Elly Niezen Is Amazing After Five Decades And You Can Be, Too! INTERVIEW BY BEN YOSEF | IMAGES BY MICHAEL BROOKS
53-years-young IPL Bikini Competitor, Masters Sports Model Pro and Masters Evening Gown Pro Elly Niezen brightens up the pages of SEAM and shares her thoughts on family life, positive energy, aging gracefully, her plans for the future and more.
“I don’t know if it’s a secret, but I’m still quite immature and don’t take myself too seriously.”
BEN YOSEF: Elly! Congratulations on landing the cover SEAM! You look absolutely radiant! How does it feel being a cover girl?
ELLY NIEZEN: Thank you! It doesn’t feel real. Being a cover girl seems way out of my reality. I feel very grateful and honoured.
B: You had such an active, awesome year on stage in 2018. This cover is well deserved! You are incredibly fit and fabulous and have very youthful energy. What’s your secret?
E: I don’t know if it’s a secret, but I’m still quite immature and don’t take myself too seriously. Plus, I spend a lot of time crawling around on the floor playing with my little grandkids. They definitely keep me active.
B: Love it! So, I understand that you have quite a few grandkids?
E: I have 10 grandkids (7 boys and 3 girls) with 2 more on the way. I am a professional grandma.
B: With so many kids around I could see how all the activity could potentially be taxing for some. But with you, you find that it actually keeps you feeling young?
E: All those kids definitely keep me feeling young.
B: Wow, that is fantastic! And how many children of your own?
E: I have 4 kids. 3 girls and then finally a boy.
B: You look really fantastic in the photos from the shoot with Michael. Was this your first photo shoot or have you done this before? You seem like such a natural.
E: That was my first photo shoot. Michael can tell you I was anything but natural. That man has amazing skills.
B: Ha! Well, you definitely look it! Great work you two did together. Who are some of your inspirations in life or otherwise?
E: God has been and still is the biggest inspiration in my life. It is my goal to show love to others in everything I do.
B: What life advice would you give to the younger generations?
E: Set goals for yourself. Write them down. Tell others about them, so they can keep you accountable. Be ok with making mistakes and admitting when you’re wrong. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Say positive things to yourself and to others.
B: What can you tell us about your love of horses?
“I love being around horses…My horse Hawk is a 14 year old Chestnut Arab. He has so much personality.”
E: I started riding ten years ago. I love being around horses and believe it or not cleaning the stalls and paddocks. My horse Hawk is a 14 year old Chestnut Arab. He has so much personality. My favourite thing to do with him is liberty training. That’s where he is supposed to follow my directions while he is unhaltered and I’m on the ground. We still have lots to learn, but we both enjoy it.
B: Sounds like such fun! And, I am sure Hawk keeps you active! How do you find work-life balance?
E: I do daycare for my daughter three days a week for two of my grandkids (3 and 1 year old). I do my workouts before they come or during nap time. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law and I have a nutrition club that we run three days a week, plus I clean horse stalls two mornings a week. I have found a way to incorporate the things that I love into my life. Plus, I have the most supportive husband.
B: You are looking pretty stylish in your pix from the shoot. Do you consider yourself stylish? How important is fashion in your life? Love the sundress that you are wearing on the cover, by the way!
E: I spend most of my life in active wear and jeans. I definitely would not consider myself stylish. I have a few things that I like to wear when I go out, but I like to be comfortable. Although I do have a love for high heels and make-up.
And, thank you. I got that dress online but it didn’t fit properly. So, as my daughter can attest, I spent many hours altering it. She even made the comment that it was worth it in the end.
B: Totally agree on the dress! What tips would you give to women with regards to “aging gracefully”?
“…eat wisely, exercise and get enough sleep. Oh yes, and go play outside.”
E: I don’t know that I have any great wisdom to impart besides eat wisely, exercise and get enough sleep. Oh yes, and go play outside.
B: What is next for you?
E: Some of my goals for next year are to take personal training courses, spend more time training with my horse and hopefully compete in a couple IPL competitions. SEAM