Jodie muscles up
"ORDINARY people can achieve extraordinary things."
This is the motto of 27-year-old former Bundaberg woman Jodie Howard, who has just capped off a successful year in bodybuilding with several international and national titles tucked into her belt - or, should we say, bikini.
Ms Howard's love of bodybuilding began in 1992 when she started weight training to help with strength and conditioning while she was studying dance and acrobatics.
She left Bundaberg to study teaching in Brisbane in 1994, where her interest in the sport increased.
"I never thought that I would ever compete, but I continued to train hard as I love food and wanted to keep the weight off while still enjoying myself and life," she said.
"In 2005, after gaining more knowledge about diet, I entered my first competition and have continued to compete ever since."
Ms Howard enjoyed many successes in 2007 and 2009 and, most recently, won the Miss Universe Trained Class 2 Division in the UK, in which 13 women from around the world competed.
"Winning is not the major goal, but definitely makes all of the hard work worthwhile and is the icing on the cake," she said.
"There are so many athletes in this sport and you never know who you will be standing next to on stage from one year to the next.
"That's why 2011 for me was an incredible year."
When she isn't competing, Ms Howard works in childcare education.