Mum kicks $3 drink habit for bikini win
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Kristel Hudson was about to compete in her first bodybuilding competition when she was confronted with the most challenging time in her life.
The 33-year-old found out she was going to be a mum for the first time, her relationship broke down and her father was diagnosed with lung cancer.
As a result she pulled out of the competition and saw her passion for exercise and healthy eating dwindle.
""I found out I was pregnant seven weeks before I was to step on stage," she told news.com.au.
"After my baby was born I found out my dad was dying from lung cancer - I was raising a baby alone, helping to look after my dad as well as working as a conveyancer."
When her dad died in October 2015, Ms Hudson developed depression and anxiety, gaining 20kg.
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But when Ms Hudson finally found the courage and motivation to look after herself again, she went on to compete and win her first ever bikini modelling competition.
"I was looking at other mothers who were just as busy as I was and thought, if they can do it, so can I," she said.
"I couldn't stand being the way I was anymore; unmotivated, lethargic and very low in confidence.
"At my heaviest, I was 65 kgs. It doesn't sound like a lot but I am only 153cm tall and before I fell pregnant I was 46kg and very lean," she said.
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DIET INCLUDED $3 SLURPEES DAILY
Ms Hudson said while she didn't "typically look" overweight she had a very high-fat percentage.
"My diet consisted of hot chips for breakfast with barbecue and chilli sauces, slurpees daily and some days eating just one meal and these one meals would be binge eating on Chinese or Thai food."
"I hated how I looked especially knowing how I looked before I had a baby."
She refused to go out with friends and on dates, and wore baggy clothes to "hide".
She started by buying a dumbbell, barbell kit and resistance bands and began to train at home as getting to a gym as a working, single mum was tough.
It was during this time she stumbled across an Instagram post of Sydney-based personal trainer and transformation specialist Andrew Menechian, who began to train her online.
"He set up what I should be eating, how much of it and also made an at home and gym program for me to follow after I told him that I had limited time to get to the gym," Ms Hudson said.
"The program consisted of two days at the gym doing split upper and lower body, 30 minute cardio sessions and two days of at-home banded workouts and body weighted workouts."
Then in October last year she decided to step back on the stage again.
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"After four years of consistency, I told myself to just finally get up on stage and compete," she said.
Ms Hudson signed up for competition preparation with a coach specifically affiliated with the Natural Bodybuilding Australia federation.
"I never thought I would ever get up there after I had my daughter and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made," the Sutherland Shire local said.
She went on to win all three categories - Beginners, Intermediate and Over 30s - and the title of Overall Bikini Champion.
"The experience of the day and the feeling of accomplishment has reassured me that we can do anything we put our mind and heart to," Ms Hudson said.
Admittedly, Ms Hudson said she has not touched a $3 slurpee in years.
"Instead, I drink plenty of water. I eat whole foods, lots of green vegetables, fish and chicken and red meat twice a week."
"I don't binge eat at all and eat five small meals a day and snack on nuts and fruits."
Ms Hudson said she is so happy with how she looks that her new-found confidence encouraged her to branch out and become a part-time freelance model.
She is also working with Andrew again in the hopes of winning her second title, this time in WBBF Fitness and Fashion competition.
If you've got a transformation story you'd like to share, get in touch with email@example.com
Originally published as Mum kicks $3 drink habit for bikini win