L.A.-based musician and clothing designer Papa Joe Aviance wants the world to hear his story and become motivated to do the same. In 2009, he released his first house music hit. As he proudly watched the video on MTV and VH1, the reality of his weight slapped him in the face. “I was two cheeseburgers away from diabetes or high cholesterol, I was sick of hating myself. It was now or never.”
Anyone who has ever lost a large amount of weight always talks about that ‘moment’ that changed their lives. This was Aviance’s moment. He began his journey by trashing every food item in his home.
“I cleared everything out of my fridge,” he says. “I was only going to drink water. At that point, I’d been drinking a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew every day and if I went through any local drive-through, they knew my name.”
Aviance, at 450 pounds, knew eating healthier would be much more challenging due to cost, but he was soon eating a much healthier diet with just $50 a week. How? A local 99 cents store in his California neighborhood sold foods such as fresh vegetables, fruit and more.
“A friend told me I should check out the 99-Cent Store. Since I couldn’t afford Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, I decided to see what they had.” “Oatmeal, raisins, nuts, fruits, vegetables, tuna fish, eggs, I was blown away,” recalls Aviance. I literally spent $50 a week on food.”
As far as his fitness plan he recalls, “I couldn’t afford a gym membership or fancy diets,” says Aviance. “I realized that walking was the easiest exercise I could do for free. I grabbed my dance music, shoes and started walking.” The first time around the block — I couldn’t even do it, it was just mounds of sweat,” he says. This determined man now walks five miles a day.
After 18 months of staying persistent and consistent Joe dropped an astonishing 250 pounds by eating simple and plenty of walking, nothing fancy. He is no longer at risk or takes medications for diabetes, elevated cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
To speed along his transformation, he started to incorporate breaks for pushups and other strength moves during his walks. “I do pushups right in the street — the city is my gym,” he says.
After his weight-loss success, Joe has given up the music business and traded it in for a health and wellness expert touring the country to inspire obese children and adults to start moving. “I want people to be as happy as I am, and part of that is being healthy.”
Aviance has appeared on “The Doctors” and is currently touring nationally with his LIVE FOR LIFE TOUR.