It’s hard to believe that this Australian mother was once overweight when she steps on stage in a slim bikini showing off her torn physique.
Jodie Marquardt, 46, was on the verge of type 2 diabetes, weighing 232 pounds at her heaviest, prompting her to start exercising and dropping takeaways.
Starting with daily walks, the financial advisor continued to step out of his comfort zone and even stepped on stage in September 2021.
Jodie, from Townsville, Australia, now looks ‘ten years younger’ and weighs 120 healthy.
She said: “I never thought I would enter a bodybuilding competition in my life.
“But after reaching my goal weight, which was 154 pounds in nine months by eating fresh healthy food, daily walks and workouts – I decided to push myself even further.
“People say the transformation has taken ten years from my appearance, but more importantly, I also feel 10 years younger.
“I have so much more energy and I’m eager to get out of my comfort zone.”
Before she lost weight, Jodie would often find herself eating a large pepperoni pizza and snacking on a family-sized block of chocolate.
She adds: “I used to try to fool people by eating a salad in public and then filling my face with junk privately.
“I had tried many fad diets before, but this time I was serious because my health was at stake.
“I decided to take a different approach by changing one habit at a time and then move on to the next area instead of changing everything at once and giving up when it got too difficult.
So instead of junk food daily, I cut down to two days a week and it slowly led to zero.
“I started walking every day, initially only 1.2 miles, which would leave me with a sweaty mess.
“I knew the road to better health would be difficult, but I was determined to do so.”
In November 2019, Jodie received a breast reduction and lift along with skin removal on her stomach.
Jodie then came across a bodybuilding competition on social media that motivated her to ‘refine’ her physique.
By January 2020, Jodie began preparing for the competition, and within months, she had chiseled abdominal muscles.
She said: “I was curvy and busty before and I wore a J up bra when I was heaviest.
“It’s unbelievable how much more mobile I am without a bigger belly and stomach – little things like being able to tie my shoelaces.
“It is a constant pleasure to be able to move freely and feel comfortable in my own skin.
“The training for the competition was intense and consisted of one hour of cardio early each morning, followed by two hours of weight training after work five days a week.”
Jodie remains positive despite not competing in the ICN Tropix competition and plans to compete again.
She said: “I am very proud of what I have achieved; the best thing is the change in mindset.
“I tackle things with positivity by stopping and dealing with setbacks rather than opening a bag of chips.
“Even on cheat days, I choose healthier dishes like steak and salad over a KFC takeaway.
“I hope my story highlights that anything is possible.
“I’m a woman in my forties – with a career, family and house to run.
“It’s not impossible, it just requires consistency.
“From 42 to 46, I’ve turned my life around for the better, and so can other women.”
This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.