It's hard to believe that Shelly Burton, 50, was 16 kg heavier than this photo only eight months ago. Although she had always been active, like many of us, she put on weight after going through menopause and decided it was time for a change. So Shelly began to to prepare for a bodybuilding contest, which she eventually won! Here, she tells Lifestyle News her inspirational journey to change.
Q: What made you decide to try bodybuilding?
A: I changed gyms and started working with a trainer who is a bodybuilder. I was inspired by her and when she suggested I give it a try, I thought “why not?” I was used to training for big events so decided to commit. Q: How much weight have you lost since you started bodybuilding in January?
A: I have lost a total of 16kg. I lost on average 500g per week. Some weeks a bigger drop, some weeks nothing, but on average 500g
Q: Did you also change your diet?
A: So much chicken lol. My diet drastically changed. I had a set amount of calories every day as well as my macros. I used a macro counting app (My Fitness Pal) and weighed and tracked every single thing I ate.
I did weight training five times a week and did 12,000 steps a day.
It is a total lifestyle change and means no alcohol, very limited food choices (protein, fats and carbs all tracked) and strong will.
Q: Do you think more women should try body building?
A: Yes!! It has given me a confidence I haven’t had in years. I’m strong, fit and have learned so much about myself in the last 8 months
Q: Tell me about your transformation.
A: I’m lucky that my family are so supportive. My husband and daughter are my biggest fans.
It wasn’t that hard to begin with but as the months went on, and I was saying no to most social events or taking my own food to restaurants, never drinking alcohol it becomes more difficult.
I did shed a few tears when I was deep in the grind of my diet.
You can never not train or not do your steps and you can’t deviate from the diet, even when you are physically and emotionally tired. Not if you want to be competitive on show day.
Every week I would see the scales going down and that drove me to see the end result.
By the time show day came around I had built muscle and my body was unrecognisable from where I began
Q: You look incredible. Do people still recognise you?
A: People still recognise me but they also recognise the hard work I’ve put in.
I now intend to put on a little weight as I am at a level that is unsustainable long term but I have achieved the results
My first comp I placed 1st in 50+ That’s what I was working for. After all the months of work, I can say “I did it!!” I felt amazing and beautiful.
Women of any age can make a change, what ever the goal is for them. We don’t have to say “I’m too old”