Elimination Interview: Lydia
Date: Monday, 2 April 2012
A shining example of the power of hard work, Lydia reflects on the physical and emotional transformation she's made during her competition so far.
One of the most fiercely determined competitors on The Biggest Loser Singles, since day one Lydia’s dedication to changing her life has been exemplary. There’s been no special secret to it, she insists, no tricks or stratagems, just good honest hard work.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we get and you have to make the most of it,” she begins, going on to explain that the transformation she’s seen take shape has been far more profound than simply physical. “I wanted to walk out of the house at 80 kilos, I wanted that more than anything, but I also wanted to be a better person. And it took me until halfway to realise that wasn’t going to be something physically that was going to happen, it had to be an emotional thing as well. After I realised that, it made the game even more worthwhile to me.”
Over recent weeks the ‘game-playing’ side of the competition had clearly begun to weary Lydia, who confirms that the pressure took a massive psychological toll. “I think the mental side of the game was the biggest struggle for me. I can train until the cows come home and the happiest times for me were when I was in the gym and the only person in there. I didn’t realise that this group of people focussed way too much on the strategy side and social side of the game, rather than being above the Yellow Line and saving themselves by losing weight.”
Part of The Biggest Loser experience that most contestants dream about is, of course, Makeover. Having not watched the show prior to appearing on it, anticipation of the experience was somewhat muted for Lydia. That all changed, however, when she actually got to be part of it. “To walk into the house at 140 kilos and not really care what I looked like day-to-day, to being transformed into someone that I really didn’t recognise – it made me start to see myself in a totally different light. I started to see myself as the person I wanted to be. I realised I was someone who didn’t have to be embarrassed about my appearance anymore.
The events following Makeover produced some of the most dramatic scenes yet, with Lydia’s Elimination coming off a trip to the scales that actually saw her gain weight, no doubt due partly to her being placed in lockdown as penalty for finishing last in the Raft Challenge.
“Training in lockdown was extremely hard, with a limited amount of space, to get your heart rate to where it needed to be to be able to get rid of those last few grams,” she confirms. “Gaining that weight was a combination of three things really: one was being in lockdown, the other was Makeover Week – because of the schedule we physically didn’t get as much time to work out as we usually would, and also I snacked that week and ate way too much. Any one of those things on their own probably would have been okay, but three of those things combined saw me put on weight and go home.”
Now what remains to be seen is whether Lydia can make it back into the competition as part of Shannan’s Secret Training Squad. If her commitment up to this point is any indicator, you’d be fool to bet against her.