Internet trolling and fat-shaming took its toll during the second season of American Idol, according to the former music show judge as he looks back on being the subject of snide remarks regarding his weight from contestants during auditions. Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes the same year, Randy knew it was time to make a change.
Growing Up in the South, Randy Loved Food
Weighing as much as 350 pounds in the early 2000s, Randy blames his early eating habits on growing up in Louisiana. ‘’Food was always my thing because I grew up in the south where food and good times were king,’’ Jackson told WebMD in an interview back during his American Idol days. Rando also delved into the partying and drinking on the road doing the music show, claiming that it was normal for the crew to hang out and party once a particular episode would be finished.
In his bid to lose an astonishing 114 pounds, Jackson had to make a drastic lifestyle change—the star underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2003 and subsequently worked with numerous fitness experts, nutritionists, and mental health experts since it was important for him to keep the weight off after undergoing the weight loss surgery.
Giving Back To the Community
Speaking about the changes he had to make in his diet, Jackson said that making lifestyle changes was similar to getting a divorce or breaking up. According to Jackson, today the only things you will find in his refrigerator and food storage are fruits and vegetables, and lots of corn- but without the bread.
The drastic dietary change was needed especially when being overweight was compounded with his diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, it was extremely important for him to be in regular correspondence with mental health experts to combat mental issues that normally arise after extreme weight loss or surgery, as these mental problems can usually lead to a relapse where individuals typically seek out comfort food, gaining more and more weight in the process.
Following his successful weight loss story, Jackson co-founded Unify Health Labs in a bid to inspire more and more people to live and eat healthy and according to him, it’s his way of giving back to the community after getting his second shot at a healthier life.