real life

'One day you wake up and it hits you.' Kayla Itsines on knowing he's not your person.

When Kayla Itsines' fitness empire was at its peak, there was a lot more going on. The OG fitness influencer was at her worst "mentally and physically".

She ended her relationship with her business partner and fiance Tobi Pearce and they later sold their company for hundreds of millions of dollars.

"We are different people; with different morals," Itsines told Kate Langbroek on this week’s episode of Mamamia’s No Filter podcast. "It works so well in business... but we were very young."


Kayla Itsines met her former partner, who was also a personal trainer, Tobi Pearce, at the gym. They co-founded the High Impact with Kayla (formerly BBG) programs and later the Sweat app together.

"My strengths were creative, speaking to people, understanding women [and] doing the boot camps," the 32-year-old said.

"Getting in there and feeding back what women want."

"[While Tobi] was really level-headed and logical," Itsines said. "That works fantastically in business; and I think Tobi will agree, not so well in a relationship."

Itsines and Pearce were together for eight years. They were engaged for two and welcomed their daughter, Arna, in 2019. But a year later, it "hit" Itsines that she had to end the relationship.

"I think this will relate to so many women, and it's gonna sound really weird. But one day you wake up, and it just hits you. I woke up and I was like, 'This isn't working. This isn't for me,'" she recalled.

Itsines said it came down to her and Pearce being too different.

How Glennon Doyle untamed her marriage. Post continues below.


Video via YouTube.

"When you think something is working, it might be working in one area — that is business. And it was a fantastic business and rewarding business," she said.

"But as humans, in a relationship for the rest of your life, if you are the polar opposite, like we were in business you're not going to connect romantically."

"People say opposites attract, but I disagree."

In the end, Itsines says it was a gut feeling of knowing "this isn't quite right".

"Tobi is a great person, but he's just not my person. It took time to realise that," she said.

In August 2020, Itsines and Pearce confirmed they had split, saying they would "always be family, and remain good friends and devoted parents" to their daughter. Both of them are in new relationships.

Around a year later, Itsines started dating Jae Woodroffe. He changed everything for her.

"I was actually best friends with Jae's sister, so you know they're always there but you never see them. Jae and I were really close friends, and we had also both become single at the same time," she recalled.

It was when the pair were driving together one day that their relationship changed from a friendship to something more.

"We were driving and wondering what to do with our lives and I was like, 'Maybe we should just build a friends' house and all live there.' Then he said, 'Or we could be together'," Itsines said.


"He put the idea in my head, and it kind of made sense because we work together all the time and if either of us had partners they wouldn't like us being so close with one another. 

"It kind of hit me. I had been in the wrong spot and the right person was waiting. It was Jae."

Itsines and Woodroffe welcomed a son, Jax, in January 2023, and married in December that same year.

Their wedding was done with minimal bells and whistles. 

"We were the most calm people in the whole world when it came to our wedding," she told Kate Langbroek. 


"I got my dress in two seconds, I decided on my ring in two seconds. The wedding was at my house."

There were 70 guests, including Woodroffe's mother, who passed away from cancer just two months later.

"We honestly did the wedding for her," Itsines said. "We wanted a wedding so she could see her son get married. It was an amazing day."

Reflecting on her marriage now, the entrepreneur told No Filter that finding a "best friend" in her husband was the best thing to happen. 

"My husband now, we're just so similar and we're best friends. The first thing that goes right in my life in a day, I'll call him. If I want to go on a holiday, I want him with me. He's my best friend. 

"And that was not the case [with Pearce]. You just want to be with your best friend," she said.

"I'm happy with the basics. As long as my family is healthy, I get to travel around, I have the freedom to be able to spend time with my kids and family, then I'm truly happy. 

"And I have the best husband in the world."

You can listen to the full interview with Kayla Itsines on Mamamia's No Filter now.

Feature Image: Instagram @kayla_itsines.

Kayla Itsine's book 'Reboot' is available to purchase here.

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