By Rebecca Drew
MEET the young woman who has shed more than half a stone and gained a bum to die for in just eighteen-months by TRIPLING her daily calorie intake and taking over the weight section of the gym from the men to pump iron daily.
Before swapping cardio and minimal calories for weights and nutrient rich meals, student, Rebecca Smith (18) from London, United Kingdom, tried every fad diet and would hit the gym for hours at a time in the hope of losing weight. At 9st 6lbs, she would eat just 700-calories a day, skipping breakfast and avoiding carbs at all costs.
Rebecca hits the gym five times a week, aiming to eat between 2,200-2,400-calories a day of high fat, high protein meals with carbs featuring in her diet every day. At 8st 9lbs, Rebecca wants to show other girls that they don’t have to restrict calories to achieve their fitness goals.
“I was getting so bored of the depressing cycle of slaving away on a treadmill and seeing zero results and not enjoying it in the slightest, dreading every gym session feeling like I was being forced by myself to go in the hope of losing weight,” she said.
“It also creates such a bad relationship with food and body image. I started weights after I had a one-off session with a personal trainer from my gym, I know having a personal trainer is unrealistic and unaffordable but all I had was one basic session which started my weight training journey.
“I also saw more girls getting into weight training on Instagram which got me more interested. The community now on Instagram for girls like me who are into lifting is so amazing, girls from all over the world supporting and uplifting each other.
“I had very low body image before and always felt I was the ‘bigger’ one which made me feel really low and ever since I can remember I’d be trying to do something to change that.
“I wasn’t at all overweight but I only see that now. Every fad diet I can assure you I’ve tried, eating probably around 700-calories a day, which has since trebled, thinking that was how I was going to lose weight and slaving away for hours on the treadmill, hating it, just to burn some calories.
“So many young girls struggle thinking there’s this one body type of ‘skinny’ that if they don’t fit they won’t be accepted, affecting the confidence of so many young people. I’d look in the mirror and hate what I saw and felt like I had to restrict myself so much just to get self-acceptance.”
Since changing her attitude to her diet and exercise regime, Rebecca is more confident than ever and no longer feels guilty for having the occasional treat. Her advice to beginners is to ask for help in the gym if they aren’t sure.
“My confidence has never been higher, I love the way I look even though I know I’m far from perfect, because it’s me and it’s a body I’m building to be as strong as it can,” she added.
“Starting weight training made me realise food is fuel and I need lots of it to get the best out of my training, there’s no restricting and there’s no guilt in indulging in treats once in a while because what better way to fuel a session.
“My body may have changed but the biggest change with changing from cardio to weight training is honestly in my head, I’m a far happier person and no longer concentrate on the unimportant things in life. Watching and feeling your body get stronger is an amazing thing and it gives me so much motivation to continue how I am now.
“I think a massive problem many girls have to overcome when picking up weightlifting is that it’s not seen as the norm for women and unfortunately there is still an association that it’s very manly.
“The weights section of the gym is often male dominated, which can be very intimidating for a girl to enter especially at the beginning when she may feel like she doesn’t know what she’s doing, I used to be terrified that all these male lifters would be looking at me thinking I was lost.
“I’ve since learnt that people are in the gym for their own session to do their own thing, and they won’t care what you’re up too. I now often still get advice from others in the gym on my form and it’s okay to ask for help.
“You just can’t feel intimidated to ask for guidance from people with knowledge because those people had to start somewhere one day too.”
For more information see https://www.instagram.com/rebeccafitness_eats/