Fitness Model: Lisa Lynn Eveleth

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BEAUTY, BRAINS & BRAWN come together in our featured model and competitor, Lisa Lynn Eveleth of LeClaire Iowa. A fitness instructor and personal trainer for over 15 years, Lisa has also struggled with the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus since 1991.

The symptoms of Lupus read like a laundry-list of excuses to avoid strenuous exercise: pain, swelling, numbness, fatigue, difficulty breathing, weakness, seizures and more. The disease attacks the vital organs like the liver, kidneys and brain. Flare ups recur which can rob Lisa of 20-30 lbs of muscle weight at a time.

But not one to give up or give in, Lisa keeps pushing onward and upward, recently adding fitness competition and modeling to her list of accomplishments. In less than one year as a fitness competitor she has participated in 7 competitions, with top-three placements in nearly all of them. Twice she has taken a number-one spot, most recently at the North American National Bodybuilding Federation (NANBF) Best of the Midwest, taking home the Classic Bikini title.

What’s your typical day like, Lisa?

I wake around 6:30 am and work from 8 – 6:30 training people, consulting on weight management and teaching exercise classes. Then my evenings are filled with returning messages and working on programs for exercise and nutrition. Modeling jobs are completed during the weekends.

Healthy living begins and ends with a healthy diet, and you’ve mentioned publishing your own recipes as a future goal. Is there any one, special food item or nutritional tip you’d like to share?

Protein is essential to building muscle mass, and therefore to sculpt the body and burn unwanted fat. It does not seem to be conducive to eat meat all day long, so adding whey or casein protein with shakes or protein balls is a good alternative.

How has modeling helped or advanced your fitness and publication goals?

Modeling has seemed to advance my story on perseverance of surviving lupus. I never dreamed I would have been doing this a year ago. After being coerced into doing a fitness competition, I won the model category, and a good friend and coach helped with getting my story out to the public. From there, I have received countless feedback from individuals dealing with obstacles in their lives and inquiring how fitness can help change their lives. I love the fact that I am able to help others achieve their goals and help them with their journey.

You have a lot of great projects currently in the works, including a documentary film about your life. Tell us about the documentary, how is it going and when will fans be able to see this?

We are in the beginning stages and it is expected to be published in May or June of 2013. The filming consists of daily life activities of working out, teaching classes, training, doctors visits, infusions and many interviews with people who are close to me and have seen my struggles and transformation through the years.

What other upcoming projects are you most excited about?

Working closely with is the most exciting project in the near future! They have discussed my going to LA in January for the 2012 Fitness Expo. Also, I am working on the speaking circuit, to be able to share my story with others.
It must be an incredible challenge to gain back 20+ lbs of muscle weight. How do you plan for and deal with the setbacks brought about by Lupis?

You can never plan for the setbacks in life. I just take it as it comes and enjoy and treasure each healthy, blessed day. Lupus is very complicated and sometimes has a mind of it’s own. I can do everything right in taking care of myself and some little mishap can interfere and turn on my immune system and turn it all upside down. I just play the cards I am dealt, stay positive and keep moving forward.lisa1

During our pre-interview, you’ve repeatedly mentioned not only wanting to tell your story and increase Lupus awareness , but to also to act as inspiration and motivation others. Has that come back to you in any special way?

It has! I have had AMAZING responses from people who have been willing to share their own stories and their struggles. It has been such an incredible ride thus far, knowing that I am helping others and reaching out to them to give them hope.

“Never give up on your personal goals. Life gives us all challenges and obstacles to overcome. With pure determination and dedication, anyone is capable of achieving their own success and achievements!!!”

– Lisa Lynn Eveleth

Learn more about Lupus at the Lupus Foundation of America:


Images courtesy of Don Bersano