With nearly 21,000 followers on Instagram, 17 collegiate chapters, and 2 graduate chapters, PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT’s health and wellness initiatives have connected with countless incredible women across the world. Our nationwide sweat shows and online presence make it possible to converse with our sweat sisterhood on an intimate level about their struggles and accomplishments when it comes to fitness and nutrition. 21-year-old Kimmani Alvarez is one sweat sister who we’ve had the opportunity to get to know over the past few years. The college student opened up to PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT about how her thyroid condition has affected her job as a swim coach, and her ongoing journey to live her healthiest life. Keep reading to get to know more about the active student.
1. Can you share a little bit about yourself (educational background, career goals, etc.)?
I’m from a small city in Westchester County called Mount Vernon; where I was born and raised for the most part. I graduated high school, June 2015. I am now a junior in college where my current major is Criminal Justice. I plan on transferring from my current university to Albany SUNY to study homeland security and cybercrime. One of my biggest career goals is to work with major agencies around the world to help them fight their cybercrime issues. I also have a love for fashion and becoming a plus size model for stores and websites like Forever 21, Fashion to Figure, ASOS, and Khloe Kardashian’s Good American Jeans.
2. You’ve expressed that you are impacted by a thyroid condition. Educate our readers about your health condition. At what age did you become affected by this? How have you learned to manage your thyroid condition? What do you want people to know about those who suffer from thyroid problems?
I am going to take this answer straight from Google, "Thyroid disorders are conditions that affect the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. The thyroid has important roles to regulate numerous metabolic processes throughout the body. Different types of thyroid disorders affect either its structure or function." When I was in middle school my doctor told me that I had to watch what I was eating and participate in more physical activities and try to keep as much weight off as I could. I remember him saying that my thyroid levels were low or something to that effect. I remember my mom being very worried about me due to thyroid problems running on my father's' side of the family.
3. You are also a swim instructor. What sparked your interest in teaching swimmers and what is your favorite part of being an instructor?
I’ve always had a love for aquatics. When I was younger I would stay in the pool for hours on top of hours. Over the summer I worked at a camp where there were mandatory rules for swimming every day. On the very last day of camp, one of the swim instructors recommended me to the assistant director aquatics and said I should become an instructor and stated to her that I was really good and should start working for them after camp ended. Then it was history. One of my favorite parts of being a swim instructor is that I’m teaching infants, toddlers, children, teens, and adults a skill they can use for the rest of their lives. It can also save their lives.
4. How do you prepare your swim students?
I am a swim instructor so most of my students cannot swim. I usually start them off by doing boing bobs while holding on to the pool ledge and blowing bubbles. Blowing bubbles are very important while swimming! For the student I teach that knows how to swim, we work on their stroke development and endurance!
5. Aside from swimming, what are some ways you like to stay active?
Since I’m a college student and have two jobs I have very little time to go to the gym and work out. Some ways I try and stay active are walking, running, jogging in place, dancing, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. You are a music lover and especially love Justine Skye’s work. What songs might we find on your workout playlist?
My workout playlist has such a wide range but my top 10 workout songs are:
7. Can you tell us what healthy meals or snacks you’re constantly whipping up at home?
I am a very picky eater. I try my hardest to eat as healthy as I can. March 2018 would make several years since I stopped eating meat. Most of my meals consist of a lot of fruits or a lot of vegetables. My favorite snacks are Skinny Pop and Pirate's Booty.
8. You’ve been an avid supporter of PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT for years. How has participating in our organization helped change how you view fitness and nutrition?
I first attended a PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT event in 2014 and participating in this organization has helped me a lot with what I eat and how much I eat. PGS changed my view on fitness by showing me working out doesn’t have to be boring and it can be fun. As for nutrition, PGS's Instagram has given me different meals to make and has shown me eating healthy can rewarding.
9. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
I have been asked this question a plethora of times since 2014 and it changes every time. What PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT means to me is not being afraid to bust a sweat, choosing to take your health into your own hands and working out, and it means sisterhood full of support from others.