Freeman thrilled to be world champ

MOST mums find it hard to fit looking after kids and full-time work into the one day _ but Bridget Freeman has also found time to become a world champion.

The 43-year-old, of Launceston, was last month crowned the world champion in the physique masters division of the International Natural Bodybuilding Association's Natural Olympia in San Diego, California.

It had been a tough few months leading up to the competition for Mrs Freeman, spending hours at Launceston's Health and Fitness World training under the guidance of her husband, coach and nutritional adviser, Damien, and organising to fit everything into the one day.

``It's hard,'' said Mrs Freeman, who has been competing in competitions since 1997.

``But I'm very lucky because my husband and Jade [nine-year-old daughter] are very supportive and they work around me.

``My husband and I take it in turns to go early to the gym before work so one of us is always home and I go to the gym in my lunch hours and do a few evening sessions at home.''

For competition prep, Mrs Freeman's routine consists of four weight training sessions a week and four high intensity cardio sessions.

Her diet is the same each day: a small portion of rolled oats cooked in water with egg white and blueberries for breakfast; a protein shake and maybe some rice cakes after training; grilled chicken and vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, for the next two meals; then cottage cheese with peanut butter and protein powder before bed.

But the hard work paid off for Mrs Freeman when she won the international competition that was contested by 1000 of the world's best athletes.

``It is even more special to me when I think back to a couple of years ago when I couldn't even walk following a knee reconstruction,'' she said.

And for Jade and Mr Freeman it was also a good chance to have a family holiday in the US and go to Disneyland.

Jade said she felt proud of her mum, but didn't have much interest in bodybuilding.

``I do gymnastics,'' Jade said.

Mrs Freeman is enjoying being able to eat sweets with her daughter and husband again now  the competition is over.

``I'm hoping there's a chocolate eating competition that I could go and have a try at,'' she said.

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