Kayla Itsines and long-term partner Tobi Pearce split after 8 years
International fitness star Kayla Itsines and her fiancé and long-term business partner Tobi Pearce announced their breakup on Instagram, leaving fans surprised and confused.
Some couple separations really hit home. In part because you may have never suspected there was trouble in paradise, but also because the couple in question seem to embody the perfect kind of partnership. International fitness star Kayla Itsines, 29, and her fiancé, 28, Tobi Pearce were one of those couples.
The Adelaide-based pair, who are parents to one-year old daughter Arna, announced their separation via Instagram via posts to their respective channels on Friday.
The same, sad story
Kayla posted, “After eight years together, Tobi and I have come to the difficult decision to separate as a couple. We will always be family, and remain good friends and devoted parents to Arna. We have grown up together in Adelaide, sharing a lifetime of experiences and special memories from moving into our first apartment and starting SWEAT from our lounge room to becoming parents to our beautiful daughter. Our friendship remains strong as we parent Arna together and run SWEAT as business partners. Thank you for your support and kindness during this time.”
The post has garnered 322,000 likes and nearly 9,000 comments at time of publishing from her 12.6 million followers.
Tobi echoed her sentiments, posting a similar statement, saying “After eight years together, Kayla and I have come to the difficult decision to separate as a couple. We will always be family, and remain good friends and devoted parents to Arna. We have grown up together in Adelaide, sharing a lifetime of experiences and special memories from moving into our first apartment and starting SWEAT from our lounge room to becoming parents to our beautiful daughter. Our friendship remains strong as we parent Arna together and run SWEAT as business partners. Thank you for your support and kindness during this time.”
Their relationship timeline
Kayla and Tobi first met in 2012 at a gym in their home town of Adelaide, and together created a 12-week fitness programme – initially called the Bikini Body Guide (or BBG as it was known), which went on to become the online SWEAT programme and app. The programme went on to garner millions of fans world-wide, earning Kayla the number place on Forbes’ top fitness influencers list in 2017 and the duo a spot on the AFR Young Rich List in 2018 – with their empire valued at $486 million.
Six years later the pair announced that they were pregnant with their first child together in April 2018, and shortly after announced their engagement – complete with a lavish surprise engagement party that Tobi organised for his pregnant partner.
After giving birth in 2019, Kayla launched a pre-natal version of her popular fitness programme, and spoke openly about the challenges of life after having a C-section, the realities of pregnancy and how, postpartum, she lost her confidence in her ‘safe’ space – in the gym.
However, despite the challenges of motherhood, she told Body+Soul that she was “absolutely” keen for a second child even joking that she wanted baby number two to look more like her and less like Tobi, saying on the Healthy-ish podcast “But baby number two is going to be Greek looking, look like me… Arna’s a clone of Tobi – blue eyes, fair skin, light hair. It’s like, ‘oh, I look like the nanny.’”
Despite the challenges many working parents to small children face, the pair continued to appear happy and committed to their life together – with both often referencing publicly how supportive the other was of their family unit, and professional goals.
What went wrong?
From the outside, the couple looked happy and kicking goals, running the globally successful SWEAT programme while raising their daughter Arna. The only clue we have that things weren’t perhaps as rosy as they had been is the absence of each other from Kayla’s and Tobi’s social media feeds.
Kayla’s Instagram is used primarily as a tool to promote her SWEAT programme and community, with the odd sprinkling of family or personal posts from her life – but the most recent update on her relationship came seven month’s ago on Valentine’s Day. She posted a collage of pictures of Tobi, with an accompanying caption saying
“Happy Valentine’s Day @tobi_pearce – I love you and always will…. and even though Arnas first words were “dada” and “baba”… that’s fine, I STILL love you😂 #myfamily #soproud”
Similarly, the last post on Tobi’s Instagram relating to Kayla was on the same day, back in February. He posted a photo of the two of them, saying “Happy Valentine’s Day to the woman I love, cherub. @kayla_itsines”
The couple has both reiterated they they will continue to be family, and will raise their daughter Arna together and also work as business partners in SWEAT – despite their separation.