Weight-Loss Mum Piles On Muscle To Become Champion Powerlifter

An overweight mum who lost nearly half her body weight was so unhappy with being super-slim that she piled on the pounds again.

But this time, it's muscle she's gained – and now Lisa James, 29, from Llanelli, South Wales, is one of Britain foremost female weightlifters.

Looking at her now, it's hard to believe that not so long ago the mum-of-two weighed 17st and struggled to fit into size 20 clothes.

But less than two years later The Power Princess is a champion power lifter, holding both the British and European records.

Auxiliary nurse Lisa lost 8st in less than a year after counting the calories.

She said: "I lost the weight very quickly, about 4st just fell off. At my lightest I weighed 9st and was a size eight, but I just wasn't happy.

"I'd lost my boobs and had a lot of loose skin as I lost the weight so quickly. I felt really self-conscious and it put a strain on my relationship, I couldn't bear him touching me.

"I was also really tired and was feeling quite low. Then I split up with the dad of my kids, which made everything much worse."

Lisa decided to have a boob job and increased her cup size to 34DD. But it was only when she took a job at her local gym that she decided to start improving her body by working out.

Now the part-time personal trainer is a healthy size 10-12 and is more confident than she's ever been.

Lisa told the Mail: "Initially I did all the usual stuff at the gym. But I was getting bored of doing the same sort of thing all the time and took up powerlifting.

"I'd see all the girls going to classes, but I wanted to try something totally different and have something to train for.

"Powerlifting really pushed me to my limits and I was instantly obsessed with it.

"One year after I started losing weight I entered and won the 2013 Wales' Strongest Woman competition. And then went on to win the World Championship Powerlifting in Chicago.

"I must have known I was overweight but now I find it hard to believe that I didn't do anything about it sooner.

"But being skinny didn't make me happy - I'm heavier now but I'm fit and healthy. It was the powerlifting that really made the difference.

"I cut out all bad foods and allowed myself one cheat a week and as the weight came off it gave me more motivation to keep going, my diet now is a bit different as I have to eat every three hours to keep my metabolism fast and I have to eat a high protein diet along with complex carbs and good fats.

"I don't have dairy and I don't eat any processed food or have any salt or sugar, I have a diet to follow pre-competition and I use Avenches biotech supplements to assist with my training - I'm sponsored by them and have the best advice and products from them to help me.

"It's changed me as a whole person. I'm more independent and I'm motivated."

The young mother is adamant that powerlifting is not just for men and actively encourages other women to take up strength sports.

She said: "I keep everything girly. All my kit is pink. That's the message I want to give to girls: You don't have to be manly if you're a powerlifter, it's about being strong and fit."

Lisa's healthy outlook is something she hopes to pass onto her two children Kacey, six, and four-year-old Jacob.

She said: "My whole experience has made me want to motivate other people.

"I now run seminars to inspire other women to change their life, which is exactly what I did.

"I look better and feel better than ever before. I'm known as the Power Princess, which I think sums me up pretty well."