Inside the early struggles of glamourous Gladiator ‘Diamond

Inside the early struggles of glamourous Gladiator ‘Diamond’ Livi Sheldon – including her battle with ’emotional eating’ and being ‘picked on’ as personal trainer is set to wow fans in Gladiator reboot


One of the most iconic sports entertainment gameshows ever, Gladiators returns to screens in its brand-new home on the BBC

And one of the new contenders is ‘Diamond’, also known as Livi Sheldon from Worcestershire.

The 29-year-old is described as being ‘striking and indestructible’ on the Gladiators website. 

However, the bodybuilder, who is 6ft, has candidly discussed how she was picked on for her height as a schoolgirl and struggled with ’emotional eating’.

Here’s everything you need to know about the early struggles of ‘Diamond’, before her Gladiators debut.


Standing at 6ft tall, Livi has opened up about the struggles she has faced when it comes to her height. 

At the age of six, she began playing for a boys football team before eventually getting a place in a girls team. 

She was captain for many years and then made the move to play for Worcester City Ladies. 

But Livi has explained it wasn’t always a happy time: ‘When I was growing up I used to get picked on for being taller than everyone else. Now I get to show everyone that being unique is your superpower.’

Speaking on delivering as a Gladiator, Diamond added: ‘I feel like becoming a Gladiator is something I’ve been training for my whole life. 

‘From playing football when I was younger, through to swimming, and then going into bodybuilding.

‘I feel like all of it has led me to this outcome of being a Gladiator. I do not think I would have had half the strength that I currently have if I hadn’t had all of my past experiences.’

Emotional Eating

Being open with her followers, the online coach opened up on her struggle with ’emotional eating’ in the past. 

Emotional eating is when people use food as a way to deal with feelings instead of to satisfy hunger. 

She started by saying: ‘When I first started training it was initially ‘to lose weight’ but later as I got more consistent with training I realised how much it was changing my body shape and I loved it.

‘The training was never the problem for me, I could train all day long, push myself, and never miss a session.

‘It was the diet, I struggled sooo many years with emotional eating – which I didn’t realise at the time but I do now – I would jump to a chocolate bar, or a pizza for comfort.

Livi continued: ‘It’s taken many years for me to see food as fuel and not as ‘food’ but once that clicked I understood.’

‘I now have so much more respect for myself and my body and how I treat it and it shows. 

‘I no longer drink to get drunk, I respect myself and my body by stopping before I feel myself losing control. I show restraint while on holiday by not needing to eat EVERYTHING at the breakfast buffet.

When did Livi start bodybuilding?

After graduating with a degree in Sports Science, Livi took up bodybuilding. 

In an Instagram post from September 2022, she penned: ‘It’s been 10 years since I first started weight training, and let me tell you, it hasn’t been a smooth road BUT I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. 

‘Weight training hasn’t just helped me shape my physique but it’s moulded me as a person.’

After all of her hard work, Livi became a British Finalist ‘England Toned Figure’.

And her latest challenge is taking on the Gladiators arena, which she says she has been training for since she was nine.

Announcing the news on social media, Livi said: ‘A dream come true! Becoming a gladiator! @diamondthegladiator @bbcgladiators.

‘If there was an opportunity I could wish for this would be it! This truly is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me and I can’t wait to get in the arena! I’ve been training for duel since I was 9 years old!

‘Where are all my Diamonds?’

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