A Sudbury mother of four has taken to weightlifting as stress relief. 

Jodie Villeneuve said it's changed her life and helped her deal with anxiety issues she's had for 25 years. 

The 48-year old works out up to six times a week

She hits the weights for several different reasons; for her physical well-being, but more importantly, her mental health.

"This here is my comfort zone," she said.

"I have a hard time sometimes coming in, but I know as soon as I do my first workout I feel much better."

Villeneuve said she has been dealing with anxiety for more than half of her life.

She tried many ways to cope, but nothing really worked until she started working out; especially taking up power lifting a combination of squats, bench press and dead lifts.

"When I first saw her she had never been into a gym before," said Cole Payette, a personal trainer.

"She was new to exercise and was just coming in to be healthier and today she is obviously very confident in the gym and obviously very, very strong."

Before this, Villeneuve said her toughest times were when she was housebound.

Anxiety issues run in the family and she is also doing this to serve as a role model for her children.

"I see my kids going through some of it and if it helps them see that 'yes, you can go ahead and do other things' then I've done my job."

Villeneuve took up this sport two years ago and she has been in a number of competitions. In two weeks she will compete in North Bay.

While she says it's nice to medal; her goal is always to get better.