A bodybuilder has qualified for a national final after winning her category in her first competition.
Gemma Catlin, 30, from Bourne, came first in the Ladies Toned section of the Mr Lincolnshire IFBA Toned Figure contest at St George’s Academy in Sleaford on Saturday.
Gemma, a personal trainer and sports masseuse, has been involved with a variety of sports since a young age.
But it was only recently she decided to put her impressive physique on display in competition.
She trained and dieted for 12 weeks to get into perfect shape for the heats and will now go on to the national final in Gateshead in June next year.
“I was overwhelmed when I won,” said Gemma. “I did cry on stage because I couldn’t believe I had won.
“It was just a massive sense of achievement. It’s the first time I have ever genuinely felt proud of what I have achieved.
“I played hockey for 19 years but it’s always a team effort. But this time it was just down to me and my coach.”
The 12-week training period was intense for Gemma, who had to keep to a strict fitness routine and eat properly, with just one “cheat” meal a week.
“It’s 24/7 diet and training,” she said.
“Also on the day of the show you have to have a specific bikini, and you have to sort your tanning out two days before. You do the mandatory poses and the your own routine, then get judged on your figure.”
Gemma is already looking ahead to next year’s final, where she will compete against the country’s best.
“I’ll start training next week, because it’s a much bigger show.
“I’m just pleased to be able to qualify. It’s more the experience of it all rather than the winning. You go through the process and learn a lot about yourself.”
Gemma works at Universal Fitness Centre in Bourne and Heroes Gym in Spalding.