A woman has lost 4st in six months in a bid to be a 'good example' for her teenage daughter.
Helen Buchanan, 40, says she used to eat takeaways every night and would spend up to £80 per week on her habit.
At her heaviest, she weighed 13 stone and wore a size 18, which is when she decided to make a change by joining a gym and giving up her fast food habit in favour of home cooked meals.
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"I was really down for about five years. I just didn’t really care about myself," she says. "I would eat a load of Chinese, pizza, chocolate most nights, greasy food.
"Mentally and physically, I felt horrible about myself. I wasn’t in a good place, and I felt uncomfortable."
She fell in love with exercising after joining the gym, so much so that she decided to become a bodybuilder. She now weighs 9st and wears a size 6 to 8 in clothing.
"When the weight came off, it felt amazing. It was nice to see my body change and muscle appear," Buchanan, from Wishaw in Scotland, adds. "It almost doesn’t feel real. It has totally changed my life.
"I used to walk and run with an old friend, and then I found a girl called Adele who is now my [bodybuilding] coach. I started in the gym, told her about my dream and in January I was training for my first ever show.
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"I had to cut out chocolate, dairy, a lot of socialising. I had to really focus on the gym and my goal."
Now Buchanan follows a strict regime - spending three-and-half hours a day in the gym and following a diet of protein shakes and healthy food.
She competed in her first bodybuilding competition in June this year, and plans to do more next year.
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"It has taught me to love myself more, that I can do anything and that I can help inspire others," Buchanan adds. "I didn’t win a place, but getting up there made me feel great, I won for myself, I really did.
"My daughter has come in leaps and bounds in the last six months. She watches what I do, and she is proud of me. I think it helps children to see their parents doing good. You’re showing them how to do better for them as well."
Additional reporting by SWNS.
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