Larne woman Lauren Barkley has won a top fitness title.
Thirty-one-year-old Lauren. from Fairway, is Miss Toned European (over 30s) and was awarded second place in the Miss Bikini category of the Northern Ireland Fitness Model Association championships which took place recently at The Devenish Complex, in Belfast.
Lauren has been training at The Fit Factory in Larne since October.
She said: “I was always the size of nothing. I was fed up. I was never able to put on weight. I decided to go to the gym to try to tone up and to have a bit of shape.”
With guidance from trainer Phil Barnhill, Lauren began training two nights a week deadlifting weights up to 55 kgs and taking up a programme of squats.
“Phil entered me in the competition. I never thought for one minute I was going to win. The fact that Phil believed I could be there was an accomplishment.
“I had to train hard, up to three hours a day although I did not need a strict diet because I am slim.
“For the Miss Toned category, you have to get yours abs out.”
Her hard work and winning look won her a trophy and a medal. She says that she will keep up her training and joked that Phil may have the world championships in mind for her next. Lauren added: ”He is truly inspirational and has been a great support in promoting me.”