That’s what Lesley Timbol felt like after losing a third of her weight and taking the fitness stage. Now she’s sharing her inspiring story and her top tips on how to overcome personal doubt.
Though she counsels others daily in her gig as a Registered Psychotherapist, Lesley just couldn’t achieve the self-satisfaction found in attaining goals that she helped her clients discover every day. Twelve years ago, after having two children and enduring years of yo-yo dieting, she hit her heaviest weight. And while 155 pounds may not seem like a lot, for a person of Lesley’s petite five-foot size it was a large burden to bear.
A STRONG START
An avid exerciser for over 20 years, Lesley fell victim to a mentality common in many active women – she worked out intensely and consistently but her nutrition plan was lackluster. In high school, she recalls, her favourite “meal” at a certain fast-food giant was a milkshake and large fries, a far cry from the effort she put in at the gym. She admits that she often leaned on food when the going got tough, and after progressing to university her 99-cent pasta diet certainly didn’t help matters
REASONS TO MOVE
Fast forward 10 years and a 90-day challenge organized by Lesley’s gym caught her eye. It gave her something – and someone, in the form of her trainer – to be accountable to. The friendly atmosphere of her gym was the push in the right direction she needed, and provided her with a solid support system
“Other gym goers and even other trainers would notice changes in my body and rooted for me,” she remembers. It was this companionship and competition that kept her on track for the full three months.
The contest also had an amazing fringe benefit: it introduced her to her self-proclaimed first love, strength training. Paired with a cardio program to help jolt her metabolism and a food diary to help her recognize stress-eating times, she flourished and discovered a person she knew all along but had just found. For once in her life,
Lesley felt confident and comfortable in her body
While Lesley’s personal goal was to drop to 18 percent body fat, she was unsure how far she’d be able to push herself, even with the help of a professional body transformer. Much to her own surprise, Lesley smashed her goal and then some, ending at a phenomenal, svelte, and healthy 15 per cent body fat.
A NEW GOAL
Since that defining moment Lesley has learned more about herself with every mile run and every meal measured. She used the transformation as a jumping board for a new, active Lesley and aimed for another, more lofty goal: the fitness stage. Five months later she was a Figure athlete, shoulder to shoulder with women years younger yet already much further into their own fitness journeys. Even more inspirational: Lesley was 46 when she attempted her first public posedown.
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing since competing. Lesley did experience some weight rebounds, the result of indulging after her strict competition diet. But now, at almost 49 years of age, Lesley has found a better balance and has maintained her ideal weight for the past year. What works for Lesley is to enjoy a big cheat meal with her family once or twice a week, but she strives to maintain a clean diet otherwise.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, Lesley did win the transformation challenge. And since then she has never looked back. In fact, she is preparing for a Spring fitness show in which she’ll be competing in both the Figure and Physique categories. Above all, she is eager to prove that age is just a number and getting weaker is not an option.