00:00 You’re listening to the live happier, longer podcast, episode 24.
00:15 Welcome to the live happier, longer podcast. We’re your hosts, molly, and we are here to help you build the habits of the happier, longer life starting now.
00:28 Hey Angela. Hey Molly. How are you? I am doing well. That is excellent to hear. You’ve never really heard of Jack LaLanne? No, it was. It was new to me. It was one of the early podcasts. Phyllis was talking about him. You mentioned that and I was like, how do you not know who Jack LaLanne is now? You know? He was on television for like 30 plus years in the United States before my time obviously then he went onto this like a juicer kind of company. I didn’t know that. Okay. Anyway, he passed away in 2011 and his wife Lala is carrying on his legacy, trying to inspire people to, you know, people called him the godfather of fitness. The king of fitness here in the United States, opened the first gym here in the United States back in 1935, 36. Yeah. Which is crazy. It’s crazy. Yeah. Invented the leg press extension machine and other things that you see in a modern day gym now.
01:33 He and La La. La La was actually on his show and demonstrate it. A lot of the exercises and that was to show women that they could do exercise and they wouldn’t just get all big and bulky. Right. Which was in any way. She has carried on that legacy. She is going to be 93 in March and we got the opportunity to speak with her and she is just a. well, she has a cracker. She is fabulous. Whipper snapper. She is a fabulous example of living a happier, longer life and we kind of wanted to talk to her about our philosophies, her philosophies and how they, they kind of come together. Yeah. Here’s Lala LaLanne.
02:13 Hi Lala. Hi, Lala.
02:16 Well hi there Molly and I’ve got your co-host here.
02:20 Yep. Angela might Scottish, Scottish sidekick. Yep. Thank you so much
02:28 Is so good to be with you today. I’m looking forward to our conversation.
02:31 Oh, we are too,very much so. We just in our introduction have given a little bit of a biography of you and told people about your legacy with Jack. And really just want to, wanted to talk with you today more about you and your, your path along aging. You’re going to be 93 in March.
02:54 That’s correct. That’s correct. So we’re going along pretty good. It all has to do with moving and I think that’s what your program is about to.
03:08 Yeah. Well that’s daily action number one for us is move and we say it’s number one for a reason because as people age, one of the things they fear about most is losing, loss of mobility, right? And things like that. And it’s one of the things that can be prevented just by simply continuing to move. And I think even, I remember reading a quote, I think that Jack once said about if you don’t use your body, you’re going to lose your body or something.
03:35 They don’t use it, you lose it. That’s a whole thing. I mean, anything in the body or anything is, is if you don’t use it, you’re doing, you’re going to lose it. You want to talk about little bit about aging and the how and how I feel about aging. I, I, uh, I think that we pass, we have passages, you know, you probably read the book passages, we go from, you know, teenagers and then we go from a child and then we go to the teenagers and middle life and then we go to, um, but so many people in early and I have over 60, but in the years ago they said, well, if you’re over 40 you’re young, you’re going to be over the hill. So that’s when Jack decided to swim from Alcatraz to the mainland handcuffed. Uh, and that was in the 1950s, I started in television. You want to know a little bit about my background? I started in television in 1948 and I was modeling and, and got this opportunity to go on the first one of the first television shows, which was an hour and a half every day. And uh, we had to go up to the transmitter. Now. The first time that I ever was on television, I did a butternut bread commercial in San Francisco and we had all these. I worked out at a modeling agency and, and all these beautiful girls up there for this commercial, for the butternut bread. I was the last girl in and I’m thinking, oh gosh, they’re so pretty. I’ll never make it. And I was the last girl in and I had to open this bread and, and, and smell it and say “Mmmm..good!” And I got the commercial. And so every night I’d have to go up because everything was live in those days. And then I’d have up to the transmitter and do “Mmmm..good!”.
05:42 And then I got this opportunity to go on an hour and a half show everyday. And that’s how I met Jack LaLanne. I had him as an interview. I got this, I got this call from someone over in Oakland and they said, we’ve got this guy, oh, can do push ups through your whole show. I said, wow. I said, that’ll be great. And he’ll do push ups a whole time? And he did. And what our one month later he was on..
06:08 For the whole hour and a half? He did push ups for the whole hour and a half?
06:13 The whole, while he was up and down, up and down, up and down. And then. So then, so then, uh, about a month later he was on the Art Bakers “You asked for” show and he did 1033 push ups and 23 minutes on that national show. So. And then I say, well, he was, then he started his show in 1951 on KGO TV and we danced at a company Party and we’ve been dancing ever since, or we danced ever since. Until he passed away in 2011. The rest of the story.
06:51 Well, and look at you go, I mean it’s 2000, almost 2019. So a lot of people, a lot of older, you know, when, when people are married for a long time as you guys were and when one passes it, it’s hard to keep on going, but you’ve just carried, you’ve carried on the torch and going even stronger.
07:11 You need to go. In other words, this passing on is part of life. When you come into this life you, you know, you have to go out of it sometime. And I lost my daughter when she was in an automobile accident in 1973. And um, you know, I, that, that’s a toughie. That’s a toughie. When you lose your daughter. And she was full of life and beautiful long red hair and just this effervescent, and it takes away part of you however you have to. I mean, you either have yourself a pity party or you go on, you know that, that you know that they want you to go on, but so many people, they, they, they don’t look at it that way. They look at the darker side of it instead of the brighter side of it that you have. You, you’re still there. And then you have a life to live and and person who’s left you. They want you to be. They want you to go on. They want you to be happy. They don’t want you to have a pity party for yourself.
08:22 Would you? You definitely would characterize yourself as an optimistic person. Is that right?
08:27 I’m very optimistic. I was. My mother was saying I was born smiling. So. But I, I, I’m very optimistic. I was asked the question by Maria Shriver for her of the Sunday paper and it’s on the Internet, and she asked me how the three things that was important to me and how I’ve lived this long and what were, what three things helped you, and so the three things were attitude. It’s my ARC … attitude, the attitude you have toward life, and then you have you have the R, which is resistance, and you if you resist the food that is not good for you to put in your mouth and for your body to be live and vital and you want to put live in vital foods in your body. Resistance is that as the next word, and not only as a resistance against taking the wrong foods, but the resistance exercise, because put out your arm right now, both, both of you, straight up, okay? Now I want you to touch her shoulder. Just just touch your shoulder. Okay? Now I want you to make a fist. I want you to make a fist and I want you to go real slow and make it as hard as you can and I want you to feel this muscle and as you come up and that, that’s the key to exercise.
10:12 That’s the key to results. So that’s, that’s the second word, attitude, resistance, and the third word is consistency. Consistency. If you’re consistent in the things that you do in your work habits, in your life, if your eating habits, your exercise habits, all your habits that you have, if you’re consistent about it, you can’t go wrong. So the those, those are the things that have kept me going. Those three things, and if you think about it, it’s in, in, in, in whoever’s listening today. If you think about your attitude, what kind of an attitude you have, then we think about you. Think about resistance. Why are you resistant to food that you’re not? You have, or are you putting all this junk food in your body or are you exercising? Are you, are you. Are you really making the muscle that making the muscles in your body work for you?
11:17 Because if they work for you, then they’re going to, then it’s going to have there. It’s like putting money in the bank. In other words, when you used to get more, you don’t get much more than half a percent now, but it grows.If you exercise, it continues in your body and it and it has lasting results. But if you don’t do anything, you become flabby and you waste away.
11:51 That’s, that’s your proof. I think your proof positive. So tell us a little bit about your, like your daily fitness type routine. What do you, what do you do to move everyday?
12:08 I work, I work out. I was just swim but it’s pretty cold right now. It’s too cold. But um, so I work out, I work out with weights and I work out with the pulling machines and Jack and Jack invented the first leg extension machine pulling machines that pulls up, pull up the weight. He didn’t, he didn’t make the pulley. They had fully isn’t in those days, but they didn’t have that pulled up the way. And, and so he and then he invented a squat bar called the Smith machine and, and there can we put this bar on your shoulder and it could do your squats and you can’t go forward and you can’t go backwards so you can’t hurt your back. I do a do a lot of that and then I do a lot of walking on the property and I like to walk uphill because when you walk up hill that’s good for your legs and it’s good for you. Good for your heart to. It gets my heart beating.
13:28 And then I eat a lot of yogurt and I, I try to stay away from butter, which is. Jack says, you butter not, you know, it’s, it’s not what you do, sometime that counts. It’s what you do most of the time. The countless. And that’s I stole from Jack. A lot of stuff ..ha ha… my book, Dynastride, that he coined that word. In fact, he’s a my book. This is my Christmas card and my book, if you want to live, moved in, want to see it? There’s no Jay. I’m doing it with Jaime Brenkus, he’s the one who did the eight minute workout in the nineties, and so we, we want people to start with with, um, was eight minutes a day. It’s putting a boom back in the boomers in boomers and that’s the name of the book and uh, it will, it will be probably out in the early, uh, early January or February, but you have the front cover, and even the back cover so not now as being. But I, it’s, um, but jack coined that and then it’s putting the boom back into boomers and this is what was happening because the boomer, we’re targeting the boomers because the boomers are, um, they started out like Gung Ho and they’re exercising, they’re doing everything. But now the boomers have kind of a, there’s articles written about it to our, of the magazines articles have been coming out about the boomers have been there, their decline in the fitness department. So we want to, we want to, we want them to incline, we want to help them get back.
15:24 We don’t ask them to strive for perfection. We asked them to just start out easy. And that’s what Jack always said, and he start out easy and then, and then build and build and build and this is what we’re trying to end the book. So we have it, it consists of re renew, that’s reshaping, you know, you’re starting to “re” and then the next one is reshape and then, and then refuel. So it had to do with talking about inspiration to, to renew their vows of exercise and give them inspiration. We get a lot of inspiration and a two and then, and then reshape. We’ve got exercises for them to start simple little eight, eight minute things and they can continue to build on that. And then, and then refuel. Then it has to do with, with uh, what you put put in your mouth. What you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow. So you think of yourself as a walking billboard. Then you know, you tell people, well this is, this is what I do. You want to be a good fit walking billboard.You don’t have to be a model. You know, you can be any size you want to be, but I mean you want to be fit and healthy.
16:56 So here at five for life our first daily action as move as we say it. And the important thing is that it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. So your eight minutes workout is perfect, you know, most people can do something for eight minutes.
17:15 So we can take a little time out of their day. You know, Jack always says something is better than nothing. So. But see, I think a lot of people think, I mean, you hear all, all these people working out an hour or an hour and a half and they go to the gym and. But how much time do they spend really working? And then they, sometimes they go overboard. You remember when I first met Jack, he says if you do everything in moderation, you can’t go wrong. Yeah. So if you do everything in moderation.
17:55 You’ll be fine. You’ll be, you’ll be good. Well, that’s words of wisdom, I think for everything, right? The, do everything in moderation and you really can’t go wrong, you know, that’s.
18:09 That’s right. I know you would ask me some other questions here about a success story. Well, my success story, I think I kind of told you how I started out from a modeling agency and but I think success, you work at it, you know Jack used to say life is like life is a battlefield. You gotta work, you gotta, you gotta fight for whatever you need in your mind. You want to, you want to too many people they, they, let things go. You know, they don’t, they don’t follow through and consistency. Again, you need to be follow through with things that you do in life and not just let it hang.
19:00 Like we said, you’re obviously an optimistic person. You’ve lived a really long and fairly healthy life, right? You would say it’s fairly healthy life. Oh yeah. I am. I don’t take any prescription pills or anything like that.
19:18 That’s pretty amazing. Even been at 93 almost, right? That’s pretty. That’s pretty imperative. I don’t take blood pressure pills. My blood pressure’s 109 or 68 or something like that.
19:31 It’s pretty good. That’s fighting fit blood pressure right there. So in all of that, what do you think as far as in terms of just gratitude on a daily basis, how much does gratitude play a part of your life.
19:52 Oh, I thank God every day. I mean if I can’t find something on me and I’m, I’m looking around for it and then I find it. Oh, I say. Thank you very much. I’ve always, I have gratitude. I my, I over thank people and I think that’s important for people to know. Everybody likes a little pat on the back, you know, and it only takes just one little thank you. If, if somebody does something for you to, to, to be, to be to have gratitude
20:31 But not only does the other person feel good, but you feel good too. It’s infectious.
20:39 You both feel good and you start smiling at each other and then it was just. And you know, it’s important, you know, going down the street, you go to the market and you see people…
20:56 Grumpy, grumpy face.
20:57 If jack would see anyone looking like that he’s say, trying to make them..he’d say smile, smile. He loved it. He loved people to smile. So we go to a restaurant. If the waiter wasn’t smiling and say ” c’mon there,smile smile”. And if you. If you go to the market or you’ll go wherever you go and you want to and you just smile at people, you know, they, they, all of a sudden they do it too and I just, I just think I’m so thankful for everything. I mean just little things. Just be thankful for every little thing that happens. If I could. If I can’t find a piece of paper and I find it. Thank you so much. I really so happy.
21:47 Yeah, and that’s kind of what we’re. It sounds like you’re kind of in your book, you’re going to be talking to baby boomers and certainly part of our focus is on helping baby boomers age with optimism. I mean they’re turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day. They’re going to keep doing that until the year 2035 and at that point in time, our country is going to be at a point where the older part of the population is going to be larger than the younger part for the first time in history ever. And we just don’t have. We don’t historically, we’ve never had that, so we don’t really have many great examples of aging with optimism like you, right now, you know, there’s this,
22:31 it’s in the book, we’ve come up with a lot of, we call them borrowed wisdom, things that we came up with, like attitude. I have a whole thing on attitude in there and I wrote something on forgiving. I mean a how, how important it is to forgive and uh, you know, and, and also a rehashing the past. I know what good is it do to rehash the past. Too many people live in, they live in, live in the past and they forget about the future. They just, the only time that you can live right now is now. Living. You can’t live in the past. You can’t live in the future. You and I, all three of us here are just, we’re living right now, right this minute. And that’s the only time you should be thinking about. Forget about the past. I mean, talking about forgiving. Forgive yourself if you get mad at yourself and we all do. And we all do that “what did I do that for?” you know, I forgive you, I forgive you. And so let’s get, let’s get with the program and let’s get this done. I mean, it’s important to get things done, get things done. You want to, you want to..
23:58 Move forward. For us, we have these five daily actions that we talk about and our fifth daily action is let go and that, that talks about, you know, letting go of regret and trying to get to get over those things that you hang onto. The past. Yeah. The past letting go of the past, letting go of anger.
24:26 I have a thing that I wrote on that in the book. Then I wrote something on a visualization, visualize what you want in the book. I tell this story about, about I’m, I’m a golfer, and so I was in a tournament and have the golfers will understand this. So I had to, I had to go over this bunker bunker was sand, a lot of sand in the bunker. So I thought to myself, oh god, I wanted to go on the green and went up to the pin because I’m in a tournament. I thought, what if I go in the bunker? I went right in the bunker.
25:12 Because you thought about it.
25:16 Sure As, as a man thinketh. So is he. So then the next shot out of the bunker, I missed that and the lost the tournament. So what I did is I visualize the, the idea of the ball going in the bunker. The thing that I do in the book. I told the story. So the next time I went out and play golf and I tested myself and I thought I was going over the water this time and I’m thinking I can go over the water, I can go over the water. And uh, and so I went over the water and then I started thinking about what if I go in the water wherever I was just doing a, I was practicing. I went water. So you see when you, when your thoughts are things, and when you speak your word, you’re speaking your words. So it’s very important to listen to yourself. And when you visualize, visualize the positive part of it, not the negative part of it.
26:26 Your thoughts often become your actions and your actions become your reality.
26:33 Something on doubt. Doubting Yourself. Yeah. I mean you can’t doubt yourself.
26:41 You just got to go on. One of the things that we hear a lot or you know, it’s certainly been in studies and such as something that impacts people as they age is loneliness and isolation and we talk a lot about in daily action, number three, share about, you know, engaging with people and giving back to the community and continuing to be engaged with, with other people and really making it a habit. Do you think that’s an important part of your life.
27:15 Yes. It’s so important. You have to love yourself. And then there were too many people that don’t love themselves. They don’t have the confidence in themselves. So you have to start loving yourself and be your very best friend if you are your very best friend. And I have no, um, um, my very best friend. I mean I don’t mind being alone. I don’t mind. I can always find something to do, but if you feel you are lonely and it’s important, you know, join a church, join a club of others. So many centers. I mean, they’ve got centers for teenagers, teenagers centers and they have something in your community that you can go to or you can volunteer at the hospital or you can do volunteering. You meet other people because then you interact with. We interact with each other. Then you made lifelong friends when you do that, but a lot of people, they just stay home and they feel lonely. They feel as though they’re having another. You have love. They just love their pity party and just they feel put upon and so if you are one of those people that are put upon, just start, start thinking about about changing your attitude, changing your thinking. You know you can. It’s easy to change a habit. We get into the habit of doing things and then it becomes a habit and then how did you get into the habit? You did it over and over and over here and you say, I don’t want that to happen anymore. So you go over here and you’ll say, well, I’m not going to have that happen going. I’m going to do this. I’m going to do this. And you try to follow that up and try to keep doing it and keep doing it. Then it becomes a habit.
29:20 Yeah, absolutely.
29:23 A habit becomes a habit.
29:27 That’s all. I mean, I think, like we said, you are just a phenomenal example of how to live a happier, longer life. And you know, our whole premise is that it takes a plan. You know, it requires action. It requires, it does require habits, right? You don’t just get to be, you don’t get to be 93 and happy and vibrant like you are if you didn’t start with some actions back in your fifties or your thirties or forties, wherever you can start anytime. But you gotta, you gotta work at it. Keep it going, right? Yeah.
30:04 I think another part of life is knowing the reason for things. When you think about, reason um, why, why, why do you do this? What is the reason you do this? And then the reason when you think about reason is a powerful word in fact is my father said to me years when I was young, very young. He said, No. I want you to try to figure out what is the reason for a reason. Maybe you’re looking for it all of the rest of your life, but I do. I like to know the reasons for things. And I, when I do things, I have a reason for doing it. In other words, just not nilly willy, you know, if I do something, there’s a reason for it. If I say something, there’s a reason for it. Um, so I, I, I’m a big believer in using reason in your life.
31:17 And developing, it’s the same. Yeah. Kind of another way of saying having a plan. When you know, you you, you do what you have. You take action based on kind of an idea and what you want to be doing in a plan to do it. Yeah, we will definitely. We will put the link to the website in our show notes so people can connect with you there. I know you’re still busy and I can’t wait to see the book when it comes out and hear more about that and we wanted to talk with you. I mean, Jack, we’d all know Jack was a, an icon and the king of fitness. Uh, you’re the queen and um, you know, it’s just, it’s been wonderful. We appreciate you taking the time and what an inspiration for living a happier, longer life.
32:12 Thanks for listening to the live happier, longer podcast. Now it’s time to move, learn, share, give, and let go. Five daily actions to make the rest of your life the best of your life. See you next week.