‘Granny Guns’ embarks on viral documentation journey competing for Ms. Health & Fitness | Community Profile | Pittsburgh
Marlene Flowers thinks it’s “never too late” to change your life.
“Granny Guns,” as she puts it on social media, is a 65-year-old auto shop owner and bodybuilder who says she woke up seven years ago.
“I had eating disorders and health issues. When I was 58, I had to have surgery,” says Flowers. “After this experience, I knew I had to change.”
So she did. The flowers began to train and eat healthy. Then, three years ago, she decided to lift weights and discovered a passion.
“My son is my trainer, and he was the one who got me into weightlifting,” says Flowers, who shows off his muscles in exercise videos on social media. “People at my gym encouraged me to compete.”
The Pittsburgh-area native has been featured on multiple news programs and features across the country, and is currently a cover contestant for Muscle and Fitness’ HER Magazine. Fans can vote for Flowers once a day in the magazine Ms. Health & Fitness Competition 2022 with a Facebook login, and can also donate to the non-profit Homes for Wounded Warriors for additional entries at $1 per vote. At press time, she is currently third in her group.
His entire journey is documented online by his son. His TikTok Accountwhich launched in November 2021, has over 19,000 subscribers and over a million likes.
“It wasn’t until about a month ago that I realized I had gone viral,” Flowers says. But she stresses that family and kindness, not fame, are her priority.
“I am the eldest of seven children and since then I had to lead by example,” she says. “I like the attention, but if I’m able to motivate people for a healthier life, then I’m happy.”
Flowers adds that it’s her loved ones and the people who inspire her that keep her going. “Sometimes I think about why I’m doing this,” Flowers says, “but when someone gave us a compliment, it felt like faith.”
Flowers encourages anyone looking for a healthier lifestyle to follow her lead.
“You don’t have to have an amazing body to exercise. The goal is to feel good, not look good,” says Flowers. “Exercise can be difficult, but once you do, you’ll feel better.”
She says that mentality doesn’t just apply to exercise. “When you fail at something, get up and try again,” Flower says. “It’s within us to achieve what was meant for us.”
According to Flowers, it took going through a lot of bad times to get here, but she says she aims to set an example for others going through difficult situations, letting them know that they shouldn’t allow those who are tough times to beat them.
“I’ve been through a lot, but I’ve struggled,” says Flowers. “People who have gone through difficult times are not victims, they are survivors. I’m a survivor.
In addition to landing Muscle and Fitness HERS coverage, the winner of the Ms. Health & Fitness contest will take home $20,000 in cash. To vote for Flowers, go to mshealthandfitness.com/2022/marlene-fl. The contest ends at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 2.