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For many years, we’ve seen a “full figured” Rev. Al Sharpton in the news… marching on behalf of the oppressed. Currently, at 57 years of age, he is not the man he used to be… by more than a hundred pounds! His extraordinary results speak to the power of healthy lifestyle changes – truly a fountain of youth! Now, he’s committed to helping others learn about and experience similar health benefits.

How did he lose the weight?

A former self-described “fried chicken junkie” and “walking potential for a heart attack”, Rev. Sharpton explained in recent interviews on 60 Minutes and The Wendy Williams Show (May 2011 and October 2011 respectively) that he now generally avoids red meat and fried foods, in favor of fruits, veggies and fish. He also exercises regularly, several times each week. When choosing a hotel, he now looks into the quality of the fitness center before other amenities.

It is noteworthy that Rev. Sharpton did not opt for a fad diet or surgery to lose the weight. Plenty of celebrities have used these approaches with varying degrees of success.  Sharpton’s approach to weight loss has been to change his entire lifestyle….for the long run. He has indicated that he’s received more attention from the ladies since his weight loss.  Furthermore, he’s finally overcome his addiction to fatty, salty, and sugary foods — and by eating healthful foods he feels much better and will likely live longer.

Another famous, formerly “Fat Al” named Roker chose surgery (gastric bypass) to lose weight, which worked well for him. Although there are some situations where such surgery is needed, it should generally be a last resort, because there are possible complications, including death. Furthermore, losing the weight alone does not protect from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancers. In the end, you still have to eat more healthful foods and less fatty, salty, sugary foods, in order to prevent disease. It is my understanding that Mr. Roker has fortunately now become much more conscientious about his daily food choices.

Why now?

Rev. Sharpton describes that he recalls losing weight about ten years ago, while fasting in a Puerto Rico prison (related to a protest)  and how he liked looking leaner.  Although he gained much of the weight back, he never forgot that experience.

More recently, his daughter asked him why he was “so fat” and why he wore (baggy) jogging suits so often, hinting that his appearance may have been embarrassing to her. That was the last straw. He was determined to get fit.

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