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Sydney mum loses 35 kilos, becomes a bodybuilder

Like millions of mums across the world, Claudia Duve struggled for years to shed the extra weight she gained after giving birth to two children. 

And the extra kilos only came on faster after she had knee reconstruction surgery.

Claudia, now 51, eventually tipped the scale at 95 kilograms and couldn’t help but feel frumpy when she looked in the mirror. 

But after her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the mum-of-two lost 35 kilos at the gym and found a passion for bodybuilding.

Claudia recently competed in the Philippines, where she was awarded the title of Pro Figure Athlete by the Australasian Natural Bodybuilding Federation

Claudia Duve, 51, lost 35 kilos and is now a professional bodybuilder after an incredible weight loss journey 

Claudia was inspired to make a huge change in her life after her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer 

Claudia was inspired to make a huge change in her life after her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer 

Claudia, of Sydney, told Daily Mail Australia that she began to pack on the pounds after a knee injury left her struggling with immobility and discomfort. 

The Sydney midwife also found it hard to make her own health a priority and struggled with her diet.

‘There was a bit of emotional eating,’ she said. ‘My diet wasn’t bad – it probably wasn’t the best – but my reasons for eating weren’t the right reasons.’

But in 2011 Claudia’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she was left feeling ‘pretty angry at the world’. 

‘I didn’t like the look of myself and who I had become, I just felt old and frumpy,’ she said. 

‘I realised I couldn’t move as well as I should for someone at my age. I had no energy, and I wore clothes to try and hide myself.’ 

Claudia, of Sydney, told Daily Mail Australia that she put on a lot of weight after injuring her knee while playing soccer

Claudia then had to undergo knee reconstruction surgery

Claudia, of Sydney, told Daily Mail Australia that she put on a lot of weight after injuring her knee while playing soccer. She then had to have a knee reconstruction surgery

But in 2011 Claudia's father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she was left feeling 'pretty angry at the world', she said 

But in 2011 Claudia’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she was left feeling ‘pretty angry at the world’, she said 

Claudia felt 'old and frumpy' and couldn't recognise the woman staring back at her in the mirror. So she decided to make a change 

Claudia felt ‘old and frumpy’ and couldn’t recognise the woman staring back at her in the mirror. So she decided to make a change 

‘So I thought I would find a bit of an outlet to try and deal with some of the anger and stress I had.’

Claudia joined the gym with her daughter, who was 16 at the time, and signed up for a personal trainer to show her how to exercise. 

Initially she began working out three times a week, simply trying to run on the treadmill for 20 minutes. 

Although the routine was hard at first with her knee, Claudia soon found that exercise actually helped it become stronger.

‘I could feel the benefits of building up the muscle around my knee joints,’ she said. 

‘There were days it was uncomfortable, but I managed it with a bit of ice and a bit of elevation. It only really got better as each month passed.’

Claudia joined the gym with her daughter, who was 16 at the time, and signed up for a personal trainer to show her how to exercise

Claudia joined the gym with her daughter, who was 16 at the time, and signed up for a personal trainer to show her how to exercise

She began working out three times a week, simply trying to run on the treadmill for 20 minutes

She began working out three times a week, simply trying to run on the treadmill for 20 minutes

Claudia built up to a combination of resistance and weight training five days a week and in 10 months she had lost 30 kilos

Claudia built up to a combination of resistance and weight training five days a week and in 10 months she had lost 30 kilos

Claudia built up to a combination of resistance and weight training five days a week and in 10 months she had lost 30 kilos.

She stayed motivated with the help of a group of gym friends, who also suggested that she give bodybuilding a try.

‘I was going to do one competition, and now I’ve done nine,’ Claudia said with a laugh. 

‘I really like the whole challenge, I’m quite disciplined and it’s a very disciplined sport, and I like training so it all married up together.’

And although it was hard the first time she had to get up on that stage and flaunt her figure two years ago, Claudia now loves showing off the effort she’s put into her physique.

‘We all go out there fairly proud with the work that we’ve done, and it’s a bit of fun!’ she said. 

Claudia (pictured with her daughter) stayed motivated with the help of a group of gym friends, who also suggested that she give bodybuilding a try two years ago

Claudia (pictured with her daughter) stayed motivated with the help of a group of gym friends, who also suggested that she give bodybuilding a try two years ago

Although it was hard that first time she had to get up on that stage and flaunt her figure, Claudia now loves showing off the effort she's put into her physique.

Although it was hard that first time she had to get up on that stage and flaunt her figure, Claudia now loves showing off the effort she’s put into her physique.

Her transformation journey even inspired a career change, and Claudia decided to become a fitness coach after 30 years in midwifery

Her transformation journey even inspired a career change, and Claudia decided to become a fitness coach after 30 years in midwifery

Claudia recently competed in the Philippines, where she was awarded the title of Pro Figure Athlete by the Australasian Natural Bodybuilding Federation. 

Her transformation journey even inspired a career change, and Claudia decided to become a fitness coach after 30 years in midwifery. 

‘A big passion of mine is to transform other people’s lives like I’ve done my own,’ she said.  

‘And I really wanted to follow my passion. I had spent a lot of time working in hospitals, looking after people in illness, and I wanted to promote wellness.’

‘I saw coaching as an extension of what I’ve been doing, but as a bit of preventative health rather than treating people with things that had already happened.’  

Claudia, who now weighs 60 kilos, said she has become a far more confident and adventurous person since her weight loss journey began. 

Claudia said she has become a far more confident and adventurous person since her weight loss journey began and even recently travelled to Ethiopia to help a charity 

Claudia said she has become a far more confident and adventurous person since her weight loss journey began and even recently travelled to Ethiopia to help a charity 

But the most important thing Claudia has learned through her journey is the sheer power of her own mind, she said 

But the most important thing Claudia has learned through her journey is the sheer power of her own mind, she said 

‘I’ve taken more risks and gone and done things I probably never would’ve done before,’ she said. 

‘I just came back last week from Ethiopia after raising money for a charity. It’s something I never would’ve backed myself or had the confidence to do until the transformation I made.’

But the most important thing Claudia has learned through her journey is the sheer power of her own mind. 

‘If you set your mind, and put your mind in the right place, anything is possible,’ she said. 

‘It’s not whether you’re physically able or anything like that. If you’ve got the right mindset and steer away from negativity, that’s one of the biggest things.’

‘Just go forth and do it for yourself, no one else.’ 



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