Mum dropped six dress sizes after taking up bodybuilding in last-ditch bid to lose weight
Claire Cabo, 34, from Merseyside, battled with her size for years after leaving the armed forces before enjoying stunning results after hitting the weights
A mum who ballooned to a size 20 has dropped six dress sizes after taking up bodybuilding in a final bid to lose weght.
Claire Cabo, 34, from Merseyside, battled with her size for years after leaving the armed forces.
The mum-of-one vowed to shed her excess pounds after barely being able to recognise herself in an old family video.
After struggling to return to her former size, she took up bodybuilding as a last resort and was stunned to see her dress size plummet.
She told the Liverpool Echo: "It started when I left the army and I was still eating like I did in the forces and not doing any fitness, so I piled on the weight."
Claire, left the army, where she worked as a driver for the Royal Logistics Corps in 2005, and two years later had ballooned to a size 20 and tipped the scales at 15 stone.
She said: "I was buying size 20 clothes, cutting the labels out and telling myself it was a size 14 and blaming the shops for making clothes too small."
Her moment of realisation came during a disagreement with her husband, Nikk, 35.
Claire, who now works as an estate agent, said: "I was looking for myself in a video and my husband pointed out this lady and said: ‘That’s you’.
"I couldn't recognise myself, so I decided to start losing weight and I went on every diet you can imagine."
But after years of dieting, Claire could not drop down to less than a size 14.
So she signed up to Body Tech Fitness gym in Moreton and started doing weight training under the supervision of gym directors Emma Mather and Paul Murie.
And after 18 months of training, five times a week, Claire has fulfilled her dreams of becoming a bodybuilder.
She said: "Ever since I can remember I always dreamed of being a bodybuilder but once I left the army and piled the weight on I had a lot of baggy skin, so I thought it was unachievable.
"But they helped me every single step of the way.
"They have got me onto the stage within 18 months."
Claire competed in her first body building competition at the Middleton Arena near Manchester on November 15 and came fourth in the show.
She said: "Just to be there was amazing.
"I didn't even think I would come away with a medal because it was my first show and I didn't know what I was doing or what to expect.
"Now I'm doing a show in May, so I've definitely got the bug for it."
Claire's stopped eating takeaways up to three times a week and drinking two litres of diet coke every day.
She also stopped drinking as much alcohol, which helped her stay away from the late-night kebabs she often had.
Her healthy diet was instead:
Mid-morning snack: Cottage cheese with nuts or pineapple
Lunch: Chicken, rice and broccoli
Afternoon snack: Cottage cheese with nuts or pineapple
Dinner: Salmon, chicken, steak or turkey with either rice or green vegetables
Evening snack: A banana and spoonful of peanut butter before bed
Drinks: Four litres of water per day