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Living Larger By Downsizing: How Radio's Big Boy Dropped 300 Pounds

After realizing obesity was probably going to kill him, Big Boy opted for weight-loss surgery. He lost more than 300 pounds and gained a new appreciation for life.

Big Boy never felt bad about his heavy weight. He wasn't teased as a child. He wasn't lambasted as an adult. On the contrary, Big Boy was rewarded for living large—literally. "I became comfortable with being that size," he said. "Being comfortable, I could accommodate 500 pounds. If I wanted to drive, I would drive a bigger car. If I wanted a suit, I would get a suit made." He didn't hide his weight; he coupled it with his funny, charismatic personality to create a radio persona. His weight became an integral part of his character.

Being obese wasn't always easy though. On airplanes, Big Boy would have to buy two seats and use the empty seat's
tray-table because he was too big
to use his own. He would also worry
obsessively about his luggage
because he knew that he wouldn't
be able to just go to the "local mall
and buy an 8X shirt."

Big Boy said he tried losing weight,
did yo-yo diets, and even lost 110
pounds during a promo with Will
Smith, who forked over $1,000 for
every lost pound. After seeing that
$110,000 check, Big Boy remembers
heading right for a restaurant for nachos. "At the final weigh-in I kind of threw it away because I thought I was done," he says. "Will Smith cut the check and the promo was over.
I was done."

Big Boy didn't eat regular portion sizes. "You can't smoke a little bit of heroin," he explained. "You can't smoke a little bit of crack. I couldn't have a little bit of nachos."

Waking Up From Fat

Big Boy gained all the weight back, plus more. After he re-packed the pounds, Big Boy noticed pain in his lower back, numbness in his leg, and shortness of breath. At 33, he started to question his lifestyle. "I started to ask myself, man, do you have more years behind you than you actually do in front of you? Because you don't see any 500-pound 65-year-old men walking around." The thought scared him.

Big's changing mindset made him recognize the danger he was putting himself in. "Everything that you do is like a credit card. If it's multiple sex partners, if it's drinking, if it's smoking, whatever you're going to do, you're going to keep charging that card—charging, charging, charging." For Big, fried chicken, his weight and his 8X shirts were taking over his credit balance. He knew he would at some point have to pay: "Was it going to be a heart attack? Was it going to be diabetes? Whatever it was going to be, I was going to have to pay for it," he said.

Although he had managed to avoid health problems—his blood pressure and cholesterol were normal—Big knew that something bad was probably on its way. Although he didn't speak about this with his family or friends, he said he "could really feel that death was coming."

He knew he had to make some serious and immediate changes to his lifestyle. Eating plates of nachos just wasn't going to cut it anymore. Given the enormity of both his body and his situation, Big decided to kick-start his weight loss with bariatric surgery. The decision to allow a doctor to cut, staple and reconfigure his stomach and intestines was not an easy one; but in his case, it turned out to be the right one.

Big decided to have a type of bariatric surgery called the "Duodenal Switch," in which a surgeon removes 70% of the stomach and reattaches the smaller stomach to the lower-third of the small intestine. This enables the body to absorb fat only for a limited amount of time, which usually amounts to a mere 20 percent of total fat intake. Less food and less fat coupled with a good diet and a healthy lifestyle generally leads to serious weight loss. That's what happened for Big.

The After Party

Eight years, and more than 300 pounds after his surgery, Big Boy says he still struggles with portion control. "I've still got portion distortion," he says. "I still sometimes order with my eyes and not with the size of my stomach."

Today, he focuses on a good diet and exercises regularly. Although he's not a gym freak, he does martial arts and runs around with his 5-year-old son, who he calls a "Speedy Gonzales."

His diet favors items like chicken, leafy greens, and juice. Although his body can handle pretty much any type of food, he makes sure that he eats as cleanly as possible. There are times, like when he's on vacation, that Big Boy will eat fried chicken, but it's rare.

Now what Big puts in his mouth is keeping him alive instead of slowly killing him. Because his stomach can't handle a large amount of food, he must acquire much of his nutrients from supplements like trace minerals, kidney extract, liquid vitamins, calcium and protein bars and shakes. Without these necessary nutrients, Big Boy risks vitamin deficiency and malnutrition.

Big Advice

For people who are in the same place as Big Boy was before the surgery, his advice is, "anything they do needs to be for them." Although he had a large support system, Big Boy declares, "I had to make sure I supported myself and loved myself as much as the people around me." When the switch turns on, and you want to change, Big says, "It starts with you first. You can't do it for anyone else."

Now Big Boy finds himself marveling at the things most of us take for granted. "Now, I can get a ticket to a concert, walk in and sit anywhere. I can fly with no assigned seating and sit anywhere. It's small things like that, the things people just don't think about, that blow me away."

Big Boy's victory against obesity was no easy feat. But, because of his determination to change, he can look forward to many years of life instead of many plates of nachos.

Big Talk Vlog



If you'd like to learn more about Big Boy and his weight loss, buy his book An XL Life: Staying Big at Half the Size.


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About The Author

Cassie Smith is a writer/editor for Bodybuilding.com and former professor & college athlete. Find out more about her right here.

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dbman4

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dbman4

seriously amazing.. Great job big boy!!

Sep 17, 2012 6:47pm | report
 
agitatedant

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agitatedant

Congrats on having a surgery that took off all ur weight rather than hard work and commitment in the gym??? Nothing to be proud of in this article, theres others here on BB.com that have accomplished much more NATURALLY

Sep 18, 2012 9:48am | report
 
oxygen4thewin

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oxygen4thewin

He didn't LOSE any weight. He got surgery and had it taken out of him. He didn't work that weight off. Anyone can go under a knife and say " I lost weight". Ohh well, just hope he lives better than before.

Sep 18, 2012 9:51am | report
 
chuck2334

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chuck2334

Did you even read it? All he had was a surgery so his body absorbs less fat. Fat is a small part of the whole equation when it comes to losing weight.

Sep 18, 2012 12:58pm | report
fluid1

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fluid1

I don't respect people who go under the knife to make themselves look better. Specifically for weight loss

Sep 18, 2012 10:01am | report
 
SugarNation

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SugarNation

I think Big's immediate concern was staying alive, rather than earning respect. Obviously we emphasize weight loss and management through training and sound nutrition, but Big made a personal decision to kick-start his weight loss surgically. We neither condemn nor condone his chosen approach--but we do applaud his realization that something dramatic needs to happen when your weight passes the 500-lb mark.

Sep 18, 2012 10:18am | report
Achezallover

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Achezallover

You don't "respect" them? May I ask why?

Sep 18, 2012 4:34pm | report
Achezallover

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Achezallover

Also, for someone so heavily tattooed that seems especially narrow-minded...

Sep 20, 2012 2:35pm | report
pinoy3d

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pinoy3d

To bad mouth him for getting surgery is just ignorant. The weight doesn't just go away automatically with the surgery. You still have to work for it. Everybody's situation is different, and his was in the extreme. I don't judge him for it, and give him credit for losing the weight & living a healthier lifestyle.

Sep 18, 2012 10:13am | report
 
cacruz6

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cacruz6

where did all that skin go?
anyway good job in seeing a different perspective in life!

Sep 18, 2012 10:37am | report
 
JP1981

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JP1981

Well having surgery may seem like a quick easy fix and some believe that surgery is cheat for those unwilling to do the hard work that weight loss is. You should still be happy that maybe for the first time in hiss life he realized he needs to change and hopefully he doesn't turn back to the bad habits with food

Sep 18, 2012 10:39am | report
 
JohnHardesty

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JohnHardesty

Well said. Agreed.

Sep 18, 2012 3:46pm | report
Holly444

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Holly444

Amazing transformation!

Sep 18, 2012 12:56pm | report
 
Achezallover

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Achezallover

I'm just surprised some people around here aren't living in caves, what with all that "hard work" philosophy that obviously doesn't apply to every facet of their lives... maybe your average cave can't fit so much self-righteousness.

Sep 18, 2012 4:43pm | report
 
CalonLan

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CalonLan

What's surprising about that. Insecure people feeling inferior in many ways have a great urge to compensate for it. Usually by judging and lowering value of people around them, who most of the time buy into this comedy game as they actually give a **** about what others think about them. Totally missing the point that the other guy is not walking your shoes, so it doesn't make sense to care for what he thinks of you. It's the way the systems of each country, your friends, family and environment raises you up. Your given broken mentality which many apply in their lives without thinking about it. There's nothing to learn from the history of human race, because literally the same **** is being repeated on daily basis and this trend will continue for quite some time.

Sep 27, 2012 1:47am | report
kbkb3232

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kbkb3232

I have been a big fan of Big Boy's for a long before the surgery. One of the things i hated about moving out of Cali, was no more big boys neighborhood. Keep up the good work bro.

Sep 19, 2012 2:24pm | report
 
kbkb3232

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kbkb3232

In this day and age how people can be ignorant still surprises me. Weigh loss surgery doesnt take off any weight. Rather it limits the amount of food you can take in, at any given time. You still have to exercise and workout to keep the weight off. I know tons of people who had weight loss surgery and gained the weight back plus more, because of bad nutrition and no exercise. I had weight loss surgery over two years ago and have maintain 100 lb weight loss, by kiiling it in the gym 4 to 5 times a week. Shout out to Kris Gethin for his nutritional and workout plan, really helped me out a lot.

Sep 19, 2012 2:38pm | report
 
cassie1162

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cassie1162

Good for you, man! That's no easy task. And thanks for your intelligent comment.

Sep 20, 2012 2:02pm | report
avaryj

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avaryj

The dude did a big boy thing in saving his own life. Big props Big Boy!

Sep 23, 2012 4:36pm | report
 
10deerslayer12

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10deerslayer12

Just goes to show, anybody can do it. Great job!!

Sep 28, 2012 7:13pm | report
 
Yung-Dilla

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Yung-Dilla

A lot of source bags on here. Big boy still had to put in the gym time and lose the weight and still made a change for the better. Congrats big boy!!!!

Oct 31, 2012 9:16am | report
 
txtenista

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txtenista

You know what, let's as a healthy, fit living community applaud people's positive aspects of their transformations. It is narrow minded that to think everyone's journey is the same as the next broccoli and chicken maven. You should be careful with your words cause we don't know what his support situation is and it only takes one word from someone who doesn't stop to think to make someone who is doing great with their progress turn around and go the other way. Let's applaud his small achievements like still continuing to be active and find things that appeal to him because we all know that there are loads of people that get types of surgeries and then go through a horrible relapse. So, instead of bashing him and wondering why bb.com is even featuring him, maybe you should think about the audience it might appeal to or what motivations it might be stirring up in someone else's life. Granted, we shouldn't go under the knife and do it as naturally as possible and this site is testament to that fact, but I am proud he finally realized his life was in jeopardy and he needed to do something about it. He is trying to make changes in his eating habits as well and still does indulge just like we all do. Can't we even give him credit for that? There are people who can't even do the small things he's done and have eaten themselves into an early grave. Why go through the trouble of being snobby about it? We've all had our starting points in this lifestyle. Thank you Cassie for showing people who can relate to his lifestyle and procedure that it can be maintained after surgery and that the clean eating, healthy living lifestyle can be done!

Nov 5, 2012 7:38am | report
 
reddheadd72

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reddheadd72

Props to Big Boy for taking control of your life and doing something to stay around and entertain us longer. :) I too had gastric bypass and it is far from being the "easy way out". Most of the time it's people that have never had weight issues that can put us down for taking such drastic measures. I've fought for every pound I've lost and I'm still fighting my way to get to my goal weight. That's why I'm here, for support, not to be put down and feel bad about what I did to better myself. Props to all the positive people who posted here!

Nov 5, 2012 5:31pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 23 of 23 Comments

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