#FitnessGoals: Ernestine Shepherd, World’s Oldest Bodybuilder, Celebrates 80th Birthday

June 23, 2016  |  

If you’ve ever needed proof that being good to your body will help you live longer and look fabulous while doing so, check out a one Ms. Ernestine Shepherd. She celebrated her 80th birthday on June 16 and honestly, doesn’t look a day over 65. Check out her Facebook message about ringing in another year: 

According to Yahoo, Shepherd was named the oldest female bodybuilder by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 and 2011. And one awesome way the bodybuilder celebrated her 80th year on this planet was with the release of her book Determined, Dedicated, Disciplined To Be Fit: The “Ageless” Journey of Ernestine Shepherd (the first part of that title is her mantra). In it she explains how she was able to change her life and go from being “an average middle-aged woman to a bodybuilding diva.” At the age of 56 she decided to start working out and eventually fell in love with it. As is the case for many fitness enthusiasts, she found it to be a route to happiness after a traumatic life event. Shepherd turned to fitness after the loss of her sister who passed after having a brain aneurysm. They had set fitness goals together, and after her death, Shepherd was determined to keep and eventually exceed them. She has since toned up and become quite popular on social media, inspiring women (and men) of all ages to live their best life by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Shepherd, who sticks to 1,700 calories a day, wakes up early in the morning to read Bible devotions and go for a run. She teaches classes and does public speaking, sharing her story as often as she can. Working out has become a way of life for the 80-year-old, and it can be for you as well. As Shepherd told Oprah Winfrey, “Not everybody wants to be a bodybuilder. Not everybody wants to be a runner. But find what you like to do. I say to my senior ladies — and the men — ‘Don’t forget: Age is nothing but a number and you can get fit.’”

Happy belated birthday to Ernestine! She truly is an inspiration.

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