A woman who lost 8st by swapping takeaways for healthy eating has been crowned the new Miss Great Britain.
Jen Atkin, 26, from Ulceby, Lincolnshire, won the longest-running pageant in the UK at a glittering national final in Leicester.
The aviation administrator, has been keen to promote a healthy lifestyle after her remarkable weight loss, which came over a two-year period and also included regular visits to the gym.
After slimming from 17st to 9st, Jen was named Miss Scunthorpe before going on to compete for the title of Miss England in 2018, where she finished as first runner-up.
She then briefly retired from competing in pageants after getting married but decided to give it one more shot after having her name put forward to represent Great Britain.
Jen has now been named the 75th Miss Great Britain following a whirlwind couple of years.
Jen Atkin, 26, (pictured) from Ulceby, who was able to shed eight stone in a two-year period after overhauling her lifestyle, has been crowned Miss Great Britain
Jen (pictured before) saw her weight escalate to 17st on a diet of takeaways, before developing a regime of healthy eating and regular gym work outs
She said: ‘It was such a shock – three years ago I would never ever expected to be winning Miss GB. Hard work really does pay off.’
Following her lifestyle overhaul, Jen featured on a Good Morning Britain debate with Ben Shepherd and Kate Garraway on weight loss.
The 26-year-old was inspired to lose weight after the breakdown of her first serious relationship, fearing that she wouldn’t meet someone else.
Struggling to fit into her clothes, Jen began walking regularly and spending hours in the gym both exercising and socialising.
As ‘all’ of her friends were busy with their own relationships and children, she would also spend time studying food packaging.
Jen who would bike to work for additional exercise, despite not always being able to complete the journey, now exercises five days a week.
She used YouTube to follow workouts including HIIT, running and weightlifting, before being approached by a personal trainer offering additional help.
Jen said she doesn’t calorie count but is mindful of what she eats each day.
She is also a country singer and released her first single in 2018 through the record label MHMG, reaching number two in the ReverbNation national charts.
Her twin brother, Sam Atkin, is an international athlete who competed for Great Britain at last year’s European Indoor Championships over the 3,000m distance.
The 26-year-old (pictured) previously won Miss Scunthorpe and achieved runner-up in Miss England, 2018
Jen decided to give the longest-running pageant in the UK another shot, after her name was put forward, pictured: before left and right in 2019
Jen (pictured before) who is also a country singer, said she felt ‘incredible’ to have been crowned the 75th Miss Great Britain
Jen (pictured) was inspired to overhaul her lifestyle after the breakdown of her first serious relationship, fearing that she wouldn’t meet someone else
Jen’s diet before…
Breakfast: Bacon sandwich or fry-up
Dinner: Takeaway or oven cooked pie and chips
…Jen’s diet after
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs or porridge, fruit and yogurt
Snacks: Banana, or cereal bar, melon, grapes, grapefruit, green tea
Lunch: Tomato soup, chicken salad or jacket potato
Dinner: Chicken or salmon with vegetables and rice or omelette
Dessert: Angel Delight
Jen continued: ‘I’m so incredibly honoured to be the 75th Miss Great Britain, representing our country alongside my twin brother who runs for Team GB.
‘There were 45 Miss Great Britain finalists and I was lucky to not only win the personality award but take home the crown and title of Miss Great Britain 2020.
‘It felt absolutely incredible, I’m over the moon.’
Revealing her plans for the year ahead, she added: ‘I have so much in the pipeline for my reign, including the release of my next country single this spring.’
Jen (pictured) revealed that there was 45 finalists in the Miss Great Britain competition, but she took home the personality award and the grand title
The aviation administrator (pictured before) competed for the title of Miss Great Britain at the Athena in Leicester, which attracted over 400 guests
More than 400 guests watched the live Miss Great Britain event at the Athena in Leicester, where contestants took to the stage in fashion wear, swimwear and evening wear before being interviewed live on stage.
National Director of Miss Great Britain, Kate Solomons, said: ‘The ladies have a strong, entrepreneurial spirit and have already worked so hard in the build up to the competition, supporting our charities and promoting the brand.
‘The contest now attracts such a versatile mix of women, from full time mums, those studying for various careers and this year we had a farmer, a rugby player, a doctor and a dentist taking part in the final.
‘Miss Great Britain really does attract an eclectic mix of independent and empowered women who work together to help build the brand and various amazing causes.’
Jen (pictured) was selected as Miss Great Britain, with judges on the panel including Miss Great Britain 2018/19 Kobi-Jean Cole and pageant historian Sally-Ann Fawcett
The judges for the event were Miss Great Britain 2018/19 Kobi-Jean Cole, actor and martial arts champion Winston Ellis, award winning hairdresser and salon owner Barrie Stephen, pageant historian and author Sally-Ann Fawcett and social media influencers and sisters The ODolls.
The event this year supported two charities, Cancer Research UK and Midlands-based Alex’s Wish – conquering Duchenne muscular dystrophy – and raised a staggering £42,000 for these worthy causes.
In the past eight years, Kate and her team have changed the ruling to allow married women and mothers to enter and this year, a new division open to women aged 28 and above was introduced.
April Banbury, 30, from Hertfordshire won that title and was crowned the first ever Ms Great Britain.
National Director of Miss Great Britain, Kate Solomons introduced a new division open to women aged 28 and above this year, pictured: Jen Atkin