A self-confessed ladette who ballooned to 18 stone after years of boozing with male pals has shed the pounds to become a pro BODYBUILDER.
Victoria Holmes, 34, tipped the scales at a similar weight to a baby elephant after gorging on pasties, crisps and snacks swilled down with glasses of wine.
At her heaviest she weighed 18 stone 1lbs and was a size 24 dress due to her unhealthy diet and a lifestyle of “always going out with the lads.”
But she decided to join Slimming World around five years ago after becoming worried she would not be fit enough to walk her new puppy beagle Alfie.
Since then, she has become a fitness addict and managed to lose an impressive eight stone to become a healthier 11 stone 4lbs and a svelte size 12.
Last year, she completed her first marathon but set herself a new goal to be a bodybuilder after becoming fascinated with it through Youtube videos.
And following a gruelling regime to tone up and pack on muscle, Victoria will now be competing in professional competitions once Covid restrictions allow.
Her new hobby has even become a full-time job as she now runs her own gym and is a sports nutritionist as well as a consultant for Slimming World.
The former office worker of Stickford, Lincs., said: “I had always been a bit of a ladette, and was often out with the boys at the weekend.
“I worked in an office and would do the pasty run for the lads at lunch, we ate so badly as the job was quite stressful and we didn’t really get a lunch break.
“I was sat down all day so didn’t really get any exercise, I couldn’t wait to get home so I could crack open a bottle of wine, sit on the sofa and watch TV.
“I would eat crisps, sandwiches, pasties and pastries – my evening meal was never too bad but my diet was appalling apart from that. I basically just got too fat.”
Victoria first joined Slimming World just to support another friend who wanted to go along but found herself losing five stone in 12 months.
Victoria, who lives with husband Craig, 54, added: “I’d tried diets before but I’d only lose a stone here or there and put it straight back on again.
“Slimming World wasn’t too focused on exercise which suited me at the time, it was more about diet and it seemed to work for me.
“My husband and I had just bought a puppy and I was out of breathe just taking it for a walk to start with and I knew I couldn’t continue like that so I started exercising more as well.
“I set myself the challenge of completing a marathon, and I did the New Forest one last year.
“It was very emotional for me as I never dreamed I would get to that point because I’m not a runner at all.
“From thereon in, I made exercise and fitness my focus, I got my personal trainer licence, and opened a gym myself in January 2019.”
After opening her gym, Victoria decided she wanted a new challenge and saw a video on bodybuilding online that piqued her interest.
She added: “Bodybuilding appealed to me because I wanted to get rid of all the excess skin and flab I had left and turn it into muscle.
“I’d watched a few Youtube videos as well which caught my eye and I thought I’d give it a go.
“I think I just got the bug for it, it’s hard to explain. I’d found something I could do to push myself.
“It’s a crazy world to immerse yourself in and you have to totally dedicate yourself to it.
“You go into a bulk stage of counting calories and eating lots protein, with lots of training for around five to six months in order to prepare for shows.
“During the ‘cutting stage’ you’re on a very strict diet, no treats, no alcohol, lots of chicken, rice and broccoli.
“It’s incredibly tough. The posing is very difficult because you almost have to be a contortionist; stick your bum out this way, boobs out the other way.
“There’s a lot more to it than just standing there. It does get tiring as your body is crying out for rest but you have to keep training.
“But I love it. I love the challenge.”
Victoria was due to take part in her first bodybuilding event in April this year which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She added: “When I found out my show had been cancelled, I cried for weeks as I had worked so hard to get to the shape I wanted.
“But the good thing is after I cut, it showed that actually I wasn’t as big as I thought I would be, so now I have more time to train to get to where I want to be.
“I’m also opening a new gym called Vfitness on October 10 so its an exciting time for me and will give me a place to really focus my efforts.
“It could be a blessing in disguise for me and I can’t wait to get out there now and compete.”
Breakfast: Would skip breakfast
Lunch: Sandwiches, pasties, wraps, crisps,
Dinner: Chicken dinners, curries, lasagne, wine
Breakfast: Porridge, protein powder, blueberries.
Lunch: Rice, chicken, vegetables,
Dinner: Salmon, broccoli, new potatoes