By Liana Jacob
MEET the stunning Londoner sharing her top weight lifting tips with her 542K Instagram followers who went from eating an entire block of melted cheese a day to turning vegan.
Student, Grace Beverley (20), from London, UK, was a competitive gymnast until she was involved in a car accident at 13.
The accident lead her to stop doing sports and she would eat as much as she could, paying no attention to her health. She would snack on a whole block of cheddar cheese every day after school.
Grace developed an unhealthy relationship with food where her daily calorie intake would range from just 100 to a whopping 5,000-calories a day, she was a UK size 12.
She then overhauled her diet and discovered plant-based foods, she lifts weights and is now a toned 9st 10Ibs and a UK size eight to 10. She now consumes an average of 2,500 calories a day but no longer counts her calories.
“I rebounded from everything sport related and began to hate working out because it had always been compulsory for me,” Grace said. “I used the time to eat as much as I could and pay absolutely no attention to my health.
“Being a teenager; this meant that because I refused to do anything beneficial for my body, yet still wanted to conform to the teenage standards of beauty, I developed a really bad relationship with food.
“I tried every fad diet under the sun and either ate absolutely everything or absolutely nothing – I even went through a stage where I only allowed myself to eat one prune a day – and nothing else – for a few weeks, which was absolutely terrible.
“I used to eat a block of cathedral city cheddar, melted, as an after school snack every day.
“I was mentally in a really bad place – I was really, really insecure; censoring all of my social media accounts to show only photos where I looked way better than in real life.
“When I was seventeen, I tried to get back into fitness by using Kayla Itsines’s BBG (bikini body guide), purely for aesthetics reasons.
“I did the guide for nearly two rounds (twenty-four weeks), losing a lot of weight and muscle because I’d only eat ‘clean’ foods.
“As soon as it was autumn I went back to my old habits – eating unhealthily, fad diets and not going near the gym.
“That February I decided to do the same again – restarting BBG and really giving it my all. By the end of summer, I nearly gave up again, but I had started my Instagram account to motivate myself and loved the community we’d created, so I continued and here I am. I found weight lifting and two years later have even written my own guide.
“Mentally, this transformation has been huge for me. I’ve become so much more confident and I’m in such a better place in terms of my relationship with food.
“I also feel so much healthier, especially since I started following a vegan diet. I now eat plant-based (vegan) food, I lift heavy and do what I want to do when exercising.”
The feeling of slow progress, created a strain for Grace as she built up her body, ridding it of unhealthy food.
“The mental barriers; believing in yourself when there isn’t instant progress is hard, but do it for other reasons: health, to be strong, to feel empowered, and you’ll go far,” she said.
“Lots of people ask me for advice, but I think mainly my increase in confidence has made me into the person I am today.
“I’m pretty particular about who I spend my time with; mainly people who make me feel good, are positive impacts on me and like to lift other people up.
“Set small goals and reach them. Make a calendar and cross off the days you do something to get closer to your goals; every ten ticks, you get a present. Make it achievable and take it day-by-day.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/gracefituk/