A YOUNG single mum has drastically transformed her life from cake shop owner to a world champion fitness model.
Debi McKay was low on self confidence and not happy with her own body after giving birth to her daughter.
Fast forward 18 months and the super fit 23-year-old from North Berwick has achieved her dream of becoming a professional bodybuilder - a tough feat while also juggling two businesses at the same time.
Debi said: “I looked on Instagram and saw others who looked fantastic and and it didn’t make me feel great in myself. But I decided I wanted to change and haven’t looked back. It has been a crazy 18 months.
“I became too thin but after beginning weightlifting and muscle-building I regained my confidence by balancing my lifestyle and exercise.”
Her journey to success began when she teamed up with Melbourne-based CBFN Global for online fitness sessions.
After six weeks of training she threw herself in at the deep end and shocked an Edinburgh competition to take first prize in her contest bow.
It was that triumph that gave Debi the fuel to test herself further and she upped her training for the UK-wide Body Power Expo in Birmingham in May. Debi exceeded expectations by blowing away the competition and claimed first place while also earning her professional status.
She said: “You just lower the carbs and do a lot more cardio. You take your body to extreme lengths. The last few weeks before an event are usually the hardest but it is incredible when you get to show off your hard work.
“It was a real dream come true for me. I was overwhelmed because I have always wanted to be a bikini model.”
Her next challenge took her to London in August to represent Scotland at the WBFF Worlds, where she finished in the top 20.
Debi trains up to six days a week and also has to factor in two businesses in North Berwick into her life, as well as being a mum to Ellie, 4 – a busy lifestyle she sometimes asks herself how she manages.
She said: “I am very busy. I run Buttercup Cafe and a cake business and I’m very much hands on, six days a week.
“I have a couple of members of staff and my mum helps out too. I’ll often be juggling waitressing, making a cake and some admin. It seemed more of a dream than a reality at first with such a hectic lifestyle, but I love what I do.
“Balance is so important, and I think Ellie and I both support each other – she hopes to become a dancer someday.”
Debi has been shortlisted in the top six females to become the next female ‘Face of USN’ – a leading sports nutrition brand.
Debi will have to wait until December to find out if she’s won, as she hopes to continue to inspire and motivate others to follow healthier lifestyles.
She has set her sights on claiming glory at her next competition, the World Championships in Las Vegas in April, and becoming the best she can be.
Debi said: “It feels amazing to be shortlisted into the top five and to be the Face of USN would be unreal.
“I want to inspire people globally to open their mind up to the fact that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.”
To vote for Debi click here.