BODYBUILDING model Jade McKee admits being tempted by chocolate during breaks from competition training.
After impressing at six events in six weeks during her debut season, she deserved a festive treat.
However, the dedicated competitor will soon refocus on preparing for tougher championships next year.
"It's unbelievable. It was great,'' she said of competing at state and national level for the first time.
"I started training probably a year ago after watching my husband (Adam) compete in a show.
"I saw the girls up on stage and thought, 'Wow, I want to do that'.''
McKee, 28, is delighted how she fared at those major events in recent months.
She successfully represented Queensland in two competitive bodybuilding competitions.
The Raceview physiotherapist began her competitive career at the Australian Natural Bodybuilding (ANB) championships, where she finished fifth at the Gold Coast.
A week later, she contested the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) competition. She won the fitness model class and overall fitness model class in Brisbane.
The fitness model placed fourth in her next natural bodybuilding event at the Gold Coast, before coming fifth overall at the INBA nationals in Melbourne.
At the Queensland titles on the Sunshine Coast, McKee came first in her fitness model division and won the best overall title from 59 other competitors.
Her final success was a second at the nationals in Sydney.
"It was pretty full-on,'' she said of her hectic introduction to competition.
"I didn't expect to do so many, but it was definitely worth it.''
The 166cm-tall dynamo is already focused on her two major open competitions and a show in Melbourne and the Gold Coast, starting in March.
The Brisbane Classic is in May.
"Getting up on stage is an amazing feeling,'' she said.
You only notice the judges but you are up there in front of thousands of people showing off your hard work.
McKee is the QT-City of Ipswich senior sportstar for November in the annual awards backed by Ipswich City Council.
She trains five times a week at Body Boutique in the Ipswich CBD.
Her 20-week pre-competition program includes dieting and controlled training, mainly using heavy weights.
"I have about six weeks off (before starting next year's preparation),'' she said.
"I do have a weakness for chocolate and ice cream.''
However, she plans to be as disciplined as possible during the festive season.
"You need to get your body fat down quite low so you can see your definition,'' she said.
Her favourite food includes big salads with brown rice and chicken.
During her first year on the stage, McKee gained plenty of motivation to continue.
"I've had some good feedback that I need to grow my legs a little bit,'' she said.
"I've been working on training my legs a little bit harder, to get bigger for next season.''
While model bodybuilding has become her new sport, she represented Queensland in ice hockey and was an Australian inline hockey goalkeeper during the early 2000s.
Being a physiotherapist has also helped her adjust quickly to training for her new sport.
"It definitely helps because I've got the knowledge of the body and I can really take that into my technique when I'm training,'' she said.
Ipswich City Council sports bursary winners for November: Jacob Purcell (karate), Emily Purcell ((karate), Filoi Aokuso (athletics), Kirsty Johnson (athletics), Luke McNamara (athletics), Jade McKee (bodybuilding).
To nominate an achiever for a sport excellence bursary and the chance to be named a monthly star, see the coupons that appear regularly in the QT (currently running in Saturday papers).
Application forms are also available at all Council offices and Council's customer service centre in the mall.
Forms can also be downloaded from Council's website, or can be posted to residents on request. Phone 3810 6666 for details.
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