How Lydia Lost 80lbs and Transformed from Overweight to Athlete

Lydia has undergone an impressive transformation: From overweight to an athlete.

She grew up being bullied because of her weight and now she inspires people from all around the world. She motivates people to transform their lives for the better.

Having overcome an eating disorder, and now battling further health issues, Lydia remains positive and reminds us that:

“It’s not what happens to us in life, it’s how we deal with it.”

Lydia’s taken the time to answer some of our questions, which are below.

Why did you decide to transform your body?

I was fed up with the way I looked, fed up with being unhappy and others giving me a hard time about my weight.

I knew it would have to be up to me to change my life and not wait for others.

What was the diet plan or strategy that guided your transformation?

My diet and training changed, I don’t know how many times! It HAS to.

My goals went from leaning out, to just putting on muscle and vice versa. Things need to change to make a change. At first I focused on just losing the fat and after I got to my goal weight, I eventually implemented weights.

Every single time I made a significant change, I saw results. My diet had to change as well, depending on whether I wanted to lose fat or gain muscle.

Did exercise play any role in your transformation? If so, What?

At first I was a “cardio queen”, as most girls become. I did mostly cardio to get rid of the weight but then got to a plateau and didn’t know how to get the body I wanted from there.

That was when I hired a personal trainer who introduced me weight training and helped me to start making the right diet adjustments.

Eventually my training was mostly weight training and almost NO cardio. However, during contest preparation, there is a lot more cardio involved.

Lydia's transformation to the time she competed

Lydia’s transformation to the time she competed

Did you find you became obsessed with food?

Like most people say, the diet is the hardest part. For awhile, I did feel like I was “obsessed” over controlling my food intake (types, amounts, etc), but in a way, you have to be.

However, it shouldn’t be RUNNING your life.

You can enjoy everything like going out to eat, parties, and so on, but by making the right choices.

(Read More about Flexible Dieting.)

Over time I learned the more I sacrificed the foods I THOUGHT I wanted, the better I looked, and eventually it got easier to give up the “naughty” foods. In fact, today I don’t even want them anymore. I enjoy eating a clean balanced diet all the time.

Bodybuilding actually helped clear up all of the eating disorders I had developed and rescued me from becoming anorexic or bulimic.

Of course, others will think I’m “obsessed” but it’s dedication they are getting that confused with.

What’s one mistake you made during your transformation?

I have made COUNTLESS mistakes during my transformation and STILL make mistakes.

Some I do not want to mention because of giving others bad ideas, but one mistake I would like to point out, is something A LOT of people deal with. The mistake of worrying about what others think of you. If I had dropped all that sooner, I would have gotten on track sooner.

Most people get scared, intimidated, and run away before even asking questions or getting help. That mistake of waiting and letting others intimidate you, will only hold you back.

I Know NOW, that in order to succeed, I must STAND OUT from the average.

Which aspect of your journey has challenged you the most?

One thing I have a hard time with, even now, is the scale.

It becomes a disease where people obsess over the scale and weigh themselves EVERY day or MULTIPLE times a day when, most of the time, it is irrelevant.

Consistent weigh ins once a week is what people should be doing. Especially after competing, even though my coach screams at me to stop weighing myself, I find it hard not to.

(Read more about the most important Tool for weight loss)

Lydia after weight loss

What are your future plans with health and fitness?

I have actually just been diagnosed with hypoglycemia so unfortunately I am on hiatus from training.. But health is always number 1.

Weights will not be going anywhere, but after two consecutive years of bodybuilding shows, I am taking some time off from the stage, training up, then compete again in 2-3 years.

I also want to get sponsored by my favorite supplement company and become part of fitness events and expos. I go to the Arnold Classic every year and I want to participate and inspire as many people as I can with my story.

After a broken leg, and now being diagnosed with a serious condition, I certainly am being put to the test right now. However, my friends, family, and followers are helping me keep my spirits up. I just have to remember that there will be easy and hard times, which are part of life.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to change their body?

My first word of advice, don’t wait. Start today, right now.

Start figuring out how to fit it into your schedule because it won’t fit unless you MAKE time.

Don’t make a “resolution”, make a COMMITMENT and I can guarantee if you stick to it 100%, you will move forward. And know as long as you ARE making mistakes and are hitting sticking points, you are going in the right direction.

Just keep hustling. There is no break in the path to success!


Disclaimer: Your results may vary and Lydia’s were largely due to her dedication and adherence to her calorie/macro protocols.

Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and is our lead macro coach. If you need help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see our personal coaching options.

26 Comments

  1. Lexxi

    How did you know how many calories and/or macros to eat? I’ve just started, I’m 100 lbs overweight and do weight training 4 times a week and cardio 4 times a week. I get lost in the sea of calculators on the internet telling me how much to eat a day. I get things ranging from 1200 cals to 2100 cals. I eat less than 1200 a day but I feel like I’m not losing as much weight as I could be because I’m not eating enough.

    Reply
    • Ted

      I agree, you are not eating near enough. Read here. http://healthyeater.com/eat-to-lose-weight. our calculator puts you in a 20% calorie deficit which is a healthy deficit.

      Reply
      • Lexxi

        I’m using that macro calculator now. How do I know what my activity level is? I have a desk job all day but like I said, I workout every night 5-6 nights a week.

        Reply
        • Lexxi

          I put sedentary and it gave 1612 177p 125c 45f That seems like SO much, especially protein!

          Reply
          • Ted

            You can do sedentary on your rest days but should do lightly active on your workout days. Set protein to “low” since your lean body mass would be much lower than your current weight. You’ve got to keep your metabolism going and you have to eat to do this 🙂 Flexible dieting is designed to produce slow and steady weight loss.

  2. Nichole S

    How do you get started? I am 80lbs overweight and I have always been naturally muscular. I started the 21 day fix program and am just finishing up week one. I love the clean eating so far, and while I do miss my comfort foods and want to relapse I just keep thinking how I want to be FIT. Not skinny. I dont want these stretch marks and flabby stomach any more. The workout series does incorporate weights and cardio, as well as pilates and yoga. But what do I do after that? Two weeks left on this program and I dont want to quit. I want to succeed. I need guidance and it seems like the internet is too full of ideas and I cant weed out the good from the bad….

    Reply
  3. the10principles

    Great video to compliment this great statement:
    “It’s not what happens to us in life, it’s how we deal with it.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6402QJp52M

    Reply
    • Dan Bolton

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Reply
  4. WatchMe Lose

    Great transformation. I can’t have just ONE cookie either!!

    Reply
  5. LuckyK7777 .

    Forgive me… I don’t see anything “healthy” about never wanting “those” foods again. Moderation is the key. Food isn’t naughty, the people who treated her bad were.

    Reply
    • Lydia

      LuckyK7777,
      You are right. Moderation IS the key. But SOME people can’t be moderate. In my case, I can’t have just ONE cookie, or just ONE piece of cake or a little ice cream. As mentioned in so many articles I have read, many of those items contain ingredients that leave us just wanting more and more and the sugar overload is too much for me. But if you can be moderate, by all means IIFYM!

      Reply
      • Marta Michałek

        Agreed… there are moderators and there are all-or-nothing personalities. It’s as natural as being a morning person vs. an evening person.

        Reply
  6. spectra311

    A question for Lydia–how hard do you train the few weeks before a competition? I, too, used to be a cardio queen and since turning 30, have turned to doing more strength work. It’s working well for me–I had no idea how much more quickly my body would change when I focused on strength vs. just cardio.

    Reply
    • Lydia

      @spectra311:disqus, you will get MUCH more out of strength training than cardio. You can only focus on one thing at a time. Either build muscle, or lose fat. You can’t try and do both at the same time. However, when you build muscle, you are replacing fat. It takes longer but you’ll have more changes and tone in the long run. Cardio, honestly was holding me back. Focus on just weights right now, then maybe a few months before summer in a year, lean out. As for a competition, I trained and dieted down for a period of 7-8 months.. And VERY intense. Hope this helps! And feel free to follow on my public fb page which you can get to by going to http://www.relentless-will.com/

      Reply
      • spectra311

        Thanks! I will definitely continue to focus more on my strength work. I’ve been trying to lift heavier weights, since I’ve always had better results with those as opposed to the little pink Barbie weights. I’ll definitely be checking out your FB page as well.

        Reply
  7. Desmond

    “Don’t make a “resolution”, make a COMMITMENT” well said

    Reply
    • Dan Bolton

      Agreed! Very good way to look at it

      Reply
  8. sweetonnh

    Would love to know if she has a blog or IG account!

    Reply
    • Lydia

      @sweetonnh:disqus , please see my public FB blog at https://www.facebook.com/relentless.will and my official site and blog at http://www.relentless-will.com/ 🙂

      Reply
      • sweetonnh

        Following! Thank you:)

        Reply
        • Lydia

          Thanks! Hope you find my page inspiring and please feel free to share your journey! 😀

          Reply
          • sweetonnh

            I can’t wait to try some of your recipes:)

          • Lydia

            Let me know if you need me to share any! 😀

          • sweetonnh

            Sure, thing..thank you!!