A grandad-of-seven who appears to have been granted eternal youthfulness is regularly mistaken for a man in his 30s.
Andy Wilkinson, from Coventry, UK, is said to have been mistaken as his own daughter’s boyfriend in the past as his wrinkle-free face and toned body leads people to believe he is decades younger than he actually is.
The father-of-three, who works as a personal trainer, stays in shape by working out three times a week, and he has credited his deceptive appearance to cutting back on carbs and sleeping in a blacked-out room.
His seven grandchildren are aged between six and 10, though it would be easy to believe the kids belonged to him rather than his own children, Claire, 37, Lee, 35, and Sarah, 33.
Discussing how his appearance has garnered him attention in the past, Andy said:
If I’m on holiday with my six-pack out, I get approached by ladies in their thirties and I’ve been mistaken for my daughter’s partner rather than her father on occasion, which is embarrassing.
My friends also think it’s hilarious when we go out to shock people with the fact that I’m a grandfather of seven.
Andy is actually 56 years old, though he’s aware he’s done a great job of avoiding the ageing process.
I know I look much younger than my age and often get mistaken for being in my thirties rather than my fifties.
Andy admitted ‘genetics help’ when it comes to staying young, though he said it’s ‘no secret’ hard work and diet are also a big part of it.
Andy had been into weight training since the age of eighteen and has ‘always been interested in looking good’, but he began working more seriously towards his lean physique in his early thirties, when he ‘radically assessed what [he] was eating’.
Andy later decided to pursue his passion for nutrition and exercise, and he left his job at Jaguar Land Rover five years ago to become an online personal trainer.
Opening up about his healthy lifestyle, Andy said:
Stress is massively ageing as well, so I try to not get myself worked up about anything. I have a personal mantra, which is ‘Everything will be OK’, and that keeps me calm and carries me through.
I realised there was no need to have protein shakes, bars or supplements to get that beach body look. It was about eating healthy foods, portion control and cutting down on carbs as you age.
The older you get, you don’t need as much carbs or food as you think you need. Now I’ll stick to a few tablespoons of rice and half a sweet potato as my carbohydrate and I focus on eating less carbs at night.
I also drink plenty of water too – you can put all the creams in the world on your face but water is what matters most when it comes to good skin. And I might occasionally have the odd glass of red wine, but I don’t drink much alcohol otherwise.
Andy shares pictures of his muscles on Instagram and has found his physique is a source of inspiration for people in their twenties and thirties, who have messaged the 56-year-old to tell him ‘they aspire to have [his] body at their age’.
I generally weight train three times per week for no more than an hour, and I might enjoy a game of tennis or racquetball with a friend too but that it’s it really.
I find people sometimes train too much and get injured or don’t see the results they want. The body needs time to repair and recover afterwards and I make sure to have at least a day’s rest between workouts.
I think rest and sleep are huge contributing factors to why I look so young too. I don’t eat late, I’m always in bed before midnight and I sleep in a totally blacked-out room with no phone. It really works for me in terms of getting a good night’s sleep.
I think trying to limit stress is also one of the most important factors in ageing well. I know it’s hard to do but I try to focus on living in the now, enjoying the present moment and not dwelling on the past and future.’
There’s more information on health online than there’s ever been but yet there’s more obesity now than ever before. People try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to health and fitness but it’s about going back to basics.
Andy described himself as ‘living proof’ that you can be ‘fit and toned’ in your fifties, and he hopes to continue to motivate, inspire and help people with his healthy lifestyle.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.