Victoria Holmes, 34, weighed 253 pounds at her heaviest, the result of partying, a stressful job, and indulging in sweets and booze, she told South West News Service (SWNS).
"I worked in an office and would do the pasty run for the lads at lunch; we ate so badly as the job was quite stressful and we didn't really get a lunch break,” she said to the outlet. "I was [sitting down] all day so didn't really get any exercise. I couldn't wait to get home so I could crack open a bottle of wine, sit on the sofa and watch TV.”
However, Holmes became concerned about her growing weight, fearing she would not be able to walk her new puppy.
"My husband and I had just bought a puppy and I was out of breath just taking it for a walk… and I knew I couldn't continue like that, so I started exercising more as well,” she told SWNS.
Motivated, Holmes joined a gym and managed to shed 97 pounds to a svelte 156 pounds. She has also completed a marathon, and, next month will be competing in professional bodybuilding competitions — her new passion.
“Bodybuilding appealed to me because I wanted to get rid of all the excess skin and flab I had left and turn it into muscle,” she said. "I'd watched a few YouTube videos as well, which caught my eye and I thought I'd give it a go.”
"It's a crazy world to immerse yourself in and you have to totally dedicate yourself to it,” she added.
The former office worker has more time to focus on her fitness regime seeing as she now runs her own gym and got her license as a sports nutritionist.
“I made exercise and fitness my focus, I got my personal trainer license and opened a gym myself in January 2019,” she said, adding that she plans to open another gym, Vfitness, on Oct. 10, depending on coronavirus restrictions.
Holmes was scheduled to compete in her first bodybuilding competition in April 2020, but it was canceled due to the pandemic. Fortunately, though, she's seeing a silver lining.
"When I found out my show had been canceled, I cried for weeks as I had worked so hard to get to the shape I wanted,” she said. "But the good thing is, after I cut [weight], it showed that actually I wasn't as big as I thought I would be, so now I have more time to train to get to where I want to be.”