A TIKTOK star has been dubbed a “monster” after revealing her impressive muscles – but she doesn’t care what others think.
The 44-year-old female bodybuilder started training 20 years ago and says it has changed her life, including her career and social media presence.
When Lisa Cross started bodybuilding, she didn’t realise what a dramatic impact her new hobby would have on her life.
She currently has a whopping 166,000 TikTok followers and has racked up more than 4.3m likes on her channel.
When she was just 15, the now professional bodybuilder recalls suffering from an eating disorder due to feelings of body dysmorphia.
In a bid to overhaul her dangerous lifestyle, which started to cause hair loss and other health complications, she decided to start working out at the gym.
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Soon, she fell in love with training and nutrition, and now, she’s won various competitions – including becoming a British champion in 2010.
But she has suffered some backlash as a result.
Especially online, where cruel trolls have dubbed her a “monster” and the “Hulk” for her muscular physique.
Lisa, who is from Plymouth, told NeedToKnow.online: “I’ve had people tell me: ‘get back in the kitchen’ or ‘looking good Dave.’
“These negative comments say much more about the person who has made them than they say about me.
“No one has ever said anything negative to my face, so I think they only feel emboldened by the anonymity of the Internet.
“I know they would never be brave enough to say anything to my face and I don’t pay them any heed at all.”
Lisa explained how she is proud of her online presence and hopes to use her platform to inspire others.
She said: “Many people don’t want to look like me, but I do feel that my social media serves as an outlet for people who know they don’t have the courage or discipline to work hard and make positive changes in their lives.
“It’s not my fault they can’t get fit or eat healthily.
“People who are happy and successful in their lives don’t have time to troll others. I’m very happy, successful and invincible.”
Growing up, she recalls the pressure to do well in school resulting in an eating disorder.
At her lowest, she weighed only seven stone and wore children’s clothing made for eight-year-olds.
Soon, her mental health took a hit and she became a recluse, as well as suffering from chest pains.
But when her hair started falling out in clumps, she knew something needed to change.
Speaking about her mental health struggles, she said: “It was a constant battle.
“It was a difficult journey initially because I had forgotten how to eat, but my body was craving food.
“At university, I started going to the gym and each day, I would do around three hours of cardio, where, after a while, I noticed no change in my physique.
“I started resistance weight training instead, though I had no clue what I was doing and it wasn’t until I went to live and work in Japan, that my journey really began.”
Thanks to her then-boyfriend, she learned all about the correlation between nutrition and training.
In 2009, she competed in her first competition.
Now, apart from her previous awards, she’s also competed and won her second professional show within the US and has a muscle mass of 94kg.
In an effort to keep her physique in tip-top shape, she eats up to eight meals per day, only three hours apart, including lean meat and liquid greens.
In a clip, which has racked up 26.3 million views and over 1.4 million likes on TikTok, she can be seen flexing her muscles.
Users flocked to the comments to share their thoughts – but not everybody was kind with their words.
“New fear unlocked,” one person said.
A second added: “No just no.”
“What is that,” a third chimed in.
Another quipped: “This isn’t normal,” followed by a skull emoji.
Lisa was far more positive about her fitness regime, saying: “It’s benefitted me immensely and I only have to think about what the alternative would be if I had remained [the way I was].”
She continued: “It’s difficult to remember your mental and emotional state all those years ago, but I view myself to be the most mentally tough and emotionally stable person I know.
“I’m a true believer that if something doesn’t break you, it’ll only make you stronger.
“It’s no longer a career, only an expensive hobby and lifestyle.
“I’m still learning about training and nutrition and it’s a never-ending process, but I’m proud of my journey.”