A professional bodybuilder from Stoke Hammond has won her first competition after a long battle with Crohn’s disease, encouraging others to “achieve their dreams”.
Lizzy Lauder, 41, came first place in ‘Bikini Elegance’ and second in Bikini Ink (tattoos) during a fitness model competition held in Hoddesdon, and plans to compete again at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham .
Lizzy’s triumph comes after her Crohn’s symptoms went into remission at the age of 40, and the ambitious mum jumped at the opportunity to begin training and change her diet so she would be able to participate as a bodybuilder.
Lizzy said: “I’ve always been interested in it from an early age. I’m a personal trainer around the town and often I would see people in the gym – bodybuilders – so I was curious about the physique and what it takes to get to that standard.
“However, Crohn’s disease meant that I couldn’t absorb nutrients very well, and it was a massive struggle to put weight on, for example, I’d have to eat blended prescription food.
“Around the age of 40, my symptoms went into remission and I thought if I don’t do it now, it’ll never happen!”
Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition in which parts of the digestive system become inflamed and can affect people of any age.
Its symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach aches, cramps, ulcers, tiredness (fatigue) and weight loss which can come and go at any time, often referred to as a ‘flare up’ when they return.
Lizzy remembered one of her darkest moments. She said: “A couple of years ago I was having to inject myself [with medication] every two weeks, having to fight myself every single time to do it.
“I started off with injecting into my stomach but I got patches which had an allergic reaction, so I then did it in the tops of my thighs - I couldn’t move my legs for three hours.
“It wasn’t working out, so I ended up in hospital to have treatment, but before I knew it I had an allergic reaction and ended up in resus.”
However, since Lizzy “became better” overnight, she is determined to achieve as much as possible while the symptoms are at bay, cutting out sugar, sodium and salt, especially during ‘peak week’ leading up to competitions.
The healthy mum eats plenty of meat and fish – even though her daughter’s ice-cream can look tempting – and does weight and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Lizzy’s message to others in a tough situation is: “Stay focussed, stay positive; keep hold of your focus and goal.
“My daughter was so excited; she came to watch the competition with a little banner saying ‘Go Mummy’. I felt a little tear on stage.”
Lizzy would like to thank her own trainer, Eddie Abbew.
>To train with Lizzy, visit Facebook page: METAFIT- At Stoke Hammond Community Centre