A 52-year-old asparagus farmer from the North Okanagan is competing with women decades younger for a coveted spot on the cover of the international men's magazine Maxim, in a testament that superlative fitness doesn't end with menopause.
Corrine Jeppesen is among the finalists to be the magazine's cover model after sending in a photo application on a whim. The contest includes women from Canada, the U.K., Germany, France and Mexico.
"It was a last minute decision [to apply], but I'm really glad I did," Jeppesen said. "I thought, 'It doesn't cost me anything, I have nothing to lose.'"
Starting at 50
Jeppesen, who lives in Armstrong, B.C., started her bodybuilding transformation when she hit half a century of age.
"Turning 50 is a huge milestone and, for me, it was a wake-up call," she told Chris Walker, the host of CBC's Daybreak South.
"I had lost track of my fitness."
Having seen the previous decades flash past her between her 30s to 40s to 50s, Jeppesen didn't want to waste anymore time.
"I'd put other people and my business ahead of myself for over 20 years and, in those 20 years, I gained a lot of weight and became very uncomfortable, very unhappy," she said.
The road to fitness wasn't going to get any easier with time, Jeppesen acknowledged.
"Going through menopause, everything changes for a woman," she said.
"What works in your younger years when you want to shed a few pounds doesn't work anymore. Things are a lot different."
So she enrolled in a six-month body transformation program where she had weekly online check-ins with a coach and submitted body progression pictures — from the front, side and back — along with her weight and measurements.
"Some weeks, I just dreaded it," Jeppesen said.
"But as I learned and as I progressed, it got better. I started looking forward to seeing the changes in my body myself."
'The sky is the limit'
She signed up for a bodybuilding competition in June to have a goal to focus on.
"I'd always wanted to do a bodybuilding competition. Not to compete, but knowing I have the discipline to get there and fit in the lineup was my goal," she said.
Jeppesen's friend saw some photographs from that competition and encouraged her to try out for Maxim's cover which usually features a sultry-looking woman wearing a bikini — or less.
"The sky is the limit and I'm realizing my limitation is in my head," Jeppesen said.
With files from Daybreak South.