A ROCKHAMPTON mum who struggled with her weight has shared the frightening moment she confronted her body image fears and changed her life forever.
Most Rockhampton gym junkies see Bobbie Ellen, manager of World Gym, as the model example of how to lead a healthy lifestyle.
But Ms Ellen has told of the beginning of her health journey a decade ago after suffering life-long weight issues of her own.
"I was once in a dark hole of my own," Ms Ellen said.
"I didn't want to leave my house, I'd sit in front of the TV all day, and I got someone to do my shopping for me.
"I had serious depression issues."
The fitness queen was once a staggering 70kg heavier, shrinking from a size 16 to a size six, but she is now a "healthy" size 10.
Ms Ellen said in her former life she spent "many years hiding from the camera" and "selfies didn't exist in my world", but she has since become a media sensation among Rockhampton gym junkies looking for inspiration.
"No one knows the life you have lived, only you and you are counting on yourself to get up, to never give up and when you fail to try again and again and again!" she wrote on Facebook.
"With bravery, I post this selfie to encourage others in achieving their goals (pictured)."
A gym membership salesperson in a similar position to her own lured Ms Ellen into the industry a decade ago when she sold her a gym membership.
Ms Ellen said the most gruelling part was arriving at the gym where she broke down in tears in the car park.
"I was sitting in the car park and I was crying," she said. "I was shaking. I was embarrassed.
"I called a friend and I told her I didn't want to go in."
A tap on her window from the membership salesperson was the only thing that stopped her driving away.
Ms Gardiner had "goosebumps" recalling the frightening moment.
"This is the first time I've told anyone," she said. "The only person who knows is the owner (of World Gym) himself."
Recalling the ordeal landed Ms Ellen her job at World Gym when the owner asked in the job interview what led her to the fitness industry.
"I told him this story, and he said, 'wow'," she said.
"His response was, 'this is why I love what I do, this is why I love to build gyms with great people, that can transform people's lives'.
"Everyone has a 'why?', and mine is because it literally transformed my life.
"It's transformed my life, and that's why I'm never leaving this industry."
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