BY KIRSTIN CUTHBERT
Name / Kiara Small
City / Eaton, WA
Job /Group fitness instructor
Age / 25
Height / 168cm
Weight / 67kg
TWO YEARS AGO, AT JUST 24 YEARS OF AGE, KIARA SMALL WEIGHED 100 KILOS. AFTER HAVING TWO CHILDREN CLOSE IN AGE, SHE FOUND HERSELF IN A VERY DARK PLACE. Kiara said the changes to her body after pregnancy left her feeling withdrawn and depressed.
“I self-loathed and couldn’t stand to see my body this way. I loved my role as a new mum, but I resented what pregnancy and a huge weight gain had done to my body. I was miserable,” she says.
“I had an awful relationship with food too – I would binge badly and then starve myself to counteract the bad eating.”
One day her brother took her into the gym. Though she says she was “scared, fat and knew nothing about training”, her brother encouraged her and she pushed through the pain.
“I thought that I had done well, until I tried to get out of bed the next morning… I remember calling my brother and saying “if this is what every morning is going to feel like, I quit!”
After a few weeks of pushing through unbearable soreness, it slowly went away!” she says.
Soon enough Kiara found a self-confessed love affair with weight training.
“I began lifting weights religiously, six days a week. My alarm would go off at 5am so I could be home before the kids woke up – I’d do this day in, day out. I fell in love with the grind!” she says.
Kiara’s body began to respond and the weight started falling off. In 2014 she decided it was time to compete on the bodybuilding stage.
As she stepped on stage of the ANB WA State Warfare she weighed in at 57 kilos – that’s an incredible 43-kilo loss!
“I stood half naked on a stage in front of people! That moment represented my journey, not only to have lost 43kg but to have found a sense of self-worth, a love of my body!” she says.
While Kiara said she didn’t expect too much going into the competition, she ended up placing second in the Figure Novice category. The young mum couldn’t believe what she had achieved.
Following this event, Kiara felt a fire in her belly, a desire to do more and be more. Weights had really changed her life and she found a passion for powerlifting.
“I love powerlifting because it gives my body a physical purpose. It isn’t about what I look like; it’s about how strong my body is. I am pushed mentally and physically every workout and always give it 110 per cent,” she says.
While Kiara admits it was hard to balance her newfound passion with being a mum at first, she has now found a happy ground for everyone involved.
“As a mum I battled with the idea that I was being selfish having something for myself – especially during the prep weeks before competition. You have to give it 100 per cent and it does consume you! I have finally given into this,” she says.
“I am a good mum, and I am a bodybuilder. I train at 5am so I am home before my kids wake up for the day. I allow them to be a part of my meal prep and they LOVE making protein balls. I feel in doing this, I am imparting nutrition from a young age. I now choose to see what I do as a positive for my kids; life is about setting goals and dreams – and chasing them!”
“Who said mums can’t do it all!”
To this day, Kiara finds it hard to look back on her life before she took control of her health.
“How was I so unmotivated, not only just with exercise but with life?” she says.
“Now when my alarm goes off each morning my body tingles with excitement. Bodybuilding and the gym consumes me. It’s what springs me out of bed, it’s what allows me to make good choices when it comes to nutrition, and it’s what drives my happiness.”
“Losing the weight allowed a huge burden to be cut from me. I don’t think fat, I don’t feel fat and more than that, I have a positive image about myself, finally!”
Kiara qualified as a Les Mills Body Pump instructor and now helps others mums ignite their passion. She is focused on her 2016 season of bodybuilding and is currently preparing for the ANB State Championships 2016.
“I’m taking an improved package to the 2016 stage – both mentally and hopefully physically! I continue to push myself and strive for a little better each time!” she says.
She is also excited for what she can bring to the powerlifting platform.
To see more of Kiara’s amazing transformation, find her on Instagram @kiarasmallfitnessmum