By Liana Jacob
MEET THE BODYBUILDING GRANDMA who claims she feels SEXIER in her FORTIES than she did in her TWENTIES since discovering her passion for weightlifting – she is even inundated with messages from men who call her SEXY and says that over HALF of her 180K followers are MEN.
Business owner and president, Lola Nez (48) who lives in Florida, USA, has always wanted to be fit and healthy throughout her life, but in her twenties she struggled to achieve the body she wanted no matter how many exercises and diets she tried.
While she was a slim 8st and UK size six, she felt like she lacked in muscle which she desperately wanted. Although she was unhappy with her shape, from her early twenties up until her early forties she didn’t take her health as seriously until 2014 when it took a turn.
She began suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that affects the lower oesophageal sphincter, which is the ring of muscle between the oesophagus and stomach. The condition caused her continual discomfort and pain which affected her daily routine.
She had an annual physical exam which concluded that there were a number of concerns including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and that she was pre-diabetic. The combination of her health and her older brother having terminal cancer spurred her on to make a dramatic change.
After months of research online and speaking to people, she came across personal trainer, Rod Ketchens, a professional bodybuilder, and made an appointment with him. He helped her establish a training routine of weight training and cardio elements. She fell in love with the training and within four years she managed to come first place in six bodybuilding competitions.
While her weight has increased by six pounds, she claims that this is pure muscle and her waist has reduced by four inches. Since her body transformation, she has received countless positive comments from men who call her ‘sexy’ and ‘beautiful’.
She is a grandmother to two children; Arkin (8) and Zoe (6).
“In my twenties I was a young mother in a marriage struggling day to day with life; it really presented challenges and I was tired and stressed most of the time,” Lola said.
“I would say that I also was still searching a bit for myself, for my purpose (beyond motherhood) and lacking somewhat in confidence.
“In my early thirties, life was still a struggle, but I started to find my voice, assert my independence and ultimately found the strength to break-free.
“My initial motivation came less from trying to look good and mostly from trying to feel good and live a long healthy life.
“That said, I had always admired women with a more athletic-look and I did desire to be toned. For instance, at the time I had always wanted the arms of Jillian Michaels (trainer on The Biggest Loser TV show) and so part of my initial desire was to achieve what she had.
“GERD had me in near constant discomfort and regular severe pain. The feeling was a form of heartburn and it got worse after meals and when I lay prone in bed.
“It basically terrorised me at night and made it impossible to sleep normally – in fact, I had to sleep sitting up. The prescription medication I was taking did not help.
“I then could see my quality of life deteriorating as a result. I had an annual physical exam and the results indicated a number of concerns including; high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and pre-diabetes.
“Next, my eldest brother, Sonny, had a gruelling battle with tonsillar cancer. Finally, I now had two growing grandchildren and I realised that I needed to be extra healthy so I could be on this earth as long as possible for them.
“All of these combined gave me pause to reflect that I needed to make a dramatic change immediately and begin the process of taking control of my health.”
Lola tried to research various ways to turn her health around and achieve a more toned figure, but nothing worked, until she came across a bodybuilding personal trainer who helped whip her into shape.
She took a different direction with her exercise routine and this helped her build muscle that prompted others to notice the changes.
Just three months into her training, she says that she no longer experiences GERD symptoms and she feels sexier than ever.
“After discussing the situation with my husband, we decided that the best thing to do was consult with a professional,” she said.
“At the time I was living full-time in South Dakota and made an appointment to see a man named Rod Ketchens who was a personal trainer and also happened to be a professional bodybuilder.
“After discussing my goals with him, we established a training routine that combined weight training and cardio elements.
“I instantly fell in love with my training and even began to crave the soreness that followed a workout and I began to learn about nutrition and how to properly fuel my body.
“After about three months I began to see material signs of change in the shape and tone of my body. And, I also found that GERD had disappeared, and I’d reversed all my bad blood work back to normal. The sense of relief, and excitement that something was finally working, was tremendous.
“My typical weight now is actually more than before I started. But, the distribution of my weight is very different. For instance, my waist is about four inches smaller and my shoulders and arms are much larger and more toned. I sometimes shop in the juniors and kid’s areas now.
“I also have a tremendous amount of energy. I do not even remember the last time I got sick, I am not on any prescription medicines and I’m proud to say that I can easily keep up with grandkids in any of their activities.
“I am much more confident in myself, certainly in how I look but now I can walk into a room of people or meet someone new and present myself with self-confidence.
“My personality is now bigger and bolder, and I feel freer to express it. Not all of that is the bodybuilding, some is maturity, some is my relationships, and some is probably living in the US versus the Philippines and, finally, I feel sexier and more confident in my sexuality than at any point in my life.”
With nearly 180,000 followers on Facebook, Lola says that over half of them are men and they only have nice things to say about her look.
“I now have 180,000 followers on Facebook and over half of the followers are men. The comments and messages I receive daily are overwhelmingly positive,” she said.
“If you read through the comments on my Facebook page, they are loaded with comments about me looking ‘beautiful’ or ‘sexy’.
“I am amazed that they come from people ages eighteen to eighty too. Occasionally, someone will cross a line and get sexually aggressive or offensive and once in a while someone will say something negative like ‘you look like a man’ but those are fairly rare.
“Same with women; I get comments like ‘idol’, ‘inspiring’, ‘beautiful’, ‘sexy’ but on occasion other women will fit-shame me.
“When I am around my grandchildren, most people assume they are my children, and when I am around my children, especially my daughter, more often than not they think we are sisters.
“To start with, make sure that you know: ‘what is your why’. Honestly, if the motivation is solely to ‘look good’ or ‘look youthful’, I think it will be hard to maintain the discipline needed to be successful in the long run.
“But if the motivation comes from getting rid of an illness, or relieving pain, or improving the quality of your health and well-being, or being there for someone you love, then I think it gives you a different perspective in wanting or needing to achieve a goal.”