A woman who weighed 16.5 stone (230lbs) at her heaviest has halved her body weight to become a bikini model competitor.
Donna Gillie, 30, lost eight stone (115lbs) after finding sitting at her work desk uncomfortable due to her weight.
By teaming exercise with clean eating, Gillie – who is from Nova Scotia, Canada – managed to lose weight and tone up.
She’s now a model who takes part in fitness competitions.
As a teenager, Gillie overate and by the time she graduated from college, she weighed 230lbs.
Determined to get fit, she joined the gym and started exercise classes which helped her ditch 70lbs over a period of two years.
Eventually she decided to kick her bad eating habits too – adding more fruit and veg to her diet.
Following a lot of hard work and perseverance, Gillie hit her target weight of 115lb, hired a coach and entered her first fitness competition in 2014.
After wowing the crowd during her first appearance, she competed again last year in the East Coast Classic 2015.
“I began to struggle with my weight in my early teens,” Gilly said. “I knew early on I struggled with food – I always overate.
“My trigger foods are sweets. I love chocolate, ice cream and cheesecake and always will.
“My turning point when I really decided to make a change and get healthy was at about the age of 22.
“I remember sitting at my desk at work, at my new job, and feeling very uncomfortable. At about 230lbs and 5’4″ it’s no wonder that was the case.”
Gillie took up Zumba, step class and body pump. Then she began running and signed up for 10k races.
She added: “I began with small steps, I didn’t actually change the way I ate until fairly far into my fitness journey.
“I guess you could say I hit a plateau – so I started to change the way I ate.
“I watched my portions and ate more fruits and veggies, less packaged food more whole food.”
Gillie began weight training to sculpt her figure and entered her first fitness competition after losing 100lbs.
She admitted being nervous the first time she stepped on stage but praised her coaches who helped prepare her.
She said: “I entered not because I wanted a plastic trophy or any recognition but something for myself – to prove to myself I could shape my body after all my hard work and lose the weight I wanted to build my body.
“I truly enjoyed the process. I was 115lbs the day of my show – exactly half the woman I was when I started working out.
“Losing weight has changed my life in only positive ways.”
She added: “So many people have come up to me and said I made them want to make a change and they ask for advice.
“I always tell them my path and to keep a positive mindset because that alone can work wonders.
“The fitness community is often thought of as very superficial but to be honest it has a great support system and social atmosphere.
“Since losing my weight I feel better physically and mentally.”
Donna is currently preparing for her third bikini show in December.