Why I decided to transform
I used to be a sedentary person who sat back and coasted through life. I was into design and went to college for it. At the time, I lived and breathed design and hoped to work in the music or fashion industry. Most of my friends and family were in better shape than me and I wasn't happy about it.
It became apparent that I was considered fat at an early age because I got made fun of at school. I was teased daily on bus rides to school and by random people who passed me in the hallway. I was embarrassed when class discussions focused on health and nutrition and thought everyone was relating the information to me. The feelings stuck with me through college.
After college, I knew something had to change, but I was scared to enter a gym. I thought people would wonder what I was doing or watch me operate the machines incorrectly. Then one day I decided enough was enough. I waited for people who said they would go to the gym with me, but never did, so I went alone and changed my life.
How I accomplished my goals
After Christmas 2008, I set a resolution to rebuild my life no matter what it took. It was now or never. I wasn't sure how I would do it, but I didn't want to feel the same a year from then.
I opened the doors at the Big Vanilla Athletic Club and hopped on a treadmill for the first time. I started slowly at a light jog and managed to increase my speed daily. I went back 4-5 days per week and transitioned onto the stationary bike and elliptical and pushed myself. As the scale dropped, I became motivated to keep going.
Eventually, I hit a plateau and was introduced to weightlifting by a personal trainer. I was too scared to hit the weight floor by myself with hardcore guys walking around, but I felt comfortable with a trainer. When I started weight training, I broke through my plateau.
My eating habits changed and I got satisfaction from the burn. I worked out harder on my own than with my trainer. I was driven to prove people wrong who hurt me and called me names. It gave me motivation and fire to work out harder. Now I pull from positive motivational sources like photos of my favorite athletes and motivational quotes and videos. All that matter is that I'm happy with myself.
What aspect challenged me the most
The most challenging aspect was diet. When you stop seeing progress and the diet needs to change, you must learn to alter your eating habits so your body keeps progressing.
My future fitness plans
I competed in two bodybuilding shows and am 10 weeks into my second competition season. After this, I plan to get my personal training certificate and start my own personal training business. I want to be recognized as a symbol of strength and inspiration to those with similar goals.
I'm starting a motivational speaking career about bullying and training the mind to improve your life.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Never forget what you're working toward and where you started. If you have questions, don't give up. Seek help and advice and you'll find it if you stay hungry.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Lydia's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Firewalking" by Hocico
- "Genesis" by Nitronoise
- "Deathkill" by Die Sektor
- "Faces (remix)" by Say Just Words
- "Killer Fuelled Machine" by Nitronoise