In this special episode of Bulletproof Radio, I’m welcoming Laila Ali. She’s a world-class athlete, fitness and wellness advocate, TV host, author, home chef and cooking enthusiast, founder of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand, and mother of two.
She’s the daughter of late beloved global icon and humanitarian, former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, and Laila herself is a two-time hall of famer and four-time undefeated boxing world champion. Her stellar record includes 24 wins (21 were “knockouts”) and zero losses. She’s heralded as the most successful female in the history of women’s boxing.
Along the way, she had to build up her inner strength, as well as her physical strength. “ That was something that I had already learned in my life,” Laila says. “Just my own conviction, belief and confidence needed to be there in order to withstand all of the pressure and all of the naysayers that I would be facing, including my father.”
She also fully committed. “It took years of learning and growing, but from the beginning,” Laila says. “I got the best trainers I could find. I learned about how I needed to eat. I learned about how I needed to rest. What would it take to be elite and be better than everyone else. And I was willing to do it all.”
Through overtraining, health issues, aging and life changes, she’s learned to find the balance. And she says you can, too. “It’s not healthy to keep going to the point of being stressed out and feeling like there’s always something to do and feeling like you can’t sit down and relax,” Laila says. “That’s just not good to do at any age.”
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Follow Along with the Transcript
- If her name is not familiar to you, Laila Ali has been a former professional boxer. She co-hosts Everyday Health on ABC and actually has her own brand. – 1:16
- When I first saw women’s boxing on television, I was about 17 years old. – 2:10
- My adrenaline and just sweating all the time, weight loss at the time. And she took me to her thyroid specialist and I had Graves’ disease. – 6:03
- I definitely think that as athletes, we need to spend more time letting our bodies heal and recover. – 8:40
- I grew up with a lot of nannies and my parents being absent, I kind of overcompensate in that area with my kids. – 11:20
- People who want to bully people try to pick the weakest. So it’s like, if you… You need to be strong that first time and show them and then they’re going to move on. So, it’s sad that we have to teach people this, but unfortunately, we do. – 13:19
- I know what works for my body. I know what makes me feel good. I know what types of foods I need to provide for my family. But hey, if we want to go out on a weekend and get pizza, then I’ll let my kids get pizza because I don’t want them to feel deprived. – 15:07
- When I do have my moments of weakness, it’s when there’s a lot going on stress-wise and that will cause you sometimes to break away from the things that are already hard. – 17:43
- Talk to me about where you think you’re going to be in 40 years from today. What’s life going to be like? – 19:21
- My father even thought he got Parkinson’s from pesticides poisoning, and he used to always say that. But even without Parkinson’s, I know he would have had some effects from boxing, just slurred speech. – 23:01
- I done the hyperbaric chamber because I realize that I am still young and there’s still further changes that can happen that came from boxing. – 25:08
- We are understanding where these chronic things like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, where they really are originating, and the processes, and I really, really believe that we’re on the cusp and already some of these things we can reverse. – 26:34
- You just don’t want to wake up and it’s too late, and you’re like, “Man, if I would’ve just done these small things or taken these supplements, or,” it would’ve made a difference in your life. – 29:21
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