Displaying yourself on stage in front of judges and crowds would be daunting for many, but not Andrea Eddleston.
“I felt my most comfortable on stage in this last competition,” said the Bright’s Grove bodybuilder.
“It was a genuine place for me to be.”
Eddleston, 42, scored four first place rankings at the recent Ontario Physique Association’s Toronto Championship, two in Women’s Figure and two in Women’s Physique.
She entered her very first competition just two years ago and it was “nerve wracking,” she said.
But desire and perseverance now has her positioned for upcoming world qualifiers in B.C. and Quebec.
Eddleston said she got into the sport through friends, including one who lost considerable weight and transformed her body into bodybuilding material.
She attributes much of her success to coach Jason Green and his physique team out of Toronto. He designed a specific meal and fitness plan for her that involves lots of meat and vegetables and six to eight meals a day.
But following a competition Eddleston admits to a little splurge.
“It’s usually sugar. I like sugar. I want sugar,” she said, laughing.
Eddleston works out at least two hours each day with a combination of weight training and cardio.
“I just do the work. My coach is literally a genius as far as the science goes behind bodybuilding,” she said.
Fortunately, Eddleston has a job that can be adjusted to meet her heavy training commitment. She owns a hair salon and is its only employee by design, she said.
When she puts down the scissors she’s always happy to pick up the weights, she said.
“I’m busy verbally and I communicate all day long, so it’s a nice quiet place to be by myself, in my own space.”
She does many of her workouts at Anytime Fitness in Bright’s Grove, where members say they’re proud of her transformation and accomplishments.
Eddleston also relies on the strong support of husband Roy and children Grace and Joey.
“I have a very supportive family who help me do anything,” she said. “My husband has literally cooked every single meal for me for a year, maybe longer.”
Physique competitors have to be comfortable having their bodies analyzed, and Eddleston says she’s learned to be unfazed by it.
“You can’t compare yourself to anyone else, bodies are so different. You can only beat yourself in this sport,” she said.
“I think it’s very important to love the skin you’re in.”