Article posted on ThyBlackMan.com (click link for original)
I’m not a big rap fan nor do I even keep with the current state of the genre (or ANY genre for that matter in this day in age), but I found this very inspiring. I was impressed not with the change Gucci Mane made detailed by the article, but also the change the writer made himself. I can relate 1000 times over! It’s good to see others like myself, and maybe some you reading this, have struggles that mirror my very own and overcome them with huge success.
Makes me tear up a little…
In 2015, I was a 23 year old workaholic who was 274-78 pounds and quite unhealthy. I ate out at least four times a week and didn’t get any sleep because of anxiety issues. I relied on food as a coping mechanism to deal with the rigors of working 11 hours a day. While of course it tasted good, I didn’t realized the effect it was having on my body mentally and physically. A trip to the doctor on June 13th 2015 changed me, as I realized I was unhealthy and unfit. I went on a rampage that summer, working out every single day while eliminating processed foods every day but Saturday. 20 pounds slowly turned into 30, 30 into 50 and 50 into where I sit today, 211 pounds with 60 plus pounds lost altogether. I changed my life physically, which altered my dynamics mentally. Looking back, I would do it all again if I could see how I’ve impacted the lives of others.
Which is why Gucci Mane’s weight loss, a number one record in Black Beatles with rap duo Rae Sremmurd and abandonment of drug and alcohol use is a testament of how far he’s come in rehabbing his body and his mind. There was a time Gucci Mane posed as a 280 pound behemoth; frightening, scary, diluted and drugged out. He had classic records and the pop culture vultures who roam websites such as Complex, Noisey and Pitchfork were fascinated by him.
But inside, he was a wreck; relying on drugs and alcohol to stimulate his mind and spirit for 17 years. He readily admitted he was a drug addict, marijuana, alcohol, ecstasy, prescription pills and cough syrup were his drugs of a choice. It made him numb, non existent. Rap’s boogieman made a fortune not being true to himself. The drugs and his erratic behavior landed him in prison for his longest stint; two-and-a-half years starting in 2013.
Gucci Mane used prison to rehab his mind and body. The withdrawals from drugs hurt him at first, but soon, his mind would get stronger. He worked out, read and prayed, shedding the weight and getting rid of the belligerent rapper tag that preceded him previously. When he was released in May of this year, his drastically different appearance made fans question whether or not Gucci was cloned. What comes off as a insult, was taken as a testimony of the power of self-help, therapeutic resources by Gucci Mane.
The moral of this article, is that we all have the power to change ourselves if we really wanted to. It’s easy to stay in a comfort zone where our reality is filled with feel-good, easy and no challenges. It’s hard to look yourself in the mirror and say you need to change. With change comes with being uncomfortable and being uncomfortable brings over-thinking and self-doubt. But once you break through those self-imposed walls, the road to change begins. Gucci Mane could have been the rapper we loved when he was released in May; an overweight druggie whose erratic behavior was a byproduct of his addictions.
He could have still been the rapper whose insecurities were clouded by his tough-man act. Instead, he decided to change and reinforce a new identity. One who works out, eats healthy, reads and speaks English so fluent he sounds Harvard-educated. He decided he was going to change his mind to change his life. And if you’re struggling with addictions and vices you feel you can’t break, remember that Gucci Mane did it. So you can, too.
Music Editor; Brad Washington