The Amazing Shrinking Act – NPC Bikini Athlete Kelsey Byers

How the Houston beauty went from overweight student to sponsored athlete and fitness model – By Lydia Michalitsianos with Tracey Longo //  This year at the Arnold Sports festival, The Urban Athletica was pleased to catch up with rising NPC bikini competitor and newly-sponsored Labrada athlete Kelsey Byers. Houston-based Kelsey had just finished two photo-shoots when we caught up to her in the Arnold exhibit hall, where we had the opportunity to ask her how she’s managed to launch such a meteoric  career–both as bikini athlete and fitness model – all since entering her first bikini competition in 2010.  Kelsey_RedKelsey’s is a story of transformation, dedication and smart training. She told me she was pretty athletic and thin most of her life, having played sports up until high school. But that all changed in college when she began to make poor diet decisions and saw her weight zoom up 40 pounds to 178 pounds. “With colleges serving mostly cafeteria  foods these days, it is hard for most people to stay on a proper, balanced diet,” she says. Her favorite food during college? “Velveeta shells and cheese.” Late nights and partying contributed to her weight gain. But when she looked at the scale after graduation and it zoomed to 178 pounds, she was shocked. “I didn’t know myself,” says Kelsey.

Kelsey Before in 2002


It was then that she decided to take action: She hired a nutritionist who she says helped her turn her meal planning and physique around. Kelsey credits Houston-based Nutritionist Kim Porterfield of Houston, Texas with teaching her how and what to eat to speed her metabolism and help her burn unwanted fat. Before working with Kim, Kelsey, like a lot of people, tried to create her own diet menus with “Lean Cuisine” and “Smart Ones,” only to find out that these meals will only get you so far.  Now, Kelsey prepares and eats five smaller balanced meals a day, rich in protein and fresh vegetables, that she prepares at home for she and husband Kent.

She even started going to the gym to take part in Kent’s workout routines.  Kent himself has competed in the NPC Men’s Physique Division, so fitness is a shared passion for the couple.

I asked Kelsey what the catalyst was for her to take that first step into making health and fitness part of her daily life.  She said simply: “Seeing Jamie Eason” in a magazine. Eason has helped inspire an entire generation of bikini and fitness models. Kelsey said, after noticing a photo of Jamie, she knew that level of fitness was what she wanted. “I wanted to look like Jamie. I wanted my bikini body back,” says Kelsey, who fought hard to achieve her goal. Eason, who she eventually met, was also instrumental. It was the bikini icon who referred Kelsey to her nutritionist Nutritionist Kim Porterfield.

Kelsey has always competed in the “Bikini” division of the NPC organization and plans on sticking with “bikini” for her future shows. She just placed 3rd at the NPC Texas Shredder Classic, her fourth bikini contest since 2010.

Despite working hard in the gym to maintain her bikini buff figure, Kelsey says clean eating is the most important piece of her fitness regime. “I am thrilled with my results and work hard every week on challenging myself in both the gym and the kitchen. It is amazing what clean eating will do for your.


Photo Credits: Satio Photography (All 4 photos)