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Episode 06 - Celebrity Trainer and Yoga Instructor Kim Strother:

Feeling Better in Your Body

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Trade your weight loss goals for experience goals. Focus on feelings instead of a number on the scale. Become your own food detective and fine tune your diet.  Let Kim’s nuggets of wisdom inspire you to make some lasting changes that you’ll actually enjoy. Kim was diagnosed with Lyme disease and  for two years of being sick and taking many courses of antibiotics she had to build her health back. One of the things that helped her was changing her diet;  from vegetarian to Paleo.

Kim Strother is a wellness coach, personal trainer, and yoga instructor. As one of LA's top celebrity trainers, and she's spent over a decade creating individualized health plans for clients, including her popular '30 Day In-Home Bootcamp Experience.' Kim has been a featured fitness instructor at studios and workshops across the country including Barry's Bootcamp and Summit Series. 


1:53 - How can we stay active and healthy during these uncertain times? And the importance of self-care.

4:58 - How do we stay motivated?

7:59 - What are ways we can build self-confidence, and how can we feel better in our bodies?

9:45 - Kim shares her experience being diagnosed with Lyme Disease and the changes she made to help herself feel better.

10:44 - What prompted Kim to adapt a Paleo diet in her lifestyle?

13:42 - Kim shares about overcoming struggles in her life and how to deal with self-doubt, especially during a pandemic when everything is so uncertain.

16:14 - Kim becomes a ‘food detective’ and gives suggestions to those to are already on a fitness journey but not seeing results in this moment and how to optimize your health.

19:28 - Jill shares how she investigates food journals with her clients and how she uses it to help them achieve optimal health and empower them to make positive changes

21:22 - What does ‘healthy’ mean?

21:46- How reading food labels puts you in charge.

Follow Kim on Instagram: @kim_strother and find more:


Follow Jill on Instagram: @_modelsdoeat

Follow the show on Twitter and send us questions: @_lifedonebetter

Hosted by: Jill de Jong

Produced by: Mike Thomas

Theme Music by: Chris Porter

Sound Engineer: Michael Kennedy

Medical Disclaimer

Content here and in this podcast is for informational purposes only. It does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment by your health provider. Always seek a licensed physician or professional provider for health related questions and issues.

Narrator 00:00

From Curtco Media. 


Jill de Jong 00:07 

Life Done Better. This podcast is produced for all the unicorns who strive to create a life on their own terms, don't take life too seriously, and are on a mission to make a positive impact in this world. In this show, we're getting real about daily struggles and obstacles and how to best navigate through difficult times and challenges in life. So you can make better decisions for yourself and feel healthy, confident, and aligned. Feel less alone and more connected. We're in this together. From my heart to yours. Welcome to Life Done Better. I'm your host, Jill de Jong. My guest today is Kim Strother. Kim is a wellness coach, personal trainer and yoga instructor. As one of LA's top celebrity trainers, she spent over a decade creating individualized health programs for clients, including her popular 30 Day in home bootcamp experience. Kim has been a featured fitness instructor at studios and workshops across the country, including Barry's Boot Camp, Vendor, and Summit Series. Hello, Kim, welcome to the show.


Kim Strother 01:21

Thanks for having me.


Jill de Jong 01:23

It's so good to have you on the phone, again, or actually on Zoom, because I talked to you on the phone, it's the very first time I see you in person, and you are as beautiful as all the pictures on Instagram. They're like, oh, like, you know, Instagram versus reality. This is you. You're sharing so much about yourself. And it's so real. So there's a lot of collective anxiety during COVID-19. So let's talk about some ideas that you may have, like how can we move forward in these uncertain times not knowing if the hiking trails or the beach will stay open, we may get another you know, like quarantine period. We don't know what we're facing. But it may also go really well. And things may go back to normal. But we just don't know. So how do we implement these things that we want to do? And let's really talk about like the fitness aspect of it, the mental health aspect of it. What do you see that your clients, yourself, your friends, have successfully done during this time and we can all benefit from? 


Kim Strother 02:30

What’s so interesting during this time, as uncertain as it is and certainly people dealing with stress and fear and not knowing what's happening. I think one beautiful thing that's really come out of it is that, and really thanks to social media, and you know, any kind of online streaming, like people are really taking the time for themselves. And granted, we haven't been at work, so we have the time. But I think making that time every day to move. And whether you're following someone live on Instagram or you've subscribed to an app, people are actually taking the time for self-care. And so I think it's actually helped people slow down. I mean, we kind of were forced to but you know, meditation apps, workouts, you know, live or on YouTube, or whatever it is self-care taking, I took more Epsom salt baths over this course, which I love and would like candles, and it really became such a self-care ritual for me. And it's something I've always done, definitely did way more of it. So I think the self-care element here has, has really heightened and I think it's just brought people awareness of, wow, I feel better when I move, when I meditate. When I breathe, when I take five minutes out of my day to give myself a mini facial, whatever it is, I think that self-care has really become so important. And people are finally really seeing the benefit of doing it and taking care of themselves where before we were just so busy, busy on the go, oh, I don't have time to work out. I don't have time to make it to the gym. I don't have time to sit for five minutes every morning and meditate. And so I think the good that will come out is now that we've done it and we see the benefits of it, that we will then take that forward. And so I think almost wellness and self care really have been such a game changer for people and I think it will carry over into the future. I think that's great for for the wellness space, but really for each individual that's really taking the time for themselves.


Jill de Jong 04:47

Absolutely. I think a lot more people have had the time to take excellent care of themselves or better than ever before. Yeah, there's also people that find it really hard to stay engaged to stay motivated. Right and yeah, Um, you know, they may feel really like excited about this app or this new class, and they're like, I'm gonna do this every day. And then a week later, they've done it, maybe once, and they're like, ah, you know, like, I can't do this, I'm not motivated. I, this is not for me. And so how do you deal with people and customers that come to you and say, I'm just not motivated by myself, but they, you know, they can't go back to the gym, yet. They, you know, they just have a real, like, a hard time motivating, but what do you have to say to them?


Kim Strother 05:33

I don't think one workout or one way of anything really is right for everyone. And so I think it's finding a collection of people, whether it's a trainer, yoga instructor, or a meditation that you love, and, and giving yourself a variety. And then what's been really helpful I, I truly believe through this is having friends, that can also do it with you. And certainly in this time, there is a lot of free content. And so what's amazing is that you can do it together. So you have friends to hold you accountable. And certainly also doing Zoom classes where you have, you know, 5 to 10 friends that are going to do a Zoom workout. And so it's a way to connect with your friends, move your body have fun,


Jill de Jong 06:23

Have fun! It’s not that you have to go hard on yourself as in, oh, you got to, you know, run for an hour now. But how about walking? How about turning on some music and, and do a short yoga session. 


Kim Strother 06:37

Be easy with yourself and just move even if it's 10 minutes, just move your body, you know, and so I — 


Jill de Jong 06:44

That's being kind, being kind to yourself. I would have missed out on all this fun, if I had not been prepared to do this. Right? For me, and I hope this also resonates with everyone that's listening, is when I tie a fitness goal to a feeling and an experience motivation will stay like yes, sure, some days maybe more or less. But that big, juicy goal is where I get really excited about if you talk about certain experiences, and certain feelings and things that you know, you will always remember for the rest of your life. Like you won't remember the day that you walked around and said, well, I was 5lbs lighter. And that was the best day of my life. No one, no one's gonna say that, right? And no one is gonna say, well, it was a beautiful selfie. And I really enjoyed the rest of my year. And so like to go through that mental struggle, and then eventually come out of it and finish. I mean, that type of energy and experience lasts a long time. And that carries over again into a new adventure, or hey, okay, I can do this. So what what do I want to do next, it's also tied into self-confidence. I think self-confidence is something that you build, or can build through sports, through exercise through feeling more capable.


Kim Strother 08:06

With all of my clients, certainly, when people come to me and the goal is a weight loss or to fit in this size jean, or whatever it is, I really try and steer people into the direction of the feeling like you said, and take, take it away a number or a size or inches. Because I think it's what it's the feeling that motivates people. And, and I even say to people, especially when kind of on the nutrition front of, let's try this for two weeks. Like give me two weeks, give yourself two weeks, and let's see how you feel. And so and then it takes, it takes off the the number on the scale, it takes away from oh, I can't have this or I can't do this or I should be doing this. And it focuses on the feeling. And, and I have to say that when, when people get that two weeks in and they do notice a difference and they do feel better or they're happier, or they have more mental clarity or their stomach’s not bloated and hurting. And it's, it's those first two weeks that I find that if you can focus on the feeling, that's what hooks people. It's really about feeling better in our own body, which then in turn, gives us all the benefits of leading a healthier, longer life and being able to be more active but it's I think the first part is that feeling wow, I have more energy. Wow, I don't, I'm not congested today because I stopped eating whatever it is that might be bothering them. So it's really getting everyone and including myself too. I definitely you know I struggled with Lyme disease years ago and so getting sick for me was really challenging, but I changed my diet went fully paleo and started eating meat, which was really hard but it was I gave myself those first couple weeks to see like let me try this because I I felt so terrible. And let me see how I feel. And stop focusing on the like, oh, I'm eating meat and I'm missing having grains. And, and then it was it was the feeling it was the feeling that hooked me I felt better, I could breathe, I could think in the morning. And so for me, it's so personal of making such a big shift, even though it was really challenging for me to switch from being vegetarian to going full paleo, but you know, I just tried to when I work with clients, or even with friends that are struggling with whether it's a weight loss goal, or it's they have a chronic illness, it's always really focusing on that feeling. And I think that's what drives people.


Jill de Jong 10:41

100% I love that you say that? And also, I want I'm curious to hear what made you think of doing paleo, kind of total opposite of you know, being a vegetarian? So, like, what triggered that? And maybe, did someone make a suggestion to you? Was it intuitive?


Kim Strother 10:59

No. So I actually, I mean, I'd seen a million different doctors for Lyme and certainly leading up to getting diagnosed with Lyme disease was a journey


Jill de Jong 11:08

How long did it take to get diagnosed because a lot of people — 


Kim Strother 11:11

It took, it took two years to actually get diagnosed with Lyme. However, I think I had Lyme for years and years and years prior, but I had, you know, I would have bouts of fatigue or migraines. And you know, and then eventually, it started all combining where I had two years of truly being sick. And being on antibiotics at least once a month, if not twice a month, because I had a chronic sinus infection, a chronic upper respiratory infection, you know, I was so sick that I was like, okay, I have to do this, because I actually can't live like this, because I feel so terrible, that I was really willing to try anything. And I mean, granted, I don't think everybody has to get to that point where you're so desperate. But again, I think it just falls back to that, that two week marker. And that's where I've had great success with clients that want to feel better or have more energy, or they do have a chronic health issue. And it's really looking at what they're eating, what they're doing, making small adjustments, focusing on how they're feeling and the feeling that can — 


Jill de Jong 12:18

The feeling again. Yeah, yeah. And sometimes we have to get so damn uncomfortable in our body in our mind to accept the change. Sometimes we really do have or do ourselves a disservice a waiting so long. And so if you start like feeling symptoms in your body, listen to it. You know, I always say the body first whispers right? It's like, hey, something is wrong with you, you know, like, just like a little, you know, something that is just different.


Kim Strother 12:53



Jill de Jong 12:54

Okay. Pay attention. Let's take a quick break. And we'll be right back.


[Ad Break] 13:01


Jill de Jong 13:26

We're back with celebrity trainer Kim Strother. During this time, what have you learned about yourself? What have you struggled with? And what have you, you felt like wow, this is something that I really actually enjoyed. And I didn't even know.


Kim Strother 13:41

Yeah, you know, I think lots of struggles have have come up. And, and it's actually funny, earlier this morning, a girlfriend called me and, and we kind of laughed about it, because she said all the same things that I've I feel, and certainly other friends say it's like, this uncertainty of what life really looks like, and especially from a work standpoint of, you know, she's also in the wellness space. And so it is so different and it's kind of coupled with this, you know, hopefulness of like Wow, well, maybe I can I can go online and I because the wellness spaces is actually doing well online and but then in comes the self-doubt of like, Could I really build this platform? And will people really watch it and will it be as meaningful as I hope it is to me in sharing it and will that come across to people and and then you kind of get in this like little cycle of, of self-doubt and and then also feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work it's going to take and certainly I've gone through it and it's always so funny because I always tell other people you know, meditate, and then I like try to take my own advice. And I have so many things swirling in my brain that I sit to meditate and 30 minutes in I'm like, Ah! Forget about it. Like I have days where like, I can't even do my meditation because my mind is just going going.


Jill de Jong 15:06

Do you stick with it? Or do you then say, you know what, I just don't want to ask too much of myself, like, how do you deal with that?


Kim Strother 15:12

I do both. You know, some days, I'm like, okay, three minutes. That was today. And that's a win. And then other days, I'll try and continue to sit and push through and really focus on my breath. It was so crazy, just changing the breath, how much stillness and peace I felt, and my mind was actually quiet. And, you know, my intention was for peace going into that breath work. And I'm just like, it's such a wonderful reminder that we actually have all of the tools we need inside of us. And we can really just, if we can be still and focus on our breath, how much things can change in that crazy little voice out there that runs around, can actually quiet down and just, like, connect back with ourselves, so and then I cried at the end of it, which was great.


Jill de Jong 16:03

It's so good to hear you talk about that. Because as I'm listening, like, I feel myself going like, yeah, that's right. You know, like, take that deep breath. 


Kim Strother 16:12



Jill de Jong 16:13

So what would you suggest for everyone that is already on a fitness journey, let's say, committed to working out two, three times a week, and not really seeing results, not really tightening up the way I'd like to or you know, the area that I'm focusing on, is just not really changing? What would you suggest to do? And what would you kind of like, if you could be a food detective? What would you be, you know, what questions would you ask?


Kim Strother 16:40

Yeah, I think I always ask people what they're eating. And I also ask people what they enjoy eating as well, because I'm a huge believer in what works for one person does not work for someone else, you know, we're all our own unique person. So bio individuality not nothing is going on what works for you might not work for me. And I think it's trial and error. So I think it's really important to find out how people are feeling, and then what they're consuming. And then look at it from there and see, you know, are they feeling lethargic? Are they having brain fog? And then are they are they eating a ton of grains, and maybe dialing it back that way to see if they have some relief by pulling that out. I think, you know, or if it's they're working out three days a week, and they still feel like they, you know, have a belly and they don't like it, but what are what are they drinking? Are they drinking beer? Are they drinking wine? How much are they having? So I think it's really what we're putting in our bodies. And really taking a step back and looking at that. I mean, certainly moving is, I think, equally as important. But what we're putting in our bodies is really, you know, when we're doing that more, and we really need to look and kind of be a detective and see what's working and what's not. And what's amazing is when you kind of do dial back, you start to notice like, oh, wow, if I if I haven't had grains for a few days, and then I do and then you feel tired, or you feel bloated. Or even, it could be something as simple as an avocado, you could have it, it could not agree with you, you might have a food allergy. And so it's just paying attention to what's working. And sometimes it can be the most simple change, to take something out of our diet. Again, going back to seeing how you feel. And it does take a little time of trial and error to figure it out. But once you figure out what really works for you, and how to you know, optimize your health, feel your best and have the most energy. As people come to me to find this out, it's really for me about listening, really listening to what people are telling me, listening to how they're feeling, listening to what they're eating, listening to, you know what it is that that's bothering them, or they feel like holding them back, and just holding space for them to share. And it's almost amazing. When you hold space for people to tell you what they're feeling they often come up with the answer themselves.


Jill de Jong 19:08

Yeah, I love that when they put and they hear themselves say it. It's like what did you just say? And, and oftentimes, we do have the answers within ourselves. But we just need, you know, a sounding board really.


Kim Strother 19:20



Jill de Jong 19:21

But what I do find interesting is that when I asked my clients to actually write down what they eat in a day and this you know, you can all do at home, write down what you eat, what you drink, and how much of it because it's not necessarily that, you're not eating the right things, but you may be just eating too much of a certain thing too little of something else. It's kind of dialing, dialing it in. So I know coffee is also quite addictive and it's it's hard to like go cold turkey but I always ask hey, do you want to do an experiment? Should we instead of going you know from four cups to zero, would you want to do, you know, like half like to one in the morning,  one a little bit later, you know, in the morning or afternoon, okay, I can do that. And funny thing is that oftentimes when you give them again, freedom, because they're choosing to take on an experiment and not saying, oh, I'm restricting myself from now on not having coffee at all, I got to drink tea, which I don't like, you know, it's not going to work. But then they're like, wow, I feel more awake. Funny enough, I felt like I'd constantly needed my coffee to get to that point where I feel focused and energized, but it actually really sabotages my energy. And I feel so much better now. And I want to go, I want to just take it all out and see what happens. And so and then again, it's their choice. I think, choosing from like, within, and not someone telling you what to do, but merely giving you suggestions is also really important. So when when anyone wants to change, it's like, if if you make the change yourself, if you decide that you want to change, it is so powerful, and you feel really empowered in that decision. You're excited about it, but it's kind of like when mom and dad say you can't have that, right, you shouldn't do that. You want to do it. Right. We rebel, it's natural. So coming from a true desire and and really wanting to change for you is is definitely a key to success. Yeah.


Kim Strother 21:20

Yeah, agreed. Everyone is so different and has a different idea of what healthy is, you know, it is I think sugar is the is the one thing that people don't even realize how much they're consuming, sometimes. But you know, you think you have a bar that's, you know, a great in between meal, and it's just packed with sugar, even though it's natural, or it's organic. 


Jill de Jong 21:45

They’ve becomes a new candy bars, because get, you know, we're not eating to Snickers anymore. But we are replacing them with what we think is a more healthy granola bar. And they are, you know, wrapped into a protein bar. And again, we have to be really careful and read labels, right?


Kim Strother 22:02

Exactly. And that's the biggest thing I say is read the label and if it says cane sugar, don't get it.


Jill de Jong 22:10

Because we're getting smarter, the companies are getting smarter about like how they word sugar, right? Because they, there's so many words for sugar. When you look at a packaging, the most used ingredient will be listed first. And so if it's sugar, you know, you're going to pick it up, look at it, and they're going to put it down. But if you divide sugar between maple syrup, honey and cane sugar, then all of a sudden, it's not the first thing on the packaging anymore. It's not the main ingredient anymore, it may be fourth and seventh and ninth, because it's now divided up three different ways to sweeten. So it's really smart. But we have to constantly look and see if we're getting fooled. And so it's it's kind of sad that we have to do this. But you know, we also want to feel empowered in the decision that we make. And so it is an easy way to educate yourself and to take charge, right, and not getting tricked into becoming little sugar addicts.


Kim Strother 23:06

Which I feel like we were all trained as children to be sugar addicts.


Jill de Jong 23:09

I feel like we've gone over so much today and all these nuggets of wisdom that you shared and thank you so much for being on the show. How can we stay in touch with you?


Kim Strother 23:20

Oh my goodness, usually whatever I'm doing, you can find on Instagram and certainly on Instagram there's a link to my website if there's anything missing. But all my offerings are on my website.


Jill de Jong 23:32

It was just a real pleasure talking to you. I feel like you know you’re a like-minded soul. And I really enjoy your energy and beautiful smile. Thank you so much for you being here and taking the time to share.


Kim Strother 23:45

Thank you. Thanks for having me.


Jill de Jong 23:49

Hey, it's Jill. The one thing we cannot buy more of is time. Time is precious. And I am so grateful that you chose to spend time listening to my podcast. There's a lot more I'd like to share with you. So don't forget to subscribe to Life Done Better on your favorite podcast app and stay in touch. If you have a question or a topic you want to hear discuss from the show. shoot me a message on Twitter @_LifeDoneBetter. We all deal with a lot in our lives and it's freeing to talk about it openly. From my heart to yours. Thanks for listening.


Narrator 24:39

From Curtco Media. Media for your mind.

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