Published: 05:00, 02 January 2022
| Updated: 08:41, 02 January 2022
A mum from Kent who is a British champion bodybuilder now has her eyes on a world title – and then the universe crown.
Frances Amies-Winter, from Barming, near Maidstone, eats up to eight meals a day and exercises for two hours a day, six days a week, to maintain her form.
The mum-of-two fell in love with bodybuilding while trying to lose weight, having weighed 16 stone at one point, and thanks to her husband and coach Steve, 51, who came second in Britain's Strongest man several times.
She said: "I loved it. I love the empowerment. It's a lot more interesting that cardio, it's actually shaping my body.
"Women's bodybuilding in the UK is quite unrepresented. We're a bit like unicorns. In Europe it's massive."
The 39-year-old spoke to KentOnline in 2019, after she came second in the International Bodybuilding Fitness Association (IBFA) world championships in Rome, Italy.
It was only her fourth competition.
In August last year, competing against about 50 other women, she became the NPC's Women's Body Building British Champion.
On her win, Frances said: "I felt elated, I have been training for five to six years now and it has always been aimed at a British title, to finally get one was a dream come true."
Each day, in order to maintain her physique, she will eat 200ml of fried egg whites in the morning, followed by a chicken meal, with the chicken the size of her palm, another chicken meal two hours later, a protein shake after training, then a steak meal, then a chicken meal, followed by a final chicken meal, and then to finish, an egg whites meal.
When she's eating carbohydrates ahead of a competition, she will have 200g of rice with each meal.
"Body building takes over your life – you have to eat sleep and breathe it," she explained.
On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Frances and her husband allowed themselves a break from their strict regime, but they have since returned to their methodical plan.
"Because it's a passion it's very easy to make it your obsession," she said. "I never get to the point where I think I don't want to be doing it.
"It's definitely something you have to love and that's what sees you through."
Friends are supportive of her bodybuilding but she does get the odd negative comment when she's out shopping, for instance.
"Bodybuilding is a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it," she said.
'I am really proud of what I have achieved with my body.'
The couple used to own Redemption Fitness gym in St Peter's Street but they sold the site after the pandemic hit and now coach classes online, through their business, Minister of Muscle.
Frances is currently working towards qualifying for the NAC World Championship in Turkey in June 2022 – and then the next step will be the universe competition.
She said: "I am really proud of what I have achieved with my body. I still look at it and say I want this to be different. I have aspects of my body I still don't like but I am working towards it.
"It's all about being strong psychologically in bodybuilding."