It took years of trial and error for Lisa Locatelli to find the perfect balance – of diet, exercise and mindset – that would get her to what she considered to be her happy place. Little did she know when she first started on her journey, that happy place wasn’t a number on the scale. Now, at 43 years old, she is living her best life – in all aspects.
“I had an unrealistic goal weight that I could not consistently maintain,” she says of her early years in fitness. “I also had a mindset that being skinny was the same as being fit. Little did I know!
“I now know this is the weight I am naturally meant to be, and from here I can shred or build based on my desired physique, with the appropriate food intake tailored for those results.”
A NEEDED CHANGE
Following the birth of her third child, Lisa entered a lifestyle revolution. Feeling listless and weaker than ever, she felt determined to get to a place where she was comfortable in her own skin and proud of what she had accomplished. More importantly, she wanted to inspire her young daughters by being a walking example that self-care is an important part of health and happiness.
“I want to show them that hard work pays off and that determination, consistency and drive get you results,” she explains. “But I also want to set a good example in terms of what a healthy lifestyle consists of, including understanding and building a positive relationship with food as well as the benefits of staying active through whatever activity they choose.”
She began her fitness foray with early morning HIIT training before quickly moving onto long-distance running. In fact, Lisa absolutely killed her first half-marathon after training for a mere six weeks.
Weight training soon followed her cardio kick, and before she knew it, Lisa found herself signing up for CrossFit classes and Tough Mudders. She credits her significant other with giving her the push to keep reaching higher.
“My boyfriend was a huge source of motivation and inspiration,” she remembers. “He taught me a lot about technique and kept encouraging me to keep going and push harder, and kept my confidence up by reassuring me that changes and results were showing. Having a positive influence and support was so empowering.”
Once she lost the weight she had set out to – a weight that reflected and supported her abilities and strength, not a strict number – Lisa turned her attention to the workout facet that she knew was spurring the most change: lifting weights. This new, slightly more intense training schedule honed her focus and helped her become stronger and more empowered in her own body.
In many ways, her new exercise ambition helped her to find true contentment, all while meeting a longtime personal objective.
“My true goal throughout these all these years was to one day see myself in a fitness magazine,” says Lisa. “I would admire the fitness professionals in magazines or the fitness models on the covers and secretly wish that I could be them. To be considered among those athletes was an incredible dream.”
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Getting to this place hasn’t been easy, and Lisa admits her dedication has been tested in the past – a busy mom schedule will do that to you. But though her resolve has wavered previously, she’s persevered and proved to everyone, including herself, that she can exceed expectations.
“I am an individual who is either all in or nothing,” she reveals. “I had a hard time finding a balance at the beginning of COVID. When I decided I wasn’t going to let it get in the way, I just kept on going.” She now has a home gym that contains everything she needs to work up a sweat, guaranteeing that no matter the global health forecast, she’ll be able to keep at it.
Though this may seem to be a natural place to end this story, Lisa is quick to correct that assumption. As she notes, her journey is far from over.
“The journey to reach your goals is not straightforward,” she notes. “You will hit bumps in the road. You will have setbacks. You will be challenged because of other influences or circumstances in your life. You will feel down. You will have injuries. It’s not easy.
“But the only key you need to unlock your potential is to be consistent. Motivation is not enough – motivation weens. Keeping yourself accountable and consistent will be what spurs you to keep going, keep learning, keep evolving and reach those goals. Above all, be proud of all your achievements.”
Lisa at a Glance
Fave healthy snack: Smoothies
Fave splurge food: Ice cream
Fave cardio: Sports, especially volleyball
Fave mantra: Tomorrow is another day.
Fitness idol: Tia-Clair Toomey
Photos by Ryan Gonsalves