SWARTZ CREEK — Back in 2007, when she was 57 years old, Swartz Creek resident Linda Woodyard decided to make positive changes in her life.
She started eating better and exercising regularly, and she went from 162 pounds down to 125 pounds today, losing over 10 dress sizes in the process. Now, at 63 years old, Woodyard competes in two bodybuilding competitions each year.
“I wanted to work on myself, getting in shape and eating healthier, choosing to live a healthier lifestyle,” she said.
Woodyard started competing in bodybuilding competitions in 2008.
“I love competing. I always have. I love meeting people. I love feelling good and sharing that,” she said.
Woodyard will next be competing in the MPC Western Michigan Bodybuilding Competition in Grandville on October 20. She will also be competing in Figure America in Las Vegas on November 16-17. Over 600 men and woman compete in the Las Vegas event.
“It’s been fun. It’s been quite a journey,” she said.
Woodyard currently works out with trainer Vincent Candela three days a week for one hour per day at Bodyz USA in Flint. One day they work on her chest and shoulders, another day they work on her legs and the third day they work on her back, biceps and triceps. Each of the three days also includes an abs and cardio workout.
She said that people just starting to workout should invest in a trainer.
“People starting out should have a trainer because they make sure your form is correct and you know the right exercise to do for muscle groups,” she said. “They also put together a nutritional eating program.”
In addition to working with a trainer, Woodyard does a 30 minute cardio workout five days per week on her own, spending time on the elliptical, treadmill and stairmill.
“When you exercise and eat healthy, your body changes,” she said.
However, Woodyard said the key part to her body transformation and weight loss is eating the right foods.
“Eighty-five percent is what you eat and how we eat,” she said. “Working out you can lose a few pounds, but you have to eat healthier.”
Woodyard said she doesn’t like the word “diet” as she started dieting when she was twelve years old, losing weight and always gaining it back.
“It’s always back and forth,” she said. “Lifestyle changes is what is important.”
Woodyard said eating healthier includes cutting sugars and fats.
“You have to be aware of what your putting in your mouth,” she said. “You have to be educated on the nutritional value of what your eating.”
She also said it was important to eat more often as she currently eats about six small meals per day with lots of protein.
“Food is your friend,” Woodyard said. “You have to keep your metabolism burning constantly so it never slows down. That’s how you lose weight.”
Woodyard has been married to her husband Jack Woodyard for 44 years.