I got a six-pack in my 50s – I show it off in a tiny bikini and high heels

PAULA Tennant, 54, is a make-up artist and lives in Leicestershire with her partner.

She tells Fabulous Magazine how a tragedy inspired her to change her life.


“Walking on stage wearing a tiny bikini and high heels, I could hear cheers from the audience as everyone’s eyes turned towards me.

I posed confidently, showing off my toned body, which was covered in spray tan, glistening under the bright lights.

Two years ago, I would have laughed if someone had told me that I would be taking part in a fitness contest – but a tragedy inspired me to change my life.

I hit rock bottom in August 2018 when my mum Gwen, 75, died suddenly after suffering a brain aneurysm.

She was my best friend and the pain was unbearable.

I turned to drinking bottles of wine each day and smoking cigarettes to numb the pain.

I shut myself away and at one point, I didn’t know how I could go on.

Most read in Fabulous

SLICE OF HISTORY

Queen on 'sparkling' form as she tackles cake to mark platinum jubilee

Trolls say my baby girl will be bullied relentlessly for her name, but I love it

KEEP BALM

I asked boyfriend for lip balm during labour – his error sent docs into meltdown

MENTAL WEALTH

Harry we can see through your 'mental windscreen' gibberish says Piers Morgan

My low mood was compounded when, 10 days later, my son Christian, now 22, left home to go to university in Scotland.

It felt as though my purpose as a mother had pretty much disappeared, despite being busy with my work as a make-up artist.

Four days later, it was Mum’s funeral.

My partner suggested I speak to my GP about antidepressants, but I wanted to change myself, so that December, aged 52, I decided to finally get fit.

As a naturally slim person, around a size 12-14 all my adult life, I didn’t hate what I saw in the mirror.

But I smoked, drank, ate what I liked and never really exercised. 

I hoped that changing my lifestyle would help me move forward emotionally. 

I searched the internet for inspiration and discovered a body fitness tournament that had a category for over-45s.

The UFE Open Bikini Masters 45 involved competitors showcasing very athletic bodies with low levels of body fat, and they’d be judged on everything from muscles to how they presented their physique.

However, the competition was just nine months away. 

Walking on stage in my glam make-up and glittering bikini, I felt nervous, but I knew my partner and sister were cheering in the crowd.

I felt terrified, but certain that this was something I had to do for me to be focused.

Friends and family were stunned but supportive when I told them. 

In January 2019, I quit drinking and smoking and signed up with an online fitness coach, who gave me workouts to do in my local gym.

I felt old and self-conscious when I started going – I didn’t know what a lot of the equipment was.

But I was soon doing four hour-long sessions a week, two focusing on my upper body and two on my lower body.

I worked out at home between gym sessions and took posing lessons with a trainer to hone my presentation for the competition.

I also overhauled my diet. Before, I would eat jam on toast for breakfast, a sandwich and crisps for lunch, and pasta for dinner.

But my coach swapped my usual meals for protein yoghurt with oat cakes and blueberries, tuna with brown rice and salad, and chicken, vegetables and sweet potato.

By April, I could see more definition in my arms and legs, and as the months passed, I realised I had a proper six-pack. I felt so proud.

In September 2019, it was time to compete in London.

I could see more definition in my arms and legs, and as the months passed, I realised I had a proper six-pack. I felt so proud.

Walking on stage in my glam make-up and glittering bikini, I felt nervous, but I knew my partner and sister were cheering in the crowd.

When my name was announced as the bronze medallist, I was shocked but so happy about how far I’d come.

I thought of Mum and knew she’d be proud I’d managed to claw my way out of the black hole I’d plunged into after her death.  

After the competition, I set up an Instagram account to motivate myself and show others that age isn’t a barrier to getting fit.

Soon I had more than 1,000 followers.

Last September, I took part in my second competition and was stunned to win silver.

Next, I’m going for gold.

Friends and family are so proud of me – especially Christian, who trains with me when he’s home from university.

Getting fit saved me from the darkest time I’ve ever experienced – and now I’m in the best shape of my life in every single way.” 

BTW

Reality star Jodie Marsh, now 43, began bodybuilding in 2009 and dropped from a size 12 to a size 6 ahead of her first competition, losing 20lb of fat.

Loose Women star Saira Khan, 51, is aiming to enter a bikini competition to show what “normal” women can achieve. 


    Source: Read Full Article