Two-time Emmy nominee Keltie Knight isn’t just another pretty face on television. She is truly an inspiration. From Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, she got on a bus when she was 18, moved to New York City and eventually became a Radio City Rockette. After establishing her dance career, which included going on tour with Beyonce, Keltie went on to become a correspondent for the infotainment show, The Insider.
If that wasn’t enough, she also co-hosts The LadyGang podcast with actress Becca Tobin from Glee and clothing designer Jac Vanek. While so many celebrities stay guarded about their personal lives, Keltie has always been very open on the podcast as well as in the “secret” LadyGang Facebook group. And, perhaps rather surprisingly, she is a devotee of Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide (BBG), the circuit program sensation that’s everywhere on Instagram.
Living in Los Angeles with access to some of the best trainers and studios in the world, it’s unusual for someone of Keltie’s caliber to reveal the secret to her body is something that not only accessible worldwide, but also affordable for most people.
I spoke to Keltie about BBG and why it’s her fitness program of choice. I was expecting to chat about her cardio routine and summer goals, but Keltie revealed her personal struggles to me in a way that was so refreshing. She is a great example of how the mind/body connection really works and how a woman who seemingly “has it all” still has challenges. I found myself inspired by Keltie in unexpected ways.
AL: How did you discover BBG?
KK: Through Instagram. Kayla is famous for epic before-and-after pictures tagged #BBG. I was doing Soul Cycle, Tracy Anderson, hot yoga and just trying to burn calories for hours every day. When I saw BBG, it was at a point where I was really unhappy with my body. I had been stressed out at work and gained 15 pounds. No one who watched [The Insider] really noticed. But, you know when your clothes just don’t fit right and you don’t feel your best?
AL: How does BBG fit into your life and schedule?
KK For me, the problem was that I go to work incredibly early and no gyms are open, so I can’t work out before work. By the time I finish work, I could really talk myself out of working out and eating a plate of pasta. It didn’t matter if I signed up for a Soul Cycle class and paid $10 for parking.
There was this really crappy gym at work that costs $12 per month. BBG is $20. I started going with Rebecca, my makeup artist, and saw results in the first two weeks. Then I got addicted to the results and the feeling of euphoria. I never stopped. It’s a way of life for me.
AL: Do you follow the eating plan?
KK: No. Lea Michele was the inspiration for me letting it go. She is one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and has one of the most beautiful bodies. We go out to dinner or to an event and she eats. She’s says, “I like to eat. I like to drink my wine. I’m going to work out every day so I can do that.”
For me, I can get really psycho if I start to count calories, keep a food journal and not allow myself. When I’m on the go, I try to make smart choices. Some days it’s curly fries. Some days it’s a green juice. That’s just the way it goes. I don’t want to stress myself out. Life is hard enough. Every day of my life I feel like I’m failing miserably at something. I don’t want to put on the shame of failing at something else. So, I try to go easy on myself.
AL: How does having a partner help keep you motivated?
KK: I think it was not only important to find a friend, but to find a friend who has the same schedule as me. Rebecca and I work together, so it’s very easy to say “It’s lunch break, let’s go do our workout.” Having a partner is so beneficial because there are going to be days when you feel like crap and don’t want to go to the gym, but I love Rebecca so much. She has her own goals and I don’t want to let her down. I’m okay with letting myself down. I can talk myself out of anything, but I wasn’t okay with letting her down.
The hardest thing about working out is getting to the gym. Once you start working out and the endorphins hit your brain you never think, “I wish I hadn’t worked out today.” You always feel incredible afterwards!
AL: What else keeps you motivated?
KK” Having a goal. I started BBG around the same time I booked a flight for my vacation to Tahiti. We booked the tickets nine months ahead. I thought, I’m 35 years old and I want to Jennifer Aniston my life and be a sexy late 30s early 40s girl. I don’t want the best me to be over and left in my 20s. I can do this and I am going to work my butt off, so when I go away, I can take a bikini photo and be so proud of myself.
AL: What do you like about the workout itself?
KK: I like BBG because it is intense and fast. I don’t like downtime. I don’t have time for downtime in my life. I like to go in, pump it out and get done. The workout goes so fast because you’re instructing yourself.
I also like that it is different every day. There is leg day, arm day, ab day, etc. It’s great being able to customize.
AL: How has BBG changed you physically and emotionally?
KK: I lost thirteen pounds, a dress size and I have a butt for the first time. I’m not Kylie Jenner, but I’m cute. I feel happy about that.
But, more so than the physical, I really like myself, which is bizarre. How didn’t I for my whole life? I’m strong on the outside and the inside. I’ve proven to myself that I can set a goal and not give up on myself. That is so empowering. I really feel like it helps with depression, anxiety and not feeling good enough. It’s been a really spiritual thing.
AL: How has your relationship with your body changed since you stopped dancing professionally?
KK: For the dance career, there is so much psychologically that goes into it. Yes, I was working hard and thin. But, I didn’t have to work for it and I wasn’t necessarily strong. Now that I’m not dancing, I have to do it for myself.
When I danced, I never had a full-on eating disorder, but I just wanted to be skinny. Now I want to be strong. There is a big difference in my mind and body.
AL: A lot of people make excuses for not exercising, but you work sixteen hours a day and manage to fit it in. How do you do that?
KK: You can fit it in if it’s your priority. It’s not easy for me to wipe off my face of makeup after I tape the show, work out, then do my makeup, be sweaty and fix my hair again. Dry shampoo is my best friend.
Love what you’re seeing? Take Keltie’s advice before starting BBG:
- Go get yourself a cute gym outfit. One that makes you excited to go to the gym. That will motivate you.
- Get a great playlist.
- If you get stuck, if there is a day you cannot do it, it doesn’t mean it is the end of your fitness journey. You can come back tomorrow. Quit for 24 hours, but don’t give up on yourself.