Left: At 45, Kimberly Whitfield never thought she would become a sponsored body building athlete.
Photo by Tom Nakielski/ Lights lightsonstudio.com
By Deborah M. Walker
Smart, talented and driven, body builder Kimberly Whitfield is breaking old stereotypes while inspiring others to pursue their passion for fitness.
“I’m just hoping that my journey will eventually inspire others to know that whatever their heart desires if they believe in it they can achieve it,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield has always enjoyed working out but in 2012 she took her workouts to a new level and began competing as a body builder. Whitfield says she was inspired by the other body builders at her gym and wanted to become just like them.
“I really wanted to turn up my fitness game,” said Whitfield. “I started noticing individuals at my gym in 2011 who were very fit and I thought you know what exactly are they doing so I asked them they said we’re bodybuilders so from then I started training and started pursuing my first show,” said Whitfield.
To prepare for her first show Whitfield says she stuck to a strict diet and exercise regiment. According to Whitfield, she drank plenty of water and worked out twice a day. Whitfield says she was not deterred by this extensive routine in fact she was motivated by it.
“I embraced the whole process,” said Whitfield. “I have a very logical personality. A lot of people will become overwhelmed but I embraced the whole process.”
Whitfield says she was not an athlete in high school. The only sport she played was basketball in the 5th and 6th grades. However, for a number of years she enjoyed boxing, yoga and pilates to name a few.
To help others achieve their success Whitfield says she created Kimberly Inspiring Beauty in Strength which allows individuals to stay connected with Whitfield while on their fitness journey.
“It’s purpose is to inspire, motivate and encourage individuals to form a healthy lifestyle through eating well and exercising,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield says the body change she has undergone has been exuberating. According to Whitfield watching her body transform was both exciting and encouraging.
“I don’t really know what it feels like to be a super hero but I think it’s the closest you can come to it. This type of training regimen it really forces you to push yourself really far,” said Whitfield.
To celebrate turning 45-years-old, Whitfield competed in the Drug Free Athletes Coalition (DFAC) Natural Pride Body Building show at Dewitt High School in Dewitt, Michigan on August 23, 2014. Whitfield took 1st place in the Fitness Model Division and placed 4th in the Bikini Class where she competed with women that were 20 years younger.
“I hope that I inspire the other young ladies. I remember when I went to register [for the DFAC] they asked me to select a number and I said I’ll take 69 because that’s the year I was born and a young lady said how old are you and I said I’m 45 and she couldn’t believe it,” said Whitfield.
According to Whitfield often times when women reach age 40 they begin to feel as if life is over when in reality life is just beginning.
Whitfield says it is important for people of all ages who are working out and trying to get fit to find their comfort zone and what it is that actually inspires them.
“Find your zen,” said Whitfield. “Once you find your zen you win. So your zen might be kick boxing, it might be Zumba; it may be ballroom dancing it may be yoga. Whatever really inspires what I call your internal drum which is your heart. Something that makes you feel good when you think about it.”
Whitfield says she has discovered many things about herself on her journey. According to Whitfield, she is a creature of habit and enjoys sticking to a routine and pushing herself to go further.
“The whole process is kind of sad when it’s over for me. I was really busy but I enjoyed it,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield is not stopping just because the show is over. Whitfield is now the newest sponsored athlete for FitGear and ABBRx.
“I really wanted to use that to inspire anyone ages 3 and up to know that if you believe you can achieve,” said Whitfield. “I never would have thought that at 45 I’d become a sponsored athlete but I feel like this gift I can use it definitely to help others.”
Whitfield says the support she has received has been tremendous. From social media outlets to emails Whitfield has gained the support and admiration of many and this is only the beginning.
“My heart has been overjoyed with the love from the community,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield says she is still pursuing her dreams and has hopes of one day working out in the same place as her favorite athlete.
“I’m a big Floyd Mayweather Jr. fan and if somehow I could incorporate training at his gym for a week or two weeks or three weeks… that’s what I would like to do,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield says that she enjoys boxing and wants to teach others that there are different forms of physical fitness.
“I would really like to show how different forms of exercise can strengthen your body and boxing really leans you out,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield says there was a moment in her life that changed everything. In 2003, Whitfield’s second daughter, Kennedy Whitfield, was still born. Whitfield says that the mourning process was difficult.
“At the time it was a huge loss and it takes time to kind of get through a loss but I feel like in life God gives us a purpose. There’s a reason that we are all here,” said Whitfield.
In March 2014, Whitfield created the Kennedy Whitfield Foundation to help others cope with the loss of a child. According to Whitfield, her daughter Kennedy inspires her and keeps her motivated. Whitfield says Kennedy is her internal drum.
Whitfield says hard work does pay off. For Whitfield, the hardest part of the competition is posing but practice and determination is what gets her through.
“I’m kind of a tomboy at heart so I liked the training I embraced it but the bikini poses can be kind of different. I just kept practicing and that’s part of that believe and you will achieve,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield says in life sometimes people have to get uncomfortable to get comfortable. Keep trying and success will be achieved.
“I just think it’s important to really become the best you. And that’s really what I focus on. I never compare myself to others,” said Whitfield.
To find out more about how you can get involved. Visit Kimberly Whitfield at www.kwinspires.com
Printed in the September 21, 2014 – October 4, 2014 edition. Corrections were made in the website edition. This is an edited version.