BODY-BUILDING: Cameron Winter has always kept fit and regular visits to the gym have long been part of his routine.
Highly disciplined and well-regimented, he decided at the end of last year that he would channel his energies in a specific direction - the sport of body-building.
After nine months of hard work, the 26-year-old (pictured) will this weekend make his competitive debut in the sport at the National Amateur Body-Builders Association's Queensland championships.
Winter will compete in the 165cm to 172cm category at the event, being staged on Sunday at the Gold Coast.
While excited at the prospect of competing for the first time, he said he was not setting any unreal expectations.
"This will be a real learning curve for me,” he said. "I really don't know what to expect as it's my first competition but I just want to get up there and have a go and learn what I can for next time.
"What I do know is that I've got my 60-second routine and all my quarter turns and poses ready.”
Winter spends at least two hours a day training and sticks to a strict diet, especially in the past few months heading into competition.
"It's a lot of hard work, a lot of training,” he said. "But training's the fun part for me; it's dieting that's the hard part because I'm a naturally big eater and in the last three months I've really had to cut down on my meal sizes.
"My meals consist of chicken and broccoli, porridge in the morning, kangaroo steaks and broccoli again in the evening with snacks of kangaroo meatballs or eggs.
"It really doesn't vary too much for the last three months leading into the competition.
"You also wind down your training in the last couple of weeks so you do all your building prior to your cutting.”
Winter said doing the different poses was another aspect of the sport he had to "get his head around”.
"You've basically got to look at yourself from someone else's perspective,” he said.
"It's hard to judge yourself and I have to say it's a little bit weird having to be looking at yourself in the mirror so much.”
Winter is grateful for the support, advice and encouragement from the staff and members at 24 Repz Fitness, in particular co-owner Michelle Greenough who was one of the first to identify his body-building potential.
"Cameron's trained really, really hard,” said Greenough, a former body builder.
"He's the perfect height and has the right physique for body-building so it's been great to watch him grow.
"He's come so far. He's very dedicated and has put in a lot of work.
"Cam's our first competitor so we've just been giving him all the support that he needs.”