Rapper David Banner’s health was in serious jeopardy when his weight got to 255 lbs. He has since changed his eating habits and added a workout routine to lose the weight. He spoke with Men’s Fitness magazine about his transformation.
We saw an old interview where you said that you tried to lose weight, not to get girls or to look better, but because you had health concerns:
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. That was a year and a half ago. 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.”
Have those numbers significantly dropped? The numbers have significantly dropped. The sleep apnea basically doesn’t exist anymore. The bad thing about the high blood pressure is that it’s genetic. The doctor said until I lost the weight, he wouldn’t be able to tell if it was genetic or not, but that’s still better, and the diabetes, we’re good.
What kinds of foods are hard for you to give up and what have you replaced them with? Macaroni and cheese is probably the hardest thing for me, so is fried chicken, 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…..you just have to take the time out to submerge yourself in that world to find those things.
Was anyone in the industry really supportive? Was anyone clowning on you for trying to change? Surprisingly enough, I got more support than anything. T-Pain came up to me and said he lost 30 lbs because of me. My trainer, Scott Parker, has had his roster triple since me. I see artists being more health conscious, and the thing I figured out is you can use people’s envy and turn it into something positive….I know I feel 100% better than I ever have.
So what are you trying to do now, put some muscle on, or just keep it steady? I’m trying to put a little bit of muscle back on. I think I lost just a little bit too much weight. But now, I can sculpt myself up….I know exactly what to do.
How do you feel after making your transition? 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.