Lyss's Story & Message:
I was born fat, raised fatter and grew fattest as an adult. The cute chubby baby who looks like there are rubber bands in her arms turns out not to be so cute once that baby hits 18. My defense mechanism of being the "funny fat girl" and being a "proud fat girl" found me eating my way to 350 pounds. I had my "click" moment at age 21 when I didn't fit in an airplane seat and I had to buy the seat next to mine. I realized I was killing myself. I couldn't even put on my own bra or walk up a flight of stairs. I had to change. I realized I had a whole life in front of me that I wanted to live. I decided to have bariatric surgery in 2010 and quickly realized when I didn't lose but 10 pounds in the first few months that the food wasn't the problem, it was just a symptom of something much deeper. I WAS THE PROBLEM, I had to change my relationship with food and MYSELF first.
I got very honest with myself and wrote out a list of ALL the terrible behaviors and bad habits I had come to justify over the years and went item by item on that list changing that behavior, figuring out why I do it and finding an alternative so it became a lifestyle. I also stepped into a gym for the first time. I had NO idea what I was doing and went from machine to machine seeing how it worked, what muscles it worked and trying to lift as much as I could...turns out, I am pretty strong, and this turned into a passionate, sweaty love affair with weight lifting. I bought the Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and every single book or magazine I could get my hands on.
When I hit my goal weight of 150 pounds in 2012 I decided I needed another BIG challenge...I decided I was going to compete in bodybuilding. June 6th, 2015 I stepped on stage for the first time, in my first bikini I have ever worn, won the Women's Physique Division and showed the world that ANYTHING is possible. You have to believe in yourself, believe in hard work and never EVER give up. I am currently writing a book about my weight loss journey, I keep a weekly blog that follows my training, diet and contest prep and I speak to bariatric surgery support groups about my success, struggles and lifestyle. I believe that everyone deserves to look in the mirror and feel proud and good and comfortable in their own skin.
I'm just a goofy former fat girl, I don't have a magic pill or a secret sauce that drives me. I am my motivation, a strong body and a healthy life are my drive and believing that nothing is impossible is my fuel. I'll never quit pushing myself because not even I know what I'm capable of.