I met Lydia four years ago during my freshman year at Oregon State University. We have kept in touch over the years and I have watched her turn into an amazing body builder! I wrote last week about my goals for the upcoming year and one of them was regarding fitness. I know coming into the new year many people focus on being healthier and I know Lydia would have some amazing advice for all of us!
Lydia's fitness journey:
“I started my fitness journey just a little over four years ago. Growing up, I’d always been moderately athletic as throughout my childhood, I was encouraged to participate in sports by my parents. Although, they also taught me the importance of eating well, I did go through this stage where I was eating a ton of processed and unhealthy foods. I also would have those sugary frappuccino drinks from Starbucks multiple times a week, sometimes even multiple times a day. I wasn’t drinking nearly as much water as I should’ve been and all of those factors combined started to affect me negatively not only physically but also mentally.
Eventually, I deciding I wanted to do something about it and make some changes to how I was treating my body. I got a gym membership and slowly became passionate about weight lifting. I started doing a lot more research and reading, educating myself more about the various muscle groups, workouts and even diet. The changes to my diet started happening gradually but those changes along with my consistent workouts, begun giving me the results I wanted. My progression didn’t happen over night; but overtime, and with tons of trial and error, I eventually found what works for me and I only grew more passionate about health and fitness as whole.”
More on fitness stuff / goals for the upcoming year:
“Summer of 2015, I was encouraged by many to compete and eventually gave it a try and competed in my first NPC Bikini Bodybuilding show during the summer of 2016. I ended up doing really well and placed first overall. I competed again in the fall and placed first in my class. I do plan on competing again, however I will be using a different show prep dieting technique. Although competing is exciting, it does take a lot from a person; time, money and more importantly being in the right mental state. It’s important to understand that being in “show prep” mode is unsustainable over a long period of time.
What I’ve found to be most important is overall balance. Not being 100% restricted from things we love is what works best. Regardless of what my current personal fitness goals are, whether it’s putting on more muscle mass, learning out and burning off that extra fat, I think it’s so important to understand and utilize the importance of balance and not completely restricting oneself.”
Lydia's typical workout:
“I workout 5-6 days during a typical week. The workouts I do during that week fluctuate depending on my current fitness goals. Throughout the week, with my current choice of split, I’ll typically have 2 full leg days, 1-2 back/bicep days, shoulders/triceps another day, shoulders/glutes one day and incorporating core workouts usually twice a week on a non leg day. Right now, I’m working on putting on a bit more muscle mass and doing minimal cardio in the gym 2-3 times a week.
7 of Lydia's personal tips and recommendations:
"1. Staying hydrated – Stay properly hydrated is key; you can always add mint leaves, citrus, fruit or cucumbers to your water for some excitement!
2. BALANCE is key! – Providing yourself with adequate nutrition by maintaining a clean diet made mostly up of whole foods is key, however it’s important to not fully restrict yourself from the things you love and allow those treats in moderation.
3. Daily workout regimen – Find something you truly love to do. There are so many ways to exercise and be fit whether it’s playing your favorite sport, biking, dancing, swimming, weightlifting – find whatever it is you love to do and make it a part of your daily routine to stay active.
4. Plan ahead – Whether it’s packing healthy meals for school or work, picking out your workout clothes for the following morning the night before or planning the items on your grocery list to have the exact ingredients needed to prepare specific meals, planning ahead is extremely important as it creates less stress and only sets you up in the direction of success.
5. Tracking to stay motivated – Keeping track of workouts and food intake can really help meet goals faster. I find that using the “MyFitnessPal” app is great for this. Also, tracking your progress and goals by photos, notes, writing etc. can really help with self-motivation.
6. Positive changes to your surroundings – Surround yourself only with people who better you, encourage you and support you. Not only does it affect your motivation, it also affects your attitude, mood and overall mental state about whatever it is you’re determined to accomplish.
7. Set larger goals – Setting larger goals is important and will help you ultimately achieve what you never thought you could."
If you guys are obsessed with Lydia as I am then follow her on IG and stay tuned on her fitness journey! I will keep you posted on my own fitness progress and want to know about how I can help all of you through this new year! Cheers to 2018 beebes!