This Interview with a Personal Trainer is with my friend Kimberly Romero, a fellow Pastry Chef turned personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder. Here, she answers 12 questions on health, fitness, dessert, and balancing it all.
“Have you ever heard of a competitive bodybuilder that ate desserts?”
If I didn’t already know Kimee, I would probably say no.
On Parsnips and Pastries, I strive to bring you healthy, accessible recipes and easy-to-follow advice on living a healthier lifestyle. But I’m all about balance. I eat cake at birthday parties (or maybe on a Wednesday, whichever), I drink champagne, and I have a few cheat days. And I find Kimee’s story one of the best examples of how it’s possible to achieve balance in a healthy lifestyle.
I first met Kimee when we worked together in the Pastry Kitchen of San Diego’s largest hotel. That’s right, Kimee was a Pastry Chef before becoming a personal trainer and competitive body builder. Say what?
She was talented, passionate, and funny. We instantly bonded over our love of cake and tacos. We would create new dessert recipes together, host dinner parties together, and have living room campouts that involved Tangled and wine. Although there’s been many miles between us for several years, she still remains one of my closest friends. We always support and respect each other.
This chick is such a BAMF that she won the first NPC Bikini Competition that she ever competed in. See below.
So naturally, I wanted to pick her brain and share it with you guys. I mean, can you be healthy and fit and eat dessert once, twice a week? Kimee does, and she shares her importance of balance with us in this Interview with a Personal Trainer below.
What gives her motivation? How does she balance dessert and fitness? What’s a typical day of eating and exercise look like for her?
She answers these questions and more below, in our Interview with a Personal Trainer, Competitive Bodybuilder, Ex-Pastry Chef, and Amazing Lady. (That’s the super-long-title-version.)
Interview with a Personal Trainer: 20 Questions on Health, Fitness, and Pastries
In this Interview with a Personal Trainer and Competitive Bodybuilder, Kimberly defines what “balance” means to her, how to deal with temptations, how to keep your workouts interesting, and more.
Hi, Kimee! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview. I know our readers will enjoy it. Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do to our readers?
My name is Kimberly (Kimee) Romero, I am a personal trainer and lifestyle persuader!
Three years ago you were a Pastry Chef working at a hotel, surrounded by pastries and sweets. What made you become a personal trainer, and what was that transition like?
I am a foodie, like many others, with a passion for making sweets and beautiful cakes. The downside to that is my lack of self-discipline when it comes to eating them! Have you ever heard of a competitive bodybuilder that ate desserts? I’m still not quite sure how I did it. I did realize, however, that there were many people out there struggling with the “everything in proportion” principle. That’s when my second passion took off.
Parsnips and Pastries is all about balance. How do you incorporate balance into your daily life?
Balance, to me, is a healthy lifestyle. It’s not a “diet” and it shouldn’t be unpleasant. It’s a way of life that incorporates good nutrition with occasional treats, and exercise along with relaxation. By being in good health but not depriving yourself of life’s guilty pleasures, you’re sure to have balance that creates a lifestyle of success. With that said, I too enjoy desserts once, twice… a few times a week.
When you were training for competition and working in a hotel’s Pastry kitchen, how did you resist sweets? What is your best advice for avoiding temptations?
While training for the competition and working in the kitchen I did my best to not completely restrict sugar. For me it’s all a mental battle, the word restrict seems to make me crave it more. Therefore, if I couldn’t get a brownie out of my mind, I’d go for a bite!
What does a typical day of eating include for you?
A typical day of eating usually consists of some form of omelet in the morning (and coffee of course!), a protein shake between clients, two to three mostly plant-based meals, and some chocolate-y oatmeal at night (if not a small treat like I mentioned earlier).
What does a typical week of exercise look like? How do you change up your routine, and where do you get #fitspiration from?
A typical week of exercise for me contains either three or four resistance training days (and I go heavy!), as well as three spin class days. Cardio for me has always been challenging inside. Prior to spin I would use the rowing machine for endurance training because of the muscles it engages. It’s all about switching it up and trying new things to see what you enjoy!
You competed in and won your first ever NPC Bikini Competition. What was that experience like for you?
Winning my first NPC competition was breath-taking. That first competition was the most nerve-racking thing I had ever done. Being up on that stage, in an itsy bitsy bikini, knowing everyone was staring only at me… my teeth never chattered so hard. After “battling it out” for the overall place, it felt surreal to hear my name called. People still ask me why I did it. Those months of hard work, educating myself, and uncertainty weren’t just for those few moments on stage, it was for the realization that I could do anything I put my mind to.
Are you currently training for any upcoming competitions? How do you find balance in between competing, personal training, and life?
I’m not currently training for any competitions, even though sometimes I realize my everyday life isn’t too different from when I was. I’m enjoying the freedom that comes with a balanced healthy lifestyle, meaning I’m not stressing over every workout and meal. If friends want to go stand up paddleboarding one day I’m definitely taking that option over the gym! If my personal training business increases I’d rather help those clients then worry over how long I’ll have to train myself. For me it’s about having flexibility to balance everything and not stressing when it doesn’t go quite as planned.
How would you describe your philosophy on health and fitness?
My philosophy on health and fitness is to train and feed your body what it needs in order to live your life to the fullest. Why would you want anything less?
Who or what gives you the most inspiration?
It might be odd to say, but I inspire myself. I’m not trying to be like anyone else, I’m just trying to feel great. Once you know how healthy feels, what the strength on your body makes you capable of, you want to keep it that way.
To someone just getting started looking to live a healthier lifestyle and incorporate fitness, what would your advice to them be?
My advice to them would be patience. If you can be patient and stick with the changes you’ve decided to make with your food choices and exercises, it’ll shift into being your normal lifestyle. It will happen.
What are your picks for the following perfect meals?
Breakfast: omelet loaded with veggies, salsa, avocado, and a little cheese
Pre-workout: protein shake
Post-workout: sweet potatoes
Dinner: a fun vegetable dish with fish
Snacks: hummus and sweet peppers
Thank you so much to Kimee for taking the time to do this Interview with a Personal Trainer post. Do you have any additional questions for Kimee? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to Hire Kimee?
Really liked what Kimee had to say in our Interview with a Personal Trainer? Hire her! If you are in the Austin, TX area, e-mail Kimee to inquire about personal training. You can also reach her and follow her on Instagram for lots of #fitspiration.