FAB AND FIT: Carolyn Broomfield welcomes older, larger ladies to her Gold Coast gym.
FAB AND FIT: Carolyn Broomfield welcomes older, larger ladies to her Gold Coast gym. Yvonne Gardiner

Nanna sets up gym for growing niche market

LIKE many seniors, Carolyn Broomfield has had a battle with losing weight and keeping fit.

She took on a job as personal trainer, and now owns a business that caters to a growing niche market - a gym that is equipped especially for members aged in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

"I've been a personal trainer for seven years and working out of my own gym at home for five years,” Carolyn said.

"I still go to the gym I used to work out at. I have a personal trainer there.”

In 2009, Carolyn weighed 115kg.

"I lost about 30kg in under 12 months. I've put on quite a bit of muscle since then,” she said.

"I continually have a battle with my weight and it fluctuates.

"I always had an interest in nutrition and, with my weight-training, it's about food as well.

"I educate ladies on things that they can change to make their lifestyle better.

"Most of my ladies are post-menopausal and almost all have weight issues.

"Most of them haven't been to a gym before or they haven't enjoyed it.”

Carolyn, 59, has been dubbed "the nanna personal trainer”.

She saw a gap in the market and started the gym, New Horizon Fitness, aimed at older women at Highland Park on the Gold Coast.

In Carolyn's younger years, she loved to exercise - athletics and hockey were her sports of choice.

But as she approached her 50s, she was depressed, menopausal and obese.

The turning point came when one day she bought a pair of navy pants that were size 24.

"I got them home and decided enough was enough. I never did wear those pants.”

Apart from gym workouts, she also stopped drinking alcohol, eating white foods like rice, pasta and bread, and cut back on dairy, caffeine, sugar and all processed foods.

Instead she started eating lots of fresh green salads, steamed vegetables, and small, frequent amounts of protein.

"I've been where a lot of women are. I completely understand what it is like to feel overweight, unfit and unhappy,” Carolyn said.

"A lot of 'body beautiful' personal trainers are very young, and have no life experiences.

"They have never been over a size 10, and women who are overweight feel very intimidated by them.

"I have lots of curves, am a size 16, have big thighs and huge boobs, but I am fit, strong and healthy.”

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