In an all encompassing interview about his life, airing this Sunday on OWN, with media mogul Oprah Winfrey, the Reverend Al Sharpton discussed his substantial weight loss. The civil rights leader, who’s always been a fierce orator, decided to become just as passionate about his health as he was with his beliefs. After a max weight of 305 pounds left him feeling like a “prisoner in my own body,” Sharpton has since lost nearly 170 pounds.
The 135-pound Sharpton once coupled his larger than life sermons with an equally boisterous body. While his physique can now be best described as shockingly petite, he’s still a spitfire in the pulpit. His come-to-the-scale moment happened when he realized the contradictions involved in preaching self-control while he overate and lived a lethargic lifestyle. He told Oprah, “We can’t preach community control when we aren’t practicing self-control.”
So, how did the good reverend do it? Simple portion control and exercise. He swapped platefuls of fried chicken for whole grains and salads and exercises on a cardio bicycle everyday. “You live seven days a week, that means you should exercise seven days a week,” he told Oprah.
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Reverend Al Sharpton is making news for something other than his political and religious beliefs this morning. The infamously outspoken reverend appeared as a moderator for the election last night on MSNBC looking much slimmer than his former self. Once tipping the scales at nearly 300 pounds, Sharpton is now well below the 200-pound mark and credits his dramatic transformation primarily to a vegetarian diet.
Sharpton is no newcomer to the vegetarian scene. He began appearing on behalf of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as early as 2006 to raise awareness about the maltreatment of chickens, specifically within the KFC corporation.
That same year Sharpton was awarded the PETA Humanitarian Award. During his acceptance speech at the New York City gala, he shed more light on his clean eating habits.
“Avoiding meat is the way to eat for anyone with a highly-charged life,” he said. “A vegetarian diet has a way of absorbing the stress and gives you greater endurance. I don’t eat many starches or [refined] sugars. I just love greens and grains. I eat a lot of salad and fruits. I feel like a new, improved me.”
Sharpton appeared on the Wendy Williams show in October 2011, where he shared that he forgoes meat altogether with the exception of fish once or twice a week. He also touted his new-found appreciation for fruit and vegetables, which now make up a great majority of his diet.
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