Fitness. Everyone is all about it, everybody wants to look their best and every person has a reason and motivation to want to get in shape. It could be as simple as wanting to shed a few pounds for the summer, wanting to tone up for athletic competitions or even slip into that pair of hot new swimsuit or designer jeans. We all have our reasons for getting toned and fit. While fitness and getting and being fit is a worldwide phenomenon, there is a greater emphasis in the United States due to having one of the world’s highest amount of obese individuals—and highest in North America at 35.0 percent, per World Atlas.com While it is also a worldwide issue, naturally one seeks out motivation and personal trainers to help get and keep themselves in shape. Thanks to social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, you have things such as #MotivationMonday or #GetFit, #instafit or #instamotivation. If you are looking to get back in shape, look no further than going online and get motivated. One such individual, who has been helping people get and stay in the best shape possible is Lincolnshire, England-based fitness model and personal trainer, Dr. Emma Kirke Ostm. Kirke, a statuesque, 5’10 raven-haired Amazon beauty, is one of England’s most well-known and respected health and fitness experts. A public speaker, published author, blogger and poet, as Kirke’s resume consists of accolades such as being a presenter at Kirklees TV & BESTFIT TV (Sky, Virgin, Freeview, Estuary TV & Mustard TV), founder of the award-winning blog, MedicinalKitchen, and International UKUP & WABBA judge, ambassador for CRUK and a fitness model & sponsored Elite Athlete with Genetic Supplements, Kirke is one of the top voices in the field of fitness, health and blogging. Beauty. Strength. Smarts. Thanks to her fair skin, a set of piercing blue eyes and tall, athletic figure, Kirke has it all, as she channels a real-life Wonder Woman-type of badass fitness model vibe. In addition to being an award-winning doctor of osteomyology & clinical nutrition and a 2017 finalist for the Blog Awards for Health & Wellness, the 40-year-old Kirke is also an IMDb credited presenter/co host & producer, co-host & presenter of the award web show, DivaDocs. Based on all of the impressive credentials, Kirke will also be lending her expertise in wellness, fitness and health to this very website with a bi-weekly column titled Real Fit Talk! that will cover various health and workout tips. You can actually see Kirke’s first two articles here and here. Below is my Q and A with Emma as we talk health, fitness, differences between fitness awareness in the States and the U.K. and her various travels around the world. Name: Emma Kirke Age: 40 Height: 5’10 Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England Measurements: 36-28-36 Agency: London Fashion Models and King Publishing Social Media Links: Twitter: @DrEKirkeOstm | Facebook: Emma Kirke | Instagram: @dr_emma_kirke_ostm Hello, hello, hello from the States! How’s things across the pond today? Pretty good today, although the weather leaves a little to be desired as usual!! What is the biggest difference that you’ve noticed between working out and the emphasis of staying in shape in Europe and the States? I think that England in particular is only just catching up with the idea of fitness and training being a lifestyle that is acceptable. There has been a distinct movement towards acceptance of the more muscular physique in the last 5 years especially. Women in fitness is becoming more glamorous and so many now want to compete in bikini competitions now. Europe has generally lead a healthier style of life in the diet, attitude and exercise, which I feel is reflected in the USA in a certain portion of society. However, it does appear to the on looker that the USA is split quite distinctly into uber healthy or uber unhealthy. As a personal trainer, what is the No.1 thing you tell all clients in terms of reaching their goals? Without a doubt consistency is key. Nothing is achievable over night and a maintainable lifestyle change is far more effective than a quick fix. For your new bi-weekly column here at INSCMagazine, what do you hope that you can convey and teach others hoping to get into better shape, etc? I think my main aim is to show that despite the cards you have been dealt, you can improve your situation and improve your quality of life by making small long term adjustments. I try to suggest diet tweaks that may be able to improve health and symptoms, or performance and training. I would like to convey to every one of any level of fitness that there are always things that you can do. I have experienced spine and nerve damage following a car crash and I have also survived breast cancer and on both occasions I have used food and fitness to help overcome these and other events and I would love to be able to inspire others to realize they can do the same. What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modelling for the most? I have mainly modelled for fitness companies. I love representing local brands or brands with a story behind them. WildTaurus is run by a lady that has become a good friend, she is overcoming depression and breakdown as a result of abuse. Never Give In is a Yorkshire based company set up by two gentleman following a diagnosis of cancer of the eye. I love modelling generally and would like to do more. Where has been your favorite place to shoot? I did an amazing shoot on top of a roof in Leeds with a photographer called Paul Crook. We were shooting in between storms and it created some amazing backdrops for the photos that almost look photoshopped. It was about -10 degrees C though and I was absolutely freezing stood in flimsy gym wear. I kept having to put a huge coat on in between shots. What is the most exciting aspect of modeling? There are a couple of things that I love, firstly I love being able to bring a designers vision to life whilst having the opportunity to wear beautiful clothes in fabulous locations, secondly I am so proud to be able to show that despite paralysis, breast cancer, eating disorders and my age, I am considered equipped to represent a company. I hope it inspires others to love themselves and believe they are beautiful inside and out. With fitness modeling becoming more popular thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, what are your thoughts on how it can be in creating a positive body image for women? I use social media to inspire positivity and a positive body image. However, I have become more concerned with the amount of photoshopped images we are mow seeing. There is an unhealthy image of perfection that is unattainable being presented as normal and perfection that you should strive for. We should be championing the presentation of different bodies and the beauty in each. The heroine chic look from the nineties was a dangerous image to try to attain, however, skinny with abs is still an unlikely reality for the majority and if they can’t achieve it there is an assumption that they aren’t worthwhile. What are your thoughts on “fit-shamers” I honestly try not to pay them much attention, I have found it fuels them more to get a reaction. I don’t agree with it and I have been all shapes and sizes myself. I have had comments thrown at me and I am fortunate enough to be resilient to negative comments, although it has taken me a while to get to that point. I used to take everything to heart and I know that some are more vulnerable than others. We should be embracing all shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities, religions and abilities. I’ve noticed online, that a lot of women tend to be shaming others for being too fit, too fat, too pretty/promiscuous, as a woman, what are your thoughts on this and how can it be addressed? I am not entirely sure how this can be addressed or arrested in terms of behaviors. Bullying has always been an issue whether in school or at work, however, social media has provided an anonymous platform for its dark seed to grow. We should be lifting women up and giving respect and praise to each other. I try to put positive comments and give a boost where I can. If we can encourage positivity and set an example I hope it might catch on! What is the most exciting part of working out and staying in shape? Many people perceive that I train purely for looks and vanity. A large part of it for me is that it keeps me mobile and helps me mentally and helps to reduce my pain. Don’t get me wrong I love to identify a weak area that I want to improve and then set about making gains and seeing the results. What motivates you to succeed? I enjoy achieving goals I have set for myself and I have overcome so many huge obstacles in my life that I feel nothing is impossible. My motivation is to inspire and I would love to reach a point where I am accessing large numbers of people in a positive way. What is your opinion of the growth and popularity of “athleisure” Fitness or fashion fad? I think that there has always been fit fashion, I remember as I child, sports clothing brands being in fashion, I don’t think this has ever really changed. I do think that it is a bigger industry now more than ever. There is a continuous stream of new “fit or “gym” wear branded clothing popping up. Some of them are more successful than others and I think that largely depends on who they can attract to represent them. It may diminish in popularity, but I doubt it will dissipate completely. With summer now here and fall around the corner, what fitness and workout tips and tricks do you suggest to keeping in shape? With the arrival of Fall (or Autumn in the UK), there is a tendency to desire more comfort style foods. There is also a likely hood that the weather may not be inviting for outdoor activities and I know that some of my patients and clients struggle with motivation on dark nights. A few simple tips that I employ myself are to get up and do a home workout before work, this can help to elevate mood and energy levels. Even 20 minutes is better than none. Maybe find a workout buddy for those evening sessions, this helps to get you there as you feel a sense of loyalty to your buddy to go, plus you can have a laugh when you get there. In terms of food try to plan ahead, decide your meals in advance and cook them in bulk if necessary. I love my slow cooker and I can either put my meal in before I leave for work or cook over night to take to work. Everything always cooks perfectly and your meat and veg are sitting in their own juices so no nutrients are lost. You are less likely to reach for convenience food if you have a meal ready when you walk in through the door. Within the industry, who is your inspiration? Andrea Brazier is stunning and I love her shape. Alexia Clark always has fabulous ideas for interesting and unusual workouts. I love the transformation pictures and anyone that is proud of themselves and happy in their own skin. Describe your daily workout routine? I train 5 or 6 days a week depending upon my clinic commitments. I usually get up and eat before training as fasted work can be more catabolic for women so its important to preserve muscle. I hit the weights and separate muscle groups then I either do a spin session or rowing session. I never run either outside or on a treadmill due to my spinal damage. 2 days a week I will do a lunchtime weights session as I have a clinic conveniently located in a gym so I take advantage of the additional equipment at hand. My morning work outs are always done at home. I have a gym set up in my garage so it is so very convenient. Outside of modeling and working out, what are your hobbies? I love to sing and last year I released a single for charity on iTunes. I have my gun license and shoot in a local range at targets only. I love taking photographs of anything, I love creating new recipes and writing articles on a variety of topics. I am a bodybuilding judge so I regularly help competitors with posing and advice on their physiques. Eating out with friends is a rarity but one of my absolute favorite things, I love food and my friends and family. Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs? I have been raised in a rugby family and consequently enjoy watching a good game no matter whom is playing. I love sport generally and will pretty much watch and get involved in anything. I have patients that are ranked as amateur through to professional in boxing, strongman, rugby, sailing, disability sports and I try to support them in person whenever I can. What are your favorite cities to travel to? OOh where haven’t I loved? There is very few places that I have visited that I wouldn’t return to. Here are a few- Morocco Budapest Hong Kong New York Philadelphia Los Angeles Bangkok Wellington What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into fitness modeling? I would say before you do anything, find a photographer you feel comfortable with that is experienced in fitness shoots. A fitness shoot is very different to a fashion shoot, even down to poses and hand positions. If you enjoy being in front of the camera and you can handle taking directions then it could be a path for you. You should be prepared for rejections and realize that they are not personal. There are also an awful lot of unscrupulous individuals that will try to take advantage of people trying to break through into the industry. Plan your shoots if you are depleting for them as you need to look after yourself. If you are quite happy to do shoots in an “off season” then it gives you far more opportunities. Special thanks to Emma for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. All images are used with permission and are the rightful property of their respective owners.