Q. How much weight did you lose?
“I lost at least 150 pounds over the course of two separate transformations.”
Q. What inspired you to lose weight?
“Well unfortunately I saw many family members leave this life prematurely and as a results to obesity-related illnesses. I then soon realized that my days were actually numbered due to the amount of excess weight that I, at the time, had accumulated while under the influence of an unhealthy lifestyle.”
Q. Were you ever diagnosed or treated for any medical conditions?
“To my knowledge, the only medical condition that I was aware of was my heart murmur. Besides that I think my doctor may have suggested that I had high blood pressure and sleep apnea. But other than that, nothing. However, that isn’t to say that there were no other more serious medical conditions. In fact, my doctor ordered blood work on more than a few occasions. To be honest, I was more frightened to hear about bad news than I was concerned about getting the help that I needed. So I just never showed up to any of my testing appointments.”
Q. Were you always obese?
“Throughout most of my childhood I was. But during my early teenage years my mom allowed me to participate in sports like basketball and football. This helped out a lot because it allowed me to cut down on much of the weight I had carried in the off-season.”
Q. What are some of the medical conditions that run in your family?
“The most common among all is Type 2 diabetes. Other than that, hypertension (high blood pressure), arthritis, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, prostate cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and others that I can’t think of right now. These medical conditions eventually lead to some sort of paralysis, death, and ultimately both.”
Q. So in your first book “Out of the Shadows,” you talked about your struggles with bulimia. What was that like?
“Yes I did. It was pretty difficult for me being a young black male having to deal with a mental illness of this kind. Society portrays bulimia as an illness that normally affects middle to upper class white female teenagers. Though I didn’t fit this profile, I do clearly remember having my many experiences with binge eating, forced vomiting and so on and so forward.”
Q. What do you think caused the bulimia?
“In a nutshell, I thought that I just wasn’t good enough. Throughout my childhood I grew used to being made fun of, mocked, and ridiculed. Some of the neighborhood kids including my classmates would often reference me to being fat, stinky, and ugly. To this day, I’m convinced all of it had played a major psychological roll in bringing on the bulimia. Most times there was a battle between my cravings for food and the voices in my heads reminding me of how unworthy of a person I was. So to satisfy them both I would binge eat everything in sight and then vomit after I had enough. And as embarrassing as it sounds, I would repeat the cycle again.”