A woman who shrank from a size 24 to a size 10 can now lift the amount she used to weigh after getting into powerlifting.
Just two years ago Lynzi Shepherd was snacking on four packets of crisps before lunch and weighed an unhealthy 19 stone.
The NHS manager, 29, claims she was ‘addicted’ to eating and although she had tried dieting numerous times she couldn’t keep the weight off, Mirror UK reports.
It was only when she took part in a half marathon to raise money for Cancer Research UK that she realised quite how unfit she had become, the Manchester Evening News reported .
“I was completely unfit, blagged my way through it and I was dying at the end of it,” said Lynzi.
“My friend kept saying ‘we can stop if you want to’ but it was clear determination on my part. I looked around and thought ‘if people on chemo can do it I can do it’.”
Lynzi, from Ashton, had hired a personal trainer and hit the gym, managing to shed three stone in as many months.
She ditched high-calorie takeaways in favour of salads, veg and rice and started a new relationship with a weightlifter.
“I kept saying I wanted to make my bum curvy and he told me to start doing squats. In April I went to the Olympic Weights Gym in Ashton and found a new love of weights.
“I already had strength in my legs because I was used to carrying around a lot of weight so I started to dabble in powerlifting.”
Petite Lynzi, who is just 5ft 1in tall, entered her first powerlifting competition in June and managed to scoop second place.
During the competition she managed to squat 120KG, which is what she used to weigh. She also benchpressed 57.5kg, which is the weight she lost, and deadlifted 125kg.
Now a size 10, Lynzi says her focus is on health and fitness and insists that anyone can change their life for the better.
She said: “To anyone who is hoping to lose weight I would say don’t beat yourself up and don’t constantly think of the scales.
“Winning second place in the competition was monumental. Powerlifting has really helped me get my head around how far I have come. I have stopped calling it a journey and now just call it my lifestyle.”
Lynzi now hopes to inspire others who are struggling with their weight to start powertlifting.
“I used to have a lazy attitude and, although I had career goals, I was sluggish with no drive,” she said.
“I’ve always had a bad relationship with food. I moved from working late nights into an office job which meant I was at my desk all day. I would think nothing of having three or four packets of crisps before lunch.
“Nobody said anything because nobody dares to say something to a fat person. But if anyone had asked if I was happy I would have said ‘absolutely not’.
“I think there’s a lack of understanding about addiction to food. I will always be an overeater but I have put things in place to control it. I still eat quite a lot of food but it’s the right food.
“It’s the motivation that’s important. It’s about learning to have your head in the game. If you have a little bit of motivation then grab it.”
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