Mum smashes body building goal
SAMANTHA Browne wasn't about to let the demands of being a single mum and busy nurse get in the way of smashing her New Year's resolution.
The Hervey Bay woman set herself the ambitious goal of competing in a body building competition.
At age 40, standing in a bikini with just 14 per cent body fat, the mum-of-two collected three medals in three divisions at a Sunshine Coast competition last weekend.
Ms Browne placed fifth in Fitness Model 40-plus years, fifth in Fitness Model Momma and first in Sports Model 40 - 45years.
"These divisions are more about body sculpting, they are looking for flair and confidence on stage," she said.
"They're also looking for some sort of muscle definition, very low body fat percentage, then how you pose, whereas in the higher divisions they look for muscles."
The South African-born fitness star has been in Australia for nine years and Hervey Bay for five.
However, Ms Browne's motivation wasn't for the aesthetics - it was also about promoting a healthy lifestyle for her children.
"One of my challenges is I'm a single mum with two young kids, six and nine-year-olds, and I work full time which means sometimes I have a nanny when the kids are in bed or sometimes I take kids with me to gym," she said.
"I'm always advocating healthy eating and my kids are conscious about the amount of sugars in their diet.
"As a nurse I deal with a lot of chronic disease which can be treated by healthy living."
But that doesn't mean Ms Browne doesn't enjoy food.
"Having a goal keeps me on track but don't get me wrong I love my junk food but it's all about moderation," she said.
"At the end of the show backstage they have pizza to celebrate."
Ms Browne spent 12 weeks preparing for the event, cutting short a normal 16-20 week prep time. She visited her preparation coach once a week who wrote a diet plan.
This was in addition to working with a personal trainer and going to the gym herself four to six times a week.
"Food is very important and I've basically weighed everything that went in my mouth for the last 12 weeks," she said.
"We have weekly check-ins with the coach to get measured.
"You also have to practise doing poses, because there was a small group of us interested in Hervey Bay we organised for a professional athlete to come and run a workshop to teach us how to pose in Hervey Bay."
Ms Browne wasn't alone on the weekend - seven other Hervey Bay athletes competed in other divisions and in the crowd Ms Browne's children and friends cheered her on.
Ms Browne said she was focused on qualifying in a top five position for nationals for Season B in October.
"My aim was to be stage- ready, wear a bikini in front of people and if a medal comes with it too that's even better," she said.
"Unfortunately I got really sick before the competition and couldn't go to the gym and didn't expect to do very well.
"When they announced it, I couldn't believe I had won, I was on stage with 13 other people at the time.
"I'm really proud of myself and my achievement."