could be, so they came to me for advice. While on the outside I might have looked okay, inside I lacked energy and I struggled with my diet. I felt a lot of pressure to look a certain way and I thought that eating less and doing a lot of cardio exercise was the way to get that perfect bikini body. I was afraid of resistance training in case it made me look too bulky. I was also confused about what to eat; but how could I not be with so many fad diets and pills around!? All of this made me feel like I wasn’t knowledgeable enough or ready to pass on advice to these avid Moana babes.
Luckily, early in 2015 I met Simon from Starke Fitness in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast and started training with him three times a week. Simon educated me about ‘skinny-fat’ and explained that lifting weights actually helps you burn fat. He taught me about eating the right foods in the right quantities and I found myself getting fitter and really looking forward to each training session. I discussed my concerns with Simon, and after months of planning, Bikini Body Burn was born and we launched our 12 Week Guide to finally provide some guidance and advice for all the girls that were coming direct to me with questions.
I remember the first time I started noticing positive changes in my health, my strength and my appearance and how rewarding it was after the hard work and effort I had been putting in was paying off. I love helping others achieve good health as I want everyone to experience those positive changes and feel the returns on their health and fitness investment. There’s nothing more rewarding than putting in hard work and seeing results, especially when it comes to your own body, both physically and mentally - everyone should be able to feel those natural highs.
Is being fit and working out just a bit of fun to you? Or do you think that sort of disciplined lifestyle has contributed to your success?
I do love to work out, but more importantly, I love the feeling after a work out and onwards in your everyday life. There’s not much that beats the natural high of a good work out, and the knowledge that you’re doing your body good for the present and the future. Sticking to a disciplined workout routine definitely has cross-over benefits into my business life, even in the small things, like structuring your day around healthy pursuits, or eating the right balance to ensure you get the most out of your body and brain throughout the day.
I never thought that my trying to keep fit, healthy and working out would become an aspect of my business life. But I feel privileged to be able to pass on guidance and expertise I have gained through my partnership with Starke Fitness, to girls who are looking for real, trustworthy, honest and healthy advice. There are WAY too many fads, diets and poorly developed products that prey on girls’ weaknesses. Bikini Body Burn is the total opposite; we empower girls to take control of their fitness journey and feel confident in the fact they’re not doing anything negative to their body.
Being a public person, you attract attention from trolls… and you always handle it like an absolute boss! How did you manage to reach a point where criticism didn’t affect you?
I definitely do!
That’s the blessing and the curse of Social Media; it’s such an amazing and positive tool for so many reasons - business, social change, female empowerment and so. But it’s also a perfect platform for people with a huge array of insecurities and other issues to take their problems out on somebody else.
That, in itself, is a large part of how I deal with and handle the daily criticism; by acknowledging that the negativity, trolling and abuse is usually coming from a place that is unfounded/unjustified. It’s coming from people who have issues within themselves and they project these issues onto other people, taking out their anger and problems on what they see as an easy target, with very little to no accountability or responsibility for their hurtful actions.
I definitely acknowledge that Social Media can be used in the wrong way; there are many people / accounts / businesses out there that use it as a shallow or vapid platform or in a shallow manner.
However I know, truly and honestly, that my personal and business accounts are spreading a positive message and helping to empower girls around the world to be themselves, be confident and be beautiful in their own skin.
My belief and knowledge of that ensures that any negativity is very easily shrugged off. Sometimes, you’ve just gotta take the high-road and ignore the haters… because, well, no matter what you do, they’re going to hate!
What would you say to 16 year old Karina?
I think that’s such an important lesson to remember when you’re younger.
During high-school there’s so much pressure to conform to what’s considered ‘cool’ or ‘in’.
If you don’t fit in to what’s deemed ‘cool’ or ‘in’ at that stage of your life, your day-to-day life can be made a bit of a nightmare by other kids and your peers.
But, at that stage of your life, it’s so important to look at the bigger picture. You’re such a small fish in a huge pond, and while it seems as though fitting in is the be-all-end-all, it really isn’t!
Being true to yourself and what you like to do, and what you believe, is so much more important than conforming to whoever is considered cool at the time.
I definitely was impacted by the endless pressure to conform, but in hindsight, developing your own, independent style and beliefs is so much more important at that stage of your life, and it will set you up for a more enjoyable and fulfilling time throughout your late teens and into your twenties.
Two people you look to for guidance?
My trainer, Simon McDermott, from Starke Fitness.
I always thought that I ‘knew’ how to train and how to be the best version of myself, but boy, when I started training at Starke I quickly realised how I wrong I was.
It’s so valuable to have a highly-qualified and educated trainer to provide full fitness and nutrition guidance on a daily basis.
Being fitter and healthier has impacted, not only my body, but also my mind and, in turn, my business endeavours.
The second person would be my father… but let’s allow the next question to deal with that...
Who / what inspires you?
In 2013, my father was involved in a really tragic and unfortunate accident which saw him become a quadriplegic. He’s now bound to a wheelchair with very little movement below the neck. The way that he has tackled his predicament, both mentally and physically, has been such a motivation for me to grab life with both hands and make the most of every opportunity that is presented to me.
Dad was always such an active man before his accident - he was a great surfer, loved fishing and took great pride in his trade as a plasterer helping to build beautiful homes. A lot of people might disappear inside themselves after an accident of his magnitude, or use the situation to take a negative or pessimistic take on life, but Dad has an eternally positive outlook on his situation that is so inspiring.
I’m definitely not saying that every stage of his new life in his wheelchair has been easy, far from it, but the way in which he has tackled these tough times and situations, I think, is very heroic. I am so proud of him and constantly look up to him and he motivates and inspires me in every stage of my business and personal life.
What would you say to someone who isn’t happy with their body?
Firstly, I would say, join the club! ;-) I guarantee that everyone in the world has an aspect of their body that they might wish to change or improve. So the first thing to remember is that you’re not alone!
Secondly, use it as motivation! Always try and turn something negative into a positive and use it to make positive changes in your life.
Thirdly, if it’s an aspect of your body that you can’t physically change, please don’t stress and let it impact your life. No one is perfect. No one. Embrace your individuality and always remember the Moana tagline; be yourself, be carefree, be beautiful. The logic here is that if you’re comfortable in your own skin, allow yourself to be confident and carefree, then you’ll be beautiful no matter your perceived ‘flaws.'
Have there been any people who have doubted you?
No matter who you are, what you do, what industry you’re in, or what level of success you’re experiencing… there are always going to be haters and doubters. That’s just life… it might seem worse in 2017, but that’s just because the doubters and the haters have multiple, instant platforms to let you know their opinions!
I’ve always loved the quote: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
I like to think of that quote, especially when people might be saying bad things about myself or the business. I just look at it as a) flattering that people are bothered to expend their energy forming strong opinions (positive or negative) on myself and the business, but mostly, b) motivation to focus on my brand and product and concepts, and not get bogged down in silly, little interpersonal exchanges that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
What advice do you have to any young budding entrepreneurs, especially you girls?
Firstly, do it for yourself.
Don’t do it for profits. Don’t do it for the image. Don’t do it because someone told you to. Don’t do it just because you don’t like working for someone else.
There are going to be incredibly long hours, soul-destroying hurdles and long periods of time before, or during which, you might not turn a profit.
If you aren’t personally and internally motivated, then you won’t make it through these struggles.
Find a problem that you, personally, want to solve, or a gap in the market that you, personally, have experienced… and go and solve it, for you!
Secondly, know your customer.
If you don’t truly know your customer, then you can’t effectively market to them and, in turn, you’ll have trouble selling to them, or anyone.
Thankfully, in 2017, this has never been easier - with real time metrics across all online eCommerce and marketing platforms, if you don’t know your customer and how their product, marketing or media consumption works, then you’re not doing your job properly.
Thirdly, have fun.
Isn’t that why you wanted to be your own boss in the first place!?
Enjoy it and make it your own, and it’s true, you’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life.
How do you balance your business with your social life?
Social Life!? What Social Life!? Ha! ;-)
In all honesty, I’ve never been a hugely social person. I’m an only child and I’ve always been very comfortable in my own company and in entertaining myself. I have a small circle of close friends on the Gold Coast, but we don’t live in each other’s pockets as we’re all very busy.
I don’t drink, and because of that, I’ve never had a great time going out to bars, clubs or festivals surrounded by drunk people or people taking drugs and so on. To be honest, I’m so content spending the majority of my time relaxing with my partner, Ryan, and my puppies, Billie and Barnie, either at the beach or at home… taking time to relax and chill outside of Moana and Bikini Body Burn.
- Karina xx