Bodybuilding helps Emma Brace turn life around as she prepares of Miss Universe competition
BODYBUILDING may not be every girl's dream.
But for Emma Brace, the sport has turned her life around.
The 43-year-old from Pittville in Cheltenham is training twice a day in a bid to get through to the bodybuilding Miss Universe final in just her second year of competition.
The personal trainer, who has suffered from anorexia and depression in the past, is now up and running at 4.30am as well as eating six meals a day to get in shape.
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She said: "I've been training for more than 15 years, but only really got into bodybuilding about two years ago.
"I wanted to get some photos done so got into shape for that, using a typical bodybuilding diet.
"I enjoyed the process so much I decided to seek the opinion of a professional bodybuilder to see if I had what it took to get on stage.
"It's changed my life in so many ways. I'm more confident, focused and driven and my personal training business has flourished. I've become part of an Elite group of Trainers with opportunities I would never have had before competing.
"I've also made some great like-minded friends and my life is so much more positive now."
Emma's biggest achievement was qualifying for the National Amateur Body-Builders' Association (NABBA) Miss Universe in her first year of competition.
She did not take part in the final as, despite her legs being in good condition, they lacked the muscle mass she felt they needed and so took a year out to work on them. She now hopes to win a Nabba Wales competition on May 11, improve her placing in the British competition and make the top six at the universe event.
Trainer Lee Powell, at the Severnside Gym in Gloucester, has been helping Emma achieve her goals.
She said: "Lee is singularly the most positive driving force in my life.
"He has an unshakeable work and training ethic and his knowledge of his sport is undeniable.
"He has taught me not only how to be a better bodybuilder but how to be a better person too.
"I've worked very hard with Lee to build some good legs so I'm bringing a balanced symmetrical physique to the stage this year."