Wednesday, 19 August 2015

48year-old Grandmother Contested in a Beauty Competition After Losing 70LBS

A 48-year-old grandmother, who once weighed more than 200lbs, has revealed how entering a beauty pageant after losing 70lbs.

Janice Celeste, from Flanders, New Jersey, is an author and the mother of international model Sessilee Lopez, 26, as well as the reigning Mrs. New Jersey United States 2015. Janice, who comes from a long line of pageant queens, weighed over 200lbs and was few years shy of 50 when she vowed to lose 60lbs, and decided to return to pageantry as she was motivated.

'Being overweight and finding myself on daily blood pressure medication wasn't enough to get off my butt to get serious about weight loss,' she explained in an essay for the Huffington Post. 'Knowing that I will compete against girls half my age while I'm on stage wearing a bathing suit somehow motivates me while giving me a deadline to be in tip-top shape.'

The mother-of-three and grandmother explained that over the years she lost herself in being a wife and mother and couldn't seem to lose weight. Janice admitted that she 'failed at Weight Watchers' three times before she finally succeeded.

'I once thought weight loss was impossible,' she wrote. 'That those who were dramatically losing weight had some trick up their sleeve they weren't disclosing. Instead, I found it would be one of the hardest things I would ever do.'

Janice, who is now off her blood pressure medication, said it took her three years to lose 70lbs, noting: 'I didn't gain it fast. I couldn't expect it to come fast and stay off.'

Losing the weight gave her a newfound confidence, and after a lifetime of 'wearing practical flat shoes' Janice, who is just shy of 5'9", started wearing six-inch heels at the age of 48.

In July, she represented her home state and competed at the Mrs. United States Pageant in Las Vegas.

'It was one of my most challenging pageants ever,' she noted.

And although she didn't win, Janice said that she learned that can perform under pressure and she can 'ace any job interview after sitting in front of various pageant judges'. 

While Janice explained that the swimsuit competition has been replaced or eliminated at some pageants, she said it is one of her favorite events.  

'I enjoy swimsuit competitions even at my age because it challenges me,' she said. 'I'm in the best shape of my life. I wasn't this toned in high school. This experience has shown me that life isn't over as I approach a half century of aging. Instead, a new life is emerging.'

Janice also praised the 'amazing ladies' she has met along the way, noting that the women she has met have worn crow because of the charity work.

The animal lover started The DIVA Dog Project, which aims to find abandoned pets 'forever homes', with a Facebook photo contest for dogs. The online picture contests help Janice raise money and supplies for local animal shelters.

Janice said would continue to compete in pageants because they help her to stay in shape while giving her a platform for the various charities in which she volunteers.

She explained that people are more prone to listen and support her cause if she is wearing a sash and crown.  

'I will compete again,' Janice said. 'One day, I will be that older woman on stage at the Ms. Senior America Pageant with her blinged-out cane, but know the reason I'm up there, will be much bigger than me.'

Huffington Post
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