We look to professional athletes as the pinnacle of health and fitness. In many cases, however, that’s far from the truth. Professional athletes are a prime example of how someone can appear fit and healthy without either one being true.
We want to celebrate the athletes that who made the effort to lose unhealthy pounds or do more to be truly fit. In the long run, a healthy lifestyle is more beneficial than a pro sports career, and we think it’s great these athletes make the commitment to health and fitness.
As a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos, Steve Atwater was in peak physical condition. That changed after he retired and put on weight. Now, he has lost 21 pounds with Retrofit. He says his biggest hurdle to losing weight was his mind. “I knew I had a problem, especially when it came to large, multiple servings. I couldn’t resist. I knew I needed more discipline.” After joining Retrofit, he said the changes that led to weight loss were fairly easy. “It didn’t seem like I had done anything major. It didn’t really feel like dieting because I just made small adjustments.”
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“Lose weight like a man,” says Charles Barkley, the newest spokesperson for Weight Watchers. The former NBA superstar, who has been nicknamed “Round Mound of Rebound,” has gotten tired of his weight and pledged to drop it, once and for all. At his highest weight, the 48-year-old retired basketball star weighed more than 350 pounds.
Famous for a 1993 Nike ad in which he says “I am not a role model. I’m not paid to be a role model. I am paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models,” Barkley has changed his tune.
In the Weight Watchers ads, slated to run most often during sporting events, Barkley says “I am still not a role model. But maybe I can change that. Maybe if I tell you I’m losing weight and getting healthy, you’d see that you can too.” Nowhere in the advertisements does he mention black men specifically, but the message of “health first” is one that is very often overlooked by men, especially men of color. They are often underrepresented in the weight loss field, often to the gross extremes of encouraging heaviness with the popularity of such men as “The Notorious B.I.G.”, and the recent passing of comedian Patrice O’Neal.
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