Mum's journey from 35kg overweight to star body builder
AT 35KG overweight and facing the prospect of a double knee replacement, Renee Archer thought the strength training she'd been recommended as an alternative was the "easy way out".
Four years later, Renee has her sights set on the Olympia stage in Las Vegas after taking out a number of state body building titles.
Renee won the Masters Figure Division, Open Figure Division and Figure Overall title at the IFBB Arnold Classic qualifiers in Qld earlier this month.
Five days after that, she travelled to Melbourne to compete at the Arnold Classic in Melbourne.
She won the masters again and came third in Open Figure.
Renee said being told she had rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 35 was a "bit of a shock", but after starting strength training she was soon hooked on feeling stronger.
"I'm going to compete again hopefully at the end of the year for the nationals and then the following year achieve my dream (of going to Vegas).
"It's changed my life for the better. Not only am I healthier, I inspire a lot of women my age to go out and get out and do something."
She said her journey wouldn't have been possible without her "amazing" coach Scott Hipwell from Muscle Hut and her supportive family.
"I pretty much have one rule, I don't compete unless my family is there watching me.
"They are amazing."