Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons has dropped 22 pounds in an effort to lower his diabetes risk, the Huffington Post reports.
The 48-year-old hip-hop legend said diet and exercise helped him get on par with achieving the physique he’ll need to keep up with Run-D.M.C. group mate, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels.
“I just did a concert with D.M.C. after 13 years, and after losing some pounds for that, I felt really good,” Simmons said. “We got good reviews for having lots of energy on stage and I realized that if I’m going to continue to do shows … I gotta be in Mick Jagger-type of condition.”
While his weight loss was partly motivated by appearances, Simmons said his new health routine is rooted in combating his higher-than-average risk for Type 2 diabetes.
“I found out that [my father] had diabetes in his older age and as I was moving along in my life … I realized that I had to start losing weight,” he said. “[It was] for many reasons, but the number one reason was for health.”
Diabetes educator Jeannette Jordan said, “One of the biggest [misconceptions] out there is people feel like diabetes runs in [their] family, so it’s inevitable that they’re going to get it.”
Jordan, who works for Novo Nordisk — for which Simmons is now an ambassador — also said, “The message that we’re trying to get out is that it doesn’t have to happen to you the same way. Yes, family history is a risk factor, but it doesn’t mean that because this happened to your mom it has to happen to you.”
Jordan said a diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean life-altering changes, and that moderation is the key.
Simmons agreed that knowledge was key.
“My dad had diabetes, so it doesn’t mean just because Russell stands on his head and does yoga, and Angela’s in perfect health that they don’t have it,” he said.
Simmons said he is relying on his brother and niece for support.
“They’re right there for me; they know what I’m doing to keep my weight under control,” he said.
“I have all types of things set up so I know, this is what I’m going to eat when this sweet tooth moment comes, this is what I’m going to eat when dinner comes around,” he said.