Obese woman finds love after losing 8 stone thanks to bodybuilding

Obese woman finds love after losing 8 stone thanks to bodybuilding


Party girl who weighed more than 18st reveals how she ditched nights out for sessions in the gym and can now leg press the weight of two adult pandas

  • Anne Marie Williamson, 27, from Inverness went from 18st 1lb to 10st 1lb
  • Developed a taste for exercising at the gym which allowed her to lose 8st
  • But decided to bulk back to 13st 3lb  to develop muscles for bodybuilding shows
  • Has found love and turned her person trainer boyfriend into bodybuilder too 

A reformed party girl has revealed how she swapped nights out drinking for sessions in the gym and can now leg press 300kg – the weight of two adult pandas.

Six years ago, Anne Marie Williamson, 27, was single and feeling ‘negative’ and ‘unattractive’ after her weight soared to more than 18st, due to partying, overeating and sleeping off her nights out instead of exercising.  

Then based in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, where she worked as a hairdresser, at 5ft 5in, she also had a body mass index (BMI) used to gauge a healthy weight of 42.2 – compared to the NHS healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9 – making her obese.

But after being inspired by pictures of bodybuilders, Anne Marie successfully lost 10st 1lb in a year and dropped to a size 8, after a change in her diet and exercise regime, bringin her BMI down to 23.5.  

However, set on becoming a recognised bodybuilder, Anne Marie, who felt she was ‘too skinny’ bulked up to a size 12 and 13st 3lb, ditched hairdressing and now works as a personal trainer. 

She’s now found love with a fellow personal trainer and introduced him to the bodybuilding lifestyle. The pair compete in bodybuilder competitions  

Hairdresser from Inverness Anne Marie Williamson, 27, went from 18st 1lb to 10st 1lb in 2016. However, she felt she was too skinny to fulfill her goal of becoming a bodybuilder, so put some weight back on and is now a  size 12, and weighing 13st 3lb. Pictured before 

In her teenage years and early 20s, Anne Marie’s weight soared to 18st and she had a ‘negative’ mindset. Now, pictured right after her weight loss, the personal trainer prefers to spend her time at the gym, and can leg press 300kg – the equivalent of two adults pandas 

Recalling her previous mindset, Anne Marie said: ‘I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was such a negative person.

‘I couldn’t be bothered with doing anything. I would sleep, go to work, and go out drinking at the weekend – any opportunity I got I would sleep.’ 

She said: ‘As a teenager, I was going out drinking and getting into trouble and so went to the gym as an outlet.

‘So, when I saw these amazing pictures of bodybuilders in my early twenties, I decided to go back.

Anne Marie admitted she used to drink a lot during night outs (left) before her weight loss, but now prefers to prepare for bodybuilding competitions (right)

Pictured: Anne Marie showing off her ripped physique moments before hitting the stage during competitions

Thanks to her high level of training and all the time she spends in the gym, Anne Marie can enjoy cheat days (pictured enjoying some pic n mix)

How Anne Marie’s diet has changed 


Breakfast – toast and jam and a bowl of sugary cereal

Snack – microwaveable pasta with sauce and cheese

Lunch – chips made in the deep fryer with cheese

Snack – crisps or biscuits

Dinner – a microwaveable burger and chips or a ready meal

Snack – crisps or biscuits



Breakfast – Eggs and porridge oats, with whey protein and coconut oil

Snack – fruit or a protein shake with carb powder

Lunch – chicken, rice and vegetables, with olive oil for fat

Snack – fruit, cereal, or cream of rice with whey protein

Dinner – chicken or lean mince meat with rice or sweet potato and vegetables

Snack – Greek yoghurt and whey protein or 70-80pc dark chocolate 

‘I stopped hanging about with my old friends and going out partying all the time and made new friends at the gym.

‘It made me realise that my mindset had been awful.

‘Losing weight helped me to see the positive side of things, rather than having a victim attitude.

‘It gave me energy and made me much more of a go-getter.’

Anne Marie admitted she stopped talking to her old friends after starting to workout more, and said it helped her see the positive side of things (pictured before)

Anne Marie enjoying drinks before her weight loss. She swapped the bottle for weight lifting, which she became addicted to, she said

Anne Marie, right, reached the British female bodybuilding finals, one of many competitions she’s taken pat in since 2016

The bodybuilder now solely focuses on her fitness after ditching hair dressing and starting her personal trainer business (pictured)

Anne Marie, pictured now, admitted she sometimes was criticised by strangers, but she said she paid them no mind 

But slimming down was not enough for Anne Marie who, seeing bodybuilders at the gym decided that was the kind of physique she really wanted so, helped by a personal trainer she remains friends with, she joined their ranks.

‘If I hadn’t found bodybuilding and fitness, my life could have gone down a totally different route,’ she said.

‘When I joined the gym, I started to really enjoy it.

‘Then, when I started learning about weight training, I just got addicted to it – it felt so good.

‘I’d never seen big muscles before in person like that and when I researched female bodybuilders, I knew I really wanted to look like them.

Anne Marie pictured celebrating after winning one of her titles with boyfriend Darren Malaly, 28

The couple training together at the gym. Anne Marie said Darren started participating in bodybuilding competitions after they started dating 

‘So, my trainer helped me do the exercises, making sure I was doing them correctly.’

Soon, Anne Marie was looking totally different again.

And in April 2016 she took part in her first bodybuilding competition in Motherwell, in North Lanarkshire, Scotland – placing third in her class.

She entered again in 2017 but having moved up a class, she did not place, then took a year away from competing in 2018 to focus on bulking her body up.

Anne Marie showing off her physique on stage during a competition. She started attending competitions in 2016, where she took part for the first time in Motherwell, in North Lanarkshire, Scotland – placing third in her class

Anne Marie admitted she would spend her time sleeping, working and going out drinking before losing the weight 

‘I had dropped all the way down to 65kg (10st 2lb) but I was too skinny,’ she said.

Now a size 12, but weighing 13st 3lb, after gaining three stone of solid muscle, she has ditched hairdressing to run her own personal training business within a Future Fitness gym in Glasgow, where she moved to after finding love.

She met Darren Malaly, 28, a fellow bodybuilder and personal trainer at her second competition in 2017 and moved 200 miles to live with him in 2018.

She said: ‘With the distance and me getting ready for my shows, I didn’t know whether we would have the time to see each other and make it work.

Anne Marie, pictured now, said she hoped to have surgery in order to erase the stretch marks on her body

The bodybuilder, left, pictured during a competition. She explained she did two hours of cardio a day plus weight training for two months when training for a show 

Wining and dining before the weight loss. Anne Marie is much more careful about what she eats and drinks now 

‘But he agreed he would do the show with me and travelled up to see me. We did the show together and he won his class and it all worked out.

‘He loved the whole gym lifestyle before he met me, but he just hadn’t entered competitions yet.

‘It’s great that we can understand each other and have this in common.’

Anne Marie, who went back to college in 2016 to retrain as a personal trainer, has come a long way since the frumpy days when she sloped about in size 18 leggings and baggy tops.

She is now more likely to be found showing off her incredible muscles in a £450 Swarovski crystal-embellished bikini at a bodybuilding show.

She said: ‘Now I’ve gained muscle I wear a size 12 as I have bigger legs, back and shoulders.’

Showing off her body after the weight loss but before she started training as a bodybuilder in 2016

And she is keen to use her training skills to give back and help other overweight and obese people to shape-up.

She said: ‘When I qualified, I wanted to work with either really obese people, people who really wanted to get into weight training or really skinny people who wanted to gain weight.

‘I started with a woman who was too big to fit on some of the machines.

‘She ended up enjoying the exercise in the end, even though she hated it at the start.

‘When a client comes in like that, I understand how they feel as I’ve been there too.

‘And it doesn’t feel like work at all, because a gym is an environment that I love being in.’

Whereas once the most Anne Marie would lift would be a wine glass, she now deadlifts 150kg, (23st 6lb) and has entered bodybuilding competitions in Hull and Scotland – even reaching the trained figure female bodybuilding class finals of a UK-wide contest in 2019, before Covid stopped further events.

She came second in the trained figure class at the qualifiers in September that year and was thrilled to place seventh in her class in the British finals in Hull in October, run by the Physical Culture Association (PCA) Bodybuilding Federation. 

Hoping to compete again in 2021, once coronavirus restrictions end, she had planned to have private surgery in April 2021, which she now hopes will take place later this year – and improve her chances of placing well.

The procedure, costing £3,700, will remove the areas of loose skin and stretch marks from her stomach resulting from her dramatic weight loss, which appear more visible as she gets leaner before a show.

Preparations to compete see her aiming to lose 30kg (4st 10lb) before each event.

This means increasing her cardio exercise in the run-up to a show and reducing her diet to just 1,000 calories a day – half of what women are recommended by the NHS to eat in order to maintain their weight.

‘Before a show, I do two hours of cardio a day plus weight training,’ she said. ‘But it’s not forever – it’s only for two months.

‘The first time I did it, I didn’t understand the process. I remember being in the gym and I was so exhausted I started crying.

‘Now I know why it happens, as your energy levels are so low, and your hormones are all over the place.’

When she is not competing, Anne Marie is far less strict – even indulging her sweet tooth with fruit and occasional bowls of cereal after workouts, which help her to avoid binge eating.

‘At the moment, I have 3,000 calories a day, which is a mixture of high protein, fats and lots of carbs for energy,’ she said.

‘I also have some cheat meals like ordering in a pizza or eating cookies and ice cream. 

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