Why I stopped competing in Olympic Weightlifting

This is a long post and it is a personal one. I don’t normally post about my personal struggles anywhere online but I thought I should just this one time. Why? Because maybe someone who reads this post may be struggling with something similiar or close to what I was going through and maybe I can help you feel like you aren’t alone and it’s okay to go through rough patches in life, with your head, body or sport.

If you have followed me since I started weightlifting or training in general you would know that I haven’t been around lately whether that be on social media, competitions or the gym. A few months ago I had to make a decision either carry on doing what you’re doing and break yourself down to a point of no return or take a break and rest. With lots of tears, emotions and a broken heart I decided to stop training and competing. Not forever but for as long as it took to get in the right head space again. Soon after this decision I felt like I could finally breath again and so much tension and build up of feelings I couldn’t explain were slowly starting to make sense. I was smiling and this time I actually felt like it was real inside and out.

So now you know I made a decision but the reasoning behind it was so much more than being unhappy. I was depressed. This is not a word to be taken lightly, I know. I didn’t believe I was at any stage and refused to believe it. I was always convincing myself I was happy and I was satisfied with my emotional wellbeing, I was good at it because I practiced mental strength daily. Visualization, self motivation, affirmation, goal setting and being stuck in the process it’s what it takes to be a successful athlete.

I’m not really sure when it all started but I used to love weightlifting, it was the part of the day that I looked forward to the most as all my goals were tied to it, I was all in. I was all in to the point where I blocked out everything else that made me who I am. I lost friends, not because they were unsupportive but because I stopped making an effort in that part of my life. I missed out on once in a life time moments because I thought every ounce my attention needed to be focused on my goals. I was aggressive and insensitive to my loved ones for reasons that would make me cringe at the thought of it now. I had no energy to enjoy the things I used to or to have a normal conversation with another person. I had no confidence in my body, in who I was. I also cared too much what other people thought of me to the point where I lost myself.

I cried almost every day even on the good ones. I criticized myself when I was at my best. I was never good enough for myself and my own worst enemy. I blamed my coaches for results I wasn’t getting but would eventually if I actually trusted them. I didn’t want to get up in the morning anymore, I wasn’t even enjoying life. I forced myself to eat because most days I never had an appetite. I remember looking in the mirror disgusted with my appearance when I was stronger and healthier than I have ever been. This was happening for almost a year, I let my daemons control and take over my life. This is why I had to rest, not because I was incapable or my body wasn’t ready or injured. I was broken emotionally and the person I had become inside unrecognizable. I’m not sure what made me that way, our mind is a powerful thing and sometimes uncontrollable.

I look back now at the training I was doing at the time and even though my mind was a mess I was training and lifting the best I ever did. I was making my max lifts look like rep sets and making new Personal Bests every day but at the time it was never good enough. I can’t believe how I treated myself and disrespected my body.

It has been a few months now and I feel like a new person but it has taken so much strength and self love to get here. I struggled a lot along the way with my body image and obsessing over my weight. I know because of stress, lack of training and appetite I have lost alot of weight unhealthily but I am back on track to getting better again. I am excited for myself and my new found respect for who I am and what I am capable of.

I will start weightlifting again soon, not to compete but to enjoy the sport I fell inlove with and to have fun. I also kind of know now but still currently learning the art of balance. Some days I do cardio, some days I lift weights other days I do crossfit. I eat good food that my body needs but I also enjoy my favorites like burgers, fries and ice-cream. I train mostly every day but there are times when I take a few days rest. I now enjoy having a glass of wine or three with family and friends. If you know me, the odd few tequila’s. I’m finally starting my degree next year and following other life goals. I have moved into a lovely new home with the man of my dreams and a few fur children. I am slowly falling inlove with myself and life again and enjoying it thoroughly.

I hope that if I ever feel doubtful in myself again that I have learnt that I do have the strength to overcome it. I am who I am and I accept it now because I get to choose how my story goes.


  1. I have goosebumps reading this Tyla; its incredible! The courage to write this and be open in public. well done and good for you! be proud of yourself for making this important decision.
    I really do miss you and the classes; you will always remain an inspiration! All the best for the journey ahead; remain your amazing self! xxx


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