For most of us, a new year gym membership has already proved money down the drain.
For one Banbridge woman, however, a new year goal has already resulted in a trio of trophies.
Michelle Moult has been named as the most toned woman in Ireland at the first time of asking at the recent Northern Ireland Fitness Model Association’s Miss Toned awards.
She won the Sports Category award, the Miss Toned 2014 award and was also named Miss Overall Toned 2014.
It’s a prestigious event to win in her first attempt and there was no lack of competition in La Mon Hotel in Belfast.
“On the day, being named winner was a really good feeling and I was very proud to do it,” said Michelle.
“I entered a sports category and did a pole dancing routine. I won it and then won the swim-wear category as well. It’s an All-Ireland title and included 74 girls on the stage. I’ve never known anyone to win it in their first try. I was even competing against girls who are ten years younger than me.
“There were people from Derry and girls from down sotuh as well. Everybody was really nice throughout the competition and the support everyone gave me was brilliant.”
Preparing to compete against so many girls from all over Ireland, Michelle began training at the turn of the year and just two and a half months later, was picking up the trophies in Belfast. Michelle says she stuck to a dedicated fitness regime in the run-up to the event.
“I decided to do it back in December,” she told the ‘LEADER.’
“I was going to the gym but I had no motivation for going so I decided to have a go at it and see how lean and how fit I could get. I had no dietition, no personal trainer and not even a training partner when I was going to the gym. I went to the gym usually six times a week and I followed a very strict diet as well.
“I would like to thank to the Donaghy Performance Centre though and in particular Aaron Donaghy, who kept an eye on me and used his calipers to measure my body fat. When you get to a certain level, you need those to measure it. I got to 10% body fat which, in such a short time, was very pleasing.”
Even a family holiday didn’t mean a break from Michelle’s strict plan, she said:
“During my preparation, we went to Disneyland but I had to bring my own chicken and turkey with me to make sure I kept up my diet. The chicken was starting to go a bit funny by the end of the holiday.
“It was a low carb diet. I gave up carbs altogether as the competition came closer but it was the training that got harder because of it all. There were times I just couldn’t face it.”
Michelle’s children Sebastian (eleven) and Keisha (seven) supported their mum, who hopes they might excel in their own sports. She paid tribute to her whole family after her success:
“My two kids were very proud of me and now that they’ve seen me winning something, they want to win too. They have some gymnastics and ballet competitions coming up and I think I’ve inpired them, which is great.
“My husband Stephen has been my rock. During the times when I wanted to give up, he supported me and kept me going. He stopped me from eating the things I knew I shouldn’t.
“I definitely want to do it again but not just yet. I’m relaxing for a while although I am still going to the gym.”
Michelle is living proof then, that new year’s resolutions can pay off. If only I could even remember what mine was.