As you all know, weight loss is something that I've struggled with my entire life and am actively working on. I do not advocate the idea of being slim or skinny to make you feel beautiful. I advocate taking your life into your own hands and doing what you makes you feel good. I learned about Alice scrolling through comments on Instagram. Ever see someone's posts and think we could be besties? Well, that's how I felt about her and then I learned about her weight loss journey through powerlifting so I knew I had to talk to her.
Introduce yourself to the GWPL community
Girrrrrls!!!! Hi, I’m Alice! (aka @littlemisssunshine.af). I’m 24 years old from Melbourne, Australia! I’m a huge advocate for women and weights. The combination is as perfect as chicken nuggets and sweet and sour sauce!
When did you get into lifting and why?
A friend of mine introduced me to powerlifting around 18 months ago. I had been a member of a gym since I was 15 years old and had tried every "diet" and "weight loss program" under the sun. Of course, I saw results, but I was restricting my calories and was burning myself into the ground with exercise - but this was not sustainable, nor was it mentally healthy. I would lose 10kg (22lbs) just to gain 15kg (33lbs) back on again. Once I was introduced to Powerlifting, I instantly fell in love! To felt a huge sense of belonging and accomplishment.
Best meet total to date?
My first comp was back at the start of the year, in March. I totaled 307.5kg (677lbs) at 77.35kg (170lbs) body weight. This meet was to dip my toes in the water.
I didn’t cut weight. I just wanted to step onto the platform and face my fears. My fears of being seen in the well-known body hugging soft suit. My fears of months and months of training not coming together when I stepped up to the bar. That meet changed my whole mental perspective on beauty, strength and my own personal ability to believe in myself. Did I feel self-conscious in that soft suit – hell yes I did. Did I give a shit after I looked around and saw no one even noticed the things I was worried about… NOPE! It all fell into place, I came first in my weight class and took home the gold medal.
Which of the big 3 is your favorite and why?
I honestly don’t have a favorite lift! It varies all the time. At the moment, I’m loving deadlifts because I’ve finally found a good groove after months or trial and error.
Last week it was the squat – but now after a mediocre squat session a few nights back – it’s a love/hate relationship with my good old friend squats haha.
Talk to me about how powerlifting has impacted your weight loss.
When I started powerlifting I was not just physically out of shape, but also mentally. I was scared from years of, chicken and broccoli. Years of running until I couldn’t run anymore – because this is what I thought I had to do to achieve my goals I was miserable and lost. Once I started powerlifting, my whole body changed. Not only was I stronger, getting leaner – but I held myself in a different way. I was finally proud of what I could see in the mirror. My bum was perkier and bigger than ever! My waist looked smaller and my shoulders looked strong and powerful. I felt beautiful.
To date, I’ve now lost just under 20kg’s940lbs. My whole body composition has changed! And I can finally say, my mental composition has taken a massive shift for the better.
What get's you through the tough training sessions
Whenever I’m having a rough session I think about how I felt when I was unhappy in my own skin. I think about how that girl felt when she’d wear cardigans on even the hottest Australian summer days, because she was too embarrassed for people to see her arms. It brings me to tears to think about how trapped I felt in my own body. Every lift is for that girl. For the girl who never felt good enough.
It’s very important to surround yourself with supportive people, and powerlifting would have to be the most supportive community I’ve ever come across. Both online and on various social media platforms, but also in the gym. I’m lucky enough to have my partner as my coach and also have many of my close friends involved in powerlifting so my support base is always there for me on those days where I need the extra push.
What advice do you have for young women getting into powerlifting?
JUST START!!! Honestly. You might think you aren’t strong enough, or your technique isn’t that of an elite lifter. Trust me, start. My numbers are nothing to write home about, but it’s about working towards YOUR goals. Yes at the end of the day powerlifting is about competition – but when you are first starting… powerlifting is about YOU. It’s about learning what your body can do. Learning what it needs for fuel and recovery. It’s a beautiful journey! I always refer back to Dory’s magical quote “Just Keep Swimming”. Honestly, there are no shortcuts. Powerlifting is about learning and putting in the sessions. Day by day, you’ll see everything fall into place and you’ll reach each goal you set for yourself. Just don’t give up.
What is your favorite post workout meal?
I’m a part of the IIFYM fam (If it fits your macros) – so anything I want, depending on what protein/fats/carbs I’ve got left at the end of the day. I’m a creature of habit, and I LOVEEEEE me some sunny side up eggs on toast. So 9 times out of 10 that will be my dinner along with a choc/peanut butter protein smoothie.
Do you have any specific goals in powerlifting? (i.e. totals, PRs, specific records you want to break)
I’m actually doing a mock meet just before Christmas to see where my strength is at. I’ve had a very tough year with some personal/family things putting a spanner in the works in 2016, so the last 6 months have been about recovery and building up my foundation strength! Looking forward to seeing what numbers I can come up with. Aiming for 115kg squat (253lbs) 65kg bench (143lbs) and 150kg deadlift (330lbs).
Next comp will be around February next year, in the 72kg class (158lbs) – which is an extremely competitive class, especially as an open lifter not a junior. No records will be broken for a little while, but every single session in the gym gets me closer and closer.
At the moment I’m still focussing on cutting down a few more kilos and building as much strength as I can (which, both combined is a marathon, not a sprint). For me, it’s about loving every step. Keeping my head above water and enjoying the journey I’m on!
Follow Alice on Instagram