A YOUNG woman whose dreams of becoming a professional dancer were shattered by injury has fought back to become the UK’s top “natural” bodybuilder.
Meg Smith, 26, from Liberton, scooped the top spot as Britain’s Ladies Bikini champ at the Drugs Free Bodybuilding Association (UKDFBA) in October and will now jet off to LA to compete in the world championships.
Incredibly, her success comes just three years after she took up the sport following an injury.
Training at the Stockbridge school Dance For All, Meg who began dancing when she was three-years-old, had dreams of becoming a professional dancer before she hurt her back.
During her rehabilitation she got a taste for fitness and has spent the last three years dedicating her life to succeeding as a bikini bodybuilder and personal trainer.
“Believe it or not lifting weights is good for injury,” she said. “I realised I had hurt myself through lack of knowledge and when I saw bikini bodybuilders training I wanted to learn more and get involved.”
Meg’s dad, Ray Smith, dabbled in amateur bodybuilding in the 90s and encouraged her to give it a go.
“I got a taste for it,” she said. “I want to look the best that I can and push myself to be fit and athletic.
“When people find out what I do they are generally quite surprised. I don’t look like a traditional body builder!”
She competes in the bikini category which not only focuses on the fitness of the body but the hair, make-up and tan of competitors.
“Because you’re in a bikini everything has to be perfect.” Meg explained. “Ahead of a competition you have to eat, breathe and sleep the gym.
And Meg said that sacrifice was one of the hardest elements of competing.
“You need balance but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I am up at 5am every morning for cardio training, I have to pass on social events and always say no to that Saturday night Dominos.”
But her hard work has paid off – being crowned queen of the bikini bodies in the UK championships in October gave Meg a fully funded place in the world championships in Los Angeles on Friday.
“I can’t believe I won the British title,” she said. “But it is recognition of all the hours and hard work I have put into training.”
And there she hopes her success will continue: “I have done really well in competitions recently and have a stack of trophies so of course I would love to win. But placing in the top five would be a great achievement.”
She is also passionate about promoting a drug free training environment: “It’s important to me that the sport I compete in is drug free as going down that route can lead to all sorts of health problems later in life. You don’t need drugs to change your physique.”