17st student who swapped junk-food binges for pumping iron is crowned Britain"s strongest woman

17st student who swapped junk-food binges for pumping iron is crowned Britain's Strongest Woman

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UPDATED:

13:50 GMT, 27 March 2012

A woman who piled on the pounds by gorging on takeaways and beers while a student has transformed her lifestyle to be crowned Britain's Strongest Woman.

Siobhan Hyland went from fat to fit after becoming hooked on pumping iron when she took up weight training in a bid to become healthier.

She enjoyed the weight workouts so much that what started as a hobby quickly became something she took more seriously. As the fat fell off and her strength improved, she decided to compete in strong woman competitions – and has since won two national titles.

Fat fighter: Siobhan Hyland has lost five stone of fat and has been crowned Britain's Strongest Woman

Fat fighter: Siobhan Hyland has lost five stone of fat and has been crowned Britain's Strongest Woman

'I never imagined that trying to lose a bit of student weight would end up with me being Britain’s Strongest Woman,' she said.

The 29-year-old from Northampton had ballooned from 13 to 17 stone in three years while studying for a degree in modern foreign languages at Leicester University.

'It was just down to my lifestyle, I binged on takeaways and booze all the time,' she said. 'I was a member of the rugby club, we used to go out on a Thursday night to start drinking and not come home till Sunday. It’s a great life, but it plays havoc with your body.'

After graduating, Siobhan knew she had to overhaul her unhealthy lifestyle so she joined a gym to get fit. She 'really got into' the weight training and soon went from working out twice a week to three hours a-day.

Siobhan Hyland

Siobhan Hyland,

Unhealthy lifestyle: When Siobhan was a student, she ballooned to 17 stone

Her gruelling routine involved pumping 100kg weights, hurling tyres and sandbags and even towing friends' vans in the car park.

She also changed her diet, swapping curries and beer for salads, pasta and fruit smoothies.

Her hard work paid off and she lost five stone of fat and gained three stone of muscle.

Last September she won Britain’s Strongest Woman competition – following in the footsteps of her brother Spencer, 42, who competed in the World’s Strongest Man contest.

Siobhan Hyland,

Pumping iron: Now she can lift 100kg weights…

Siobhan Hyland

… as well as hurl 180kg tyres…

.. and do a caber toss (as seen, left, at the Highland Games) and carry heavy loads

.. and do a caber toss (as seen, left, at the Highland Games) and carry heavy loads

… and do a caber toss (as seen, left, at the Highland Games) and carry heavy loads

Not resting on her laurels: The 29-year-old wants to continue with her fitness regime and win more titles

Not resting on her laurels: The 29-year-old wants to continue with her fitness regime and win more titles

Then last month she successfully
defended her title in the British International Highland Games where she
flipped 180kg tyres, pulled 30kg sledges and tossed 80kg cabers.

Siobhan, who now works with disabled students at Northampton University, said she still finds it hard to believe what she had achieved in the last five years – and she doesn't intend to stop yet.

She wants to go on to win more titles.

'I still can’t believe it to be honest. It is something I have always dreamed of – it is great.

'I used to watch World’s Strongest Woman on TV and it was always a dream of mine to do it. I never thought I would,' she said.

'At
school I did strength sports. I used to throw hammer and I did discus
and shot-put. Then I went to university and left it for so long, but I
decided I needed to get fit.

'I
never thought from picking up that first atlas stone for fun this is
where it would lead me. I just thought I’d have a go, but I love it.'