A post shared by Lynzi Shepherd (@lynzisinsta) on Jul 15, 2017 at 8:00am PDT

When you look at Lynzi Shepherd today, you’d never guess that she was once “so unhappy and unhealthy." Her Instagram profile is full of photos and videos of her lifting weights and getting super fit – all the while smiling and enjoying the ride. POPSUGAR caught up with Lynzi to hear more about her incredible weight-loss story. You might be surprised to learn how she got to where she is today.
"I have lost over 130 pounds, all by changing the way I eat and exercise," Lynzi told POPSUGAR. At first, she was doing a lot of cardio, which is a pretty standard thing to do when you’re trying to lose weight. "Spinning was an initial focus, and then I turned to weights – and more specifically, power lifting." That’s when the magic started to happen.
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"This is when I really noticed the difference," she recalled. "Lifting heavy weights has completely changed my body shape." By strengthening and growing her muscles, Lynzi sped up her metabolism and gave her the body the chance to shed fat, long after her workouts were complete. She started to slim down, not "bulk up," and she loved the way weightlifting made her feel.

A post shared by Lynzi Shepherd (@lynzisinsta) on Nov 7, 2017 at 12:24pm PST

"I am hugely competitive and became determined to beat myself every time I stepped in the gym," she wrote in an Instagram post. "I changed my whole life and I don’t regret it for a second! Just glad I found the strength (in more ways than one 😂💪🏻)."
But what you do in the gym isn’t the whole equation. "I made sure I eat to fuel and not just for the sake of it," Lynzi said. She became more conscious about what she was putting into her body, rather than just reaching for food when she felt bored. This sped up her weight-loss process, especially because the food she was choosing to eat was helping her muscles grow faster and stronger, which in turn helped her shed more fat.
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A post shared by Lynzi Shepherd (@lynzisinsta) on Oct 18, 2017 at 4:27am PDT

She says she has "completely changed my lifestyle, body, outlook, and most importantly, I am happy!" Once a size 24, Lynzi is down to a size 10 – in just 12 months.
We asked Lynzi what her best advice is for women who are trying to lose weight. "Take before and after pictures all the time. They can help when the scales are being mean." And speaking of the scale, Lynzi also said, "Don’t focus on the number. Focus on how you feel and other nonscale victories."
This journey has been anything but easy for Lynzi. The "hardest bit has been other people’s reactions and managing your mindset whilst making a lifestyle choice – not focusing on it as a diet." She added, "This is forever."