“I was getting up before sunrise and was running 5Ks every morning. It was torture. I wasn’t something I enjoyed at all. But I thought it was what I had to do to lose weight,” Fields, 24, tells PEOPLE, adding that she would heavily restrict her diet.
“I’d run until I couldn’t run anymore, and I’d barely eat a thing. Yes, I might have lost 5 kilos in 2 weeks. But once I consumed a normal amount of food again, I’d put 7 kilos back on. It was the classic yoyo effect. There was no consistency.”
“I fell in love with the sport instantly,” she says.
With help from a coach, Fields learned proper form and started on a nutrition course that focuses on your daily protein, fat and carbohydrate intake.
“I started noticing changes with my body within about a month,” she says. “Not only had my strength increased dramatically, but my whole body composition changed. My bum was perkier than ever and my clothes were getting loser.”
Now, 18 months later, Fields has lost 17 kg. — about 37 lbs. — that she was never able to drop with cardio workouts alone.
While she still looks at her total weight, Fields focuses more on muscle gains and lost inches.
“I’m always noticing my body change in positive ways, even if the scales stay the same, because I’m losing weight in some places and gaining muscle in others,” she says. “I definitely thought doing only weights would just make me heavier, but I quickly realized, the more muscle I had, the faster my body burnt fat. Not just that, but having more muscle gives you that ‘toned look’ a lot of women want.”
“You have a bigger, perkier bum. Your shoulders and arms look leaner and stronger. Powerlifting changes your whole body composition.”
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And it means Fields is far more confident in her body.
“I still have goals that I’m working towards, but I’ve never felt more confident in my skin,” she says. “I look at myself in the mirror and see the things I love, not the things I hate.”