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Ontario grandmother, 50, praised after body transformation

A 50-year-old grandmother who transformed her life - and her body - in her late 40s has admitted that she is being inundated with messages from admirers online, many of whom think she's decades younger than her real age.  

Cleaner, painter, and model, Charlene Farnsworth, from Grassie, Ontario, had been blessed with a slim physique for much of her life, but when she hit her 40s, she started to struggle with her weight.

Charlene, who is a mother-of-two and grandmother-of-one, had a throat cancer scare in 2011 which turned out to be Hashimoto's disease - a condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland.

Transformed: Grandmother Charlene Farnsworth, 50, has revealed how she transformed her body at the age of 48 - and earned a legion of admirers in the process

Before: In 2011, Charlene faced a throat cancer scare that prompted her to start living her life more freely, and saw her indulging in unhealthy foods that made her gain weight (pictured)

Moving on: When she reached the age of 48, Charlene had reached her heaviest weight of 169lbs and decided that enough was enough - so she set out to transform her lifestyle 

The momentary prospect of an early death meant that Charlene decided life was too short to be a slave to healthy eating and working out. She spent the best part of seven years indulging in her favorite unhealthy foods like poutine, fries, pizza and bacon.

Approaching her 48th birthday, Charlene was tipping the scales at 169lbs and wore a size 8. 

Unhappy with how she had let her health go, Charlene decided to embark on a fitness journey where she adopted an 80:20 approach to her diet: 80 per cent of the time she ate healthy and 20 per cent of the time she treated herself.

Charlene bought herself a Fitbit and started doing weekly step competitions with her friends and before long, she was feeling fitter than ever and decided to give bodybuilding a try, hiring a personal trainer. 

This gave her level of fitness an extra boost and she started working out five to six days a week. 

'After a cancer scare in 2011, I found myself indulging in way too much food - especially unhealthy food,' said Charlene.

'This may sound strange but after facing the possibility of an early death, I went through a long phase of thinking why should I limit myself when I could just die suddenly anyway, but it caught up with me. 

It's a new dawn: Charlene began a strict 80:20 diet, which involves eating healthily for 80 per cent of the week, while allowing herself to indulge for 20 per cent of the time

Success! The healthy eating plan helped Charlene to shed all of the weight she had gained in her 40s, when she was binging on fatty foods like pizza, french fries and bacon 

Tip top shape: By the time Charlene turned 50 in January, she was in the best shape of her life - thanks to her diet, and a rigorous fitness regimen 

'From 2011 to 2018 I gained around 30lbs and because I barely worked out anymore. I felt weak and very unhappy with the direction I had gone in.

'The thing I love most about bodybuilding and fitness is how incredible I feel. I am in the best shape of my life. I am so happy that I've taken back control of my body. I used to dread bathing suit shopping, now I probably spend too much time bathing suit shopping.

'When I was younger, I was always pretty thin. I really didn't struggle with my weight until my early forties. I was never very confident. That is another perk of my health and fitness. I have great confidence now.

When Charlene turned 50 in January this year, she admitted she was in the shape of her life and now, she weighs a super svelte 143lbs and is a size 4, and she has even landed a few modelling jobs as a result of her ripped new physique. 

After sharing pictures of her incredible physique on Instagram and earning an impressive 19,700 followers on the social media platform, Charlene has recently started modelling. 

Her pictures are so popular that she has even received inappropriate messages from men of all ages - from 20 to 70 - with many sending her pictures of their body parts while others even ask whether she sells her worn underwear, however Charlene makes sure to quickly block the people behind those DMs. 

'When I was in my teens and early 20s - before I had my children - I did a bit of runway modelling,' Charlene explained. 

New job: The mother-of-two even earned some modelling roles, which in turn led to social media fame

Popular: The fitness fanatic boasts tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, and she says she is regularly inundated with messages from male admirers 

Awkward: While the majority of the messages she receives are positive, Charlene says she also occasionally gets sent graphic images by men on Instagram 

'Then I didn't model again until I was 49. That started with being asked to be in a fitness calendar. I absolutely loved being in front of the camera.

'After that, I started being approached by various photographers to do shoots and I just signed on with a modelling agency, MModels.

'I get so much incredible feedback on my modelling photos on Instagram. Instagram is where I've found all my modelling jobs. I still can't believe the following I've reached. It's pretty exciting.

'Of course, I also get some strange messages from people, some of the inappropriate messages I got were anywhere from pictures of their private parts to asking if I sold my used undergarments - mostly from men but that's what the block and delete button is for.

'Getting positive messages from people wanting to know what I do to keep in shape or telling me that I inspire them makes me so happy. I love to tell others my story and let them know that it's never too late to start.'

Charlene follows a balanced diet and stays between 1,600 and 2,000 calories a day, spread across five meals, and she spends her five day a week workouts lifting weights to gain muscle.

Thanks to her fitness overhaul, people often mistake Charlene for being much younger than she is – she shared her words of advice to others looking to start on their fitness journeys later in life. 

Oh dear: The model has even received requests from men who want to buy her used underwear - however she immediately blocks anyone who sends that kind of message

Routine: Charlene follows a balanced diet and stays between 1,600 and 2,000 calories a day, spread across five meals, and she also works out five days a week 

Support system: Charlene says her daughter Mikaela (left), granddaughter Piper (center) and the rest of her family are incredibly supportive of her fitness journey 

'The most important factor to maintaining my figure is allowing myself reward meals. It sounds weird but it's true,' she said.

'I work hard at the gym and eat super healthy most of the time. Allowing myself to indulge in things that aren't as healthy once in a while keeps me on the straight and narrow the rest of the time.

'The hardest thing about maintaining it [my figure] is not allowing myself to indulge too much. The diet is the hard part, the working out part is the fun part to me.

'People are often surprised when they find out my age, most assume I'm younger.

'My advice to others who want to start their fitness journey later in life is to speak with a dietitian. Get your eating habits on track. It all comes down to calories in versus calories out. Abs are made in the kitchen.

'Second, put yourself first. Make sure that your workouts are priority. Learn to say no to others if you have to.

'Once you get a workout routine going, it becomes a habit and before you know it, you'll be getting results that others will start to notice and you'll notice it as well.

'My family are very proud of my achievements, they support me 100 per cent.'

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