A woman who shed four stone by overhauling her diet and challenging herself to be active daily has achieved her goal of becoming a model and beauty queen.
Yana Ivanova, 21, from Poland, who boasts over 11,000 followers on Instagram, spent her childhood dreaming of taking part in a beauty pageant.
Tipping the scales at 11st 8lbs, she decided to transform her appearance with a healthy routine in the hope of achieving her goal.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Yana, who now wears a size XS and weighs 8st 1lb, said: ‘I’ve loved watching beauty pageants since I was a child. When I lost weight, I received an offer on Instagram to participate in a casting call for a modelling agency.’
Yana Ivanova, 21, from Poland, said she would eat whatever she wanted at her heaviest and began overhauling her lifestyle two years ago. Pictured before, weighing 11st 8lbs
The model, who was able to shed 4st in just two years, has achieved her goal of competing for the title of Miss Ukraine
Yana began paying closer attention to what she ate and going to the gym two years ago. Pictured: Miss Ukraine 2019 final
‘I started working there and grew into the person I am now. I knew that participating in beauty pageants would make me more resilient, confident and determined; I wasn’t wrong.’
Yana, who didn’t experience any health complications at her heaviest weight, wore a size L-XL – and admitted to eating whatever she wanted before committing to living a healthier lifestyle.
‘I’ve never had any problems with my surroundings because of my weight, I’ve always felt loved,’ she said. ‘However, since losing the weight I have started to love myself more, feeling more confident and empowered as I’ve prioritised my own well-being.
Yana went on to say that since childhood, she’s watched beauty contests and has always been in awe of the women’s confidence.
‘I’ve also been surrounded by strong women my entire life and they’ve driven me to become the best, strongest and healthiest version of myself,’ she continued.
‘I reached a point where I felt I wasn’t reaching my full potential and I didn’t feel confident in myself; my diet wasn’t particularly healthy and I knew I needed to make some changes. I embraced a healthier lifestyle and feel incredible for it.’
Yana (pictured now) admits her weight affected her self-esteem, but now she feels more confident than ever
Yana (pictured before) always loved watching beauty pageants and dreamed of competing from a young age
Instead of having a sandwich, Yana now (pictured) opts for a healthy smoothie or yogurt for breakfast
Yana’s diet before
Breakfast – ‘A sandwich of sorts, for example sausage or bacon.’
Lunch – ‘Fast food, usually fries’
Dinner – ‘More fast food, my favourite was always a good burger.’
Snacks – ‘Anything quick, for example crisps.’
Yana’s diet now
Breakfast – ‘A healthy smoothie or yogurt and granola with lots of fruit!’
Lunch – ‘A salad with lots of delicious vegetables.’
Dinner – ‘Seafood and fish usually with more veggies on the side. I also love beef – steaks more than burgers nowadays!’
Snacks – ‘Fruit.’
Yana went on to explain that until she made a conscious decision to lose weight, she didn’t follow a set diet or exercise regime.
‘I ate whatever I wanted (no matter how unhealthy it was) and only went to the gym periodically,’ she said. ‘Two years ago, I started paying closer attention to what I ate and I started going to the gym.
‘The changes I made were simple; I tried to eat more healthily and I started moving more – I didn’t use any fad diets. The result was outstanding, I felt so much more comfortable in my body.’
Yana says she began to lose weight quickly – adding that in total it took her about a year to comfortably lose all of the weight and establish a consistent routine.
‘I continue to live a healthy lifestyle; I eat nourishing foods (I love fish, fruit and wholegrain pasta) and I enjoy lots of fun sports,’ she said. ‘I never thought I’d be a sportsman but being active has such a powerful, positive impact on your state of mind. I now couldn’t imagine not doing something active every day, even if that’s a long walk.’
Yana explained that becoming healthier has also given her the ability she needs to thrive as a model.
‘By becoming fitter and stronger I was able to enjoy long photoshoots and travel without feeling so run-down, this meant my career as a beauty queen and model took off quite quickly,’ she said.
Yana (pictured before) never imagined being a sporty person, but since losing weight she challenges herself to do something active everyday
Yana (pictured), who now weighs 8st 1lb, feels more empowered now and hopes to explore other aspects of the modelling industry
Yana (pictured) met ‘incredible’ people while participating in Miss Ukraine, who motivated her to reach her goals
The influencer revealed it’s not only her body that has to be prepared for pageants.
‘I always make sure that I get a good night’s sleep before the contest,’ she explained. ‘It’s also important that you’re prepared for unexpected situations. Learn about the history of the contest and previous winners, the more you know about the pageant the better equipped you’ll be.’
‘Participating in Miss Ukraine allowed me to meet some incredible, talented people and it motivated me to reach my goals.
‘It left me feeling more empowered and capable than ever; since the pageant I have travelled the world modelling, experienced new cultures and ventured into other creative industries – it’s completely transformed my life.
‘I love being creative and I adore my job, I would like to explore other parts of the industry, for example photography. ‘
Yana (pictured) urges anyone who needs to lose weight to start making changes now because no one else can do the work for you