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No matter where rapper David Banner goes, he always reps his home state of Mississippi (he literally has the state tattooed across his back). Now the rapper, producer and actor is seen in Oscar-winning films, on Capital Hill lobbying and working out. But the rapper wasn’t always fit. He grew up like many of us, eating lots of comfort foods. After ballooning to more than 255 lbs, his eating habits and (non-existent) workout routine had put his health at serious risk. Banner shared how (and why) he decided to finally drop the weight.
“I had high blood pressure, really high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and I was really close to diabetes. And the doctor was like, ‘that’s a deadly combination.’ The doctor said, ‘you really gotta’ get it together.’ I just took it as a challenge. After I did an interview with allhiphop.com, I had so many young black and Latino people come to me to say, “dude, I’m in the same situation.” So, I really took it as an initiative to help people get healthy. And that pushed me that much further, and motivated me to push that much farther.
“Everything I was doing, was adding stress: working, going to acting school, eating on the go, etc. Literally, the doctor told me that if I didn’t lose weight, I would die. He actually told me that I only had three months to live.”
“To be honest with you, I had a motorcycle accident, and when I went into the emergency room, my blood pressure was so high that the doctor really didn’t treat any of the injuries from the accident. He’s like, ‘dude, you have a blood pressure problem that you need to handle.’”
Taking a more serious look at his health, Banner knew he had to change his eating habits. “Macaroni and cheese is probably the hardest thing for me, so is fried chicken,” admits Banner. “But what I tell people is this: once you submerge yourself into healthy eating, I am willing to bet any amount of money that you will find the same amount of healthy things that you like and dislike, that you would unhealthy things. I don’t like every…
…unhealthy thing in the world. I don’t like fried catfish. There are certain things I don’t eat. But in the healthy world, there’s the same amount of things that I like and dislike, there’s certain things that I consider to be sweet. There’s a vegan smart cookie that they sell at Smoothie King that I love, and I really can’t taste the difference. There’s certain healthy salad dressings that taste as good as the unhealthy ones, but you just have to take the time out to submerge yourself in that world to find those things.”
So now the MC is lighter, blood pressure is great and he no longer suffers from sleep apnea.
“I’m going to be honest with you — it’s an honor, because it was hard. We, as entertainers, not just rappers, have a tendency to influence people to drink Crystal and buy high-priced cars, to do so many other things, but we’re in a position to help save people’s lives. I honestly believe this, and I know there’s no way to quantify it and really prove it, but I really believe that I put 10 years on my life. I can look at my skin, I can look at my face, I can look at my body, I know I’ve put 10 years on my life.”
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