Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bodybuilding gran prepares for championship

Aug 15 2007

by David James, South Wales Echo

Allyson Evans is a grandmother who is about to enter her first bodybuilding championship – after slimming from a size 16.

The mother-of-five swapped pasties for pumping iron after making a New Year’s resolution to get fit in January 2006.

But although the 45-year-old is chuffed with her new size eight physique, she’s still nervous about the competition as it means she’s got to strip down to a bikini.

Allyson, of Pontypridd, is doing the competition to raise money for children with learning disabilities at nearby Pontsion Norton school as two of her sons, Luke, nine, and Jay, 13, have learning disabilities.

She said: “I am really nervous. I have never been on a stage before in my life.

“I have got to wear high heels and a bikini for one part of it. I’ve got a lot of stretch marks but my trainer said you’ve got to wear this tanning cream which makes you look really dark.

“My body’s not perfect like some of the girls but I have lived. I have got five children and I’m lucky to have them.

“I am really excited because it’s a challenge. I’m not expecting to win.

“I am a winner just getting on that stage and doing what I have done.”

Allyson’s children who include Holly, 11, James, 21, and Gemma, 25 – herself mum to Mackenzie, two – are all rooting for her.

In the last 18 months she has halved her dress size and gone from 14 stone to eight-and-a-half stone by eating healthy meals seven times a day and pounding the Fitness Solutions gym in Caerphilly five times a week.

The mum, who is separated from her second husband, has had several jobs to raise money while bringing up her children and said her new healthy regime had changed her life.

She said: “I wasn’t happy before. Every time I went shopping I wasn’t happy with my appearance. I felt huge. I didn’t like myself.

“My personal trainer was brilliant. She gave me the confidence to go in the gym. Now I go and people ask if they can train with me.

“It’s even pushing me towards becoming a personal trainer.

“My life’s suddenly coming along so quickly.

“Mark and Bethan Woods, the owners of the gym, have been so supportive. I’m really grateful to them.”

Allyson will be entering the first-timers category at the Paul Grant 2007 UK BFF Welsh championship at the Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot, on September 9

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