Isabel Lahela is a 53kg Olympics weightlifter, internationally published model, fitness entrepreneur, and positive body image advocate. She wants to inspire girls and guys everywhere to not only get fit and in the gym but to reap all the benefits of weight training. Isabel is a retired dancer of 15 years and dealt with body image and eating issues her whole life. Isabel is also a recent graduate of the University of Toronto with a degree in architecture.
HealthGreatness: How did you get into fitness?
Isabel: I got into fitness through dancing. I danced for 15 years and quit when I started university. Without dance taking up all my time I needed a new physical challenge so I started going to the gym!
HealthGreatness: Instead of just being a regular gym workouts, what made you get into weight lifting?
Isabel: I wasn’t really sure exactly what to do in the gym on my own to achieve my goals so I found Crossfit, which then led me to weightlifting.
HealthGreatness: What does your weekly workout schedule look like?
Isabel: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I train with my weightlifting coach and team, Tuesday and Saturday I do accessory lifting and body building, and Thursday and Sunday I wrestle.
HealthGreatness: What is your favorite music to workout to?
Isabel: I don’t like listening to music while I workout as it distracts me! The sounds of the barbell is my music haha.
HealthGreatness: What is your favorite cheat meal?
Isabel: I don’t do cheat meals per se since I just eat overall healthy and “cheat” 80/20. Although, I do have a huge sweet tooth and eat chocolate every day.
HealthGreatness: What do you like to do for fun?
Isabel: Anything outdoorsy or active! I cannot sit still. I love hiking, swimming, going on any sort of adventure.
HealthGreatness: You preach Positive Body Image, what is the importance of that?
Isabel: Positive body image is very close to me as I always hated my body growing up and dealt with those same body image issues that all girls (and guys) face with the pressure that the media puts on us. Weightlifting has helped me find inner peace with my body and has made me love myself, so I really try to preach positive body image to all my loyal followers in hopes of inspiring them to love their bodies too!
HealthGreatness: Do you have any advice for the young ladies who want to start living a healthy fit lifestyle?
Isabel: Honestly just start. If you don’t know what to do then do research, ask questions, and don’t be afraid of change. You’ll thank yourself later.
HealthGreatness: What is one big misconception about women weight lifters?
Isabel: Everyone thinks female weightlifters automatically look like body builders when they’re about to hit the stage. This is so far from true! It’s difficult to build muscle and lose fat so trust me when I say lifting weights will not make you bulky or manly but simply enhance your curves in the right places and make you strong mentally and physically.
HealthGreatness: Do you have a motto that you live by?
Isabel: The motto I live by is you only live once so live your life to the fullest!
Get to know more about Isabel!