Maye Musk attributes her fit physique at 76 to a flexitarian diet and active lifestyle

Maye Musk attributes her fit physique at 76 to a flexitarian diet and active lifestyle

When 76-year-old Maye Musk, mother of tech mogul Elon Musk, was invited to pose for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue once again, she embraced the opportunity with her characteristic grace and confidence. With a modeling career spanning over five decades, Musk attributes her enduring vitality and timeless beauty to a balanced lifestyle, which includes following a flexitarian diet.

A flexitarian diet is a flexible approach to eating that primarily focuses on plant-based foods while allowing for the occasional inclusion of meat and other animal products. This diet aims to provide the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle without the need to completely eliminate animal products. The term “flexitarian” is a combination of “flexible” and “vegetarian,” emphasizing its adaptable nature.

Maye Musk shared her insights into this diet and how it has helped her maintain her health and appearance. Reflecting on her past, Musk explained that her adherence to a flexitarian diet began out of necessity. After her divorce in 1979, financial constraints meant that she could not afford meat, fish, or chicken regularly. Instead, she relied on nutritious bean stews and a variety of vegetables to feed her children. Despite their initial complaints about the repetitive meals, this diet laid the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

Musk’s recollections highlight the practical aspects of her diet during her children’s upbringing. “I remember Elon saying, ‘I always wanted Coco Pops, but we only got Raisin Bran,’” Musk chuckled. “Coco Pops were more expensive and less nutritious, so that’s what [my children] got.” Her resourceful approach extended to other areas as well; for instance, brown bread was a staple in their household because it was subsidized by the government in South Africa, unlike the more expensive white bread.

Her children, including Elon, Tosca, and Kimbal, often joke about their childhood meals. Kimbal, in particular, developed a passion for cooking, which Musk attributes to her own limited culinary skills. Despite her self-proclaimed lack of cooking prowess, she has always prioritized healthy eating at home, focusing on vegetarian dishes and fresh produce.

These days, Musk’s diet includes less bean stew but a wealth of fresh fruits and vegetables, which she considers essential for aging gracefully. “To keep a body healthy and skin glowing, you have to eat well. That keeps me in good health,” she emphasized. When her children visit, they often enjoy home-cooked meals featuring meat, fish, or chicken, prepared with love and care.

However, Musk is not averse to indulging in moderation. Her love for desserts is well-known, and she has learned to manage her cravings. “I used to overdo it… I was the first plus-size model in South Africa in my 30s because I’d been through stressful times. Stress is a common reason to overeat. I gained 60 pounds. But it affected my knees, my back, and my cholesterol. I had to get my weight under control.”

To maintain balance, Musk allows herself occasional treats but in controlled portions. For instance, she might savor a dessert at a restaurant, taking only a teaspoon at first. “If it tingles in my mouth, I will eat half of it. But if it doesn’t, I don’t eat it.”

In addition to her balanced diet, Musk attributes her longevity to staying active. She emphasizes the importance of incorporating simple exercises into daily routines. “I walk my dog three times a day, although she sniffs more than she walks,” Musk laughed. She also engages in evening exercises while FaceTiming with her twin sister, who lives in Canada. This routine includes yoga, jumping on the spot, and lifting weights.

Musk has learned the importance of not overexerting herself. “I used to work out hard, but then I would hurt myself. You can overdo things. I wanted to be extremely fit. And then you find out you don’t need to hurt yourself. You can just be active.”

With years of experience in front of the camera, Musk has developed numerous tips and tricks to enhance her appearance. She is unapologetic about using filters and seeking good lighting to look her best. “I’m OK looking my way,” she explained. “I don’t think I have many wrinkles, but in a midday sun without makeup on? Yeah, I certainly look my age. But I’m happy to use filters if I have to.”

Despite occasional negative comments about her age on social media, Musk remains unfazed. “I think once every three months, somebody says, ‘You’re old,’” she noted. “But I don’t care. I can just delete [those comments]. Doesn’t bother me. I guess I’m old, but I’m on social media doing very well. I’m getting most of my bookings through social media.”

In 2022, Musk made history as the oldest cover model for the SI Swimsuit Issue at age 74, a title later taken by Martha Stewart at 81 in 2023. “It’s an honor really,” said Musk. “You don’t expect this when you’re 76, but it’s just surprising and exciting… [My children] are delighted.”

Musk believes that with age comes wisdom. “I think women just have to realize that as you get older, you do get wiser,” she noted. “People still try to take advantage of you, but you can recognize it better and quicker so that you don’t go as much into miserable situations.”

She encourages others to make positive changes in their lives, even if it means facing challenges and uncertainties. “You will struggle. You’ll be scared. You’ll have no confidence. If you’re unhappy [with yourself], you’ve just got to make a plan.”

For those who feel self-conscious about wearing swimsuits, Musk offers empowering advice. “Go to the beach and look at the men,” she suggested. “Do the men care? Are they insecure? They will be in tiny [shorts] and… flaunting themselves, thinking they are fabulous. Women should do the same… You have to enjoy your time at the beach. It’s fun to do that. And if anyone is insulting you, send the insult right back.”

Musk highlights the double standards that often affect women’s body confidence. “It’s so bizarre that a man can insult a woman when he looks way worse than her. I don’t know why we allow that. And if other women are insulting you, then you don’t have to mix with them. But you need to feel good about yourself when you go for a swim.”

Maye Musk’s journey is a testament to the power of resilience, adaptability, and self-love. Her commitment to a balanced diet, active lifestyle, and positive self-image has not only kept her looking and feeling her best but also inspired countless others.

As she continues to break boundaries and redefine beauty standards, Musk’s message is clear: age is just a number, and with the right mindset and habits, anyone can lead a fulfilling and vibrant life. Whether through her modeling career, her role as a mother, or her advocacy for healthy living, Maye Musk remains a shining example of grace and strength at any age.

Source: Various sources

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