Fit-speration has never looked more beautiful.
After ballooning to 230 pounds in college, 30-year-old Donna Gillie got her life back on track by shedding half her body weight and becoming a bikini competitor.
“I began to struggle with my weight in my early teams,” the Nova Scotia resident told Caters News. “I knew early on I struggled with food — I always overate.”
After graduating college, 22-year-old Gillie weighed 230 pounds.
Donna Gillie/Caters News
Gillie realized that her weight had become an issue as she felt uneasy sitting at her desk at work following her college graduation.
“My turning point when I really decided to make a change and get healthy was at about the age of 22,” she shared. “I remember sitting at my desk at work at my new job and feeling very uncomfortable, and at about 230 pounds and 5 foot 4, it’s no wonder that was the case.”
After joining a gym and kicking her horrid eating habits to the curb, Gillie lost over 70 pounds in two years.
“I began with small steps, I didn’t actually change the way I ate until fairly far into my fitness journey,” Gillie said. “I watched my portions and ate more fruits and veggies, less packaged food and more whole food.”
Between Zumba and step classes, Gillie eventually signed up for 10k races. Through weight training, she was able to sculpt her fit frame as well. But it wasn’t until she lost 100 pounds that she entered her first fitness competition weighing in at 115 pounds.
“I entered not because I wanted a plastic trophy or any recognition but something for myself — to prove to myself I could shape my body after all my hard work losing the weight, I wanted to build my body,” she said.
Thanks to the encouragement of her coaches, a confident Gillie decided to compete in the East Coast Classic a year after making her debut.
“I truly enjoyed the process. I was 115 pounds the day of my show — exactly half the woman I was when I started working out,” Gillie said. “Losing weight has changed my life in only positive ways.”
Set to compete in her third bikini contest in December, Gillie has become an inspiration to others looking to lose weight.
“So many people have come up to me and said I made them want to change and they ask for advice,” she revealed. “I tell them my path and to keep a positive mindset because that alone can work wonders.”
“The fitness community is often thought of as very superficial but to be honest it is a great support system and social atmosphere,” Gillie added.