MUM Lesley Blanchard is looking to muscle in on the international bodybuilding scene after making it through to a world
The 37-year-old took up the sport three years ago as she looked to boost her confidence after a divorce.
Now Lesley, who is originally from Grangetown and now lives in Seaham, is the holder of a host of titles, with her latest win coming at the World International Bodybuilding and Fitness Association (IBFA) British Championship.
The win at the event in Northumberland means she will compete in the world championship, in Rome in November.
Lesley is being supported by fiance Bruce McCall, 46, who owns a gym in Vane Terrace, Seaham.
She said: “I was over the moon. Bodybuilding has totally bettered my confidence.
“It really helped take my mind off the divorce and that was the drive for it.
“The best bit for me is working with my partner.”
Lesley works with Bruce and trains three times a day in 40, 30 and 20-minute slots in between working with clients and looking after her children Hope, 16, and Abbeyjo 12.
In the 12 weeks running up to a competition, she goes on to a low-carb, high protein diet six days a week.
Her typical diet for the day will be two Weetabix with water for breakfast, rice and turkey at noon and 3pm, with a tuna salad for tea.
Lesley added: “It’s really hard, especially when you’re making the kids meals and serving them fish and chips.
“Usually after a competition you have a break, but I’m going to try and keep in shape, train, and stick to a diet.”
Lesley holds a number of titles including Miss Tone Figure which she won two years ago. She was fourth at last year’s National Amateur Bodybuilders’ Association Miss Tone and also qualified for Miss Universe last year.