Kayla Nicole Explains Why She Unfollowed Brittany and Patrick Mahomes: 'I Have to Move Forward' (Exclusive)

"The love is still there" for her Kansas City friends, the content creator exclusively tells PEOPLE

<p>Bennett Raglin/Getty; Steve Granitz/FilmMagic</p> Kayla Nicole, Brittany and Patrick Mahomes

Bennett Raglin/Getty; Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

Kayla Nicole, Brittany and Patrick Mahomes

When Kayla Nicole publicly unfollowed Brittany and Patrick Mahomes on Instagram last month, she wasn't expecting it to make headlines.

Amid speculation that a falling out had occurred between the two friends, Nicole exclusively tells PEOPLE that "the reality" of their situation is much more complex — and that she's addressed the situation privately with Brittany.

"I do think it's important to publicly address this because I did publicly unfollow people," Nicole says. "The reality is I know these people in real life. And so, in real life, I've communicated to these people why I've had to publicly make the decisions that I made."

Nicole and Brittany grew close during Nicole's five-year relationship with Patrick's Kansas City Chiefs teammate, Travis Kelce, before they officially broke up in May 2022. Nicole even went wedding dress shopping with Brittany and was one of the select few to come on her eight-person bachelorette weekend in February 2022. And now, as Kelce's new romance with Taylor Swift continues, Brittany has befriended the "Karma" singer.

Related: Fitness Guru Kayla Nicole Says Embracing Therapy Got Her Through a ‘Major Breakup and Life Change’ (Exclusive)

<p>Kayla Nicole/Instagram</p> Kayla Nicole, Brittany Mahomes

Kayla Nicole/Instagram

Kayla Nicole, Brittany Mahomes

Nicole says, "To everyone it's like, 'Oh, you broke up a year ago,' and that meant it's like a light switch, you turn it on and off and everything goes dead and black and you don't ever speak to anyone ever again. That's not reality. I have ongoing relationships with all parties involved."

The content creator says she and Brittany "have had our conversations" recently. "She knows that I love her," Nicole adds.

"That's a lot of history and friendship there, that doesn't change overnight," she continues. "But publicly, because things are happening so quickly and so publicly, I have to protect myself. That's really all that is. The love is still there."

<p>Brittany Mahomes/Instagram</p> Kayla Nicole, Jackson Mahomes, Brittany Mahomes

Brittany Mahomes/Instagram

Kayla Nicole, Jackson Mahomes, Brittany Mahomes

Nicole spent a lot of time in Kansas City, Missouri over the course of her close friendship with Brittany and relationship with Kelce.

"I still love my KC people and my KC community so much," she says.

"But for me in my life, I have to move forward and everyone has to respect that. And hopefully when they respect that, that means that they're no longer inserting me into things that do not involve me."

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Looking ahead, Nicole is "very excited" to be relaunching her fitness brand, Tribe Therepe, based on "feel-good fitness" by incorporating the tools she's learned in therapy into the workout routines she shares with her followers.

"It's focusing on the mental health component of working out, which is really, really important for me and really resonates with me, and really just encouraging people to mentally take care of themselves," she said, explaining, "I think that when your mind is in a healthy place, your body will follow."

"Just full transparency, I went through this major breakup, major life change, and I had lost a substantial amount of weight within a very short amount of time. I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't eating. I was really abusing melatonin to sleep at night," she shared.

<p>Kayla Nicole/Instagram</p> Kayla Nicole

Kayla Nicole/Instagram

Kayla Nicole

Although Nicole "was still working out" during that time, updates to social media led to confusing feedback from her followers.

"I'm posting content and people are like, 'You look so good. Tell us your tricks. You look amazing.' And I'm like, 'I'm miserable. I'm miserable. I'm depressed,' " Nicole admitted. "My abs were amazing, I had a six-pack. And it was like, 'I had never felt so bad in my life.' "

"So, I started going to therapy and quickly realized, okay, it's one thing to be physically fit, but it's another thing to be mentally fit. You could be in the best shape of your life, but mentally, if you are not a healthy person, it's not going to feel good."

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