Meet Ernestine Shepherd. She is currently the oldest female bodybuilder in the world and an inspiration to people worldwide that age is just a number and starting weight exercising in your senior years is no obstacle. Although already in the eighth decade of her life, she has no intention of stopping and is still going strong.
If someone asked you to describe an 80 year old lady, I guess the first thing you’d think about would be a lady propped on her walking cane, or one seated in a wheelchair, taking her cocktail of medications. But Ernestine is the exact opposite of that. She is ripped, fit and strong.
She has turned 80 this year, competes in female bodybuilding competitions and is a Guinness World Record holder.
She was born on June the 16th, 1936. She did modeling in Baltimore in her younger years, but she didn’t do much exercise. At 56 she and her sister Mildred discovered their bodies were seriously out of shape when trying on some swimsuits. It wasn’t until then, at 56 that she took up fitness.They both started competing as bodybuilders. However, the time when it became a regular habit was when Mildred died because of a brain aneurysm in 1992.
Even then, she didn’t much care about her health and overall well-being, but when she started noticing her blood pressure is going up steadily, she decided it was time to start doing something to improve her health.
While she neglected her health in her younger years, she has now developed a routine of healthy daily activities. She starts her day at 03:00 am, and is under a diet regimen consisting of a strict amount of calories (1700 a day) that need to be ingested, which she does by eating boiled egg whites, sometimes prepared as a liquid egg white drink, chicken, lots of veggies and, of course, lots of water. She says she doesn’t take any supplements. She also does an 80-mile run once a week.
When asked about her 80th birthday she said that exercising was what kept her happy and alive all these years, so for her it’s just like any other day. It might sound cliché, but she too says that age is just a number. And exercise is the best anti-aging pill, if ever was to exist one. She says that exercising has dramatically changed her life and certainly for the better.
She has also stated that that carrying with her fitness career is a way of honoring and remembering her sister. Since turning 56, she was awarded two bodybuilding titles and has run nine marathons. She is also a instructor at an exercise class for elderly people at the Union Memorial United Methodist Church in Baltimore and also spends time as a personal trainer.
What’s her advice on how to be successful? Sheer determination, perserverance and never giving up. The video shows how this inspirational woman has managed to overcome adversity and become what she is today.