A SOUTHAMPTON triathlete’s blog has proved to be a huge hit with fitness fanatics across the world.

Tamsyn Smith whose blog ‘Fat Girl to Ironman’ attracts around 5,000 visits every month is one of five shortlisted for a prestigious award.

It is listed in the Bloggers’ Lounge Awards in the ‘best health and fitness’ category.

The 37-year-old, who lives in Bassett in Southampton, decided in 2013 to go for the ultimate fitness aim and take part in an ironman, which is a gruelling one-day event consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112 bike ride and a 26.2-mile marathon.

She was inspired when she went on a fitness holiday with her husband where she struggled to keep up.

Mrs Smith said: “I was the worst runner there and one of my coaches had to run with me because everyone was faster than me.

"I was chatting to him for an hour or so, and he told me about all the things he did as he was once overweight and told me how he was persuaded to do a triathlon. His story inspired me.

"I thought: 'I do not want to be overweight and unfit for the rest of my life'.”

As well as struggling with running, Mrs Smith also could not swim and was not an experienced cyclist – so she set herself a five-year target to complete an iron man by the time she was 40, and decided to document her journey to fitness through her blog.

She added: “I have tried things before and come up with New Year’s resolutions.

"I thought if I write a blog about it I would feel accountable because you share your goals with other people.

"They know what you have said, what you are going to do and I wanted to share what I was going to do.”

Her blog is a labour of love and as well as training eight to 12 hours each week, she loves sharing her experiences on it and using it to get inspired and inspire others.

Unlike many of her fellow nominees, Tamsyn is not a professional blogger – she holds down a full-time job as a learning designer at the University of Southampton, as well as volunteering at her running club, Lordshill Road Runners, helping to organise Southampton parkrun, and she also trains with Southampton Tri Club.

Tamsyn said: “It’s a real honour to be recognised in these prestigious, national awards.

"When I started my blog in 2013, I never thought it would lead to this – I just hoped that it would make me more accountable and stick to my diet and exercise plans!

"When I get messages from readers who say that my blog has inspired them to take on a fitness challenge, I get a warm glow”.