Emily Holland: What Motivated Me To Compete


At the age of 16, I wasn’t happy with my body. For my height (6ft), I was underweight and I had no curves, so I decided to do something about it. I joined my local gym and from that day forward, I haven’t looked back.

In the first couple of years of training, I only noticed a small amount of change in my body, I felt more toned and generally healthier so I began to feel a bit better about myself. However, I would watch gym goers in the weights section and noticed overtime that their muscles were growing, their waists were getting smaller and they looked aesthetically pleasing.


This is what I wanted to achieve, so the next day, I began lifting weights. At first, I would work my way around every machine – later realising the best way to achieve results was to focus on one or two body parts a day.

Three years later, at the age of 21, I had dramatically improved my body. I had gained two stone in weight, but it wasn’t fat, it was pure muscle. I also had these curves that I had built from muscle.

A year later, I had made a lot of friends in the fitness industry and had over 10,000 followers on my fitness page. I saw others competing on stage looking glamorous and achieving their goals and decided this was the path for me.


I wanted some recognition for all my hard work and entered some friendly competitions with fellow fitness fanatics. MI didn’t place in my first competition, as I’d dieted down extremely hard and lost a little too much muscle. But this didn’t stop me. Less than a year later I competed again, placing first in Miss East Coast 2015, which was a very proud moment for me.

I had gone from being embarrassed about having a skinny frame, to standing on stage in my dazzling bikini and being handed a first-place trophy. The feeling I got on stage was unlike any other. Yes, I was nervous, but I knew I had earned my place up there and I enjoyed every minute.

This is just the beginning for me. I have decided to wait until next year to compete again, where I will be bringing my best condition yet. I have learnt exactly how my body works now and I am excited to see what the future holds.


I am over the moon to now have over 30,000 people following me on social media.

Remember – with the right dedication and hard work, almost everyone has the potential to compete. It doesn’t just have to be a dream –  it can become a reality.

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