SHE may be over 40 but Vicki Harrison says she is in the best shape of her life.
Vicki battled anorexia as a teenager and was unhappy with her body for years.
But desperate to be a positive role model to her 13- year-old daughter she ditched the scales and instead has trained hard and eaten herself slim.
In just 12 weeks Vicki toned up transforming from a size 12 to a size 8 and is finally happy with her body.
To celebrate and prove that anything is possible regardless of age, she has even taken to the stage in her bikini as part of a body building competition – and can’t wait until the next one.
Vicki, from Teg Down, in Winchester, says: “How I feel about myself has just completely changed.
“I was teased and bullied as a teenager and I wanted to send a message to my beautiful 13-year-old daughter Maisie that you can eat lots as long as it’s the right thing, you shouldn’t skip meals and it’s unhealthy to be obsessed by the number you see on the scales because it’s about how you feel.
“I’m 42 and I am proud to say I am in the best shape of my life but it’s silly that only now have I realised what to do and I don’t have to beat myself up anymore.”
Vicki says she has always been active going to the gym for 20 years and taking part in half marathons, cycle rides and mini-triathlons.
However, still unhappy with her body, she was inspired to embark on a new fitness regime after following a fitness expert on Facebook.
She says: “I decided 2014 was going to be my year to change and my goodness I most certainly have.
“I had been following fitness expert and competitor Michelle Brannan IBFF Bikini Pro on Facebook for a little while and noticed she offered an online training plan with ShowGirl Fitness to become the best shape you can be.
“I signed up with Michelle Brannan in January 2014 and straight away fell in love with the new way I was training and my eating plan.”
Vicki says her diet included eating six meals a day of healthy food.
And despite working six days a week as a dental nurse in Winchester, Vicki woke up before 5am for her strict cardio and weight lifting training regime.
“I had to fit the training in around my already very busy life. But if you want something bad enough, you can do it.”
That dedication paid off.
She took part in the Miss Galaxy Universe competition in Crawley and loved every moment of the fitness tests, afternoon of swimwear modelling and a getting in a full-length gown and tiara for the prestigious evening event.
Vicki, who now wants to compete in the November heats and hopes there will be more competitions available for over 35s, says her new body building physique has given her a new zest for life and she hopes she can inspire others.
“I really would love this to inspire everyone to take up a healthy lifestyle with fitness and nutrition, especially women who sadly sometimes feel intimidated by a gym and think that weight training is just for men and will make you gain big muscles.
“Yes you gain muscle but you also lose fat and it has been such a revolution to me.
“Everyone is so motivating and loving and positive to each other and I have never felt better.”