Depressed about her ever expanding waist-line that kept growing despite all her diet and exercise efforts, it was a 12 week fitness challenge that Sarah Hunter 52, discovered on line, that finally changed her from flabby to fab. Now with a bikini modelling title under her belt, she’s not looking back!

Sarah Hunter before and after

Sarah Hunter before and after

As I make my way to the stage teetering in 4-inch heels I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of wearing, in a tiny specially designed bikini and in more make-up I’d worn for years, too, I was aware of the bright lights and the crowd and my heart skipped a beat. At 52, I was taking part in a bikini modelling competition – something I thought only young girls with amazing bodies would think of doing – and, according to my personal trainer, in with a good chance of getting on the podium!

It was around the time of my 50th birthday that things started to get on top of me: I’d always been slim, healthy and sporty too – I’d played netball to a high standard, run half marathons, I’d even tried sea rowing but even though I’d never had to watch my weight in the past, as I got older it became harder and harder to keep the weight off.

I’m an out-going person and have worked in sales most of my life so I’m not one to get down but even though my partner Jon was supportive, I hated the idea of buying size 16 clothes and when it came round to holidays in the sun, I dreaded the idea of wearing anything as revealing as a bikini. It wasn’t that I’d let myself go, I just felt out of shape and squidgy: our busy social life which involved lots of dining out didn’t help.

I’d bought some of the Bio-Synergy health supplements online and I saw the 12 Week fitness challenge pop up on the site, I thought this is what could work for me: I’m quite competitive so the idea that I could lose weight and get fit with a target in mind really appealed.

It was quite simple to follow: there were eating plans with plenty of recipes that focussed on cutting down on carbs, something I found hard at first as a big pasta fan and bulking protein based meals with chicken and fish with lots of veg and salad. You’re also given a personal training plan with lots to motivation boosting tips. I liked the fact that you weren’t encouraged to keep weighing yourself – something a lot of other slimming clubs focus on – the idea is that as you slim down and shape up, you might actually weigh the same – even a bit more – but your measurements will be less.

As the days of the Challenge ticked by I was finding my new eating plan easier to do and the weight was dropping off too. I enjoyed the exercise – I got myself a personal trainer to help once a week, and when I’d completed the 12 weeks and sent in my results with pictures, the team at Bio Synergy, who make the supplements, were so impressed they asked if I wanted to be an ambassador for them.

Before I knew it I was joining the other Ambassadors – some of whom were big sporting names like James Cracknell giving talks and helping other people learn how to eat well and get fit and I was loving it!  The bikini modelling competition is something that’s organised once a year – it’s a chance for men and women to show how far they’ve come with their training and my personal trainer said I should give it a go, even just to prove something to myself.

It meant some more serious training – Jon and the rest of my friends and family were supportive – the scariest thing was being fitted for a bikini that would be handmade to show off my new shape.

When the day of the competition dawned I felt a mixture of excitement and serious nerves. I posed for my spray tan and waited patiently as the stylist worked her magic on my face and hair. My bikini was tiny – it has to be to show off your shape – but it looked amazing and when I stepped on stage knowing my family were in the crowd helped me calm down.

I was entered for four categories and was actually awarded 3rd prize in the Masters competition for women over 45, something I was told was pretty impressive for my first shot. And now I’m hooked, I’m already training for my next competition and couldn’t feel happier with my new shape, I’ve dropped two dress sizes and am proud to wear a bikini - for the first time in 10 years!

For more information on the 12 Week Challenge and how to sign up, visit 

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