Lose weight for yourself and loved ones - Papa Biggy
Over the years, a lot of international artistes - among them, Jennifer Hudson and Missy Elliot - have worked on their images, going all out to shed a lot of weight.
Local 1980s foundation artiste Courtney Porteous, aka Papa Biggy, has seen fit to do the same after a wake-up call in 2013, where he suffered a mild heart attack following a car accident.
An insulin-dependent patient for years, the more-than-500-pound artiste and producer, who hails from Portmore, St Catherine, and now resides in Connecticut in the United States, said the heart attack was a sign that things had to change.
"A lot of people are confident in their own skin. They are even accepted by those who love them, so much so that it makes it easier for them to let things remain the way they are. But if you truly love yourself and that person who has invested their emotions in you, then you will do what it takes to stay around as long as possible with them," are wise words coming from the artiste who has recorded songs such as How You Plant Corn, Never Give Up On Your Dreams, Under The Plane Wing and Living In Peace.
Having made the resolve of changing his lifestyle and shedding the pounds, Papa Biggy says 80 per cent of it came from his own efforts, as he spent two to three hours in the gym on a daily basis, ate less carbs and more fruits and vegetables, while cutting out all juice and soda and still managing to fit in four miles of walking per day.
"The rest was with the help of a team of doctors and nutritionist. I began reading motivational books and watching calorie intake, and, at the same time, kept reminding myself that I wanted to live," he said.
Now, having shed almost half the weight, he says he is comfortable with the progress he has made but is cognisant of the fact that he still has a lot more work to do.
"For 27 years, I was a chronic diabetic and for 12 of those years, I had to inject myself every day with insulin while taking multiple pills. I had serious high blood-pressure problems, but since my weight loss, I am completely free of diabetes, no medication at all, and my blood pressure level is back to normal," he said.
Now that he is within his goal, Papa Biggy is reaching out to those who are struggling with similar issues.
"Believe in yourself and take the chance. You can do it. If I did it, then anyone can do it."
The artiste recently released a single and video titled The Right To Fight.