Can you briefly tell us about yourself (where you were born, how it was like growing up, profession, education, where you live, etc.)?
My name is Kahlia and I was born and raised in Southern California. My parents divorced when I was only 7 years old. I’ve lived all over the place from Frazier Park, Ventura, Lake Elizabeth, San Diego, but spent the majority growing up in the Santa Clarita Valley. It was tough at times bouncing around from place to place but I learned to adapt at an early age to be independent and focused a lot of my time into art and school sports. I am a self-taught artist and graduated from Cal State University Northridge in art with major emphasis in drawing and sculpture. Art is my number one passion and fitness has become my lifestyle.
Your main career has been concentrated in being an artist and sculptor. When did you first find interest in the fitness industry? What and/or who inspired your decision to become a bikini competitor?
I have always been very active, growing up a lot around the water and played water polo and swimming throughout high school and college. It wasn’t until I started working out with boot camps 5 years ago where I truly developed a love for fitness. I decided to start competing in bikini competitions after I participated in a group fitness challenge where I lost 24lbs and won the challenge. Competing was something I never considered doing before. I am very competitive and like to give myself new things to strive for. Soon after participating in the challenge, I was inspired to focus on setting another goal and raising the bar for myself to step on the fitness stage.
You have participated in a good amount of bikini competitions. Can you tell us more about how your training and experience have differed in comparison to your very first competition?
I began my competition journey in August of 2012. When I first made the decision and started prepping I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into. I just followed along and did what my trainers told me. Now have a much better understanding of diet and nutrition, knowing the way certain foods and exercise work for the body. I’ve learned there is no easy route. It’s all about how much work you’re willing to put into it to succeed, and I am able to apply this into my every day.
You are a part of Team Edge. How has it been like surrounding yourself with other female fitness competitors? Have you learned anything from them?
Team Edge is unlike any other. It is truly like a family. I joined the team because I love having the support of others around and the guidance from the coaches. There are several girls I have met through the team whom I talk to on a regular basis and we plan workouts and meet up often. There are also many who live out of state, but we all connect on social media to maintain contact with one another on and off prep. Being on a team is so uplifting and inspiring. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the things I wish to accomplish in my future. I enjoy being able to see what my other teammates are doing in order to keep focused and accountable with my plans. It’s an amazing support system and I’m happy to be a part of it.
With living a healthy and fit lifestyle, what does your daily diet look like? Do you give yourself “cheat days”?
I eat pretty clean when I’m off prep for the most part, 5 to 6 meals a day every 2 ½ to 3 hours. I’ve never been much of a junk food eater before I became really involved with fitness. I try to stay as close to the diet plan as possible with lots of lean protein, veggies and good carbs, but I do add in a little bit of fruit, yogurt, whole wheat bread, etc, here and there. I like to give myself a cheat meal once a week. However, there are times when I do go over because, well, I am human, and I love food. And I confess I am a trail mix junkie.
What does your training routine consist of? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
I like to mix up workouts all the time to keep things interesting. My favorites are leg and glute days. I like doing high reps with lighter weight because I have a lot of muscle tone already and don‘t need a lot of weight for what I need to achieve. It varies from 3, 4, 5 sets of 25, 30, 40 reps. Just depends on what I’m feeling for the day and how heavy I‘m lifting. I do a lot of different type of squats, lunges, donkey kicks, deadlifts, leg curls, step ups, plyo workouts, etc, for best results for killer legs and glutes. I do about 30 to 45 minutes of intense cardio following my workouts 6 days a week. I benefit a lot from HIIT cardio. I like to be outside. I enjoy running the stairs around my neighborhood, running on the beach, riding my bike, and hiking. Sometimes I take spinning classes or meet my favorite friend the treadmill at the gym. I also train a lot with Optimum Performance SCV (training program) where the workouts are something different every time. It’s challenging and fun.
In addition to your diet and training, do you believe in supplements? If so, which kinds do you use and what results have these given you?
I’m not a big fan of taking supplements. I prefer to do things as natural as possible. I do take some supplements through Advocare and Isogenix to give me a boost in energy for my workouts. On a daily basis I take vitamin C, multivitamin, red marine algae, etc, to keep my immune system in good shape.
Besides winning bikini competitions, you have had the opportunity to win the cover photo design contest for musical artist P!nk in 2012, as well as have your musical piece of Solomon Burke’s “Got Soul?” featured on the 2011 Grammy Awards as part of his musical tribute. How have your accomplishments affected your life?
Each of my accomplishments are stepping stones I use to gain more exposure for myself. In reality, a lot of the time it’s not what you know or what you can do, but who you know.
Where do you get your motivation from to stay consistent and continue to strive in your fitness and artistic career pathways?
My life obstacles I have faced give me a lot of motivation to continue on my path. I have to stay the course and be strong knowing the doors will open eventually giving my all 110% of the time. It’s a cruel world sometimes. I’ve had many people in my life who have doubted me and my career decisions. I use all negativity to drive and push even harder. Giving up is not an option. There should be no excuses, because excuses are for those who don’t want it bad enough.
When and where will we see you next? Will you concentrate on one career more than the other or will you continue to balance them all? What are your future plans and goals?
I multitask. I have one too many hobbies and I manage to pursue them all. I really want to incorporate fitness into my art. Aside from having my work in galleries around the world, hotels, restaurants, licensing, etc, I’ve thought about designing gym apparel with my artwork on it. I like having cool stuff to wear to the gym to workout in and I know many other people would feel the same. Good advertisement too!
Any shout outs?
I’d like to give a shout out to my Team Edge fam! What a great experience to be a part of such an awesome group of people. You all inspire and motivate me everyday. Looking forward to so much more that I can bring to the fitness world.
Lastly, where can we find you on the Internet?