A 25-YEAR-OLD Cookstown woman has just smashed the competition at her first ever ‘bikini fitness’ body building contest.
Sophie Eastwood from Orriter Road in Cookstown, took on seasoned bikini competitors to clinch the title of UKBFF North East of England Bikini Champion at a contest in Sheffield, where she now lives, and will now go on to the UK final in October.
Daughter of Cookstown couple, Deirdre and Dermot Eastwood, Sophie is a past pupil of Cookstown High School and Windmill Integrated Primary School in Dungannon.
But, through her teen years, she said she wasn’t always so fit.
Sophie told the MAIL: “I struggled with my weight in my late teens, early twenties with college, university and partying.
“It’s (body building) something I have always thought about, but last year I said 2013 is going to be the year that I get on stage in a bikini.
“When I was younger I always thought I’d love a six pack, it is something that I have always dreamed of, but it’s not something that you think is attainable as a female.
“But my family and my fiancé have always been very supportive,” she said.
“I qualified as a personal trainer about three years ago and since then I have been interested in fitness.
“About 10 months ago, I started thinking about it (body building), and it was something that I planned to do, so I sent in my entry form in March and I have been working towards it.
“Normally there is a 12-week period in which you follow a plan and a diet to get yourself stage ready.”
As well as spending two to three hours in the gym and weight training six times a week, Sophie told the MAIL that she has to really think about what she eats, swapping pasta and bread for less fattening substitutes like rice and sweet potato and cutting down treats to once a week, then none for four weeks before competition time.
But she added that she hasn’t found the transition all that difficult.
“Diet is strict,” she said, “but I have never eaten so much in my life.”
“I eat five to seven times a day, you get used to it, three hours and I’m hungry again, it’s by no means a restrictive diet.”
Following her entry into the UK’s Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation final in Harrogate in October, Sophie has bigger plans.
She said: “If I were to do well in the final, the international cross-over for this federation is called the IFBB, which is the professional league, so if you do well in the BFF sometimes the IFBB will invite you to do international shows.
“Some of the girls who were first-timers last year are now competing in Madrid and Vegas and all over the world,” she added.
“I would be looking to progress to the international federation of the IFBB.”