Bodybuilding gran proves that age is no barrier

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When most people hear the word grandmother, a certain image comes to mind.

In the past it has often been an image focused around cardigans, knitting and toffees, a sedentary life, a lot of afternoon television and very little else.

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One Isle woman is blowing that stereotype out of the water and, at the age of 56, is proving that you are never too old to change your life around.

Divorced mum of one and grandmother to three girls, Kim King, of Massey Close in Epworth, looked in the mirror two years ago and didn’t like what she saw.

It was at that point she decided to do something about it, and started to make radical changes to her lifestyle.

Not only has she lost four stones since then but is now vying for top spot as one of Britain’s top bodybuilders.

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She explains here how her life-change came about.

“I was on holiday with the girls in Majorca.

“I was sat by the pool and I looked down at myself and thought ‘look at the size of my legs’”, said Kim.

“I’m only 5ft tall and my legs looked like tree trunks.

“I was just so embarrassed I decided to do something about it.

“I had tried every diet going before and nothing seemed to work, I’d even tried diet pills, but what I hadn’t ever done is exercise.

“I told my daughter Natalie that I was going to start at the gym and she was convinced it wouldn’t last, but it did.”

Over the last two years Kim has changed the way she eats and exercises regularly, training mostly with lifting weights, and her hard work and determination has paid off.

Not only did she qualify as a kettlebell instructor last year - she holds classes in the Imperial Hall in Epworth - and join the growing trend for females to lift weights, but earlier this month she competed in the Pure Elite bodybuilding show in Manchester.

Pure Elite is the fastest growing bikini, fitness and muscle model competition in Europe.

Athletes and models from across the world compete for prizes and most importantly the title and trophy within their category.

Anyone can enter, no experience is necessary.

Categories include fitness model, bikini babe and mum’s that lift for women as well as beach body, fitness model and bodybuilding for men.

The inspirational gran came home with an impressive fifth place in the bikini masters section.

“I pushed really hard to do my best in the competition and was completely overwhelmed to get fifth,” she explained.

“My aim is to get people aged 50 and upwards to exercise more and eat healthily.

“ I want to motivate people and get them understanding more about nutrition. You have to look after yourself, but age is just a number.”

To maintain her fantastic physique Kim eats about six small meals a day, but she does have an occasional cheat day when she treats herself to a drink or maybe a Chinese meal or pizza.

She has been helped on her journey with guidance and support from the staff at Peak Physique in Epworth.

She is also lucky enough that daughter Natalie is a hairdresser so can prepare her and make sure she looks her best for competitions.

And she is also keeping it local with the bikinis she wears, which have all been designed by Becki Lawrence of Saxa Bikinis, also based in Epworth.

“Becki’s done an amazing job.

“The bikinis she makes are amazing,” Kim added.

And what does Kim see when she looks in the mirror now?

“Oh my god I’m completely different but I still want to improve.

“I’m hoping to get my skin tighter and work on more abs.

“What has been nice is the support I have got, some people have said I’m inspirational which is lovely.

“I want other women to look at me and say ‘I want to do something like that’.

“There is no excuse, even if you just exercise in front of the television at home.

“I gave up smoking 13 years ago and I feel so much better.

“I want to be healthy and to enjoy life and I want others over 50 to do the same.

“There are too many people that don’t exercise and eat junk food, that’s why so there is so much obesity.”

And to the doubters who believe age is an issue she said: “Fifty six is just a number.

“I enjoy what I’m doing, I wish I had done it years ago.

“It’s better than sitting on the sofa shoving crisps down your throat.”