It's official - Jeannie Ellam is the world body building champion!
The mum-of-two scooped the title at the World Amateur Body Building Association (WABBA) championships in Verona, Italy, after qualifying at the Hercules Olympia in Colchester last May.
Jeannie, 47, of Mirfield, who has been body building for 15 years, is now working towards the Miss Universe competition on November 26.
She is also involved with two family gyms. One is Fitness Connection at Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, which she has with husband Moe. The other is Roy Ellam’s Premier Health Club, Mirfield. Roy is her dad, a former Town football star, who runs the business with her and Moe.
A new venture above the Mirfield gym is a Skyfall trampolining attraction aimed at anyone aged from three to adults.
In her body building role, Jeannie has also clinched another title at the WABBA English Grand Prix in Milton Keynes, where she won the Trained Figure class.
Personal trainer Kevin Taylor, who works at the Ellam gyms, won the class for short males, and Ravensthorpe gym club member Kayla McDonald had the Best Toned Figure.
Jeannie said bodybuilding at competition level involved a great deal of training.
“It is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You are always on a diet, always training, and the older you get the harder it gets,” said Jeannie.
She said the diet was very healthy.
“A lot of people think body builders starve themselves, but that’s not true.
“We eat plenty of proteins - eggs, fish turkey and beef. We also need carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice and porridge oats, and lots of greens,” she said.
But she added: “We are eating the same meals all the time so it can get a little boring, but then – depending on your weight and fitness – you can have one meal a week made up of fast food such as pizza, fish and chips and doughnuts.
Jeannie, who is 5ft 6ins tall with a competition weight of 10.5 stones, said: “I do get people coming up to me in the street asking to feel my muscles. Some guys feel a bit intimidated and say I look disgusting. But others compliment me. The way I look is normal to body builders, but it’s not to Joe Public,” she said.
“It’s not about strength, we train to sculpt our bodies.”
Jeannie said her training had a really good affect on her children - Giovanna, five, and Raull, 12.
She said: “Sometimes I do a little training in the garden and they pick it up and follow me.
“Obviously, the Olympics have been on and they have been watching that too. Raull says ‘I have got a six-pack like you mum’.”
She said children did copy their parents, and if mum and dad were couch potatoes their children tended to be the same.
“My dad was a Town footballer and my husband was a bodybuilder, so it’s the way we are.”
Jeannie added that her husband no longer did bodybuilding, he just kept fit, but he loved what she did and was very supportive.
“Yes, I have bigger muscles than him, but he is my number one coach so it’s his fault anyway,” she joked.
Jeannie's daily diet plan, which kicks in 22 weeks before a competition:
7am: Breakfast - Porridge oats, 8 eggs, an apple and pineapple
10am: Meal 2 – Turkey, potato and asparagus
12.30pm: Meal 3 – the same as Meal 2
3pm: Meal 4 – the same as Meal 2
5pm: Meal 5 – Steak, rice and broccoli
7.30pm: Meal 6 – 8-egg omelette, and lentils and asparagus
9.30pm: Meal 7 – Turkey, asparagus and rice cakes
Sunday is “cheat day” (pizza, puddings, chocolate and doughnuts). But in the last four weeks before the event Jeannie eats the same as the other six days on Sundays as well.
When not planning for a competition Jeannie says she eats what she wants, but still makes sure she has plenty of protein and carbohydrates.