November 15th, 2011
07:29 AM ET
The Human Factor: Fat Joe 'drops a body'
In The Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness, or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week, rapper Fat Joe opens up to CNN Medical News Senior Producer Ben Tinker about his dramatic weight loss.
I was talking to my trainer the other day and he asked, "So when was the last time you were slim?" And I said, "I swear to God, when I was a month or two months old." That was it. I was Fat Joe ever since.
My parents are overweight and I think the biggest problem we have in America is a lack of education. The place to start is with parents and teaching them to cook healthier. They're eating rice, beans, fried chicken and lard. They'll still eating dessert every single night. They think they're doing the right thing, but they're not.
Like I used to love going to my Aunt Barbara's house. I opened the kitchen cabinet and they had every Oreo, every Twinkie. I never wanted to come out of her house. And you know, we're thinking that's love - but at the same time - that's what causing childhood obesity. That's what's causing diabetes and so on.
Diabetes is like a host to the VIP section. Whatever you thought you were going to die of, it's the express line. It takes you to heart disease, strokes, or "Right this way, let's lose some toes."
I'm addicted to food, so if you bring the cake and stuff to my house, I might walk by and take a swipe of icing and keep it moving. So what happens is I try to not keep it around.
Food is like a legal drug. You can take 50 cents and walk into the store and buy a Twinkie and get high. And it's killing people.
You know how they say a crackhead or drug addict hits rock bottom? I just hit rock bottom to where I just knew if I didn't make this lifestyle change, I was going to die.
Last year alone, I had six friends die of heart attacks. Most of them were younger than me, but they were my same size. So I had one friend who was funnier than me. He was cooler than me. Obviously God loved him and he still died. I couldn't believe that he died of a heart attack at 32/33 years old. He has a daughter my same age. And it was the weirdest thing. I went to his funeral. Not only was I sad, but I was just like, "This is me." I couldn't see a clearer picture of what's the difference between me and him - of me being in a casket and my daughter running around the funeral home - and you know, she doesn't have a dad anymore.
From that day on, I chose to change my lifestyle. That was the ultimate moment. Being that I always perform, I started working out with a trainer to get that endurance and stamina. Now, I guess you could call me a gym rat. It's interesting to me. No, it's incredible. Just the other day, I said "Yo, I think something's wrong. I feel something in here." My trainer starts laughing. "Yo, you've been lifting weight for eight months now. Maybe you've got a muscle in there."
I think I weighed about 450/460 at my heaviest. That's huge! That's Fat Joe. And you know, I always took pride in being fat. I represented big people, but I realized at a certain point all my big people were dying.
I love to eat. If I could eat everything in the world and still be healthy or wouldn't catch a heart attack or stroke, I'd eat everything. I just can't. So I got to watch my health and take care of my family.
To this day, I've lost more than 100 pounds. And I got ground-breaking news: You know, I was diabetic for 16 years, since I was 14. Being that I lost weight, no more diabetes. So I want to let kids know, "Hey, you don't have to be a diabetic." You don't have to lose your eyesight, cut off your toes, have a stroke, get kidney failure. You just just have to lose weight - you know - for most of the diabetes.
So to all the heavy people in the world, I say you don't have to go to the gym and lift weights. I do that now because I love it. But you can walk 20 minutes a day for your first month - then it's going to be nothing. Then walk 25 minutes a day the next month. The month after that, you're going to walk like 30 minutes a day at least five times a week. I stay active - and mostly - I enjoy what I'm eating.
If you want to stay around, you have to stay focused. I've studied and investigated it to a point where I'm like a scientist now, to be honest with you. So you know, if I did gain it all back, it would be totally my fault because I've got all the tools I need.
Watch The Human Factor weekly on "Sanjay Gupta MD," Saturday & Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be exciting to read content from other authors and practice something from their web sites.
Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!
This page truly has all the information and facts I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.
Great site you've got here.. Itís difficult to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the website is also very good.
I could not resist commenting. Well written!
There is definately a great deal to know about this topic. I love all the points you've made.
Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!
An interesting discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to publish more about this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people do not speak about these issues. To the next! Best wishes!!
Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.
You have made some good points there. I looked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.
Everyone loves it whenever people get together and share views. Great blog, continue the good work!
This excellent website certainly has all the information and facts I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.
Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.
I used to be able to find good advice from your blog posts.
Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to come back once again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.
I love reading an article that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!
Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this amazing site needs much more attention. Iíll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the information!
Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!
Good information. Lucky me I recently found your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I have bookmarked it for later!
Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and never seem to get anything done.
Hi there! I could have sworn Iíve been to this blog before but after looking at a few of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyways, Iím definitely delighted I stumbled upon it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!
I like it when individuals get together and share ideas. Great website, continue the good work!
I'm very happy to find this page. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have you book-marked to look at new things in your site.
Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing!