Age-defying gran, 62, models swimwear and is often confused for son’s sister
18th January 2021

A youthful-looking granny is proof age is just a number.

Leslie Carleton models swimwear at 62-years-old and often shocks people by revealing she’s decades older than they were expecting.

She is one of the oldest women to compete in the 2021 Sports Illustrated swimsuit competition – something she never dreamed possible for grans in their 60s.

The model and author has even been mistaken her son’s sibling in the past.

Leslie said: "I never imagined I'd look the way that I do in my 60s.

"The majority of people guess that I'm in my 40s, and are shocked when I tell them I'm 62.”

Leslie, who spends her time living between her home in Bali, Indonesia, and Los Angeles, USA, had kids young.

She was 17 when she gave birth to her eldest son and had her youngest two years later – making her one of the most youthful mums on the school run.

The model said: “I was teenage mother. I got married at 16 and I was pregnant when I was graduating high school.

"When they were younger, they did not like that I looked like their sister. They were teased at school about it.

"When they were teens they hated it because their friends would call me 'hot'. No son wants to hear that and they are both very protective of me.

"Then as young adults, they hated it when people thought I was their wife of girlfriend, since it sort of ruined their game."

She added: "Today, they are both in their 40s and fathers. With that comes maturity.

"So even though people still think I am their girlfriend or wife, or even sometimes say my sons look older than I do, they smile and say thank you.

"They are proud of the way I look now and thank me for being a teenage mother that stayed young and healthy for so long, because as a result, I am a healthy strong grandmother to their daughters."

So what are Leslie’s secrets for turning back the clock?

The gran-of-two, who is engaged to Hollywood actor Matthias Hues, 62, mum to sons Sephton, 44, and Aurelius, 42, and grandmother to Olivia, 10, and Lilyana, 10, says watching what you eat is important.

She revealed: "In my teens and 20s, I never worked out or participated in sports. I watched what I ate and luckily I stayed slim.

"I followed my grandmother's advice. She was a dancer, and she would eat small, healthy meals frequently throughout the day, every 2-3 hours.

"I also followed the rule of thumb that carbs and protein should be the size of your palm, while vegetables should be twice that size.

"Then in my 30s, I began doing sports and I fell in love. I started skiing and I became a black belt in karate.

"And its only in the last 10 years that I began lifting weights. That has helped me maintain a strong and toned figure into my 60s.”

Weighing out her food, staying hydrated and getting plenty of sleep have all helped the gran to defy ageing.

She’s also sure to give herself “cheat” days where she’s able to treat herself.

The gran explained: "I make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep at night and I drink lots of water.

"I also think it's imperative to have time in nature every day and also have some alone time each day, when you can. It does wonders for your mental health.

"For six days of the week, I do watch what I eat. I don't eat fried food, and I try to limit flour and sugar.

"But always on Sundays I allow myself to relax and have a cheat meal, like some wine, burgers etc. This keeps my metabolism in check also."

Leslie, who got her first modelling deal as a teen for the makeup brand Max Factor, continues to pick up jobs in the industry.

She hopes to win the 2021 Sports Illustrated swimsuit competition, which would make her one of the oldest models to ever feature on the cover.

The age-defying model hopes her achievements will help to lift up other women her age.

She said: "I want to inspire women and show that we can be beautiful at any age.

"I am fitter now at 62 than I was at 40. I never thought that was possible. I never imaged I'd be rocking a bikini after the age of 50.

"My dream is to be a voice for all women in the world to believe in themselves and to be the best they can be, no matter what circumstances they live in and no matter what body they were born into."

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