Many people strive to live a healthy lifestyle but one woman has taken her passion for fitness to a whole new level.     

Carleen Lawther is personal trainer and the gym acts as both her oasis and office - a spot where she flexes her muscles to achieve personal goals and to motivate others.

“It’s happiness. It’s the most exciting place to be,” she says.

In April, Lawther competed in her first fitness model competition and won first place.

The 31-year-old’s dedication also earned her a spot in the world’s most prestigious fitness competition, held annually in Las Vegas, and on the pages of Canada’s most popular fitness magazines.

Lawther is based in Toronto but started working out while living in Nova Scotia and has left quite an impression on her former Maritime clientele.

“I’m really proud of her, she’s done extremely well for herself,” says former client Bernard Arsenault.

Lawther says the gym has become her life. She even met her husband, a former university football player, while working out.

Her husband, Raymond Rashed, admits exercising with his wife has brought his fitness to a whole new level.

“It’s been incredible training with her,” says Rashed. “When I say another level, I think I’ve thrown up a couple times. A guy’s pride, you gotta keep up with your girl.”

Lawther and her husband were married this past weekend. When the crowd wanted the couple to kiss, instead of chiming glasses, they had to do a chin-up.

“We should have reviewed our list before we put the chin-up bar in there,” says Lawther. “We had a really strong crowd, so I spent a lot of time kissing.”

Lawther wasn’t always able to do a chin-up. She says there was a time when she struggled to wiggle into her clothes but the secret to her success is taking baby steps.

“Regardless of where your body’s at and what you think you can’t be, well, you can. If you just make a decision, make the commitment.”

Lawther isn’t certain whether she will continue to flex her muscles on the world stage, but she does know the gym will always be a part of her life.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Sarah Plowman