Burnley beauty salon owner completes amazing 50th birthday fitness challenge
After a lifetime of lacking in confidence and always feeling that she was 'never good enough' Lisa Smith finally decided that things had to change.
So she took on a challenge that would test her to the limit both mentally and physically ahead of her 50th birthday next year.
Lisa spent months training to compete in the National Physique Association body building competition in the Bikini Toned section.
Since March, up until the competition earlier this month, Lisa's life has revolved around gym workouts, home exercises and a strict diet in readiness for her stage debut.
And after clinching a fourth place, the wide grin on Lisa's face says it all about how happy she is with her achievement.
"I feel absolutely amazing, it has taken a lot of time and effort but has been so worth it,' said Lisa.
The owner of her own successful business, Beautyful You in Burnley, no-one would ever guess that mum-of-two Lisa has been plagued by self doubt for many years.
Tall, stunning and immaculately groomed Lisa said people were often surprised to hear how lacking in self esteem and confidence she was.
She said: "You can't tell by looking at someone what they are feeling on the inside but there have been times when I have gone out and just felt awful, like I wasn't good enough.
"I have never felt confident in myself so tackling something like this where I would be putting myself out there was a major challenge and some of my family were a bit concerned at first.
"I did think to myself, 'should I really be doing this at my age?' but then I thought 'yes, why not, why shouldn't I? ' "
A regular gym goer for the past five years, the challenge to enter the body building competition was thrown down to Lisa by her trainer Evan Parker who had every faith in her.
Last year Lisa and her husband, Jeff ,tackled the Spartan challenge together, a world leading obstacle course. And to complete it Lisa had to overcome her fear of heights.
Training for the competition meant a strict diet regime and dedicated workouts at Premier Fitness gym in Clough Street, Burnley,four or five times a week. And with each session lasting two to three hours, Lisa had to be dedicated.
She said: "When you start on a challenge like this there are no excuses, you have to stick to it."
For Lisa one of the biggest moments of the challenge came when she had to walk out on the stage in her bikini at the Penistone Paramount Theatre in Barnsley in front of a live audience and several of her friends and family including Jeff and her two daughters Sophie and Olivia.
Lisa said: "The minute before I walked onto the stage I was gripped with nerves but I knew there were a lot of people who had come to support me and I couldn't let them down.
"And once I was on that stage I just loved it, I couldn't stop smiling.
"I was only on there for 20 minutes, all that hard work for such a short time, but it was the best feeling ever, even if I didn't win."
Lisa credits Evan, her family and friends and clients for their support for helping her to conquer the challenge.
She said: "It's been a personal journey for me.
" I wanted to test myself and push myself out of my comfort zone and I did it and I want to show my daughters that it's never too late to achieve something that you may only dream about."