A WINCHESTER woman has taken part in a body-building competition inspired by her new fitness regime.

Vicki Harrison, a 42-year-old from Teg Down, took part in the Miss Galaxy Universe competition in Crawley two weeks ago spurred on by her love for healthy food and physical exercise.

The mother-of-one enjoyed the contest – a morning of fitness tests, an afternoon of swimwear modelling and a prestigious evening dressed in a full-length gown, medal and tiara – which she said was a fantastic challenge and inspired after following a fitness expert on Facebook.

“I decided 2014 was going to be my year to change and my goodness I most certainly have,” she said. “I had been following fitness expert and competitor Michelle Brannan IBFF Bikini Pro on Facebook for a little while and noticed she offered an online training plan to become the best shape you can be.

“I signed up with Michelle Brannan in January 2014 and straight away fell in love with the new way I was training and my eating plan.

“It wasn't easy by any means. I am a single mother to my beautiful 13-year-old daughter, Maisie, and I work 5-6 days a week as a dental nurse in Winchester so I had to fit the training in around my already very busy life. But if you want something bad enough you do it.”

Ms Harrison, who has been going to the gym for over 20 years, said while the fitness regime is tough it has given her tremendous results and the competition has given her a new zest.

“I really would love this to inspire everyone to take up a healthy lifestyle with fitness and nutrition,” she added. “But especially women who sadly sometimes feel intimidated by a gym and think that weight training will make you gain big muscles. Yes you gain muscle but you also lose fat. I have dropped from a size 12 to a size 6 by doing exactly that.

“I have met some wonderful ladies all with the same common interest. Everyone is so motivating and loving and positive to each other.”