No pain, no gain – and iron-pumping Natalie Joyce has gained so very much after the pain of Barnaby’s betrayal

Natalie Joyce (far left) struts her stuff on stage on March 31 at a NSW bodybuilding contest.

Natalie Joyce (far left) struts her stuff on stage on March 31 at a NSW bodybuilding contest. Photo: Facebook

Natalie Joyce wasn’t keen on Thursday to talk about the spectacular physical and emotional transformation that saw her win two awards at a weekend bodybuilding competition, but photos that have emerged speak for themselves.

Barnaby Joyce’s estranged wife made her competitive debut at the North Coast Classic held by bodybuilding group I Compete Natural at Newcastle league club Wests New Lambton on Sunday.

A photo posted by her personal trainer Kylie Steel showed Mrs Joyce beaming in a green bikini and heels with two medals around her neck.

“One very proud coach!!” wrote Ms Steel.

“2 x 4th placings, first Comp!!! Congratulations @nat.joyce you did me proud.”

In her post, Ms Steel added the photo of Mrs Joyce could not be used anywhere else without written permission (although it has since been circulated widely across newspapers and social media).

A trainer at the 360 Fitness Club in Tamworth, where Mrs Joyce lives, Ms Steel did not return a call from The New Daily after news of Mrs Joyce’s new hobby and triumph made headlines.

“She and Nat talked this morning about the media interest, but Nat wasn’t sure she has much to say about women’s fitness,” a bodybuilding industry source told The New Daily.

“She’s very proud of herself though.”

Even though Mrs Joyce was keeping mum, social media supporters backed her on Instagram.

“The biggest proverbial middle finger you could give,” said one user. Another added: “What an inspiration you are to all women.”

Mrs Joyce, 49, flagged her makeover last month, speaking about an “epiphany” when her politician husband left her in 2017 after 24 years of marriage.

Last April, Mr Joyce, 51, welcomed son Sebastian with his former media adviser, Vikki Campion, and the pair is now reportedly expecting their second child.

“I decided this was not going to be break me but be the making of me,” Mrs Joyce – a teacher who has daughters Bridgette, 22, Julia, 20, Caroline, 19, and Odette, 16, with Mr Joyce – told Woman’s Day of her new single life.

“I knew I had to keep it together for [my daughters], and I had two choices: either unravel, or shake myself off and aim to get the best out of myself, so I could be the best for them.”

Natalie Joyce Barnaby Joyce

Natalie Joyce and then-husband Barnaby Joyce in Tamworth on July 2, 2016. Photo: AAP

Ahead of her 50th birthday this year, Mrs Joyce “looked in the mirror and thought, ‘I’m not going to let someone else’s appalling behaviour derail me’. So I joined the local gym,” she told Woman’s Day.

Mrs Joyce has lost 15 kilograms since last June. Her girls “thought I had gone mad when I told them I would be strutting my stuff wearing nothing more than a skimpy bikini, flexing my muscles”.

Now, they’re “very” proud of her confidence, she said, adding, “And I do like my girls thinking their mum has a smoking hot body”.

While Mrs Joyce is media-shy of her new achievement, a behind-the-scenes video from I Compete Natural posted to Facebook shows what goes on at its contests, from eating portion-controlled chicken breasts to using canola oil spray for a competitive sheen.

The president of I Compete Naturally NSW told The Daily Telegraph Mrs Joyce had “come a long way”.

“She graced the stage remarkably well for a 49-year-old woman taking on women in their 20s.”

Mrs Joyce said her new look and mindset is the result of a well-planned diet and daily workout regimen.

“I cut out sugar, bad fats and unfriendly carbs, and replaced them with healthy choices,” she said

She’s also cut Mr Joyce out of her life: “He’s a man I no longer know.”

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