Janice Lorraine isn’t your average 75-year-old.
For nearly 20 years, the former psychologist has been competing in bodybuilding competitions around the world, while putting a dent in ageist stereotypes.
“My aim is not to rival those younger than me,” the grandmother of three from Granville, Sydney, recently told The Daily Telegraph. “My aim is to show what’s possible and to motivate and encourage women of any age, to live the life they want to live and not be bound by traditional stereotypes and roles and the expectations of others.”
Lorriane, who began her bodybuilding career at 55 “amid doubters and scoffers,” according to her website, says she shocked American audiences when she first started competing internationally in 1999.
“I won two gold medals and the American audiences went wild to see a small woman over 50 competing. They simply had no idea that a female over 50 could be strong and in-shape and put on a bikini and compete on stage in public,” she tells the Telegraph. ‘It was on the flight home from the USA that it occurred to me to work to update the unflattering traditional stereotypical image of the older woman.”
Nearly 20 years later, Lorraine now has 23 titles to her name.
For her next challenge, she’ll compete in another natural body building competition, where she’ll likely be the oldest woman in her category, according to The Daily Telegraph.
When she’s preparing for a contest, Lorraine says her typical week involves training major muscle groups at the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, she runs nearly 5 miles, and does 30 full push-ups, 30 tricep push-ups, 30 blackleg raises and two minutes of ab work.
But Lorraine says she follows the same “nude food” diet year-round, regardless of whether she’s prepping for a contest.
“I eat what I call natural nude food which means food without condiments or sauces,” she explains. “My diet is mainly unprocessed food, mainly salads and a small piece of microwaved sweet potato.”
Lorraine adds that grilled chicken, grilled fish and eye fillet steak are the only meats she eats. But she does leave room for a little indulgence, eating one cookie and one square of 90 percent sugar-free chocolate a day.
“I also enjoy a glass of wine with my evening meal,” she added.
Lorraine told the Australian Broadcasting Company last year that bodybuilding gives her a strong sense of confidence.
“Rather than being 74 and feeling awful and embarrassed, I feel good. Head up, strong, I strut along the street,” Lorraine told the site at the time. “I’m probably the oldest female by far who is competing at the moment.”
The bodybuilder, who is also a motivational speaker, writes about her journey in a blog, telling about her “gym family,” self image and more.
“Many older people in particular find themselves no longer feeling useful, relevant or worthwhile and many focus on what they once were instead of focusing on becoming more of who they are,” she wrote in one blog post. “Age doesn’t have to determine anything.”
And, for Lorraine, it never will.
She tells the Telegraph she has no plans of slowing down.
“I’ll always be training for as long as I live because I know what would happen to my body if I stopped,” she says. “Many people even younger than me are getting around in walking frames and many lack both energy and strength and can no longer engage fully in life.”
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