Donna Gillie weighed 231 pounds, and realized she needed to make a change when she felt uncomfortable just sitting at her desk. The 30-year-old had been battling this menace since she was a teenager and admitted that she often slipped into fatty, sugary foods even though she was not hungry.
But she was determined to stay in shape. So, Donna kicked off by enrolling in a gym and managed to lose weight without changing her diet.
Now, the beautiful blonde proudly parades her bikini body onstage at high-profile bodybuilding competitions.
Donna, who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, said: “I started struggling with my weight in my teens. I always ate too much. My weakness was the candy, for sure. ”
“I love chocolate, ice cream and cheesecake. But my turning point, when I actually decided to make a change and stay healthy, was at 22 years of age. I remember sitting at the work table at my new job and feeling very uncomfortable, and the reason was my weight of 231 pounds, it was no-brainer. ”
Thanks to her new exercise plan, which included bodybuilding in addition to other classes and physical activities, Donna lost more than 66 pounds in 2 years.
But as soon as she reached a plateau and stopped slimming down, she knew she had to drop her bad eating habits too, adding more fruits and vegetables to her diet.
Donna started practicing Zumba, Step and Body Pump classes. Then she started running and signed up for 10k marathons.
“I started with small steps, really did not change the way I ate until long after I started this my fitness journey,” she explained.
“As soon as I hit a plateau, I started to change the way I ate. I took care of my servings and ate more fruits and vegetables, less processed foods and more whole foods. ”
Donna then hit her target weight of 112 pounds, and hired a coach when deciding to enter her first fitness competition in 2014.
They then started with training to sculpt her body and Donna surprised the audience at the bikini competition in Moncton before competing in the East Coast Classic in 2015.
She admitted she was nervous the first time she stepped onto the stage, but she highly praised her coaches who helped prepare her for the competition.
Donna said, “I walked in not because I wanted a trophy or any recognition, but something more – to prove to myself that I could shape my body after all my hard work to lose the weight I wanted.”
“I really enjoyed the process. I was 112 pounds on the day of the competition – exactly half of what I had when I started exercising. ”
“The fitness community is often considered too superficial, but to be honest, it’s a great social support and harmony system.”
Donna is currently preparing for her third bikini contest in December. She added, “Losing weight has changed my life in a positive way – I feel better physically and mentally. So many people came to me and said that I made them want to make a change and they now ask me for advice. ”
“I always tell them my experience and I speak to maintain a positive mindset, because that alone can work wonders.”