Dedicated body sculptor Jacqui Van Dam won gold at the Canterbury Classic in Christchurch.
The recent event was Van Dam's third competition in the Novice Short category, winning a gold medal, body sculpture products and the satisfaction of having achieved another personal goal.
"Participating in body sculpture events is harder mentally than physically," Van Dam said.
Originally from Southland, Van Dam, 48, has lived in Alexandra for the past four years and was introduced to the sport two years ago.
"I have always been keen on sport and I was approached by Alexandra's Proactive gym owner Sher Randle who suggested that I try body building. Looking into [it] I decided that it wasn't for me and made the decision to try body sculpting instead," she said.
Body sculpting for women involves a combination of weight-bearing exercises, cardiovascular training and core condition workouts, along with a sound nutritional plan.
Twelve weeks later Van Dam entered her first body sculpting competition in Dunedin.
"I began to increase my weights during my workouts, I also changed my diet. I was amazed at what I could achieve with my body so quickly with these simple changes."
Body sculpting requires a strict eating pattern of six to seven meals per day where protein is increased and carbohydrates are decreased.
"When training for an event, my high protein diet consists of fish, chicken, egg whites, parsley and celery and protein shakes. Tea will consist of a salad or vegetables and a small portion of meat. Two weeks before competition day I completely cut out all carbohydrates," she said.
"My next goal is to win gold at next month's NZ Masters Rowing Championships in Twizel participating in the doubles and quad categories."
- The Southland Times