Grandmother looks decades younger after taking up weightlifting to cope with divorce
A grandmother who is regularly mistaken for being the mother of her seven-year-old grandson has revealed her secret to looking decades younger.
Ninette Longsworth, 53, from Canada, said her life ‘started all over again’ at the age of 51 when she found herself suddenly single after her 24-year marriage broke down.
The mother-of-three became even more hooked on weightlifting and now spends 6 hours a week pumping iron in the gym, and has Canadian records in powerlifting to her name.
The Instagram sensation and personal trainer credits going to the gym five or six times each week and eating zero processed foods for her slim, toned physique and youthful appearance.
Ninette said: ‘Most people never believe my age. When my kids are with me, people wonder how we are related and when I’m with my grandson, they believe he’s my son.
Before and after: Mother-of-three Ninette Longsworth, 53, from Canada, has transformed her body after turning to weightlifting to cope with the end of her 24-year marriage
Wow: Ninette was left devastated when her marriage suddenly ended just one day after her 24th anniversary – so she focused her energy on fitness to deal with her emotion
Shock: Now, the grandmother-of-one says she looks and feels younger than she ever has – and says people regularly confuse her for her children’s sibling
‘I was picking up my grandson from school one day and all the teachers were shocked I was his grandmother. They gathered around in awe! It was kind of funny.
‘And when my kids’ friends have parties, I’m the “cool” mom that gets invited. I’m often the only mom there and I love to party with my kids.
‘Just last December, I was ID’d when I purchased some wine. That was interesting as I was almost 53 at the time!
Got you! Ninette was recently mistaken for her seven-year-old grandson’s mother
‘I have a youthful spirit and dress young for my age. My children seem to look up to me and are motivated by my drive when it comes to staying fit.
‘We often workout together but they don’t like me to train them. And I love spending time with my seven-year-old grandson Noah.
‘I’m not a typical grandma as being strong and fit gives me the energy to keep up with him and his bundles of energy!’
Ninette started dedicating even more of her time to fitness after her 31-year relationship with her high school sweetheart broke down.
‘In November 2018, I found myself single. We had just celebrated our 24 years wedding anniversary, but a day later, it all ended,’ she explained.
‘We had met in high school and started dating when I was only 19 years old. It was a rollercoaster ride; ups and downs and many trials that went along with being young parents.
‘Despite the financial struggles and infidelity in the marriage, I was determined to make it work. But it all ended and I was scared – lost, alone and angry.
‘I had the rest of my 50 years all planned out and this was not supposed to be part of it. I was single at 51 and needed to start my life all over again. This was the beginning of my journey.’
Heartache: ‘In November 2018, I found myself single. We had just celebrated our 24 years wedding anniversary, but a day later, it all ended,’ Ninette explained
New horizons: Ninette says she was terrified at the prospect of ‘starting over again’ but she has since come to realize that the end of her marriage was actually the start of a positive chapter
Regimen: Although she had always been fit and active, Ninette stepped up her gym routine in the wake of the split and she also took up weightlifting which helped her to get stronger
Impressive: Ninette now works out five or six times a week and can weightlift a whopping 200lbs – more than some of the men in her gym
Throwing herself into the gym even more than before, Ninette used workouts to help her clear her head and destress during the days where she felt ‘life was unbearable’.
She trains five or six times a week in the gym, and mixes up squat days with bench press days and deadlift days while she also trains her core and glutes once a week and completes a light cardio workout (walk or jog) weekly.
Ninette, who is a personal trainer and also sells fitness clothing says her fitness journey began as young as 13 – when she struggled to compete with her five sporty brothers.
‘I was raised in a household of five children; four boys and I was the only girl. I was a tomboy yet was always excluded and struggled to fit in and be accepted by my brothers,’ she said.
‘I felt the constant need to compete with them and prove to them that I could be just as fast, just as strong and just as good in sports as they were.
‘They were all excellent athletes and I was a good athlete “for a girl”. This need to prove myself led me to the gym at such a young age.
‘As soon as I was able to have access to my community recreation center, I started lifting weights.’
Ninette quickly caught the ‘gym bug’ and loved feeling strong after a workout and noticing her ‘pumped up’ muscles as a teenager.
Her love for fitness grew – as she did – and her success in the gym ’empowered’ her.
By the age of 28, Ninette was an expert personal trainer, specializing in weight training, and a keen competitor.
She added: ‘I felt somewhat invincible, like a superhero. When I was younger, I thought maybe my brothers and their friends would let me join in on their weekly baseball game now.
‘But my training built a foundation for the next 40 years of my lifting career. I’m now a competitive powerlifter holding Canadian records in my age and weight class.
Appearances can be deceiving: The grandma’s youthful looks mean that she is regularly confused for someone decades younger, and she was recently ID’d while buying wine
Secrets: Ninette says that she ensures she always makes time for exercise and when it comes to diet, she tries to eat clean and healthy 75 per cent of the time
Advice: ‘No matter what’s going on in my life, I make exercise a priority. I also generally follow the 75/25 rule; eating clean 75 per cent of the time,’ she explained
‘I believe lifting heavy is the key to my youthfulness and as a woman in my fifties, it has helped tremendously with menopausal symptoms.
‘I’m proud to say I have very little if not any at all! I can do more pushups and pullups than most women more than half my age and some men.
‘My secret is consistency. I am dedicated and disciplined to my health and fitness always; keeping it a priority no matter what life throws my way.’
But Ninette hasn’t always been super fit and toned, when she was pregnant with her second child, Kenya Jade, now 25, she gained over 50lbs.
She insisted marriage didn’t change her body – but revealed pregnancy did – and she took a year to lose the weight at 26-years-old.
Ninette, who is also mother to Julian Michael, 32, and Zoe Elise, 23, said she had to work harder and be patient to lose her baby weight.
She added: ‘Our bodies definitely bounce back quicker when we’re younger! So as I got older, I worked harder. My ex wasn’t active and could get away with eating high fat, calorific food.
‘Our evenings would consist of wine and chips in front of the television and he would love having dessert.
‘When we split in 2018, I chose to stop buying chips on a regular basis and rarely had dessert; I lost about 5lbs! But I still enjoy a glass of wine most evenings.
‘I was with my husband for more than 31 years so it definitely was a drastic change. He was part of my life since I was 19 so to find myself single at 51, was lonely and I was afraid.
‘There was so much uncertainty ahead of me and I was left to depend on myself and no one else.’
The sudden breakup meant that Ninette had more time to focus on herself – and while she had always made working out a priority – she was finally able to enjoy staying longer in the gym.
Now her heaviest squat is 203.9lbs, she can bench press 121.2lbs and deadlift 275.5lbs at a bodyweight of 110lbs in the 50-55 age category.
Bonus: As well as transforming her body, Ninette says her healthy lifestyle has helped to give her more energy to spend time with her grandson and it has also eased menopausal symptoms
Just a number: Ninette, pictured with her three children, insists that age shouldn’t stop anyone from changing their lifestyle and their body
Looking ahead: The mother-of-three, seen with her kids, says she hopes to keep getting stronger and fitter, and is aiming to do 15 pullups by the time she turns 60
But she said her reason for working out has changed as she has gotten older and her goals have adapted with her.
She said: ‘People start working out for aesthetic reasons – either to lose weight, fit into tight jeans or look better in that bikini. After a certain age, my goals changed.
‘For me I squat, yes for a tighter booty but I also want to be able to go to the toilet unassisted when I’m over 80.
‘I want to continue to break records in powerlifting, perhaps enter a Crossfit or a figure competition and to be able to do 15 pullups on my 60th birthday!’
The key to an ageless appearance? Fit grandma, 53, reveals the secrets behind her youthful looks
- Regular workouts: Ninette exercises five or six times a week
- Mix of exercises: Her workout regimen includes a variety of weightlifting, weekly core and glute workouts, and a weekly cardio workout (walk or jog)
- The 75/25 diet: Ninette ensures that she eats clean, healthy food 75% of the time
- Focus on whole foods: The grandma tries to avoid eating anything processed
Ninette believes that ‘health is wealth’ and she advocates the health benefits, physical benefits and mental benefits to exercise.
She explained that working out provides her with a better quality of life, especially as she ages.
The fit grandmother said exercise teaches discipline and mental toughness which can be applied to other areas of livelihood.
She added: ‘No matter what’s going on in my life, I make exercise a priority. I also generally follow the 75/25 rule; eating clean 75 per cent of the time.
‘Daily, my diet consists of only whole foods and never processed. I am not big on counting macros and I never jump on the latest diet craze.
‘When I feel I need to lean out a bit, I do a modified intermittent fasting. My diet consists of lean protein sources; meats, plenty of vegetables, fruits only in the morning and limited carbohydrates.
‘My go to cheat meal would be pizza and the occasional Danish from my local French bakery!’
Ninette revealed her secrets to looking fit and healthy would be her commitment, her consistency, her choice to live a healthy lifestyle as well as her ‘good genes’.
And despite having been single for two-and-a-half years, Ninette said she wants to find love one day.
She’s focusing on herself but believes she is stronger and more confident than ever before.
She described herself as a ‘liberated 53-year-old beautiful woman’ and insisted she still believes in love and commitment.
Ninette shared: ‘I will wait for the one who truly deserves my light and will encourage it to shine bright.
‘In the meantime, I live my best life. I am free to do as I please. I make sure I take care of me, physically, emotionally and spiritually and include laughter everyday.
‘I play loud music, I dance when no one is looking and when everyone is looking!’