Dieting is hard, but living a healthier life is important, and no one can make the decision for you. It’s up to you to change.

Four years ago, I (Dj Big Boy Chill) was not only overweight, but I took beta blockers for my prehypertension, a medication used to manage cardiac arrhythmias. Considering that I was a heart patient from the age of 4-years-old until I was an adult, it was imperative that I take better care of myself. Also, my cholesterol levels were reaching a point where I would soon need medication, and I refused to take medication that listed more side effects than it did a cure. I’m sure I don’t have to tell most of you about Lipitor, because you’ve probably seen the commercials. I made it clear to my cardiologist that I wasn’t taking Lipitor and risking liver damage, instead I would change my eating habits.

It took some time before I made the decision to wholeheartedly dedicate myself to eating healthier. When I did decide to change, I didn’t look at it as a “diet,” because everything you eat is a part of your diet. There are good diets, and there are bad diets, and lets just say I wasn’t far enough on the good side.

In May of 2014, I was addicted to the gym, but the weight wasn’t coming off as fast as I would've liked. After some counseling from some close friends who were devoted to health and fitness, I vowed to change my dietary lifestyle for good. What did it mean for the once 263 pound radio Dj? It meant no more fatty foods, late night meals and snacks, or sugary drinks. If given the option, I would have drunk all of my calories, because I thought drinking Ocean Spray and V8 alone would help me get healthier. The truth is, I was wrong. You can work out all day long, but if you don’t put the proper food in your body, all of that exercise can be in vain. Some people have accelerated metabolisms, and the rest of us have to diet and exercise, because that’s just the way it is.

After drinking a gallon of water per day for over two years, countless meal plans, and hours in the gym, I can say I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. Though I’m not where I want to be, it’s a journey that I decided in 2014 wasn’t a temporary fix, nor was it just “some diet”. It was a lifestyle change. I have my days when I cheat on my diet with a slice of pizza, nachos, wings, or a juicy burger, but it’s all in moderation. That doesn’t mean I get to eat that way for the entire day; it’s just to treat myself for a job well done. You’ve got to kill the cravings sometimes, so you don’t end up binge eating all of the things that made you overweight in the first place.

Staying away from fatty foods has also made me appreciate my favorite foods when I do indulge in them moderately. My waist line is much smaller than it’s ever been, and that has allowed me to wear clothing I’ve only dreamed of wearing. Having a better selection of clothing alone is enough to keep you on track. They don’t show much fashion love in the big-and-tall section. Trust me. I know.

I like my progress, but there’s more that I feel I can do, and I’m not stopping until I reach my goal of being between 195 - 210 pounds. Right now, I’m fluctuating between 220-230 pounds. It’s hard sticking to a meal plan for days, weeks, or months at a time, but it’s worth it in the end when the number on the scale drops, and your doctor tells that your vitals are all normal, and to continue doing whatever you’re doing. That in itself should be enough to keep you going.

I’m not telling anyone how to live, though. I’m just telling you what choice I made to better myself. Hopefully, this article inspires you in some way to improve your health, and to teach yourself more discipline by learning how to commit to something that can ultimately change your life. Good luck!