Bronx native Yadira Suazo always knew she wanted to help people. As a student in college she was on an education track but then something shifted. Her own personal journey with health and wellness led her to a newfound passion for fitness and bodybuilding. Thanks to her trainer/brother Marfred Suazo, the 28-year-old found a love for fitness and competitive bodybuilding. She soon realized that connecting with others during her own body transformation and motivating them was fulfilling in ways her day job was not. Alas, her company Body by Yadi was born. ‘LLERO caught up with the Dominicana to discuss how she made the career change and why it’s hard to date guys as a female bodybuilder.
‘LL: How did you get into the fitness industry?
Yadi: About three or four years ago I reached my highest weight of 205 pounds. I accepted the fact that I would never be “petite” but this was out of hand. I used to be a competitive swimmer, but I stopped swimming and started coaching more but I would still eat as if I was competing. So, I got really, really big. Depression kicked in and I started to feel like I didn’t have control over my life. Of course, no one likes to feel that way. It was a really tough time in my life. My brother was always into sports and working out and he started doing bodybuilding competitions and I went to see him. He said you should try this and I said ‘I could never be as small as those women’ because they were really petite. So, I just brushed it off.
Soon after that there was a time when I was trying on clothes, I just dreaded going to buy any clothes. So, instead of going to the store I went to my brother’s house and started crying. I told him I wanted help so he took me on as one of his first clients through the company he co-owns Superiior Fitness. That’s how I got into it.
‘LL: So you made a huge transformation, how much weight did you lose?
Yadi: I went from 190lbs. when I began training with my brother to about 160lbs. For my first show in November [of] 2013 I was 156lbs.
‘LL: Did going through your own transformation inspire you to help others do the same? Is that your passion?
Yadi: I always knew I wanted to help people. I wanted a profession that would allow me to help others. I graduated college but I felt like I wasn’t helping people in the way I really wanted. I remember one day posting up a picture on Instagram of how big I really was and just really looking back at everything and just the amount of feedback I was receiving from people and speaking to people was crazy. A lot of regular women were coming up to me when I was at the gym saying ‘Omg you’re Yadira, I had to meet you.’ That touched my heart. They impact me more than I ever knew I could impact anyone. Just to know that me posting about my struggles and what I go through everyday can help someone find the motivation to do it for themselves, that’s definitely been the driving force.