For a long as I can honestly remember I’ve been over weight. My earliest memory of of when I noticed it is when a family friend mentioned that I had been “eating good” and getting “chubby”.
I was an active child, so it didn’t become an issue until I moved to Minnesota after my Mother’s job relocated. The long winters led to periods of physical inactivity and over-eating. I began to form bad nutritious habits. I would come home from school and hit the fridge. No one was home to stop me as my Mother worked long hours and my Father…Well, lets save that for another blog lol…
I learned to satisfy my boredom with eating. If I felt depressed, I ate. More often than not my choices were always junk. Chips were my favorite, but cupcakes and soda was also a go to. I began to get insecure about it. However I loved to eat and food was always a centerpiece to any family gathering. I began to associate “good times” and eating. When I began to make money in my career, coming off tour or receiving a large check, I would take the FAM out to eat at my favorite restaurants. Also traveling and doing shows often lead to me eating late, which we know is a no-no. This all came to a head in 2010 when on a doctors visit, I was informed that I was severely obese (300bls) He informed me that I was pre-diabetic, pre-high blood pressure, pre-hypertension…basically pre-death!
So I began to take back the control of my life. One day at a time. I started walking… and walking. I couldn’t even do 10 push-ups. I would do as many as I could and eventually I got to 10 and beyond. I also took baby steps towards changing my diet. However my lifestyle did not change, so I wasn’t seeing any results. Still eating late, still eating poorly etc.… I would lose a few pounds and gain it right back and then some.
I was still emotionally eating! Right before we started production on the All Eyez on Me the movie, I had actually lost some significant weight and was excited about my progress. I had dropped down to 260lbs from 300. But I completely abandoned my daily regiment and the emotional toll of reliving some really traumatic events led to me disregarding any diet restrictions I had placed on my self. Eventfully I gained 20 pounds and was back at 280lbs.
Fortunately, I Lost those 20lbs by March 2020. Covit-9 was running rampant and we were all on mandatory lock down. I panicked. The gyms were closing, it was still winter and I did not want to gain that 20 back. It was at this moment that I Made a personal promise to myself to not gain any weight. I also took in to consideration that the virus was affecting those of us who were in poor health, over weight or had pre-existing conditions. “NO quarantine 15 for me!” is what I would mutter to no one in particular.
It was not easy. I was just like everyone else in America. Bored, un-prepared and not used to being forced to sit still. I said f the cold and hit the pavement every chance I got. I brought some resistant bands and got busy with them. By the end of summer I had actually lost 10 pounds! That gave me the confidence to start seeking some help. “Ask and you shall receive” is a real thing if your intentions are pure and your really ready. I got invited to work out at a private gym not too far from where I Live. People began to notice my seriousness because I would go everyday. I was so thankful to be able to be active; I didn’t want to take it for granted. From these people I learned new techniques, how to target specific parts on the body etc. I’m still learning too. Everyday.
As of the writing of this blog I am proud to say I am at 219lbs and dropping. Not only Did I shed weight, I discovered a reservoir of passion and tenacity that I did not know I still had. Many people told me over the years that fitness is not about attaining any one goal. It’s a lifestyle. Meaning the style of life you choose for yourself will determine the quality of that life. It’s really about self-mastery for me. If you can master the mind, you can master anything in life. Wish me luck!