A DIVORCEE has transformed herself into a bodybuilding champion using her kids as makeshift weights when she can’t hit the gym – but now can’t find jeans to fit her bulky thighs.
After hitting rock bottom following a relationship breakdown, single mum-of-three Natasha Noble, 36, has become so ripped that her waist has shrunk from 30 to 25 inches.
But her muscular 23 inch thighs are so powerful it’s a struggle to find trousers that will accommodate them.
Now working as a personal trainer, Natasha, of Loughborough, Leicestershire said: “Flicking through Instagram in 2012 when I was eight months pregnant with my youngest child, I saw these pictures of female bodybuilders and was in awe of them.
“I was so determined to change that I went to the gym just two weeks after giving birth and used the treadmill, despite being warned by the midwife against doing any strenuous activity for the first six weeks.
“Now I want to encourage other women who have lost their confidence to do the same, as it was the start of a whole new me.”
When she could not get to the gym, Natasha even used her children as makeshift weights.
“When my 10-year-old daughter, Simran, was about five, I used to lift her right across my back,” she recalled.
“Of course, she and her big sister Satinder, who’s 13, are too big even for me to use as weights now.”
Natasha, who does not wish to name her third child, who has a different dad, explained how she feels training helped her to “take back control” of her life after splitting up with her ex in 2014.
She said: “I was a stay-at-home mum for 10 years and I loved bringing up my kids, but I was married at 20 and soon started to feel like I was losing sight of who I was.
“I met my daughters’ dad when we were both working in a nightclub, but I soon left to have children and stopped having real goals in life.
“I felt that once I had kids, that was basically it for me and my life, and all of a sudden everything I did was for my kids and my husband. I lost myself really, and then sadly our marriage ended after running its course.”
Throwing herself into training after her most recent serious relationship ended has changed her entire outlook on life.
She continued: “I realised that I didn’t have to be timid anymore and I could start investing in myself and striving towards personal greatness.
“I’d seen how beautiful and powerful female bodybuilders were and had one thought, ‘This is what I want to be.’”
“I just fell in love with the sheer power of those women and the beauty of their muscles.
“From that moment on, all I could think about was how I was going to become like them one day.”
Six months after having her third child, Natasha graduated from the treadmill to doing squats, to build up strength in her quads.
Encouraged by the results, she would visit the gym for between two and four hours every day, following a strict regime, fuelled by protein-packed meals every two hours.
“The results were really encouraging,” she said. “I remember lots of my friends coming over to see me and being amazed at how flat my stomach was just days after leaving hospital.
“I think I had been so fixated on getting stronger after seeing those bodybuilder pics that I was really mentally prepared and, when I started working out, my body responded almost immediately.”
When school holidays and looking after her children made going to the gym impossible, she would use her daughters as weights.
She joked: “They were the perfect substitute. At around three or four stone then, they were the perfect weight for me to lift.
“And they loved it – jumping on my back as soon as they saw me come downstairs in my exercise gear.”
Now, Natasha tours the country competing in bodybuilding contests and, since around 2015, has worked as a personal trainer.
She said: “My greatest achievements to date were both in 2015, when I won gold in the UK Body Fitness Federation Grand Prix in London, and the Sugar’s Classic in Leicester in the big girls’ class.”
Now happy to be single and to concentrate on her career and motherhood, Natasha’s big goal is to encourage other women to follow her lead and find themselves through bodybuilding.
She said: “At the moment I don’t have any desire to be with a man, because it’s a waste of the time that I could be devoting to my daughters or my training.
“I want to keep getting fitter and stronger so that when I’m 70 years old I’ll still be able to run around with my daughters.
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“I want my story to inspire other women to find and love themselves and improve their confidence through bodybuilding, like me. Self-love is the key.
“I feel like a different person to the woman I was. I’m confident and strong and don’t need anyone to look after me – I’m finally my own person.”
We previously told how a woman was homeless at 18 and dropped to a skinny size 4 – but now she’s a professional bodybuilder after gaining three stone.