Beauty and the body­builder

KATE AUSTIN IS THE DXB BODY­BUILDER REWRIT­ING THE RULE BOOK WHEN IT COMES TO KEEP­ING UP AP­PEAR­ANCES

Grazia Middle East - - CONTENTS -

KATE AUSTIN HAD NO IN­TEN­TION OF BE­COM­ING A BODY­BUILDER when she was younger. In fact, she only be­came fa­nat­i­cal about fit­ness af­ter she joined a lo­cal gym that by chance pro­moted it. “I started train­ing that way, my body be­gan chang­ing and, as I like to be dif­fer­ent, my in­ter­est con­tin­ued to grow,” Kate ex­plains to Grazia.

Fast for­ward 19 years in the in­dus­try and the Welsh-born

Dubai res­i­dent has won a string of com­pe­ti­tions, in­clud­ing Miss Wales 2010 and, just eight weeks ago, Kate won her body­build­ing cat­e­gory in the Las Ve­gas com­pe­ti­tion Am­a­teur Olympia. “I’ve been eat­ing what I want since,” Kate laughs in her warm ac­cent. “I’m only hu­man!”

De­spite that, to us mere mor­tals Kate’s physique is mes­meris­ingly mus­cu­lar. So what is the big­gest mis­con­cep­tion about be­ing a fe­male body­builder? “You al­ways get the com­ment, ‘You look like a man’,”

Kate replies, hon­estly. “You have to learn to not care what other peo­ple think – and I en­cour­age oth­ers to do the same. I am pas­sion­ate about peo­ple not judg­ing other peo­ple.” She adds, “When I lived in Wales I was the pa­tron of the Anti-Bul­ly­ing So­ci­ety. Spread­ing this mes­sage is very im­por­tant to me.”

Beauty and what de­fines it is an on­go­ing topic of con­ver­sa­tion in the Mid­dle East. How does Kate feel about it all? “For me, beauty is not a vis­ual thing,” she an­swers firmly. “Peo­ple can look pretty and open their mouths and in­stantly be ugly. Beauty comes from the in­side.” We couldn’t agree more.

Next, Grazia wants to know how Kate gets in shape for com­pe­ti­tion wor­thy mus­cu­lar per­fec­tion. “For 16 weeks I fol­low a very strict diet. For the first eight weeks, it’s zero carbs. Eggs for break­fast, chicken and veg­eta­bles through­out the day and steak and veg­eta­bles for din­ner,” Kate ex­pands. Talk about willpower. “It is pretty grim,” Kate ad­mits. “But once you’ve got the fat off you can start in­tro­duc­ing carbs again. Do­ing a diet takes more men­tal strength than any­thing else I’ve had to deal with in life.”

What about the train­ing regime? “It doesn’t change, you just add in a lot more car­dio. I com­plete a car­dio work­out seven days a week for two hours a day. I then spend one hour in the af­ter­noon do­ing weight train­ing, for five days a week.”

“What we do is ex­treme,” Kate of­fers upon see­ing Grazia’s gen­uinely shocked ex­pres­sion. “But it’s only for short pe­ri­ods of time.”

This may be true, but let’s be frank, Kate is in bet­ter shape than the vast ma­jor­ity of 36-year-olds in the world. Just how does she mo­ti­vate her­self to be so in shape all year round? “If I don’t train, I don’t feel right. But for the av­er­age per­son, you have to main­tain the thought that you’re do­ing some­thing for you. If you’re feel­ing happy about your­self ev­ery­thing else in your life will ben­e­fit,” she says.

So will Kate, who re­lo­cated to Dubai two years ago, com­pete again? “I ac­tu­ally re­tired four years ago, but I ended up go­ing to Las Ve­gas and win­ning, so I was quite chuffed with that!” she laughs. “Now I’m fo­cus­ing on teach­ing my two classes, Jump Na­tion (work­outs on mini tram­po­lines) and Pos­ing Lessons (aimed at com­pet­ing body­builders) at Gym Na­tion. I’m not train­ing with in­ten­tion at the mo­ment.”

Fi­nally, we ask Won­der Woman, sorry, Kate, what piece of fit­ness ad­vice she wishes she’d been given sooner. “That there is no se­cret to get­ting re­sults. The only thing to get you there is con­sis­tency,” she replies. Sim­ple.

Kate is a cer­ti­fied fit­ness trainer, model and anti-bul­ly­ing am­bas­sador

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