Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network on 145th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, is 57 years old, and weighed more than 300 pounds from the late ’80s through the ’90s. After much needling from his daughters, he changed his diet. Today, he’s taken five inches off his waist and 6% of his body fat, and he’s down to 176 pounds.
In an article in the Wall Street Journal he talks about how he lost his weight. Here are his tips:
1. Police yourself: “You live seven days a week, that means you should exercise seven days a week,” says Rev. Sharpton. “My trainer helped me get on track. Now I’m my own police.”
2. Warm up before you get started: “10 minutes on a stationary bike and jog 30 minutes on a treadmill.”
3. Moderate your intake: A normal day includes a breakfast of one or two hard-boiled eggs, orange juice and coffee. Lunch is a salad of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions with balsamic vinegar dressing from a deli. He usually has a mid-afternoon low-fat venti mocha from Starbucks sweetened with three Stevia, hold the whipped cream. “You can’t have a low fat drink with the whipped cream,” he jokes.
4. Set goals: “…practice visualization. See yourself as your best person physically and then chisel yourself into that person. You have to be your own sculptor.”
5. Keep it comfortable: “I usually wear an old track suit and ‘…some sneakers’ Russell Simmons [founder of clothing line Phat Farm and co-founder of Def Jam Recordings] sent…”
6. Don’t crave: “…hardest part is conquering your appetite. Once you give things like starches and fried foods up, you find you won’t be tempted by them any more. You forget them.”
7. Nothing happens over night: “I changed my diet cold turkey, but I suggest people change their diet incrementally… Maybe cut out the ice cream or the pizza or the fried chicken. Try to do without it for two weeks. Then challenge yourself to take out other things.”
8. When it comes to sweets: “Sometimes substitutes work. I need some sweetness so I put Stevia in my lattes.”
9. Discipline is important, “Vanity can be a good thing. I remember how I’d feel when people would cartoon my weight or make fun of my weight. I’d use those memories to help me stay on track.”
10. Say no to meat: Rev. Sharpton is giving up meat and only occasionally eating fish.
Okay, what are you doing these days?