Nothing shows off progress more than a throwback snap – and one gym mum showed just how much she's transformed her bod in a recent post.

Shannon Collins, 44, AKA The Gym Nurse to her 140,000 Instagram followers, is known for sharing fitness advice online. But – even though she's the fittest she's ever been – it's not down to cutting out the food she loves.

She recently shared a throwback snap to show just how different she looked before she hit the weights, and you'd never believe it was the same person. Now the mum's tummy is super toned, but she said it took her time to understand how to achieve results.

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Even though Shannon is now the fittest she's ever been, she admitted she made some mistakes along the way. She said there are some things she wishes she knew when she was starting out her journey.

To start with, she said you need to be honest about what you're eating. When you know what you're putting into your body, you'll have a better understanding of what changes need to be made to meet your goals.

Shannon Collins, AKA The Gym Nurse on Instagram, looked unrecognisable in a throwback snap
The mum looked unrecognisable in a throwback snap

As well as this, your calorie intake needs to match your goals. What you eat matters, and she said it's vital to fuel your body properly to be able to workout and maintain energy.

When it comes to movement, obviously increasing this is also important. Start by slowly increasing your steps, and then work towards your goal over time.

Lifting weights is also key for Shannon as she said it will help you to maintain muscle, and grow some more. For the super fit mum, drinking water is also crucial, and she said you should give up or reduce your alcohol intake.

Her other top tips included getting more sleep and ditching the scales. Focusing on the numbers on a weighing scale isn't healthy, and also doesn't always show true progress.

Shannon Collins, AKA The Gym Nurse on Instagram, had to learn a lot about her body to make progress
Shannon often offers tips to other women about how they can tone up

Writing on Instagram, Shannon said: "Some things I wish I knew when I was just starting out. Share with a friend. These are good reminders even if aren’t new because I still see some focusing on all the wrong things or irrelevant data.

"Positive changes will add up over time. Just need to be patient and quit having unrealistic expectations for your body. All in due time."

Since she shared the post more than 2,000 people have liked it, and several of her fans commented too. People thanked her for the tips, and said they were super useful.

One person said: "The patience though…so many people 'I don’t have time to establish my baseline' when that reality check is probably what they need most. Hard to spend a week or two there when you need results in 8 weeks."

Another wrote: "Love these tips. Thanks for sharing. If I could give the inexperienced me a tip it would be stop doing so much cardio."

A third also replied: "Totally agree with all especially taking pics. My weight has been the same for several weeks now and I decided to take pics the other day and compare to my pics in August. Could definitely see a difference and gives me the motivation to keep going."

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