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The former American Idol judge underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2003 after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Randy Jackson has literally changed American pop culture and the way it did for the past two decades paved for game shows and reality competitions to adorn our televisions today. In return, American Idol and America’s fans of the best dance crew had the opportunity to follow his own journey to becoming an entertainment icon – while also taking a peek at his personal health revolution.
In 2002, in the middle of his second life-changing season as a judge for American Idol, the former musician and producer was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. At the time, he told the press that he weighed over 350 pounds and had spent most of his life munching on bad habits. He surprised the audience in 2003 after gastric bypass surgery that minimized your stomach and streamlined your digestive tract. He later showed serious weight loss when performing on American Idol. But the surgery was only a first step towards Randy’s better health.
In a recent appearance on the Today show, the upcoming Name That Tune judge told anchors Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush-Hager that his health was still in Work is. « I started this health program many years ago when I was on American Idol … I lost a ton of weight and put it back on, » he explained, discussing his weight loss of over 100 pounds in the years following his surgery. « Then [I] went on my own journey to find out, ‘How do I keep it off? What do I do?' »
The answer wasn’t always clear to Randy as he speaks freely about the challenges and obstacles that come with he has faced since 2003 – sometimes with weight management, sometimes with living with diabetes. Undoubtedly, he has come a long way since that fateful diagnosis, telling Hoda and Jenna that his new take on health « is a long time coming, a long time coming ».
Below we examine how Randy worked to revolutionize his own approach to health, and how he, in his own words, cope with his incredible weight loss.
The music industry titan has his experience with the disease always viewed as a motivation for the necessary change in his health. He reported his initial diagnosis in a 2008 self-help health guide he wrote called Body With Soul – something he called a « blessing and a curse ».
« It is a curse to suffer with a life-threatening illness that you are can’t get rid of it completely, although one can certainly get it, « wrote Randy in the book. « But it’s a blessing to have this huge wake-up call. After that day in the emergency room when my doctor burst the bladder I lived in, I couldn’t lie to myself. That’s when I began my journey to better health . «
Once diagnosed, Randy reached out to doctors to learn all about the disease, including possible side effects such as heart disease, blindness, or even nerve damage (and possible amputation) if not checked. « I’ve recognized a lot of things that can happen if you can’t, so I encourage everyone to do so, » Randy told Health Magazine in 2012.
While writing his Body With Soul, Randy explained how he eventually ended up in a room where he could break bad eating habits for years – and that had a lot to do with his wake up call. « Diets, liquid fasts, weight loss drugs, as you call them, and none of them have ever worked for long. But when I ended up in the hospital, I had to grapple with why all of these methods failed, » he shared. Randy later told WebMD that he had also tried things like liquid fasting and possibly even considered apitherapy, a controversial therapy involving bee stings, before realizing why short-term solutions weren’t working for him. « The problem is, these diets don’t work for people with obesity, » he said in 2008. For Randy, the complications associated with type 2 diabetes and its possible side effects rocked his core and helped him realize that his resolve had to change. « Not to be overly dramatic, but it was really a matter of life and death … I had to figure out what would work for me, and eventually I did. »
In the 19 years since with him Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Randy told the press that he managed to lose 114 pounds (and stay off!) In his new routine, People reported. But it wasn’t an instant, easy change for Randy – he says he struggled to adjust better eating habits after undergoing gastric bypass surgery, and that he actually gained some weight again after his procedure.Restructuring his diet took a great deal of effort on his behalf when Randy told WebMD in 2008 that his television and music life meant it was not always easy to eat healthily. « After the show everyone will hang out and eat and drink, » he said. « There are all kinds of sandwiches as well as french fries, cheese, cookies, cakes, candy, beer, wine. » Randy worked on completely changing the foods he ate regularly after his initial weight gain.
« You have to almost completely divorce … and start over, little by little, figuring out what works with your body Also, you have to figure out the allergies and really pay attention to how you feel, « he told People in 2020.
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Randy had grown up on recipes that were decadent in nature – » Me I grew up in Louisiana, so my diet consisted of rich southern fried foods, ”he told Health. His favorites included gumbo, sausage and grits, and many jambalayas. He later announced in a WebMD profile that he had not given up all of these favorite dishes entirely, but had reinvented them with healthier swap and substitute meals. « It’s about being aware of who you are, knowing your body and accepting that, » he said.
« Never say ‘I’ll never have another piece of chocolate’ because it won’t happen. And once you say never, there will be a fit, » Randy told WebMD, adding that he’s got his own sweet tooth through Occasional balancing got charged chocolate with frozen yogurt. It seems that moderation is at the heart of Randy’s long-term commitment to health: he will allow himself to have a full serving of a variety of potato with a holiday meal, for example, but not two or more high-carb sides.
Before he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Randy Health said he only exercised about 30 minutes a week (about two hours less than the minimum recommended amount of exercise). While exercise is necessary to keep his weight and diabetes in check, Randy didn’t immediately throw himself into an intense fitness routine – in fact, he began revolutionizing his fitness routine by simply walking every day (even for just 10 minutes!). . « I had to start with something I could do, that was easy, » he said.
Eventually, Randy made it to the gym for a more focused workout. He usually starts his routine with a jump on a treadmill that he keeps right next to his bed. « It’s right there and stares at me and says, ‘Come here.’ They know you need this, « he told WebMD.
After 35 to 45 minutes of walking or light jogging, Randy also turns to yoga, which has its own benefits. « I’ve got used to yoga and I love stretching and how it makes my body feel better and more relaxed. »
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