A BODYBUILDING gran of 64 has the physique of a 30-year-old and looks younger than her own daughter, The Sun reports. Wendy Ida, mum to 41-year-old Sky – who started working out after an abusive relationship left her self-esteem in tatters – boasts the kind of toned body women half her age would envy.
The size 6 grandmother-of-three, who weighs nine stone, puts in up to two hours at the gym every day, and has won EIGHT bodybuilding prizes. Wendy was nearly 14 stone when started going to the gym, at the age of 43, after ending her relationship. She said: “I wanted to clear my head and exercise was an escape.
“I didn’t think I would survive the relationship, so when I did, I knew I had to change something.” Wendy lost a whopping five stone and she has been left with a washboard stomach and sculpted abs. “It’s amazing,” she said. “I was 13 stone 13lbs when I started out. I yo-yoed up and down but now weigh nine stone. I’m over the moon at my size. I’m at the right size. This is my ideal weight. It’s perfect for me. I feel good.”
At Wendy’s lowest ebb, she feared she would not live to see her 43rd birthday – but after getting in shape, she now says her life began at that age. “I’m 64 and in the best shape of my life,” she said. “When I say how old I am people don’t believe me and want to see my driving licence. “People say I look like I’m in my early thirties. I had someone aged 22 think I was their age.
“And whenever Sky and I are together people mistake us for sisters. It happens so often. “I laugh, tell people my story, and say, they can do it too. “I didn’t think I would live past 43. Instead, I was 43 when I started to come alive. “Now I want to help other women and get the message out to them that they can be 40 plus and feel fabulous and sexy.”
Her journey was not always easy, though. “At first I felt over the hill,” she said. “I didn’t feel good about myself. My confidence was low and I felt like it was too late for me. “A lot of people in my family were big and I said to my sister, ‘I’m destined to be overweight.’ “I went to the gym, but felt like the scale was broken because it only went up – then a trainer said he could see potential.”
The more she trained, Wendy, of California, began to lose weight and gain abs – and with them, confidence. “The change wasn’t overnight,” she said, “I’d go down in weight then make mistakes and go up. “I started weight-training and found that helped me with my strength and maintaining my weight.”
As well as doing cardio workouts at the gym, she also began running at home. She got into salsa and hip-hop dancing and bodybuilding, too – which she still does today. She entered her first bodybuilding competition just before her 57th birthday and took home three trophies – coming second place for ‘women over 18’, second for ‘women over 35’ and first for ‘women over 45’.
Since then, she’s been a national champion eight times. “Before each contest, I work out seven days a week and do weights every day,” she explained. “I go in to contest mode and eat egg whites and proteins, fish and vegetables. It’s hard on the body.” In 2012, personal trainer Wendy, who is also mum to son, Tawan, 40, won a Guinness World Record for the oldest active instructor – at an event to celebrate her 60th birthday.
At that same event, Wendy set a Guinness World Record for doing 37 burpees in one minute – which involves squatting, jumping back in to a push-up, then standing up in to a jump. To set the record she needed to do a minimum of 30 in a minute, but she went further and remains unbeaten. Now, she is helping other women to move on from their troubled pasts and keep fit, and even offers life coaching.
She’s also helped her own family to get in shape, motivating her husband, Art, 54, to lose four stone in six months and her daughter, Sky, to shed two stone. “Exercise helped me with my confidence, then I started helping other women too,” she explained. “I’ve helped thousands of women all over the map and have clients from Canada to Sicily reaching out to me.
“They come to me with no confidence. They say I’m their last hope and my heart sinks. “I counsel them over the phone and Skype, and make a blueprint for them and show them ways to make themselves a priority. “Years later, they say how happy they are and how their life has changed.
“I’m told I’m inspirational, but they inspire me too, and keep me going.” Wendy says helping others has given her a purpose. “I found that helping women is my purpose,” she said. “I found the reason I was born. “I want to be an inspiration to everyone who says, ‘I’m too old and can’t do it.’
“Do a little exercise and work your way up and don’t take no for an answer. “If you don’t bother, you’ll lose energy and it gets tougher. “You need to take baby steps if you want to keep your body for a lifetime like I did.”