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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Danielle Kate Wroe

Body positive gran ignores 'nasty' trolls and proudly flaunts physique post-health scare

Charlene Farnsworth, a part-time industrial cleaner who has just qualified as a personal trainer, has found herself at the centre of people's fascinations recently.

Many social media users are wondering just how the 53-year-old manages to maintain her enviably fit physique, and where her body-positive attitude comes from.

But there's so much more to Charlene, from Canada, than meets the eye. She believes in "lifting each other up" no matter what stage of life we may find ourselves in, and she exclusively shared what pushed her to embark upon her fitness journey.

Charlene now wants to arm others with the tools to see them succeed in the fitness world, should they wish.

Charlene was unhappy with herself after a health scare... (Charlene Farnsworth)
...but now she's working on her fitness (Charlene Farnsworth)

"I was on and off with fitness for most of my adult life", she said. "But in 2011 I had a throat cancer scare. Thankfully, after surgery to remove a mass and my thyroid, it turned out to be Hashimoto's disease, not cancer.

"After my health scare, unfortunately, I let my health go. I stopped caring about myself for years. At the age of 48, I stepped, begrudgingly, on a scale."

Charlene wasn't happy, and vowed to "get her health back", making a promise to herself that she'd be "stronger than ever." And at 53, she admits that she's "in the best shape of her life."

She shared that she feels like it's never too late to pursue something you're passionate about, and wants to encourage others to do whatever they're interested in, even if they're older - sharing that she's also interested in science, trucks, and cars.

Charlene admits she's in the best shape of her life... (Charlene Farnsworth)
...and she ignores any trolls who are rude to her (Charlene Farnsworth)

She said: "I absolutely believe it's never too late and you're never too old to start anything your heart desires. Pursue what makes you happiest in life. Whether it's a fitness journey, going back to school, starting a new career, or becoming self-employed, you name it!

"I didn't start my fitness and health journey until I was 48. I started modelling as I was about to turn 50. I stepped on stage in my first-ever bodybuilding competition when I was almost 53. I just recently completed my Personal Training Certification. I'm now starting my own training business, with the hopes of inspiring other middle-aged folks."

Charlene also said that she wants to help lift people up, rather than tearing them down, which can often happen in the fitness industry.

She said: "There are so many lessons I've learned in life but one of the most important ones for me is if we support each other, work as a team, find the positives in each other rather than purposely looking for negatives, we all come out happier and stronger.

"There's enough negativity in the world, I try my best to stay away from it. When I see another woman succeeding, I feel happy for her."

Charlene loves making her body stronger, and fitter (Charlene Farnsworth)

This is why she "doesn't concern herself" with the trolls that leave nasty comments on her social media pages.

She said: "As far as the trolls go, I don't concern myself with them. They're always out there looking for something to be negative about. The nasty comments they leave me says more about them than it does about me. It shows their own negativity and insecurities.

"I feel that everyone should wear whatever the heck they want. With exceptions of work, school, or anywhere that has a specific dress code. Age (with the exception of children, to a degree) gender, or weight should not be a determining factor as to what someone chooses to wear.

"Unfortunately, many people feel that their opinion of what people should or shouldn't wear, matters. It doesn't. Wear what makes you happy, what makes you feel good.

"If more people would stop concerning themselves with what other people are wearing and concentrate on their own happiness, the world would be a better place.

Charlene said it's never too late to follow your dreams... (Charlene Farnsworth)
...and she said we should all wear what we want (Charlene Farnsworth)

"I have personally found that people who degrade others for their looks are usually projecting their own inner negative feelings about themselves. That's not to say that we have to love the way that everyone dresses. Everyone has their own taste but it's not necessary to throw insults at a person just because we wouldn't personally dress that way.

"Be whoever you want to be and have the decency to let others do the same without negative judgement."

And her family is fully supportive of her, and she shared that her mum and grandma really inspired her to be the confident woman that she is today.

"My two main inspirations would be my mother and grandmother", she shared, saying her grandma sadly passed five years ago.

"They both have been immense role models for my whole life. Both, strong, empowered, giving, independent, empathetic, loving, inclusive women, that so many love and admire."

But she said that her husband Mike is "super supportive" of her and her "endeavours." Charlene is also a mum to two adult children Kyle and Mikaela, and she's a grandma of three-year-old Piper.

Charlene is proud to be a grandma to three-year-old Piper (Charlene Farnsworth)
Charlene is currently working out four to six times a week (Charlene Farnsworth)

Charlene is also clear that her fitness journey isn't over as she's currently in a "muscle-building phase" with the intention of competing in bodybuilding in spring 2024.

"I'm training four to six days a week, with my primary focus on resistance training", she shared.

And she wants to encourage every person to be body postive, no matter which stage of their journey they're at.

She said: "Body positivity, to me, is what every woman should embrace. That's not to say that we shouldn't strive for a healthy body but learn to love ourselves at every step of our journey."

Do you have a story about body positivity to share? Let us know in the comments.

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