The sweet-tooth addict – ice-cream, cheesecake and sweets were her downfall – had let her weight balloon to an unhealthy 104kg.
“I remember sitting at my desk at work at my new job and feeling very uncomfortable,” says 162cm Donna.
Determined to get fit, Donna joined the gym in 2010 and started exercise classes which helped her to lose more than 30kg over two years.
Shunning any form of surgery shortcuts, she added more fruit and vegetables to her diet to get over a temporary plateau.
Donna also took up Zumba, step class and body pump. Then she began running and signed up for 10km races.
Now the reformed over-eater from Nova Scotia, Canada, is a ripped 52kg – half her original size – and preparing for her third bikini fitness show.
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“I entered not because I wanted a plastic trophy or any recognition but something for myself – to prove to myself I could shape my body after all my hard work losing the weight I wanted to build my body.”
Donna, 30, is understandably proud that she was able to achieve her sensational new figure through diet and workouts alone and without going under the knife.
Because she lost the majority of the weight when she was young, she also has been left without much excess skin.
A video posted by Donna Gillie (@lifeofdonnag) on
Donna now wants to share her story to inspire others to achieve their own weight-loss goals – you can follow her Instagram page here.
“So many people have come up to me and said I made them want to make a change and they ask for advice.
“I always tell them my path and to keep a positive mindset because that alone can work wonders.
“The fitness community is often thought of as very superficial but to be honest it a great support system and social atmosphere.
“Since losing my weight I feel better physically and mentally.”