Monisha's Minute: Mrs. Ernestine is My Caleb


Meet Mrs. Ernestine Shepherd, the world’s oldest female body builder.

This title was given to her by The Guinness World Record Committee by the way. Last week, I was blessed to meet her at the Annual Fit & Faithful Expo in Desoto, TX. The event was fantabulous and consisted of testimonies, health expert panelists and the wonderful Mrs. Ernestine.

The DJ played the Rocky theme music as she walked out on stage. She went down and did a few one leg push ups! After wowing the crowd’s socks off she grabbed the mic and commenced to speak. She went on to share her story of how she started taking aerobics classes with her sister at the age of 56. She’s now 75 and has better abs than anybody I know. If you don’t think so, show me your abs and I’ll determine if Mrs. Ernestine is more ripped than you.

She also shared her diet, which was very high protein. She drinks liquid egg white about three times a day. I’ve never had liquid egg whites. That might be something I experiment with soon. Other than that, her diet seemed pretty realistic. Foods she mentioned were green beans, grilled chicken, brown rice, and baked sweet potatoes.

Her workout schedule consists of:

-Waking up at 3:00AM for devotion (Amen!)

-Eat Breakfast

-Going for a 10 mile run (yeah, you read it right)



-Back home to eat some more


-Back home to eat and spend time with the hubby (Awe! By the way, he prepares all of her meals)

Check out these pics!

After explaining her roller coaster road to healthy living she brought on stage her personal trainer Yohnnie Shambourger, former Mr. Universe. He explained Mrs. Ernestine’s workout routine and diet. What I really appreciated about the both of them is that they constantly brought the primary focus of healthy living back to God.

In all of his talking he nonchalantly said he was 58.  He was on to the next topic when I realized he said he was 58.

I’m telling you, if anybody ever tries to bottle up exercise and sell it as an anti-aging pill Mrs. Ernestine and Yohnnie should be on the front label posing like this…


So why is this post titled Ms. Ernestine is My Caleb? Well over the past few weeks I have read the book of Joshua as my morning devotion. In Chapter 14, a believer of God named Caleb approached Joshua. To make a long story short, Caleb approaches Joshua and mentions that their former leader Moses promised him some land years ago when he showed great faith. Caleb basically said (and I’m loosely paraphrasing), “Hey Joshua, I was 40 years old when I went to spy the land and reported we, the children of Israel, could take it over. I am now 85 and am just as strong as I was back then. I would like that same land I saw those giants dwelling in, because you know what? I can take em’!”  Read it for yourself, Joshua 14: 6-15. As I read it, I could not imagine an 85 year old man just as strong if not stronger than he was at age 40. But to know Mrs. Ernestine is stronger at 75 than she was at 56, I can now believe it. It was like seeing the Word made plain and real right before my eyes. I won’t get too preachy on here but meeting her right when I’m studying the Book of Joshua convinced me more that the body is a magnificent temple that can be restored and renewed at any age and stage in life when you place God first.

So if you’re thinking you’re too old to get in shape for the first time in your life, read this post again and again and again until you realize you have what it takes to be healthy. Here are some pics I took with Mrs. Ernestine and Yohnnie.

Love, Peace, and Sweat,

Monisha R.

Monisha Randolph is a RRCA Certified Distance Running Coach  and the author of Runner’s Revelations: How Running Changed My Walk. To learn more about Monisha or to purchase a copy of her book please visit Feel free to follow her on Twitter and join her Fan Community on Facebook.


  • Ms.BMJ says:

    I just LOVE her! She is sooooo inspiring! I hope to meet her some day.

    • Dinnie says:

      I became aware of Ms Ernestine a little over a year ago & she has been an inspiration to me ever since. When I’m on my run & I feel like giving up I say to myself if she can do 10 miles at her age I surely can do a measley 3 miles. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love her and Yohnnie..both came to Dallas yesterday and will be on extreme weight loss program next year, with Chris powell, I see her and Yohnnie once a year. She is beautiful inside has well as outside…

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