A bodybuilder mum says she loves to show off her ripped bodybuilder physique on TikTok and OnlyFans.
However, cruel trolls have targeted the 29-year-old – saying she “looks like a man”.
Bernadetta Yakubu Mahama, a content creator from Manchester, began suffering from a lack of confidence with her body image after giving birth to her nine-year-old son, Jibril.
As she struggled to find the time as a new mum to better her body and mindset, she believed that her situation would be “impossible” to improve.
However, in December 2016, she was able to make some lifestyle changes.
Bernadette started spending her spare time at the gym, where she found her calling – women’s bodybuilding.
“I reached new peaks of fitness and understanding, where I discovered that things could be taken to a whole new level,” says Bernadetta..
“I [started] by summoning up the courage to join a gym with no experience or understanding of exercising in any environment.
“Soon, I found that the goal of becoming confident with myself was achievable.”
Bernadetta began with strength training, before moving onto aesthetics which aims to minimise fat gain and enhance muscular symmetry.
Besides exercise, she also focuses on nutrition and typically eats five meals alongside two snacks per day.
For breakfast, she’ll have jumbo rolled oats with high-quality whey protein and for her next three meals, she’ll include a lean protein and carbohydrate, such as beef or fish and rice or potatoes.
She added: “I try to get healthy fats from various sources like nuts or dairy and for my last meal, I’ll have something high in protein such as egg whites and cottage cheese.
“For a snack, I’ll have protein bars, rice cakes, almonds or Greek yoghurt.
“Consistency is key and I avoid all refined sugars to keep my glucose levels stable.”
In October 2020, she competed in her first bodybuilding competition and won first place, but due to the pandemic, she has been unable to compete since.
However, she thanks her son and partner, Zack, 30, for their continuous support along her journey and says that she couldn’t have done this without them.
As she wanted to inspire others, she decided to share her training videos and bodybuilding journey online, where she has gone viral for her muscular look.
In a clip, which has received 22.2 million views and over 1.5 million likes, she shows off her muscles while lip syncing a popular song by Marina and The Diamonds and showing off her physique in a tight white vest top.
In another clip, which has over 535,000 views and 7,700 likes, she records herself working out in the gym.
As she pulls down on the machine, her back muscles tense, showing off her impressive figure.
Bernadetta has received a mixed response to her athletic look.
“Literal girl boss,” one viewer commented.
Another person added: “Wow Luisa in rl be like but better.” [sic]
“You’re strong,” someone else wrote.
However, one critic said: “I feel threatened I prolly don’t have a choice.” [sic]
“Please don’t hurt my family,” another person joked.
Someone else added: “No no and no.”
“Biggest turn off omg,” another viewer added. [sic]
Bernadetta says she has been subject to plenty of hurtful comments, such as “You look like a man” or “I feel sick” in relation to her videos – but she tries to remain positive.
She said: “I understand there are people out there who are motivated by pure spite and obnoxiousness.
“If I spent all day obsessing over the negativity and hate I receive, I wouldn’t be able to do anything at all.
“It’s not pleasant, as I am human with emotions and feelings – but I appreciate all the support I receive.
“Men are constantly praised for having a muscular physique, as it’s more socially acceptable and I find it’s the opposite for women.
“We have to work harder than men to gain the same level of status, as it’s less socially acceptable for [us] to have big muscles.”
Despite the negativity, she has used her online popularity to monetise her passion into a full-time career and created an OnlyFans account in February 2020.
She added: “[I wanted] to monetise my hobby and create freedom where I can train whenever I want, while becoming my own boss.
“I have achieved financial stability [through] creating original content.
“My transformation is still a work in progress and always will be.
“When I look back at myself from where I started, it feels like I’m looking at another person and I have no intention of returning to the image of who I once was.
“I am proud to look the way I do and I wish to empower all women to have confidence in themselves to improve their outlook on self-worth – physically and mentally.
“[My son] doesn’t see me like I’m less than any other mother and regularly tells me I’m the best mum in the world.
“Ignore the naysayers, set yourself a goal, be consistent and remember that the journey never ends.”
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