Ishea lost 27 pounds, and she’s kept the weight off for years. She experienced weight gain due to homesickness and stress after moving to Barcelona. She decided that she wanted to compete in a bodybuilding competition, so she had to learn to work out and how to eat to achieve her goal.
What was your motivation?
I wanted to feel confident about my body after losing a lot of weight and then gaining it back again. I wanted to have that confident feeling I had when I lost weight initially.
What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
I didn’t enjoy the feeling of being overweight. I was tired a lot, and my thighs would rub together, causing a rash during the summer months. I was desperate for that feeling of confidence and lightness. I wanted to feel that way every day of my life. Additionally, I wanted to be as healthy as possible as, with minimal ailments. With this in mind, giving up wasn’t an option. I had to do it. I had to feel good about myself.
How did you change your eating habits?
I decided to set a goal of competing in a female bodybuilding competition, so I did a lot of research on bodybuilding nutrition. Along with this, I got a trainer who suggested that I do Keto for the first three weeks to shock my body and wake it up to a new way of eating. After the first three weeks of Keto, I began adding healthy carbs into my diet per my trainer’s advice. This turned into a habit of healthy eating. I learned about macronutrients and how to incorporate them into an eating plan.
I was training for a competition, so meal prep became a way of life. It was essential to fuel my body with the right nutrients so that I could get through the tough workouts.
What did your workout routine consist of?
I got initiated into weight training. I trained a body part each day for 5 days to build muscle and sculpt a curvy body shape for competition. I did mostly hypertrophy routines, which involved lifting heavy for 10 to 12 reps per exercise. I also did steady-state cardio three times a week for 30 mins. It was suggested that I do cardio after my weight training sessions because you are more likely to be burning fat after you’ve burnt through all your food during a weight training session.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
I started at 72kg/159 pounds. Now I am 60 – 62kgs/132 pounds. However, I no longer weigh myself like I used to. I just look at my body in the mirror to see how my clothes fit.
What is your height?
5 feet, 3 inches
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started my journey in 2012 after moving back to the UK from Barcelona, where I was living for a year. I had gained weight due to homesickness and stress. My transformation took one year. I have been on a maintenance journey ever since.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
I have learned to listen to my body and work with it. This is so important to me. When I work with my body, I listen to what it needs to eat, and I simply eat that. Balance is key. Too much or too little of anything will backfire.
What advice do you have for people who want to lose weight?
1. Meal prep is key to losing weight. Do it as much as possible. It makes it less likely that you will eat what you are not supposed to.
2. Focus on one day at a time. Do what you can today to contribute to your weight loss, sleep, and repeat tomorrow. Before you know it, you will see that all those days contributed to how you look now.
I also have a fitness youtube channel where I share fitness and nutrition tips – www.youtube.com/channel/UC6hkLCJjTZC1wxSJ2l7iVeQ