By: Matt Innes
Tracey Guile is a woman who knows what it takes to be a champion.
The Brisbane-based bodybuilder and fitness professional was recently named World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) Figure Pro at the 2017 championships. For Tracey, it is the payoff from a lifelong passion for maintaining a strong body and mind.
“I have been involved in the health and fitness industry from when I was a kid and I played lots of sport,” Tracey says.
“I got into the gym industry when I was about 16 and it pretty much saved me from the normal girl stuff with eating disorders and self-esteem [issues]. I moved from my home in South Africa to the UK and I didn’t have any friends, so the gym pretty much saved me – the community there.”
Within that community, Tracey developed both her muscles and her mental endurance, initially working as a gym instructor and eventually a personal trainer.
Coming to Australia almost 13 years ago and continuing to train, in 2009 she made the choice to pursue competitive bodybuilding and body sculpting. With her WBFF win, Tracey has risen from the ranks of local and amateur competition to represent Australia globally as a professional in her sport.
While Tracey admits that what she does is extreme and not for everyone, she says for her it has been a force of unequivocal positivity in her life.
“It gave me something to focus on, put my energy into and also to learn a great lifestyle,” she says.
“It’s my passion; I just fell into it and just loved it because I realised how good it made you feel, not just training to make your body strong, but it also made your mind strong.”
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In her journey from gym instructor and personal trainer to the peak physical specimen she is today, Tracey says the most pivotal learning curve was that of self-discovery. All the muscles in the world don’t mean squat if they’re trying to conceal a poor self-image and negative outlook.
“I learnt a lot about myself, and motivation and determination,” Tracey says.
“Also about what’s beautiful on the outside and what’s beautiful on the inside, and the fact that there are a lot of people out there that don’t have any time for themselves, they are constantly looking after everybody else in their lives that they lose their sense of identity and anything about themselves. Mums are a typical example: they’re all about the kids and the family and have nothing left for themselves.”
It’s a philosophy that underpins all of Tracey’s work, be it professional on a stage in front of thousands of critical eyes, or one-on-one with the clients she personally trains. In all parts of her life, Tracey sees herself as a role model and takes great joy in inspiring healthy change in people.
“The best thing when I’m personal training is to pass on a bit of a passion for people to start loving themselves more and taking care of themselves,” Tracey says.
“Not everyone wants to do the extreme sport that I do or look like me, but if I can get them to make a change to make something a bit healthier and happier in their life, that’s the best result for me.”