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Ruby Carter-Pikes (center), a 64-year-old great grandmother, beat out women half her age to place second in a bodybuilding contest in Atlanta, television station NBC 4 reports. Not only did Pikes finish second in the competition, she placed in the Fit Moms category, and was named Women’s Super Masters Champion.

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Pikes says her family’s poor health history inspires her to complete. Moreover, she believes that African-Americans and Latinos lack proper health education, making these groups more susceptible medical problems.

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“Coming from a black family, and most Hispanics, too, we die from high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, kidney failure, it’s not because of our genes, it’s because of what we eat,” she said.

According to her profile on, Pikes says she was “oldest of twelve siblings and the first granddaughter of 45 grandchildren.” Born and raised in rural Mississippi, Pikes says her grandparents were sharecroppers and grew most of the food she and the rest of her family ate. But, like many Blacks during that time, they lacked education and knowledge of the proper way to prepare food. So lots of salt, sugar, flour and fried foods were eaten.


Pikes says she didn’t understand the impact of her family’s poor eating habits until she became an adult:

It wasn’t until I was an adult and had four children that I really start to realize and recognize the devastation of my family’s poor eating habits and the effects it had on the health my love ones including my grandmother, mother, aunts, sisters, uncles, brothers, etc. For example, my grandmother died at 57 after being diagnosed with heart problem and high cholesterol; my mother fought the battle of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease; a sister leg was amputated as a result diabetes (while on dialysis). A niece was diagnosed with diabetes at the early age of 11 and was prescribed insulin shots immediately. She lived with the disease until the age of 32.

She was diagnosed with a heart condition that negatively impacted her breathing early in life and was told by doctors it was little she could do about it. But, instead of accepting the doctor’s diagnosis, she decided to take control of her own life by improving her lifestyle and eating habits.

At the time I was employed with Federal Government Defense Department in Chicago. The department needed a personal trainer to help employees utilize the company’s fitness center. I accepted the request and my career took off. It was easy to inspire employees, because I it truly enjoyed it. Shortly afterward I began competing in local races, marathons, and bodybuilding contests. Later I entered national and international competitions and won a wide range of competitions such as: USA Grand Master, Miss Figure, Miss Universe and more.

Now the 64-year-old super granny is looking better than most women half her age and she shows no signs of slowing down. More importantly, Pikes says there are no lose-weight-quick schemes to look how she does.

“You can’t put it in a bottle, you can’t put it in a box, you can’t put it in a pill, you can’t cut it out, you can’t suck it out, you have to live it,” Carter-Pikes said.