Kim Dolan Leto has combined her love of family with her passion for fitness as the Director of Family Health & Wellness for the International Sports Sciences Association, ISSA. Kim has been named one of the most published fitness models, and she is powerfully spreading the message of health and fitness through writing. Make sure to check out her blog and many of her published articles offered within this website. Her passion to encourage people to look and feel their best comes from a very authentic place.
Her journey to getting healthy began in her early thirties when her father suffered a massive stroke. Sadly it forced her to evaluate her lifestyle, but it was exactly the push she needed to take on a big goal. Years before she had watched a fitness pageant on ESPN, and at that moment she decided she would one day compete. Growing up without a background in gymnastics or dance made the goal of performing a fitness routine a massive undertaking. Learning gymnastics, flexibility, dance, and the strength moves required were a challenge, but she tackled it with ferocious conviction. Her first fitness competition was in October 2000, and she was hooked. She says,
“I felt like I finally found what was missing from my life, fitness is where I belong”
In 2002 with a few Televised Fitness Competitions behind her, she admitted a secret she had hidden from her youth. She had always dreamed of being a model, but felt too afraid to tell anyone. With age comes confidence, and she felt there was nothing to lose; it was now or never. Modeling was another platform for Kim to share her story to encourage women of all ages and backgrounds to pursue their fitness goals and dreams. In 2005, Kim landed her first Oxygen Cover. It was hard for her to believe. She recalls going to the grocery store and staring at it in awe, it seemed impossible to be over 35 and on the cover of a leading fitness magazine.
Grateful for her seven-year fitness career, Kim and her husband decided they wanted to have a baby. In 2007, their daughter Giavella Sophia was born. She took to mothering with a sincere passion and says,
“Becoming a mother is the greatest gift God has ever given me”
Then in 2009, she started to question whether or not to go back to fitness competing and modeling. Being 40, and a new mom, she felt invisible and as though she had lost herself. Experiencing a range of emotions such as, guilt, selfishness and being too old was difficult.
Her pivotal moment occurred as she weaned her daughter. Although she felt pulled to believe she was a middle-aged mom and didn’t need to be in great shape or deserved to have something for herself, she consciously said, No! That’s a lie. It’s not over! Her first competition was fraught with nervous emotions, she says, “it felt impossible getting my body in competition shape, and time to train and practice my routine was very hard to find, but I did it! I got a piece of me back, and I did it for me and my family! A happy and healthy mom makes a happy and healthy family.”Competing in the Ms Fitness USA and Ms Fitness World in 2010, featured on Fox Sports, made a bold statement and to Kim’s astonishment she placed first in routine at Ms Fitness USA and proudly represented the United States as the only American in the top five in Ms Fitness World. Immediately after this show, she was asked to do the Fat Loss Cover for Oxygen. She was overwhelmed with emotion, because God was giving her a chance to share her story. She hoped it would reach mothers and anyone struggling to get in shape, and in some small way inspire them.
As the Director of Family Health & Wellness for the ISSA, Kim holds certifications as a CFT and SFN. Promoting her message that having children and getting older are not the end of your best days have become her brand. She lives the ideal that it is possible to want to be a mom, look and feel your best, be successful in your career, and make time for yourself.
Kim feels it becomes important to carve out time outside of work and family. Married to Bill Leto for over 10 years, she shares a secret to their successful marriage; they allow each other time to pursue their dreams and passions. Fitness is Kim’s passion and where she derives her energy, relieves her stress and reconnects with herself. As a mother and business owner, time alone is scarce. Her gym time is her “ME” time. With a fitness career that spans over a decade and encompasses becoming an athlete, model and a writer, Kim is only getting started.
Kim uses writing and modeling as a platform to encourage women that despite all the things they do, it’s time to put themselves on their “To Do” list!
Kim hopes to hear from you. Please provide feedback to let her know how this site could help make achieving your best a little easier.
Kim humbly gives God all the credit for her success, and would like to acknowledge her gratitude to her husband for his continual support of her career aspirations.