Building your body your way, is a series of posts exploring weight loss success stories, looking at a range of people and what worked for them. The second instalment in the series is an article looking at the success of Lydia Dismore.
After seeing professional images of herself receiving an award, Lydia Dismore was shocked, feeling fat, frumpy and fed up Lydia vowed to make a change. Lydia said: “the professional photograph made me feel physically sick, I knew I needed to do something right away”, and that is just what she did. She reduced her dress size from a UK size 16 to a UK size 10 by following a high protein clean eating diet and a full exercise regime.
“Your body is a temple that you’re responsible for building,” the wise words from Cornish at heart Lydia, a 23-year-old Bristol UWE graduate with a penchant for moreish food and the gym.
She is living proof that you can be healthy on a budget and you don’t have to remove all your treats in order to make a change. What’s the secret? There isn’t one. Dedication, hard work and determination make this transformation possible.
It took a lot of hard work and dedication including gym trips from as early as 5am so she’d have time to train before lectures. Lydia realised that there is so much disagreement around weight loss and training and everyone likes to think that their way is best, but in reality we have to find what works for us as individuals.
She said: “Everyone who embarks on a journey of self-improvement will have a different journey, whether that be a different diet, different exercise regimes, measurements etc. and yet everyone expects the same results, it doesn’t work like that. Everyone is unique so what works for one may not work for the other”.
Lydia had tried countless ‘quick fixes’ before finding what suited her. She also was not under any illusion that change would happen overnight. So while juggling a university education as well as a job or two the gym regime started.
Having always been a fan of the gym she wasn’t a stranger to the rowing machine or the treadmill, but was a novice when it came to lifting weights! Lydia admits that when she first started going she struggled.
Being a complete beginner with weights teamed with insecurities meant she was terrified, what was the breakthrough? Lydia said it was the realisation: “that I could turn my music up full blast and do my own thing.” These days she is confident and the only thing about the gym that she finds mildly irritating is the men: “men always offer to help, which can be a little annoying but it is nice to see their surprise when I lift heavier weights than them” Lydia stated whilst laughing hysterically.
Not one to miss out on treats though Lydia started to tweak everyday baking recipes to recipes she could eat. By her own admittance: “I would have lost more weight, but I love my treats,” if anything this proves that hard work teamed with determination and a healthy lifestyle mean you can have your cake and eat it too, in moderation of course, eating an entire cake will certainly wipe out your efforts at the gym!
Have things changed for the better? Apart from the obvious aesthetic reasons to lose weight, other factors such as health and confidence often play a part. Lydia says she now no longer looks at pictures and feels physically sick at the site of her double chins but instead smiles at the hard work and determination it took to get her to where she is today.
She said: “I feel so much better within myself, as well as looking better on the outside. I have more confidence and self-belief and I know now that if I put my mind to something I can and I will achieve it,” although a strict regime does have its downfalls as Lydia states: “I’m more conscious of what I eat now and if I don’t train I feel fat and hideous until I’ve been back to the gym,” it is after all about finding the right balance.
What advice would she give to anyone looking to lose a few pounds, tone up or generally improve their health?
Lydia said: “you really do have to find what works for you, I for example enjoy food far too much, so any plan that would limit my food intake was a no go! Instead I opted for a heavy exercise plan which would allow for the treats and naughty foods. It is also important to remember why you started and to keep going even when you don’t think you can.”